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Sample records for synaptic competition generates

  1. Binocular Rivalry in a Competitive Neural Network with Synaptic Depression

    KAUST Repository

    Kilpatrick, Zachary P.; Bressloff, Paul C.

    2010-01-01

    We study binocular rivalry in a competitive neural network with synaptic depression. In particular, we consider two coupled hypercolums within primary visual cortex (V1), representing orientation selective cells responding to either left or right

  2. Binocular Rivalry in a Competitive Neural Network with Synaptic Depression

    KAUST Repository

    Kilpatrick, Zachary P.

    2010-01-01

    We study binocular rivalry in a competitive neural network with synaptic depression. In particular, we consider two coupled hypercolums within primary visual cortex (V1), representing orientation selective cells responding to either left or right eye inputs. Coupling between hypercolumns is dominated by inhibition, especially for neurons with dissimilar orientation preferences. Within hypercolumns, recurrent connectivity is excitatory for similar orientations and inhibitory for different orientations. All synaptic connections are modifiable by local synaptic depression. When the hypercolumns are driven by orthogonal oriented stimuli, it is possible to induce oscillations that are representative of binocular rivalry. We first analyze the occurrence of oscillations in a space-clamped version of the model using a fast-slow analys is, taking advantage of the fact that depression evolves much slower than population activity. We th en analyze the onset of oscillations in the full spatially extended system by carrying out a piecewise smooth stability analysis of single (winner-take-all) and double (fusion) bumps within the network. Although our stability analysis takes into account only instabilities associated with real eigenvalues, it identifies points of instability that are consistent with what is found numerically. In particular, we show that, in regions of parameter space where double bumps are unstable and no single bumps exist, binocular rivalry can arise as a slow alternation between either population supporting a bump. © 2010 Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics.

  3. Competitiveness of nuclear power generation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sumi, Yoshihiko

    1998-01-01

    In view of the various merits of nuclear power generation, Japanese electric utilities will continue to promote nuclear power generation. At the same time, however, it is essential to further enhance cost performance. Japanese electric utilities plan to reduce the cost of nuclear power generation, such as increasing the capacity factor, reducing operation and maintenance costs, and reducing construction costs. In Asia, nuclear power will also play an important role as a stable source of energy in the future. For those countries planning to newly introduce nuclear power, safety is the highest priority, and cost competitiveness is important. Moreover, financing will be an essential issue to be resolved. Japan is willing to support the establishment of nuclear power generation in Asia, through its experience and achievements. In doing this, support should not only be bilateral, but should include all nuclear nations around the Pacific rim in a multilateral support network. (author)

  4. Spike Pattern Structure Influences Synaptic Efficacy Variability Under STDP and Synaptic Homeostasis. I: Spike Generating Models on Converging Motifs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zedong eBi

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available In neural systems, synaptic plasticity is usually driven by spike trains. Due to the inherent noises of neurons and synapses as well as the randomness of connection details, spike trains typically exhibit variability such as spatial randomness and temporal stochasticity, resulting in variability of synaptic changes under plasticity, which we call efficacy variability. How the variability of spike trains influences the efficacy variability of synapses remains unclear. In this paper, we try to understand this influence under pair-wise additive spike-timing dependent plasticity (STDP when the mean strength of plastic synapses into a neuron is bounded (synaptic homeostasis. Specifically, we systematically study, analytically and numerically, how four aspects of statistical features, i.e. synchronous firing, burstiness/regularity, heterogeneity of rates and heterogeneity of cross-correlations, as well as their interactions influence the efficacy variability in converging motifs (simple networks in which one neuron receives from many other neurons. Neurons (including the post-synaptic neuron in a converging motif generate spikes according to statistical models with tunable parameters. In this way, we can explicitly control the statistics of the spike patterns, and investigate their influence onto the efficacy variability, without worrying about the feedback from synaptic changes onto the dynamics of the post-synaptic neuron. We separate efficacy variability into two parts: the drift part (DriftV induced by the heterogeneity of change rates of different synapses, and the diffusion part (DiffV induced by weight diffusion caused by stochasticity of spike trains. Our main findings are: (1 synchronous firing and burstiness tend to increase DiffV, (2 heterogeneity of rates induces DriftV when potentiation and depression in STDP are not balanced, and (3 heterogeneity of cross-correlations induces DriftV together with heterogeneity of rates. We anticipate our

  5. Reversing the outcome of synapse elimination at developing neuromuscular junctions in vivo: evidence for synaptic competition and its mechanism.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephen G Turney

    Full Text Available During mammalian development, neuromuscular junctions and some other postsynaptic cells transition from multiple- to single-innervation as synaptic sites are exchanged between different axons. It is unclear whether one axon invades synaptic sites to drive off other inputs or alternatively axons expand their territory in response to sites vacated by other axons. Here we show that soon-to-be-eliminated axons rapidly reverse fate and grow to occupy vacant sites at a neuromuscular junction after laser removal of a stronger input. This reversal supports the idea that axons take over sites that were previously vacated. Indeed, during normal development we observed withdrawal followed by takeover. The stimulus for axon growth is not postsynaptic cell inactivity because axons grow into unoccupied sites even when target cells are functionally innervated. These results demonstrate competition at the synaptic level and enable us to provide a conceptual framework for understanding this form of synaptic plasticity.

  6. Reversing the outcome of synapse elimination at developing neuromuscular junctions in vivo: evidence for synaptic competition and its mechanism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turney, Stephen G; Lichtman, Jeff W

    2012-01-01

    During mammalian development, neuromuscular junctions and some other postsynaptic cells transition from multiple- to single-innervation as synaptic sites are exchanged between different axons. It is unclear whether one axon invades synaptic sites to drive off other inputs or alternatively axons expand their territory in response to sites vacated by other axons. Here we show that soon-to-be-eliminated axons rapidly reverse fate and grow to occupy vacant sites at a neuromuscular junction after laser removal of a stronger input. This reversal supports the idea that axons take over sites that were previously vacated. Indeed, during normal development we observed withdrawal followed by takeover. The stimulus for axon growth is not postsynaptic cell inactivity because axons grow into unoccupied sites even when target cells are functionally innervated. These results demonstrate competition at the synaptic level and enable us to provide a conceptual framework for understanding this form of synaptic plasticity.

  7. Competition in generation: The economic foundations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Green, R.

    2000-01-01

    This paper sets out the economic foundations that underlie competitive markets in electricity generation. It moves from a general formulation of a competitive market to discuss traditional models of optimal electricity pricing. It shows how an auction market can produce the same results and discusses the option of bilateral trading. Models of market power, which can lead to higher prices and reduced efficiency, are then discussed. The final part of the paper deals with network effects

  8. Simulation of synaptic coupling of neuron-like generators via a memristive device

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerasimova, S. A.; Mikhaylov, A. N.; Belov, A. I.; Korolev, D. S.; Gorshkov, O. N.; Kazantsev, V. B.

    2017-08-01

    A physical model of synaptically coupled neuron-like generators interacting via a memristive device has been presented. The model simulates the synaptic transmission of pulsed signals between brain neurons. The action on the receiving generator has been performed via a memristive device that demonstrates adaptive behavior. It has been established that the proposed coupling channel provides the forced synchronization with the parameters depending on the memristive device sensitivity. Synchronization modes 1: 1 and 2: 1 have been experimentally observed.

  9. Biological conditions for oscillations and chaos generated by multispecies competition

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Huisman, J; Weissing, FJ

    2001-01-01

    We investigate biological mechanisms that generate oscillations and chaos in multispecies competition models. For this purpose, we use a competition model concerned with competition for abiotic essential resources. Because phytoplankton and plants consume quite a number of abiotic essential

  10. Synaptic Mechanisms Generating Orientation Selectivity in the ON Pathway of the Rabbit Retina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Venkataramani, Sowmya; Taylor, W Rowland

    2016-03-16

    Neurons that signal the orientation of edges within the visual field have been widely studied in primary visual cortex. Much less is known about the mechanisms of orientation selectivity that arise earlier in the visual stream. Here we examine the synaptic and morphological properties of a subtype of orientation-selective ganglion cell in the rabbit retina. The receptive field has an excitatory ON center, flanked by excitatory OFF regions, a structure similar to simple cell receptive fields in primary visual cortex. Examination of the light-evoked postsynaptic currents in these ON-type orientation-selective ganglion cells (ON-OSGCs) reveals that synaptic input is mediated almost exclusively through the ON pathway. Orientation selectivity is generated by larger excitation for preferred relative to orthogonal stimuli, and conversely larger inhibition for orthogonal relative to preferred stimuli. Excitatory orientation selectivity arises in part from the morphology of the dendritic arbors. Blocking GABAA receptors reduces orientation selectivity of the inhibitory synaptic inputs and the spiking responses. Negative contrast stimuli in the flanking regions produce orientation-selective excitation in part by disinhibition of a tonic NMDA receptor-mediated input arising from ON bipolar cells. Comparison with earlier studies of OFF-type OSGCs indicates that diverse synaptic circuits have evolved in the retina to detect the orientation of edges in the visual input. A core goal for visual neuroscientists is to understand how neural circuits at each stage of the visual system extract and encode features from the visual scene. This study documents a novel type of orientation-selective ganglion cell in the retina and shows that the receptive field structure is remarkably similar to that of simple cells in primary visual cortex. However, the data indicate that, unlike in the cortex, orientation selectivity in the retina depends on the activity of inhibitory interneurons. The

  11. Competition and natural monopoly: the case for generation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pelegry, E.A.

    1995-01-01

    Some examples and references are used to support the existence of economies of scale associated with the electricity industry; for this, and in accordance with economic theory, the existence of a natural monopoly for electricity generation can be argued. The paper discusses the theory that competition in generation, with the aim of lowering the cost of electricity, can be achieved by other means than the competition between generators over the bidding price. One alternative is the competition between generators with reference to standards fixed by a Regulator, along with the progressive introduction of new low-cost installed capacity. 5 refs., 4 figs

  12. Generator scheduling under competitive environment using genetic ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    DR OKE

    decision regarding how much power and reserve must be put up for sale in the ... integrated systems to free and competitive market systems (Shahidehpour et al., 2002). ... In order to globally optimize the search space of PBUCP, some hybrid ...

  13. Power generation planning: a survey from monopoly to competition

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kagiannas, A.G.; Askounis, D.T.; Psarras, J.

    2004-01-01

    During the last two decades electric power generation industry in many countries and regions around the world has undergone a significant transformation from being a centrally coordinated monopoly to a deregulated liberalized market. In the majority of those countries, competition has been introduced through the adoption of a competitive wholesale electricity spot market. Short-term efficiency of power generators under competitive environment has attracted considerable effort from researchers, while long-term investment performance has received less attention. In this context, the paper aims to serve as a comprehensive review basis for generation planning methods applied in a competitive electric power generation market. The traditional modeling techniques developed for generation expansion planning under monopoly are initially presented in an effort to assess the evolution of generation planning according to the evolution of the structure of the electric power market. (author)

  14. Generating Relational Competitive Advantage from Strategic Technological Partnership

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hu, Yimei; Zhang, Si; Li, Jizhen

    2012-01-01

    Collaborating with external partners on strategic technological partnerships (STPs) have been popular phenomena for long, which leads new development in existing theories on competitive advantage. Under the relational view, the competitive advantage is jointly generated by alliance firms. Though...... the relational view of competitive advantage has been proposed for more than a decade, few in-depth empirical researches are down within this field, especially case study on R&D strategic alliance from this perspective. Based on these considerations, we investigate an STP between a Danish transnational...... corporation and a Chinese private firm aiming to understand how to generate relational competitive from an STP? Based on the explorative case study, we find that there are three key processes related to relational competitive advantage: partner selection, relational rents generation and relational rents...

  15. GABA regulates synaptic integration of newly generated neurons in the adult brain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ge, Shaoyu; Goh, Eyleen L. K.; Sailor, Kurt A.; Kitabatake, Yasuji; Ming, Guo-Li; Song, Hongjun

    2006-02-01

    Adult neurogenesis, the birth and integration of new neurons from adult neural stem cells, is a striking form of structural plasticity and highlights the regenerative capacity of the adult mammalian brain. Accumulating evidence suggests that neuronal activity regulates adult neurogenesis and that new neurons contribute to specific brain functions. The mechanism that regulates the integration of newly generated neurons into the pre-existing functional circuitry in the adult brain is unknown. Here we show that newborn granule cells in the dentate gyrus of the adult hippocampus are tonically activated by ambient GABA (γ-aminobutyric acid) before being sequentially innervated by GABA- and glutamate-mediated synaptic inputs. GABA, the major inhibitory neurotransmitter in the adult brain, initially exerts an excitatory action on newborn neurons owing to their high cytoplasmic chloride ion content. Conversion of GABA-induced depolarization (excitation) into hyperpolarization (inhibition) in newborn neurons leads to marked defects in their synapse formation and dendritic development in vivo. Our study identifies an essential role for GABA in the synaptic integration of newly generated neurons in the adult brain, and suggests an unexpected mechanism for activity-dependent regulation of adult neurogenesis, in which newborn neurons may sense neuronal network activity through tonic and phasic GABA activation.

  16. Synaptic Remodeling Generates Synchronous Oscillations in the Degenerated Outer Mouse Retina

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wadood eHaq

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available During neuronal degenerative diseases, neuronal microcircuits undergo severe structural alterations, leading to remodeling of synaptic connectivity. The functional consequences of such remodeling are mostly unknown. For instance, in mutant rd1 mouse retina, a common model for Retinitis Pigmentosa, rod bipolar cells (RBCs establish contacts with remnant cone photoreceptors (cones as a consequence of rod photoreceptor cell death and the resulting lack of presynaptic input. To assess the functional connectivity in the remodeled, light-insensitive outer rd1 retina, we recorded spontaneous population activity in retinal wholemounts using Ca2+ imaging and identified the participating cell types. Focusing on cones, RBCs and horizontal cells (HCs, we found that these cell types display spontaneous oscillatory activity and form synchronously active clusters. Overall activity was modulated by GABAergic inhibition from HCs. Many of the activity clusters comprised both cones and RBCs. Opposite to what is expected from the intact (wild-type cone-ON bipolar cell pathway, cone and RBC activity was positively correlated and, at least partially, mediated by glutamate transporters expressed on RBCs. Deletion of gap junctional coupling between cones reduced the number of clusters, indicating that electrical cone coupling plays a crucial role for generating the observed synchronized oscillations. In conclusion, degeneration-induced synaptic remodeling of the rd1 retina results in a complex self-sustained outer retinal oscillatory network, that complements (and potentially modulates the recently described inner retinal oscillatory network consisting of amacrine, bipolar and ganglion cells.

  17. Medium-term marginal costs in competitive generation power markets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Reneses, J.; Centeno, E.; Barquin, J.

    2004-01-01

    The meaning and significance of medium-term marginal costs for a generation company in a competitive power market in analysed. A methodology to compute and decompose medium-term generation marginal costs in a competitive environment is proposed. The methodology is based on a market equilibrium model. The aim is to provide a useful tool for generation companies so that they can manage their resources in an optimal way, helping them with their operation, decision-making processes, asset valuations or contract assessments. (author)

  18. Competition

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bridoux, F.; Vodosek, M.; Den Hartog, D.N.; McNett, J.M.

    2014-01-01

    Competition traditionally refers to the actions that firms take in a product market to outperform rivals in attracting customers and generating revenues. Yet, competition extends beyond product markets to other arenas such as factor markets, where firms compete for resources, and the political

  19. Competition and natural monopoly. The case for generation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pelegry, E.A.

    1996-01-01

    Traditionally, economic theory has considered the generation, transport and distribution of electricity to be a natural monopoly, primarily as a result of the economies of scale associated with the electricity industry. Recently, and partly as a consequence of the deregulation trends within Europe, this paradigm of a natural monopoly in electricity generation has come under question. Some examples and references are used to support the existence of economies of scale and scope of electricity generation, and for this, and in accordance with economic theory, can be argued the existence of natural monopoly. Competition in generation is discussed, with the aim of lowering the cost of electricity that can be achieved by other means than the competition between generators over the bidding price. The advantages and disadvantages of the new generation are considered, such as gas in combined cycle, cogeneration systems and renewables. (R.P.)

  20. Competition and Cooperation of Distributed Generation and Power System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miyake, Masatoshi; Nanahara, Toshiya

    Advances in distributed generation technologies together with the deregulation of an electric power industry can lead to a massive introduction of distributed generation. Since most of distributed generation will be interconnected to a power system, coordination and competition between distributed generators and large-scale power sources would be a vital issue in realizing a more desirable energy system in the future. This paper analyzes competitions between electric utilities and cogenerators from the viewpoints of economic and energy efficiency based on the simulation results on an energy system including a cogeneration system. First, we examine best response correspondence of an electric utility and a cogenerator with a noncooperative game approach: we obtain a Nash equilibrium point. Secondly, we examine the optimum strategy that attains the highest social surplus and the highest energy efficiency through global optimization.

  1. Competitive positioning of power generation plants in a deregulated market

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stephens, J.

    1998-01-01

    As industrialized countries deregulate their electric power industries, there is a fundamental shift from guaranteed cost recovery to open market competition on a deregulated grid. Utilities generally competitively bid into a power exchange where the lowest cost power providers are dispatched first. Therefore, the competitiveness of utilities determines their profitability. This commercial structure compels power generators to seek out ways of improving their equipment and plant performance. The inevitability of this trend is demonstrated by a look at the installed base in the US where the move toward deregulation is gaining momentum. More than half of the generating plants in the US are over 20 years old. The average thermal efficiency nation-wide is 33%. In contrast, contemporary coal-and gas-fired plants can operate at efficiency levels up to 45 percent and 55 to 60%, respectfully. With new facilities coming on-line, existing plants will need to make improvements to be dispatched. When deregulation fully envelopes the US market, utilities will not all fit into one pattern; their strategies and actions will depend on a multiple set of factors. Their success will be based on their ability to change landscapes from guaranteed cost recovery to competitive bidding. This paper discussers technical and commercial options available to power producers to improve their competitive positions in a deregulated market as well as software for determining the competitiveness of specific power plants and the location-based market prices of electricity. Examples of the application of alternatives will be cited along with expected payback and impact on cents per kilowatt-hour production costs

  2. THE IMPACT OF THE EXTERNALITIES GENERATED BY COMPETITIVE INTELLIGENCE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Moraru Adrian

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available The goal of the paper named “The impact of the externalities generated by Competitive Intelligence” is to describe and understand how this activity works and behaves in a competitive environment, and what are the real cost of obtaining durable competitive advantages through a process such as Competitive Intelligence. This activity creates high added value on the market and the proper use of it can have a strong influence on increasing the competitiveness on the global economic environment and, therefore, increasing the efficiency inside those environments. On the other hand, externalities play a significant part in the economic welfare and, currently, in a globalized world, must be taken into consideration in order to obtain sustainable growth of the economy. As any other economic activity, Competitive Intelligence is also causing both positive and negative externalities. A thorough analysis of those externalities effects has to be made in order to understand how this process really works, and this paper aims to be the starting point of that analysis. Of course, further studies have to deepen each impact and obtain relevant results that will add up and draw more specific conclusions. This study’s conclusions, however, will reveal if this activity can work properly in every type of economy, regardless of its state of development. Since it represents a way to improve global competitiveness and, therefore, the market’s performance, the impact Competitive Intelligence is making on the whole economic system is a main parameter for establishing its real use. All in one, by being one of the most innovative ways to obtain competitive advantages through qualitative methods of analysis, the implementation of this process into the organizational culture of firms might change the way competitors choose to respond to one another’s actions. This research has taken into consideration both the macroeconomic and the microeconomic environment, using

  3. A central pattern generator producing alternative outputs: pattern, strength, and dynamics of premotor synaptic input to leech heart motor neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norris, Brian J; Weaver, Adam L; Wenning, Angela; García, Paul S; Calabrese, Ronald L

    2007-11-01

    The central pattern generator (CPG) for heartbeat in medicinal leeches consists of seven identified pairs of segmental heart interneurons and one unidentified pair. Four of the identified pairs and the unidentified pair of interneurons make inhibitory synaptic connections with segmental heart motor neurons. The CPG produces a side-to-side asymmetric pattern of intersegmental coordination among ipsilateral premotor interneurons corresponding to a similarly asymmetric fictive motor pattern in heart motor neurons, and asymmetric constriction pattern of the two tubular hearts, synchronous and peristaltic. Using extracellular recordings from premotor interneurons and voltage-clamp recordings of ipsilateral segmental motor neurons in 69 isolated nerve cords, we assessed the strength and dynamics of premotor inhibitory synaptic output onto the entire ensemble of heart motor neurons and the associated conduction delays in both coordination modes. We conclude that premotor interneurons establish a stereotypical pattern of intersegmental synaptic connectivity, strengths, and dynamics that is invariant across coordination modes, despite wide variations among preparations. These data coupled with a previous description of the temporal pattern of premotor interneuron activity and relative phasing of motor neuron activity in the two coordination modes enable a direct assessment of how premotor interneurons through their temporal pattern of activity and their spatial pattern of synaptic connectivity, strengths, and dynamics coordinate segmental motor neurons into a functional pattern of activity.

  4. Generating unit maintenance scheduling under competitive market environments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jin Ho Kim; Jong Bae Park; Jong Keun Park; Yeung Han Chun

    2005-01-01

    A novel approach to a generating unit maintenance scheduling problem in competitive electricity markets is presented in this paper. The objective is to develop a game-theoretic framework for analyzing strategic behaviors of generating companies (Gencos) from the standpoint of the generating unit maintenance scheduling (GMS) game and for obtaining the equilibrium solution for the GMS game. The GMS problem is formulated as a dynamic non-cooperative game with complete information. The players correspond to profit maximizing individual Gencos, and the payoff of each player is defined as the profits from the energy market. The optimal schedule is defined by Nash equilibrium (equilibriums) of the game. Numerical results for two-Genco system are used to demonstrate that the proposed framework can be successfully applied to analyzing the strategic behaviors of each Genco and to obtaining the corresponding Nash equilibrium. The result indicates that generating unit maintenance schedule is one of the major strategic behaviors whereby Genco maximize their profits in a competitive market environment. (author)

  5. Small-scale generator opportunities in the competitive supply market

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Scrivener, G.

    1998-01-01

    The last franchises for electricity supply held by Public Electricity Suppliers are due to expire early in 1998. As a consequence from then on, after a phased start-up, all electricity consumers will be free to choose their supplier, completing the process of introducing competition into the electricity market which started in 1990 with the privatisation of the Industry. Then the framework by which the industry operates will become very different. This paper will review the changes to the operation of the market and assess the opportunities for small scale embedded generators post 1998. (Author)

  6. Small-scale generator opportunities in the competitive supply market

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Scrivener, G. [Energy Technology Support Unit (ETSU), Harwell (United Kingdom)

    1998-07-01

    The last franchises for electricity supply held by Public Electricity Suppliers are due to expire early in 1998. As a consequence from then on, after a phased start-up, all electricity consumers will be free to choose their supplier, completing the process of introducing competition into the electricity market which started in 1990 with the privatisation of the Industry. Then the framework by which the industry operates will become very different. This paper will review the changes to the operation of the market and assess the opportunities for small scale embedded generators post 1998. (Author)

  7. Competition between coal and gas for large scale power generation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Howieson, B.

    1997-01-01

    The relative competitiveness of coal- and gas-fired generation will be affected by distinctive country and market factors as well as site specific considerations, regarding such factors as environment, market structure and economics (such as fuel and plant costs). National and international politics have an impact on all three factors and any decision on the development of generation plant must take into account both current and future political climates. An analysis suggests that, at the present time, upgrading existing coal stations is attractive compared with new combined cycle gas turbines (CCGTs). However, this conclusion is highly dependent on the site specific nature of existing plant and the anticipated future environmental regime. Increased environmental pressure, particularly in the area of CO 2 emissions, would result in CCGTs being the first choice plant option. (R.P.)

  8. Interplay of intrinsic and synaptic conductances in the generation of high-frequency oscillations in interneuronal networks with irregular spiking.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fabiano Baroni

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available High-frequency oscillations (above 30 Hz have been observed in sensory and higher-order brain areas, and are believed to constitute a general hallmark of functional neuronal activation. Fast inhibition in interneuronal networks has been suggested as a general mechanism for the generation of high-frequency oscillations. Certain classes of interneurons exhibit subthreshold oscillations, but the effect of this intrinsic neuronal property on the population rhythm is not completely understood. We study the influence of intrinsic damped subthreshold oscillations in the emergence of collective high-frequency oscillations, and elucidate the dynamical mechanisms that underlie this phenomenon. We simulate neuronal networks composed of either Integrate-and-Fire (IF or Generalized Integrate-and-Fire (GIF neurons. The IF model displays purely passive subthreshold dynamics, while the GIF model exhibits subthreshold damped oscillations. Individual neurons receive inhibitory synaptic currents mediated by spiking activity in their neighbors as well as noisy synaptic bombardment, and fire irregularly at a lower rate than population frequency. We identify three factors that affect the influence of single-neuron properties on synchronization mediated by inhibition: i the firing rate response to the noisy background input, ii the membrane potential distribution, and iii the shape of Inhibitory Post-Synaptic Potentials (IPSPs. For hyperpolarizing inhibition, the GIF IPSP profile (factor iii exhibits post-inhibitory rebound, which induces a coherent spike-mediated depolarization across cells that greatly facilitates synchronous oscillations. This effect dominates the network dynamics, hence GIF networks display stronger oscillations than IF networks. However, the restorative current in the GIF neuron lowers firing rates and narrows the membrane potential distribution (factors i and ii, respectively, which tend to decrease synchrony. If inhibition is shunting instead

  9. Interplay of intrinsic and synaptic conductances in the generation of high-frequency oscillations in interneuronal networks with irregular spiking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baroni, Fabiano; Burkitt, Anthony N; Grayden, David B

    2014-05-01

    High-frequency oscillations (above 30 Hz) have been observed in sensory and higher-order brain areas, and are believed to constitute a general hallmark of functional neuronal activation. Fast inhibition in interneuronal networks has been suggested as a general mechanism for the generation of high-frequency oscillations. Certain classes of interneurons exhibit subthreshold oscillations, but the effect of this intrinsic neuronal property on the population rhythm is not completely understood. We study the influence of intrinsic damped subthreshold oscillations in the emergence of collective high-frequency oscillations, and elucidate the dynamical mechanisms that underlie this phenomenon. We simulate neuronal networks composed of either Integrate-and-Fire (IF) or Generalized Integrate-and-Fire (GIF) neurons. The IF model displays purely passive subthreshold dynamics, while the GIF model exhibits subthreshold damped oscillations. Individual neurons receive inhibitory synaptic currents mediated by spiking activity in their neighbors as well as noisy synaptic bombardment, and fire irregularly at a lower rate than population frequency. We identify three factors that affect the influence of single-neuron properties on synchronization mediated by inhibition: i) the firing rate response to the noisy background input, ii) the membrane potential distribution, and iii) the shape of Inhibitory Post-Synaptic Potentials (IPSPs). For hyperpolarizing inhibition, the GIF IPSP profile (factor iii)) exhibits post-inhibitory rebound, which induces a coherent spike-mediated depolarization across cells that greatly facilitates synchronous oscillations. This effect dominates the network dynamics, hence GIF networks display stronger oscillations than IF networks. However, the restorative current in the GIF neuron lowers firing rates and narrows the membrane potential distribution (factors i) and ii), respectively), which tend to decrease synchrony. If inhibition is shunting instead of

  10. Profiting from competition: Financial tools for electric generation companies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richter, Charles William, Jr.

    Regulations governing the operation of electric power systems in North America and many other areas of the world are undergoing major changes designed to promote competition. This process of change is often referred to as deregulation. Participants in deregulated electricity systems may find that their profits will greatly benefit from the implementation of successful bidding strategies. While the goal of the regulators may be to create rules which balance reliable power system operation with maximization of the total benefit to society, the goal of generation companies is to maximize their profit, i.e., return to their shareholders. The majority of the research described here is conducted from the point of view of generation companies (GENCOs) wishing to maximize their expected utility function, which is generally comprised of expected profit and risk. Strategies that help a GENCO to maximize its objective function must consider the impact of (and aid in making) operating decisions that may occur within a few seconds to multiple years. The work described here assumes an environment in which energy service companies (ESCOs) buy and GENCOs sell power via double auctions in regional commodity exchanges. Power is transported on wires owned by transmission companies (TRANSCOs) and distribution companies (DISTCOs). The proposed market framework allows participants to trade electrical energy contracts via the spot, futures, options, planning, and swap markets. An important method of studying these proposed markets and the behavior of participating agents is the field of experimental/computational economics. For much of the research reported here, the market simulator developed by Kumar and Sheble and similar simulators has been adapted to allow computerized agents to trade energy. Creating computerized agents that can react as rationally or irrationally as a human trader is a difficult problem for which we have turned to the field of artificial intelligence. Some of our

  11. Electric vehicle charge patterns and the electricity generation mix and competitiveness of next generation vehicles

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Masuta, Taisuke; Murata, Akinobu; Endo, Eiichi

    2014-01-01

    Highlights: • The energy system of whole of Japan is analyzed in this study. • An advanced model based on MARKAL is used for the energy system analysis. • The impact of charge patterns of EVs on electricity generation mix is evaluated. • Technology competitiveness of the next generation vehicles is also evaluated. - Abstract: The nuclear accident of 2011 brought about a reconsideration of the future electricity generation mix of power systems in Japan. A debate on whether to phase out nuclear power plants and replace them with renewable energy sources is taking place. Demand-side management becomes increasingly important in future Japanese power systems with a large-scale integration of renewable energy sources. This paper considers the charge control of electric vehicles (EVs) through demand-side management. There have been many studies of the control or operation methods of EVs known as vehicle-to-grid (V2G), and it is important to evaluate both their short-term and long-term operation. In this study, we employ energy system to evaluate the impact of the charge patterns of EVs on both the electricity generation mix and the technology competitiveness of the next generation vehicles. An advanced energy system model based on Market Allocation (MARKAL) is used to consider power system control in detail

  12. Monte carlo simulation of vesicular release, spatiotemporal distribution of glutamate in synaptic cleft and generation of postsynaptic currents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glavinovíc, M I

    1999-02-01

    The release of vesicular glutamate, spatiotemporal changes in glutamate concentration in the synaptic cleft and the subsequent generation of fast excitatory postsynaptic currents at a hippocampal synapse were modeled using the Monte Carlo method. It is assumed that glutamate is released from a spherical vesicle through a cylindrical fusion pore into the synaptic cleft and that S-alpha-amino-3-hydroxy -5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) receptors are uniformly distributed postsynaptically. The time course of change in vesicular concentration can be described by a single exponential, but a slow tail is also observed though only following the release of most of the glutamate. The time constant of decay increases with vesicular size and a lower diffusion constant, and is independent of the initial concentration, becoming markedly shorter for wider fusion pores. The cleft concentration at the fusion pore mouth is not negligible compared to vesicular concentration, especially for wider fusion pores. Lateral equilibration of glutamate is rapid, and within approximately 50 micros all AMPA receptors on average see the same concentration of glutamate. Nevertheless the single-channel current and the number of channels estimated from mean-variance plots are unreliable and different when estimated from rise- and decay-current segments. Greater saturation of AMPA receptor channels provides higher but not more accurate estimates. Two factors contribute to the variability of postsynaptic currents and render the mean-variance nonstationary analysis unreliable, even when all receptors see on average the same glutamate concentration. Firstly, the variability of the instantaneous cleft concentration of glutamate, unlike the mean concentration, first rapidly decreases before slowly increasing; the variability is greater for fewer molecules in the cleft and is spatially nonuniform. Secondly, the efficacy with which glutamate produces a response changes with time. Understanding

  13. Intensity and direction of competitive anxiety as a function of goal attainment expectation and competition goal generation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Brien, M; Hanton, S; Mellalieu, S D

    2005-12-01

    Jones's control model was adopted to investigate differences in the labelling of symptoms associated with pre-competition anxiety and self-confidence as a function of goal attainment expectation and competition goal generation. Team sport performers (N = 96) were divided into outcome, performance and process goal groups. Anxiety intensity and direction, and self-confidence were then examined as a function of goal expectancy (positive or negative) and perceived input into goal production (input or no input). MANOVA and follow-up ANOVA supported the study predictions. Specifically, participants who reported positive expectations of goal achievement and indicated some input into the goal generation process experienced the most facilitative interpretations of cognitive symptoms and greater self-confidence. The results highlight the need to consider how goals are generated when attempting to foster a sense of control and help athletes cope with the psychological demands of competition.

  14. Unbundling generation and transmission services for competitive electricity markets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hirst, E.; Kirby, B.

    1998-01-01

    Ancillary services are those functions performed by the equipment and people that generate, control, and transmit electricity in support of the basic services of generating capacity, energy supply, and power delivery. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) defined such services as those 'necessary to support the transmission of electric power from seller to purchaser given the obligations of control areas and transmitting utilities within those control areas to maintain reliable operations of the interconnected transmission system.' The nationwide cost of ancillary services is about $12 billion a year, roughly 10% of the cost of the energy commodity. More important than the cost, however, is the necessity of these services for bulk-power reliability and for the support of commercial transactions. FERC's landmark Order 888 included a pro forma tariff with provision for six key ancillary services. The Interconnected Operations Services Working Group identified another six services that it felt were essential to the operation of bulk-power systems. Several groups throughput the United States have created or are forming independent system operators, which will be responsible for reliability and commerce. To date, the electricity industry (including traditional vertically integrated utilities, distribution utilities, power markets and brokers, customers, and state and federal regulators) has paid insufficient attention to these services. Although the industry had made substantial progress in identifying and defining the key services, much remains to be doe to specify methods to measure the production, delivery, and consumption of these services; to identify the costs and cost-allocation factors for these services; and to develop market and operating rules for their provision and pricing. Developing metrics, determining costs, and setting pricing rules are important because most of these ancillary services are produced by the same pieces of equipment that

  15. Generation Capacity Investments in Electricity Markets : Perfect Competition

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gürkan, G.; Ozdemir, O.; Smeers, Y.

    2013-01-01

    Abstract: In competitive electricity markets, markets designs based on power exchanges where supply bidding (barring demand-side bidding) is at the sole short run marginal cost may not guarantee resource adequacy. As alternative ways to remedy the resource adequacy problem, we focus on three

  16. Fighting Harmful Tax Competition Generated by Offshore Jurisdictions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dan Drosu Saguna

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Harmful tax competition is not just tax system, but can also undermine the interests of local communities and the environment. Tax havens are a huge drain of resources from other countries (basic non tax haven to offshore areas. To operate, tax havens are supported economically, politically, and socially by high tax states. Also, by encouraging savings, it boosts investment and capital formation. Because they are low tax jurisdictions, they exert a higher tax on tax rates worldwide.

  17. A central pattern generator producing alternative outputs: phase relations of leech heart motor neurons with respect to premotor synaptic input.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norris, Brian J; Weaver, Adam L; Wenning, Angela; García, Paul S; Calabrese, Ronald L

    2007-11-01

    The central pattern generator (CPG) for heartbeat in leeches consists of seven identified pairs of segmental heart interneurons and one unidentified pair. Four of the identified pairs and the unidentified pair of interneurons make inhibitory synaptic connections with segmental heart motor neurons. The CPG produces a side-to-side asymmetric pattern of intersegmental coordination among ipsilateral premotor interneurons corresponding to a similarly asymmetric fictive motor pattern in heart motor neurons, and asymmetric constriction pattern of the two tubular hearts: synchronous and peristaltic. Using extracellular techniques, we recorded, in 61 isolated nerve cords, the activity of motor neurons in conjunction with the phase reference premotor heart interneuron, HN(4), and another premotor interneuron that allowed us to assess the coordination mode. These data were then coupled with a previous description of the temporal pattern of premotor interneuron activity in the two coordination modes to synthesize a global phase diagram for the known elements of the CPG and the entire motor neuron ensemble. These average data reveal the stereotypical side-to-side asymmetric patterns of intersegmental coordination among the motor neurons and show how this pattern meshes with the activity pattern of premotor interneurons. Analysis of animal-to-animal variability in this coordination indicates that the intersegmental phase progression of motor neuron activity in the midbody in the peristaltic coordination mode is the most stereotypical feature of the fictive motor pattern. Bilateral recordings from motor neurons corroborate the main features of the asymmetric motor pattern.

  18. Nuclear power generation in competition with other sources for base load electricity generation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Notari, C.; Rey, F.C.

    1996-01-01

    The latest studies performed by OECD and IAEA on the subject were analyzed in order to clarify the international context. Nuclear, gas and coal are compared. The general conclusion is that nuclear power is competitive for electricity generation considering new plants to be commissioned around year 2000. If the discount rate is 5% per annum it is considered the best option in most of the countries included in the studies. If 10% is chosen the levelized costs favour the gas option. In the Argentine case, the analysis of possible plants for the near future shows a clear advantage for the gas projects. This is mainly due to the low capital costs and low local gas prices. The possible evolution of this situation is considered: gas prices will most probably increase because they should approach the price of fuel oil or diesel oil which are used as substitutes in winter for electricity generation and the export projects to Chile and Brasil will also push prices up. The environmental aspects of the question and its influence on regulations and costs is a matter of speculation. Some countries have already penalized greenhouse gases emissions but it is not clear how and when this trend will affect local prices. (author). 4 refs., 6 tabs

  19. Appellations of geographical origin as a generator of national competitiveness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jovićević-Simin Marina

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The protection of appellations of geographical origin worldwide, through the Lisbon Agreement mainly refers to agricultural and food products and the leading countries in the number of registrations of appellations of origin are: France, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Italy etc. By the product structure 85% of registrations of appellations of origin in the world refer to the four major categories of food products such as: wine (61.5%, spirits (9.5%, agricultural products (8.4% and cheese (8.5%. Considering that the protection of appellations of geographical origin in Serbia is mainly related to agricultural and food products, and the fact that we have 52 domestic and only 3 internationally protected appellations of origin, these could be used as a powerful tool to support the growth of competitiveness in agriculture of certain regions as well as of the entire country. Appellations of geographical origin have a collective ownership and represent a kind of national resource.

  20. Nuclear power plants and their position in the competitive generation industry of the USA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Petroll, M.R.

    2000-01-01

    One effect to be observed in the USA is that power trading in the deregulated electricity sector initiates a 'comeback' of the nuclear power stations, reputed to be dead by anti-nuclear power policy followers. Quite to the contrary, growing competition in the generation industry and the resulting upward pressure on costs increasingly induce power generation companies to enter into competitive buying of nuclear power stations, which offer better availability and prolonged service life. The article gives the technical details and explains the economic reasons for this trend in an analysis comparing nuclear power generation with conventional or new non-nuclear generation technologies. (orig./CB) [de

  1. The Employees of Baby Boomers Generation, Generation X, Generation Y and Generation Z in Selected Czech Corporations as Conceivers of Development and Competitiveness in their Corporation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bejtkovský Jiří

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available The corporations using the varied workforce can supply a greater variety of solutions to problems in service, sourcing, and allocation of their resources. The current labor market mentions four generations that are living and working today: the Baby boomers generation, the Generation X, the Generation Y and the Generation Z. The differences between generations can affect the way corporations recruit and develop teams, deal with change, motivate, stimulate and manage employees, and boost productivity, competitiveness and service effectiveness. A corporation’s success and competitiveness depend on its ability to embrace diversity and realize the competitive advantages and benefits. The aim of this paper is to present the current generation of employees (the employees of Baby Boomers Generation, Generation X, Generation Y and Generation Z in the labor market by secondary research and then to introduce the results of primary research that was implemented in selected corporations in the Czech Republic. The contribution presents a view of some of the results of quantitative and qualitative research conducted in selected corporations in the Czech Republic. These researches were conducted in 2015 on a sample of 3,364 respondents, and the results were analyzed. Two research hypotheses and one research question have been formulated. The verification or rejection of null research hypothesis was done through the statistical method of the Pearson’s Chi-square test. It was found that perception of the choice of superior from a particular generation does depend on the age of employees in selected corporations. It was also determined that there are statistically significant dependences between the preference for eterogeneous or homogeneous cooperation and the age of employees in selected corporations.

  2. Generator scheduling under competitive environment using Memory Management Algorithm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Amudha

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents a new approach for Real-Time Application of Profit Based Unit Commitment using Memory Management Algorithm. The main objective of the restructured system is to maximize its own profit without the responsibility of satisfying the forecasted demand. The Profit Based Unit Commitment (PBUC is solved by Memory Management Algorithm (MMA in Real-Time Application. MMA approach is introduced in this paper considering power and reserve generation. The proposed method MMA uses Best Fit and Worst Fit allocation for generator scheduling in order to receive the maximum profit by considering the softer demand. Also, this method gives an idea regarding how much power and reserve should be sold in markets. The proposed approach has been tested on a power system with 2, 3, and 10 generating units. Simulation results of the proposed approach have been compared with the existing methods.

  3. Bidding price analysis for competitive generators and large consumers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ping Wei; Luonan Chen; Hsiao Dong Chiang

    2005-01-01

    We present a new method to analyze the bidding price of each participant (power suppliers and large consumers) in a pay-as-bid market. The bidding price will be decomposed into a variety of components corresponding to five factors, such as the incremental values of the subject bidder's generation on the system operational costs, on the income or payment of other bidders, and on the binding tradable constraints, and the first-order approximation of the subjective participant's bidding price. From an economic viewpoint, each component provides useful information for participants to design the strategic planning. The advantages of the method include that the decomposition is well defined without assumptions and that each decomposition term has its own economical and/or engineering meaning. The proposed method is numerically verified through computer simulations on a three-bus example system and a modified IEEE 30-bus power system with both generator and large consumer bidding. (author)

  4. Private capital access: a new competition dynamic on electric power generation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Luz, A.D. da; Ribeiro, H.M.

    1990-01-01

    This paper intents to elaborate an interpretation on the market structure changes of the electric power generation sector based on Competition Pattern concept. It proposes to demonstrate that the recent institutional reformulations are not causes, but results from the economic movements. Finally a prospective scenery and the State Company perspectives on energy generation are anticipated. (author)

  5. Competition

    CERN Multimedia

    Staff Association

    2017-01-01

    Get ready for the Easter Egg Hunt! The Staff Association is organising a competition from 10 to 21 April 2017. There are several Go Sport gift vouchers to win, with a value of 50 € each. Try your luck! Count the number of different eggs that we have hidden on our website. Then indicate your answer in the online form. To participate, you just need to be a member of the Staff Association. Winners will be randomly drawn among the correct answers.

  6. Competition

    CERN Multimedia

    Staff Association

    2016-01-01

      The Staff Association is organising a competition from 13 to 21 December 2016. There are several Go Sport vouchers to win with a value of 50 € each. Try your luck! To participate, you just have to be a member of the Staff Association and take the online quiz: https://ap-vote.web.cern.ch/content/jeu-concours-de-noel. The winners will be drawn among the correct answers.

  7. Competition

    CERN Multimedia

    Staff Association

    2016-01-01

      The Staff Association is organising a competition from April 11 to 20. There are several Go Sport gift vouchers with a value of 50 € each to win. Try your luck! To participate, you just have to be a member of the Staff Association and take the online quiz: https://ap-vote.web.cern.ch/content/jeu-concours. The winners will be drawn among the correct answers.

  8. Wind power generation and dispatch in competitive power markets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abreu, Lisias

    Wind energy is currently the fastest growing type of renewable energy. The main motivation is led by more strict emission constraints and higher fuel prices. In addition, recent developments in wind turbine technology and financial incentives have made wind energy technically and economically viable almost anywhere. In restructured power systems, reliable and economical operation of power systems are the two main objectives for the ISO. The ability to control the output of wind turbines is limited and the capacity of a wind farm changes according to wind speeds. Since this type of generation has no production costs, all production is taken by the system. Although, insufficient operational planning of power systems considering wind generation could result in higher system operation costs and off-peak transmission congestions. In addition, a GENCO can participate in short-term power markets in restructured power systems. The goal of a GENCO is to sell energy in such a way that would maximize its profitability. However, due to market price fluctuations and wind forecasting errors, it is essential for the wind GENCO to keep its financial risk at an acceptable level when constituting market bidding strategies. This dissertation discusses assumptions, functions, and methodologies that optimize short-term operations of power systems considering wind energy, and that optimize bidding strategies for wind producers in short-term markets. This dissertation also discusses uncertainties associated with electricity market environment and wind power forecasting that can expose market participants to a significant risk level when managing the tradeoff between profitability and risk.

  9. Game theory competition analysis of reservoir water supply and hydropower generation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, T.

    2013-12-01

    The total installed capacity of the power generation systems in Taiwan is about 41,000 MW. Hydropower is one of the most important renewable energy sources, with hydropower generation capacity of about 4,540 MW. The aim of this research is to analyze competition between water supply and hydropower generation in water-energy systems. The major relationships between water and energy systems include hydropower generation by water, energy consumption for water system operation, and water consumption for energy system. In this research, a game-theoretic Cournot model is formulated to simulate oligopolistic competition between water supply, hydropower generation, and co-fired power generation in water-energy systems. A Nash equilibrium of the competitive market is derived and solved by GAMS with PATH solver. In addition, a case study analyzing the competition among water supply and hydropower generation of De-ji and Ku-Kuan reservoirs, Taipower, Star Energy, and Star-Yuan power companies in central Taiwan is conducted.

  10. Synaptic transmission modulates while non-synaptic processes govern the transition from pre-ictal to seizure activity in vitro

    OpenAIRE

    Jefferys, John; Fox, John; Jiruska, Premysl; Kronberg, Greg; Miranda, Dolores; Ruiz-Nuño, Ana; Bikson, Marom

    2018-01-01

    It is well established that non-synaptic mechanisms can generate electrographic seizures after blockade of synaptic function. We investigated the interaction of intact synaptic activity with non-synaptic mechanisms in the isolated CA1 region of rat hippocampal slices using the 'elevated-K+' model of epilepsy. Elevated K+ ictal bursts share waveform features with other models of electrographic seizures, including non-synaptic models where chemical synaptic transmission is suppressed, such as t...

  11. Distributed energy generation techniques and the competitive fringe effect in electricity markets

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mulder, Machiel; Petrikaite, Vaiva; Scholtens, Bert

    2015-01-01

    We analyse the impact of two different generation techniques used by fringe suppliers on the intensity of competition in the electricity wholesale market. For that purpose, we derive a Cournot model of this market taking into account long-term contracts, international trade and fringe suppliers

  12. Synaptic Cell Adhesion

    OpenAIRE

    Missler, Markus; Südhof, Thomas C.; Biederer, Thomas

    2012-01-01

    Chemical synapses are asymmetric intercellular junctions that mediate synaptic transmission. Synaptic junctions are organized by trans-synaptic cell adhesion molecules bridging the synaptic cleft. Synaptic cell adhesion molecules not only connect pre- and postsynaptic compartments, but also mediate trans-synaptic recognition and signaling processes that are essential for the establishment, specification, and plasticity of synapses. A growing number of synaptic cell adhesion molecules that inc...

  13. EDITORIAL: Synaptic electronics Synaptic electronics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Demming, Anna; Gimzewski, James K.; Vuillaume, Dominique

    2013-09-01

    Conventional computers excel in logic and accurate scientific calculations but make hard work of open ended problems that human brains handle easily. Even von Neumann—the mathematician and polymath who first developed the programming architecture that forms the basis of today's computers—was already looking to the brain for future developments before his death in 1957 [1]. Neuromorphic computing uses approaches that better mimic the working of the human brain. Recent developments in nanotechnology are now providing structures with very accommodating properties for neuromorphic approaches. This special issue, with guest editors James K Gimzewski and Dominique Vuillaume, is devoted to research at the serendipitous interface between the two disciplines. 'Synaptic electronics', looks at artificial devices with connections that demonstrate behaviour similar to synapses in the nervous system allowing a new and more powerful approach to computing. Synapses and connecting neurons respond differently to incident signals depending on the history of signals previously experienced, ultimately leading to short term and long term memory behaviour. The basic characteristics of a synapse can be replicated with around ten simple transistors. However with the human brain having around 1011 neurons and 1015 synapses, artificial neurons and synapses from basic transistors are unlikely to accommodate the scalability required. The discovery of nanoscale elements that function as 'memristors' has provided a key tool for the implementation of synaptic connections [2]. Leon Chua first developed the concept of the 'The memristor—the missing circuit element' in 1971 [3]. In this special issue he presents a tutorial describing how memristor research has fed into our understanding of synaptic behaviour and how they can be applied in information processing [4]. He also describes, 'The new principle of local activity, which uncovers a minuscule life-enabling "Goldilocks zone", dubbed the

  14. ACQUISITION AS A GENERATOR STRATEGY FROM COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGES IN THE BRAZILIAN MARKET OF FUELS DISTRIBUITION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maurício Fernandes Pereira

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available The subject from this work is about acquisitions as organizational strategies and it is guided by the general objective on identifying if the acquisition of Texaco by Ultra Group, in Brazil, could generate competitive advantages. Thus, the main aim is to characterize, specifically, the fuel distribution sector in Brazil, presenting characteristics, strategies, classification of resources and the competitive advantage’s identification in the buying process of Texaco by Ultra Group. The methodology used for this research is a case study of qualitative nature. Data collection has been performed through literature review, documentary analysis and semi-structured interviews. In the analysis of collected data, specific objectives have been met. It was clear, therefore, the presence of features such as scale earnings, brand exposure, better management practices, synergies, tangible and intangible assets and market growth. So, those resources are classified according to the competitive implications. Then, it might be concluded that Texaco´s acquisition could bring competitive advantages for Ultra / Ipiranga Group. Respondents believe the sector is growing and businesses tend to grow despite the world crisis. They also confirmed that, in a highly competitive market, strategic alliances and market growing are factors that may ensure success to each company.

  15. Improving the quality of competition in the US power generation market: Lessons learned in the UK

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McNair, K.; Tivey, B.

    1993-01-01

    This presentation examines the effects of deregulation and liberalization of the power generation market in the United Kingdom and the potential for translation of that experience to other markets. The topics of the presentation include the changes in the UK, the pool and electricity contracts, competition, continued state ownership of nuclear power plants, transitioning the coal industry to free market conditions, the benefits, and the impact of privatization on the National Power government agency

  16. Outsourcing of generating assets as a competitive strategy for large electric customers

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Giacalone, F.T.; Hocker, C.

    1998-07-01

    The US electric power industry is at a transitional stage on the way to full competition at the retail level. A fundamental difference between wholesale and retail competition is that, with the latter, the end user will have a choice of suppliers. Large electric customers, such as industrial manufacturers, have traditionally had only two choices: to purchase from the local franchise utility or to self-generate. With retail competition, however, these same customers will have not only have many choices of suppliers to compare against the self-generation option, but also will have a new alternative to consider - that of outsourcing their generating assets as a means of retaining effective control, but not necessarily ownership, of their electric supply. Outsourcing of generation assets means turning over complete or partial ownership of these assets to a third party, who then sells the electricity back to the customer at retail. This approach can be advantageous to a customer who wants to achieve one or more of the following benefits that are generally not available in the traditional ``make or buy'' paradigm: monetize (receive cash for) assets to pay down debt or redeploy into its core business; reduce operating and overhead costs; meet increasing power demand without making a significant capital expenditure; retain a significant degree of control over the operation of the assets, rather than turning its source of supply to a utility, independent generator, or power marketer; and move the assets off-balance sheet and off-credit as a means of improving its corporate financial position. Outsourcing of industrial generation, including most or all of the above benefits has already occurred successfully in a handful of cases, such as the James River and Stone Container mills discussed in this paper.

  17. Outsourcing of generating assets as a competitive strategy for large electric customers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Giacalone, F.T.; Hocker, C.

    1998-01-01

    The US electric power industry is at a transitional stage on the way to full competition at the retail level. A fundamental difference between wholesale and retail competition is that, with the latter, the end user will have a choice of suppliers. Large electric customers, such as industrial manufacturers, have traditionally had only two choices: to purchase from the local franchise utility or to self-generate. With retail competition, however, these same customers will have not only have many choices of suppliers to compare against the self-generation option, but also will have a new alternative to consider - that of outsourcing their generating assets as a means of retaining effective control, but not necessarily ownership, of their electric supply. Outsourcing of generation assets means turning over complete or partial ownership of these assets to a third party, who then sells the electricity back to the customer at retail. This approach can be advantageous to a customer who wants to achieve one or more of the following benefits that are generally not available in the traditional ''make or buy'' paradigm: monetize (receive cash for) assets to pay down debt or redeploy into its core business; reduce operating and overhead costs; meet increasing power demand without making a significant capital expenditure; retain a significant degree of control over the operation of the assets, rather than turning its source of supply to a utility, independent generator, or power marketer; and move the assets off-balance sheet and off-credit as a means of improving its corporate financial position. Outsourcing of industrial generation, including most or all of the above benefits has already occurred successfully in a handful of cases, such as the James River and Stone Container mills discussed in this paper

  18. The breakup of OPG : a suggestion for accelerating competition in generation in Ontario

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2003-01-01

    Although wholesale and retail electricity markets in Ontario were opened to competition on May 1, 2002, the market cannot be said to be truly competitive because Ontario Power Generation (OPG) is still the dominant market participant controlling more than 25,000 MW of capacity, which gives it market power. The Association of Major Power Consumers in Ontario (AMPCO) has made specific proposals to the Macdonald Committee on how OPG could be restructured into several commercial generating companies, but it does not appear that OPG activities will be decontrolled in the next 2 or 3 years for the following 4 reasons: (1) the general state of the market for generation resource is poor following the collapse of Enron, (2) the government cannot afford to decontrol large quantities of OPG plants, (3) uncertainty over public policy regarding environmental regulations makes it difficult to decontrol fossil-fuelled plants, and (4) uncertainty over the return to service of Pickering A and Bruce A nuclear plants. Total OPG capacity is 25,855 MW including Pickering A. OPG's fossil-fuelled plants are mostly coal-fuelled and are under pressure from environmental groups to convert to gas. However, none of the plants are suitable for conversion. AMPCO strongly recommends that these plants should be operated in a commercial manner without unduly intrusive environmental regulation. Options for restructuring nuclear, fossil and large hydro plants were also presented along with a proposal to restructure OPG into multiple operating companies. It was concluded that the decontrol of OPG generation through the Market Power Mitigation Arrangement would result in a viable and liquid market, where prices are controlled by competitive forces. 2 refs., 2 tabs

  19. Impact of competitive electricity market on renewable generation technology choice and policies in the United States

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sarkar, Ashok

    1999-01-01

    Market objectives based on private value judgments will conflict with social policy objectives toward environmental quality in an emerging restructured electricity industry. This might affect the choice of renewables in the future generation mix. The US electricity industry's long-term capacity planning and operations is simulated for alternative market paradigms to study this impact. The analysis indicates that the share of renewable energy generation sources would decrease and emissions would increase considerably in a more competitive industry, with greater impact occurring in a monopoly market. Alternative environmental policy options can overcome market failures and help achieve appropriate levels of renewable generation. An evaluation of these policies indicate their varying cost-effectiveness, with higher levels of intervention necessary if market power exists. (Author)

  20. Imported mineral coal: competitiveness for electric power generation in northeast of Brazil

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Codeceira Neto, A.; Ribeiro Filho, A.P.R.; Silva, S.P.R. da

    1993-01-01

    With the hydroelectric potential exhaustion of northeast and with the increase of costs to the use of hydroelectric uses available in Brazil, the thermoelectric generation will be able to become a competitive solution to attend the market of electric power. This work has as purpose describe the options of imported coal use to Brazilian northeast its technological aspects, the environmental question, and the preliminary studies of localization and the costs associated on implantation of coal thermoelectric power plants. 7 refs, 3 figs, 6 tabs

  1. The fabrication of steam generators. Situation and predictions 2017 and 2018 - Sectoral and competitive analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2017-01-01

    This report proposes a situational analysis and a discussion of trends for the sector of fabrication of steam generators. It also proposes predictions for 2017 and 2018, and all important figures useful to analyse the sector and its market. It discusses positions of the different actors, and the competitive game between them. Key events in firms life are indicated, and key development axes are identified. The report also proposes a ranking, a presentation of financial performance, and synthetic sheets for 55 leader firms of the sector

  2. Applying the competitive market business equation to power generation operations and economics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Corio, M.R.; Bellucci, J.W.; Boyd, G.A.

    1996-01-01

    This paper presents cost-effectiveness evaluation, benchmarking, planning, and decision-making tools being used with utilities to address critical production/cost-efficiency and market issues in the transition to a competitive market in electricity. It expands upon Applied Economic Research Co., Inc.'s (AER's) earlier work in the area of frontier analysis of plant spending vs. reliability. It discusses development of a method for quantifying the various elements involved and for structuring them into an integrated framework and set of models for analysis, evaluation of alternatives, and forward planning in the evolving transition to a deregulated, competitive market in electricity. The work presented addresses the overall production cost frontier, i.e., the marginal cost of production including operation, maintenance, capital, and fuel expenditures. (Fuel expenditures are a function of the price paid for fuel (per Btu) and the efficiency with which the fuel is transformed from Btu's to kWh, i.e., the heat rate.) Frontiers (best demonstrated performance curves) are developed for the total cost of production--analyzing both reliability and heat rate. The paper describes and gives examples of the framework for evaluating the competitive position of a utility's generating units compared to other units, as well as the framework for evaluating the potential for revenue obtained outside the existing service area

  3. Incentives to Build New Generation on Competitive Electricity Markets. Conference proceedings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2007-06-01

    The need for new investments in power generation is paramount all over the world. It has been calculated that only in Europe, there is a need of investments in the electricity sector of around 1,000,000 billion EURs during the next decade. High prices on primary energy, security of supply issues regarding imported fuels and a steadily growing concern about climate changes put an extra restrain on supply options for the future. To meet these challenges politicians, at least in Europe, try out new support schemes and other policy measures as full scale experiments. These policy measures sometimes interact very badly with competitive electricity markets. Some will argue that most of the problems we are facing have very little to do with the design of electricity markets and that the solution to the issue is not necessarily to enforce a tight regulation on the industry. But this said, the issue is so important to society that even we who like competition and have been working hard this last decade to make competitive electricity markets perform well, must be prepared to rethink. This conference once again gathers people from many different parts of the world to exchange ideas and experiences from their respective area of operations. There are four main topics for the Conference: The impact from emission trading programs; Renewable portfolio standards; Nuclear plans and distributed generation incentives; and Capacity payment and/or reserve requirements. (Five papers presented at the conference have been indexed separately. Powerpoint presentations have not been indexed but are available from the Market Design homepage)

  4. Renewable generation technology choice and policies in a competitive electricity supply industry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarkar, Ashok

    Renewable energy generation technologies have lower externality costs but higher private costs than fossil fuel-based generation. As a result, the choice of renewables in the future generation mix could be affected by the industry's future market-oriented structure because market objectives based on private value judgments may conflict with social policy objectives toward better environmental quality. This research assesses how renewable energy generation choices would be affected in a restructured electricity generation market. A multi-period linear programming-based model (Resource Planning Model) is used to characterize today's electricity supply market in the United States. The model simulates long-range (2000-2020) generation capacity planning and operation decisions under alternative market paradigms. Price-sensitive demand is used to simulate customer preferences in the market. Dynamically changing costs for renewables and a two-step load duration curve are used. A Reference Case represents the benchmark for a socially-optimal diffusion of renewables and a basis for comparing outcomes under alternative market structures. It internalizes externality costs associated with emissions of sulfur dioxide (SOsb2), nitrous oxides (NOsbx), and carbon dioxide (COsb2). A Competitive Case represents a market with many generation suppliers and decision-making based on private costs. Finally, a Market Power Case models the extreme case of market power: monopoly. The results suggest that the share of renewables would decrease (and emissions would increase) considerably in both the Competitive and the Market Power Cases with respect to the Reference Case. The reduction is greater in the Market Power Case due to pricing decisions under existing supply capability. The research evaluates the following environmental policy options that could overcome market failures in achieving an appropriate level of renewable generation: COsb2 emissions tax, SOsb2 emissions cap, renewable

  5. Cytochrome b5 reductase is the component from neuronal synaptic plasma membrane vesicles that generates superoxide anion upon stimulation by cytochrome c

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alejandro K. Samhan-Arias

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available In this work, we measured the effect of cytochrome c on the NADH-dependent superoxide anion production by synaptic plasma membrane vesicles from rat brain. In these membranes, the cytochrome c stimulated NADH-dependent superoxide anion production was inhibited by antibodies against cytochrome b5 reductase linking the production to this enzyme. Measurement of the superoxide anion radical generated by purified recombinant soluble and membrane cytochrome b5 reductase corroborates the production of the radical by different enzyme isoforms. In the presence of cytochrome c, a burst of superoxide anion as well as the reduction of cytochrome c by cytochrome b5 reductase was measured. Complex formation between both proteins suggests that cytochrome b5 reductase is one of the major partners of cytochrome c upon its release from mitochondria to the cytosol during apoptosis. Superoxide anion production and cytochrome c reduction are the consequences of the stimulated NADH consumption by cytochrome b5 reductase upon complex formation with cytochrome c and suggest a major role of this enzyme as an anti-apoptotic protein during cell death.

  6. Active hippocampal networks undergo spontaneous synaptic modification.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masako Tsukamoto-Yasui

    Full Text Available The brain is self-writable; as the brain voluntarily adapts itself to a changing environment, the neural circuitry rearranges its functional connectivity by referring to its own activity. How the internal activity modifies synaptic weights is largely unknown, however. Here we report that spontaneous activity causes complex reorganization of synaptic connectivity without any external (or artificial stimuli. Under physiologically relevant ionic conditions, CA3 pyramidal cells in hippocampal slices displayed spontaneous spikes with bistable slow oscillations of membrane potential, alternating between the so-called UP and DOWN states. The generation of slow oscillations did not require fast synaptic transmission, but their patterns were coordinated by local circuit activity. In the course of generating spontaneous activity, individual neurons acquired bidirectional long-lasting synaptic modification. The spontaneous synaptic plasticity depended on a rise in intracellular calcium concentrations of postsynaptic cells, but not on NMDA receptor activity. The direction and amount of the plasticity varied depending on slow oscillation patterns and synapse locations, and thus, they were diverse in a network. Once this global synaptic refinement occurred, the same neurons now displayed different patterns of spontaneous activity, which in turn exhibited different levels of synaptic plasticity. Thus, active networks continuously update their internal states through ongoing synaptic plasticity. With computational simulations, we suggest that with this slow oscillation-induced plasticity, a recurrent network converges on a more specific state, compared to that with spike timing-dependent plasticity alone.

  7. Children's Development through Sports Competition: Derivative, Adjustive, Generative, and Maladaptive Approaches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, Hong Suk; Johnson, Britton; Kim, Young K.

    2014-01-01

    Sports competition can play an important role for children because it contributes to developmental outcomes for a healthy lifestyle. Through sports competition, children can learn about physical, social, and cognitive skills. Sports competition can be either positive or negative in terms of development, depending on how experiences are perceived…

  8. Supply Chain Management as a Driving Force for Generating Competitive Advantage for Dairy Companies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Irina Olegovna Poleshkina

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available The study aims to uncover the reserves to generate competitive advantages for the participants of the market of perishables in the case of the dairy sector due to the formation of effective supply chains, as this category of goods is the most demanding in terms of periods and conditions of transportation and terms of preservation. The research technique is based on the concepts of value chains and supply chain management. In order to optimize the distribution of functions between the participants of the dairy chain a process-based approach has been applied. The research has revealed the main reasons for high aggregate costs and the places of their formation at each stage of the dairy supply chain. The article proposes the mechanisms to address three main problems arising from the process of building relations between the participants of the dairy supply chain in Russia. These problems are associated with a disproportionate margin distribution between the participants of the chain, with non-compliance of the quality of raw milk with the requirements for the production of specific types of dairy products, and with distrust of the supply chain participants, which increases transaction costs and forces to create reserve supplies which reduce the competitiveness of the whole dairy supply chain in general. In order to improve the competitiveness of all participants in the dairy chain, the article presents several mechanisms for solving these problems. The first is margin distribution based on the costs incurred by each participant of the dairy chain. The second is the use of a mathematical model to determine the assortment of goods of a dairy enterprise on the basis of the incoming volume and quality of raw milk according to the seasonal factor and the demand for dairy products. The third is the feasibility of refusal from the formation of reserve supplies by all participants of the dairy chain, which will not only minimize aggregate costs, but also

  9. Recipient-Biased Competition for an Intracellularly Generated Cross-Fed Nutrient Is Required for Coexistence of Microbial Mutualists.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCully, Alexandra L; LaSarre, Breah; McKinlay, James B

    2017-11-28

    Many mutualistic microbial relationships are based on nutrient cross-feeding. Traditionally, cross-feeding is viewed as being unidirectional, from the producer to the recipient. This is likely true when a producer's waste, such as a fermentation product, has value only for a recipient. However, in some cases the cross-fed nutrient holds value for both the producer and the recipient. In such cases, there is potential for nutrient reacquisition by producer cells in a population, leading to competition against recipients. Here, we investigated the consequences of interpartner competition for cross-fed nutrients on mutualism dynamics by using an anaerobic coculture pairing fermentative Escherichia coli and phototrophic Rhodopseudomonas palustris In this coculture, E. coli excretes waste organic acids that provide a carbon source for R. palustris In return, R. palustris cross-feeds E. coli ammonium (NH 4 + ), a compound that both species value. To explore the potential for interpartner competition, we first used a kinetic model to simulate cocultures with varied affinities for NH 4 + in each species. The model predicted that interpartner competition for NH 4 + could profoundly impact population dynamics. We then experimentally tested the predictions by culturing mutants lacking NH 4 + transporters in both NH 4 + competition assays and mutualistic cocultures. Both theoretical and experimental results indicated that the recipient must have a competitive advantage in acquiring cross-fed NH 4 + to sustain the mutualism. This recipient-biased competitive advantage is predicted to be crucial, particularly when the communally valuable nutrient is generated intracellularly. Thus, the very metabolites that form the basis for mutualistic cross-feeding can also be subject to competition between mutualistic partners. IMPORTANCE Mutualistic relationships, particularly those based on nutrient cross-feeding, promote stability of diverse ecosystems and drive global biogeochemical

  10. Information technology as a key enabler in preparing for competition: ComEd's Kincaid Generating Station, a work in progress

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Borth, F.C. III; Thompson, J.W.; Mishaga, J.M.

    1996-01-01

    Through ComEd Fossil (Generating) Division's Competitive Action Plan (CAP) evaluation changes have been identified which are necessary to improve generating station performance. These changes are intended to improve both station reliability and financial margins, and are essential for stations to be successful in a competitive marketplace. Plant upgrades, advanced equipment stewardship, and personnel reductions have been identified as necessary steps in achieving industry leadership and competitive advantage. To deal effectively with plant systems and contend in the competitive marketplace Information Technology (IT) solutions to business problems are being developed. Data acquisition, storage, and retrieval are being automated through use of state-of-the-art Data Historians. Total plant, high resolution, long term process information will be accessed through Local/Wide Area Networks (LAN/WAN) connections from desktop PC's. Generating unit Thermal Performance Monitors accessing the Data Historian will analyze plant and system performance enabling reductions in operating costs, and improvements in process control. As inputs to proactive maintenance toolsets this data allows anticipation of equipment service needs, advanced service scheduling, and cost/benefit analysis. The ultimate goal is to optimize repair needs with revenue generation. Advanced applications building upon these foundations will bring knowledge of the costs associated with all the products a generating station offers its customer(s). An overall design philosophy along with preliminary results is presented; these results include shortfalls, lessons learned, and future options

  11. Loss of competition in the outside host environment generates outbreaks of environmental opportunist pathogens.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jani Anttila

    Full Text Available Environmentally transmitted pathogens face ecological interactions (e.g., competition, predation, parasitism in the outside-host environment and host immune system during infection. Despite the ubiquitousness of environmental opportunist pathogens, traditional epidemiology focuses on obligatory pathogens incapable of environmental growth. Here we ask how competitive interactions in the outside-host environment affect the dynamics of an opportunist pathogen. We present a model coupling the classical SI and Lotka-Volterra competition models. In this model we compare a linear infectivity response and a sigmoidal infectivity response. An important assumption is that pathogen virulence is traded off with competitive ability in the environment. Removing this trade-off easily results in host extinction. The sigmoidal response is associated with catastrophic appearances of disease outbreaks when outside-host species richness, or overall competition pressure, decreases. This indicates that alleviating outside-host competition with antibacterial substances that also target the competitors can have unexpected outcomes by providing benefits for opportunist pathogens. These findings may help in developing alternative ways of controlling environmental opportunist pathogens.

  12. The 20th annual intelligent ground vehicle competition: building a generation of robotists

    Science.gov (United States)

    Theisen, Bernard L.; Kosinski, Andrew

    2013-01-01

    The Intelligent Ground Vehicle Competition (IGVC) is one of four, unmanned systems, student competitions that were founded by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI). The IGVC is a multidisciplinary exercise in product realization that challenges college engineering student teams to integrate advanced control theory, machine vision, vehicular electronics and mobile platform fundamentals to design and build an unmanned system. Teams from around the world focus on developing a suite of dual-use technologies to equip ground vehicles of the future with intelligent driving capabilities. Over the past 20 years, the competition has challenged undergraduate, graduate and Ph.D. students with real world applications in intelligent transportation systems, the military and manufacturing automation. To date, teams from over 80 universities and colleges have participated. This paper describes some of the applications of the technologies required by this competition and discusses the educational benefits. The primary goal of the IGVC is to advance engineering education in intelligent vehicles and related technologies. The employment and professional networking opportunities created for students and industrial sponsors through a series of technical events over the four-day competition are highlighted. Finally, an assessment of the competition based on participation is presented.

  13. Competition overwhelms the positive plant-soil feedback generated by an invasive plant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crawford, Kerri M; Knight, Tiffany M

    2017-01-01

    Invasive plant species can modify soils in a way that benefits their fitness more than the fitness of native species. However, it is unclear how competition among plant species alters the strength and direction of plant-soil feedbacks. We tested how community context altered plant-soil feedback between the non-native invasive forb Lespedeza cuneata and nine co-occurring native prairie species. In a series of greenhouse experiments, we grew plants individually and in communities with soils that differed in soil origin (invaded or uninvaded by L. cuneata) and in soils that were live vs. sterilized. In the absence of competition, L. cuneata produced over 60% more biomass in invaded than uninvaded soils, while native species performance was unaffected. The absence of a soil origin effect in sterile soil suggests that the positive plant-soil feedback was caused by differences in the soil biota. However, in the presence of competition, the positive effect of soil origin on L. cuneata growth disappeared. These results suggest that L. cuneata may benefit from positive plant-soil feedback when establishing populations in disturbed landscapes with few interspecific competitors, but does not support the hypothesis that plant-soil feedbacks influence competitive outcomes between L. cuneata and native plant species. These results highlight the importance of considering whether competition influences the outcome of interactions between plants and soils.

  14. Synaptic Plasticity and Nociception

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ChenJianguo

    2004-01-01

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

  15. Banach Synaptic Algebras

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foulis, David J.; Pulmannov, Sylvia

    2018-04-01

    Using a representation theorem of Erik Alfsen, Frederic Schultz, and Erling Størmer for special JB-algebras, we prove that a synaptic algebra is norm complete (i.e., Banach) if and only if it is isomorphic to the self-adjoint part of a Rickart C∗-algebra. Also, we give conditions on a Banach synaptic algebra that are equivalent to the condition that it is isomorphic to the self-adjoint part of an AW∗-algebra. Moreover, we study some relationships between synaptic algebras and so-called generalized Hermitian algebras.

  16. Electricity prices in a competitive environment: Marginal cost pricing of generation services and financial status of electric utilities. A preliminary analysis through 2015

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1997-08-01

    The emergence of competitive markets for electricity generation services is changing the way that electricity is and will be priced in the United States. This report presents the results of an analysis that focuses on two questions: (1) How are prices for competitive generation services likely to differ from regulated prices if competitive prices are based on marginal costs rather than regulated open-quotes cost-of-serviceclose quotes pricing? (2) What impacts will the competitive pricing of generation services (based on marginal costs) have on electricity consumption patterns, production costs, and the financial integrity patterns, production costs, and the financial integrity of electricity suppliers? This study is not intended to be a cost-benefit analysis of wholesale or retail competition, nor does this report include an analysis of the macroeconomic impacts of competitive electricity prices

  17. Electricity prices in a competitive environment: Marginal cost pricing of generation services and financial status of electric utilities. A preliminary analysis through 2015

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1997-08-01

    The emergence of competitive markets for electricity generation services is changing the way that electricity is and will be priced in the United States. This report presents the results of an analysis that focuses on two questions: (1) How are prices for competitive generation services likely to differ from regulated prices if competitive prices are based on marginal costs rather than regulated {open_quotes}cost-of-service{close_quotes} pricing? (2) What impacts will the competitive pricing of generation services (based on marginal costs) have on electricity consumption patterns, production costs, and the financial integrity patterns, production costs, and the financial integrity of electricity suppliers? This study is not intended to be a cost-benefit analysis of wholesale or retail competition, nor does this report include an analysis of the macroeconomic impacts of competitive electricity prices.

  18. ACADEMIC PARTNERSHIP AND GENERATION OF SCIENTIFIC KNOWLEDGE: THE CASE OF THE INTERNATIONAL NETWORK OF RESEARCHERS ON COMPETITIVENESS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José Guadalupe Vargas Hernández

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available This paper has the objective to demonstrate the contributions achieved by the International Network of Researchers in Competitiveness (INRCO in academic collaboration and scientific knowledge generation. Part of the assumption sustaining that economic globalization processes, information and communication technologies revolution lead to the increasing environmental complexity and uncertainty of a knowledge society. One answer is the study and analysis of competitiveness considered as the strategy to achieve higher levels of economic growth and socio-cultural development in all micro, meso and macro levels. The method used is the analytic-deductive based on the evidence of related data with the activity and results in publications of the International Network of Researchers in Competitiveness. Consequently, it has been adapted certain speculative notions in a theoretical analysis exploring the social dynamics of the scientific activities. It is concluded that the management of the researchers’ dynamic network is capable to generate, apply and recycle the critical knowledge and the assets of academic and scientific talent through a dynamic combination of resources that have a position inside the formal e informal borders and between these borders of participant academics and institutions.

  19. Generation and reserve dispatch in a competitive market using constrained particle swarm optimization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Azadani, E. Nasr; Hosseinian, S.H.; Moradzadeh, B.

    2010-01-01

    Competitive bidding for energy and ancillary services is increasingly recognized as an important part of electricity markets. In addition, the transmission capacity limits should be considered to optimize the total market cost. In this paper, a new approach based on constrained particle swarm optimization (CPSO) is developed to deal with the multi-product (energy and reserve) and multi-area electricity market dispatch problem. Constraint handling is based on particle ranking and uniform distribution. CPSO method offers a new solution for optimizing the total market cost in a multi-area competitive electricity market considering the system constraints. The proposed technique shows promising performance for smooth and non smooth cost function as well. Three different systems are examined to demonstrate the effectiveness and the accuracy of the proposed algorithm. (author)

  20. COMPETITIVE FACTORS IN ERP SYSTEM IMPLEMENTATION: A CASE STUDY OF A COMPANY OF ELECTRIC GENERATORS

    OpenAIRE

    Prado, Emerson Luiz; Passanezi, Paula Meyer Soares

    2015-01-01

    The increasing globalization of markets and increased competitiveness has required the use of appropriate management information in decision-making of companies. The Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is an integrated information system widely used by managers in their decision making processes. This exploratory case study, conducted in the company Stemac S/A, aims to analyze the advantages and disadvantages of the ERP system and compares them the real needs of the company. Specifics objectiv...

  1. Alliance for a Healthier Generation's Competitive Beverage and Food Guidelines: Do Elementary School Administrators Know about Them and Do They Report Implementing Them?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ohri-Vachaspati, Punam; Turner, Lindsey; Chaloupka, Frank J.

    2012-01-01

    Background: The availability of competitive foods in schools is a modifiable factor in efforts to prevent childhood obesity. The Alliance for a Healthier Generation launched the Healthy Schools Program in 2006 to encourage schools to create healthier food environments, including the adoption of nutritional guidelines for competitive beverages and…

  2. Competition and fragmentation: a simple model generating lognormal-like distributions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schwaemmle, V; Queiros, S M D; Brigatti, E; Tchumatchenko, T

    2009-01-01

    The current distribution of language size in terms of speaker population is generally described using a lognormal distribution. Analyzing the original real data we show how the double-Pareto lognormal distribution can give an alternative fit that indicates the existence of a power law tail. A simple Monte Carlo model is constructed based on the processes of competition and fragmentation. The results reproduce the power law tails of the real distribution well and give better results for a poorly connected topology of interactions.

  3. Day-Ahead Self-Scheduling of Thermal Generator in Competitive Electricity Market Using Hybrid PSO

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pindoriya, N.M.; Singh, Sri Niwas; Østergaard, Jacob

    2009-01-01

    in day-ahead energy market subject to operational constraints and 2) at the same time, to minimize the risk due to uncertainty in price forecast. Therefore, it is a conflicting biobjective optimization problem which has both binary and continuous optimization variables considered as constrained mixed......This paper presents a hybrid particle swarm optimization algorithm (HPSO) to solve the day-ahead selfscheduling for thermal power producer in competitive electricity market. The objective functions considered to model the selfscheduling problem are: 1) to maximize the profit from selling energy...... integer nonlinear programming. To demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed method for self-scheduling in a dayahead energy market, the locational margin price (LMP) forecast uncertainty in PJM electricity market is considered. An adaptive wavelet neural network (AWNN) is used to forecast the dayahead...

  4. Competitive inhibition can linearize dose-response and generate a linear rectifier.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Savir, Yonatan; Tu, Benjamin P; Springer, Michael

    2015-09-23

    Many biological responses require a dynamic range that is larger than standard bi-molecular interactions allow, yet the also ability to remain off at low input. Here we mathematically show that an enzyme reaction system involving a combination of competitive inhibition, conservation of the total level of substrate and inhibitor, and positive feedback can behave like a linear rectifier-that is, a network motif with an input-output relationship that is linearly sensitive to substrate above a threshold but unresponsive below the threshold. We propose that the evolutionarily conserved yeast SAGA histone acetylation complex may possess the proper physiological response characteristics and molecular interactions needed to perform as a linear rectifier, and we suggest potential experiments to test this hypothesis. One implication of this work is that linear responses and linear rectifiers might be easier to evolve or synthetically construct than is currently appreciated.

  5. Optimal generation and reserve dispatch in a multi-area competitive market using a hybrid direct search method

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chen, C.-L.

    2005-01-01

    With restructuring of the power industry, competitive bidding for energy and ancillary services are increasingly recognized as an important part of electricity markets. It is desirable to optimize not only the generator's bid prices for energy and for providing minimized ancillary services but also the transmission congestion costs. In this paper, a hybrid approach of combining sequential dispatch with a direct search method is developed to deal with the multi-product and multi-area electricity market dispatch problem. The hybrid direct search method (HDSM) incorporates sequential dispatch into the direct search method to facilitate economic sharing of generation and reserve across areas and to minimize the total market cost in a multi-area competitive electricity market. The effects of tie line congestion and area spinning reserve requirement are also consistently reflected in the marginal price in each area. Numerical experiments are included to understand the various constraints in the market cost analysis and to provide valuable information for market participants in a pool oriented electricity market

  6. Optimal generation and reserve dispatch in a multi-area competitive market using a hybrid direct search method

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chun Lung Chen

    2005-01-01

    With restructuring of the power industry, competitive bidding for energy and ancillary services are increasingly recognized as an important part of electricity markets. It is desirable to optimize not only the generator's bid prices for energy and for providing minimized ancillary services but also the transmission congestion costs. In this paper, a hybrid approach of combining sequential dispatch with a direct search method is developed to deal with the multi-product and multi-area electricity market dispatch problem. The hybrid direct search method (HDSM) incorporates sequential dispatch into the direct search method to facilitate economic sharing of generation and reserve across areas and to minimize the total market cost in a multi-area competitive electricity market. The effects of tie line congestion and area spinning reserve requirement are also consistently reflected in the marginal price in each area. Numerical experiments are included to understand the various constraints in the market cost analysis and to provide valuable information for market participants in a pool oriented electricity market. (author)

  7. A decision support system for generation expansion planning in competitive electricity markets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pereira, Adelino J.C.; Saraiva, Joao Tome

    2010-01-01

    This paper describes an approach to address the generation expansion-planning problem in order to help generation companies to decide whether to invest on new assets. This approach was developed in the scope of the implementation of electricity markets that eliminated the traditional centralized planning and lead to the creation of several generation companies competing for the delivery of power. As a result, this activity is more risky than in the past and so it is important to develop decision support tools to help generation companies to adequately analyse the available investment options in view of the possible behavior of other competitors. The developed model aims at maximizing the expected revenues of a generation company while ensuring the safe operation of the power system and incorporating uncertainties related with price volatility, with the reliability of generation units, with the demand evolution and with investment and operation costs. These uncertainties are modeled by pdf functions and the solution approach is based on Genetic Algorithms. Finally, the paper includes a Case Study to illustrate the application and interest of the developed approach. (author)

  8. A decision support system for generation expansion planning in competitive electricity markets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pereira, Adelino J.C. [Departamento de Engenharia Electrotecnica, Instituto Superior de Engenharia de Coimbra, Instituto Politecnico de Coimbra, Rua Pedro Nunes, 3030-199 Coimbra (Portugal); Saraiva, Joao Tome [INESC Porto and Departamento de Engenharia Electrotecnica e Computadores, Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto, Campus da FEUP, Rua Dr. Roberto Frias, 4200-465 Porto (Portugal)

    2010-07-15

    This paper describes an approach to address the generation expansion-planning problem in order to help generation companies to decide whether to invest on new assets. This approach was developed in the scope of the implementation of electricity markets that eliminated the traditional centralized planning and lead to the creation of several generation companies competing for the delivery of power. As a result, this activity is more risky than in the past and so it is important to develop decision support tools to help generation companies to adequately analyse the available investment options in view of the possible behavior of other competitors. The developed model aims at maximizing the expected revenues of a generation company while ensuring the safe operation of the power system and incorporating uncertainties related with price volatility, with the reliability of generation units, with the demand evolution and with investment and operation costs. These uncertainties are modeled by pdf functions and the solution approach is based on Genetic Algorithms. Finally, the paper includes a Case Study to illustrate the application and interest of the developed approach. (author)

  9. Productive and Unproductive Competition

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Guerra, Alice; Luppi, Barbara; Parisi, Francesco

    Conventional theories of competition classify contests as being either “productive,” when the competitive efforts generate a surplus for society, or “unproductive,” when competition generates no social surplus and merely distributes already existing resources. These two discrete categories of com...... and socially optimal levels of competition in the full range of intermediate cases, as well as in the extremum cases of destructive and super-productive competition.......Conventional theories of competition classify contests as being either “productive,” when the competitive efforts generate a surplus for society, or “unproductive,” when competition generates no social surplus and merely distributes already existing resources. These two discrete categories...... of competition create a division of real-world situations into analytical categories that fails to recognize the entire spectrum of competitive activities. Taking the existing models of productive and unproductive competition as benchmark idealizations, this paper explores the relationship between the privately...

  10. Biomass power generation in competitive markets - The impact of instruments and regulations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ackermann, Thomas; Soeder, Lennart

    1999-01-01

    This paper presents and briefly evaluates the most important existing market instruments and market schemes which support the development of renewable energy generation as well as the impact of market regulations on the development of biomass power generation. The evaluation of the existing instruments focuses on the incentives provided by the various instruments to reduce production costs. The instruments and schemes are: Feed-in Tariffs, Net Metering, Bidding Process, Fixed Quotas, Green Certificate Trading, Green Power Exchange, Green Pricing. Feed-in tariffs and net metering are important instruments to get the different technologies 'off the ground', however, they can only be considered an interim solution as they do not necessarily lead to cost reduction. A bidding process is one way to achieve these cost reductions, but high transaction costs will support the development of large renewable energy projects, which is not always the desired effect. Fixed quotas combined with green certificate trading or a power exchange in combination with Green Pricing seem to lead to similar costs reduction, however, so far there is only limited experience with such instruments. The analysis of the impact of market regulations focuses on international electricity markets with a power exchange. Such markets exist, for example, in Scandinavia, England and Wales, Australia, New Zealand and California. The analysis showed that new distributed generation, for example based on biomass, faces significant market barriers. Furthermore, distributed generation is not treated equally within the market regulations compared to large-scale power generation

  11. The competitive economics of a middle aged multi unit nuclear generating station

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Talbot, K.H.

    1994-01-01

    In 1992 Ontario Hydro's 15 year old 4 x 850 MWe Candu, Bruce A Nuclear Generating Station was predicted to need considerable capital investment to replace pressure tubes, steam generators and other prematurely ageing equipment in order to restore the station to high performance. Over the subsequent two years the station has undergone 2 major economic assessment studies which have confirmed the economic viability of continued operation of the plant. Declining demand for electricity in Ontario combined with a excess of generating capacity and a need to stabilise electricity rates have however forced significant operational cost reductions and reduced capital availability for rehabilitation work, it's medium and long term future remains in question. This presentation offers a practical illustration of the need to maintain steady high performance from nuclear generating plant via the appropriate life management techniques. The avoidance of mid life infusion of capital is considered as essential if nuclear generation is to successfully survive major changes in economic conditions. 2 tabs., 7 figs

  12. Next generation internet protocol marks shattered in Internet2 land speed record competition

    CERN Multimedia

    2003-01-01

    "An international team set new Internet2 Land Speed Records using next generation Internet Protocols (IPv6) by achieving 983 megabits-per-second with a single IPv6 stream for more than an hour across a distance of 7,067 kilometers (more than 4,000 miles) from Geneva, Switzerland to Chicago, Ill." (1 page).

  13. Competitiveness and Carbon Dioxide Emissions of Potential Electricity Generating Options in Croatia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Feretic, D.

    2008-01-01

    As part of analysis of options needed to generate additional 6-8 TWh of electrical energy for Croatian consumers by the end of next decade, a comparison between natural gas combined cycle plants jointly with wind electricity generator and nuclear power plants has been performed. The choice is a real challenge, but it is logical that the criteria for optimal option are maximal net cash flow and minimal carbon dioxide emission. Since the comparison has to include analysis of discounted net cash flow during plants operating period (including total life time period and period of most insensitive capital return) and since foreseen potential long term fuel cost variations (gas, uranium concentrate and uranium enrichment) contain substantial uncertainties, the best method is to calculate discounted net cash flow with probabilistic method. Prognosis for long term nuclear fuel cycle and gas costs is included in the analyses. Results, obtained in form of probabilistic distributions, showed that selection of option with nuclear plant would doubtlessly result in higher net cash flow for the investor, and of course, in lower CO 2 emissions. Effect of plant selection to net cash flow and CO 2 emissions is additionally analyzed by comparing systems containing wind and gas plants versus system with gas plants only. The difference is less pronounced in case when wind generators have low capacity factors (similar to experienced for wind plants already operating on Adriatic coast). (author)

  14. Valuing natural gas power generation assets in the new competitive marketplace

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsu, Michael Chun-Wei

    1999-10-01

    The profitability of natural gas fired power plants depends critically on the spread between electricity and natural gas prices. The price levels of these two energy commodities are the key uncertain variables in determining the operating margin and therefore the value of a power plant. The owner of a generation unit has the decision of dispatching the plant only when profit margins are positive. This operating flexibility is a real option with real value. In this dissertation I introduce the spark spread call options and illustrate how such paper contracts replicate the uncertain payoff space facing power asset owners and, therefore, how the financial options framework can be applied in estimating the value of natural gas generation plants. The intrinsic value of gas power plants is approximated as the sum of a series of spark spread call options with succeeding maturity dates. The Black-Scholes spread option pricing model, with volatility and correlation term structure adjustments, is utilized to price the spark spread options. Sensitivity analysis is also performed on the BS spread option formulation to compare different asset types. In addition I explore the potential of using compound and compound-exchange option concepts to evaluate, respectively, the benefits of delaying investment in new generation and in repowering existing antiquated units. The compound option designates an option on top of another option. In this case the series of spark spread call options is the 'underlying' option while the option to delay new investments is the 'overlying.' The compound-exchange option characterizes the opportunity to 'exchange' the old power plant, with its series of spark spread call options, for a set of new spark spread call options that comes with the new generation unit. The strike price of the compound-exchange option is the repowering capital investment and typically includes the purchase of new steam generators and combustion turbines, as well as other

  15. Strategic bidding of generating units in competitive electricity market with considering their reliability

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Soleymani, S.; Ranjbar, A.M.; Shirani, A.R.

    2008-01-01

    In the restructured power systems, they are typically scheduled based on the offers and bids to buy and sell energy and ancillary services (AS) subject to operational and security constraints. Generally, no account is taken of unit reliability when scheduling it. Therefore generating units have no incentive to improve their reliability. This paper proposes a new method to obtain the equilibrium points for reliability and price bidding strategy of units when the unit reliability is considered in the scheduling problem. The proposed methodology employs the supply function equilibrium (SFE) for modeling a unit's bidding strategy. Units change their bidding strategies and improve their reliability until Nash equilibrium points are obtained. GAMS (general algebraic modeling system) language has been used to solve the market scheduling problem using DICOPT optimization software with mixed integer non-linear programming. (author)

  16. Competition from newborn granule cells does not drive axonal retraction of silenced old granule cells in the adult hippocampus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carla M Lopez

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available In the developing nervous system synaptic refinement, typified by the neuromuscular junction where supernumerary connections are eliminated by axon retraction leaving the postsynaptic target innervated by a single dominant input, critically regulates neuronal circuit formation. Whether such competition based pruning continues in established circuits of mature animals remains unknown. This question is particularly relevant in the context of adult neurogenesis where newborn cells must integrate into preexisting circuits, and thus, potentially compete with functionally mature synapses to gain access to their postsynaptic targets. The hippocampus plays an important role in memory formation/retrieval and the dentate gyrus subfield (DG exhibits continued neurogenesis into adulthood. Therefore, this region contains both mature granule cells (old GCs and immature recently born GCs that are generated throughout adult life (young GCs, providing a neurogenic niche model to examine the role of competition in synaptic refinement. Recent work from an independent group in developing animals indicated that embryonically/early postnatal generated GCs placed at a competitive disadvantage by selective expression of tetanus toxin (TeTX to prevent synaptic release rapidly retracted their axons, and that this retraction was driven by competition from newborn GCs lacking TeTX. In contrast, following 3-6 months of selective TeTX expression in old GCs of adult mice we did not observe any evidence of axon retraction. Indeed ultrastructural analyses indicated that the terminals of silenced GCs even maintained synaptic contact with their postsynaptic targets. Furthermore, we did not detect any significant differences in the electrophysiological properties between old GCs in control and TeTX conditions. Thus, our data demonstrate a remarkable stability in the face of a relatively prolonged period of altered synaptic competition between two populations of neurons within the

  17. Business opportunities and dynamic competition through distributed generation in primary electricity distribution networks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Raineri, R.; Rios, S.; Vasquez, R.

    2005-01-01

    In this paper, for a real electricity distribution network, an assessment of business opportunities to invest in distributed generation (DG) is performed through a simulation based on a full representation of three medium voltage (12 kV) feeders. The three feeders representation includes 1062 sections of conductors with 13 different sizes. The economic assessment focuses on both, the incentives of the incumbent distribution company and those of a new entrant. The technical and economic impact on losses, reliability and voltage regulation in the network area are verified. The DG solution analyzed determines a business opportunity for new investors where end users are also benefited. This work calls in the debate on the need to reformulate the current regulation model on electricity distribution, by defining clear rules to incorporate DG to the existing network, and to enable any agent to develop the proposed business. DG success depends on the location of adequate sites to strategically establish few DG units being a substitute to network expansion

  18. Transmission avoided cost: a new parameter to evaluate the economic competitiveness of generations plants projects

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ramos, D S [Companhia Energetica de Sao Paulo, SP (Brazil); Albuquerque, J C.R.; Rosenblat, J [ELETROBRAS, Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil)

    1994-12-31

    The paper presents a new formulation that makes feasible a composition of long run production marginal costs with the long run transmission marginal costs, including the costs related to the interconnection EHV networks and that related to the voltage levels below. The goal top be attained is to have available a more adequate parameter in order to compare production cost related to a plant, that will be connected to a certain voltage level network, to the cost related supplying the sam,e amount of energy from the bulk power system which will be represented by the marginal costs up to the voltage level under consideration. This procedure brings to light the Transmission Avoided Costs concepts, that are stressed throughout the text. The proposed methodology is now being used, in the brazilian Power Sector, as a rule of thumb in order to guide planning decisions about the schedule of new plants that have installed capacity below 30 MW. For plants with higher capacity, the transmission avoided costs are evaluated for each specific case, simulating the system behavior without the quoted hydroelectric plant. This paper focuses, an an application example, the case of the Canoas Hydroelectric Project, recently included in the Generation Expansion Reference Plan after a detailed analysis supported by the methodology described here. (author) 7 refs., 3 tabs.

  19. How does male–male competition generate negative frequency-dependent selection and disruptive selection during speciation?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Border, Shana E

    2018-01-01

    Abstract Natural selection has been shown to drive population differentiation and speciation. The role of sexual selection in this process is controversial; however, most of the work has centered on mate choice while the role of male–male competition in speciation is relatively understudied. Here, we outline how male–male competition can be a source of diversifying selection on male competitive phenotypes, and how this can contribute to the evolution of reproductive isolation. We highlight how negative frequency-dependent selection (advantage of rare phenotype arising from stronger male–male competition between similar male phenotypes compared with dissimilar male phenotypes) and disruptive selection (advantage of extreme phenotypes) drives the evolution of diversity in competitive traits such as weapon size, nuptial coloration, or aggressiveness. We underscore that male–male competition interacts with other life-history functions and that variable male competitive phenotypes may represent alternative adaptive options. In addition to competition for mates, aggressive interference competition for ecological resources can exert selection on competitor signals. We call for a better integration of male–male competition with ecological interference competition since both can influence the process of speciation via comparable but distinct mechanisms. Altogether, we present a more comprehensive framework for studying the role of male–male competition in speciation, and emphasize the need for better integration of insights gained from other fields studying the evolutionary, behavioral, and physiological consequences of agonistic interactions. PMID:29492042

  20. Second Generation Reusable Launch Vehicle Development and Global Competitiveness of US Space Transportation Industry: Critical Success Factors Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Enyinda, Chris I.

    2002-01-01

    In response to the unrelenting call in both public and private sectors fora to reduce the high cost associated with space transportation, many innovative partially or fully RLV (Reusable Launch Vehicles) designs (X-34-37) were initiated. This call is directed at all levels of space missions including scientific, military, and commercial and all aspects of the missions such as nonrecurring development, manufacture, launch, and operations. According to Wertz, tbr over thirty years, the cost of space access has remained exceedingly high. The consensus in the popular press is that to decrease the current astronomical cost of access to space, more safer, reliable, and economically viable second generation RLVs (SGRLV) must be developed. Countries such as Brazil, India, Japan, and Israel are now gearing up to enter the global launch market with their own commercial space launch vehicles. NASA and the US space launch industry cannot afford to lag behind. Developing SGRLVs will immeasurably improve the US's space transportation capabilities by helping the US to regain the global commercial space markets while supporting the transportation capabilities of NASA's space missions, Developing the SGRLVs will provide affordable commercial space transportation that will assure the competitiveness of the US commercial space transportation industry in the 21st century. Commercial space launch systems are having difficulty obtaining financing because of the high cost and risk involved. Access to key financial markets is necessary for commercial space ventures. However, public sector programs in the form of tax incentives and credits, as well as loan guarantees are not yet available. The purpose of this paper is to stimulate discussion and assess the critical success factors germane for RLVs development and US global competitiveness.

  1. Nuclear power generation in competition with other sources for base load electricity generation; La generacion nuclear en competencia con otras fuentes para generacion electrica de base

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Notari, C; Rey, F C [Comision Nacional de Energia Atomica, San Martin (Argentina). Unidad de Actividad Reactores y Centrales Nucleares

    1997-12-31

    The latest studies performed by OECD and IAEA on the subject were analyzed in order to clarify the international context. Nuclear, gas and coal are compared. The general conclusion is that nuclear power is competitive for electricity generation considering new plants to be commissioned around year 2000. If the discount rate is 5% per annum it is considered the best option in most of the countries included in the studies. If 10% is chosen the levelized costs favour the gas option. In the Argentine case, the analysis of possible plants for the near future shows a clear advantage for the gas projects. This is mainly due to the low capital costs and low local gas prices. The possible evolution of this situation is considered: gas prices will most probably increase because they should approach the price of fuel oil or diesel oil which are used as substitutes in winter for electricity generation and the export projects to Chile and Brasil will also push prices up. The environmental aspects of the question and its influence on regulations and costs is a matter of speculation. Some countries have already penalized greenhouse gases emissions but it is not clear how and when this trend will affect local prices. (author). 4 refs., 6 tabs.

  2. Alteration of synaptic connectivity of oligodendrocyte precursor cells following demyelination

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sahel, Aurélia; Ortiz, Fernando C.; Kerninon, Christophe; Maldonado, Paloma P.; Angulo, María Cecilia; Nait-Oumesmar, Brahim

    2015-01-01

    Oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPCs) are a major source of remyelinating oligodendrocytes in demyelinating diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis (MS). While OPCs are innervated by unmyelinated axons in the normal brain, the fate of such synaptic contacts after demyelination is still unclear. By combining electrophysiology and immunostainings in different transgenic mice expressing fluorescent reporters, we studied the synaptic innervation of OPCs in the model of lysolecithin (LPC)-induced demyelination of corpus callosum. Synaptic innervation of reactivated OPCs in the lesion was revealed by the presence of AMPA receptor-mediated synaptic currents, VGluT1+ axon-OPC contacts in 3D confocal reconstructions and synaptic junctions observed by electron microscopy. Moreover, 3D confocal reconstructions of VGluT1 and NG2 immunolabeling showed the existence of glutamatergic axon-OPC contacts in post-mortem MS lesions. Interestingly, patch-clamp recordings in LPC-induced lesions demonstrated a drastic decrease in spontaneous synaptic activity of OPCs early after demyelination that was not caused by an impaired conduction of compound action potentials. A reduction in synaptic connectivity was confirmed by the lack of VGluT1+ axon-OPC contacts in virtually all rapidly proliferating OPCs stained with EdU (50-ethynyl-20-deoxyuridine). At the end of the massive proliferation phase in lesions, the proportion of innervated OPCs rapidly recovers, although the frequency of spontaneous synaptic currents did not reach control levels. In conclusion, our results demonstrate that newly-generated OPCs do not receive synaptic inputs during their active proliferation after demyelination, but gain synapses during the remyelination process. Hence, glutamatergic synaptic inputs may contribute to inhibit OPC proliferation and might have a physiopathological relevance in demyelinating disorders. PMID:25852473

  3. Dynamic Control of Synaptic Adhesion and Organizing Molecules in Synaptic Plasticity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rudenko, Gabby (Texas-MED)

    2017-01-01

    Synapses play a critical role in establishing and maintaining neural circuits, permitting targeted information transfer throughout the brain. A large portfolio of synaptic adhesion/organizing molecules (SAMs) exists in the mammalian brain involved in synapse development and maintenance. SAMs bind protein partners, formingtrans-complexes spanning the synaptic cleft orcis-complexes attached to the same synaptic membrane. SAMs play key roles in cell adhesion and in organizing protein interaction networks; they can also provide mechanisms of recognition, generate scaffolds onto which partners can dock, and likely take part in signaling processes as well. SAMs are regulated through a portfolio of different mechanisms that affect their protein levels, precise localization, stability, and the availability of their partners at synapses. Interaction of SAMs with their partners can further be strengthened or weakened through alternative splicing, competing protein partners, ectodomain shedding, or astrocytically secreted factors. Given that numerous SAMs appear altered by synaptic activity, in vivo, these molecules may be used to dynamically scale up or scale down synaptic communication. Many SAMs, including neurexins, neuroligins, cadherins, and contactins, are now implicated in neuropsychiatric and neurodevelopmental diseases, such as autism spectrum disorder, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder and studying their molecular mechanisms holds promise for developing novel therapeutics.

  4. MAGUKs: multifaceted synaptic organizers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Won, Sehoon; Levy, Jon M; Nicoll, Roger A; Roche, Katherine W

    2017-04-01

    The PSD-95 family of proteins, known as MAGUKs, have long been recognized to be central building blocks of the PSD. They are categorized as scaffolding proteins, which link surface-expressed receptors to the intracellular signaling molecules. Although the four members of the PSD-95 family (PSD-95, PSD-93, SAP102, and SAP97) have many shared roles in regulating synaptic function, recent studies have begun to delineate specific binding partners and roles in plasticity. In the current review, we will highlight the conserved and unique roles of these proteins. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  5. The Role of Subsidiaries in Emerging Markets in Generating Competitive Advantages for Foreign Multinationals: the case of the Brazilian subsidiary of Clarks International

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcelo André Machado

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available The relationship between a multinational and its subsidiaries abroad, according to many studies, is crucial for generating competitive advantages. Therefore, this study aimed to understand the relationship between a shoe company, Clarks International, and its Brazilian subsidiary with an emphasis on generating advantages to the multinational headquarters. Through a single case study, the subsidiary’s capacity for knowledge generation and diffusion was identified, as well as its level of autonomy in relation to the English headquarters. Data analysis indicated that the Brazilian subsidiary generated specific competitive advantages for the foreign multinational due to its close relationship with local suppliers in Brazil and due to its staff’s expertise in developing high quality shoes. It was perceived that the growth of subsidiary autonomy was related to the growth of specific advantages generated for the multinational.

  6. Coupling an aVLSI neuromorphic vision chip to a neurotrophic model of synaptic plasticity: the development of topography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elliott, Terry; Kramer, Jörg

    2002-10-01

    We couple a previously studied, biologically inspired neurotrophic model of activity-dependent competitive synaptic plasticity and neuronal development to a neuromorphic retina chip. Using this system, we examine the development and refinement of a topographic mapping between an array of afferent neurons (the retinal ganglion cells) and an array of target neurons. We find that the plasticity model can indeed drive topographic refinement in the presence of afferent activity patterns generated by a real-world device. We examine the resilience of the developing system to the presence of high levels of noise by adjusting the spontaneous firing rate of the silicon neurons.

  7. Spine Calcium Transients Induced by Synaptically-Evoked Action Potentials Can Predict Synapse Location and Establish Synaptic Democracy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meredith, Rhiannon M.; van Ooyen, Arjen

    2012-01-01

    CA1 pyramidal neurons receive hundreds of synaptic inputs at different distances from the soma. Distance-dependent synaptic scaling enables distal and proximal synapses to influence the somatic membrane equally, a phenomenon called “synaptic democracy”. How this is established is unclear. The backpropagating action potential (BAP) is hypothesised to provide distance-dependent information to synapses, allowing synaptic strengths to scale accordingly. Experimental measurements show that a BAP evoked by current injection at the soma causes calcium currents in the apical shaft whose amplitudes decay with distance from the soma. However, in vivo action potentials are not induced by somatic current injection but by synaptic inputs along the dendrites, which creates a different excitable state of the dendrites. Due to technical limitations, it is not possible to study experimentally whether distance information can also be provided by synaptically-evoked BAPs. Therefore we adapted a realistic morphological and electrophysiological model to measure BAP-induced voltage and calcium signals in spines after Schaffer collateral synapse stimulation. We show that peak calcium concentration is highly correlated with soma-synapse distance under a number of physiologically-realistic suprathreshold stimulation regimes and for a range of dendritic morphologies. Peak calcium levels also predicted the attenuation of the EPSP across the dendritic tree. Furthermore, we show that peak calcium can be used to set up a synaptic democracy in a homeostatic manner, whereby synapses regulate their synaptic strength on the basis of the difference between peak calcium and a uniform target value. We conclude that information derived from synaptically-generated BAPs can indicate synapse location and can subsequently be utilised to implement a synaptic democracy. PMID:22719238

  8. Selective loss of bi-directional synaptic plasticity in the direct and indirect striatal output pathways accompanies generation of parkinsonism and l-DOPA induced dyskinesia in mouse models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thiele, Sherri L; Chen, Betty; Lo, Charlotte; Gertler, Tracey S; Warre, Ruth; Surmeier, James D; Brotchie, Jonathan M; Nash, Joanne E

    2014-11-01

    Parkinsonian symptoms arise due to over-activity of the indirect striatal output pathway, and under-activity of the direct striatal output pathway. l-DOPA-induced dyskinesia (LID) is caused when the opposite circuitry problems are established, with the indirect pathway becoming underactive, and the direct pathway becoming over-active. Here, we define synaptic plasticity abnormalities in these pathways associated with parkinsonism, symptomatic benefits of l-DOPA, and LID. We applied spike-timing dependent plasticity protocols to cortico-striatal synapses in slices from 6-OHDA-lesioned mouse models of parkinsonism and LID, generated in BAC transgenic mice with eGFP targeting the direct or indirect output pathways, with and without l-DOPA present. In naïve mice, bidirectional synaptic plasticity, i.e. LTP and LTD, was induced, resulting in an EPSP amplitude change of approximately 50% in each direction in both striatal output pathways, as shown previously. In parkinsonism and dyskinesia, both pathways exhibited unidirectional plasticity, irrespective of stimulation paradigm. In parkinsonian animals, the indirect pathway only exhibited LTP (LTP protocol: 143.5±14.6%; LTD protocol 177.7±22.3% of baseline), whereas the direct pathway only showed LTD (LTP protocol: 74.3±4.0% and LTD protocol: 63.3±8.7%). A symptomatic dose of l-DOPA restored bidirectional plasticity on both pathways to levels comparable to naïve animals (Indirect pathway: LTP protocol: 124.4±22.0% and LTD protocol: 52.1±18.5% of baseline. Direct pathway: LTP protocol: 140.7±7.3% and LTD protocol: 58.4±6.0% of baseline). In dyskinesia, in the presence of l-DOPA, the indirect pathway exhibited only LTD (LTP protocol: 68.9±21.3% and LTD protocol 52.0±14.2% of baseline), whereas in the direct pathway, only LTP could be induced (LTP protocol: 156.6±13.2% and LTD protocol 166.7±15.8% of baseline). We conclude that normal motor control requires bidirectional plasticity of both striatal outputs

  9. BDNF pro-peptide: a novel synaptic modulator generated as an N-terminal fragment from the BDNF precursor by proteolytic processing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Toshiyuki Mizui

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Most growth factors are initially synthesized as precursors and it was cleaved into bioactive mature domain and pro-domain. However, compared with the expression and function of bioactive mature domain, the biological role of the pro-domain is poorly understood. Unexpectedly, we found that the pro-domain (or pro-peptide of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF, which is well-known neurotrophic factor in brain, has a potential ability to facilitate hippocampal long-term depression. Furthermore, a BDNF polymorphism Val66Met, which substitute valine into methionine at 66 amino acid, impacted the biological activity of the BDNF pro-peptide. We lastly discuss the possible roles of BDNF and its pro-peptide in the generation of neural stem cells and progress of ischemia.

  10. Synaptic electronics: materials, devices and applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuzum, Duygu; Yu, Shimeng; Wong, H-S Philip

    2013-09-27

    In this paper, the recent progress of synaptic electronics is reviewed. The basics of biological synaptic plasticity and learning are described. The material properties and electrical switching characteristics of a variety of synaptic devices are discussed, with a focus on the use of synaptic devices for neuromorphic or brain-inspired computing. Performance metrics desirable for large-scale implementations of synaptic devices are illustrated. A review of recent work on targeted computing applications with synaptic devices is presented.

  11. Synaptic electronics: materials, devices and applications

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kuzum, Duygu; Yu, Shimeng; Philip Wong, H-S

    2013-01-01

    In this paper, the recent progress of synaptic electronics is reviewed. The basics of biological synaptic plasticity and learning are described. The material properties and electrical switching characteristics of a variety of synaptic devices are discussed, with a focus on the use of synaptic devices for neuromorphic or brain-inspired computing. Performance metrics desirable for large-scale implementations of synaptic devices are illustrated. A review of recent work on targeted computing applications with synaptic devices is presented. (topical review)

  12. Isolation of Synaptosomes, Synaptic Plasma Membranes, and Synaptic Junctional Complexes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michaelis, Mary L; Jiang, Lei; Michaelis, Elias K

    2017-01-01

    Isolation of synaptic nerve terminals or synaptosomes provides an opportunity to study the process of neurotransmission at many levels and with a variety of approaches. For example, structural features of the synaptic terminals and the organelles within them, such as synaptic vesicles and mitochondria, have been elucidated with electron microscopy. The postsynaptic membranes are joined to the presynaptic "active zone" of transmitter release through cell adhesion molecules and remain attached throughout the isolation of synaptosomes. These "post synaptic densities" or "PSDs" contain the receptors for the transmitters released from the nerve terminals and can easily be seen with electron microscopy. Biochemical and cell biological studies with synaptosomes have revealed which proteins and lipids are most actively involved in synaptic release of neurotransmitters. The functional properties of the nerve terminals, such as responses to depolarization and the uptake or release of signaling molecules, have also been characterized through the use of fluorescent dyes, tagged transmitters, and transporter substrates. In addition, isolated synaptosomes can serve as the starting material for the isolation of relatively pure synaptic plasma membranes (SPMs) that are devoid of organelles from the internal environment of the nerve terminal, such as mitochondria and synaptic vesicles. The isolated SPMs can reseal and form vesicular structures in which transport of ions such as sodium and calcium, as well as solutes such as neurotransmitters can be studied. The PSDs also remain associated with the presynaptic membranes during isolation of SPM fractions, making it possible to isolate the synaptic junctional complexes (SJCs) devoid of the rest of the plasma membranes of the nerve terminals and postsynaptic membrane components. Isolated SJCs can be used to identify the proteins that constitute this highly specialized region of neurons. In this chapter, we describe the steps involved

  13. proBDNF Negatively Regulates Neuronal Remodeling, Synaptic Transmission, and Synaptic Plasticity in Hippocampus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jianmin Yang

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Experience-dependent plasticity shapes postnatal development of neural circuits, but the mechanisms that refine dendritic arbors, remodel spines, and impair synaptic activity are poorly understood. Mature brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF modulates neuronal morphology and synaptic plasticity, including long-term potentiation (LTP via TrkB activation. BDNF is initially translated as proBDNF, which binds p75NTR. In vitro, recombinant proBDNF modulates neuronal structure and alters hippocampal long-term plasticity, but the actions of endogenously expressed proBDNF are unclear. Therefore, we generated a cleavage-resistant probdnf knockin mouse. Our results demonstrate that proBDNF negatively regulates hippocampal dendritic complexity and spine density through p75NTR. Hippocampal slices from probdnf mice exhibit depressed synaptic transmission, impaired LTP, and enhanced long-term depression (LTD in area CA1. These results suggest that proBDNF acts in vivo as a biologically active factor that regulates hippocampal structure, synaptic transmission, and plasticity, effects that are distinct from those of mature BDNF.

  14. Secreted factors as synaptic organizers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson-Venkatesh, Erin M; Umemori, Hisashi

    2010-07-01

    A critical step in synaptic development is the differentiation of presynaptic and postsynaptic compartments. This complex process is regulated by a variety of secreted factors that serve as synaptic organizers. Specifically, fibroblast growth factors, Wnts, neurotrophic factors and various other intercellular signaling molecules are proposed to regulate presynaptic and/or postsynaptic differentiation. Many of these factors appear to function at both the neuromuscular junction and in the central nervous system, although the specific function of the molecules differs between the two. Here we review secreted molecules that organize the synaptic compartments and discuss how these molecules shape synaptic development, focusing on mammalian in vivo systems. Their critical role in shaping a functional neural circuit is underscored by their possible link to a wide range of neurological and psychiatric disorders both in animal models and by mutations identified in human patients. © The Authors (2010). Journal Compilation © Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  15. The Cattenom nuclear power plant, at the service of a safe, competitive and CO2-free power generation in the heart of the Lorraine region

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2010-01-01

    In less than 20 years, Electricite de France (EDF) has built up a competitive park of 58 nuclear power plants, with no equivalent elsewhere, which represents an installed power of 63.1 GW (85% of EDF's power generation). Inside this nuclear park, the national power generation centre of Cattenom comprises 4 production units of 1300 MW each (5200 MW as a whole). The facility generated 34 billion kWh in 2009, i.e. 8% of the French national power generation. This brochure presents the life of the power plant under various aspects: power generation, safety priority and culture, maintenance investments, respect of the environment, long-term fuel and wastes management, local economical involvement, transparency and public information, key figures and dates. (J.S.)

  16. The Penly nuclear power plant, at the service of a safe, competitive and CO2-free power generation in the heart of the Haute Normandie region

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2010-01-01

    In less than 20 years, Electricite de France (EDF) has built up a competitive park of 58 nuclear power plants, with no equivalent elsewhere, which represents an installed power of 63.1 GW (85% of EDF's power generation). Inside this nuclear park, the national power generation centre of Penly comprises 2 production units of 1300 MW each (2600 MW as a whole). The facility generated 18.5 billion kWh in 2009, i.e. 3.57% of the French national power generation and 80% of the energy consumed in the Haute-Normandie region. This brochure presents the life of the power plant under various aspects: power generation, safety priority and culture, maintenance investments, respect of the environment, long-term fuel and wastes management, local economical involvement, transparency and public information, key figures and dates. (J.S.)

  17. The Blayais nuclear power plant, at the service of a safe, competitive and CO2-free power generation in the heart of the Aquitaine region

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2010-01-01

    In less than 20 years, Electricite de France (EDF) has built up a competitive park of 58 nuclear power plants, with no equivalent elsewhere, which represents an installed power of 63.1 GW (85% of EDF's power generation). Inside this nuclear park, the national power generation centre of Blayais comprises 4 production units of 900 MW each (3600 MW as a whole). The facility generated 21.3 billion kWh in 2009, i.e. 5.5% of the French national power generation and 1.2 times the energy consumed in the Aquitaine region. This brochure presents the life of the power plant under various aspects: power generation, safety priority and culture, maintenance investments, respect of the environment, long-term fuel and wastes management, local economical involvement, transparency and public information, key figures and dates. (J.S.)

  18. The Chinon nuclear power plant, at the service of a safe, competitive and CO2-free power generation in the heart of the Centre region

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2010-01-01

    In less than 20 years, Electricite de France (EDF) has built up a competitive park of 58 nuclear power plants, with no equivalent elsewhere, which represents an installed power of 63.1 GW (85% of EDF's power generation). Inside this nuclear park, the national power generation centre of Chinon comprises 4 production units of 900 MW each (3600 MW as a whole). The facility generated 19.03 billion kWh in 2009, i.e. 4.8% of the French national power generation. This brochure presents the life of the power plant under various aspects: power generation, safety priority and culture, maintenance investments, respect of the environment, long-term fuel and wastes management, local economical involvement, transparency and public information, key figures and dates. (J.S.)

  19. The Paluel nuclear power plant, at the service of a safe, competitive and CO2-free power generation in the heart of the Haute Normandie region

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2010-01-01

    In less than 20 years, Electricite de France (EDF) has built up a competitive park of 58 nuclear power plants, with no equivalent elsewhere, which represents an installed power of 63.1 GW (85% of EDF's power generation). Inside this nuclear park, the national power generation centre of Paluel comprises 4 production units of 1300 MW each (5200 MW as a whole). The facility generated 29.5 billion kWh in 2009, i.e. about 7% of the French national power generation and 35% of the energy produced in the Normandie region. This brochure presents the life of the power plant under various aspects: power generation, safety priority and culture, maintenance investments, respect of the environment, long-term fuel and wastes management, local economical involvement, transparency and public information, key figures and dates. (J.S.)

  20. The Bugey nuclear power plant, at the service of a safe, competitive and CO2-free power generation in the heart of the Rhone-Alpes region

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2010-01-01

    In less than 20 years, Electricite de France (EDF) has built up a competitive park of 58 nuclear power plants, with no equivalent elsewhere, which represents an installed power of 63.1 GW (85% of EDF's power generation). Inside this nuclear park, the national power generation centre of Bugey comprises 4 production units of 900 MW each (3600 MW as a whole). The facility generated 20.87 billion kWh in 2009, i.e. 5% of the French national power generation and 40% of the energy consumed in the Rhone-Alpes region. This brochure presents the life of the power plant under various aspects: power generation, safety priority and culture, maintenance investments, respect of the environment, long-term fuel and wastes management, local economical involvement, transparency and public information, key figures and dates. (J.S.)

  1. The Golfech nuclear power plant, at the service of a safe, competitive and CO2-free power generation in the heart of the Midi-Pyrenees region

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2010-01-01

    In less than 20 years, Electricite de France (EDF) has built up a competitive park of 58 nuclear power plants, with no equivalent elsewhere, which represents an installed power of 63.1 GW (85% of EDF's power generation). Inside this nuclear park, the national power generation centre of Golfech comprises two production units of 1300 MW each (2600 MW as a whole). The facility generated 19.7 billion kWh in 2009, i.e. more than 5% of the French national power generation and 100% of the energy consumed in the Midi-Pyrenees region. This brochure presents the life of the power plant under various aspects: power generation, safety priority and culture, maintenance investments, respect of the environment, long-term fuel and wastes management, local economical involvement, transparency and public information, key figures and dates. (J.S.)

  2. Synaptic consolidation across multiple timescales

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lorric Ziegler

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available The brain is bombarded with a continuous stream of sensory events, but retains only a small subset in memory. The selectivity of memory formation prevents our memory from being overloaded with irrelevant items that would rapidly bring the brain to its storage limit; moreover, selectivity also prevents overwriting previously formed memories with new ones. Memory formation in the hippocampus, as well as in other brain regions, is thought to be linked to changes in the synaptic connections between neurons. In this view, sensory events imprint traces at the level of synapses that reflect potential memory items. The question of memory selectivity can therefore be reformulated as follows: what are the reasons and conditions that some synaptic traces fade away whereas others are consolidated and persist? Experimentally, changes in synaptic strength induced by 'Hebbian' protocols fade away over a few hours (early long-term potentiation or e-LTP, unless these changes are consolidated. The experiments and conceptual theory of synaptic tagging and capture (STC provide a mechanistic explanation for the processes involved in consolidation. This theory suggests that the initial trace of synaptic plasticity sets a tag at the synapse, which then serves as a marker for potential consolidation of the changes in synaptic efficacy. The actual consolidation processes, transforming e-LTP into late LTP (l-LTP, require the capture of plasticity-related proteins (PRP. We translate the above conceptual model into a compact computational model that accounts for a wealth of in vitro data including experiments on cross-tagging, tag-resetting and depotentiation. A central ingredient is that synaptic traces are described with several variables that evolve on different time scales. Consolidation requires the transmission of information from a 'fast' synaptic trace to a 'slow' one through a 'write' process, including the formation of tags and the production of PRP for the

  3. The Fessenheim nuclear power plant, at the service of a safe, competitive and CO2-free power generation in the heart of the Alsace region

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2010-01-01

    In less than 20 years, Electricite de France (EDF) has built up a competitive park of 58 nuclear power plants, with no equivalent elsewhere, which represents an installed power of 63.1 GW (85% of EDF's power generation). Inside this nuclear park, the national power generation centre of Fessenheim comprises two production units of 900 MW each (1800 MW as a whole). The facility generated 8.7 billion kWh in 2009, i.e. 70% of the energy consumed in the Alsace region. This brochure presents the life of the power plant under various aspects: power generation, safety priority and culture, maintenance investments, respect of the environment, long-term fuel and wastes management, local economical involvement, transparency and public information, key figures and dates. (J.S.)

  4. Synaptic Effects of Electric Fields

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rahman, Asif

    Learning and sensory processing in the brain relies on the effective transmission of information across synapses. The strength and efficacy of synaptic transmission is modifiable through training and can be modulated with noninvasive electrical brain stimulation. Transcranial electrical stimulation (TES), specifically, induces weak intensity and spatially diffuse electric fields in the brain. Despite being weak, electric fields modulate spiking probability and the efficacy of synaptic transmission. These effects critically depend on the direction of the electric field relative to the orientation of the neuron and on the level of endogenous synaptic activity. TES has been used to modulate a wide range of neuropsychiatric indications, for various rehabilitation applications, and cognitive performance in diverse tasks. How can a weak and diffuse electric field, which simultaneously polarizes neurons across the brain, have precise changes in brain function? Designing therapies to maximize desired outcomes and minimize undesired effects presents a challenging problem. A series of experiments and computational models are used to define the anatomical and functional factors leading to specificity of TES. Anatomical specificity derives from guiding current to targeted brain structures and taking advantage of the direction-sensitivity of neurons with respect to the electric field. Functional specificity originates from preferential modulation of neuronal networks that are already active. Diffuse electric fields may recruit connected brain networks involved in a training task and promote plasticity along active synaptic pathways. In vitro, electric fields boost endogenous synaptic plasticity and raise the ceiling for synaptic learning with repeated stimulation sessions. Synapses undergoing strong plasticity are preferentially modulated over weak synapses. Therefore, active circuits that are involved in a task could be more susceptible to stimulation than inactive circuits

  5. Technological competition, increasing efficiency and lock-in in power generation of photovoltaic origin; Competition technologique, rendements croissants et lock-in dans la production d'electricite d'origine solaire photovoltaique

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Taillant, P.

    2001-10-01

    In this study, the evolutionistic model of technological competition of B. Arthur is used to analyze the phenomena of increasing efficiency of adoption and the technological lock-in situation in the sector of photovoltaic cells for power generation. The processes of path dependence and random historical factors, like the public orders, can lead to a situation where the dominating technology is not necessary the most efficient. In the case of solar photovoltaic, the dominating 'crystalline silicon' technology is the one that has today the best energy efficiency. However, taking into account the evolution of its experience curve which shows a beginning of exhausting of the learning effects, the perspectives of cost reduction seem to be limited despite a sustained demand and intense R and D activities. On the other hand, the thin film technology, with lower efficiencies, would gain in competitiveness thanks to the automation of manufacturing processes. In these circumstances, the technological public policies have to maintain a diversity in the choice of possible technologies in order to allow the promising, but less attractive today, technologies to develop in the future. (J.S.)

  6. Effects of Generational Competition and Substitution on Late Labour Participation and Labour Market Exit from a Multilevel Perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Henriette Engelhardt

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, we investigate the effects of demographic, economic and labour market structures on labour market participation and on the transition to inactivity (exit for older males in eleven European countries. Theoretically, our analysis is guided by considerations of intragenerational competition and intergenerational substitution. Following Easterlin’s hypothesis that intragenerational competition rises with cohort size, we assume a negative effect of cohort size on labour market participation and a positive effect on early exit from the labour market. Taking into account that different cohorts are substitutes at least to a certain extent, we assume that the probability of an early exit will be reduced by a high intergenerational exchange ratio in favour of older workers. Thus, labour market participation is influenced by the populations’ age structure both when entering the labour force and during the career. Moreover, low shares of graduates in older cohorts are expected to reduce older workers’ chances of labour market participation. In addition to demographic structures, general economic conditions, such as per capita GDP and its development over time, act both to further and to hamper the employment of older workers. Additionally, labour market structures, such as unemployment rates, the extent of part-time work or the amount of service jobs influence individual participation and the transition to inactivity. To test these hypotheses, we use merged data from the first two waves of SHARE and macro-level indicators from Eurostat. We estimate a two-level random-intercept logit model which allows us to determine the share of variance in international late careers that can be attributed to country-specific factors and can quantify the relative impact of specific socio-demographic and socio-economic backgrounds. Our results imply that cross-national variance in labour market participation is mainly driven by the instance of long

  7. Stochastic learning in oxide binary synaptic device for neuromorphic computing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Shimeng; Gao, Bin; Fang, Zheng; Yu, Hongyu; Kang, Jinfeng; Wong, H-S Philip

    2013-01-01

    Hardware implementation of neuromorphic computing is attractive as a computing paradigm beyond the conventional digital computing. In this work, we show that the SET (off-to-on) transition of metal oxide resistive switching memory becomes probabilistic under a weak programming condition. The switching variability of the binary synaptic device implements a stochastic learning rule. Such stochastic SET transition was statistically measured and modeled for a simulation of a winner-take-all network for competitive learning. The simulation illustrates that with such stochastic learning, the orientation classification function of input patterns can be effectively realized. The system performance metrics were compared between the conventional approach using the analog synapse and the approach in this work that employs the binary synapse utilizing the stochastic learning. The feasibility of using binary synapse in the neurormorphic computing may relax the constraints to engineer continuous multilevel intermediate states and widens the material choice for the synaptic device design.

  8. Strategies for 2nd generation biofuels in EU - Co-firing to stimulate feedstock supply development and process integration to improve energy efficiency and economic competitiveness

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Berndes, Goeran; Hansson, Julia; Egeskog, Andrea; Johnsson, Filip

    2010-01-01

    The present biofuel policies in the European Union primarily stimulate 1st generation biofuels that are produced based on conventional food crops. They may be a distraction from lignocellulose based 2nd generation biofuels - and also from biomass use for heat and electricity - by keeping farmers' attention and significant investments focusing on first generation biofuels and the cultivation of conventional food crops as feedstocks. This article presents two strategies that can contribute to the development of 2nd generation biofuels based on lignocellulosic feedstocks. The integration of gasification-based biofuel plants in district heating systems is one option for increasing the energy efficiency and improving the economic competitiveness of such biofuels. Another option, biomass co-firing with coal, generates high-efficiency biomass electricity and reduces CO 2 emissions by replacing coal. It also offers a near-term market for lignocellulosic biomass, which can stimulate development of supply systems for biomass also suitable as feedstock for 2nd generation biofuels. Regardless of the long-term priorities of biomass use for energy, the stimulation of lignocellulosic biomass production by development of near term and cost-effective markets is judged to be a no-regrets strategy for Europe. Strategies that induce a relevant development and exploit existing energy infrastructures in order to reduce risk and reach lower costs, are proposed an attractive complement the present and prospective biofuel policies. (author)

  9. Hybrid Particle Swarm Optimization based Day-Ahead Self-Scheduling for Thermal Generator in Competitive Electricity Market

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pindoriya, Naran M.; Singh, S.N.; Østergaard, Jacob

    2009-01-01

    in day-ahead energy market subject to operational constraints and 2) at the same time, to minimize the risk due to uncertainty in price forecast. Therefore, it is a conflicting bi-objective optimization problem which has both binary and continuous optimization variables considered as constrained mixed......This paper presents a hybrid particle swarm optimization algorithm (HPSO) to solve the day-ahead self-scheduling for thermal power producer in competitive electricity market. The objective functions considered to model the self-scheduling problem are 1) to maximize the profit from selling energy...... integer nonlinear programming. To demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed method for self-scheduling in a day-ahead energy market, the locational margin price (LMP) forecast uncertainty in PJM electricity market is considered. An adaptive wavelet neural network (AWNN) is used to forecast the day...

  10. Regional decision-making and competitive funding : metropolitan planning organizations and the transportation investments generating economic recovery program.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-08-01

    Transportation benefits and economic stimulus were behind the creation of the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) program in 2009. New transportation funding programs exist in a landscape of other programs, and in addition ...

  11. Spiking Neural Networks with Unsupervised Learning Based on STDP Using Resistive Synaptic Devices and Analog CMOS Neuron Circuit.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kwon, Min-Woo; Baek, Myung-Hyun; Hwang, Sungmin; Kim, Sungjun; Park, Byung-Gook

    2018-09-01

    We designed the CMOS analog integrate and fire (I&F) neuron circuit can drive resistive synaptic device. The neuron circuit consists of a current mirror for spatial integration, a capacitor for temporal integration, asymmetric negative and positive pulse generation part, a refractory part, and finally a back-propagation pulse generation part for learning of the synaptic devices. The resistive synaptic devices were fabricated using HfOx switching layer by atomic layer deposition (ALD). The resistive synaptic device had gradual set and reset characteristics and the conductance was adjusted by spike-timing-dependent-plasticity (STDP) learning rule. We carried out circuit simulation of synaptic device and CMOS neuron circuit. And we have developed an unsupervised spiking neural networks (SNNs) for 5 × 5 pattern recognition and classification using the neuron circuit and synaptic devices. The hardware-based SNNs can autonomously and efficiently control the weight updates of the synapses between neurons, without the aid of software calculations.

  12. Synaptic control of motoneuronal excitability

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rekling, J C; Funk, G D; Bayliss, D A

    2000-01-01

    important in understanding the transformation of neural activity to motor behavior. Here, we review recent studies on the control of motoneuronal excitability, focusing on synaptic and cellular properties. We first present a background description of motoneurons: their development, anatomical organization......, and membrane properties, both passive and active. We then describe the general anatomical organization of synaptic input to motoneurons, followed by a description of the major transmitter systems that affect motoneuronal excitability, including ligands, receptor distribution, pre- and postsynaptic actions...... and norepinephrine, and neuropeptides, as well as the glutamate and GABA acting at metabotropic receptors, modulate motoneuronal excitability through pre- and postsynaptic actions. Acting principally via second messenger systems, their actions converge on common effectors, e.g., leak K(+) current, cationic inward...

  13. The Competition That Really Matters: Comparing U.S., Chinese, and Indian Investments in the Next-Generation Workforce

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooper, Donna; Hersh, Adam; O'Leary, Ann

    2012-01-01

    As a collaborative effort of the Center for American Progress and The Center for the Next Generation, this report examines where the United States is today and how that compares with two of its fiercest competitors for the jobs and thought leadership of the future, China and India. This report shows that their governments have embarked on…

  14. Two New Secreted Proteases Generate a Casein-Derived Antimicrobial Peptide in Bacillus cereus Food Born Isolate Leading to Bacterial Competition in Milk

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Awatef Ouertani

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available Milk and dairy products harbor a wide variety of bacterial species that compete for both limited resources and space. Under these competitive conditions, bacteria develop specialized mechanisms to protect themselves during niche colonization and nutrient acquisition processes. The bacterial antagonism mechanisms include the production of antimicrobial agents or molecules that facilitate competitor dispersal. In the present work, a bacterial strain designated RC6 was isolated from Ricotta and identified as Bacillus cereus. It generates antimicrobial peptide (AMP when grown in the presence of casein. The AMP was active against several species of Bacillus and Listeria monocytogenes. MALDI-TOF analysis of the RP-HPLC purified fractions and amino acid sequencing revealed a molecular mass of 751 Da comprised of a 6-residue sequence, YPVEPF. BLAST analysis showed that the AMP corresponds to the fractions 114–119 of bovine β-casein and represents the product of a specific proteolysis. Analysis of the purified proteolytic fractions from the B. cereus RC6 culture supernatant indicated that the presence of at least two different endoproteases is crucial for the generation of the AMP. Indeed, we were able to identify two new candidate endoproteases by means of genome sequencing and functional assignment using a 3D structural model and molecular docking of misannotated hypothetical proteins. In this light, the capacity of B. cereus RC6 to generate antimicrobial peptides from casein, through the production of extracellular enzymes, presents a new model of antagonistic competition leading to niche colonization. Hence, as a dairy product contaminant, this strategy may enable proteolytic B. cereus RC6 niche specialization in milk matrices.

  15. A light-stimulated synaptic transistor with synaptic plasticity and memory functions based on InGaZnO_x–Al_2O_3 thin film structure

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Li, H. K.; Chen, T. P.; Liu, P.; Zhang, Q.; Hu, S. G.; Liu, Y.; Lee, P. S.

    2016-01-01

    In this work, a synaptic transistor based on the indium gallium zinc oxide (IGZO)–aluminum oxide (Al_2O_3) thin film structure, which uses ultraviolet (UV) light pulses as the pre-synaptic stimulus, has been demonstrated. The synaptic transistor exhibits the behavior of synaptic plasticity like the paired-pulse facilitation. In addition, it also shows the brain's memory behaviors including the transition from short-term memory to long-term memory and the Ebbinghaus forgetting curve. The synapse-like behavior and memory behaviors of the transistor are due to the trapping and detrapping processes of the holes, which are generated by the UV pulses, at the IGZO/Al_2O_3 interface and/or in the Al_2O_3 layer.

  16. Intense synaptic activity enhances temporal resolution in spinal motoneurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rune W Berg

    Full Text Available In neurons, spike timing is determined by integration of synaptic potentials in delicate concert with intrinsic properties. Although the integration time is functionally crucial, it remains elusive during network activity. While mechanisms of rapid processing are well documented in sensory systems, agility in motor systems has received little attention. Here we analyze how intense synaptic activity affects integration time in spinal motoneurons during functional motor activity and report a 10-fold decrease. As a result, action potentials can only be predicted from the membrane potential within 10 ms of their occurrence and detected for less than 10 ms after their occurrence. Being shorter than the average inter-spike interval, the AHP has little effect on integration time and spike timing, which instead is entirely determined by fluctuations in membrane potential caused by the barrage of inhibitory and excitatory synaptic activity. By shortening the effective integration time, this intense synaptic input may serve to facilitate the generation of rapid changes in movements.

  17. Dopamine-signalled reward predictions generated by competitive excitation and inhibition in a spiking neural network model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul eChorley

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Dopaminergic neurons in the mammalian substantia nigra displaycharacteristic phasic responses to stimuli which reliably predict thereceipt of primary rewards. These responses have been suggested toencode reward prediction-errors similar to those used in reinforcementlearning. Here, we propose a model of dopaminergic activity in whichprediction error signals are generated by the joint action ofshort-latency excitation and long-latency inhibition, in a networkundergoing dopaminergic neuromodulation of both spike-timing dependentsynaptic plasticity and neuronal excitability. In contrast toprevious models, sensitivity to recent events is maintained by theselective modification of specific striatal synapses, efferent tocortical neurons exhibiting stimulus-specific, temporally extendedactivity patterns. Our model shows, in the presence of significantbackground activity, (i a shift in dopaminergic response from rewardto reward predicting stimuli, (ii preservation of a response tounexpected rewards, and (iii a precisely-timed below-baseline dip inactivity observed when expected rewards are omitted.

  18. Competitive Intelligence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bergeron, Pierrette; Hiller, Christine A.

    2002-01-01

    Reviews the evolution of competitive intelligence since 1994, including terminology and definitions and analytical techniques. Addresses the issue of ethics; explores how information technology supports the competitive intelligence process; and discusses education and training opportunities for competitive intelligence, including core competencies…

  19. Retail competition

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1998-01-01

    Retail competition as the cornerstone of a competitive electricity marketplace was the subject of the seventh in the series of policy discussion papers developed at the Market Design Conference. Concern was expressed that because of the complexities involved in market design and technical implementation, the retail competition may lag behind other elements of the implementation of the new market design. A variety of key issues were debated, including the role of physical versus financial contracts, the form of retail competition and financial settlement systems in the short term, the requirement to separate 'competitive' (metering, billing, maintenance, consumer education) from non-competitive' (the transmission wires) services and the role of municipal electric utilities. It was agreed that the IMO should play an important role in defining and enforcing the separation of services, and that as a general rule, the development of policy in this area should be guided by the principle of maximizing the potential for competition

  20. Baseload wind energy: modeling the competition between gas turbines and compressed air energy storage for supplemental generation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Greenblatt, Jeffery B.; Succar, Samir; Denkenberger, David C.; Williams, Robert H.; Socolow, Robert H.

    2007-01-01

    The economic viability of producing baseload wind energy was explored using a cost-optimization model to simulate two competing systems: wind energy supplemented by simple- and combined cycle natural gas turbines ('wind+gas'), and wind energy supplemented by compressed air energy storage ('wind+CAES'). Pure combined cycle natural gas turbines ('gas') were used as a proxy for conventional baseload generation. Long-distance electric transmission was integral to the analysis. Given the future uncertainty in both natural gas price and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions price, we introduced an effective fuel price, p NGeff , being the sum of the real natural gas price and the GHG price. Under the assumption of p NGeff =$5/GJ (lower heating value), 650 W/m 2 wind resource, 750 km transmission line, and a fixed 90% capacity factor, wind+CAES was the most expensive system at cents 6.0/kWh, and did not break even with the next most expensive wind+gas system until p NGeff =$9.0/GJ. However, under real market conditions, the system with the least dispatch cost (short-run marginal cost) is dispatched first, attaining the highest capacity factor and diminishing the capacity factors of competitors, raising their total cost. We estimate that the wind+CAES system, with a greenhouse gas (GHG) emission rate that is one-fourth of that for natural gas combined cycle plants and about one-tenth of that for pulverized coal plants, has the lowest dispatch cost of the alternatives considered (lower even than for coal power plants) above a GHG emissions price of $35/tC equiv. , with good prospects for realizing a higher capacity factor and a lower total cost of energy than all the competing technologies over a wide range of effective fuel costs. This ability to compete in economic dispatch greatly boosts the market penetration potential of wind energy and suggests a substantial growth opportunity for natural gas in providing baseload power via wind+CAES, even at high natural gas prices

  1. Synaptic dysfunction in amygdala in intellectual disorder models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aincy, Marianne; Meziane, Hamid; Herault, Yann; Humeau, Yann

    2018-06-08

    The amygdala is a part of the limbic circuit that has been extensively studied in terms of synaptic connectivity, plasticity and cellular organization since decades (Ehrlich et al., 2009; Ledoux, 2000; Maren, 2001). Amygdala sub-nuclei, including lateral, basolateral and central amygdala appear now as "hubs" providing in parallel and in series neuronal processing enabling the animal to elicit freezing or escaping behavior in response to external threats. In rodents, these behaviors are easily observed and quantified following associative fear conditioning. Thus, studies on amygdala circuit in association with threat/fear behavior became very popular in laboratories and are often used among other behavioral tests to evaluate learning abilities of mouse models for various neuropsychiatric conditions including genetically encoded intellectual disabilities (ID). Yet, more than 100 human X-linked genes - and several hundreds of autosomal genes - have been associated with ID in humans. These mutations introduced in mice can generate social deficits, anxiety dysregulations and fear learning impairments (McNaughton et al., 2008; Houbaert et al., 2013; Jayachandran et al., 2014; Zhang et al., 2015). Noteworthy, a significant proportion of the coded ID gene products are synaptic proteins. It is postulated that the loss of function of these proteins could destabilize neuronal circuits by global changes of the balance between inhibitory and excitatory drives onto neurons. However, whereas amygdala related behavioral deficits are commonly observed in ID models, the role of most of these ID-genes in synaptic function and plasticity in the amygdala are only sparsely studied. We will here discuss some of the concepts that emerged from amygdala-targeted studies examining the role of syndromic and non-syndromic ID genes in fear-related behaviors and/or synaptic function. Along describing these cases, we will discuss how synaptic deficits observed in amygdala circuits could impact

  2. The strategic importance of identifying knowledge-based and intangible assets for generating value, competitiveness and innovation in sub-Saharan Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicoline Ondari-Okemwa

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available This article discusses the strategic importance of identifying intangible assets for creating value and enhancing competitiveness and innovation in science and technology in a knowledge economy with particular reference to the sub- Saharan Africa region. It has always been difficult to gather the prerequisite information to manage such assets and create value from them. The paper discusses the nature of intangible assets, the characteristics of a knowledge economy and the role of knowledge workers in a knowledge economy. The paper also discusses the importance of identifying intangible assets in relation to capturing the value of such assets, the transfer of intangible assets to other owners and the challenges of managing organizational intangible assets. Objectives of the article include: underscoring the strategic importance of identifying intangible assets in sub-Saharan Africa; examining the performance of intangible assets in a knowledge economy; how intangible assets may generate competitiveness, economic growth and innovation; and assess how knowledge workers are becoming a dominant factor in the knowledge economy. An extensive literature review was employed to collect data for this article. It is concluded in the article that organizations and governments in sub-Saharan Africa should look at knowledge-based assets as strategic resources, even though the traditional accounting systems may still be having problems in determining the exact book value of such assets. It is recommended that organizations and government departments in sub-Saharan Africa should implement a system of the reporting of the value of intangible organizational assets just like the reporting of the value of tangible assets; and that organizations in sub-Saharan Africa should use knowledge to produce “smart products and services” which command premium prices.

  3. Synaptic vesicle distribution by conveyor belt.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moughamian, Armen J; Holzbaur, Erika L F

    2012-03-02

    The equal distribution of synaptic vesicles among synapses along the axon is critical for robust neurotransmission. Wong et al. show that the continuous circulation of synaptic vesicles throughout the axon driven by molecular motors ultimately yields this even distribution. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Spontaneous Vesicle Recycling in the Synaptic Bouton

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sven eTruckenbrodt

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The trigger for synaptic vesicle exocytosis is Ca2+, which enters the synaptic bouton following action potential stimulation. However, spontaneous release of neurotransmitter also occurs in the absence of stimulation in virtually all synaptic boutons. It has long been thought that this represents exocytosis driven by fluctuations in local Ca2+ levels. The vesicles responding to these fluctuations are thought to be the same ones that release upon stimulation, albeit potentially triggered by different Ca2+ sensors. This view has been challenged by several recent works, which have suggested that spontaneous release is driven by a separate pool of synaptic vesicles. Numerous articles appeared during the last few years in support of each of these hypotheses, and it has been challenging to bring them into accord. We speculate here on the origins of this controversy, and propose a solution that is related to developmental effects. Constitutive membrane traffic, needed for the biogenesis of vesicles and synapses, is responsible for high levels of spontaneous membrane fusion in young neurons, probably independent of Ca2+. The vesicles releasing spontaneously in such neurons are not related to other synaptic vesicle pools and may represent constitutively releasing vesicles (CRVs rather than bona fide synaptic vesicles. In mature neurons, constitutive traffic is much dampened, and the few remaining spontaneous release events probably represent bona fide spontaneously releasing synaptic vesicles (SRSVs responding to Ca2+ fluctuations, along with a handful of CRVs that participate in synaptic vesicle turnover.

  5. Forebrain deletion of αGDI in adult mice worsens the pre-synaptic deficit at cortico-lateral amygdala synaptic connections.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Veronica Bianchi

    Full Text Available The GDI1 gene encodes αGDI, which retrieves inactive GDP-bound RAB from membranes to form a cytosolic pool awaiting vesicular release. Mutations in GDI1 are responsible for X-linked Intellectual Disability. Characterization of the Gdi1-null mice has revealed alterations in the total number and distribution of hippocampal and cortical synaptic vesicles, hippocampal short-term synaptic plasticity and specific short-term memory deficits in adult mice, which are possibly caused by alterations of different synaptic vesicle recycling pathways controlled by several RAB GTPases. However, interpretation of these studies is complicated by the complete ablation of Gdi1 in all cells in the brain throughout development. In this study, we generated conditionally gene-targeted mice in which the knockout of Gdi1 is restricted to the forebrain, hippocampus, cortex and amygdala and occurs only during postnatal development. Adult mutant mice reproduce the short-term memory deficit previously reported in Gdi1-null mice. Surprisingly, the delayed ablation of Gdi1 worsens the pre-synaptic phenotype at cortico-amygdala synaptic connections compared to Gdi1-null mice. These results suggest a pivotal role of αGDI via specific RAB GTPases acting specifically in forebrain regions at the pre-synaptic sites involved in memory formation.

  6. Synaptic plasticity in drug reward circuitry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winder, Danny G; Egli, Regula E; Schramm, Nicole L; Matthews, Robert T

    2002-11-01

    Drug addiction is a major public health issue worldwide. The persistence of drug craving coupled with the known recruitment of learning and memory centers in the brain has led investigators to hypothesize that the alterations in glutamatergic synaptic efficacy brought on by synaptic plasticity may play key roles in the addiction process. Here we review the present literature, examining the properties of synaptic plasticity within drug reward circuitry, and the effects that drugs of abuse have on these forms of plasticity. Interestingly, multiple forms of synaptic plasticity can be induced at glutamatergic synapses within the dorsal striatum, its ventral extension the nucleus accumbens, and the ventral tegmental area, and at least some of these forms of plasticity are regulated by behaviorally meaningful administration of cocaine and/or amphetamine. Thus, the present data suggest that regulation of synaptic plasticity in reward circuits is a tractable candidate mechanism underlying aspects of addiction.

  7. Gaining Relational Competitive Advantages

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hu, Yimei; Zhang, Si; Li, Jizhen

    2015-01-01

    Establishing strategic technological partnerships (STPs) with foreign partners is an increasingly studied topic within the innovation management literature. Partnering firms can jointly create sources of relational competitive advantage. Chinese firms often lack research and development (R......&D) capabilities but are increasingly becoming preferred technological partners for transnational corporations. We investigate an STP between a Scandinavian and a Chinese firm and try to explore how to gain relational competitive advantage by focusing on its two essential stages: relational rent generation...... and appropriation. Based on an explorative case study, we develop a conceptual framework that consists of process, organizational alliance factors, and coordination modes that we propose lead to relational competitive advantage....

  8. Neuromodulation, development and synaptic plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foehring, R C; Lorenzon, N M

    1999-03-01

    We discuss parallels in the mechanisms underlying use-dependent synaptic plasticity during development and long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD) in neocortical synapses. Neuromodulators, such as norepinephrine, serotonin, and acetylcholine have also been implicated in regulating both developmental plasticity and LTP/LTD. There are many potential levels of interaction between neuromodulators and plasticity. Ion channels are substrates for modulation in many cell types. We discuss examples of modulation of voltage-gated Ca2+ channels and Ca(2+)-dependent K+ channels and the consequences for neocortical pyramidal cell firing behaviour. At the time when developmental plasticity is most evident in rat cortex, the substrate for modulation is changing as the densities and relative proportions of various ion channels types are altered during ontogeny. We discuss examples of changes in K+ and Ca2+ channels and the consequence for modulation of neuronal activity.

  9. Environmental structure and competitive scoring advantages in team competitions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merritt, Sears; Clauset, Aaron

    2013-10-01

    In most professional sports, playing field structure is kept neutral so that scoring imbalances may be attributed to differences in team skill. It thus remains unknown what impact environmental heterogeneities can have on scoring dynamics or competitive advantages. Applying a novel generative model of scoring dynamics to roughly 10 million team competitions drawn from an online game, we quantify the relationship between the structure within a competition and its scoring dynamics, while controlling the impact of chance. Despite wide structural variations, we observe a common three-phase pattern in the tempo of events. Tempo and balance are highly predictable from a competition's structural features alone and teams exploit environmental heterogeneities for sustained competitive advantage. Surprisingly, the most balanced competitions are associated with specific environmental heterogeneities, not from equally skilled teams. These results shed new light on the design principles of balanced competition, and illustrate the potential of online game data for investigating social dynamics and competition.

  10. A Heuristic T-S Fuzzy Model for the Pumped-Storage Generator-Motor Using Variable-Length Tree-Seed Algorithm-Based Competitive Agglomeration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jianzhong Zhou

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available With the fast development of artificial intelligence techniques, data-driven modeling approaches are becoming hotspots in both academic research and engineering practice. This paper proposes a novel data-driven T-S fuzzy model to precisely describe the complicated dynamic behaviors of pumped storage generator motor (PSGM. In premise fuzzy partition of the proposed T-S fuzzy model, a novel variable-length tree-seed algorithm based competitive agglomeration (VTSA-CA algorithm is presented to determine the optimal number of clusters automatically and improve the fuzzy clustering performances. Besides, in order to promote modeling accuracy of PSGM, the input and output formats in the T-S fuzzy model are selected by an economical parameter controlled auto-regressive (CAR model derived from a high-order transfer function of PSGM considering the distributed components in the water diversion system of the power plant. The effectiveness and superiority of the T-S fuzzy model for PSGM under different working conditions are validated by performing comparative studies with both practical data and the conventional mechanistic model.

  11. The power of competition

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fuqua, G.L.; Pratt, J.H.; Elliot, J.

    1995-01-01

    The change-over from regulated monopolies to a non-regulated competitive market in the electric utility industry was discussed in terms of marketing and survival strategies for utilities it the newly competitive marketplace. The impact of low natural gas prices was prominently discussed as a danger to hydroelectricity generators because high efficiency turbine generators that are now available. Surplus power capacity in both the Canadian and US markets were discussed. The effects of independent power producers selling electricity wholesale to private utilities was also debated on account of its potential to change the role of the electric utility. The situation of the Bonneville Power Association (BPA), a self-financed government agency, as owner of 15 000 miles of transmission grid that is not allowed to own generation plants, was described. Strategies developed by BPA in an effort to adapt to the competitive market were described and were successful

  12. Age dependence of the rapid antidepressant and synaptic effects of acute NMDA receptor blockade

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elena eNosyreva

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Ketamine is a NMDA receptor antagonist that produces rapid antidepressant responses in individuals with major depressive disorder. The antidepressant action of ketamine has been linked to blocking NMDA receptor activation at rest, which inhibits eukaryotic elongation factor2 kinase leading to desuppression of protein synthesis and synaptic potentiation in the CA1 region of the hippocampus. Here, we investigated ketamine mediated antidepressant response and the resulting synaptic potentiation in juvenile animals. We found that ketamine did not produce an antidepressant response in juvenile animals in the novelty suppressed feeding or the forced swim test. In addition ketamine application failed to trigger synaptic potentiation in hippocampal slices obtained from juvenile animals, unlike its action in slices from older animals (6-9 weeks old. The inability of ketamine to trigger an antidepressant response or subsequent synaptic plasticity processes suggests a developmental component to ketamine mediated antidepressant efficacy. We also show that the NMDAR antagonist AP5 triggers synaptic potentiation in mature hippocampus similar to the action of ketamine, demonstrating that global competitive blockade of NMDA receptors is sufficient to trigger this effect. These findings suggest that global blockade of NMDA receptors in developmentally mature hippocampal synapses are required for the antidepressant efficacy of ketamine.

  13. Elevated interleukin-8 enhances prefrontal synaptic transmission in mice with persistent inflammatory pain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cui Guang-bin

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Interleukin-8 (IL-8 is known for its roles in inflammation and plays critical roles in the development of pain. Its expression increases in the brain after peripheral inflammation. Prefrontal cortex, including the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC, is a forebrain structure known for its roles in pain transmission and modulation. Painful stimuli potentiate the prefrontal synaptic transmission, however, little is known about the expression of IL-8 and its role in the enhanced ACC synaptic transmission in animals with persistent inflammatory pain. Findings In the present study, we examined IL-8 expression in the ACC, somatosensory cortex (SSC, and the dorsal horn of lumbar spinal cord following hind-paw administration of complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA in mice and its effects on the ACC synaptic transmission. Quantification of IL-8 at protein level (by ELISA revealed enhanced expression in the ACC and spinal cord during the chronic phases of CFA-induced peripheral inflammation. In vitro whole-cell patch-clamp recordings revealed that IL-8 significantly enhanced synaptic transmission through increased probability of neurotransmitter release in the ACC slice. ACC local infusion of repertaxin, a non-competitive allosteric blocker of IL-8 receptors, notably prolonged the paw withdrawal latency to thermal radian heat stimuli bilaterally in mice. Conclusions Our findings suggest that up-regulation of IL-8 in the ACC partly attributable to the enhanced prefrontal synaptic transmission in the mice with persistent inflammatory pain.

  14. Competitive STDP Learning of Overlapping Spatial Patterns.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krunglevicius, Dalius

    2015-08-01

    Spike-timing-dependent plasticity (STDP) is a set of Hebbian learning rules firmly based on biological evidence. It has been demonstrated that one of the STDP learning rules is suited for learning spatiotemporal patterns. When multiple neurons are organized in a simple competitive spiking neural network, this network is capable of learning multiple distinct patterns. If patterns overlap significantly (i.e., patterns are mutually inclusive), however, competition would not preclude trained neuron's responding to a new pattern and adjusting synaptic weights accordingly. This letter presents a simple neural network that combines vertical inhibition and Euclidean distance-dependent synaptic strength factor. This approach helps to solve the problem of pattern size-dependent parameter optimality and significantly reduces the probability of a neuron's forgetting an already learned pattern. For demonstration purposes, the network was trained for the first ten letters of the Braille alphabet.

  15. The computational power of astrocyte mediated synaptic plasticity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rogier eMin

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Research in the last two decades has made clear that astrocytes play a crucial role in the brain beyond their functions in energy metabolism and homeostasis. Many studies have shown that astrocytes can dynamically modulate neuronal excitability and synaptic plasticity, and might participate in higher brain functions like learning and memory. With the plethora of astrocyte-mediated signaling processes described in the literature today, the current challenge is to identify which of these processes happen under what physiological condition, and how this shapes information processing and, ultimately, behavior. To answer these questions will require a combination of advanced physiological, genetical and behavioral experiments. Additionally, mathematical modeling will prove crucial for testing predictions on the possible functions of astrocytes in neuronal networks, and to generate novel ideas as to how astrocytes can contribute to the complexity of the brain. Here, we aim to provide an outline of how astrocytes can interact with neurons. We do this by reviewing recent experimental literature on astrocyte-neuron interactions, discussing the dynamic effects of astrocytes on neuronal excitability and short- and long-term synaptic plasticity. Finally, we will outline the potential computational functions that astrocyte-neuron interactions can serve in the brain. We will discuss how astrocytes could govern metaplasticity in the brain, how they might organize the clustering of synaptic inputs, and how they could function as memory elements for neuronal activity. We conclude that astrocytes can enhance the computational power of neuronal networks in previously unexpected ways.

  16. Molecular mechanisms of synaptic remodeling in alcoholism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kyzar, Evan J; Pandey, Subhash C

    2015-08-05

    Alcohol use and alcohol addiction represent dysfunctional brain circuits resulting from neuroadaptive changes during protracted alcohol exposure and its withdrawal. Alcohol exerts a potent effect on synaptic plasticity and dendritic spine formation in specific brain regions, providing a neuroanatomical substrate for the pathophysiology of alcoholism. Epigenetics has recently emerged as a critical regulator of gene expression and synaptic plasticity-related events in the brain. Alcohol exposure and withdrawal induce changes in crucial epigenetic processes in the emotional brain circuitry (amygdala) that may be relevant to the negative affective state defined as the "dark side" of addiction. Here, we review the literature concerning synaptic plasticity and epigenetics, with a particular focus on molecular events related to dendritic remodeling during alcohol abuse and alcoholism. Targeting epigenetic processes that modulate synaptic plasticity may yield novel treatments for alcoholism. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

  17. Coal competitiveness?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rogeaux, B.

    2006-01-01

    Will coal electrical plants be more competitive in the coming years? Answering this one cannot be limited to merely comparing estimates based on reference electricity production costs. The competitiveness of coal will indeed depend on the final product marketed, as the MWhs are not equal: is the purpose to produce base, half-base MWh? Does the electrical equipment structure require flexible MWh (for instance in the event of significant intermittent renewable energy amounts), and therefore plants able to adjust their power rapidly? But the competitiveness of coal will also depend on many factors that will correct reference cost estimates: uncertainties, risks, externalities. These factors will need to be appreciated on a case by case basis. We introduce some of the reasoning used to better appreciate the future competitiveness of coal, and the main factors conditioning it in three contrasting regions of the world: Europe, USA, china. (author)

  18. Lateral regulation of synaptic transmission by astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Covelo, A; Araque, A

    2016-05-26

    Fifteen years ago the concept of the "tripartite synapse" was proposed to conceptualize the functional view that astrocytes are integral elements of synapses. The signaling exchange between astrocytes and neurons within the tripartite synapse results in the synaptic regulation of synaptic transmission and plasticity through an autocrine form of communication. However, recent evidence indicates that the astrocyte synaptic regulation is not restricted to the active tripartite synapse but can be manifested through astrocyte signaling at synapses relatively distant from active synapses, a process termed lateral astrocyte synaptic regulation. This phenomenon resembles the classical heterosynaptic modulation but is mechanistically different because it involves astrocytes and its properties critically depend on the morphological and functional features of astrocytes. Therefore, the functional concept of the tripartite synapse as a fundamental unit must be expanded to include the interaction between tripartite synapses. Through lateral synaptic regulation, astrocytes serve as an active processing bridge for synaptic interaction and crosstalk between synapses with no direct neuronal connectivity, supporting the idea that neural network function results from the coordinated activity of astrocytes and neurons. Copyright © 2015 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Competition Regime

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Danilo Icaza Ortiz

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper is a review of the competition regime works of various authors, published under the auspices of the University of the Hemispheres and the Corporation for Studies and Publications. Analyzes the structure, the general concepts, case law taken for development. Includes comments on the usefulness of this work for the study of competition law and the contribution to the lawyers who want to practice in this branch of economic law.

  20. Thalamic synaptic transmission of sensory information modulated by synergistic interaction of adenosine and serotonin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Ya-Chin; Hu, Chun-Chang; Huang, Chen-Syuan; Chou, Pei-Yu

    2014-03-01

    The thalamic synapses relay peripheral sensory information to the cortex, and constitute an important part of the thalamocortical network that generates oscillatory activities responsible for different vigilance (sleep and wakefulness) states. However, the modulation of thalamic synaptic transmission by potential sleep regulators, especially by combination of regulators in physiological scenarios, is not fully characterized. We found that somnogen adenosine itself acts similar to wake-promoting serotonin, both decreasing synaptic strength as well as short-term depression, at the retinothalamic synapse. We then combined the two modulators considering the coexistence of them in the hypnagogic (sleep-onset) state. Adenosine plus serotonin results in robust synergistic inhibition of synaptic strength and dramatic transformation of short-term synaptic depression to facilitation. These synaptic effects are not achievable with a single modulator, and are consistent with a high signal-to-noise ratio but a low level of signal transmission through the thalamus appropriate for slow-wave sleep. This study for the first time demonstrates that the sleep-regulatory modulators may work differently when present in combination than present singly in terms of shaping information flow in the thalamocortical network. The major synaptic characters such as the strength and short-term plasticity can be profoundly altered by combination of modulators based on physiological considerations. © 2013 International Society for Neurochemistry.

  1. Operant conditioning of synaptic and spiking activity patterns in single hippocampal neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ishikawa, Daisuke; Matsumoto, Nobuyoshi; Sakaguchi, Tetsuya; Matsuki, Norio; Ikegaya, Yuji

    2014-04-02

    Learning is a process of plastic adaptation through which a neural circuit generates a more preferable outcome; however, at a microscopic level, little is known about how synaptic activity is patterned into a desired configuration. Here, we report that animals can generate a specific form of synaptic activity in a given neuron in the hippocampus. In awake, head-restricted mice, we applied electrical stimulation to the lateral hypothalamus, a reward-associated brain region, when whole-cell patch-clamped CA1 neurons exhibited spontaneous synaptic activity that met preset criteria. Within 15 min, the mice learned to generate frequently the excitatory synaptic input pattern that satisfied the criteria. This reinforcement learning of synaptic activity was not observed for inhibitory input patterns. When a burst unit activity pattern was conditioned in paired and nonpaired paradigms, the frequency of burst-spiking events increased and decreased, respectively. The burst reinforcement occurred in the conditioned neuron but not in other adjacent neurons; however, ripple field oscillations were concomitantly reinforced. Neural conditioning depended on activation of NMDA receptors and dopamine D1 receptors. Acutely stressed mice and depression model mice that were subjected to forced swimming failed to exhibit the neural conditioning. This learning deficit was rescued by repetitive treatment with fluoxetine, an antidepressant. Therefore, internally motivated animals are capable of routing an ongoing action potential series into a specific neural pathway of the hippocampal network.

  2. Competitive intransitivity promotes species coexistence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laird, Robert A; Schamp, Brandon S

    2006-08-01

    Using a spatially explicit cellular automaton model with local competition, we investigate the potential for varied levels of competitive intransitivity (i.e., nonhierarchical competition) to promote species coexistence. As predicted, on average, increased levels of intransitivity result in more sustained coexistence within simulated communities, although the outcome of competition also becomes increasingly unpredictable. Interestingly, even a moderate degree of intransitivity within a community can promote coexistence, in terms of both the length of time until the first competitive exclusion and the number of species remaining in the community after 500 simulated generations. These results suggest that modest levels of intransitivity in nature, such as those that are thought to be characteristic of plant communities, can contribute to coexistence and, therefore, community-scale biodiversity. We explore a potential connection between competitive intransitivity and neutral theory, whereby competitive intransitivity may represent an important mechanism for "ecological equivalence."

  3. Spike Pattern Structure Influences Synaptic Efficacy Variability Under STDP and Synaptic Homeostasis. II: Spike Shuffling Methods on LIF Networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zedong Bi

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Synapses may undergo variable changes during plasticity because of the variability of spike patterns such as temporal stochasticity and spatial randomness. Here, we call the variability of synaptic weight changes during plasticity to be efficacy variability. In this paper, we investigate how four aspects of spike pattern statistics (i.e., synchronous firing, burstiness/regularity, heterogeneity of rates and heterogeneity of cross-correlations influence the efficacy variability under pair-wise additive spike-timing dependent plasticity (STDP and synaptic homeostasis (the mean strength of plastic synapses into a neuron is bounded, by implementing spike shuffling methods onto spike patterns self-organized by a network of excitatory and inhibitory leaky integrate-and-fire (LIF neurons. With the increase of the decay time scale of the inhibitory synaptic currents, the LIF network undergoes a transition from asynchronous state to weak synchronous state and then to synchronous bursting state. We first shuffle these spike patterns using a variety of methods, each designed to evidently change a specific pattern statistics; and then investigate the change of efficacy variability of the synapses under STDP and synaptic homeostasis, when the neurons in the network fire according to the spike patterns before and after being treated by a shuffling method. In this way, we can understand how the change of pattern statistics may cause the change of efficacy variability. Our results are consistent with those of our previous study which implements spike-generating models on converging motifs. We also find that burstiness/regularity is important to determine the efficacy variability under asynchronous states, while heterogeneity of cross-correlations is the main factor to cause efficacy variability when the network moves into synchronous bursting states (the states observed in epilepsy.

  4. PUBLIC EDUCATION AND ECONOMIC COMPETITIVENESS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gabriel-Andrei Donici

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available There is a certain connection between education and economic competitiveness. The relation between these two concepts is easy to intuit. On the medium and long term investments in education generate astrong increase in a country’s level of economic competitiveness. Through education the human capital is formed, and it affects all economic fields. Therefore we can observe that human capital has a decisive influence on the economic competitiveness of a country.

  5. CONCEPTUAL APPROACH OF COMPETITIVENESS AND INTERDEPENDENCE BETWEEN COMPETITION AND COMPETITIVENESS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tatiana GUTIUM

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available This article is devoted to analysis of interdependence and correlation between competition and competitiveness, and competition’s consequences. The author analysed some authors’ visions on competitiveness, and common features between theories of competition and competitiveness. Using the synthetic indicator elaborated by author has been evaluated the competitiveness of domestic goods on the internal and external market. At the end of this article, the author has developed proposals to increase competitiveness.

  6. Prevention of Synaptic Alterations and Neurotoxic Effects of PAMAM Dendrimers by Surface Functionalization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Felipe Vidal

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available One of the most studied nanocarriers for drug delivery are polyamidoamine (PAMAM dendrimers. However, the alterations produced by PAMAM dendrimers in neuronal function have not been thoroughly investigated, and important aspects such as effects on synaptic transmission remain unexplored. We focused on the neuronal activity disruption induced by dendrimers and the possibility to prevent these effects by surface chemical modifications. Therefore, we studied the effects of fourth generation PAMAM with unmodified positively charged surface (G4 in hippocampal neurons, and compared the results with dendrimers functionalized in 25% of their surface groups with folate (PFO25 and polyethylene glycol (PPEG25. G4 dendrimers significantly reduced cell viability at 1 µM, which was attenuated by both chemical modifications, PPEG25 being the less cytotoxic. Patch clamp recordings demonstrated that G4 induced a 7.5-fold increment in capacitive currents as a measure of membrane permeability. Moreover, treatment with this dendrimer increased intracellular Ca2+ by 8-fold with a complete disruption of transients pattern, having as consequence that G4 treatment increased the synaptic vesicle release and frequency of synaptic events by 2.4- and 3-fold, respectively. PFO25 and PPEG25 treatments did not alter membrane permeability, total Ca2+ intake, synaptic vesicle release or synaptic activity frequency. These results demonstrate that cationic G4 dendrimers have neurotoxic effects and induce alterations in normal synaptic activity, which are generated by the augmentation of membrane permeability and a subsequent intracellular Ca2+ increase. Interestingly, these toxic effects and synaptic alterations are prevented by the modification of 25% of PAMAM surface with either folate or polyethylene glycol.

  7. COMPETITION AS MARKET MECHANISM

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. Ya. Kazhuro

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The essence of a competition as an objective law for development of the commodities production based on private ownership of the means of production and commodity exchange has been revealed in the paper. The paper presents an economic basis of market economy (private ownership which generates a corresponding production objective. Such purpose is a maximization of profit and a minimization of market subject expenses. Therefore, a struggle for the most favourable conditions on commodity production and sales is inevitable in such situation. The struggle is considered in the community with developed market economy as a competition.The competition is regarded not as an exogenic factor exerting its influence on market economic system from the outside, but as an objective phenomenon which is inherent to management market system in itself. Such treatment is substantiated by economic disintegration of individual commodity producers. Being an important engine of market economy, the competition does not establish its laws, and its role is to be an executive of data which are internally inherent in commodity production laws and firstly it concerns a profit maximization law which defines a purpose and guiding motif of economic entities in the given economy.The competition plays a contradictory role under conditions of market economy. On the one hand, it makes manufacturers constantly to aspire to expense reduction for the sake of profit increase. This has resulted in labour productivity increase, production cost decrease and a company receives an opportunity to reduce retail price for its products. Consequently, the competition acts as a potential factor for lowering of prices while increasing production efficiency. On the other hand, sellers have more freedom in price fixing under conditions of imperfect competition as they sell their products under the conditions of a monopolistic competition or an oligopoly. This is the main weakest point of the market

  8. Ensemble stacking mitigates biases in inference of synaptic connectivity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brendan Chambers

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available A promising alternative to directly measuring the anatomical connections in a neuronal population is inferring the connections from the activity. We employ simulated spiking neuronal networks to compare and contrast commonly used inference methods that identify likely excitatory synaptic connections using statistical regularities in spike timing. We find that simple adjustments to standard algorithms improve inference accuracy: A signing procedure improves the power of unsigned mutual-information-based approaches and a correction that accounts for differences in mean and variance of background timing relationships, such as those expected to be induced by heterogeneous firing rates, increases the sensitivity of frequency-based methods. We also find that different inference methods reveal distinct subsets of the synaptic network and each method exhibits different biases in the accurate detection of reciprocity and local clustering. To correct for errors and biases specific to single inference algorithms, we combine methods into an ensemble. Ensemble predictions, generated as a linear combination of multiple inference algorithms, are more sensitive than the best individual measures alone, and are more faithful to ground-truth statistics of connectivity, mitigating biases specific to single inference methods. These weightings generalize across simulated datasets, emphasizing the potential for the broad utility of ensemble-based approaches. Mapping the routing of spikes through local circuitry is crucial for understanding neocortical computation. Under appropriate experimental conditions, these maps can be used to infer likely patterns of synaptic recruitment, linking activity to underlying anatomical connections. Such inferences help to reveal the synaptic implementation of population dynamics and computation. We compare a number of standard functional measures to infer underlying connectivity. We find that regularization impacts measures

  9. Diacylglycerol kinases in the coordination of synaptic plasticity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dongwon Lee

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Synaptic plasticity is activity-dependent modification of the efficacy of synaptic transmission. Although detailed mechanisms underlying synaptic plasticity are diverse and vary at different types of synapses, diacylglycerol (DAG-associated signaling has been considered as an important regulator of many forms of synaptic plasticity, including long-term potentiation (LTP and long-term depression (LTD. Recent evidence indicate that DAG kinases (DGKs, which phosphorylate DAG to phosphatidic acid to terminate DAG signaling, are important regulators of LTP and LTD, as supported by the results from mice lacking specific DGK isoforms. This review will summarize these studies and discuss how specific DGK isoforms distinctly regulate different forms of synaptic plasticity at pre- and postsynaptic sites. In addition, we propose a general role of DGKs as coordinators of synaptic plasticity that make local synaptic environments more permissive for synaptic plasticity by regulating DAG concentration and interacting with other synaptic proteins.

  10. Metabolic Turnover of Synaptic Proteins: Kinetics, Interdependencies and Implications for Synaptic Maintenance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, Laurie D.; Zuchman, Rina; Sorokina, Oksana; Müller, Anke; Dieterich, Daniela C.; Armstrong, J. Douglas; Ziv, Tamar; Ziv, Noam E.

    2013-01-01

    Chemical synapses contain multitudes of proteins, which in common with all proteins, have finite lifetimes and therefore need to be continuously replaced. Given the huge numbers of synaptic connections typical neurons form, the demand to maintain the protein contents of these connections might be expected to place considerable metabolic demands on each neuron. Moreover, synaptic proteostasis might differ according to distance from global protein synthesis sites, the availability of distributed protein synthesis facilities, trafficking rates and synaptic protein dynamics. To date, the turnover kinetics of synaptic proteins have not been studied or analyzed systematically, and thus metabolic demands or the aforementioned relationships remain largely unknown. In the current study we used dynamic Stable Isotope Labeling with Amino acids in Cell culture (SILAC), mass spectrometry (MS), Fluorescent Non–Canonical Amino acid Tagging (FUNCAT), quantitative immunohistochemistry and bioinformatics to systematically measure the metabolic half-lives of hundreds of synaptic proteins, examine how these depend on their pre/postsynaptic affiliation or their association with particular molecular complexes, and assess the metabolic load of synaptic proteostasis. We found that nearly all synaptic proteins identified here exhibited half-lifetimes in the range of 2–5 days. Unexpectedly, metabolic turnover rates were not significantly different for presynaptic and postsynaptic proteins, or for proteins for which mRNAs are consistently found in dendrites. Some functionally or structurally related proteins exhibited very similar turnover rates, indicating that their biogenesis and degradation might be coupled, a possibility further supported by bioinformatics-based analyses. The relatively low turnover rates measured here (∼0.7% of synaptic protein content per hour) are in good agreement with imaging-based studies of synaptic protein trafficking, yet indicate that the metabolic load

  11. The St-Laurent-des-Eaux nuclear power plant, at the service of a safe, competitive and CO2-free power generation in the heart of the Centre region

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2010-01-01

    In less than 20 years, Electricite de France (EDF) has built up a competitive park of 58 nuclear power plants, with no equivalent elsewhere, which represents an installed power of 63.1 GW (85% of EDF's power generation). Inside this nuclear park, the national power generation centre of St-Laurent-des-Eaux comprises two production units of 900 MW each (1800 MW as a whole). The facility generated 12.4 billion kWh in 2009, i.e. 2.5% of the French national power generation and 71% of the energy consumed in the Centre region. This brochure presents the life of the power plant under various aspects: power generation, safety priority and culture, maintenance investments, respect of the environment, long-term fuel and wastes management, local economical involvement, transparency and public information, key figures and dates. (J.S.)

  12. The Cruas-Meysse nuclear power plant, at the service of a safe, competitive and CO2-free power generation in the heart of the Rhone-Alpes region

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2010-01-01

    In less than 20 years, Electricite de France (EDF) has built up a competitive park of 58 nuclear power plants, with no equivalent elsewhere, which represents an installed power of 63.1 GW (85% of EDF's power generation). Inside this nuclear park, the national power generation centre of Cruas-Meysse comprises 4 production units of 900 MW each (3600 MW as a whole). The facility generated 23.587 billion kWh in 2009, i.e. 5% of the French national power generation and 40% of the energy consumed in the Rhone-Alpes region. This brochure presents the life of the power plant under various aspects: power generation, safety priority and culture, maintenance investments, respect of the environment, long-term fuel and wastes management, local economical involvement, transparency and public information, key figures and dates. (J.S.)

  13. The Nogent-sur-Seine nuclear power plant, at the service of a safe, competitive and CO2-free power generation in the heart of the Champagne-Ardenne region

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2010-01-01

    In less than 20 years, Electricite de France (EDF) has built up a competitive park of 58 nuclear power plants, with no equivalent elsewhere, which represents an installed power of 63.1 GW (85% of EDF's power generation). Inside this nuclear park, the national power generation centre of Nogent-sur-Seine comprises two production units of 1300 MW each (2600 MW as a whole). The facility generated 14.35 billion kWh in 2009, i.e. 2.8% of the French national power generation and about 1.5 times the energy consumed in the Champagne-Ardenne region. This brochure presents the life of the power plant under various aspects: power generation, safety priority and culture, maintenance investments, respect of the environment, long-term fuel and wastes management, local economical involvement, transparency and public information, key figures and dates. (J.S.)

  14. Competitive strategy for providers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hackett, M C

    1996-01-01

    National Health Service (NHS) Trusts are struggling to determine a long-term strategic direction for their organizations in response to the competitive pressures generated by the NHS reforms. The development of long-term strategic direction and the methods to implement this are presenting real challenges to the Trusts which have inherited service configurations based on bureaucratic planning frameworks rather than service configurations suited to a more competitive environment. Examines the strategic choices available to these organizations; explores the importance of identifying positive strategic choices; and discusses the advantages and disadvantages in the context of the NHS internal market.

  15. Case competitions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schjoldager, Anne Gram

    2009-01-01

    The paper presents and discusses a teaching project with case competitions for MA students of specialised translation at the Aarhus School of Business, Aarhus University. Drawing on a series of online questionnaires, the paper ascertains how the project was evaluated by the participating students...

  16. EDITORIAL: Physics competitions Physics competitions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jordens, H.; Mathelitsch, L.

    2009-11-01

    1. Physics competitions: aims and realizations One aim of physics competitions is to increase the interest of young students, primarily at upper secondary level, to physics and natural sciences in general. A competition has motivational aspects known usually from sports events or games—comparing one's own ability with others, of course with the desire to be better and to win. If competitions reach nationwide and even international levels, additional stimulation is created. Competitions provide greatest attraction to possible winners, to the group of gifted people in a particular field. This implies that science contests are excellent tools for the promotion of talented students. Traditional teaching has been shown to have problems in supporting this group of students. Very often teachers are overstretched with the demands of teaching both low- and high-level students. Extracurricular activities are therefore a good chance to relieve the teacher, and to give talented students the opportunity for appropriate training and challenge. The competitions, however, have a broader impact and address more young people than one might guess from the statements above. Training courses and selection at school level give a larger group of students extra and, to some extent, complimentary education in physics. The degree of complexity of the tasks corresponds very often to the standards of the next level of education in the school system. Interestingly, many physics competitions have their origin in countries beyond the former Iron Curtain. They started as regional and national tournaments, were joined by neighbouring countries and have grown, in some cases, to events with participants from more than 80 countries. Although the features mentioned above are common to the different competitions, there are distinct differences between them [1]. The International Physics Olympiad (IPhO) is the oldest international physics competition for students at upper secondary level [2]. It dates

  17. Synaptic Correlates of Working Memory Capacity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mi, Yuanyuan; Katkov, Mikhail; Tsodyks, Misha

    2017-01-18

    Psychological studies indicate that human ability to keep information in readily accessible working memory is limited to four items for most people. This extremely low capacity severely limits execution of many cognitive tasks, but its neuronal underpinnings remain unclear. Here we show that in the framework of synaptic theory of working memory, capacity can be analytically estimated to scale with characteristic time of short-term synaptic depression relative to synaptic current time constant. The number of items in working memory can be regulated by external excitation, enabling the system to be tuned to the desired load and to clear the working memory of currently held items to make room for new ones. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. The Corticohippocampal Circuit, Synaptic Plasticity, and Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Basu, Jayeeta; Siegelbaum, Steven A.

    2015-01-01

    Synaptic plasticity serves as a cellular substrate for information storage in the central nervous system. The entorhinal cortex (EC) and hippocampus are interconnected brain areas supporting basic cognitive functions important for the formation and retrieval of declarative memories. Here, we discuss how information flow in the EC–hippocampal loop is organized through circuit design. We highlight recently identified corticohippocampal and intrahippocampal connections and how these long-range and local microcircuits contribute to learning. This review also describes various forms of activity-dependent mechanisms that change the strength of corticohippocampal synaptic transmission. A key point to emerge from these studies is that patterned activity and interaction of coincident inputs gives rise to associational plasticity and long-term regulation of information flow. Finally, we offer insights about how learning-related synaptic plasticity within the corticohippocampal circuit during sensory experiences may enable adaptive behaviors for encoding spatial, episodic, social, and contextual memories. PMID:26525152

  19. Electric Dipole Theory of Chemical Synaptic Transmission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Ling Y.

    1968-01-01

    In this paper we propose that chemicals such as acetylcholine are electric dipoles which when oriented and arranged in a large array could produce an electric field strong enough to drive positive ions over the junction barrier of the post-synaptic membrane and thus initiate excitation or produce depolarization. This theory is able to explain a great number of facts such as cleft size, synaptic delay, nonregeneration, subthreshold integration, facilitation with repetition, and the calcium and magnesium effects. It also shows why and how acetylcholine could act as excitatory or inhibitory transmitters under different circumstances. Our conclusion is that the nature of synaptic transmission is essentially electrical, be it mediated by electrical or chemical transmitters. PMID:4296121

  20. Astroglial Metabolic Networks Sustain Hippocampal Synaptic Transmission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rouach, Nathalie; Koulakoff, Annette; Abudara, Veronica; Willecke, Klaus; Giaume, Christian

    2008-12-01

    Astrocytes provide metabolic substrates to neurons in an activity-dependent manner. However, the molecular mechanisms involved in this function, as well as its role in synaptic transmission, remain unclear. Here, we show that the gap-junction subunit proteins connexin 43 and 30 allow intercellular trafficking of glucose and its metabolites through astroglial networks. This trafficking is regulated by glutamatergic synaptic activity mediated by AMPA receptors. In the absence of extracellular glucose, the delivery of glucose or lactate to astrocytes sustains glutamatergic synaptic transmission and epileptiform activity only when they are connected by gap junctions. These results indicate that astroglial gap junctions provide an activity-dependent intercellular pathway for the delivery of energetic metabolites from blood vessels to distal neurons.

  1. Astroglial metabolic networks sustain hippocampal synaptic transmission.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rouach, Nathalie; Koulakoff, Annette; Abudara, Veronica; Willecke, Klaus; Giaume, Christian

    2008-12-05

    Astrocytes provide metabolic substrates to neurons in an activity-dependent manner. However, the molecular mechanisms involved in this function, as well as its role in synaptic transmission, remain unclear. Here, we show that the gap-junction subunit proteins connexin 43 and 30 allow intercellular trafficking of glucose and its metabolites through astroglial networks. This trafficking is regulated by glutamatergic synaptic activity mediated by AMPA receptors. In the absence of extracellular glucose, the delivery of glucose or lactate to astrocytes sustains glutamatergic synaptic transmission and epileptiform activity only when they are connected by gap junctions. These results indicate that astroglial gap junctions provide an activity-dependent intercellular pathway for the delivery of energetic metabolites from blood vessels to distal neurons.

  2. Synaptic Vesicle Endocytosis in Different Model Systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Quan Gan

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available Neurotransmission in complex animals depends on a choir of functionally distinct synapses releasing neurotransmitters in a highly coordinated manner. During synaptic signaling, vesicles fuse with the plasma membrane to release their contents. The rate of vesicle fusion is high and can exceed the rate at which synaptic vesicles can be re-supplied by distant sources. Thus, local compensatory endocytosis is needed to replenish the synaptic vesicle pools. Over the last four decades, various experimental methods and model systems have been used to study the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying synaptic vesicle cycle. Clathrin-mediated endocytosis is thought to be the predominant mechanism for synaptic vesicle recycling. However, recent studies suggest significant contribution from other modes of endocytosis, including fast compensatory endocytosis, activity-dependent bulk endocytosis, ultrafast endocytosis, as well as kiss-and-run. Currently, it is not clear whether a universal model of vesicle recycling exist for all types of synapses. It is possible that each synapse type employs a particular mode of endocytosis. Alternatively, multiple modes of endocytosis operate at the same synapse, and the synapse toggles between different modes depending on its activity level. Here we compile review and research articles based on well-characterized model systems: frog neuromuscular junctions, C. elegans neuromuscular junctions, Drosophila neuromuscular junctions, lamprey reticulospinal giant axons, goldfish retinal ribbon synapses, the calyx of Held, and rodent hippocampal synapses. We will compare these systems in terms of their known modes and kinetics of synaptic vesicle endocytosis, as well as the underlying molecular machineries. We will also provide the future development of this field.

  3. Marketing mix and competitiveness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anđelković Slobodan

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available Competitiveness cannot simply be viewed as a country's ability to export or generate trade surpluses, since these can be brought about at least temporarily by means of artificially lowering the exchange rate and/or compressing domestic expenditures, as has been done in recent years by many DC that have tried to adjust to diminished resource availability. Authors standpoint is that international competitiveness requires creating comparative advantage where it does not exist, and requires action on several levels including an emerging consensus on the importance of macroeconomic policy, role and accountability of the government as well as the imperative of developing and internalizing technology body of knowledge for achieving competitiveness. Particular attention is given to the role and impact of marketing instruments marketing mix.

  4. Feedforward inhibition and synaptic scaling--two sides of the same coin?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Keck

    Full Text Available Feedforward inhibition and synaptic scaling are important adaptive processes that control the total input a neuron can receive from its afferents. While often studied in isolation, the two have been reported to co-occur in various brain regions. The functional implications of their interactions remain unclear, however. Based on a probabilistic modeling approach, we show here that fast feedforward inhibition and synaptic scaling interact synergistically during unsupervised learning. In technical terms, we model the input to a neural circuit using a normalized mixture model with Poisson noise. We demonstrate analytically and numerically that, in the presence of lateral inhibition introducing competition between different neurons, Hebbian plasticity and synaptic scaling approximate the optimal maximum likelihood solutions for this model. Our results suggest that, beyond its conventional use as a mechanism to remove undesired pattern variations, input normalization can make typical neural interaction and learning rules optimal on the stimulus subspace defined through feedforward inhibition. Furthermore, learning within this subspace is more efficient in practice, as it helps avoid locally optimal solutions. Our results suggest a close connection between feedforward inhibition and synaptic scaling which may have important functional implications for general cortical processing.

  5. Feedforward inhibition and synaptic scaling--two sides of the same coin?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keck, Christian; Savin, Cristina; Lücke, Jörg

    2012-01-01

    Feedforward inhibition and synaptic scaling are important adaptive processes that control the total input a neuron can receive from its afferents. While often studied in isolation, the two have been reported to co-occur in various brain regions. The functional implications of their interactions remain unclear, however. Based on a probabilistic modeling approach, we show here that fast feedforward inhibition and synaptic scaling interact synergistically during unsupervised learning. In technical terms, we model the input to a neural circuit using a normalized mixture model with Poisson noise. We demonstrate analytically and numerically that, in the presence of lateral inhibition introducing competition between different neurons, Hebbian plasticity and synaptic scaling approximate the optimal maximum likelihood solutions for this model. Our results suggest that, beyond its conventional use as a mechanism to remove undesired pattern variations, input normalization can make typical neural interaction and learning rules optimal on the stimulus subspace defined through feedforward inhibition. Furthermore, learning within this subspace is more efficient in practice, as it helps avoid locally optimal solutions. Our results suggest a close connection between feedforward inhibition and synaptic scaling which may have important functional implications for general cortical processing.

  6. Feedforward Inhibition and Synaptic Scaling – Two Sides of the Same Coin?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lücke, Jörg

    2012-01-01

    Feedforward inhibition and synaptic scaling are important adaptive processes that control the total input a neuron can receive from its afferents. While often studied in isolation, the two have been reported to co-occur in various brain regions. The functional implications of their interactions remain unclear, however. Based on a probabilistic modeling approach, we show here that fast feedforward inhibition and synaptic scaling interact synergistically during unsupervised learning. In technical terms, we model the input to a neural circuit using a normalized mixture model with Poisson noise. We demonstrate analytically and numerically that, in the presence of lateral inhibition introducing competition between different neurons, Hebbian plasticity and synaptic scaling approximate the optimal maximum likelihood solutions for this model. Our results suggest that, beyond its conventional use as a mechanism to remove undesired pattern variations, input normalization can make typical neural interaction and learning rules optimal on the stimulus subspace defined through feedforward inhibition. Furthermore, learning within this subspace is more efficient in practice, as it helps avoid locally optimal solutions. Our results suggest a close connection between feedforward inhibition and synaptic scaling which may have important functional implications for general cortical processing. PMID:22457610

  7. EDITORIAL: Physics competitions Physics competitions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jordens, H.; Mathelitsch, L.

    2010-07-01

    This editorial opens the second special section on physics competitions in European Journal of Physics. In the first section last year, we asked for feedback on the idea of such a section and on the content of the articles. We received no answer whatsoever, which can be interpreted in two ways: the section is not interesting enough to raise motivation for feedback, or the reader is satisfied. Having no indication which scenario is the correct one, we are optimistic and favour the second. The section at hand contains three articles. Again, as last year, the organizer of the annual Olympiad reports on tasks and outcomes of this competition. The Olympiad took place in Merida, Mexico, and was by far the largest event with 316 contestants from 68 countries. Again, the predominance of Asian/Chinese students was manifest, showing how serious the training is taken by both their authorities and students. Unfortunately, the winners of the last International Young Physicists' Tournament (IYPT), the team from Korea, did not accept the offer to report on their prize-winning contribution. We are thankful that two students from Austria, who achieved second place with their team, took over and reported on the task which they presented in the finals of the competition. It connects the fields of sport and physics and explains a special move in skateboarding. The third contribution introduces a different competition, 'International Conference of Young Scientists'. On one hand, as in the Olympiad, it addresses individuals, not teams. On the other, as in the IYPT, students have several months to prepare and also the quality of the presentation is an important element of the judgment. In fact, this competition comes closer to real scientific research compared to the other events. Finally and again, we hope that this section will serve several purposes: To show the competitions as a very important tool in the support of gifted students. To raise awareness amongst university teachers, and

  8. Logo competition

    CERN Multimedia

    Staff Association

    2013-01-01

    Award of the prizes The price ceremony for the Staff Association’s new logo competition which took place on Friday 1st March at 5 p.m. was a big success. The first prize, an Ezee Suisse electric bike, was won by Paulo Rios, from Portugal. In his absence, the bike was handed to his brother Vitor. The other five winners of the competition also received their prize: Go Sport vouchers. A peize draw was then organized to award 22 other participants with prizes offered by our commercial partners (Aquaparc, BCGE, L’Occitane, Passeport Gourmand, Sephora, Theater La Comédie de Genève), whom we would like to warmly thank. After all prices were distributed the evening continued with discussions around a friendly drink.

  9. RNA-Dependent Intergenerational Inheritance of Enhanced Synaptic Plasticity after Environmental Enrichment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benito, Eva; Kerimoglu, Cemil; Ramachandran, Binu; Pena-Centeno, Tonatiuh; Jain, Gaurav; Stilling, Roman Manuel; Islam, Md Rezaul; Capece, Vincenzo; Zhou, Qihui; Edbauer, Dieter; Dean, Camin; Fischer, André

    2018-04-10

    Physical exercise in combination with cognitive training is known to enhance synaptic plasticity, learning, and memory and lower the risk for various complex diseases including Alzheimer's disease. Here, we show that exposure of adult male mice to an environmental enrichment paradigm leads to enhancement of synaptic plasticity and cognition also in the next generation. We show that this effect is mediated through sperm RNA and especially miRs 212/132. In conclusion, our study reports intergenerational inheritance of an acquired cognitive benefit and points to specific miRs as candidates mechanistically involved in this type of transmission. Copyright © 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Competitive Framing

    OpenAIRE

    Ran Spiegler

    2014-01-01

    I present a simple framework for modeling two-firm market competition when consumer choice is "frame-dependent", and firms use costless "marketing messages" to influence the consumer's frame. This framework embeds several recent models in the "behavioral industrial organization" literature. I identify a property that consumer choice may satisfy, which extends the concept of Weighted Regularity due to Piccione and Spiegler (2012), and provide a characterization of Nash equilibria under this pr...

  11. Flexible Proton-Gated Oxide Synaptic Transistors on Si Membrane.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Li Qiang; Wan, Chang Jin; Gao, Ping Qi; Liu, Yang Hui; Xiao, Hui; Ye, Ji Chun; Wan, Qing

    2016-08-24

    Ion-conducting materials have received considerable attention for their applications in fuel cells, electrochemical devices, and sensors. Here, flexible indium zinc oxide (InZnO) synaptic transistors with multiple presynaptic inputs gated by proton-conducting phosphorosilicate glass-based electrolyte films are fabricated on ultrathin Si membranes. Transient characteristics of the proton gated InZnO synaptic transistors are investigated, indicating stable proton-gating behaviors. Short-term synaptic plasticities are mimicked on the proposed proton-gated synaptic transistors. Furthermore, synaptic integration regulations are mimicked on the proposed synaptic transistor networks. Spiking logic modulations are realized based on the transition between superlinear and sublinear synaptic integration. The multigates coupled flexible proton-gated oxide synaptic transistors may be interesting for neuroinspired platforms with sophisticated spatiotemporal information processing.

  12. Synaptic network activity induces neuronal differentiation of adult hippocampal precursor cells through BDNF signaling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Harish Babu

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Adult hippocampal neurogenesis is regulated by activity. But how do neural precursor cells in the hippocampus respond to surrounding network activity and translate increased neural activity into a developmental program? Here we show that long-term potential (LTP-like synaptic activity within a cellular network of mature hippocampal neurons promotes neuronal differentiation of newly generated cells. In co-cultures of precursor cells with primary hippocampal neurons, LTP-like synaptic plasticity induced by addition of glycine in Mg2+-free media for 5 min, produced synchronous network activity and subsequently increased synaptic strength between neurons. Furthermore, this synchronous network activity led to a significant increase in neuronal differentiation from the co-cultured neural precursor cells. When applied directly to precursor cells, glycine and Mg2+-free solution did not induce neuronal differentiation. Synaptic plasticity-induced neuronal differentiation of precursor cells was observed in the presence of GABAergic neurotransmission blockers but was dependent on NMDA-mediated Ca2+ influx. Most importantly, neuronal differentiation required the release of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF from the underlying substrate hippocampal neurons as well as TrkB receptor phosphorylation in precursor cells. This suggests that activity-dependent stem cell differentiation within the hippocampal network is mediated via synaptically evoked BDNF signaling.

  13. Survival motor neuron protein in motor neurons determines synaptic integrity in spinal muscular atrophy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinez, Tara L; Kong, Lingling; Wang, Xueyong; Osborne, Melissa A; Crowder, Melissa E; Van Meerbeke, James P; Xu, Xixi; Davis, Crystal; Wooley, Joe; Goldhamer, David J; Lutz, Cathleen M; Rich, Mark M; Sumner, Charlotte J

    2012-06-20

    The inherited motor neuron disease spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is caused by deficient expression of survival motor neuron (SMN) protein and results in severe muscle weakness. In SMA mice, synaptic dysfunction of both neuromuscular junctions (NMJs) and central sensorimotor synapses precedes motor neuron cell death. To address whether this synaptic dysfunction is due to SMN deficiency in motor neurons, muscle, or both, we generated three lines of conditional SMA mice with tissue-specific increases in SMN expression. All three lines of mice showed increased survival, weights, and improved motor behavior. While increased SMN expression in motor neurons prevented synaptic dysfunction at the NMJ and restored motor neuron somal synapses, increased SMN expression in muscle did not affect synaptic function although it did improve myofiber size. Together these data indicate that both peripheral and central synaptic integrity are dependent on motor neurons in SMA, but SMN may have variable roles in the maintenance of these different synapses. At the NMJ, it functions at the presynaptic terminal in a cell-autonomous fashion, but may be necessary for retrograde trophic signaling to presynaptic inputs onto motor neurons. Importantly, SMN also appears to function in muscle growth and/or maintenance independent of motor neurons. Our data suggest that SMN plays distinct roles in muscle, NMJs, and motor neuron somal synapses and that restored function of SMN at all three sites will be necessary for full recovery of muscle power.

  14. Stress-triggered synaptic malfunction: a gate along the path from depression to dementia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ioannis Sotiropoulos

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Clinical and experimental studies suggest a causal role of chronic stress for brain pathology and diseases e.g. depression and Alzheimer´s disease (AD as stress is strongly associated with neuronal and synaptic atrophy/loss resulting in impaired mood and/or cognition. Indeed, synaptic loss is a key underlying pathomechanism in both disorders while growing clinical evidence supports a pathological link between depression and AD pointing to shared neurobiological underpinnings and pathogenic mechanisms e.g. AD-related mechanisms, such as APP misprocessing, are also found to be affected in depression while depression predisposes individuals to develop AD. Based on the above, our studies have been conceived to contribute towards bridging the current gap monitoring AD-related mechanisms in the CMS (chronic mild stress animal model of depression before and after antidepressant treatment. We found that depressive status in these animals was accompanied by increased APP misprocessing and tau accumulation as well as neuronal atrophy in hippocampus and prefrontal cortex. Interestingly, antidepressant treatment with two different antidepressants reversed both biochemical and synaptic changes. Furthermore, we demonstrate the blockage of stress-triggered depressive behavior and neuronal/synaptic atrophy in animals lacking APP misprocessing and amyloid beta generation, further supporting the involvement of APP misprocessing in depressive pathology and behavior. Thus, this study forms the first in vivo approach to clarify the involvement of AD-related APP misprocessing on stress-driven synaptic pathology underlying depressive pathology.

  15. Artificial Synaptic Devices Based on Natural Chicken Albumen Coupled Electric-Double-Layer Transistors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Guodong; Feng, Ping; Wan, Xiang; Zhu, Liqiang; Shi, Yi; Wan, Qing

    2016-03-24

    Recent progress in using biomaterials to fabricate functional electronics has got growing attention for the new generation of environmentally friendly and biocompatible electronic devices. As a kind of biological material with rich source, proteins are essential natural component of all organisms. At the same time, artificial synaptic devices are of great significance for neuromorphic systems because they can emulate the signal process and memory behaviors of biological synapses. In this report, natural chicken albumen with high proton conductivity was used as the coupling electrolyte film for organic/inorganic hybrid synaptic devices fabrication. Some important synaptic functions including paired-pulse facilitation, dynamic filtering, short-term to long-term memory transition and spatial summation and shunting inhibition were successfully mimicked. Our results are very interesting for biological friendly artificial neuron networks and neuromorphic systems.

  16. Plasticity of Hippocampal Excitatory-Inhibitory Balance: Missing the Synaptic Control in the Epileptic Brain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Bonansco

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Synaptic plasticity is the capacity generated by experience to modify the neural function and, thereby, adapt our behaviour. Long-term plasticity of glutamatergic and GABAergic transmission occurs in a concerted manner, finely adjusting the excitatory-inhibitory (E/I balance. Imbalances of E/I function are related to several neurological diseases including epilepsy. Several evidences have demonstrated that astrocytes are able to control the synaptic plasticity, with astrocytes being active partners in synaptic physiology and E/I balance. Here, we revise molecular evidences showing the epileptic stage as an abnormal form of long-term brain plasticity and propose the possible participation of astrocytes to the abnormal increase of glutamatergic and decrease of GABAergic neurotransmission in epileptic networks.

  17. Interaural Level Difference Dependent Gain Control and Synaptic Scaling Underlying Binaural Computation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiong, Xiaorui R.; Liang, Feixue; Li, Haifu; Mesik, Lukas; Zhang, Ke K.; Polley, Daniel B.; Tao, Huizhong W.; Xiao, Zhongju; Zhang, Li I.

    2013-01-01

    Binaural integration in the central nucleus of inferior colliculus (ICC) plays a critical role in sound localization. However, its arithmetic nature and underlying synaptic mechanisms remain unclear. Here, we showed in mouse ICC neurons that the contralateral dominance is created by a “push-pull”-like mechanism, with contralaterally dominant excitation and more bilaterally balanced inhibition. Importantly, binaural spiking response is generated apparently from an ipsilaterally-mediated scaling of contralateral response, leaving frequency tuning unchanged. This scaling effect is attributed to a divisive attenuation of contralaterally-evoked synaptic excitation onto ICC neurons with their inhibition largely unaffected. Thus, a gain control mediates the linear transformation from monaural to binaural spike responses. The gain value is modulated by interaural level difference (ILD) primarily through scaling excitation to different levels. The ILD-dependent synaptic scaling and gain adjustment allow ICC neurons to dynamically encode interaural sound localization cues while maintaining an invariant representation of other independent sound attributes. PMID:23972599

  18. Artificial Synaptic Devices Based on Natural Chicken Albumen Coupled Electric-Double-Layer Transistors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Guodong; Feng, Ping; Wan, Xiang; Zhu, Liqiang; Shi, Yi; Wan, Qing

    2016-03-01

    Recent progress in using biomaterials to fabricate functional electronics has got growing attention for the new generation of environmentally friendly and biocompatible electronic devices. As a kind of biological material with rich source, proteins are essential natural component of all organisms. At the same time, artificial synaptic devices are of great significance for neuromorphic systems because they can emulate the signal process and memory behaviors of biological synapses. In this report, natural chicken albumen with high proton conductivity was used as the coupling electrolyte film for organic/inorganic hybrid synaptic devices fabrication. Some important synaptic functions including paired-pulse facilitation, dynamic filtering, short-term to long-term memory transition and spatial summation and shunting inhibition were successfully mimicked. Our results are very interesting for biological friendly artificial neuron networks and neuromorphic systems.

  19. Synaptic ribbon. Conveyor belt or safety belt?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parsons, T D; Sterling, P

    2003-02-06

    The synaptic ribbon in neurons that release transmitter via graded potentials has been considered as a conveyor belt that actively moves vesicles toward their release sites. But evidence has accumulated to the contrary, and it now seems plausible that the ribbon serves instead as a safety belt to tether vesicles stably in mutual contact and thus facilitate multivesicular release by compound exocytosis.

  20. P2X Receptors and Synaptic Plasticity

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Pankratov, Y.; Lalo, U.; Krishtal, A.; Verkhratsky, Alexei

    2009-01-01

    Roč. 158, č. 1 (2009), s. 137-148 ISSN 0306-4522 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50390512 Keywords : ATP * P2X receptors * synaptic plasticity Subject RIV: FH - Neurology Impact factor: 3.292, year: 2009

  1. Synaptic plasticity and the warburg effect

    KAUST Repository

    Magistretti, Pierre J.

    2014-01-01

    Functional brain imaging studies show that in certain brain regions glucose utilization exceeds oxygen consumption, indicating the predominance of aerobic glycolysis. In this issue, Goyal et al. (2014) report that this metabolic profile is associated with an enrichment in the expression of genes involved in synaptic plasticity and remodeling processes. © 2014 Elsevier Inc.

  2. Neuronal cytoskeleton in synaptic plasticity and regeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gordon-Weeks, Phillip R; Fournier, Alyson E

    2014-04-01

    During development, dynamic changes in the axonal growth cone and dendrite are necessary for exploratory movements underlying initial axo-dendritic contact and ultimately the formation of a functional synapse. In the adult central nervous system, an impressive degree of plasticity is retained through morphological and molecular rearrangements in the pre- and post-synaptic compartments that underlie the strengthening or weakening of synaptic pathways. Plasticity is regulated by the interplay of permissive and inhibitory extracellular cues, which signal through receptors at the synapse to regulate the closure of critical periods of developmental plasticity as well as by acute changes in plasticity in response to experience and activity in the adult. The molecular underpinnings of synaptic plasticity are actively studied and it is clear that the cytoskeleton is a key substrate for many cues that affect plasticity. Many of the cues that restrict synaptic plasticity exhibit residual activity in the injured adult CNS and restrict regenerative growth by targeting the cytoskeleton. Here, we review some of the latest insights into how cytoskeletal remodeling affects neuronal plasticity and discuss how the cytoskeleton is being targeted in an effort to promote plasticity and repair following traumatic injury in the central nervous system. © 2013 International Society for Neurochemistry.

  3. Synaptic remodeling, synaptic growth and the storage of long-term memory in Aplysia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bailey, Craig H; Kandel, Eric R

    2008-01-01

    Synaptic remodeling and synaptic growth accompany various forms of long-term memory. Storage of the long-term memory for sensitization of the gill-withdrawal reflex in Aplysia has been extensively studied in this respect and is associated with the growth of new synapses by the sensory neurons onto their postsynaptic target neurons. Recent time-lapse imaging studies of living sensory-to-motor neuron synapses in culture have monitored both functional and structural changes simultaneously so as to follow remodeling and growth at the same specific synaptic connections continuously over time and to examine the functional contribution of these learning-related structural changes to the different time-dependent phases of memory storage. Insights provided by these studies suggest the synaptic differentiation and growth induced by learning in the mature nervous system are highly dynamic and often rapid processes that can recruit both molecules and mechanisms used for de novo synapse formation during development.

  4. A light-stimulated synaptic transistor with synaptic plasticity and memory functions based on InGaZnO{sub x}–Al{sub 2}O{sub 3} thin film structure

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Li, H. K.; Chen, T. P., E-mail: echentp@ntu.edu.sg; Liu, P.; Zhang, Q. [School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 639798 (Singapore); Hu, S. G. [School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 639798 (Singapore); State Key Laboratory of Electronic Thin Films and Integrated Devices, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, Chengdu, Sichuan 610054 (China); Liu, Y. [State Key Laboratory of Electronic Thin Films and Integrated Devices, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, Chengdu, Sichuan 610054 (China); Lee, P. S. [School of Materials Science and Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 639798 (Singapore)

    2016-06-28

    In this work, a synaptic transistor based on the indium gallium zinc oxide (IGZO)–aluminum oxide (Al{sub 2}O{sub 3}) thin film structure, which uses ultraviolet (UV) light pulses as the pre-synaptic stimulus, has been demonstrated. The synaptic transistor exhibits the behavior of synaptic plasticity like the paired-pulse facilitation. In addition, it also shows the brain's memory behaviors including the transition from short-term memory to long-term memory and the Ebbinghaus forgetting curve. The synapse-like behavior and memory behaviors of the transistor are due to the trapping and detrapping processes of the holes, which are generated by the UV pulses, at the IGZO/Al{sub 2}O{sub 3} interface and/or in the Al{sub 2}O{sub 3} layer.

  5. Synaptic Plasticity, Dementia and Alzheimer Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skaper, Stephen D; Facci, Laura; Zusso, Morena; Giusti, Pietro

    2017-01-01

    Neuroplasticity is not only shaped by learning and memory but is also a mediator of responses to neuron attrition and injury (compensatory plasticity). As an ongoing process it reacts to neuronal cell activity and injury, death, and genesis, which encompasses the modulation of structural and functional processes of axons, dendrites, and synapses. The range of structural elements that comprise plasticity includes long-term potentiation (a cellular correlate of learning and memory), synaptic efficacy and remodelling, synaptogenesis, axonal sprouting and dendritic remodelling, and neurogenesis and recruitment. Degenerative diseases of the human brain continue to pose one of biomedicine's most intractable problems. Research on human neurodegeneration is now moving from descriptive to mechanistic analyses. At the same time, it is increasing apparently that morphological lesions traditionally used by neuropathologists to confirm post-mortem clinical diagnosis might furnish us with an experimentally tractable handle to understand causative pathways. Consider the aging-dependent neurodegenerative disorder Alzheimer's disease (AD) which is characterised at the neuropathological level by deposits of insoluble amyloid β-peptide (Aβ) in extracellular plaques and aggregated tau protein, which is found largely in the intracellular neurofibrillary tangles. We now appreciate that mild cognitive impairment in early AD may be due to synaptic dysfunction caused by accumulation of non-fibrillar, oligomeric Aβ, occurring well in advance of evident widespread synaptic loss and neurodegeneration. Soluble Aβ oligomers can adversely affect synaptic structure and plasticity at extremely low concentrations, although the molecular substrates by which synaptic memory mechanisms are disrupted remain to be fully elucidated. The dendritic spine constitutes a primary locus of excitatory synaptic transmission in the mammalian central nervous system. These structures protruding from dendritic

  6. Differential roles of nonsynaptic and synaptic plasticity in operant reward learning-induced compulsive behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sieling, Fred; Bédécarrats, Alexis; Simmers, John; Prinz, Astrid A; Nargeot, Romuald

    2014-05-05

    Rewarding stimuli in associative learning can transform the irregularly and infrequently generated motor patterns underlying motivated behaviors into output for accelerated and stereotyped repetitive action. This transition to compulsive behavioral expression is associated with modified synaptic and membrane properties of central neurons, but establishing the causal relationships between cellular plasticity and motor adaptation has remained a challenge. We found previously that changes in the intrinsic excitability and electrical synapses of identified neurons in Aplysia's central pattern-generating network for feeding are correlated with a switch to compulsive-like motor output expression induced by in vivo operant conditioning. Here, we used specific computer-simulated ionic currents in vitro to selectively replicate or suppress the membrane and synaptic plasticity resulting from this learning. In naive in vitro preparations, such experimental manipulation of neuronal membrane properties alone increased the frequency but not the regularity of feeding motor output found in preparations from operantly trained animals. On the other hand, changes in synaptic strength alone switched the regularity but not the frequency of feeding output from naive to trained states. However, simultaneously imposed changes in both membrane and synaptic properties reproduced both major aspects of the motor plasticity. Conversely, in preparations from trained animals, experimental suppression of the membrane and synaptic plasticity abolished the increase in frequency and regularity of the learned motor output expression. These data establish direct causality for the contributions of distinct synaptic and nonsynaptic adaptive processes to complementary facets of a compulsive behavior resulting from operant reward learning. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Sleep Homeostasis and Synaptic Plasticity

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-06-01

    Headquarters Services, Directorate for Information Operations and Reports (0704-0188), 1215 Jefferson Davis Highway, Suite 1204, Arlington, VA 22202...circuit (a homeostat) that operates in concert with the circadian circuitry or does sleep drive accumulate everywhere in the brain? To answer these...neurons is capable of generating sleep drive. RNAi-mediated knockdown of insomniac in R2 neurons abolished sleep homeostasis without affecting baseline

  8. Economic competitiveness of windmills

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lapin, E E

    1977-01-01

    The conditions under which windmills become competitive with the generation of electric power from fossil fuels are examined. The influence of cost of construction, financing arrangements, and the future cost of fuels is shown. Energy storage and network arrangements for mills are considered briefly, as are alternate uses for mills, e.g., the utilization of mill output directly for heating or for the production of a fuel.

  9. Differential Regulation of Synaptic Vesicle Tethering and Docking by UNC-18 and TOM-1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gracheva, Elena O; Maryon, Ed B; Berthelot-Grosjean, Martine; Richmond, Janet E

    2010-01-01

    The assembly of SNARE complexes between syntaxin, SNAP-25 and synaptobrevin is required to prime synaptic vesicles for fusion. Since Munc18 and tomosyn compete for syntaxin interactions, the interplay between these proteins is predicted to be important in regulating synaptic transmission. We explored this possibility, by examining genetic interactions between C. elegans unc-18(Munc18), unc-64(syntaxin) and tom-1(tomosyn). We have previously demonstrated that unc-18 mutants have reduced synaptic transmission, whereas tom-1 mutants exhibit enhanced release. Here we show that the unc-18 mutant release defect is associated with loss of two morphologically distinct vesicle pools; those tethered within 25 nm of the plasma membrane and those docked with the plasma membrane. In contrast, priming defective unc-13 mutants accumulate tethered vesicles, while docked vesicles are greatly reduced, indicating tethering is UNC-18-dependent and occurs in the absence of priming. C. elegans unc-64 mutants phenocopy unc-18 mutants, losing both tethered and docked vesicles, whereas overexpression of open syntaxin preferentially increases vesicle docking, suggesting UNC-18/closed syntaxin interactions are responsible for vesicle tethering. Given the competition between vertebrate tomosyn and Munc18, for syntaxin binding, we hypothesized that C. elegans TOM-1 may inhibit both UNC-18-dependent vesicle targeting steps. Consistent with this hypothesis, tom-1 mutants exhibit enhanced UNC-18 plasma membrane localization and a concomitant increase in both tethered and docked synaptic vesicles. Furthermore, in tom-1;unc-18 double mutants the docked, primed vesicle pool is preferentially rescued relative to unc-18 single mutants. Together these data provide evidence for the differential regulation of two vesicle targeting steps by UNC-18 and TOM-1 through competitive interactions with syntaxin.

  10. Differential regulation of synaptic vesicle tethering and docking by UNC-18 and TOM-1

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elena O Gracheva

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available The assembly of SNARE complexes between syntaxin, SNAP-25 and synaptobrevin is required to prime synaptic vesicles for fusion. Since Munc18 and tomosyn compete for syntaxin interactions, the interplay between these proteins is predicted to be important in regulating synaptic transmission. We explored this possibility, by examining genetic interactions between C. elegans unc-18(Munc18, unc-64(syntaxin and tom-1(tomosyn. We have previously demonstrated that unc-18 mutants have reduced synaptic transmission, whereas tom-1 mutants exhibit enhanced release. Here we show that the unc-18 mutant release defect is associated with loss of two morphologically distinct vesicle pools; those tethered within 25nm of the plasma membrane and those docked with the plasma membrane. In contrast, priming defective unc-13 mutants accumulate tethered vesicles, while docked vesicles are greatly reduced, indicating tethering is UNC-18-dependent and occurs in the absence of priming. C. elegans unc-64 mutants phenocopy unc-18 mutants, losing both tethered and docked vesicles, whereas overexpression of open syntaxin preferentially increases vesicle docking, suggesting UNC-18/closed syntaxin interactions are responsible for vesicle tethering. Given the competition between vertebrate tomosyn and Munc18, for syntaxin binding, we hypothesized that C. elegans TOM-1 may inhibit both UNC-18-dependent vesicle targeting steps. Consistent with this hypothesis, tom-1 mutants exhibit enhanced UNC-18 plasma membrane localization and a concomitant increase in both tethered and docked synaptic vesicles. Furthermore, in tom-1;unc-18 double mutants the docked, primed vesicle pool is preferentially rescued relative to unc-18 single mutants. Together these data provide evidence for the differential regulation of two vesicle targeting steps by UNC-18 and TOM-1 through competitive interactions with syntaxin

  11. EDITORIAL: Physics competitions Physics competitions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jordens, H.; Mathelitsch, L.

    2011-07-01

    International tests on competences, such as TIMSS or PISA, and knowledge of young students have revealed low average scores in many countries, often unexpectedly. One effective measure to increase the average standard of a population is to bring the last third of the group to a higher level. Therefore, many nations put some effort into this activity. This brings the danger that not enough attention is paid to students at the other end, those who are talented. Indeed, it is a very difficult task for a teacher to support the less able and at the same time challenge the gifted students, to lead them to the limits of their abilities and provide for a smooth transition to university study. Physics competitions have been proven to fulfil these last demands to a large degree, and therefore are an important additional and, to some extent, complementary tool for the promotion of talented students. This third special section on physics competitions in European Journal of Physics contains three papers, each dealing with a different form of science contest. The first continues the series of presentations of tasks performed at the International Young Physicists' Tournament, which was held in Vienna in 2011. First place went to the team from Singapore, and they have put their investigation on vertical oscillations of coupled magnets into written form (not required by the tournament, where an oral presentation and a defence and discussion are the central aspects). Their paper shows how rich in physics this problem is, and what level of solutions high-school students can already achieve. Sadly, those responsible for the organization of last year's International Physics Olympiad did not provide us with a report on this competition. This is unfortunate, since the Olympiad in Zagreb was very successful and, in particular, the experimental tasks were creative and demanding. Very similar to the aims and the execution of the Physics Olympiad is the International Olympiad on Astronomy

  12. Competitiveness in the global economic crisis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gheorghe Popescu

    2009-05-01

    Full Text Available The first challenge is to analyze the concept of "competitiveness" given the fact that in the centre of the great economic analystes' concerns lays from some time the phenomenon of competitiveness, along with the generation of competitive advantage at the organization level and, moreover, at country level. The economic science will have to be rethought, meaning that competitiveness will have to adapt to the new prospects launched today by the global economic crisis.

  13. Higher-Order Synaptic Interactions Coordinate Dynamics in Recurrent Networks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brendan Chambers

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Linking synaptic connectivity to dynamics is key to understanding information processing in neocortex. Circuit dynamics emerge from complex interactions of interconnected neurons, necessitating that links between connectivity and dynamics be evaluated at the network level. Here we map propagating activity in large neuronal ensembles from mouse neocortex and compare it to a recurrent network model, where connectivity can be precisely measured and manipulated. We find that a dynamical feature dominates statistical descriptions of propagating activity for both neocortex and the model: convergent clusters comprised of fan-in triangle motifs, where two input neurons are themselves connected. Fan-in triangles coordinate the timing of presynaptic inputs during ongoing activity to effectively generate postsynaptic spiking. As a result, paradoxically, fan-in triangles dominate the statistics of spike propagation even in randomly connected recurrent networks. Interplay between higher-order synaptic connectivity and the integrative properties of neurons constrains the structure of network dynamics and shapes the routing of information in neocortex.

  14. Ensemble stacking mitigates biases in inference of synaptic connectivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chambers, Brendan; Levy, Maayan; Dechery, Joseph B; MacLean, Jason N

    2018-01-01

    A promising alternative to directly measuring the anatomical connections in a neuronal population is inferring the connections from the activity. We employ simulated spiking neuronal networks to compare and contrast commonly used inference methods that identify likely excitatory synaptic connections using statistical regularities in spike timing. We find that simple adjustments to standard algorithms improve inference accuracy: A signing procedure improves the power of unsigned mutual-information-based approaches and a correction that accounts for differences in mean and variance of background timing relationships, such as those expected to be induced by heterogeneous firing rates, increases the sensitivity of frequency-based methods. We also find that different inference methods reveal distinct subsets of the synaptic network and each method exhibits different biases in the accurate detection of reciprocity and local clustering. To correct for errors and biases specific to single inference algorithms, we combine methods into an ensemble. Ensemble predictions, generated as a linear combination of multiple inference algorithms, are more sensitive than the best individual measures alone, and are more faithful to ground-truth statistics of connectivity, mitigating biases specific to single inference methods. These weightings generalize across simulated datasets, emphasizing the potential for the broad utility of ensemble-based approaches.

  15. Emerging Links between Homeostatic Synaptic Plasticity and Neurological Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dion eDickman

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Homeostatic signaling systems are ubiquitous forms of biological regulation, having been studied for hundreds of years in the context of diverse physiological processes including body temperature and osmotic balance. However, only recently has this concept been brought to the study of excitatory and inhibitory electrical activity that the nervous system uses to establish and maintain stable communication. Synapses are a primary target of neuronal regulation with a variety of studies over the past 15 years demonstrating that these cellular junctions are under bidirectional homeostatic control. Recent work from an array of diverse systems and approaches has revealed exciting new links between homeostatic synaptic plasticity and a variety of seemingly disparate neurological and psychiatric diseases. These include autism spectrum disorders, intellectual disabilities, schizophrenia, and Fragile X Syndrome. Although the molecular mechanisms through which defective homeostatic signaling may lead to disease pathogenesis remain unclear, rapid progress is likely to be made in the coming years using a powerful combination of genetic, imaging, electrophysiological, and next generation sequencing approaches. Importantly, understanding homeostatic synaptic plasticity at a cellular and molecular level may lead to developments in new therapeutic innovations to treat these diseases. In this review we will examine recent studies that demonstrate homeostatic control of postsynaptic protein translation, retrograde signaling, and presynaptic function that may contribute to the etiology of complex neurological and psychiatric diseases.

  16. Mediterranean Way of Competitiveness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Art Kovacic

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available The Mediterranean area have a special concept of competitiveness topic. Normally is that region not so industrial and knowledge based oriented as a North Europe.That countries can't reach the same development level as the north one. Lisbon's and Goethenburg's strategies create the main framework of development programme. Mediterranean programme is such a case. European internal market has forced the EU countries to increase competitiveness. The economic prosperity of countries is associated with their ability to generate or attract economic activities which are able to increase income by performing well on themarket. Financial crisis in the EU has changed the look on the competitiveness research. Economy in the main countries has to find way of recovery. Former giants of the financial world have found themselves suddenly facing bankruptcy.Inevitably, the crisis is also having an effect on households and businesses - economic growth has slowed sharply and in some EU countries unemployment has begun to increase for the first time in several years. Form that perspective we have to find the right solution of European competitiveness.

  17. Influence of Synaptic Depression on Memory Storage Capacity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Otsubo, Yosuke; Nagata, Kenji; Oizumi, Masafumi; Okada, Masato

    2011-08-01

    Synaptic efficacy between neurons is known to change within a short time scale dynamically. Neurophysiological experiments show that high-frequency presynaptic inputs decrease synaptic efficacy between neurons. This phenomenon is called synaptic depression, a short term synaptic plasticity. Many researchers have investigated how the synaptic depression affects the memory storage capacity. However, the noise has not been taken into consideration in their analysis. By introducing ``temperature'', which controls the level of the noise, into an update rule of neurons, we investigate the effects of synaptic depression on the memory storage capacity in the presence of the noise. We analytically compute the storage capacity by using a statistical mechanics technique called Self Consistent Signal to Noise Analysis (SCSNA). We find that the synaptic depression decreases the storage capacity in the case of finite temperature in contrast to the case of the low temperature limit, where the storage capacity does not change.

  18. Ultrafast Synaptic Events in a Chalcogenide Memristor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yi; Zhong, Yingpeng; Xu, Lei; Zhang, Jinjian; Xu, Xiaohua; Sun, Huajun; Miao, Xiangshui

    2013-04-01

    Compact and power-efficient plastic electronic synapses are of fundamental importance to overcoming the bottlenecks of developing a neuromorphic chip. Memristor is a strong contender among the various electronic synapses in existence today. However, the speeds of synaptic events are relatively slow in most attempts at emulating synapses due to the material-related mechanism. Here we revealed the intrinsic memristance of stoichiometric crystalline Ge2Sb2Te5 that originates from the charge trapping and releasing by the defects. The device resistance states, representing synaptic weights, were precisely modulated by 30 ns potentiating/depressing electrical pulses. We demonstrated four spike-timing-dependent plasticity (STDP) forms by applying programmed pre- and postsynaptic spiking pulse pairs in different time windows ranging from 50 ms down to 500 ns, the latter of which is 105 times faster than the speed of STDP in human brain. This study provides new opportunities for building ultrafast neuromorphic computing systems and surpassing Von Neumann architecture.

  19. Presynaptic inhibition of GABAergic synaptic transmission by adenosine in mouse hypothalamic hypocretin neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xia, J X; Xiong, J X; Wang, H K; Duan, S M; Ye, J N; Hu, Z A

    2012-01-10

    Hypocretin neurons in the lateral hypothalamus, a new wakefulness-promoting center, have been recently regarded as an important target involved in endogenous adenosine-regulating sleep homeostasis. The GABAergic synaptic transmissions are the main inhibitory afferents to hypocretin neurons, which play an important role in the regulation of excitability of these neurons. The inhibitory effect of adenosine, a homeostatic sleep-promoting factor, on the excitatory glutamatergic synaptic transmissions in hypocretin neurons has been well documented, whether adenosine also modulates these inhibitory GABAergic synaptic transmissions in these neurons has not been investigated. In this study, the effect of adenosine on inhibitory postsynaptic currents (IPSCs) in hypocretin neurons was examined by using perforated patch-clamp recordings in the acute hypothalamic slices. The findings demonstrated that adenosine suppressed the amplitude of evoked IPSCs in a dose-dependent manner, which was completely abolished by 8-cyclopentyltheophylline (CPT), a selective antagonist of adenosine A1 receptor but not adenosine A2 receptor antagonist 3,7-dimethyl-1-(2-propynyl) xanthine. A presynaptic origin was suggested as following: adenosine increased paired-pulse ratio as well as reduced GABAergic miniature IPSC frequency without affecting the miniature IPSC amplitude. Further findings demonstrated that when the frequency of electrical stimulation was raised to 10 Hz, but not 1 Hz, a time-dependent depression of evoked IPSC amplitude was detected in hypocretin neurons, which could be partially blocked by CPT. However, under a higher frequency at 100 Hz stimulation, CPT had no action on the depressed GABAergic synaptic transmission induced by such tetanic stimulation in these hypocretin neurons. These results suggest that endogenous adenosine generated under certain stronger activities of synaptic transmissions exerts an inhibitory effect on GABAergic synaptic transmission in hypocretin

  20. Enhanced Synaptic Transmission at the Squid Giant Synapse by Artificial Seawater Based on Physically Modified Saline

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Soonwook eChoi

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Superfusion of the squid giant synapse with artificial seawater (ASW based on isotonic saline containing oxygen nanobubbles (RNS60 ASW generates an enhancement of synaptic transmission. This was determined by examining the postsynaptic response to single and repetitive presynaptic spike activation, spontaneous transmitter release, and presynaptic voltage clamp studies. In the presence of RNS60 ASW single presynaptic stimulation elicited larger postsynaptic potentials (PSP and more robust recovery from high frequency stimulation than in control ASW. Analysis of postsynaptic noise revealed an increase in spontaneous transmitter release with modified noise kinetics in RNS60 ASW. Presynaptic voltage clamp demonstrated an increased EPSP, without an increase in presynaptic ICa⁺⁺ amplitude during RNS60 ASW superfusion. Synaptic release enhancement reached stable maxima within 5 to 10 minutes of RNS60 ASW superfusion and was maintained for the entire recording time, up to one hour. Electronmicroscopic morphometry indicated a decrease in synaptic vesicle density and the number at active zones with an increase in the number of clathrin-coated vesicles and large endosome-like vesicles near junctional sites. Block of mitochondrial ATP synthesis by presynaptic injection of oligomycin reduced spontaneous release and prevented the synaptic noise increase seen in RNS60 ASW. After ATP block the number of vesicles at the active zone and clathrin-coated vesicles was reduced, with an increase in large vesicles. The possibility that RNS60 ASW acts by increasing mitochondrial ATP synthesis was tested by direct determination of ATP levels in both presynaptic and postsynaptic structures. This was implemented using luciferin/luciferase photon emission, which demonstrated a marked increase in ATP synthesis following RNS60 administration. It is concluded that RNS60 positively modulates synaptic transmission by up-regulating ATP synthesis, thus leading to synaptic

  1. Enhanced synaptic transmission at the squid giant synapse by artificial seawater based on physically modified saline

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, Soonwook; Yu, Eunah; Rabello, Guilherme; Merlo, Suelen; Zemmar, Ajmal; Walton, Kerry D.; Moreno, Herman; Moreira, Jorge E.; Sugimori, Mutsuyuki; Llinás, Rodolfo R.

    2014-01-01

    Superfusion of the squid giant synapse with artificial seawater (ASW) based on isotonic saline containing oxygen nanobubbles (RNS60 ASW) generates an enhancement of synaptic transmission. This was determined by examining the postsynaptic response to single and repetitive presynaptic spike activation, spontaneous transmitter release, and presynaptic voltage clamp studies. In the presence of RNS60 ASW single presynaptic stimulation elicited larger postsynaptic potentials (PSP) and more robust recovery from high frequency stimulation than in control ASW. Analysis of postsynaptic noise revealed an increase in spontaneous transmitter release with modified noise kinetics in RNS60 ASW. Presynaptic voltage clamp demonstrated an increased EPSP, without an increase in presynaptic ICa++ amplitude during RNS60 ASW superfusion. Synaptic release enhancement reached stable maxima within 5–10 min of RNS60 ASW superfusion and was maintained for the entire recording time, up to 1 h. Electronmicroscopic morphometry indicated a decrease in synaptic vesicle density and the number at active zones with an increase in the number of clathrin-coated vesicles (CCV) and large endosome-like vesicles near junctional sites. Block of mitochondrial ATP synthesis by presynaptic injection of oligomycin reduced spontaneous release and prevented the synaptic noise increase seen in RNS60 ASW. After ATP block the number of vesicles at the active zone and CCV was reduced, with an increase in large vesicles. The possibility that RNS60 ASW acts by increasing mitochondrial ATP synthesis was tested by direct determination of ATP levels in both presynaptic and postsynaptic structures. This was implemented using luciferin/luciferase photon emission, which demonstrated a marked increase in ATP synthesis following RNS60 administration. It is concluded that RNS60 positively modulates synaptic transmission by up-regulating ATP synthesis, thus leading to synaptic transmission enhancement. PMID:24575037

  2. Effects of active conductance distribution over dendrites on the synaptic integration in an identified nonspiking interneuron.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Akira Takashima

    Full Text Available The synaptic integration in individual central neuron is critically affected by how active conductances are distributed over dendrites. It has been well known that the dendrites of central neurons are richly endowed with voltage- and ligand-regulated ion conductances. Nonspiking interneurons (NSIs, almost exclusively characteristic to arthropod central nervous systems, do not generate action potentials and hence lack voltage-regulated sodium channels, yet having a variety of voltage-regulated potassium conductances on their dendritic membrane including the one similar to the delayed-rectifier type potassium conductance. It remains unknown, however, how the active conductances are distributed over dendrites and how the synaptic integration is affected by those conductances in NSIs and other invertebrate neurons where the cell body is not included in the signal pathway from input synapses to output sites. In the present study, we quantitatively investigated the functional significance of active conductance distribution pattern in the spatio-temporal spread of synaptic potentials over dendrites of an identified NSI in the crayfish central nervous system by computer simulation. We systematically changed the distribution pattern of active conductances in the neuron's multicompartment model and examined how the synaptic potential waveform was affected by each distribution pattern. It was revealed that specific patterns of nonuniform distribution of potassium conductances were consistent, while other patterns were not, with the waveform of compound synaptic potentials recorded physiologically in the major input-output pathway of the cell, suggesting that the possibility of nonuniform distribution of potassium conductances over the dendrite cannot be excluded as well as the possibility of uniform distribution. Local synaptic circuits involving input and output synapses on the same branch or on the same side were found to be potentially affected under

  3. Synaptic theory of Replicator-like melioration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yonatan Loewenstein

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available According to the theory of Melioration, organisms in repeated choice settings shift their choice preference in favor of the alternative that provides the highest return. The goal of this paper is to explain how this learning behavior can emerge from microscopic changes in the efficacies of synapses, in the context of two-alternative repeated-choice experiment. I consider a large family of synaptic plasticity rules in which changes in synaptic efficacies are driven by the covariance between reward and neural activity. I construct a general framework that predicts the learning dynamics of any decision-making neural network that implements this synaptic plasticity rule and show that melioration naturally emerges in such networks. Moreover, the resultant learning dynamics follows the Replicator equation which is commonly used to phenomenologically describe changes in behavior in operant conditioning experiments. Several examples demonstrate how the learning rate of the network is affected by its properties and by the specifics of the plasticity rule. These results help bridge the gap between cellular physiology and learning behavior.

  4. Characterization and extraction of the synaptic apposition surface for synaptic geometry analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morales, Juan; Rodríguez, Angel; Rodríguez, José-Rodrigo; DeFelipe, Javier; Merchán-Pérez, Angel

    2013-01-01

    Geometrical features of chemical synapses are relevant to their function. Two critical components of the synaptic junction are the active zone (AZ) and the postsynaptic density (PSD), as they are related to the probability of synaptic release and the number of postsynaptic receptors, respectively. Morphological studies of these structures are greatly facilitated by the use of recent electron microscopy techniques, such as combined focused ion beam milling and scanning electron microscopy (FIB/SEM), and software tools that permit reconstruction of large numbers of synapses in three dimensions. Since the AZ and the PSD are in close apposition and have a similar surface area, they can be represented by a single surface—the synaptic apposition surface (SAS). We have developed an efficient computational technique to automatically extract this surface from synaptic junctions that have previously been three-dimensionally reconstructed from actual tissue samples imaged by automated FIB/SEM. Given its relationship with the release probability and the number of postsynaptic receptors, the surface area of the SAS is a functionally relevant measure of the size of a synapse that can complement other geometrical features like the volume of the reconstructed synaptic junction, the equivalent ellipsoid size and the Feret's diameter. PMID:23847474

  5. Power industry and competition

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Recknagel, H.

    1988-01-01

    A task group on antritrust law has been set in by the Federal Ministry of Economics in order to again investigate the position of the utilities within the framework of the law against restraints on competition, (GWB). The task group's report states that from the power industry's perspective, there is no reason to modify the existing system created by sections 103, 103a of the GWB. The EC internal market to come, and enhanced use of coal for power generation to be continued beyond the year 1995 are topics that will keep politicians, utilities, and lawmakers in this field busy enough. In such a situation, the legislator cannot afford a discovery trip into unexplored, theoretical impacts of enhanced competition on the power industry. (orig./DG) [de

  6. Electrical machines, in particular generators: superconductor technology in competition with improved conventional technology; Elektrische Maschinen, insbesondere Generatoren: Supraleiter-Technologie im Wettbewerb mit verbesserter konventioneller Technologie

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Joho, R; Ginet, C; Schleussinger, A

    2006-07-01

    This final report for the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE) summarises work done within the framework of a second project on the use of superconductor technology and conventional technology in electrical machines. The two variants, a generator using second-generation high-temperature superconductors (HTSC) and one using improved conventional technology are described and compared. The use of various coolants for the windings of generators of various types and usage is described and the optimisation of winding-geometry is discussed. The refrigeration equipment used to provide low-temperature coolant is looked at and the energy balance for the combination of generator and cooling system is discussed. The conclusions drawn by the project are presented and the advantages offered by both variants are discussed.

  7. Power plants in competition 2011. Perspectives of future generation portfolio. Technology-system, stability-market, conditions, with technical exhibition; Kraftwerke im Wettbewerb 2011. Perspektiven des kuenftigen Erzeugungs-Portfolios. Technologie, Systemstabilitaet, Marktbedingungen, mit Fachausstellung

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2011-07-01

    The proceedings on the VGB conference ''power plants in competition 2011'' includes the following contributions: status of European energy policy; market and climate protection; setting up new conventional capacity in Europe and EU regulation; perspectives of power generation in Germany and Europe; market for power generation - challenges and chances for suppliers; development of a European ''network code'' for integration of power plants; impact of ''EU network code'' for design and operation of power plants; outcome of investigation of grid/generation; impact of intermitting generation on power system stability; consequences of low-load operation for coal fired power plants; pro quality - an approach for project management; Sumitomos R and D activities for advanced USC boilers; V and M innovative contribution to the challenges of present and future conventional power plants; steam side oxidation at austenitic boiler tubes; OL3 project - a multicultural challenge; knowledge management - preservation and maintenance of implicit knowledge within a company; competition about green investments - the European targets for renewables; retrofitting of CEZ power plants (coal and gas); power sector skill - addressing the challenges; requirements on structural maintenance in power plants; usage of corrugated tubes in heat exchangers; technical plant documentation; technologies for off-shore wind turbines; solar thermal plants; renewable energy from biomass and integration into the grid; environmentally friendly future power generation with fossil fuels; storage technologies; large-scale underground energy storage; assessment of risk - an insurance company view; human resources as multiplier for a company's value; post-combustion capture pilot plant experiences; CCS strategy of Vattenfall; optimizing plant process management; Enel activities on carbon capture and sequestration; bachelor studies on power plant

  8. Robotics Competitions: An Overview of First© Events and VEX© Competitions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Habib, Maria A.

    2012-01-01

    Robotics competitions generate excitement and raise the profile of a robotics program. This article provides an overview of robotics competitions, concentrating on those sponsored by FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) and RECF (Robotics Education and Competition Foundation). FIRST® LEGO® League and VEX® robotics…

  9. Mechanisms of glycine release, which build up synaptic and extrasynaptic glycine levels: the role of synaptic and non-synaptic glycine transporters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harsing, Laszlo G; Matyus, Peter

    2013-04-01

    Glycine is an amino acid neurotransmitter that is involved in both inhibitory and excitatory neurochemical transmission in the central nervous system. The role of glycine in excitatory neurotransmission is related to its coagonist action at glutamatergic N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors. The glycine levels in the synaptic cleft rise many times higher during synaptic activation assuring that glycine spills over into the extrasynaptic space. Another possible origin of extrasynaptic glycine is the efflux of glycine occurring from astrocytes associated with glutamatergic synapses. The release of glycine from neuronal or glial origins exhibits several differences compared to that of biogenic amines or other amino acid neurotransmitters. These differences appear in an external Ca(2+)- and temperature-dependent manner, conferring unique characteristics on glycine as a neurotransmitter. Glycine transporter type-1 at synapses may exhibit neural and glial forms and plays a role in controlling synaptic glycine levels and the spill over rate of glycine from the synaptic cleft into the extrasynaptic biophase. Non-synaptic glycine transporter type-1 regulates extrasynaptic glycine concentrations, either increasing or decreasing them depending on the reverse or normal mode operation of the carrier molecule. While we can, at best, only estimate synaptic glycine levels at rest and during synaptic activation, glycine concentrations are readily measurable via brain microdialysis technique applied in the extrasynaptic space. The non-synaptic N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor may obtain glycine for activation following its spill over from highly active synapses or from its release mediated by the reverse operation of non-synaptic glycine transporter-1. The sensitivity of non-synaptic N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors to glutamate and glycine is many times higher than that of synaptic N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors making the former type of receptor the primary target for drug action. Synaptic

  10. Synaptic Contacts Enhance Cell-to-Cell Tau Pathology Propagation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sara Calafate

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Accumulation of insoluble Tau protein aggregates and stereotypical propagation of Tau pathology through the brain are common hallmarks of tauopathies, including Alzheimer’s disease (AD. Propagation of Tau pathology appears to occur along connected neurons, but whether synaptic contacts between neurons are facilitating propagation has not been demonstrated. Using quantitative in vitro models, we demonstrate that, in parallel to non-synaptic mechanisms, synapses, but not merely the close distance between the cells, enhance the propagation of Tau pathology between acceptor hippocampal neurons and Tau donor cells. Similarly, in an artificial neuronal network using microfluidic devices, synapses and synaptic activity are promoting neuronal Tau pathology propagation in parallel to the non-synaptic mechanisms. Our work indicates that the physical presence of synaptic contacts between neurons facilitate Tau pathology propagation. These findings can have implications for synaptic repair therapies, which may turn out to have adverse effects by promoting propagation of Tau pathology.

  11. Attractor neural networks with resource-efficient synaptic connectivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pehlevan, Cengiz; Sengupta, Anirvan

    Memories are thought to be stored in the attractor states of recurrent neural networks. Here we explore how resource constraints interplay with memory storage function to shape synaptic connectivity of attractor networks. We propose that given a set of memories, in the form of population activity patterns, the neural circuit choses a synaptic connectivity configuration that minimizes a resource usage cost. We argue that the total synaptic weight (l1-norm) in the network measures the resource cost because synaptic weight is correlated with synaptic volume, which is a limited resource, and is proportional to neurotransmitter release and post-synaptic current, both of which cost energy. Using numerical simulations and replica theory, we characterize optimal connectivity profiles in resource-efficient attractor networks. Our theory explains several experimental observations on cortical connectivity profiles, 1) connectivity is sparse, because synapses are costly, 2) bidirectional connections are overrepresented and 3) are stronger, because attractor states need strong recurrence.

  12. Vulnerability of positron emission tomography radiotracers to endogenous competition

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Laruelle, M.; Huang, Y.

    2001-01-01

    PET and SPECT neuro receptor imaging techniques combined with pharmacological challenges have been introduce to measure acute fluctuations of synaptic dopamine (DA) concentrations in the living human brain. Changes in the in vivo binding of radioligands following manipulation of transmitter levels are generally believed to be driven by binding competition between the radioligand and neurotransmitter. This imaging modality has been very successful in the study of DA transmission at D2 receptors. Yet, the extension of this technique to the study of other neurotransmitter systems has proven difficult. This paper reviews recent evidence suggesting that simple binding competition might not be the only phenomenon regulating transmitter-radioligand interactions in vivo, and examines emerging data indicating that receptor trafficking might also be involved. A better understanding of the mechanisms underlying these interactions should facilitate the development of PET and SPECT radiotracers suitable for the reporting of synaptic transmitter levels

  13. Vulnerability of positron emission tomography radiotracers to endogenous competition

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Laruelle, M.; Huang, Y. [Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and State Psychiatric Institute, Dept. of Psychiatry and Radiology, New York, NY (United States)

    2001-06-01

    PET and SPECT neuro receptor imaging techniques combined with pharmacological challenges have been introduce to measure acute fluctuations of synaptic dopamine (DA) concentrations in the living human brain. Changes in the in vivo binding of radioligands following manipulation of transmitter levels are generally believed to be driven by binding competition between the radioligand and neurotransmitter. This imaging modality has been very successful in the study of DA transmission at D2 receptors. Yet, the extension of this technique to the study of other neurotransmitter systems has proven difficult. This paper reviews recent evidence suggesting that simple binding competition might not be the only phenomenon regulating transmitter-radioligand interactions in vivo, and examines emerging data indicating that receptor trafficking might also be involved. A better understanding of the mechanisms underlying these interactions should facilitate the development of PET and SPECT radiotracers suitable for the reporting of synaptic transmitter levels.

  14. Competitive spirit

    Science.gov (United States)

    2000-01-01

    Leicester University will host the 65 international teams of students who will assemble in July for this year's International Physics Olympiad . The last time the Olympiad came to the UK was in 1986 in London, and it was the notable enthusiasm of the Leicester Physics and Astronomy department which persuaded the Olympiad Committee to give them the chance of organizing the prestigious event. The students taking part from all over the world are studying physics at A-level or an equivalent standard and they will take part in an intellectual marathon of theoretical and practical examinations. Each national team comprises five students selected from three rounds of competition and the teams will receive an official welcome from the city, as well as opportunities to visit some of the important educational and cultural centres of the surrounding region. The finalists will also be able to test their skills and initiative at the Challenger Learning Centre, which forms part of Leicester's new National Space Science Centre. Specific information on the event can be found on the Olympiad-2000 website at www.star.le.ac.uk/IphO-2000 . The Rudolf Ortvay problem solving contest in physics, which takes place in November, is a tradition of Eötvös University in Budapest, Hungary. The competition was first opened to international participants in 1998, enabling students from universities around the world to show their knowledge, ingenuity, problem-solving skills and physical insight into problems that are far beyond routine level. The problems (30 - 35 each year) are chosen from different branches of theoretical as well as applied physics. They have varying levels of difficulty, and every contestant can send solutions for ten problems. The focus is not on school-level problem-solving routines but rather on the `physical' way of thinking, recognition of the heart of the problem and an appropriate choice of mathematics. The majority of the assigned problems are original, few having

  15. Competitive Debate as Competency-Based Learning: Civic Engagement and Next-Generation Assessment in the Era of the Common Core Learning Standards

    Science.gov (United States)

    McIntosh, Jonathan; Milam, Myra

    2016-01-01

    As the adoption and execution of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) have steadily increased, the debate community is presented with an opportunity to be more forward thinking and sustainable through the translation to curriculum planning and next-generation assessment as a movement towards Performance-Based Assessments. This paper focuses on…

  16. Power market competition

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kelly, J.

    1998-01-01

    In the Unites States the prospect of greater competition in wholesale power market was immediately eclipsed by talk of retail competition. Attempts to move to retail competition have been costly and complex. Prudent public policy and economic analyses suggest that retail competition not be implemented until it can first be demonstrated that effective competition exists in wholesale power markets [it

  17. Multinationals and Institutional Competitiveness

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hull Kristensen, Peer; Morgan, Glenn

    This article discusses how institutional competitiveness and multinationals are mutually enriching concepts. Seen from the perspective of Multinationals, institutional competitiveness becomes expressed at two levels. At the level of corporate HQs institutional competitiveness proves itself...... competitiveness of Liberal Market Economies and Coordinated Markets Economies under the current competitive regime....

  18. Lunabotics Mining Competition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mueller, Rob; Murphy, Gloria

    2010-01-01

    This slide presentation describes a competition to design a lunar robot (lunabot) that can be controlled either remotely or autonomously, isolated from the operator, and is designed to mine a lunar aggregate simulant. The competition is part of a systems engineering curriculum. The 2010 competition winners in five areas of the competition were acknowledged, and the 2011 competition was announced.

  19. Dysregulated Expression of Neuregulin-1 by Cortical Pyramidal Neurons Disrupts Synaptic Plasticity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amit Agarwal

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Neuregulin-1 (NRG1 gene variants are associated with increased genetic risk for schizophrenia. It is unclear whether risk haplotypes cause elevated or decreased expression of NRG1 in the brains of schizophrenia patients, given that both findings have been reported from autopsy studies. To study NRG1 functions in vivo, we generated mouse mutants with reduced and elevated NRG1 levels and analyzed the impact on cortical functions. Loss of NRG1 from cortical projection neurons resulted in increased inhibitory neurotransmission, reduced synaptic plasticity, and hypoactivity. Neuronal overexpression of cysteine-rich domain (CRD-NRG1, the major brain isoform, caused unbalanced excitatory-inhibitory neurotransmission, reduced synaptic plasticity, abnormal spine growth, altered steady-state levels of synaptic plasticity-related proteins, and impaired sensorimotor gating. We conclude that an “optimal” level of NRG1 signaling balances excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmission in the cortex. Our data provide a potential pathomechanism for impaired synaptic plasticity and suggest that human NRG1 risk haplotypes exert a gain-of-function effect.

  20. Role for a Novel Usher Protein Complex in Hair Cell Synaptic Maturation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zallocchi, Marisa; Meehan, Daniel T.; Delimont, Duane; Rutledge, Joseph; Gratton, Michael Anne; Flannery, John; Cosgrove, Dominic

    2012-01-01

    The molecular mechanisms underlying hair cell synaptic maturation are not well understood. Cadherin-23 (CDH23), protocadherin-15 (PCDH15) and the very large G-protein coupled receptor 1 (VLGR1) have been implicated in the development of cochlear hair cell stereocilia, while clarin-1 has been suggested to also play a role in synaptogenesis. Mutations in CDH23, PCDH15, VLGR1 and clarin-1 cause Usher syndrome, characterized by congenital deafness, vestibular dysfunction and retinitis pigmentosa. Here we show developmental expression of these Usher proteins in afferent spiral ganglion neurons and hair cell synapses. We identify a novel synaptic Usher complex comprised of clarin-1 and specific isoforms of CDH23, PCDH15 and VLGR1. To establish the in vivo relevance of this complex, we performed morphological and quantitative analysis of the neuronal fibers and their synapses in the Clrn1−/− mouse, which was generated by incomplete deletion of the gene. These mice showed a delay in neuronal/synaptic maturation by both immunostaining and electron microscopy. Analysis of the ribbon synapses in Ames waltzerav3J mice also suggests a delay in hair cell synaptogenesis. Collectively, these results show that, in addition to the well documented role for Usher proteins in stereocilia development, Usher protein complexes comprised of specific protein isoforms likely function in synaptic maturation as well. PMID:22363448

  1. Synaptic conductances during interictal discharges in pyramidal neurons of rat entorhinal cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dmitry V. Amakhin

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available In epilepsy, the balance of excitation and inhibition underlying the basis of neural network activity shifts, resulting in neuronal network hyperexcitability and recurrent seizure-associated discharges. Mechanisms involved in ictal and interictal events are not fully understood, in particular, because of controversial data regarding the dynamics of excitatory and inhibitory synaptic conductances. In the present study, we estimated AMPAR-, NMDAR-, and GABAAR-mediated conductances during two distinct types of interictal discharge (IID in pyramidal neurons of rat entorhinal cortex in cortico-hippocampal slices. Repetitively emerging seizure-like events and IIDs were recorded in high extracellular potassium, 4-aminopyridine, and reduced magnesium-containing solution. An original procedure for estimating synaptic conductance during IIDs was based on the differences among the current-voltage characteristics of the synaptic components. The synaptic conductance dynamics obtained revealed that the first type of IID is determined by activity of GABAAR channels with depolarized reversal potential. The second type of IID is determined by the interplay between excitation and inhibition, with prominent early AMPAR and prolonged depolarized GABAAR and NMDAR-mediated components. The study then validated the contribution of these components to IIDs by intracellular pharmacological isolation. These data provide new insights into the mechanisms of seizures generation, development, and cessation.

  2. Demonstration of Synaptic Behaviors and Resistive Switching Characterizations by Proton Exchange Reactions in Silicon Oxide

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Yao-Feng; Fowler, Burt; Chen, Ying-Chen; Zhou, Fei; Pan, Chih-Hung; Chang, Ting-Chang; Lee, Jack C.

    2016-02-01

    We realize a device with biological synaptic behaviors by integrating silicon oxide (SiOx) resistive switching memory with Si diodes. Minimal synaptic power consumption due to sneak-path current is achieved and the capability for spike-induced synaptic behaviors is demonstrated, representing critical milestones for the use of SiO2-based materials in future neuromorphic computing applications. Biological synaptic behaviors such as long-term potentiation (LTP), long-term depression (LTD) and spike-timing dependent plasticity (STDP) are demonstrated systematically using a comprehensive analysis of spike-induced waveforms, and represent interesting potential applications for SiOx-based resistive switching materials. The resistive switching SET transition is modeled as hydrogen (proton) release from (SiH)2 to generate the hydrogen bridge defect, and the RESET transition is modeled as an electrochemical reaction (proton capture) that re-forms (SiH)2. The experimental results suggest a simple, robust approach to realize programmable neuromorphic chips compatible with large-scale CMOS manufacturing technology.

  3. Dysregulated expression of neuregulin-1 by cortical pyramidal neurons disrupts synaptic plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agarwal, Amit; Zhang, Mingyue; Trembak-Duff, Irina; Unterbarnscheidt, Tilmann; Radyushkin, Konstantin; Dibaj, Payam; Martins de Souza, Daniel; Boretius, Susann; Brzózka, Magdalena M; Steffens, Heinz; Berning, Sebastian; Teng, Zenghui; Gummert, Maike N; Tantra, Martesa; Guest, Peter C; Willig, Katrin I; Frahm, Jens; Hell, Stefan W; Bahn, Sabine; Rossner, Moritz J; Nave, Klaus-Armin; Ehrenreich, Hannelore; Zhang, Weiqi; Schwab, Markus H

    2014-08-21

    Neuregulin-1 (NRG1) gene variants are associated with increased genetic risk for schizophrenia. It is unclear whether risk haplotypes cause elevated or decreased expression of NRG1 in the brains of schizophrenia patients, given that both findings have been reported from autopsy studies. To study NRG1 functions in vivo, we generated mouse mutants with reduced and elevated NRG1 levels and analyzed the impact on cortical functions. Loss of NRG1 from cortical projection neurons resulted in increased inhibitory neurotransmission, reduced synaptic plasticity, and hypoactivity. Neuronal overexpression of cysteine-rich domain (CRD)-NRG1, the major brain isoform, caused unbalanced excitatory-inhibitory neurotransmission, reduced synaptic plasticity, abnormal spine growth, altered steady-state levels of synaptic plasticity-related proteins, and impaired sensorimotor gating. We conclude that an "optimal" level of NRG1 signaling balances excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmission in the cortex. Our data provide a potential pathomechanism for impaired synaptic plasticity and suggest that human NRG1 risk haplotypes exert a gain-of-function effect. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Role for a novel Usher protein complex in hair cell synaptic maturation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marisa Zallocchi

    Full Text Available The molecular mechanisms underlying hair cell synaptic maturation are not well understood. Cadherin-23 (CDH23, protocadherin-15 (PCDH15 and the very large G-protein coupled receptor 1 (VLGR1 have been implicated in the development of cochlear hair cell stereocilia, while clarin-1 has been suggested to also play a role in synaptogenesis. Mutations in CDH23, PCDH15, VLGR1 and clarin-1 cause Usher syndrome, characterized by congenital deafness, vestibular dysfunction and retinitis pigmentosa. Here we show developmental expression of these Usher proteins in afferent spiral ganglion neurons and hair cell synapses. We identify a novel synaptic Usher complex comprised of clarin-1 and specific isoforms of CDH23, PCDH15 and VLGR1. To establish the in vivo relevance of this complex, we performed morphological and quantitative analysis of the neuronal fibers and their synapses in the Clrn1-/- mouse, which was generated by incomplete deletion of the gene. These mice showed a delay in neuronal/synaptic maturation by both immunostaining and electron microscopy. Analysis of the ribbon synapses in Ames waltzer(av3J mice also suggests a delay in hair cell synaptogenesis. Collectively, these results show that, in addition to the well documented role for Usher proteins in stereocilia development, Usher protein complexes comprised of specific protein isoforms likely function in synaptic maturation as well.

  5. Pam heterozygous mice reveal essential role for Cu in amygdalar behavioral and synaptic function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaier, Eric D; Eipper, Betty A; Mains, Richard E

    2014-05-01

    Copper (Cu) is an essential element with many biological roles, but its roles in the mammalian nervous system are poorly understood. Mice deficient in the cuproenzyme peptidylglycine α-amidating monooxygenase (Pam(+/-) mice) were initially generated to study neuropeptide amidation. Pam(+/-) mice exhibit profound deficits in a few behavioral tasks, including enhancements in innate fear along with deficits in acquired fear. Interestingly, several Pam(+/-) phenotypes were recapitulated in Cu-restricted wild-type mice and rescued in Cu-supplemented Pam(+/-) mice. These behaviors correspond to enhanced excitability and deficient synaptic plasticity in the amygdala of Pam(+/-) mice, which are also rescued by Cu supplementation. Cu and ATP7A are present at synapses, in key positions to respond to and influence synaptic activity. Further study demonstrated that extracellular Cu is necessary for wild-type synaptic plasticity and sufficient to induce long-term potentiation. These experiments support roles for PAM in Cu homeostasis and for synaptic Cu in amygdalar function. © 2014 New York Academy of Sciences.

  6. Synaptic Conversion of Chloride-Dependent Synapses in Spinal Nociceptive Circuits: Roles in Neuropathic Pain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark S. Cooper

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Electrophysiological conversion of chloride-dependent synapses from inhibitory to excitatory function, as a result of aberrant neuronal chloride homeostasis, is a known mechanism for the genesis of neuropathic pain. This paper examines theoretically how this type of synaptic conversion can disrupt circuit logic in spinal nociceptive circuits. First, a mathematical scaling factor is developed to represent local aberration in chloride electrochemical driving potential. Using this mathematical scaling factor, electrophysiological symbols are developed to represent the magnitude of synaptic conversion within nociceptive circuits. When inserted into a nociceptive circuit diagram, these symbols assist in understanding the generation of neuropathic pain associated with the collapse of transmembrane chloride gradients. A more generalized scaling factor is also derived to represent the interplay of chloride and bicarbonate driving potentials on the function of GABAergic and glycinergic synapses. These mathematical and symbolic representations of synaptic conversion help illustrate the critical role that anion driving potentials play in the transduction of pain. Using these representations, we discuss ramifications of glial-mediated synaptic conversion in the genesis, and treatment, of neuropathic pain.

  7. Defective Glycinergic Synaptic Transmission in Zebrafish Motility Mutants

    OpenAIRE

    Hirata, Hiromi; Carta, Eloisa; Yamanaka, Iori; Harvey, Robert J.; Kuwada, John Y.

    2010-01-01

    Glycine is a major inhibitory neurotransmitter in the spinal cord and brainstem. Recently, in vivo analysis of glycinergic synaptic transmission has been pursued in zebrafish using molecular genetics. An ENU mutagenesis screen identified two behavioral mutants that are defective in glycinergic synaptic transmission. Zebrafish bandoneon (beo) mutants have a defect in glrbb, one of the duplicated glycine receptor (GlyR) β subunit genes. These mutants exhibit a loss of glycinergic synaptic ...

  8. Distributed Wind Competitiveness Improvement Project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    2018-02-27

    The Competitiveness Improvement Project (CIP) is a periodic solicitation through the U.S. Department of Energy and its National Renewable Energy Laboratory. The Competitiveness Improvement Project (CIP) is a periodic solicitation through the U.S. Department of Energy and its National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Manufacturers of small and medium wind turbines are awarded cost-shared grants via a competitive process to optimize their designs, develop advanced manufacturing processes, and perform turbine testing. The goals of the CIP are to make wind energy cost competitive with other distributed generation technology and increase the number of wind turbine designs certified to national testing standards. This fact sheet describes the CIP and funding awarded as part of the project.ufacturers of small and medium wind turbines are awarded cost-shared grants via a competitive process to optimize their designs, develop advanced manufacturing processes, and perform turbine testing. The goals of the CIP are to make wind energy cost competitive with other distributed generation technology and increase the number of wind turbine designs certified to national testing standards. This fact sheet describes the CIP and funding awarded as part of the project.

  9. Generation of Monoclonal Antibodies against Ag85A Antigen of Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Application in a Competitive ELISA for Serodiagnosis of Bovine Tuberculosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhengzhong Xu

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available The Ag85 complex functions as the main secretory protein of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M. tuberculosis and BCG. This complex is composed of the proteins, Ag85A, Ag85B, and Ag85C, with Ag85A thought to play the largest role within the complex. However, the lack of commercially available monoclonal antibodies (mAbs against Ag85A still hinders the biological and applicative research on this protein. In this study, we developed and identified anti-Ag85A mAbs, and five hybridoma cells were established. Using the indirect immunofluorescence test, we found that two anti-Ag85A mAbs did not cross-react with Ag85B and/or Ag85C. In addition, we showed that all of the mAbs tested in this study are able to react with endogenous Ag85A protein in BCG and rBCG:Ag85A using indirect ELISA and Western blot analyses. A competitive ELISA (cELISA based on mAb 3B8 was developed, the analyses of clinic serum samples from cattle with bovine tuberculosis (TB and healthy cattle demonstrated that the sensitivity of the cELISA was 54.2% (26/48 and the specificity was 83.5% (167/200. This study demonstrated that the mAbs against Ag85A will provide useful reagents for further investigation into the function of the Ag85 complex and can be used for serodiagnosis of bovine TB.

  10. Statistical mechanics of attractor neural network models with synaptic depression

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Igarashi, Yasuhiko; Oizumi, Masafumi; Otsubo, Yosuke; Nagata, Kenji; Okada, Masato

    2009-01-01

    Synaptic depression is known to control gain for presynaptic inputs. Since cortical neurons receive thousands of presynaptic inputs, and their outputs are fed into thousands of other neurons, the synaptic depression should influence macroscopic properties of neural networks. We employ simple neural network models to explore the macroscopic effects of synaptic depression. Systems with the synaptic depression cannot be analyzed due to asymmetry of connections with the conventional equilibrium statistical-mechanical approach. Thus, we first propose a microscopic dynamical mean field theory. Next, we derive macroscopic steady state equations and discuss the stabilities of steady states for various types of neural network models.

  11. Experimental Implementation of a Biometric Laser Synaptic Sensor

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexander N. Pisarchik

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available We fabricate a biometric laser fiber synaptic sensor to transmit information from one neuron cell to the other by an optical way. The optical synapse is constructed on the base of an erbium-doped fiber laser, whose pumped diode current is driven by a pre-synaptic FitzHugh–Nagumo electronic neuron, and the laser output controls a post-synaptic FitzHugh–Nagumo electronic neuron. The implemented laser synapse displays very rich dynamics, including fixed points, periodic orbits with different frequency-locking ratios and chaos. These regimes can be beneficial for efficient biorobotics, where behavioral flexibility subserved by synaptic connectivity is a challenge.

  12. A pivotal role of GSK-3 in synaptic plasticity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Clarrisa A Bradley

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK-3 has many cellular functions. Recent evidence suggests that it plays a key role in certain types of synaptic plasticity, in particular a form of long-term depression (LTD that is induced by the synaptic activation of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA receptors. In the present article we summarise what is currently known concerning the roles of GSK-3 in synaptic plasticity at both glutamatergic and GABAergic synapses. We summarise its role in cognition and speculate on how alterations in the synaptic functioning of GSK-3 may be a major factor in certain neurodegenerative disorders.

  13. Endogenous, Imperfectly Competitive Business Cycles

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Whitta-Jacobsen, Hans Jørgen

    We investigate how imperfect competition affects the occurrence and the properties of endogenous, rational expectations business cycles in an overlapping generations model with constant returns to scale in production. The model has explicit product and labor markets all characterized...... by monopolistic competition. An implicit assumption of barriers to entry justifies that the number of firms is fixed even when positive profits occur. It turns out that both market power of firms on the product markets and market power of unions on the labor markets make the occurrence of cycles more likely....... In particular, imperfect competition on the product markets and the positive profits associated with it may have the effect that there is a cycle even if the labor supply curve is increasing in the real-wage rate. For competitive cycles is required not only a decreasing labor supply curve, but a wage elasticity...

  14. Competitive balance in national European soccer competitions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Haan, M.A.; Koning, R.H.; van Witteloostuijn, A.; Albert, Jim; Koning, Ruud H.

    2007-01-01

    According to popular belief, competitive balance in national soccer competitions in Europe has decreased due to the Bosman ruling and the introduction of the Champions League. We test this hypothesis using data from 7 national competitions, for a host of indicators. We find some evidence for

  15. Putting competition into perspective

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jones, L. III.

    1993-01-01

    This paper examines the current level of competition in the electric industry in the context of the history of the industry and the development of electric markets in other counties. The topics of the paper include competition in the history of the American electric industry, the current state of competition, the competitive situation in Texas, competition in other electric markets, and competitive changes in the US market

  16. Artificial Synaptic Devices Based on Natural Chicken Albumen Coupled Electric-Double-Layer Transistors

    OpenAIRE

    Wu, Guodong; Feng, Ping; Wan, Xiang; Zhu, Liqiang; Shi, Yi; Wan, Qing

    2016-01-01

    Recent progress in using biomaterials to fabricate functional electronics has got growing attention for the new generation of environmentally friendly and biocompatible electronic devices. As a kind of biological material with rich source, proteins are essential natural component of all organisms. At the same time, artificial synaptic devices are of great significance for neuromorphic systems because they can emulate the signal process and memory behaviors of biological synapses. In this repo...

  17. Value of Flexible Resources, Virtual Bidding, and Self-Scheduling in Two-Settlement Electricity Markets With Wind Generation – Part I: Principles and Competitive Model

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kazempour, Jalal; Hobbs, Benjamin F.

    2017-01-01

    Part one of this two-part paper presents new models for evaluating flexible resources in two-settlement electricity markets (day-ahead and real-time) with uncertain net loads (demand minus wind). Physical resources include wind together with fast- and slow-start demand response and thermal...... of certain equivalencies of the four models. We show how virtual bidding enhances market performance, since, together with self-scheduling by slow-start generators, it can help deterministic day-ahead market to choose the most efficient unit commitment....

  18. Synaptic Democracy and Vesicular Transport in Axons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bressloff, Paul C.; Levien, Ethan

    2015-04-01

    Synaptic democracy concerns the general problem of how regions of an axon or dendrite far from the cell body (soma) of a neuron can play an effective role in neuronal function. For example, stimulated synapses far from the soma are unlikely to influence the firing of a neuron unless some sort of active dendritic processing occurs. Analogously, the motor-driven transport of newly synthesized proteins from the soma to presynaptic targets along the axon tends to favor the delivery of resources to proximal synapses. Both of these phenomena reflect fundamental limitations of transport processes based on a localized source. In this Letter, we show that a more democratic distribution of proteins along an axon can be achieved by making the transport process less efficient. This involves two components: bidirectional or "stop-and-go" motor transport (which can be modeled in terms of advection-diffusion), and reversible interactions between motor-cargo complexes and synaptic targets. Both of these features have recently been observed experimentally. Our model suggests that, just as in human societies, there needs to be a balance between "efficiency" and "equality".

  19. Hyperforin inhibits vesicular uptake of monoamines by dissipating pH gradient across synaptic vesicle membrane.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roz, Netta; Rehavi, Moshe

    2003-06-13

    Extracts of Hypericum perforatum (St. John's wort) have antidepressant properties in depressed patients and exert antidepressant-like action in laboratory animals. The phloroglucinol derivative hyperforin has become a topic of interest, as this Hypericum component is a potent inhibitor of monoamines reuptake. The molecular mechanism by which hyperforin inhibits monoamines uptake is yet unclear. In the present study we try to clarify the mechanism by which hyperforin inhibits the synaptic vesicle transport of monoamines. The pH gradient across the synaptic vesicle membrane, induced by vacuolar type H(+)-ATPase, is the major driving force for vesicular monoamines uptake and storage. We suggest that hyperforin, like the protonophore FCCP, dissipates an existing Delta pH generated by an efflux of inwardly pumped protons. Proton transport was measured by acridine orange fluorescence quenching. Adding Mg-ATP to a medium containing 130 mM KCl and synaptic vesicles caused an immediate decrease in fluorescence of acridine orange and the addition of 1 microM FCCP abolished this effect. H(+)-ATPase dependent proton pumping was inhibited by hyperforin in a dose dependent manner (IC(50) = 1.9 x 10(-7) M). Hyperforin acted similarly to the protonophore FCCP, abolishing the ATP induced fluorescence quenching (IC(50) = 4.3 x 10(-7) M). Hyperforin and FCCP had similar potencies for inhibiting rat brain synaptosomal uptake of [3H]monoamines as well as vesicular monoamine uptake. The efflux of [3H]5HT from synaptic vesicles was sensitive to both drugs, thus 50% of preloaded [3H]5HT was released in the presence of 2.1 x 10(-7) M FCCP and 4 x 10(-7) M hyperforin. The effect of hyperforin on the pH gradient in synaptic vesicle membrane may explain its inhibitory effect on monoamines uptake, but could only partially explain its antidepressant properties.

  20. Is nuclear power competitive

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brandfon, W.W.

    1984-01-01

    The first phase of a two-phase study of the competitiveness of electricity from new coal and nuclear plants with oil and natural gas in common markets concludes that, with few exceptions throughout the country, overall levelized nuclear generating cost could be lower than coal generating costs by more than 40%. The study shows a wider margin of economic superiority for nuclear than has been seen in other recent studies. Capital and fuel costs are the major determinants of relative nuclear and coal economics. The only substantial difference in the input assumptions has related to a shorter lead time for both coal and nuclear units, which reduces capital costs. The study gives substance to the charge that delaying tactics by intervenors and an unstable licensing environment drove up lifetime costs of both coal and nuclear plants. This caused an increase in electric rates and affected the entire economy. The study shows that nuclear power is competitive when large baseload capacity is required. 14 figures

  1. Inferring Trial-to-Trial Excitatory and Inhibitory Synaptic Inputs from Membrane Potential using Gaussian Mixture Kalman Filtering

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Milad eLankarany

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Time-varying excitatory and inhibitory synaptic inputs govern activity of neurons and process information in the brain. The importance of trial-to-trial fluctuations of synaptic inputs has recently been investigated in neuroscience. Such fluctuations are ignored in the most conventional techniques because they are removed when trials are averaged during linear regression techniques. Here, we propose a novel recursive algorithm based on Gaussian mixture Kalman filtering for estimating time-varying excitatory and inhibitory synaptic inputs from single trials of noisy membrane potential in current clamp recordings. The Kalman filtering is followed by an expectation maximization algorithm to infer the statistical parameters (time-varying mean and variance of the synaptic inputs in a non-parametric manner. As our proposed algorithm is repeated recursively, the inferred parameters of the mixtures are used to initiate the next iteration. Unlike other recent algorithms, our algorithm does not assume an a priori distribution from which the synaptic inputs are generated. Instead, the algorithm recursively estimates such a distribution by fitting a Gaussian mixture model. The performance of the proposed algorithms is compared to a previously proposed PF-based algorithm (Paninski et al., 2012 with several illustrative examples, assuming that the distribution of synaptic input is unknown. If noise is small, the performance of our algorithms is similar to that of the previous one. However, if noise is large, they can significantly outperform the previous proposal. These promising results suggest that our algorithm is a robust and efficient technique for estimating time varying excitatory and inhibitory synaptic conductances from single trials of membrane potential recordings.

  2. A presynaptic role for PKA in synaptic tagging and memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Alan Jung; Havekes, Robbert; Choi, Jennifer Hk; Luczak, Vince; Nie, Ting; Huang, Ted; Abel, Ted

    2014-10-01

    Protein kinase A (PKA) and other signaling molecules are spatially restricted within neurons by A-kinase anchoring proteins (AKAPs). Although studies on compartmentalized PKA signaling have focused on postsynaptic mechanisms, presynaptically anchored PKA may contribute to synaptic plasticity and memory because PKA also regulates presynaptic transmitter release. Here, we examine this issue using genetic and pharmacological application of Ht31, a PKA anchoring disrupting peptide. At the hippocampal Schaffer collateral CA3-CA1 synapse, Ht31 treatment elicits a rapid decay of synaptic responses to repetitive stimuli, indicating a fast depletion of the readily releasable pool of synaptic vesicles. The interaction between PKA and proteins involved in producing this pool of synaptic vesicles is supported by biochemical assays showing that synaptic vesicle protein 2 (SV2), Rim1, and SNAP25 are components of a complex that interacts with cAMP. Moreover, acute treatment with Ht31 reduces the levels of SV2. Finally, experiments with transgenic mouse lines, which express Ht31 in excitatory neurons at the Schaffer collateral CA3-CA1 synapse, highlight a requirement for presynaptically anchored PKA in pathway-specific synaptic tagging and long-term contextual fear memory. These results suggest that a presynaptically compartmentalized PKA is critical for synaptic plasticity and memory by regulating the readily releasable pool of synaptic vesicles. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Glutamatergic synaptic plasticity in the mesocorticolimbic system in addiction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aile evan Huijstee

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Addictive drugs remodel the brain’s reward circuitry, the mesocorticolimbic dopamine system, by inducing widespread adaptations of glutamatergic synapses. This drug-induced synaptic plasticity is thought to contribute to both the development and the persistence of addiction. This review highlights the synaptic modifications that are induced by in vivo exposure to addictive drugs and describes how these drug-induced synaptic changes may contribute to the different components of addictive behaviour, such as compulsive drug use despite negative consequences and relapse. Initially, exposure to an addictive drug induces synaptic changes in the ventral tegmental area (VTA. This drug-induced synaptic potentiation in the VTA subsequently triggers synaptic changes in downstream areas of the mesocorticolimbic system, such as the nucleus accumbens (NAc and the prefrontal cortex (PFC, with further drug exposure. These glutamatergic synaptic alterations are then thought to mediate many of the behavioural symptoms that characterize addiction. The later stages of glutamatergic synaptic plasticity in the NAc and in particular in the PFC play a role in maintaining addiction and drive relapse to drug-taking induced by drug-associated cues. Remodelling of PFC glutamatergic circuits can persist into adulthood, causing a lasting vulnerability to relapse. We will discuss how these neurobiological changes produced by drugs of abuse may provide novel targets for potential treatment strategies for addiction.

  4. Phosphodiesterase Inhibition to Target the Synaptic Dysfunction in Alzheimer's Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bales, Kelly R.; Plath, Niels; Svenstrup, Niels; Menniti, Frank S.

    Alzheimer's Disease (AD) is a disease of synaptic dysfunction that ultimately proceeds to neuronal death. There is a wealth of evidence that indicates the final common mediator of this neurotoxic process is the formation and actions on synaptotoxic b-amyloid (Aβ). The premise in this review is that synaptic dysfunction may also be an initiating factor in for AD and promote synaptotoxic Aβ formation. This latter hypothesis is consistent with the fact that the most common risk factors for AD, apolipoprotein E (ApoE) allele status, age, education, and fitness, encompass suboptimal synaptic function. Thus, the synaptic dysfunction in AD may be both cause and effect, and remediating synaptic dysfunction in AD may have acute effects on the symptoms present at the initiation of therapy and also slow disease progression. The cyclic nucleotide (cAMP and cGMP) signaling systems are intimately involved in the regulation of synaptic homeostasis. The phosphodiesterases (PDEs) are a superfamily of enzymes that critically regulate spatial and temporal aspects of cyclic nucleotide signaling through metabolic inactivation of cAMP and cGMP. Thus, targeting the PDEs to promote improved synaptic function, or 'synaptic resilience', may be an effective and facile approach to new symptomatic and disease modifying therapies for AD. There continues to be a significant drug discovery effort aimed at discovering PDE inhibitors to treat a variety of neuropsychiatric disorders. Here we review the current status of those efforts as they relate to potential new therapies for AD.

  5. Synaptogenic proteins and synaptic organizers: "many hands make light work".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brose, Nils

    2009-03-12

    Synaptogenesis is thought to be mediated by cell adhesion proteins, which induce the initial contact between an axon and its target cell and subsequently recruit and organize the presynaptic and postsynaptic protein machinery required for synaptic transmission. A new study by Linhoff and colleagues in this issue of Neuron identifies adhesion proteins of the LRRTM family as novel synaptic organizers.

  6. Synaptic Tagging, Evaluation of Memories, and the Distal Reward Problem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Papper, Marc; Kempter, Richard; Leibold, Christian

    2011-01-01

    Long-term synaptic plasticity exhibits distinct phases. The synaptic tagging hypothesis suggests an early phase in which synapses are prepared, or "tagged," for protein capture, and a late phase in which those proteins are integrated into the synapses to achieve memory consolidation. The synapse specificity of the tags is consistent with…

  7. Glutamatergic synaptic plasticity in the mesocorticolimbic system in addiction

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Huijstee, Aile N.; Mansvelder, Huibert D.

    2015-01-01

    Addictive drugs remodel the brain’s reward circuitry, the mesocorticolimbic dopamine (DA) system, by inducing widespread adaptations of glutamatergic synapses. This drug-induced synaptic plasticity is thought to contribute to both the development and the persistence of addiction. This review highlights the synaptic modifications that are induced by in vivo exposure to addictive drugs and describes how these drug-induced synaptic changes may contribute to the different components of addictive behavior, such as compulsive drug use despite negative consequences and relapse. Initially, exposure to an addictive drug induces synaptic changes in the ventral tegmental area (VTA). This drug-induced synaptic potentiation in the VTA subsequently triggers synaptic changes in downstream areas of the mesocorticolimbic system, such as the nucleus accumbens (NAc) and the prefrontal cortex (PFC), with further drug exposure. These glutamatergic synaptic alterations are then thought to mediate many of the behavioral symptoms that characterize addiction. The later stages of glutamatergic synaptic plasticity in the NAc and in particular in the PFC play a role in maintaining addiction and drive relapse to drug-taking induced by drug-associated cues. Remodeling of PFC glutamatergic circuits can persist into adulthood, causing a lasting vulnerability to relapse. We will discuss how these neurobiological changes produced by drugs of abuse may provide novel targets for potential treatment strategies for addiction. PMID:25653591

  8. Modulation of synaptic plasticity by stress hormone associates with plastic alteration of synaptic NMDA receptor in the adult hippocampus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yiu Chung Tse

    Full Text Available Stress exerts a profound impact on learning and memory, in part, through the actions of adrenal corticosterone (CORT on synaptic plasticity, a cellular model of learning and memory. Increasing findings suggest that CORT exerts its impact on synaptic plasticity by altering the functional properties of glutamate receptors, which include changes in the motility and function of α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methylisoxazole-4-propionic acid subtype of glutamate receptor (AMPAR that are responsible for the expression of synaptic plasticity. Here we provide evidence that CORT could also regulate synaptic plasticity by modulating the function of synaptic N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors (NMDARs, which mediate the induction of synaptic plasticity. We found that stress level CORT applied to adult rat hippocampal slices potentiated evoked NMDAR-mediated synaptic responses within 30 min. Surprisingly, following this fast-onset change, we observed a slow-onset (>1 hour after termination of CORT exposure increase in synaptic expression of GluN2A-containing NMDARs. To investigate the consequences of the distinct fast- and slow-onset modulation of NMDARs for synaptic plasticity, we examined the formation of long-term potentiation (LTP and long-term depression (LTD within relevant time windows. Paralleling the increased NMDAR function, both LTP and LTD were facilitated during CORT treatment. However, 1-2 hours after CORT treatment when synaptic expression of GluN2A-containing NMDARs is increased, bidirectional plasticity was no longer facilitated. Our findings reveal the remarkable plasticity of NMDARs in the adult hippocampus in response to CORT. CORT-mediated slow-onset increase in GluN2A in hippocampal synapses could be a homeostatic mechanism to normalize synaptic plasticity following fast-onset stress-induced facilitation.

  9. MPTP-meditated hippocampal dopamine deprivation modulates synaptic transmission and activity-dependent synaptic plasticity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhu Guoqi; Chen Ying; Huang Yuying; Li Qinglin; Behnisch, Thomas

    2011-01-01

    Parkinson's disease (PD)-like symptoms including learning deficits are inducible by 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP). Therefore, it is possible that MPTP may disturb hippocampal memory processing by modulation of dopamine (DA)- and activity-dependent synaptic plasticity. We demonstrate here that intraperitoneal (i.p.) MPTP injection reduces the number of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH)-positive neurons in the substantia nigra (SN) within 7 days. Subsequently, the TH expression level in SN and hippocampus and the amount of DA and its metabolite DOPAC in striatum and hippocampus decrease. DA depletion does not alter basal synaptic transmission and changes pair-pulse facilitation (PPF) of field excitatory postsynaptic potentials (fEPSPs) only at the 30 ms inter-pulse interval. In addition, the induction of long-term potentiation (LTP) is impaired whereas the duration of long-term depression (LTD) becomes prolonged. Since both LTP and LTD depend critically on activation of NMDA and DA receptors, we also tested the effect of DA depletion on NMDA receptor-mediated synaptic transmission. Seven days after MPTP injection, the NMDA receptor-mediated fEPSPs are decreased by about 23%. Blocking the NMDA receptor-mediated fEPSP does not mimic the MPTP-LTP. Only co-application of D1/D5 and NMDA receptor antagonists during tetanization resembled the time course of fEPSP potentiation as observed 7 days after i.p. MPTP injection. Together, our data demonstrate that MPTP-induced degeneration of DA neurons and the subsequent hippocampal DA depletion alter NMDA receptor-mediated synaptic transmission and activity-dependent synaptic plasticity. - Highlights: → I.p. MPTP-injection mediates death of dopaminergic neurons. → I.p. MPTP-injection depletes DA and DOPAC in striatum and hippocampus. → I.p. MPTP-injection does not alter basal synaptic transmission. → Reduction of LTP and enhancement of LTD after i.p. MPTP-injection. → Attenuation of NMDA-receptors mediated

  10. Nicotinic mechanisms influencing synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Andon Nicholas PLACZEK; Tao A ZHANG; John Anthony DANI

    2009-01-01

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are expressed throughout the hippocampus, and nicotinic signaling plays an important role in neuronal function. In the context of learning and memory related behaviors associated with hippocampal function, a potentially significant feature of nAChR activity is the impact it has on synaptic plasticity. Synaptic plasticity in hippocampal neurons has long been considered a contributing cellular mechanism of learning and memory. These same kinds of cellular mechanisms are a factor in the development of nicotine addiction. Nicotinic signaling has been demonstrated by in vitro studies to affect synaptic plasticity in hippocampal neurons via multiple steps, and the signaling has also been shown to evoke synaptic plasticity in vivo. This review focuses on the nAChRs subtypes that contribute to hippocampal synaptic plasticity at the cellular and circuit level. It also considers nicotinic influences over long-term changes in the hippocampus that may contribute to addiction.

  11. Synaptic transmission block by presynaptic injection of oligomeric amyloid beta

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreno, Herman; Yu, Eunah; Pigino, Gustavo; Hernandez, Alejandro I.; Kim, Natalia; Moreira, Jorge E.; Sugimori, Mutsuyuki; Llinás, Rodolfo R.

    2009-01-01

    Early Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathophysiology is characterized by synaptic changes induced by degradation products of amyloid precursor protein (APP). The exact mechanisms of such modulation are unknown. Here, we report that nanomolar concentrations of intraaxonal oligomeric (o)Aβ42, but not oAβ40 or extracellular oAβ42, acutely inhibited synaptic transmission at the squid giant synapse. Further characterization of this phenotype demonstrated that presynaptic calcium currents were unaffected. However, electron microscopy experiments revealed diminished docked synaptic vesicles in oAβ42-microinjected terminals, without affecting clathrin-coated vesicles. The molecular events of this modulation involved casein kinase 2 and the synaptic vesicle rapid endocytosis pathway. These findings open the possibility of a new therapeutic target aimed at ameliorating synaptic dysfunction in AD. PMID:19304802

  12. [Involvement of aquaporin-4 in synaptic plasticity, learning and memory].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Xin; Gao, Jian-Feng

    2017-06-25

    Aquaporin-4 (AQP-4) is the predominant water channel in the central nervous system (CNS) and primarily expressed in astrocytes. Astrocytes have been generally believed to play important roles in regulating synaptic plasticity and information processing. However, the role of AQP-4 in regulating synaptic plasticity, learning and memory, cognitive function is only beginning to be investigated. It is well known that synaptic plasticity is the prime candidate for mediating of learning and memory. Long term potentiation (LTP) and long term depression (LTD) are two forms of synaptic plasticity, and they share some but not all the properties and mechanisms. Hippocampus is a part of limbic system that is particularly important in regulation of learning and memory. This article is to review some research progresses of the function of AQP-4 in synaptic plasticity, learning and memory, and propose the possible role of AQP-4 as a new target in the treatment of cognitive dysfunction.

  13. Stochastic lattice model of synaptic membrane protein domains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yiwei; Kahraman, Osman; Haselwandter, Christoph A

    2017-05-01

    Neurotransmitter receptor molecules, concentrated in synaptic membrane domains along with scaffolds and other kinds of proteins, are crucial for signal transmission across chemical synapses. In common with other membrane protein domains, synaptic domains are characterized by low protein copy numbers and protein crowding, with rapid stochastic turnover of individual molecules. We study here in detail a stochastic lattice model of the receptor-scaffold reaction-diffusion dynamics at synaptic domains that was found previously to capture, at the mean-field level, the self-assembly, stability, and characteristic size of synaptic domains observed in experiments. We show that our stochastic lattice model yields quantitative agreement with mean-field models of nonlinear diffusion in crowded membranes. Through a combination of analytic and numerical solutions of the master equation governing the reaction dynamics at synaptic domains, together with kinetic Monte Carlo simulations, we find substantial discrepancies between mean-field and stochastic models for the reaction dynamics at synaptic domains. Based on the reaction and diffusion properties of synaptic receptors and scaffolds suggested by previous experiments and mean-field calculations, we show that the stochastic reaction-diffusion dynamics of synaptic receptors and scaffolds provide a simple physical mechanism for collective fluctuations in synaptic domains, the molecular turnover observed at synaptic domains, key features of the observed single-molecule trajectories, and spatial heterogeneity in the effective rates at which receptors and scaffolds are recycled at the cell membrane. Our work sheds light on the physical mechanisms and principles linking the collective properties of membrane protein domains to the stochastic dynamics that rule their molecular components.

  14. Agglomeration economies, competitiveness and entrepreneurial performance

    OpenAIRE

    Páger, Balázs; Komlósi, Éva

    2015-01-01

    This paper aims to elaborate the role of agglomeration effects on countries' competitiveness and entrepreneurial performance. Our research contributes to the understanding of the relationship that exists between a country's urban system characterized by spatial agglomeration (concentration) or deglomeration (deconcentration) processes, and its competitiveness and entrepreneurial performance, respectively. Urbanization economies refer to considerable cost savings generated through the locating...

  15. Leucine-rich repeat-containing synaptic adhesion molecules as organizers of synaptic specificity and diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schroeder, Anna; de Wit, Joris

    2018-04-09

    The brain harbors billions of neurons that form distinct neural circuits with exquisite specificity. Specific patterns of connectivity between distinct neuronal cell types permit the transfer and computation of information. The molecular correlates that give rise to synaptic specificity are incompletely understood. Recent studies indicate that cell-surface molecules are important determinants of cell type identity and suggest that these are essential players in the specification of synaptic connectivity. Leucine-rich repeat (LRR)-containing adhesion molecules in particular have emerged as key organizers of excitatory and inhibitory synapses. Here, we discuss emerging evidence that LRR proteins regulate the assembly of specific connectivity patterns across neural circuits, and contribute to the diverse structural and functional properties of synapses, two key features that are critical for the proper formation and function of neural circuits.

  16. Ankyrins: Roles in synaptic biology and pathology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Katharine R; Penzes, Peter

    2018-05-03

    Ankyrins are broadly expressed adaptors that organize diverse membrane proteins into specialized domains and link them to the sub-membranous cytoskeleton. In neurons, ankyrins are known to have essential roles in organizing the axon initial segment and nodes of Ranvier. However, recent studies have revealed novel functions for ankyrins at synapses, where they organize and stabilize neurotransmitter receptors, modulate dendritic spine morphology and control adhesion to the presynaptic site. Ankyrin genes have also been highly associated with a range of neurodevelopmental and psychiatric diseases, including bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and autism, which all demonstrate overlap in their genetics, mechanisms and phenotypes. This review discusses the novel synaptic functions of ankyrin proteins in neurons, and places these exciting findings in the context of ANK genes as key neuropsychiatric disorder risk-factors. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Alzheimer's disease: synaptic dysfunction and Abeta

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Shankar, Ganesh M

    2009-11-23

    Abstract Synapse loss is an early and invariant feature of Alzheimer\\'s disease (AD) and there is a strong correlation between the extent of synapse loss and the severity of dementia. Accordingly, it has been proposed that synapse loss underlies the memory impairment evident in the early phase of AD and that since plasticity is important for neuronal viability, persistent disruption of plasticity may account for the frank cell loss typical of later phases of the disease. Extensive multi-disciplinary research has implicated the amyloid β-protein (Aβ) in the aetiology of AD and here we review the evidence that non-fibrillar soluble forms of Aβ are mediators of synaptic compromise. We also discuss the possible mechanisms of Aβ synaptotoxicity and potential targets for therapeutic intervention.

  18. Optogenetic acidification of synaptic vesicles and lysosomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rost, Benjamin R; Schneider, Franziska; Grauel, M Katharina; Wozny, Christian; Bentz, Claudia; Blessing, Anja; Rosenmund, Tanja; Jentsch, Thomas J; Schmitz, Dietmar; Hegemann, Peter; Rosenmund, Christian

    2015-12-01

    Acidification is required for the function of many intracellular organelles, but methods to acutely manipulate their intraluminal pH have not been available. Here we present a targeting strategy to selectively express the light-driven proton pump Arch3 on synaptic vesicles. Our new tool, pHoenix, can functionally replace endogenous proton pumps, enabling optogenetic control of vesicular acidification and neurotransmitter accumulation. Under physiological conditions, glutamatergic vesicles are nearly full, as additional vesicle acidification with pHoenix only slightly increased the quantal size. By contrast, we found that incompletely filled vesicles exhibited a lower release probability than full vesicles, suggesting preferential exocytosis of vesicles with high transmitter content. Our subcellular targeting approach can be transferred to other organelles, as demonstrated for a pHoenix variant that allows light-activated acidification of lysosomes.

  19. Fatores geradores de competitividade na manufatura: uma relação entre práticas e resultados FACTORS THAT GENERATE COMPETITIVENESS IN MANUFACTURING: A RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN PRACTICES AND RESULTS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rolf Hermann Erdmann

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available The current context and rapid change a lot of possibilities of decisions organizational environment becomes more complex. The global dimension of competition requires that companies will be administeredunder a new perspective that relations between the different areas of the organization. To this end, it is necessary to observe which are competitive surrounding priorities on the areas and leading the Organization to achieve higher levels of competitiveness. This work, through a vast documentary research in books, journals and Annals, installed a waiver in respect of the main priorities competitive. The consolidated results in 100 (one hundred and thirteen items generators of competitiveness. These were classified into 14 (fourteen groups: Lean Production, Benchmarking, Customer Relations, Technology, Integration, Eco Responsibility, Information, Flexibility, Cost, Quality, Innovation, Reliability, Training and Speed. Still, examined the interrelation between them through a vision of practices and outcomes. From this conclusion future objective studies for the use of these items or factors in the development of an organizational diagnostic tool that takes into account the complex relations of a production system. Normal 0 21 false false false PT-BR X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Tabela normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso

  20. Competition in Japan

    OpenAIRE

    Michael E. Porter; Mariko Sakakibara

    2004-01-01

    This article examines competition in Japan and its link to postwar economic prosperity. While Japan's industrial structure and competition policy seem to indicate that competition in Japan has been less intense, the empirical evidence does not support this conclusion. The sectors in which competition was restricted prove to be those where Japan was not internationally successful. In the internationally successful sectors, internal competition in Japan was invariably fierce. While the level of...

  1. Shank synaptic scaffold proteins: keys to understanding the pathogenesis of autism and other synaptic disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sala, Carlo; Vicidomini, Cinzia; Bigi, Ilaria; Mossa, Adele; Verpelli, Chiara

    2015-12-01

    Shank/ProSAP proteins are essential to synaptic formation, development, and function. Mutations in the family of SHANK genes are strongly associated with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and other neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric disorders, such as intellectual disability (ID), and schizophrenia. Thus, the term 'Shankopathies' identifies a number of neuronal diseases caused by alteration of Shank protein expression leading to abnormal synaptic development. With this review we want to summarize the major genetic, molecular, behavior and electrophysiological studies that provide new clues into the function of Shanks and pave the way for the discovery of new therapeutic drugs targeted to treat patients with SHANK mutations and also patients affected by other neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric disorders. Shank/ProSAP proteins are essential to synaptic formation, development, and function. Mutations in the family of SHANK genes are strongly associated with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and other neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric disorders, such as intellectual disability (ID), and schizophrenia (SCZ). With this review we want to summarize the major genetic, molecular, behavior and electrophysiological studies that provide new clues into the function of Shanks and pave the way for the discovery of new therapeutic drugs targeted to treat patients with SHANK mutations. © 2015 International Society for Neurochemistry.

  2. Mixing, entropy and competition

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Klimenko, A Y

    2012-01-01

    Non-traditional thermodynamics, applied to random behaviour associated with turbulence, mixing and competition, is reviewed and analysed. Competitive mixing represents a general framework for the study of generic properties of competitive systems and can be used to model a wide class of non-equilibrium phenomena ranging from turbulent premixed flames and invasion waves to complex competitive systems. We demonstrate consistency of the general principles of competition with thermodynamic description, review and analyse the related entropy concepts and introduce the corresponding competitive H-theorem. A competitive system can be characterized by a thermodynamic quantity—competitive potential—which determines the likely direction of evolution of the system. Contested resources tend to move between systems from lower to higher values of the competitive potential. There is, however, an important difference between conventional thermodynamics and competitive thermodynamics. While conventional thermodynamics is constrained by its zeroth law and is fundamentally transitive, the transitivity of competitive thermodynamics depends on the transitivity of the competition rules. Intransitivities are common in the real world and are responsible for complex behaviour in competitive systems. This work follows ideas and methods that have originated from the analysis of turbulent combustion, but reviews a much broader scope of issues linked to mixing and competition, including thermodynamic characterization of complex competitive systems with self-organization. The approach presented here is interdisciplinary and is addressed to the general educated readers, whereas the mathematical details can be found in the appendices. (comment)

  3. Electricity competition and clean air

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gibbons, J.; Bjorkquist, S.

    1998-04-01

    The government of Ontario plans to establish a competitive market for the generation and sale of electricity by the year 2000, at which time Ontario Hydro will lose its monopoly. The government's rationale for moving to a competitive electricity market and the details of why this move could lead to a significant increase in air pollution was discussed. An overview of the health and environmental effects of electricity related air pollution was presented and the current national and provincial air quality objectives were outlined. The government of Ontario has promised that in implementing a competitive electricity market it will ensure that the province's environmental protection record is maintained and improved. It was suggested that in order to fulfill this commitment, new environmental regulations should be established to ensure that Ontario's total electricity-related emissions will decline when competition begins. Currently, air pollution from coal-fired power generating stations causes some of Ontario's most challenging health and environmental problems. Coal-fired generation stations are also major contributors to the build-up of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. 74 refs., 2 tabs., 2 figs

  4. Electric power in the competitive market - Investing capital for cleaner energy generation still a rewarding business? New perspectives for electrical energy efficiency improvement, the cogeneration technology, and renewable energy generation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schwanhold, E.

    2000-01-01

    The meeting gathered policymakers, members of the energy industry, the business consulting professions, and scientific institutes and relevant technology companies. New perspectives have been discussed in the context of required framework conditions and processes that have to/can be put in place, or further developed, in order to create a concrete basis or stronger incentives for realisation of climate protection and environmental policy goals in the energy sector. There have been two panel discussions on the issue of whether investing in clean generation technologies will be rewarding. Five papers each presented to these panels have been analysed and prepared for separate retrieval from the database, as well as five papers each of the discussion forum A, ''New perspectives for energy efficiency measures and contracting partnerships'', and the discussion forum B, ''New perspectives for distributed power generation with CHP systems''. From the discussion forum C, ''New perspectives for renewable energy sources'', one paper has been prepared for separate retrieval. (CB) [de

  5. Adaptive competitive learning neural networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ahmed R. Abas

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, the adaptive competitive learning (ACL neural network algorithm is proposed. This neural network not only groups similar input feature vectors together but also determines the appropriate number of groups of these vectors. This algorithm uses a new proposed criterion referred to as the ACL criterion. This criterion evaluates different clustering structures produced by the ACL neural network for an input data set. Then, it selects the best clustering structure and the corresponding network architecture for this data set. The selected structure is composed of the minimum number of clusters that are compact and balanced in their sizes. The selected network architecture is efficient, in terms of its complexity, as it contains the minimum number of neurons. Synaptic weight vectors of these neurons represent well-separated, compact and balanced clusters in the input data set. The performance of the ACL algorithm is evaluated and compared with the performance of a recently proposed algorithm in the literature in clustering an input data set and determining its number of clusters. Results show that the ACL algorithm is more accurate and robust in both determining the number of clusters and allocating input feature vectors into these clusters than the other algorithm especially with data sets that are sparsely distributed.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Albers

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albers, Christian; Westkott, Maren; Pawelzik, Klaus

    2016-01-01

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

  8. Does competition influence safety?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pamme, H.

    2000-01-01

    Competition in the deregulated electricity market does not leave nuclear power plants unaffected. Operators seek to run their plants at maximum availability and with optimized cost structures so that specific generating costs are minimized. The 'costs of safety', with their fixed-cost character, are elements of this cost structure. Hence the question whether safety is going to suffer under the cost pressure on the market. The study shows that the process of economic optimization does not permit cost minimization for its own sake in the area of operating costs which can be influenced by management or are 'avoidable'. The basis of assessment rather must be potential risks which could entail losses of availability. Prophylactic investments made in order to avoid losses of availability to a large extent also imply unchanged or even higher levels of safety. Economic viability and safety thus are closely correlated. Competition in a deregulated marekt so far has not done any direct harm to plant safety. An even more efficient use of scarce funds and, hopefully, a tolerable political environment should allow the safety level of nuclear power plants to be upheld, and safety culture to be maintained, also in the future. (orig.) [de

  9. Synapse geometry and receptor dynamics modulate synaptic strength.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dominik Freche

    Full Text Available Synaptic transmission relies on several processes, such as the location of a released vesicle, the number and type of receptors, trafficking between the postsynaptic density (PSD and extrasynaptic compartment, as well as the synapse organization. To study the impact of these parameters on excitatory synaptic transmission, we present a computational model for the fast AMPA-receptor mediated synaptic current. We show that in addition to the vesicular release probability, due to variations in their release locations and the AMPAR distribution, the postsynaptic current amplitude has a large variance, making a synapse an intrinsic unreliable device. We use our model to examine our experimental data recorded from CA1 mice hippocampal slices to study the differences between mEPSC and evoked EPSC variance. The synaptic current but not the coefficient of variation is maximal when the active zone where vesicles are released is apposed to the PSD. Moreover, we find that for certain type of synapses, receptor trafficking can affect the magnitude of synaptic depression. Finally, we demonstrate that perisynaptic microdomains located outside the PSD impacts synaptic transmission by regulating the number of desensitized receptors and their trafficking to the PSD. We conclude that geometrical modifications, reorganization of the PSD or perisynaptic microdomains modulate synaptic strength, as the mechanisms underlying long-term plasticity.

  10. Computing with competition in biochemical networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Genot, Anthony J; Fujii, Teruo; Rondelez, Yannick

    2012-11-16

    Cells rely on limited resources such as enzymes or transcription factors to process signals and make decisions. However, independent cellular pathways often compete for a common molecular resource. Competition is difficult to analyze because of its nonlinear global nature, and its role remains unclear. Here we show how decision pathways such as transcription networks may exploit competition to process information. Competition for one resource leads to the recognition of convex sets of patterns, whereas competition for several resources (overlapping or cascaded regulons) allows even more general pattern recognition. Competition also generates surprising couplings, such as correlating species that share no resource but a common competitor. The mechanism we propose relies on three primitives that are ubiquitous in cells: multiinput motifs, competition for a resource, and positive feedback loops.

  11. COMPETITIVENESS AND COMPETITIVE ORIENTATIONS: EVALUATION OF STUDENTS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. Z. Efimova

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Introduction. Education of a competitive student is a strategically significant problem of the system of higher education in modern social and economic conditions. Personal competitiveness and competitive orientations – priority quality of future expert for successful future professional experience.The aim of the present research is to study factors of competitive orientations formation and criteria for evaluation of competitiveness of student’s youth in the Russian society.Methodology and research methods. Results of theoretical researches of Russian and foreign researchers are generalized; secondary analysis of data based on results of sociological researches and analysis of official statistical data are carried out. The results of the sociological survey undertaken in 2017 on the basis of statistical methods were processed and studied by the instrumentality of IBM SPSS Statistics 23 program; 1196 students of institutions of higher and secondary vocational education of the Tyumen region took part.Results and scientific novelty. It is stated that senior students feel themselves more competitive. It is revealed that a quarter of students who took part in the survey, generally men, count themselves competitive. A continuous distance of goal-setting is recorded among these respondents; in every third case they have plans of professional growth for five and more years that allows them to build attractive competitive strategy.The level of the competitiveness is directly connected with such indicators as “social stratum”, “overall life satisfaction”, “self-esteem of health”, “tendency to lead a healthy lifestyle” and “the level of trust in the surrounding people”. Mostly the students oriented on competition look into the future with confidence and optimism.Respondents focused on the competitiveness were more tend to demonstrate their abilities and cause admiration, have a creative approach towards work, be ready for surprises

  12. A Voltage Mode Memristor Bridge Synaptic Circuit with Memristor Emulators

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leon Chua

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available A memristor bridge neural circuit which is able to perform signed synaptic weighting was proposed in our previous study, where the synaptic operation was verified via software simulation of the mathematical model of the HP memristor. This study is an extension of the previous work advancing toward the circuit implementation where the architecture of the memristor bridge synapse is built with memristor emulator circuits. In addition, a simple neural network which performs both synaptic weighting and summation is built by combining memristor emulators-based synapses and differential amplifier circuits. The feasibility of the memristor bridge neural circuit is verified via SPICE simulations.

  13. COMPETITIVE INTELLIGENCE ANALYSIS - SCENARIOS METHOD

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ivan Valeriu

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Keeping a company in the top performing players in the relevant market depends not only on its ability to develop continually, sustainably and balanced, to the standards set by the customer and competition, but also on the ability to protect its strategic information and to know in advance the strategic information of the competition. In addition, given that economic markets, regardless of their profile, enable interconnection not only among domestic companies, but also between domestic companies and foreign companies, the issue of economic competition moves from the national economies to the field of interest of regional and international economic organizations. The stakes for each economic player is to keep ahead of the competition and to be always prepared to face market challenges. Therefore, it needs to know as early as possible, how to react to others’ strategy in terms of research, production and sales. If a competitor is planning to produce more and cheaper, then it must be prepared to counteract quickly this movement. Competitive intelligence helps to evaluate the capabilities of competitors in the market, legally and ethically, and to develop response strategies. One of the main goals of the competitive intelligence is to acknowledge the role of early warning and prevention of surprises that could have a major impact on the market share, reputation, turnover and profitability in the medium and long term of a company. This paper presents some aspects of competitive intelligence, mainly in terms of information analysis and intelligence generation. Presentation is theoretical and addresses a structured method of information analysis - scenarios method – in a version that combines several types of analysis in order to reveal some interconnecting aspects of the factors governing the activity of a company.

  14. Characterizing synaptic protein development in human visual cortex enables alignment of synaptic age with rat visual cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joshua G.A Pinto

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Although many potential neuroplasticity based therapies have been developed in the lab, few have translated into established clinical treatments for human neurologic or neuropsychiatric diseases. Animal models, especially of the visual system, have shaped our understanding of neuroplasticity by characterizing the mechanisms that promote neural changes and defining timing of the sensitive period. The lack of knowledge about development of synaptic plasticity mechanisms in human cortex, and about alignment of synaptic age between animals and humans, has limited translation of neuroplasticity therapies. In this study, we quantified expression of a set of highly conserved pre- and post-synaptic proteins (Synapsin, Synaptophysin, PSD-95, Gephyrin and found that synaptic development in human primary visual cortex continues into late childhood. Indeed, this is many years longer than suggested by neuroanatomical studies and points to a prolonged sensitive period for plasticity in human sensory cortex. In addition, during childhood we found waves of inter-individual variability that are different for the 4 proteins and include a stage during early development (<1 year when only Gephyrin has high inter-individual variability. We also found that pre- and post-synaptic protein balances develop quickly, suggesting that maturation of certain synaptic functions happens within the first year or two of life. A multidimensional analysis (principle component analysis showed that most of the variance was captured by the sum of the 4 synaptic proteins. We used that sum to compare development of human and rat visual cortex and identified a simple linear equation that provides robust alignment of synaptic age between humans and rats. Alignment of synaptic ages is important for age-appropriate targeting and effective translation of neuroplasticity therapies from the lab to the clinic.

  15. Synaptic connectivity and spatial memory: a topological approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milton, Russell; Babichev, Andrey; Dabaghian, Yuri

    2015-03-01

    In the hippocampus, a network of place cells generates a cognitive map of space, in which each cell is responsive to a particular area of the environment - its place field. The peak response of each cell and the size of each place field have considerable variability. Experimental evidence suggests that place cells encode a topological map of space that serves as a basis of spatial memory and spatial awareness. Using a computational model based on Persistent Homology Theory we demonstrate that if the parameters of the place cells spiking activity fall inside of the physiological range, the network correctly encodes the topological features of the environment. We next introduce parameters of synaptic connectivity into the model and demonstrate that failures in synapses that detect coincident neuronal activity lead to spatial learning deficiencies similar to the ones that are observed in rodent models of neurodegenerative diseases. Moreover, we show that these learning deficiencies may be mitigated by increasing the number of active cells and/or by increasing their firing rate, suggesting the existence of a compensatory mechanism inherent to the cognitive map.

  16. Environmental regulation and competitiveness

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mulatu, A.; Florax, R.J.G.M.; Withagen, C.A.A.M.

    2001-01-01

    The potential relationship between domestic environmental regulation and international competitiveness has evoked various speculations. The common neoclassical train of thought is that strict environmental regulation is detrimental to the competitiveness of industry, and that it induces phenomena

  17. Diversifying evolution of competitiveness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baldauf, Sebastian A; Engqvist, Leif; Weissing, Franz J

    2014-10-29

    In many species, individuals express phenotypic characteristics that enhance their competitiveness, that is, the ability to acquire resources in competition with others. Moreover, the degree of competitiveness varies considerably across individuals and in time. By means of an evolutionary model, we provide an explanation for this finding. We make the assumption that investment into competitiveness enhances the probability to acquire a high-quality resource, but at the same time reduces the ability of exploiting acquired resources with maximal efficiency. The model reveals that under a broad range of conditions competitiveness either converges to a polymorphic state, where individuals differing in competitive ability stably coexist, or is subject to perpetual transitions between periods of high and low competitiveness. The dynamics becomes even more complex if females can evolve preferences for (or against) competitive males. In extreme cases, such preferences can even drive the population to extinction.

  18. Competition Policy in Malaysia

    OpenAIRE

    Lee, Cassey

    2004-01-01

    Malaysia does not have a national competition law. Competition is regulated at the sectoral level in the country. Two economic sectors have legal provisions for competition law but these have been relatively ineffectively enforced. The benefits of Malaysia's industrial policy as well as the policy reforms in regulation and trade have been compromised by the lack of a formal institution to address competition related issues. Hence, the future priority and direction of regulatory reform is obvi...

  19. Competitive strategy : Sorrin Puutarha

    OpenAIRE

    Haaristo, Emilia

    2010-01-01

    The thesis handles the fresh food product industry in Finland and especially one company operating in the industry and its competitive position. Sorrin Puutarha manufactures ready-to-use fresh cut salad bag, which is sold in the grocery stores. The objective of the thesis was to find competitive advantages of the case company. Once the competitive advantages were identified the purpose was to choose a fitting competitive strategy that would strengthen those advantages. The field study was con...

  20. Can competition reduce quality?

    OpenAIRE

    Brekke, Kurt; Siciliani, Luigi; Straume, Odd Rune

    2017-01-01

    In a spatial competition setting there is usually a non-negative relationship between competition and quality. In this paper we offer a novel mechanism whereby competition leads to lower quality. This mechanism relies on two key assumptions, namely that the providers are motivated and risk-averse. We show that the negative relationship between competition and quality is robust to any given number of firms in the market and whether quality and price decisions are simultaneous or sequential. We...

  1. Ireland's Competitiveness Challenge 2011

    OpenAIRE

    2012-01-01

    The NCC publishes two annual competitiveness reports. Ireland's Competitiveness Challenge focuses on the national competitiveness issues of most importance to the enterprise sector and identifies policy recommendations required to address these issues. The report focuses on pursuing policies to improve competitiveness, particularly those to reduce the cost base for enterprise, to enhance the performance of the entire education system, and to deliver meaningful public sector reform. Ireland's ...

  2. Maximum likelihood estimation of biophysical parameters of synaptic receptors from macroscopic currents

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrey eStepanyuk

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Dendritic integration and neuronal firing patterns strongly depend on biophysical properties of synaptic ligand-gated channels. However, precise estimation of biophysical parameters of these channels in their intrinsic environment is complicated and still unresolved problem. Here we describe a novel method based on a maximum likelihood approach that allows to estimate not only the unitary current of synaptic receptor channels but also their multiple conductance levels, kinetic constants, the number of receptors bound with a neurotransmitter and the peak open probability from experimentally feasible number of postsynaptic currents. The new method also improves the accuracy of evaluation of unitary current as compared to the peak-scaled non-stationary fluctuation analysis, leading to a possibility to precisely estimate this important parameter from a few postsynaptic currents recorded in steady-state conditions. Estimation of unitary current with this method is robust even if postsynaptic currents are generated by receptors having different kinetic parameters, the case when peak-scaled non-stationary fluctuation analysis is not applicable. Thus, with the new method, routinely recorded postsynaptic currents could be used to study the properties of synaptic receptors in their native biochemical environment.

  3. A presynaptic role for PKA in synaptic tagging and memory

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Park, Alan Jung; Havekes, Robbert; Choi, Jennifer H K; Luczak, Vincent; Nie, Ting; Huang, Ted; Abel, Ted

    2014-01-01

    Protein kinase A (PKA) and other signaling molecules are spatially restricted within neurons by A-kinase anchoring proteins (AKAPs). Although studies on compartmentalized PKA signaling have focused on postsynaptic mechanisms, presynaptically anchored PKA may contribute to synaptic plasticity and

  4. Memristor-based neural networks: Synaptic versus neuronal stochasticity

    KAUST Repository

    Naous, Rawan; Alshedivat, Maruan; Neftci, Emre; Cauwenberghs, Gert; Salama, Khaled N.

    2016-01-01

    In neuromorphic circuits, stochasticity in the cortex can be mapped into the synaptic or neuronal components. The hardware emulation of these stochastic neural networks are currently being extensively studied using resistive memories or memristors

  5. Neuro-inspired computing using resistive synaptic devices

    CERN Document Server

    2017-01-01

    This book summarizes the recent breakthroughs in hardware implementation of neuro-inspired computing using resistive synaptic devices. The authors describe how two-terminal solid-state resistive memories can emulate synaptic weights in a neural network. Readers will benefit from state-of-the-art summaries of resistive synaptic devices, from the individual cell characteristics to the large-scale array integration. This book also discusses peripheral neuron circuits design challenges and design strategies. Finally, the authors describe the impact of device non-ideal properties (e.g. noise, variation, yield) and their impact on the learning performance at the system-level, using a device-algorithm co-design methodology. • Provides single-source reference to recent breakthroughs in resistive synaptic devices, not only at individual cell-level, but also at integrated array-level; • Includes detailed discussion of the peripheral circuits and array architecture design of the neuro-crossbar system; • Focuses on...

  6. Learning and Memory, Part II: Molecular Mechanisms of Synaptic Plasticity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lombroso, Paul; Ogren, Marilee

    2009-01-01

    The molecular events that are responsible for strengthening synaptic connections and how these are linked to memory and learning are discussed. The laboratory preparations that allow the investigation of these events are also described.

  7. Multistate Resistive Switching Memory for Synaptic Memory Applications

    KAUST Repository

    Hota, Mrinal Kanti; Hedhili, Mohamed N.; Wehbe, Nimer; McLachlan, Martyn A.; Alshareef, Husam N.

    2016-01-01

    memory performance is observed. Conventional synaptic operation in terms of potentiation, depression plasticity, and Ebbinghaus forgetting process are also studied. The memory mechanism is shown to originate from the migration of the oxygen vacancies

  8. Synaptic Control of Secretory Trafficking in Dendrites

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cyril Hanus

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Localized signaling in neuronal dendrites requires tight spatial control of membrane composition. Upon initial synthesis, nascent secretory cargo in dendrites exits the endoplasmic reticulum (ER from local zones of ER complexity that are spatially coupled to post-ER compartments. Although newly synthesized membrane proteins can be processed locally, the mechanisms that control the spatial range of secretory cargo transport in dendritic segments are unknown. Here, we monitored the dynamics of nascent membrane proteins in dendritic post-ER compartments under regimes of low or increased neuronal activity. In response to activity blockade, post-ER carriers are highly mobile and are transported over long distances. Conversely, increasing synaptic activity dramatically restricts the spatial scale of post-ER trafficking along dendrites. This activity-induced confinement of secretory cargo requires site-specific phosphorylation of the kinesin motor KIF17 by Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinases (CaMK. Thus, the length scales of early secretory trafficking in dendrites are tuned by activity-dependent regulation of microtubule-dependent transport.

  9. Design principles of electrical synaptic plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Brien, John

    2017-09-08

    Essentially all animals with nervous systems utilize electrical synapses as a core element of communication. Electrical synapses, formed by gap junctions between neurons, provide rapid, bidirectional communication that accomplishes tasks distinct from and complementary to chemical synapses. These include coordination of neuron activity, suppression of voltage noise, establishment of electrical pathways that define circuits, and modulation of high order network behavior. In keeping with the omnipresent demand to alter neural network function in order to respond to environmental cues and perform tasks, electrical synapses exhibit extensive plasticity. In some networks, this plasticity can have dramatic effects that completely remodel circuits or remove the influence of certain cell types from networks. Electrical synaptic plasticity occurs on three distinct time scales, ranging from milliseconds to days, with different mechanisms accounting for each. This essay highlights principles that dictate the properties of electrical coupling within networks and the plasticity of the electrical synapses, drawing examples extensively from retinal networks. Copyright © 2017 The Author. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Epigenetic Basis of Neuronal and Synaptic Plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karpova, Nina N; Sales, Amanda J; Joca, Samia R

    2017-01-01

    Neuronal network and plasticity change as a function of experience. Altered neural connectivity leads to distinct transcriptional programs of neuronal plasticity-related genes. The environmental challenges throughout life may promote long-lasting reprogramming of gene expression and the development of brain disorders. The modifications in neuronal epigenome mediate gene-environmental interactions and are required for activity-dependent regulation of neuronal differentiation, maturation and plasticity. Here, we highlight the latest advances in understanding the role of the main players of epigenetic machinery (DNA methylation and demethylation, histone modifications, chromatin-remodeling enzymes, transposons, and non-coding RNAs) in activity-dependent and long- term neural and synaptic plasticity. The review focuses on both the transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression levels, including the processes of promoter activation, alternative splicing, regulation of stability of gene transcripts by natural antisense RNAs, and alternative polyadenylation. Further, we discuss the epigenetic aspects of impaired neuronal plasticity and the pathogenesis of neurodevelopmental (Rett syndrome, Fragile X Syndrome, genomic imprinting disorders, schizophrenia, and others), stressrelated (mood disorders) and neurodegenerative Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Huntington's disorders. The review also highlights the pharmacological compounds that modulate epigenetic programming of gene expression, the potential treatment strategies of discussed brain disorders, and the questions that should be addressed during the development of effective and safe approaches for the treatment of brain disorders.

  11. Cholesterol asymmetry in synaptic plasma membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, W Gibson; Igbavboa, Urule; Müller, Walter E; Eckert, Gunter P

    2011-03-01

    Lipids are essential for the structural and functional integrity of membranes. Membrane lipids are not randomly distributed but are localized in different domains. A common characteristic of these membrane domains is their association with cholesterol. Lipid rafts and caveolae are examples of cholesterol enriched domains, which have attracted keen interest. However, two other important cholesterol domains are the exofacial and cytofacial leaflets of the plasma membrane. The two leaflets that make up the bilayer differ in their fluidity, electrical charge, lipid distribution, and active sites of certain proteins. The synaptic plasma membrane (SPM) cytofacial leaflet contains over 85% of the total SPM cholesterol as compared with the exofacial leaflet. This asymmetric distribution of cholesterol is not fixed or immobile but can be modified by different conditions in vivo: (i) chronic ethanol consumption; (ii) statins; (iii) aging; and (iv) apoE isoform. Several potential candidates have been proposed as mechanisms involved in regulation of SPM cholesterol asymmetry: apoE, low-density lipoprotein receptor, sterol carrier protein-2, fatty acid binding proteins, polyunsaturated fatty acids, P-glycoprotein and caveolin-1. This review examines cholesterol asymmetry in SPM, potential mechanisms of regulation and impact on membrane structure and function. © 2011 The Authors. Journal of Neurochemistry © 2011 International Society for Neurochemistry.

  12. COMPETITION IN ROMANIAN BANKING SECTOR

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Capraru Bogdan

    2011-07-01

    -structural indicators and compare it with the structural indicators of competition. In particular, we measure competition using Lerner index and the H-statistic, indicators what are estimated using bank-level data and are compared with a standard market structure measure of concentration like HHI and CR5. There are no other studies that measure both structural and non-structural competition indicators for Romanian banking sector. Also, our assessment contains a period of seven years including the begging of the implications of the present international financial crises on Romanian banking sector. The structural indicators show continuous increase of competition in the Romanian banking system. Lerner index and H statistic demonstrate that Romanian banking system is characterized by monopolistic competition and relatively competitive practices. Personnel cost, operational cost and financial cost are statistically significant at conventional levels, which imply good fit of the revenue equations. The results also demonstrate that excess fixed assets do not generate abnormal revenue.

  13. Competition for Assistance Agreements

    Science.gov (United States)

    It is EPA policy to promote competition in the award of assistance agreements to the maximum extent practicable.When assistance agreements are awarded competitively, it is EPA policy that the competitive process be fair and open & that no applicant receive

  14. Emergent spatial patterns of excitatory and inhibitory synaptic strengths drive somatotopic representational discontinuities and their plasticity in a computational model of primary sensory cortical area 3b

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kamil A. Grajski

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Mechanisms underlying the emergence and plasticity of representational discontinuities in the mammalian primary somatosensory cortical representation of the hand are investigated in a computational model. The model consists of an input lattice organized as a three-digit hand forward-connected to a lattice of cortical columns each of which contains a paired excitatory and inhibitory cell. Excitatory and inhibitory synaptic plasticity of feedforward and lateral connection weights is implemented as a simple covariance rule and competitive normalization. Receptive field properties are computed independently for excitatory and inhibitory cells and compared within and across columns. Within digit representational zones intracolumnar excitatory and inhibitory receptive field extents are concentric, single-digit, small, and unimodal. Exclusively in representational boundary-adjacent zones, intracolumnar excitatory and inhibitory receptive field properties diverge: excitatory cell receptive fields are single-digit, small, and unimodal; and the paired inhibitory cell receptive fields are bimodal, double-digit, and large. In simulated syndactyly (webbed fingers, boundary-adjacent intracolumnar receptive field properties reorganize to within-representation type; divergent properties are reacquired following syndactyly release. This study generates testable hypotheses for assessment of cortical laminar-dependent receptive field properties and plasticity within and between cortical representational zones. For computational studies, present results suggest that concurrent excitatory and inhibitory plasticity may underlie novel emergent properties.

  15. Reduced Synaptic Vesicle Recycling during Hypoxia in Cultured Cortical Neurons

    OpenAIRE

    Fedorovich, Sergei; Hofmeijer, Jeannette; van Putten, Michel Johannes Antonius Maria; le Feber, Jakob

    2017-01-01

    Improvement of neuronal recovery in the ischemic penumbra, an area around the core of a brain infarct with some remaining perfusion, has a large potential for the development of therapy against acute ischemic stroke. However, mechanisms that lead to either recovery or secondary damage in the penumbra largely remain unclear. Recent studies in cultured networks of cortical neurons showed that failure of synaptic transmission (referred to as synaptic failure) is a critical factor in the penumbra...

  16. Common mechanisms of synaptic plasticity in vertebrates and invertebrates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glanzman, David L.

    2016-01-01

    Until recently, the literature on learning-related synaptic plasticity in invertebrates has been dominated by models assuming plasticity is mediated by presynaptic changes, whereas the vertebrate literature has been dominated by models assuming it is mediated by postsynaptic changes. Here I will argue that this situation does not reflect a biological reality and that, in fact, invertebrate and vertebrate nervous systems share a common set of mechanisms of synaptic plasticity. PMID:20152143

  17. Synaptic and intrinsic activation of GABAergic neurons in the cardiorespiratory brainstem network.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julie G Frank

    Full Text Available GABAergic pathways in the brainstem play an essential role in respiratory rhythmogenesis and interactions between the respiratory and cardiovascular neuronal control networks. However, little is known about the identity and function of these GABAergic inhibitory neurons and what determines their activity. In this study we have identified a population of GABAergic neurons in the ventrolateral medulla that receive increased excitatory post-synaptic potentials during inspiration, but also have spontaneous firing in the absence of synaptic input. Using transgenic mice that express GFP under the control of the Gad1 (GAD67 gene promoter, we determined that this population of GABAergic neurons is in close apposition to cardioinhibitory parasympathetic cardiac neurons in the nucleus ambiguus (NA. These neurons fire in synchronization with inspiratory activity. Although they receive excitatory glutamatergic synaptic inputs during inspiration, this excitatory neurotransmission was not altered by blocking nicotinic receptors, and many of these GABAergic neurons continue to fire after synaptic blockade. The spontaneous firing in these GABAergic neurons was not altered by the voltage-gated calcium channel blocker cadmium chloride that blocks both neurotransmission to these neurons and voltage-gated Ca(2+ currents, but spontaneous firing was diminished by riluzole, demonstrating a role of persistent sodium channels in the spontaneous firing in these cardiorespiratory GABAergic neurons that possess a pacemaker phenotype. The spontaneously firing GABAergic neurons identified in this study that increase their activity during inspiration would support respiratory rhythm generation if they acted primarily to inhibit post-inspiratory neurons and thereby release inspiration neurons to increase their activity. This population of inspiratory-modulated GABAergic neurons could also play a role in inhibiting neurons that are most active during expiration and provide a

  18. Synaptic and intrinsic activation of GABAergic neurons in the cardiorespiratory brainstem network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frank, Julie G; Mendelowitz, David

    2012-01-01

    GABAergic pathways in the brainstem play an essential role in respiratory rhythmogenesis and interactions between the respiratory and cardiovascular neuronal control networks. However, little is known about the identity and function of these GABAergic inhibitory neurons and what determines their activity. In this study we have identified a population of GABAergic neurons in the ventrolateral medulla that receive increased excitatory post-synaptic potentials during inspiration, but also have spontaneous firing in the absence of synaptic input. Using transgenic mice that express GFP under the control of the Gad1 (GAD67) gene promoter, we determined that this population of GABAergic neurons is in close apposition to cardioinhibitory parasympathetic cardiac neurons in the nucleus ambiguus (NA). These neurons fire in synchronization with inspiratory activity. Although they receive excitatory glutamatergic synaptic inputs during inspiration, this excitatory neurotransmission was not altered by blocking nicotinic receptors, and many of these GABAergic neurons continue to fire after synaptic blockade. The spontaneous firing in these GABAergic neurons was not altered by the voltage-gated calcium channel blocker cadmium chloride that blocks both neurotransmission to these neurons and voltage-gated Ca(2+) currents, but spontaneous firing was diminished by riluzole, demonstrating a role of persistent sodium channels in the spontaneous firing in these cardiorespiratory GABAergic neurons that possess a pacemaker phenotype. The spontaneously firing GABAergic neurons identified in this study that increase their activity during inspiration would support respiratory rhythm generation if they acted primarily to inhibit post-inspiratory neurons and thereby release inspiration neurons to increase their activity. This population of inspiratory-modulated GABAergic neurons could also play a role in inhibiting neurons that are most active during expiration and provide a framework for

  19. Status of electricity markets and competition in ERRA member countries

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Szoerenyi, G.

    2002-01-01

    The following topics were dealt with: Conditions of effective competition; Regulated third party access in power; Number of plyers (market share) - generation; Number of players at present and/or in future competition - supply; Number of eligible customers; Market structure facilitates efficient competition; Supply market - Surplus installed capacity over demand; Supply market - Import. All available data are tabulated. (R.P.)

  20. Synaptic Contacts Enhance Cell-to-Cell Tau Pathology Propagation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calafate, Sara; Buist, Arjan; Miskiewicz, Katarzyna; Vijayan, Vinoy; Daneels, Guy; de Strooper, Bart; de Wit, Joris; Verstreken, Patrik; Moechars, Diederik

    2015-05-26

    Accumulation of insoluble Tau protein aggregates and stereotypical propagation of Tau pathology through the brain are common hallmarks of tauopathies, including Alzheimer's disease (AD). Propagation of Tau pathology appears to occur along connected neurons, but whether synaptic contacts between neurons are facilitating propagation has not been demonstrated. Using quantitative in vitro models, we demonstrate that, in parallel to non-synaptic mechanisms, synapses, but not merely the close distance between the cells, enhance the propagation of Tau pathology between acceptor hippocampal neurons and Tau donor cells. Similarly, in an artificial neuronal network using microfluidic devices, synapses and synaptic activity are promoting neuronal Tau pathology propagation in parallel to the non-synaptic mechanisms. Our work indicates that the physical presence of synaptic contacts between neurons facilitate Tau pathology propagation. These findings can have implications for synaptic repair therapies, which may turn out to have adverse effects by promoting propagation of Tau pathology. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. BDNF-induced local protein synthesis and synaptic plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leal, Graciano; Comprido, Diogo; Duarte, Carlos B

    2014-01-01

    Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is an important regulator of synaptic transmission and long-term potentiation (LTP) in the hippocampus and in other brain regions, playing a role in the formation of certain forms of memory. The effects of BDNF in LTP are mediated by TrkB (tropomyosin-related kinase B) receptors, which are known to be coupled to the activation of the Ras/ERK, phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/Akt and phospholipase C-γ (PLC-γ) pathways. The role of BDNF in LTP is best studied in the hippocampus, where the neurotrophin acts at pre- and post-synaptic levels. Recent studies have shown that BDNF regulates the transport of mRNAs along dendrites and their translation at the synapse, by modulating the initiation and elongation phases of protein synthesis, and by acting on specific miRNAs. Furthermore, the effect of BDNF on transcription regulation may further contribute to long-term changes in the synaptic proteome. In this review we discuss the recent progress in understanding the mechanisms contributing to the short- and long-term regulation of the synaptic proteome by BDNF, and the role in synaptic plasticity, which is likely to influence learning and memory formation. This article is part of the Special Issue entitled 'BDNF Regulation of Synaptic Structure, Function, and Plasticity'. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Self-organised criticality via retro-synaptic signals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernandez-Urbina, Victor; Herrmann, J. Michael

    2016-12-01

    The brain is a complex system par excellence. In the last decade the observation of neuronal avalanches in neocortical circuits suggested the presence of self-organised criticality in brain networks. The occurrence of this type of dynamics implies several benefits to neural computation. However, the mechanisms that give rise to critical behaviour in these systems, and how they interact with other neuronal processes such as synaptic plasticity are not fully understood. In this paper, we present a long-term plasticity rule based on retro-synaptic signals that allows the system to reach a critical state in which clusters of activity are distributed as a power-law, among other observables. Our synaptic plasticity rule coexists with other synaptic mechanisms such as spike-timing-dependent plasticity, which implies that the resulting synaptic modulation captures not only the temporal correlations between spiking times of pre- and post-synaptic units, which has been suggested as requirement for learning and memory in neural systems, but also drives the system to a state of optimal neural information processing.

  3. SYNAPTIC DEPRESSION IN DEEP NEURAL NETWORKS FOR SPEECH PROCESSING.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Wenhao; Li, Hanyu; Yang, Minda; Mesgarani, Nima

    2016-03-01

    A characteristic property of biological neurons is their ability to dynamically change the synaptic efficacy in response to variable input conditions. This mechanism, known as synaptic depression, significantly contributes to the formation of normalized representation of speech features. Synaptic depression also contributes to the robust performance of biological systems. In this paper, we describe how synaptic depression can be modeled and incorporated into deep neural network architectures to improve their generalization ability. We observed that when synaptic depression is added to the hidden layers of a neural network, it reduces the effect of changing background activity in the node activations. In addition, we show that when synaptic depression is included in a deep neural network trained for phoneme classification, the performance of the network improves under noisy conditions not included in the training phase. Our results suggest that more complete neuron models may further reduce the gap between the biological performance and artificial computing, resulting in networks that better generalize to novel signal conditions.

  4. Interest alignment and competitive advantage

    OpenAIRE

    Gottschalg, Oliver; Zollo, Mauricio

    2006-01-01

    This paper articulates a theory of the conditions under which the alignment between individual and collective interests generates sustainable competitive advantage. The theory is based on the influence of tacitness, context-specificity and casual ambiguity in the determinants of different types of motivation (extrinsic, normative intrinsic and hedonic intrinsic), under varying conditions of environmental dynamism. The analysis indicates the need to consider mitivational processes as a complem...

  5. Competitiveness Improvement Project Informational Workshop

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sinclair, Karin C [National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Preus, Robert W [National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Dana, Scott [National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Van Dam, Jeroen J [National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Damiani, Rick R [National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Jackson, Kyndall R [National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Baring-Gould, Edward I [National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Jain, Anant [Intertek

    2018-02-27

    This presentation was given at the Competitiveness Improvement Project (CIP) Informational Workshop on December 6, 2017. Topics covered during the workshop include an overview of the CIP, past projects, scoring criteria, technical support opportunities, certification body requirements, standards applicable to distributed wind generators, information on the National Electric Code, certification testing requirements, test site requirements, National Environmental Policy Act, design review, levelized cost of energy, procurement/contracting, project management/deliverables, and outreach materials.

  6. A Competitive Partnership Formation Process

    OpenAIRE

    Andersson, Tommy; Gudmundsson, Jens; Talman, Adolphus; Yang, Zaifu

    2013-01-01

    A group of heterogeneous agents may form partnerships in pairs. All single agents as well as all partnerships generate values. If two agents choose to cooperate, they need to specify how to split their joint value among one another. In equilibrium, which may or may not exist, no agents have incentives to break up or form new partnerships. This paper proposes a dynamic competitive adjustment process that always either finds an equilibrium or exclusively disproves the existence of any equilibri...

  7. Theoretical aspects of competitive advantage and competition

    OpenAIRE

    Hudakova, Ivana

    2009-01-01

    The concept of competitive advantage is well-known for many of us and a number of literary resources focused on entrepreneurship and functioning of economies deal with it, either directly or indirectly. The understanding of the term competitive advantage though sometimes varies. One can only perceive it when looking at it as a whole, a live organism that is constantly developing in a complex dynamic entrepreneurial environment, the individual parts of which do not function when separated from...

  8. COMPETITIVE PRODUCT ADVANTAGES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adrian MICU

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available Cost advantages may be either internal or external. Internal economics of scope, scale, or experience, and external economies of focus or logistical integration, enable a company to produce some products at a lower cost than the competition. The coordination of pricing with suppliers, although not actually economizing resources, can improve the efficiency of pricing by avoiding the incrementalization of a supplier's nonincremental fixed costs and profit. Any of these strategies can generate cost advantages that are, at least in the short run, sustainable. Even cost advantages that are not sustainable, however, can generate temporary savings that are often the key to building more sustainable cost or product advantages later.. Even when a product's physical attributes are not readily differentiable, opportunities to develop product advantages remain. The augmented product that customers buy is more than the particular product or service exchanged. It includes all sorts of ancillary services and intangible relationships that make buying thesame product from one company less difficult, less risky, or more pleasant than buying from a competitor. Superior augmentation of the same basic product can add substantial value in the eyes of consumers, leading them to pay willingly what are often considerable price premiums.

  9. Competitiveness as an Indicator of Sustainable Development of Tourism: Applying Destination Competitiveness Indicators to Ethiopia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wondowossen, T.A.; Nakagoshi, N.; Yukio, Y.; Jongman, R.H.G.; Dawit, A.Z.

    2014-01-01

    Competitiveness can be applied to predict the economic sustainability of tourism in destinations which has been measured in terms of leakages and linkage related to employment and income generation opportunities to the destinations. This article examines destination competitiveness of Ethiopia based

  10. Electricity market competition and nuclear power

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Varley, C.; Paffenbarger, J.

    1999-01-01

    Throughout the world, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) member countries' governments are promoting competitive electricity markets. In particular, there is a move away from administrative price-setting by government institutions to market price-setting through the introduction of competition. Today this is often focused on competition in generation. However, competition among final electricity suppliers and distributors to provide effective consumer choice is a further step that governments are likely to pursue as experience with market reform grows. This competitive environment will undoubtedly impact upon the nuclear generation industry. Competition will provide an opportunity to reinvigorate nuclear power; it will improve the transparency of energy policy-making and the policy framework for nuclear power; it will spur innovation in existing plants and help prospects for new plant build; and provide a strong impetus for cost reduction and innovation. This paper discusses these issues in detail. It looks at the potential benefits and challenges to the nuclear generation industry arising from an increasingly competitive market. (author)

  11. COMPETITIVENESS THROUGH INFORMATION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raluca Daniela RIZEA

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Intelligence competitiveness has already started to build its road in the company’s long term strategies. Nonetheless, business executives continue to look for ways to apply information technology strategically to their businesses. Using information managers manage to communicate, to convey their knowledge about markets, competitors, products, services and operations. Even if data and information are all over there are few amounts of managers that realize the importance of them to the success of the business. This article will review competitive forces and competitive information systems strategies for gaining competitive advantages, explain concepts of value chain, value co-opetition (competition and cooperation, and discuss innovation strategy. Co-opetition is a strategy whereby companies cooperate and compete at the same time with their competitors, complementors (i.e. hardware and software businesses, customers, suppliers. The article discuss an important dimension of information system, identifies competitive advantages and enhancing competitive strategies thought information systems.

  12. Synaptic dimorphism in Onychophoran cephalic ganglia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Z Peña-Contreras

    2007-03-01

    Full Text Available The taxonomic location of the Onychophora has been controversial because of their phenotypic and genotypic characteristics, related to both annelids and arthropods. We analyzed the ultrastructure of the neurons and their synapses in the cephalic ganglion of a poorly known invertebrate, the velvet worm Peripatus sedgwicki, from the mountainous region of El Valle, Mérida, Venezuela. Cephalic ganglia were dissected, fixed and processed for transmission electron microscopy. The animal has a high degree of neurobiological development, as evidenced by the presence of asymmetric (excitatory and symmetric (inhibitory synapses, as well as the existence of glial cell processes in a wide neuropile zone. The postsynaptic terminals were seen to contain subsynaptic cisterns formed by membranes of smooth endoplasmic reticulum beneath the postsynaptic density, whereas the presynaptic terminal showed numerous electron transparent synaptic vesicles. From the neurophylogenetic perspectives, the ultrastructural characteristics of the central nervous tissue of the Onychophora show important evolutionary acquirements, such as the presence of both excitatory and inhibitory synapses, indicating functional synaptic transmission, and the appearance of mature glial cells. Rev. Biol . Trop. 55 (1: 261-267. Epub 2007 March. 31.Estudiamos la ultraestructura de las neuronas y sus sinapsis del ganglio cefálico de un invertebrado poco conocido del phylum Onychophora: Peripatus sedgwicki de los Andes Venezolanos, utilizando para ello la microscopía electrónica de transmisión. La localización taxonómica de los onicóforos ha sido controversial debido a sus características fenotípicas y genotípicas que los relacionan tanto con los anélidos como con los artrópodos. Para este trabajo se estudió el ganglio cefálico de P. sedgwicki de la zona montañosa de El Valle, Mérida, Venezuela. El ganglio cefálico se localiza en la región anterior del animal y fue diseccionado

  13. Characterizing synaptic protein development in human visual cortex enables alignment of synaptic age with rat visual cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pinto, Joshua G. A.; Jones, David G.; Williams, C. Kate; Murphy, Kathryn M.

    2015-01-01

    Although many potential neuroplasticity based therapies have been developed in the lab, few have translated into established clinical treatments for human neurologic or neuropsychiatric diseases. Animal models, especially of the visual system, have shaped our understanding of neuroplasticity by characterizing the mechanisms that promote neural changes and defining timing of the sensitive period. The lack of knowledge about development of synaptic plasticity mechanisms in human cortex, and about alignment of synaptic age between animals and humans, has limited translation of neuroplasticity therapies. In this study, we quantified expression of a set of highly conserved pre- and post-synaptic proteins (Synapsin, Synaptophysin, PSD-95, Gephyrin) and found that synaptic development in human primary visual cortex (V1) continues into late childhood. Indeed, this is many years longer than suggested by neuroanatomical studies and points to a prolonged sensitive period for plasticity in human sensory cortex. In addition, during childhood we found waves of inter-individual variability that are different for the four proteins and include a stage during early development (visual cortex and identified a simple linear equation that provides robust alignment of synaptic age between humans and rats. Alignment of synaptic ages is important for age-appropriate targeting and effective translation of neuroplasticity therapies from the lab to the clinic. PMID:25729353

  14. Identification of synaptic targets of Drosophila pumilio.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gengxin Chen

    2008-02-01

    Full Text Available Drosophila Pumilio (Pum protein is a translational regulator involved in embryonic patterning and germline development. Recent findings demonstrate that Pum also plays an important role in the nervous system, both at the neuromuscular junction (NMJ and in long-term memory formation. In neurons, Pum appears to play a role in homeostatic control of excitability via down regulation of para, a voltage gated sodium channel, and may more generally modulate local protein synthesis in neurons via translational repression of eIF-4E. Aside from these, the biologically relevant targets of Pum in the nervous system remain largely unknown. We hypothesized that Pum might play a role in regulating the local translation underlying synapse-specific modifications during memory formation. To identify relevant translational targets, we used an informatics approach to predict Pum targets among mRNAs whose products have synaptic localization. We then used both in vitro binding and two in vivo assays to functionally confirm the fidelity of this informatics screening method. We find that Pum strongly and specifically binds to RNA sequences in the 3'UTR of four of the predicted target genes, demonstrating the validity of our method. We then demonstrate that one of these predicted target sequences, in the 3'UTR of discs large (dlg1, the Drosophila PSD95 ortholog, can functionally substitute for a canonical NRE (Nanos response element in vivo in a heterologous functional assay. Finally, we show that the endogenous dlg1 mRNA can be regulated by Pumilio in a neuronal context, the adult mushroom bodies (MB, which is an anatomical site of memory storage.

  15. The taurine transporter substrate guanidinoethyl sulfonate mimics the action of taurine on long-term synaptic potentiation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suárez, Luz M; Muñoz, María-Dolores; González, José C; Bustamante, Julián; Del Río, Rafael Martín; Solís, José M

    2016-11-01

    Taurine is especially abundant in rodent brain where it appears to be involved in osmoregulation and synaptic plasticity mechanisms. The demonstration of a physiological role for taurine has been hampered by the difficulty in modifying taurine levels in most tissues, including the brain. We used an experimental strategy to reduce taurine levels, involving treatment with guanidinoethyl sulfonate (GES), a structural analogue of taurine that, among other properties, acts as a competitive inhibitor of taurine transport. GES delivered in the drinking water of rats for 1 month effectively reduced taurine levels in brain structures (hippocampus, cerebellum and cortex) and outside the brain (heart, muscle, kidney, liver and plasma) by between 50 and 80 %, depending on the tissue. This partial taurine depletion did not affect either basal synaptic transmission or the late phase of long-term potentiation (late-LTP) in hippocampal slices. In vivo microdialysis studies in the hippocampus revealed that GES treatment reduced extracellular taurine levels and the magnitude of taurine released in response to the application of either N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) or a hypoosmotic solution, without affecting release mechanisms. Finally, we demonstrated in hippocampal slices that a brief GES application can mimic taurine action on the conversion of a decremental LTP into a perdurable late-LTP, concluding that GES might replace taurine function in some mechanisms such as those implicated in synaptic plasticity.

  16. Imaging cell competition in Drosophila imaginal discs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ohsawa, Shizue; Sugimura, Kaoru; Takino, Kyoko; Igaki, Tatsushi

    2012-01-01

    Cell competition is a process in which cells with higher fitness ("winners") survive and proliferate at the expense of less fit neighbors ("losers"). It has been suggested that cell competition is involved in a variety of biological processes such as organ size control, tissue homeostasis, cancer progression, and the maintenance of stem cell population. By advent of a genetic mosaic technique, which enables to generate fluorescently marked somatic clones in Drosophila imaginal discs, recent studies have presented some aspects of molecular mechanisms underlying cell competition. Now, with a live-imaging technique using ex vivo-cultured imaginal discs, we can dissect the spatiotemporal nature of competitive cell behaviors within multicellular communities. Here, we describe procedures and tips for live imaging of cell competition in Drosophila imaginal discs. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Approximate kernel competitive learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Jian-Sheng; Zheng, Wei-Shi; Lai, Jian-Huang

    2015-03-01

    Kernel competitive learning has been successfully used to achieve robust clustering. However, kernel competitive learning (KCL) is not scalable for large scale data processing, because (1) it has to calculate and store the full kernel matrix that is too large to be calculated and kept in the memory and (2) it cannot be computed in parallel. In this paper we develop a framework of approximate kernel competitive learning for processing large scale dataset. The proposed framework consists of two parts. First, it derives an approximate kernel competitive learning (AKCL), which learns kernel competitive learning in a subspace via sampling. We provide solid theoretical analysis on why the proposed approximation modelling would work for kernel competitive learning, and furthermore, we show that the computational complexity of AKCL is largely reduced. Second, we propose a pseudo-parallelled approximate kernel competitive learning (PAKCL) based on a set-based kernel competitive learning strategy, which overcomes the obstacle of using parallel programming in kernel competitive learning and significantly accelerates the approximate kernel competitive learning for large scale clustering. The empirical evaluation on publicly available datasets shows that the proposed AKCL and PAKCL can perform comparably as KCL, with a large reduction on computational cost. Also, the proposed methods achieve more effective clustering performance in terms of clustering precision against related approximate clustering approaches. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Synaptic vesicle dynamic changes in a model of fragile X.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Broek, Jantine A C; Lin, Zhanmin; de Gruiter, H Martijn; van 't Spijker, Heleen; Haasdijk, Elize D; Cox, David; Ozcan, Sureyya; van Cappellen, Gert W A; Houtsmuller, Adriaan B; Willemsen, Rob; de Zeeuw, Chris I; Bahn, Sabine

    2016-01-01

    Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is a single-gene disorder that is the most common heritable cause of intellectual disability and the most frequent monogenic cause of autism spectrum disorders (ASD). FXS is caused by an expansion of trinucleotide repeats in the promoter region of the fragile X mental retardation gene (Fmr1). This leads to a lack of fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP), which regulates translation of a wide range of messenger RNAs (mRNAs). The extent of expression level alterations of synaptic proteins affected by FMRP loss and their consequences on synaptic dynamics in FXS has not been fully investigated. Here, we used an Fmr1 knockout (KO) mouse model to investigate the molecular mechanisms underlying FXS by monitoring protein expression changes using shotgun label-free liquid-chromatography mass spectrometry (LC-MS(E)) in brain tissue and synaptosome fractions. FXS-associated candidate proteins were validated using selected reaction monitoring (SRM) in synaptosome fractions for targeted protein quantification. Furthermore, functional alterations in synaptic release and dynamics were evaluated using live-cell imaging, and interpretation of synaptic dynamics differences was investigated using electron microscopy. Key findings relate to altered levels of proteins involved in GABA-signalling, especially in the cerebellum. Further exploration using microscopy studies found reduced synaptic vesicle unloading of hippocampal neurons and increased vesicle unloading in cerebellar neurons, which suggests a general decrease of synaptic transmission. Our findings suggest that FMRP is a regulator of synaptic vesicle dynamics, which supports the role of FMRP in presynaptic functions. Taken together, these studies provide novel insights into the molecular changes associated with FXS.

  19. Modulation of extrasynaptic NMDA receptors by synaptic and tonic zinc.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Charles T; Radford, Robert J; Zastrow, Melissa L; Zhang, Daniel Y; Apfel, Ulf-Peter; Lippard, Stephen J; Tzounopoulos, Thanos

    2015-05-19

    Many excitatory synapses contain high levels of mobile zinc within glutamatergic vesicles. Although synaptic zinc and glutamate are coreleased, it is controversial whether zinc diffuses away from the release site or whether it remains bound to presynaptic membranes or proteins after its release. To study zinc transmission and quantify zinc levels, we required a high-affinity rapid zinc chelator as well as an extracellular ratiometric fluorescent zinc sensor. We demonstrate that tricine, considered a preferred chelator for studying the role of synaptic zinc, is unable to efficiently prevent zinc from binding low-nanomolar zinc-binding sites, such as the high-affinity zinc-binding site found in NMDA receptors (NMDARs). Here, we used ZX1, which has a 1 nM zinc dissociation constant and second-order rate constant for binding zinc that is 200-fold higher than those for tricine and CaEDTA. We find that synaptic zinc is phasically released during action potentials. In response to short trains of presynaptic stimulation, synaptic zinc diffuses beyond the synaptic cleft where it inhibits extrasynaptic NMDARs. During higher rates of presynaptic stimulation, released glutamate activates additional extrasynaptic NMDARs that are not reached by synaptically released zinc, but which are inhibited by ambient, tonic levels of nonsynaptic zinc. By performing a ratiometric evaluation of extracellular zinc levels in the dorsal cochlear nucleus, we determined the tonic zinc levels to be low nanomolar. These results demonstrate a physiological role for endogenous synaptic as well as tonic zinc in inhibiting extrasynaptic NMDARs and thereby fine tuning neuronal excitability and signaling.

  20. Modulation of extrasynaptic NMDA receptors by synaptic and tonic zinc

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Charles T.; Radford, Robert J.; Zastrow, Melissa L.; Zhang, Daniel Y.; Apfel, Ulf-Peter; Lippard, Stephen J.; Tzounopoulos, Thanos

    2015-01-01

    Many excitatory synapses contain high levels of mobile zinc within glutamatergic vesicles. Although synaptic zinc and glutamate are coreleased, it is controversial whether zinc diffuses away from the release site or whether it remains bound to presynaptic membranes or proteins after its release. To study zinc transmission and quantify zinc levels, we required a high-affinity rapid zinc chelator as well as an extracellular ratiometric fluorescent zinc sensor. We demonstrate that tricine, considered a preferred chelator for studying the role of synaptic zinc, is unable to efficiently prevent zinc from binding low-nanomolar zinc-binding sites, such as the high-affinity zinc-binding site found in NMDA receptors (NMDARs). Here, we used ZX1, which has a 1 nM zinc dissociation constant and second-order rate constant for binding zinc that is 200-fold higher than those for tricine and CaEDTA. We find that synaptic zinc is phasically released during action potentials. In response to short trains of presynaptic stimulation, synaptic zinc diffuses beyond the synaptic cleft where it inhibits extrasynaptic NMDARs. During higher rates of presynaptic stimulation, released glutamate activates additional extrasynaptic NMDARs that are not reached by synaptically released zinc, but which are inhibited by ambient, tonic levels of nonsynaptic zinc. By performing a ratiometric evaluation of extracellular zinc levels in the dorsal cochlear nucleus, we determined the tonic zinc levels to be low nanomolar. These results demonstrate a physiological role for endogenous synaptic as well as tonic zinc in inhibiting extrasynaptic NMDARs and thereby fine tuning neuronal excitability and signaling. PMID:25947151

  1. EU environmental policy and competitiveness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stojanović Boban

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available Protection of the environment was not a specific importance to the Community although the Treaty of Rome expressly specified that "health, safety environmental protection" shall be based on "a high level of protection". In deciding upon a framework for a European environmental policy, the Community was also responding to increased public awareness of the problem and concerns about the state of the natural and man-made environment. During the past years, competitiveness concerns have dominated the EU policy debate, in the course of which a growing consensus is being developed on the importance of eco-innovations and resource efficiency for EU competitiveness and on the market opportunities they offer. There is an increasing evidence that environmental policy and eco-innovations can promote economic growth, as well as maintain and create jobs, contributing both to competitiveness and employment. Environmental constraints to rapid economic growth are increasingly recognized by countries, leading to a rising awareness of the need for sustainable development. Implementation of an environmental policy however, generates significant implications for competition among countries.

  2. Electric power's new competitive marketplace

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hornick, R.; Zeppieri, J.; Rudden, K.

    1993-01-01

    Currently, competition is limited primarily to power generation, the sale of wholesale bulk power, and fuel substitution at the point of end use. However, within the next several years, the rivalry will focus on large, energy-intensive industrial and large commercial customers. Driven by the disparity in rates among neighboring and regional utilities, large users are expected to lobby aggressively for retail wheeling and access to new supplies. New competitors will provide customers with additional supply options, forcing traditional utilities to offer better prices and or service. Competition at the point of end use also will increase as the natural gas industry develops new end-use technologies, gas utilities compete more aggressively, and some state regulatory commissions promote fuel switching as part of integrated resource planning (IRP) and demand-side management (DSM). However, as long as electric utilities are subject to cost-based rate of return regulation within price-sensitive markets, they will be a competitive disadvantage. The paper discusses the following: competitive risks by market segment, wholesale markets, industrial markets, commercial markets, residential markets, and franchise markets

  3. Commercial Activity or Banking Competition?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rose-Marie Pușcaciu

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The study analyzes the competition on the banking market and proposes an overview of debt collection companies through the economic crisis which has profoundly affected the banking sector. Article scroll through the main features of competition on the banking market as well as the domain weaknesses that negatively influenced the banking system performance. Even if there is not a sufficiently transparent and functional legal framework and debt recovery market is not supervised enough, it is among the few markets that increase from year to year. Increasing competition from adjacent companies that compete with banks, namely, a non-banking entity, it is stimulating the banking system which will thus become more constructive. It is estimated, that in terms of customers, there will be no differentiation between the banking industry and non-banking entities that will reshape the Romanian banking system soon. Also, the study aims to highlight the existence of debt collection companies, implicitly, the specific markets, it is only a consequence of excessive, unnecessary and dangerous borrowing from previous years. Avoiding bad loans from banks, a fair competition from banks and from non-banking institutions, in the long term, it will generate a balance in the market and it will support economic growth of Romania.

  4. PRICES IN COMPETITIVE SYSTEM

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    VADUVA MARIA

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Regularities of competitive market determine rules for determining prices and their dynamics. Orientation prices to competition (competitive pricing is the strategy most frequently used in countries with market economies and especially for exports. Moreover, in an economy dominated by market competition it cannot be ignored without certain risks the prices resulting from competition between products bidders. Companies that use this type of strategy seek to maintain a level of prices linked to that charged by other competitors (or exporting producers generally no longer covering production costs or demand, relying on the assumption that the average market price is a reasonable basis of costs. But the way how practical guidance and reporting to the competition in every price strategy, will be determined by the company's market position, by the available power and enjoyed prestige, objectives and prospects of its market share etc. according to these elements, there may be several versions of pricing strategies oriented to competitors.

  5. Architectural Competition and BIM

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sørensen, Nils Lykke; Frandsen, Anne Kathrine; Øien, Turid Borgestrand

    2015-01-01

    on architecturalcompetitions, a series of interviews was conducted with building clients as well as architects, focusing on the impact of the above-mentioned changes within the building sector on architectural competitions as an institution. In the interviews, ICT and notleast BIM was a recurring theme that both parties saw...... as having a positive impact on competitions. But when looking closely into the answers, these revealed diverse understandings of how and why the impact of BIM on competitions could be said to be positive. The paper sheds light on the interaction between the actors (building clients, architects and client...... consultants) and the applied technologies (competition forms, ICT tools, directives) in architectural competitions in a theoretical actor-network perspective. The diverging understandings of the role of BIM are demonstrating one of many negotiations in progress in the network of architectural competitions...

  6. Competition in electricity markets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Taylor, W.

    1996-01-01

    This article examines expanded wholesale and retail competition and the effect that they are likely to have on the electric power industry. The author believes that expanded wholesale competition is good and will bring immediate benefit to all electric consumers; however, based on the experience of the natural gas industry and the electric power industry in California and other parts of the world, the author counsels caution in moving toward expanded retail competition

  7. The Competitive Perception

    OpenAIRE

    Lima, João Tiago

    2012-01-01

    This paper aims to define what competitive perception is. Using Dufrenne’s phenomenological analysis of the art spectator’s experience, namely the concept of aesthetic perception, I will claim that it is useful to apply this phenomenological approach to the experience of watching sport events. I will argue that the concepts of uncertainty and auto teleology, being two main features in sport competition, are helpful to define competitive perception.

  8. Quality and Competition

    OpenAIRE

    Rajiv D. Banker; Inder Khosla; Kingshuk K. Sinha

    1998-01-01

    In recent years, the practitioner literature in operations management has seen a dramatic surge in articles on quality management. It reflects the increased emphasis on quality by U.S. firms, which has been attributed largely to increased competition faced by them. The question of how quality is influenced by competitive intensity, however, has not received much attention, either in the practitioner or the academic research literatures. The notion of competitive intensity itself has not been ...

  9. Competitive versus comparative advantage

    OpenAIRE

    Neary, J. Peter

    2002-01-01

    I explore the interactions between comparative, competitive and absolute advantage in a two-country model of oligopoly in general equilibrium. Comparative advantage always determines the direction of trade, but both competitive and absolute advantage affect resource allocation, trade patterns and trade volumes. Competitive advantage in the sense of more home firms drives foreign firms out of marginal sectors but also makes some marginal home sectors uncompetitive. Absolute advantage in the se...

  10. Synaptic membrane rafts: traffic lights for local neurotrophin signaling?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zonta, Barbara; Minichiello, Liliana

    2013-10-18

    Lipid rafts, cholesterol and lipid rich microdomains, are believed to play important roles as platforms for the partitioning of transmembrane and synaptic proteins involved in synaptic signaling, plasticity, and maintenance. There is increasing evidence of a physical interaction between post-synaptic densities and post-synaptic lipid rafts. Localization of proteins within lipid rafts is highly regulated, and therefore lipid rafts may function as traffic lights modulating and fine-tuning neuronal signaling. The tyrosine kinase neurotrophin receptors (Trk) and the low-affinity p75 neurotrophin receptor (p75(NTR)) are enriched in neuronal lipid rafts together with the intermediates of downstream signaling pathways, suggesting a possible role of rafts in neurotrophin signaling. Moreover, neurotrophins and their receptors are involved in the regulation of cholesterol metabolism. Cholesterol is an important component of lipid rafts and its depletion leads to gradual loss of synapses, underscoring the importance of lipid rafts for proper neuronal function. Here, we review and discuss the idea that translocation of neurotrophin receptors in synaptic rafts may account for the selectivity of their transduced signals.

  11. Synaptic membrane rafts: traffic lights for local neurotrophin signalling?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barbara eZonta

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Lipid rafts, cholesterol and lipid rich microdomains, are believed to play important roles as platforms for the partitioning of transmembrane and synaptic proteins involved in synaptic signalling, plasticity and maintenance. There is increasing evidence of a physical interaction between post-synaptic densities and post-synaptic lipid rafts. Localization of proteins within lipid rafts is highly regulated, and therefore lipid rafts may function as traffic lights modulating and fine-tuning neuronal signalling. The tyrosine kinase neurotrophin receptors (Trk and the low-affinity p75 neurotrophin receptor (p75NTR are enriched in neuronal lipid rafts together with the intermediates of downstream signalling pathways, suggesting a possible role of rafts in neurotrophin signalling. Moreover, neurotrophins and their receptors are involved in the regulation of cholesterol metabolism. Cholesterol is an important component of lipid rafts and its depletion leads to gradual loss of synapses, underscoring the importance of lipid rafts for proper neuronal function. Here, we review and discuss the idea that translocation of neurotrophin receptors in synaptic rafts may account for the selectivity of their transduced signals.

  12. Limited distal organelles and synaptic function in extensive monoaminergic innervation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tao, Juan; Bulgari, Dinara; Deitcher, David L; Levitan, Edwin S

    2017-08-01

    Organelles such as neuropeptide-containing dense-core vesicles (DCVs) and mitochondria travel down axons to supply synaptic boutons. DCV distribution among en passant boutons in small axonal arbors is mediated by circulation with bidirectional capture. However, it is not known how organelles are distributed in extensive arbors associated with mammalian dopamine neuron vulnerability, and with volume transmission and neuromodulation by monoamines and neuropeptides. Therefore, we studied presynaptic organelle distribution in Drosophila octopamine neurons that innervate ∼20 muscles with ∼1500 boutons. Unlike in smaller arbors, distal boutons in these arbors contain fewer DCVs and mitochondria, although active zones are present. Absence of vesicle circulation is evident by proximal nascent DCV delivery, limited impact of retrograde transport and older distal DCVs. Traffic studies show that DCV axonal transport and synaptic capture are not scaled for extensive innervation, thus limiting distal delivery. Activity-induced synaptic endocytosis and synaptic neuropeptide release are also reduced distally. We propose that limits in organelle transport and synaptic capture compromise distal synapse maintenance and function in extensive axonal arbors, thereby affecting development, plasticity and vulnerability to neurodegenerative disease. © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  13. Synaptic contacts impaired by styrene-7,8-oxide toxicity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Corsi, P.; D'Aprile, A.; Nico, B.; Costa, G.L.; Assennato, G.

    2007-01-01

    Styrene-7,8-oxide (SO), a chemical compound widely used in industrial applications, is a potential hazard for humans, particularly in occupational settings. Neurobehavioral changes are consistently observed in occupationally exposed individuals and alterations of neurotransmitters associated with neuronal loss have been reported in animal models. Although the toxic effects of styrene have been extensively documented, the molecular mechanisms responsible for SO-induced neurotoxicity are still unclear. A possible dopamine-mediated effect of styrene neurotoxicity has been previously demonstrated, since styrene oxide alters dopamine neurotransmission in the brain. Thus, the present study hypothesizes that styrene neurotoxicity may involve synaptic contacts. Primary striatal neurons were exposed to styrene oxide at different concentrations (0.1-1 mM) for different time periods (8, 16, and 24 h) to evaluate the dose able to induce synaptic impairments. The expression of proteins crucial for synaptic transmission such as Synapsin, Synaptophysin, and RAC-1 were considered. The levels of Synaptophysin and RAC-1 decreased in a dose-dependent manner. Accordingly, morphological alterations, observed at the ultrastructural level, primarily involved the pre-synaptic compartment. In SO-exposed cultures, the biochemical cascade of caspases was activated affecting the cytoskeleton components as their target. Thus the impairments in synaptic contacts observed in SO-exposed cultures might reflect a primarily morphological alteration of neuronal cytoskeleton. In addition, our data support the hypothesis developed by previous authors of reactive oxygen species (ROS) initiating events of SO cytotoxicity

  14. Assaying gene function by growth competition experiment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merritt, Joshua; Edwards, Jeremy S

    2004-07-01

    High-throughput screening and analysis is one of the emerging paradigms in biotechnology. In particular, high-throughput methods are essential in the field of functional genomics because of the vast amount of data generated in recent and ongoing genome sequencing efforts. In this report we discuss integrated functional analysis methodologies which incorporate both a growth competition component and a highly parallel assay used to quantify results of the growth competition. Several applications of the two most widely used technologies in the field, i.e., transposon mutagenesis and deletion strain library growth competition, and individual applications of several developing or less widely reported technologies are presented.

  15. Ontology-Based Model Of Firm Competitiveness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deliyska, Boryana; Stoenchev, Nikolay

    2010-10-01

    Competitiveness is important characteristics of each business organization (firm, company, corporation etc). It is of great significance for the organization existence and defines evaluation criteria of business success at microeconomical level. Each criterium comprises set of indicators with specific weight coefficients. In the work an ontology-based model of firm competitiveness is presented as a set of several mutually connected ontologies. It would be useful for knowledge structuring, standardization and sharing among experts and software engineers who develop application in the domain. Then the assessment of the competitiveness of various business organizations could be generated more effectively.

  16. Readily releasable pool of synaptic vesicles measured at single synaptic contacts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trigo, Federico F; Sakaba, Takeshi; Ogden, David; Marty, Alain

    2012-10-30

    To distinguish between different models of vesicular release in brain synapses, it is necessary to know the number of vesicles of transmitter that can be released immediately at individual synapses by a high-calcium stimulus, the readily releasable pool (RRP). We used direct stimulation by calcium uncaging at identified, single-site inhibitory synapses to investigate the statistics of vesicular release and the size of the RRP. Vesicular release, detected as quantal responses in the postsynaptic neuron, showed an unexpected stochastic variation in the number of quanta from stimulus to stimulus at high intracellular calcium, with a mean of 1.9 per stimulus and a maximum of three or four. The results provide direct measurement of the RRP at single synaptic sites. They are consistent with models in which release proceeds from a small number of vesicle docking sites with an average occupancy around 0.7.

  17. How competitive is nuclear energy?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Keppler, J.H.

    2010-01-01

    The economic competitiveness of nuclear energy will be crucial for determining its future share in world electricity production. In addition, the widespread liberalization of power markets, in particular in OECD countries, reinforces the role of commercial criteria in technology selection . The recently published IEA/NEA study on Projected Costs of Generating Electricity: 2010 Edition (IEA/NEA, 2010) provides important indications regarding the relative competitiveness of nuclear energy in OECD member countries as well as in four non-OECD countries (Brazil, China, Russia and South Africa). The results highlight the paramount importance of discount rates and, to a lesser extent, carbon and fuel prices when comparing different technologies. Going beyond this general finding, the study also shows that the relative competitiveness of nuclear energy varies widely from one major region to another, and even from country to country. While the study provides a useful snapshot of the costs of generating electricity with different technologies, it does not provide an absolute picture of the competitiveness of nuclear energy. Like any study, Projected Costs of Generating Electricity makes a number of common assumptions about discount rates as well as carbon and fuel prices. In addition, its calculations are based on a methodology that is referred to as the levelised cost of electricity (LCOE), which assumes that all risks are included in the interest or discount rate, which determines the cost of capital. In other words, neither the electricity price risk for nuclear and renewables, nor the carbon and fuel price risk for fossil fuels such as coal and gas, receive specific consideration. The decisions of private investors, however, will depend to a large extent on their individual appreciations of these risks. The competitiveness of nuclear energy thus depends on three different factors which may vary greatly from market to market: interest rates, carbon and fuel prices, and

  18. Foreign launch competition growing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brodsky, R. F.; Wolfe, M. G.; Pryke, I. W.

    1986-07-01

    A survey is given of progress made by other nations in providing or preparing to provide satellite launch services. The European Space Agency has four generations of Ariane vehicles, with a fifth recently approved; a second launch facility in French Guiana that has become operational has raised the possible Ariane launch rate to 10 per year, although a May failure of an Ariane 2 put launches on hold. The French Hermes spaceplane and the British HOTOL are discussed. Under the auspices of the Italian National Space Plane, the Iris orbital transfer vehicle is developed and China's Long March vehicles and the Soviet Protons and SL-4 vehicles are discussed; the Soviets moreover are apparently developing not only a Saturn V-class heavy lift vehicle with a 150,000-kg capacity (about five times the largest U.S. capacity) but also a space shuttle and a spaceplane. Four Japanese launch vehicles and some vehicles in an Indian program are also ready to provide launch services. In this new, tough market for launch services, the customers barely outnumber the suppliers. The competition develops just as the Challenger and Titan disasters place the U.S. at a disadvantage and underline the hard work ahead to recoup its heretofore leading position in launch services.

  19. Customer-driven competition

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Taylor, R. [Ontario Hydro, Toronto, ON (Canada)

    1996-12-31

    Ontario Hydro`s customer-driven strategy, recently approved by Hydro`s Executive Board, was described. The strategy is founded on the following components: (1) the dissolution of the Ontario power pool, i.e., the loss of Hydro`s franchise monopoly on generation, leaving only power transmission in the hands of the Corporation, (2) divestment of Ontario Hydro`s system operations and market operations functions to a new, independent Crown corporation called the Central Market Operator, (3) functional and organizational unbundling of Ontario Hydro into three signature businesses, Genco, Transco, and Retailco, and in the latter two, the functional unbundling of wires from sales and services, (4) a fully commercial Ontario Hydro with normal corporate powers, and (5) a corporate strategy for Ontario Hydro to grow in businesses in an open, symmetrical North American energy market. According to Ontario Hydro management this will allow competition and choice to all customers, have a disciplining effect on prices, and give rise to a retail market of new products and services, while at the same time preserve and enhance the value of public investment in the Corporation.

  20. Customer-driven competition

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Taylor, R.

    1996-01-01

    Ontario Hydro's customer-driven strategy, recently approved by Hydro's Executive Board, was described. The strategy is founded on the following components: (1) the dissolution of the Ontario power pool, i.e., the loss of Hydro's franchise monopoly on generation, leaving only power transmission in the hands of the Corporation, (2) divestment of Ontario Hydro's system operations and market operations functions to a new, independent Crown corporation called the Central Market Operator, (3) functional and organizational unbundling of Ontario Hydro into three signature businesses, Genco, Transco, and Retailco, and in the latter two, the functional unbundling of wires from sales and services, (4) a fully commercial Ontario Hydro with normal corporate powers, and (5) a corporate strategy for Ontario Hydro to grow in businesses in an open, symmetrical North American energy market. According to Ontario Hydro management this will allow competition and choice to all customers, have a disciplining effect on prices, and give rise to a retail market of new products and services, while at the same time preserve and enhance the value of public investment in the Corporation

  1. Alberta's new competitive electricity system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hancher, L.

    1996-01-01

    The shape, speed and direction of further reforms in Alberta's electric power industry were forecast, following the introduction of a competitive framework for the industry, the first province to do so in Canada, effective January 1996. This study reviews the previously existing system ( a mix of investor-owned and municipally-owned utilities), as well as the proposed new structure as laid out in the new Electric Utilities Act, based on the three principles of unbundling, a competitive power pool and open system access transmission. The paper also reviewed some of the major issues that will have to be faced in the future, such as how to deal with market power and possible collusion between the generators to hold prices down, a problem that has been the well-known failing of the U.K. pool mechanism

  2. Synaptic proteins and receptors defects in autism spectrum disorders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jianling eChen

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Recent studies have found that hundreds of genetic variants, including common and rare variants, rare and de novo mutations, and common polymorphisms have contributed to the occurrence of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs. The mutations in a number of genes such as neurexin, neuroligin, postsynaptic density protein 95 (PSD-95, SH3 and multiple ankyrin repeat domains 3 (SHANK3, synapsin, gephyrin, cadherin (CDH and protocadherin (PCDH, thousand-and-one-amino acid 2 kinase (TAOK2, and contactin (CNTN, have been shown to play important roles in the development and function of synapses. In addition, synaptic receptors, such as gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA receptors and glutamate receptors, have also been associated with ASDs. This review will primarily focus on the defects of synaptic proteins and receptors associated with ASDs and their roles in the pathogenesis of ASDs via synaptic pathways.

  3. Interregional synaptic maps among engram cells underlie memory formation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, Jun-Hyeok; Sim, Su-Eon; Kim, Ji-Il; Choi, Dong Il; Oh, Jihae; Ye, Sanghyun; Lee, Jaehyun; Kim, TaeHyun; Ko, Hyoung-Gon; Lim, Chae-Seok; Kaang, Bong-Kiun

    2018-04-27

    Memory resides in engram cells distributed across the brain. However, the site-specific substrate within these engram cells remains theoretical, even though it is generally accepted that synaptic plasticity encodes memories. We developed the dual-eGRASP (green fluorescent protein reconstitution across synaptic partners) technique to examine synapses between engram cells to identify the specific neuronal site for memory storage. We found an increased number and size of spines on CA1 engram cells receiving input from CA3 engram cells. In contextual fear conditioning, this enhanced connectivity between engram cells encoded memory strength. CA3 engram to CA1 engram projections strongly occluded long-term potentiation. These results indicate that enhanced structural and functional connectivity between engram cells across two directly connected brain regions forms the synaptic correlate for memory formation. Copyright © 2018 The Authors, some rights reserved; exclusive licensee American Association for the Advancement of Science. No claim to original U.S. Government Works.

  4. Integrated neuron circuit for implementing neuromorphic system with synaptic device

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Jeong-Jun; Park, Jungjin; Kwon, Min-Woo; Hwang, Sungmin; Kim, Hyungjin; Park, Byung-Gook

    2018-02-01

    In this paper, we propose and fabricate Integrate & Fire neuron circuit for implementing neuromorphic system. Overall operation of the circuit is verified by measuring discrete devices and the output characteristics of the circuit. Since the neuron circuit shows asymmetric output characteristic that can drive synaptic device with Spike-Timing-Dependent-Plasticity (STDP) characteristic, the autonomous weight update process is also verified by connecting the synaptic device and the neuron circuit. The timing difference of the pre-neuron and the post-neuron induce autonomous weight change of the synaptic device. Unlike 2-terminal devices, which is frequently used to implement neuromorphic system, proposed scheme of the system enables autonomous weight update and simple configuration by using 4-terminal synapse device and appropriate neuron circuit. Weight update process in the multi-layer neuron-synapse connection ensures implementation of the hardware-based artificial intelligence, based on Spiking-Neural- Network (SNN).

  5. PRRT2: from Paroxysmal Disorders to Regulation of Synaptic Function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valtorta, Flavia; Benfenati, Fabio; Zara, Federico; Meldolesi, Jacopo

    2016-10-01

    In the past few years, proline-rich transmembrane protein (PRRT)2 has been identified as the causative gene for several paroxysmal neurological disorders. Recently, an important role of PRRT2 in synapse development and function has emerged. Knock down of the protein strongly impairs the formation of synaptic contacts and neurotransmitter release. At the nerve terminal, PRRT2 endows synaptic vesicle exocytosis with Ca 2+ sensitivity by interacting with proteins of the fusion complex and with the Ca 2+ sensors synaptotagmins (Syts). In the postsynaptic compartment, PRRT2 interacts with glutamate receptors. The study of PRRT2 and of its mutations may help in refining our knowledge of the process of synaptic transmission and elucidating the pathogenetic mechanisms leading to derangement of network function in paroxysmal disorders. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Synaptic clustering within dendrites: an emerging theory of memory formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kastellakis, George; Cai, Denise J.; Mednick, Sara C.; Silva, Alcino J.; Poirazi, Panayiota

    2015-01-01

    It is generally accepted that complex memories are stored in distributed representations throughout the brain, however the mechanisms underlying these representations are not understood. Here, we review recent findings regarding the subcellular mechanisms implicated in memory formation, which provide evidence for a dendrite-centered theory of memory. Plasticity-related phenomena which affect synaptic properties, such as synaptic tagging and capture, synaptic clustering, branch strength potentiation and spinogenesis provide the foundation for a model of memory storage that relies heavily on processes operating at the dendrite level. The emerging picture suggests that clusters of functionally related synapses may serve as key computational and memory storage units in the brain. We discuss both experimental evidence and theoretical models that support this hypothesis and explore its advantages for neuronal function. PMID:25576663

  7. Competitivity of biofuels in heating

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Flyktman, M.

    1996-01-01

    The competitivity of indigenous fuels in heating of residential houses in comparison with imported fuels, and both electricity and district heating, has been studied in this research, ordered by the Finnish Ministry of Trade and Industry. Heating plants of residential house scale (20-1000 kW) have been investigated in the research. Only the new heating plants are included in the investigation. The heat generation calculations concerning the residential heating plants have been made for following indigenous fuels: sod peat, fuel-chips, peat and wood pellets, firewood and straw. In addition to these, the calculations have been made for light fuel-oil, electric heating, district heating and natural gas. The local energy tariffs have to be taken into account in electric heating, district heating and natural gas heating. A calculation model, based on flowsheet calculation, forms the main result of the project. By using the model it is possible to update the competitivity data rapidly. Of all the indigenous fuels, sod peat and fuel-chips appeared to be competitive with electric and district heating costs in nearly all scales investigated. The construction of the heat generation costs of solid indigenous fuels differs remarkably from those of electric and district heating. The main part of the heating costs of wood chips and sod peat is formed of fixed costs; i.e. of investment costs and of the costs of heating and control work. The energy costs are the highest costs items in electric an district heating, as well as in the oil heating. It is possible to improve the competitivity of biofuels by developing cheaper boilers and fuel processing and storage devices

  8. Defective glycinergic synaptic transmission in zebrafish motility mutants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hiromi Hirata

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Glycine is a major inhibitory neurotransmitter in the spinal cord and brainstem. Recently, in vivo analysis of glycinergic synaptic transmission has been pursued in zebrafish using molecular genetics. An ENU mutagenesis screen identified two behavioral mutants that are defective in glycinergic synaptic transmission. Zebrafish bandoneon (beo mutants have a defect in glrbb, one of the duplicated glycine receptor (GlyR β subunit genes. These mutants exhibit a loss of glycinergic synaptic transmission due to a lack of synaptic aggregation of GlyRs. Due to the consequent loss of reciprocal inhibition of motor circuits between the two sides of the spinal cord, motor neurons activate simultaneously on both sides resulting in bilateral contraction of axial muscles of beo mutants, eliciting the so-called ‘accordion’ phenotype. Similar defects in GlyR subunit genes have been observed in several mammals and are the basis for human hyperekplexia/startle disease. By contrast, zebrafish shocked (sho mutants have a defect in slc6a9, encoding GlyT1, a glycine transporter that is expressed by astroglial cells surrounding the glycinergic synapse in the hindbrain and spinal cord. GlyT1 mediates rapid uptake of glycine from the synaptic cleft, terminating synaptic transmission. In zebrafish sho mutants, there appears to be elevated extracellular glycine resulting in persistent inhibition of postsynaptic neurons and subsequent reduced motility, causing the ‘twitch once’ phenotype. We review current knowledge regarding zebrafish ‘accordion’ and ‘twitch once’ mutants, including beo and sho, and report the identification of a new α2 subunit that revises the phylogeny of zebrafish GlyRs.

  9. Precise synaptic efficacy alignment suggests potentiation dominated learning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christoph eHartmann

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Recent evidence suggests that parallel synapses from the same axonal branch onto the same dendritic branch have almost identical strength. It has been proposed that this alignment is only possible through learning rules that integrate activity over long time spans. However, learning mechanisms such as spike-timing-dependent plasticity (STDP are commonly assumed to be temporally local. Here, we propose that the combination of temporally local STDP and a multiplicative synaptic normalization mechanism is sufficient to explain the alignment of parallel synapses.To address this issue, we introduce three increasingly complex models: First, we model the idealized interaction of STDP and synaptic normalization in a single neuron as a simple stochastic process and derive analytically that the alignment effect can be described by a so-called Kesten process. From this we can derive that synaptic efficacy alignment requires potentiation-dominated learning regimes. We verify these conditions in a single-neuron model with independent spiking activities but more realistic synapses. As expected, we only observe synaptic efficacy alignment for long-term potentiation-biased STDP. Finally, we explore how well the findings transfer to recurrent neural networks where the learning mechanisms interact with the correlated activity of the network. We find that due to the self-reinforcing correlations in recurrent circuits under STDP, alignment occurs for both long-term potentiation- and depression-biased STDP, because the learning will be potentiation dominated in both cases due to the potentiating events induced by correlated activity. This is in line with recent results demonstrating a dominance of potentiation over depression during waking and normalization during sleep. This leads us to predict that individual spine pairs will be more similar in the morning than they are after sleep depriviation.In conclusion, we show that synaptic normalization in conjunction with

  10. Emergence of Functional Specificity in Balanced Networks with Synaptic Plasticity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sadra Sadeh

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available In rodent visual cortex, synaptic connections between orientation-selective neurons are unspecific at the time of eye opening, and become to some degree functionally specific only later during development. An explanation for this two-stage process was proposed in terms of Hebbian plasticity based on visual experience that would eventually enhance connections between neurons with similar response features. For this to work, however, two conditions must be satisfied: First, orientation selective neuronal responses must exist before specific recurrent synaptic connections can be established. Second, Hebbian learning must be compatible with the recurrent network dynamics contributing to orientation selectivity, and the resulting specific connectivity must remain stable for unspecific background activity. Previous studies have mainly focused on very simple models, where the receptive fields of neurons were essentially determined by feedforward mechanisms, and where the recurrent network was small, lacking the complex recurrent dynamics of large-scale networks of excitatory and inhibitory neurons. Here we studied the emergence of functionally specific connectivity in large-scale recurrent networks with synaptic plasticity. Our results show that balanced random networks, which already exhibit highly selective responses at eye opening, can develop feature-specific connectivity if appropriate rules of synaptic plasticity are invoked within and between excitatory and inhibitory populations. If these conditions are met, the initial orientation selectivity guides the process of Hebbian learning and, as a result, functionally specific and a surplus of bidirectional connections emerge. Our results thus demonstrate the cooperation of synaptic plasticity and recurrent dynamics in large-scale functional networks with realistic receptive fields, highlight the role of inhibition as a critical element in this process, and paves the road for further computational

  11. Depression as a Glial-Based Synaptic Dysfunction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel eRial

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Recent studies combining pharmacological, behavioral, electrophysiological and molecular approaches indicate that depression results from maladaptive neuroplastic processing occurring in defined frontolimbic circuits responsible for emotional processing such as the prefrontal cortex, hippocampus, amygdala and ventral striatum. However, the exact mechanisms controlling synaptic plasticity that are disrupted to trigger depressive conditions have not been elucidated. Since glial cells (astrocytes and microglia tightly and dynamically interact with synapses, engaging a bi-directional communication critical for the processing of synaptic information, we now revisit the role of glial cells in the etiology of depression focusing on a dysfunction of the ‘quad-partite’ synapse. This interest is supported by the observations that depressive-like conditions are associated with a decreased density and hypofunction of astrocytes and with an increase microglia ‘activation’ in frontolimbic regions, which is expected to contribute for the synaptic dysfunction present in depression. Furthermore, the traditional culprits of depression (glucocorticoids, biogenic amines, BDNF affect glia functioning, whereas antidepressant treatments (SSRIs, electroshock, deep brain stimulation recover glia functioning. In this context of a quad-partite synapse, systems modulating glia-synapse bidirectional communication - such as the purinergic neuromodulation system operated by ATP and adenosine - emerge as promising candidates to re-normalize synaptic function by combining direct synaptic effects with an ability to also control astrocyte and microglia function. This proposed triple action of purines to control aberrant synaptic function illustrates the rationale to consider the interference with glia dysfunction as a mechanism of action driving the design of future pharmacological tools to manage depression.

  12. Defective Glycinergic Synaptic Transmission in Zebrafish Motility Mutants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hirata, Hiromi; Carta, Eloisa; Yamanaka, Iori; Harvey, Robert J.; Kuwada, John Y.

    2009-01-01

    Glycine is a major inhibitory neurotransmitter in the spinal cord and brainstem. Recently, in vivo analysis of glycinergic synaptic transmission has been pursued in zebrafish using molecular genetics. An ENU mutagenesis screen identified two behavioral mutants that are defective in glycinergic synaptic transmission. Zebrafish bandoneon (beo) mutants have a defect in glrbb, one of the duplicated glycine receptor (GlyR) β subunit genes. These mutants exhibit a loss of glycinergic synaptic transmission due to a lack of synaptic aggregation of GlyRs. Due to the consequent loss of reciprocal inhibition of motor circuits between the two sides of the spinal cord, motor neurons activate simultaneously on both sides resulting in bilateral contraction of axial muscles of beo mutants, eliciting the so-called ‘accordion’ phenotype. Similar defects in GlyR subunit genes have been observed in several mammals and are the basis for human hyperekplexia/startle disease. By contrast, zebrafish shocked (sho) mutants have a defect in slc6a9, encoding GlyT1, a glycine transporter that is expressed by astroglial cells surrounding the glycinergic synapse in the hindbrain and spinal cord. GlyT1 mediates rapid uptake of glycine from the synaptic cleft, terminating synaptic transmission. In zebrafish sho mutants, there appears to be elevated extracellular glycine resulting in persistent inhibition of postsynaptic neurons and subsequent reduced motility, causing the ‘twitch-once’ phenotype. We review current knowledge regarding zebrafish ‘accordion’ and ‘twitch-once’ mutants, including beo and sho, and report the identification of a new α2 subunit that revises the phylogeny of zebrafish GlyRs. PMID:20161699

  13. Hardwiring of fine synaptic layers in the zebrafish visual pathway

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Taylor Michael R

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Neuronal connections are often arranged in layers, which are divided into sublaminae harboring synapses with similar response properties. It is still debated how fine-grained synaptic layering is established during development. Here we investigated two stratified areas of the zebrafish visual pathway, the inner plexiform layer (IPL of the retina and the neuropil of the optic tectum, and determined if activity is required for their organization. Results The IPL of 5-day-old zebrafish larvae is composed of at least nine sublaminae, comprising the connections between different types of amacrine, bipolar, and ganglion cells (ACs, BCs, GCs. These sublaminae were distinguished by their expression of cell type-specific transgenic fluorescent reporters and immunohistochemical markers, including protein kinase Cβ (PKC, parvalbumin (Parv, zrf3, and choline acetyltransferase (ChAT. In the tectum, four retinal input layers abut a laminated array of neurites of tectal cells, which differentially express PKC and Parv. We investigated whether these patterns were affected by experimental disruptions of retinal activity in developing fish. Neither elimination of light inputs by dark rearing, nor a D, L-amino-phosphono-butyrate-induced reduction in the retinal response to light onset (but not offset altered IPL or tectal lamination. Moreover, thorough elimination of chemical synaptic transmission with Botulinum toxin B left laminar synaptic arrays intact. Conclusion Our results call into question a role for activity-dependent mechanisms – instructive light signals, balanced on and off BC activity, Hebbian plasticity, or a permissive role for synaptic transmission – in the synaptic stratification we examined. We propose that genetically encoded cues are sufficient to target groups of neurites to synaptic layers in this vertebrate visual system.

  14. Changes in hippocampal synaptic functions and protein expression in monosodium glutamate-treated obese mice during development of glucose intolerance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sasaki-Hamada, Sachie; Hojo, Yuki; Koyama, Hajime; Otsuka, Hayuma; Oka, Jun-Ichiro

    2015-05-01

    Glucose is the sole neural fuel for the brain and is essential for cognitive function. Abnormalities in glucose tolerance may be associated with impairments in cognitive function. Experimental obese model mice can be generated by an intraperitoneal injection of monosodium glutamate (MSG; 2 mg/g) once a day for 5 days from 1 day after birth. MSG-treated mice have been shown to develop glucose intolerance and exhibit chronic neuroendocrine dysfunction associated with marked cognitive malfunctions at 28-29  weeks old. Although hippocampal synaptic plasticity is impaired in MSG-treated mice, changes in synaptic transmission remain unknown. Here, we investigated whether glucose intolerance influenced cognitive function, synaptic properties and protein expression in the hippocampus. We demonstrated that MSG-treated mice developed glucose intolerance due to an impairment in the effectiveness of insulin actions, and showed cognitive impairments in the Y-maze test. Moreover, long-term potentiation (LTP) at Schaffer collateral-CA1 pyramidal synapses in hippocampal slices was impaired, and the relationship between the slope of extracellular field excitatory postsynaptic potential and stimulus intensity of synaptic transmission was weaker in MSG-treated mice. The protein levels of vesicular glutamate transporter 1 and GluA1 glutamate receptor subunits decreased in the CA1 region of MSG-treated mice. These results suggest that deficits in glutamatergic presynapses as well as postsynapses lead to impaired synaptic plasticity in MSG-treated mice during the development of glucose intolerance, though it remains unknown whether impaired LTP is due to altered inhibitory transmission. It may be important to examine changes in glucose tolerance in order to prevent cognitive malfunctions associated with diabetes. © 2015 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  15. SynapticDB, effective web-based management and sharing of data from serial section electron microscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Bitao; Bourne, Jennifer; Harris, Kristen M

    2011-03-01

    Serial section electron microscopy (ssEM) is rapidly expanding as a primary tool to investigate synaptic circuitry and plasticity. The ultrastructural images collected through ssEM are content rich and their comprehensive analysis is beyond the capacity of an individual laboratory. Hence, sharing ultrastructural data is becoming crucial to visualize, analyze, and discover the structural basis of synaptic circuitry and function in the brain. We devised a web-based management system called SynapticDB (http://synapses.clm.utexas.edu/synapticdb/) that catalogues, extracts, analyzes, and shares experimental data from ssEM. The management strategy involves a library with check-in, checkout and experimental tracking mechanisms. We developed a series of spreadsheet templates (MS Excel, Open Office spreadsheet, etc) that guide users in methods of data collection, structural identification, and quantitative analysis through ssEM. SynapticDB provides flexible access to complete templates, or to individual columns with instructional headers that can be selected to create user-defined templates. New templates can also be generated and uploaded. Research progress is tracked via experimental note management and dynamic PDF forms that allow new investigators to follow standard protocols and experienced researchers to expand the range of data collected and shared. The combined use of templates and tracking notes ensures that the supporting experimental information is populated into the database and associated with the appropriate ssEM images and analyses. We anticipate that SynapticDB will serve future meta-analyses towards new discoveries about the composition and circuitry of neurons and glia, and new understanding about structural plasticity during development, behavior, learning, memory, and neuropathology.

  16. Price competition on graphs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Soetevent, A.R.

    2010-01-01

    This paper extends Hotelling's model of price competition with quadratic transportation costs from a line to graphs. I propose an algorithm to calculate firm-level demand for any given graph, conditional on prices and firm locations. One feature of graph models of price competition is that spatial

  17. Competitiveness, Technology and Skills.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lall, Sanjaya

    This document examines competitiveness in the developing world. Chapters 1 through 3, which are largely conceptual, examine the following topics: the concept of competitiveness and why it is important; market-stimulating technology policies in developing countries, and the relationship between import liberalization and industrial performance.…

  18. The competitive challenge

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Burr, M.T.

    1992-01-01

    This article examines the strategies necessary to succeed in the increasingly competitive independent power industry. The topics of the article include the factors encouraging mergers, acquisitions, and joint ventures, the availability of financing, changes in the market, regulatory climate changes, competition and power planning, Not In My Back Yard and project siting, and the road ahead

  19. Competition, Ownership and Productivity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Baghdasaryan, Delia; la Cour, Lisbeth

    2013-01-01

    Theoretical results support two concurrent views regarding the mediating role that ownership structure might play on the effect of competition on firm performance. According to one stream of literature, competition has a high, positive impact in companies that have an effective ownership structur...

  20. Competitiveness in Emerging Markets

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    This book presents a collection of interrelated research advances in the field of technological entrepreneurship from the perspective of competition in emerging markets. Featuring contributions by scholars from different fields of interest, it provides a mix of theoretical developments, insights...... and research methods used to uncover the unexplored aspects of competitiveness in emerging markets in an age characterized by disruptive technologies....

  1. Competition: Was Kohn Right?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shields, David Light; Bredemeier, Brenda Light

    2010-01-01

    Alfie Kohn made the case for competition being destructive to education. The truth may be that there are two separate ways to contest: true competition, which is a healthy desire to excel, and decompetition, which is the unhealthy desire merely to beat the opponent. Decompetition leads to the ills that Kohn enumerated. Educators should teach their…

  2. Competition and PUHCA reform

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Williams, P.L.

    1991-01-01

    This article examines the national energy policy legislation being developed with respect to Public Utilities Holding Company Act issues. The topics of the article include the proposals to encourage competition among electric power producers, those involved in the process, qualifying facilities, independent power producers, competition and efficiency, and the outlook for reform

  3. Synaptic model for spontaneous activity in developing networks

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lerchner, Alexander; Rinzel, J.

    2005-01-01

    Spontaneous rhythmic activity occurs in many developing neural networks. The activity in these hyperexcitable networks is comprised of recurring "episodes" consisting of "cycles" of high activity that alternate with "silent phases" with little or no activity. We introduce a new model of synaptic...... dynamics that takes into account that only a fraction of the vesicles stored in a synaptic terminal is readily available for release. We show that our model can reproduce spontaneous rhythmic activity with the same general features as observed in experiments, including a positive correlation between...

  4. Heterogeneous logics of competition

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mossin, Christiane

    2015-01-01

    of competition are only realized as particular forms of social organization by virtue of interplaying with other kinds of logics, like legal logics. (2) Competition logics enjoy a peculiar status in-between constructedness and givenness; although competition depends on laws and mechanisms of socialization, we...... still experience competition as an expression of spontaneous human activities. On the basis of these perspectives, a study of fundamental rights of EU law, springing from the principle of ‘free movement of people’, is conducted. The first part of the empirical analysis seeks to detect the presence...... of a presumed logic of competition within EU law, whereas the second part focuses on particular legal logics. In this respect, the so-called ‘real link criterion’ (determining the access to transnational social rights for certain groups of unemployed people) is given special attention. What is particularly...

  5. Competition in investment banking

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katrina Ellis

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available We construct a comprehensive measure of overall investment banking competitiveness for follow-on offerings that aggregates the various dimensions of competition such as fees, pricing accuracy, analyst recommendations, distributional abilities, market making prowess, debt offering capabilities, and overall reputation. The measure allows us to incorporate trade-offs that investment banks may use in competing for new or established clients. We find that firms who switch to similar-quality underwriters enjoy more intense competition among investment banks which manifests in lower fees and more optimistic recommendations. Investment banks do compete vigorously for some clients, with the level of competition related to the likelihood of gaining or losing clients. Finally, investment banks not performing up to market norms are more likely to be dropped in the follow-on offering. In contrast, firms who seek a higher reputation underwriter face relatively non-competitive markets.

  6. Crop–weed competition

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gallandt, Eric R.; Weiner, Jacob

    2015-01-01

    importantly, weed density and time of emergence relative to the crop. Practices that (1) reduce the density of weeds, (2) maximise occupation of space or uptake of resources by the crop or (3) establish an early-season size advantage of the crop over the weeds will minimise the competitive effects of weeds...... on crops. Longer term management of crop–weed competition can be achieved through crop rotations, specifically crop sequences that reduce the weed seed bank, and therefore seedling density, and prevent proliferation of perennial weeds. Key ConceptsKey Concepts * Plant growth requires sunlight, water...... an early-season competitive advantage to the crop and (3) maximising resource capture by the crop using competitive species, competitive cultivars, high sowing densities, optimal spatial arrangement, intercropping complimentary species or transplanting....

  7. Synaptic excitation in spinal motoneurons alternates with synaptic inhibition and is balanced by outward rectification during rhythmic motor network activity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Guzulaitis, Robertas; Hounsgaard, Jorn

    2017-01-01

    channels. Intrinsic outward rectification facilitates spiking by focusing synaptic depolarization near threshold for action potentials. By direct recording of synaptic currents, we also show that motoneurons are activated by out-of-phase peaks in excitation and inhibition during network activity, whereas......Regular firing in spinal motoneurons of red-eared turtles (Trachemys scripta elegans, either sex) evoked by steady depolarization at rest is replaced by irregular firing during functional network activity. The transition caused by increased input conductance and synaptic fluctuations in membrane...... potential was suggested to originate from intense concurrent inhibition and excitation. We show that the conductance increase in motoneurons during functional network activity is mainly caused by intrinsic outward rectification near threshold for action potentials by activation of voltage and Ca2+ gated K...

  8. Cell-specific gain modulation by synaptically released zinc in cortical circuits of audition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Charles T; Kumar, Manoj; Xiong, Shanshan; Tzounopoulos, Thanos

    2017-09-09

    In many excitatory synapses, mobile zinc is found within glutamatergic vesicles and is coreleased with glutamate. Ex vivo studies established that synaptically released (synaptic) zinc inhibits excitatory neurotransmission at lower frequencies of synaptic activity but enhances steady state synaptic responses during higher frequencies of activity. However, it remains unknown how synaptic zinc affects neuronal processing in vivo. Here, we imaged the sound-evoked neuronal activity of the primary auditory cortex in awake mice. We discovered that synaptic zinc enhanced the gain of sound-evoked responses in CaMKII-expressing principal neurons, but it reduced the gain of parvalbumin- and somatostatin-expressing interneurons. This modulation was sound intensity-dependent and, in part, NMDA receptor-independent. By establishing a previously unknown link between synaptic zinc and gain control of auditory cortical processing, our findings advance understanding about cortical synaptic mechanisms and create a new framework for approaching and interpreting the role of the auditory cortex in sound processing.

  9. A Ca2+-based computational model for NDMA receptor-dependent synaptic plasticity at individual post-synaptic spines in the hippocampus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Owen Rackham

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available Associative synaptic plasticity is synapse specific and requires coincident activity in presynaptic and postsynaptic neurons to activate NMDA receptors (NMDARs. The resultant Ca2+ influx is the critical trigger for the induction of synaptic plasticity. Given its centrality for the induction of synaptic plasticity, a model for NMDAR activation incorporating the timing of presynaptic glutamate release and postsynaptic depolarization by back-propagating action potentials could potentially predict the pre- and post-synaptic spike patterns required to induce synaptic plasticity. We have developed such a model by incorporating currently available data on the timecourse and amplitude of the postsynaptic membrane potential within individual spines. We couple this with data on the kinetics of synaptic NMDARs and then use the model to predict the continuous spine [Ca2+] in response to regular or irregular pre- and post-synaptic spike patterns. We then incorporate experimental data from synaptic plasticity induction protocols by regular activity patterns to couple the predicted local peak [Ca2+] to changes in synaptic strength. We find that our model accurately describes [Ca2+] in dendritic spines resulting from NMDAR activation during presynaptic and postsynaptic activity when compared to previous experimental observations. The model also replicates the experimentally determined plasticity outcome of regular and irregular spike patterns when applied to a single synapse. This model could therefore be used to predict the induction of synaptic plasticity under a variety of experimental conditions and spike patterns.

  10. Bridging the synaptic gap: neuroligins and neurexin I in Apis mellifera.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sunita Biswas

    Full Text Available Vertebrate studies show neuroligins and neurexins are binding partners in a trans-synaptic cell adhesion complex, implicated in human autism and mental retardation disorders. Here we report a genetic analysis of homologous proteins in the honey bee. As in humans, the honeybee has five large (31-246 kb, up to 12 exons each neuroligin genes, three of which are tightly clustered. RNA analysis of the neuroligin-3 gene reveals five alternatively spliced transcripts, generated through alternative use of exons encoding the cholinesterase-like domain. Whereas vertebrates have three neurexins the bee has just one gene named neurexin I (400 kb, 28 exons. However alternative isoforms of bee neurexin I are generated by differential use of 12 splice sites, mostly located in regions encoding LNS subdomains. Some of the splice variants of bee neurexin I resemble the vertebrate alpha- and beta-neurexins, albeit in vertebrates these forms are generated by alternative promoters. Novel splicing variations in the 3' region generate transcripts encoding alternative trans-membrane and PDZ domains. Another 3' splicing variation predicts soluble neurexin I isoforms. Neurexin I and neuroligin expression was found in brain tissue, with expression present throughout development, and in most cases significantly up-regulated in adults. Transcripts of neurexin I and one neuroligin tested were abundant in mushroom bodies, a higher order processing centre in the bee brain. We show neuroligins and neurexins comprise a highly conserved molecular system with likely similar functional roles in insects as vertebrates, and with scope in the honeybee to generate substantial functional diversity through alternative splicing. Our study provides important prerequisite data for using the bee as a model for vertebrate synaptic development.

  11. Conditioned taste aversion prevents the long-lasting BDNF-induced enhancement of synaptic transmission in the insular cortex: A metaplastic effect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rivera-Olvera, Alejandro; Rodríguez-Durán, Luis F; Escobar, Martha L

    2016-04-01

    Homeostatic plasticity mechanisms dynamically adjust synaptic strengths to promote stability that is crucial for memory storage. Metaplasticity is an example of these forms of plasticity that modify the capacity of synapses to experience subsequent Hebbian modifications. In particular, training in several behavioral tasks modifies the ability to induce long-term potentiation (LTP). Recently, we have reported that prior training in conditioned taste aversion (CTA) prevents the subsequent induction of LTP generated by high frequency stimulation in the projection from the basolateral nucleus of the amygdala (Bla) to the insular cortex (IC). One of the key molecular players that underlie long-term synaptic plasticity is brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). Previous studies from our group reported that acute microinfusion of BDNF in the IC induces a lasting potentiation of synaptic efficacy at the Bla-IC projection. Thus, the aim of the present study was to analyze whether CTA training modifies the ability to induce subsequent BDNF-induced potentiation of synaptic transmission in the Bla-IC projection in vivo. Accordingly, CTA trained rats received intracortical microinfusion of BDNF in order to induce lasting potentiation 48h after the aversion test. Our results show that CTA training prevents the induction of in vivo BDNF-LTP in the Bla-IC projection. The present results provide evidence that CTA modulates BDNF-dependent changes in IC synaptic strength. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Competition in the electric industry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jones, Mel

    1998-01-01

    Deregulation of the electric power industry is changing the 'personality' of utilities and the way they operate in order to survive in a more competitive marketplace. This paper will identify and discuss key issues NAC International believes will arise as the nuclear industry responds to deregulation. The regulatory treatment of such issues as retail wheeling, recovery of stranded costs, divestiture of assets and securitization will have a significant impact on how utilities, particularly those with nuclear assets, proceed into the new marketplace. While some will survive as a result of innovative thinking, cost control, and entrance into new niche markets, others will be forced to reassess their viability altogether. Increased mergers and acquisitions and early plant closures are potential consequences of these struggles. Meanwhile, innovative companies will develop and enter into new nuclear markets including most notably the acquisition of generating assets. Other key drivers that will significantly impact the competitiveness of nuclear versus other fuels will be the resolution of the nuclear waste issue, the reduction of O and M and decisions regarding whether to make expensive capital additions. Additionally, this paper will present an overview of key regulatory and legislative initiatives impacting electricity. Finally, this paper will examine the roles of regulating bodies such as the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and state utility commissions, and will provide an outlook for further legislative and regulatory actions in this competitive environment. (author)

  13. Sleep and protein synthesis-dependent synaptic plasticity: impacts of sleep loss and stress

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grønli, Janne; Soulé, Jonathan; Bramham, Clive R.

    2014-01-01

    Sleep has been ascribed a critical role in cognitive functioning. Several lines of evidence implicate sleep in the consolidation of synaptic plasticity and long-term memory. Stress disrupts sleep while impairing synaptic plasticity and cognitive performance. Here, we discuss evidence linking sleep to mechanisms of protein synthesis-dependent synaptic plasticity and synaptic scaling. We then consider how disruption of sleep by acute and chronic stress may impair these mechanisms and degrade sleep function. PMID:24478645

  14. Concept analysis of competitiveness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bychkovskii Andrei Yurevich

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Approaches to determine the competitiveness of enterprises. The techniques of estimating the probability of bankruptcy as the lowest level of competitiveness of the organization. Asked to assess the competitiveness on the basis of the analysis of internal and external factors of the company. External factors are asked to provide a financial and economic, political, industrial, technological, social, environmental. Internal factors proposed to explore, using the model of "the golden rule of business economics" in conjunction with approaches for assessing the ability of the enterprise to create value.

  15. Competition in education

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Knudsen, Hanne; Christensen, Søren

    Competition in education has two functions: selection and motivation. How do these two functions correlate, contradict or co-exist? How has the educational system reflected on the relation between competition as motivational technology and as a technology for selection? The aim of this paper...... is to formulate the problem of competition in education as a relation between selection and motivation and provide an analytical strategy to grasp this problem. Our ambition is to theorize the problem and give empirical illustrations of how the connection between selection and motivation has been articulated...... in various educational institutions and programs....

  16. Competitiveness: new economic paradigm?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marlene Peñaloza

    2005-10-01

    Full Text Available Nowadays competitiveness is made up of “the new” paradigm that allows to prevail in the global World. Thus, it is inevitable to ask, was it required to be competitive to be successful in the international trade arena? Recognizing the discussion about it and its theoretical-conceptual density, the present paper studies this old notion whose meaning, in essence, is always the same one. This applies even though new realities in the present world-wide atmosphere confer to it a distinguishing character and new and old players are forced to organize actions and bring efforts together to obtain the competitive supremacy.

  17. PKM-ζ is not required for hippocampal synaptic plasticity, learning and memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Volk, Lenora J; Bachman, Julia L; Johnson, Richard; Yu, Yilin; Huganir, Richard L

    2013-01-17

    Long-term potentiation (LTP), a well-characterized form of synaptic plasticity, has long been postulated as a cellular correlate of learning and memory. Although LTP can persist for long periods of time, the mechanisms underlying LTP maintenance, in the midst of ongoing protein turnover and synaptic activity, remain elusive. Sustained activation of the brain-specific protein kinase C (PKC) isoform protein kinase M-ζ (PKM-ζ) has been reported to be necessary for both LTP maintenance and long-term memory. Inhibiting PKM-ζ activity using a synthetic zeta inhibitory peptide (ZIP) based on the PKC-ζ pseudosubstrate sequence reverses established LTP in vitro and in vivo. More notably, infusion of ZIP eliminates memories for a growing list of experience-dependent behaviours, including active place avoidance, conditioned taste aversion, fear conditioning and spatial learning. However, most of the evidence supporting a role for PKM-ζ in LTP and memory relies heavily on pharmacological inhibition of PKM-ζ by ZIP. To further investigate the involvement of PKM-ζ in the maintenance of LTP and memory, we generated transgenic mice lacking PKC-ζ and PKM-ζ. We find that both conventional and conditional PKC-ζ/PKM-ζ knockout mice show normal synaptic transmission and LTP at Schaffer collateral-CA1 synapses, and have no deficits in several hippocampal-dependent learning and memory tasks. Notably, ZIP still reverses LTP in PKC-ζ/PKM-ζ knockout mice, indicating that the effects of ZIP are independent of PKM-ζ.

  18. Unsupervised discrimination of patterns in spiking neural networks with excitatory and inhibitory synaptic plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Srinivasa, Narayan; Cho, Youngkwan

    2014-01-01

    A spiking neural network model is described for learning to discriminate among spatial patterns in an unsupervised manner. The network anatomy consists of source neurons that are activated by external inputs, a reservoir that resembles a generic cortical layer with an excitatory-inhibitory (EI) network and a sink layer of neurons for readout. Synaptic plasticity in the form of STDP is imposed on all the excitatory and inhibitory synapses at all times. While long-term excitatory STDP enables sparse and efficient learning of the salient features in inputs, inhibitory STDP enables this learning to be stable by establishing a balance between excitatory and inhibitory currents at each neuron in the network. The synaptic weights between source and reservoir neurons form a basis set for the input patterns. The neural trajectories generated in the reservoir due to input stimulation and lateral connections between reservoir neurons can be readout by the sink layer neurons. This activity is used for adaptation of synapses between reservoir and sink layer neurons. A new measure called the discriminability index (DI) is introduced to compute if the network can discriminate between old patterns already presented in an initial training session. The DI is also used to compute if the network adapts to new patterns without losing its ability to discriminate among old patterns. The final outcome is that the network is able to correctly discriminate between all patterns-both old and new. This result holds as long as inhibitory synapses employ STDP to continuously enable current balance in the network. The results suggest a possible direction for future investigation into how spiking neural networks could address the stability-plasticity question despite having continuous synaptic plasticity.

  19. Polymer-electrolyte-gated nanowire synaptic transistors for neuromorphic applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zou, Can; Sun, Jia; Gou, Guangyang; Kong, Ling-An; Qian, Chuan; Dai, Guozhang; Yang, Junliang; Guo, Guang-hua

    2017-09-01

    Polymer-electrolytes are formed by dissolving a salt in polymer instead of water, the conducting mechanism involves the segmental motion-assisted diffusion of ion in the polymer matrix. Here, we report on the fabrication of tin oxide (SnO2) nanowire synaptic transistors using polymer-electrolyte gating. A thin layer of poly(ethylene oxide) and lithium perchlorate (PEO/LiClO4) was deposited on top of the devices, which was used to boost device performances. A voltage spike applied on the in-plane gate attracts ions toward the polymer-electrolyte/SnO2 nanowire interface and the ions are gradually returned after the pulse is removed, which can induce a dynamic excitatory postsynaptic current in the nanowire channel. The SnO2 synaptic transistors exhibit the behavior of short-term plasticity like the paired-pulse facilitation and self-adaptation, which is related to the electric double-effect regulation. In addition, the synaptic logic functions and the logical function transformation are also discussed. Such single SnO2 nanowire-based synaptic transistors are of great importance for future neuromorphic devices.

  20. The Predominance of Electric Transport in Synaptic Transmission

    OpenAIRE

    Hamid Reza Noori

    2008-01-01

    The quantitative description of the motion of neurotransmitters in the synaptic cleft appears to be one of the most difficult problems in the modeling of synapses. Here we show in contradiction to the common view, that this process is merely governed by electric transport than diffusion forces.

  1. Synaptically evoked glutamate transporter currents in Spinal Dorsal Horn Astrocytes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dougherty Patrick M

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Removing and sequestering synaptically released glutamate from the extracellular space is carried out by specific plasma membrane transporters that are primarily located in astrocytes. Glial glutamate transporter function can be monitored by recording the currents that are produced by co-transportation of Na+ ions with the uptake of glutamate. The goal of this study was to characterize glutamate transporter function in astrocytes of the spinal cord dorsal horn in real time by recording synaptically evoked glutamate transporter currents. Results Whole-cell patch clamp recordings were obtained from astrocytes in the spinal substantia gelatinosa (SG area in spinal slices of young adult rats. Glutamate transporter currents were evoked in these cells by electrical stimulation at the spinal dorsal root entry zone in the presence of bicuculline, strychnine, DNQX and D-AP5. Transporter currents were abolished when synaptic transmission was blocked by TTX or Cd2+. Pharmacological studies identified two subtypes of glutamate transporters in spinal astrocytes, GLAST and GLT-1. Glutamate transporter currents were graded with stimulus intensity, reaching peak responses at 4 to 5 times activation threshold, but were reduced following low-frequency (0.1 – 1 Hz repetitive stimulation. Conclusion These results suggest that glutamate transporters of spinal astrocytes could be activated by synaptic activation, and recording glutamate transporter currents may provide a means of examining the real time physiological responses of glial cells in spinal sensory processing, sensitization, hyperalgesia and chronic pain.

  2. Inflammation subverts hippocampal synaptic plasticity in experimental multiple sclerosis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert Nisticò

    Full Text Available Abnormal use-dependent synaptic plasticity is universally accepted as the main physiological correlate of memory deficits in neurodegenerative disorders. It is unclear whether synaptic plasticity deficits take place during neuroinflammatory diseases, such as multiple sclerosis (MS and its mouse model, experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE. In EAE mice, we found significant alterations of synaptic plasticity rules in the hippocampus. When compared to control mice, in fact, hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP induction was favored over long-term depression (LTD in EAE, as shown by a significant rightward shift in the frequency-synaptic response function. Notably, LTP induction was also enhanced in hippocampal slices from control mice following interleukin-1β (IL-1β perfusion, and both EAE and IL-1β inhibited GABAergic spontaneous inhibitory postsynaptic currents (sIPSC without affecting glutamatergic transmission and AMPA/NMDA ratio. EAE was also associated with selective loss of GABAergic interneurons and with reduced gamma-frequency oscillations in the CA1 region of the hippocampus. Finally, we provided evidence that microglial activation in the EAE hippocampus was associated with IL-1β expression, and hippocampal slices from control mice incubated with activated microglia displayed alterations of GABAergic transmission similar to those seen in EAE brains, through a mechanism dependent on enhanced IL-1β signaling. These data may yield novel insights into the basis of cognitive deficits in EAE and possibly of MS.

  3. Estrogen's Place in the Family of Synaptic Modulators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kramár, Enikö A; Chen, Lulu Y; Rex, Christopher S; Gall, Christine M; Lynch, Gary

    2009-01-01

    Estrogen, in addition to its genomic effects, triggers rapid synaptic changes in hippocampus and cortex. Here we summarize evidence that the acute actions of the steroid arise from actin signaling cascades centrally involved in long-term potentiation (LTP). A 10-min infusion of E2 reversibly increased fast EPSPs and promoted theta burst-induced LTP within adult hippocampal slices. The latter effect reflected a lowered threshold and an elevated ceiling for the potentiation effect. E2's actions on transmission and plasticity were completely blocked by latrunculin, a toxin that prevents actin polymerization. E2 also caused a reversible increase in spine concentrations of filamentous (F-) actin and markedly enhanced polymerization caused by theta burst stimulation (TBS). Estrogen activated the small GTPase RhoA, but not the related GTPase Rac, and phosphorylated (inactivated) synaptic cofilin, an actin severing protein targeted by RhoA. An inhibitor of RhoA kinase (ROCK) thoroughly suppressed the synaptic effects of E2. Collectively, these results indicate that E2 engages a RhoA >ROCK> cofilin> actin pathway also used by brain-derived neurotrophic factor and adenosine, and therefore belongs to a family of 'synaptic modulators' that regulate plasticity. Finally, we describe evidence that the acute signaling cascade is critical to the depression of LTP produced by ovariectomy.

  4. Inflammation Subverts Hippocampal Synaptic Plasticity in Experimental Multiple Sclerosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mandolesi, Georgia; Piccinin, Sonia; Berretta, Nicola; Pignatelli, Marco; Feligioni, Marco; Musella, Alessandra; Gentile, Antonietta; Mori, Francesco; Bernardi, Giorgio; Nicoletti, Ferdinando; Mercuri, Nicola B.; Centonze, Diego

    2013-01-01

    Abnormal use-dependent synaptic plasticity is universally accepted as the main physiological correlate of memory deficits in neurodegenerative disorders. It is unclear whether synaptic plasticity deficits take place during neuroinflammatory diseases, such as multiple sclerosis (MS) and its mouse model, experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). In EAE mice, we found significant alterations of synaptic plasticity rules in the hippocampus. When compared to control mice, in fact, hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP) induction was favored over long-term depression (LTD) in EAE, as shown by a significant rightward shift in the frequency–synaptic response function. Notably, LTP induction was also enhanced in hippocampal slices from control mice following interleukin-1β (IL-1β) perfusion, and both EAE and IL-1β inhibited GABAergic spontaneous inhibitory postsynaptic currents (sIPSC) without affecting glutamatergic transmission and AMPA/NMDA ratio. EAE was also associated with selective loss of GABAergic interneurons and with reduced gamma-frequency oscillations in the CA1 region of the hippocampus. Finally, we provided evidence that microglial activation in the EAE hippocampus was associated with IL-1β expression, and hippocampal slices from control mice incubated with activated microglia displayed alterations of GABAergic transmission similar to those seen in EAE brains, through a mechanism dependent on enhanced IL-1β signaling. These data may yield novel insights into the basis of cognitive deficits in EAE and possibly of MS. PMID:23355887

  5. High bandwidth synaptic communication and frequency tracking in human neocortex

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Testa-Silva, Guilherme; Verhoog, Matthijs B; Linaro, Daniele; de Kock, Christiaan P J; Baayen, Johannes C; Meredith, Rhiannon M; De Zeeuw, Chris I; Giugliano, Michele; Mansvelder, Huibert D

    2014-01-01

    Neuronal firing, synaptic transmission, and its plasticity form the building blocks for processing and storage of information in the brain. It is unknown whether adult human synapses are more efficient in transferring information between neurons than rodent synapses. To test this, we recorded from

  6. High bandwidth synaptic communication and frequency tracking in human neocortex.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Testa-Silva, G.; Verhoog, M.B.; Linaro, D.; de Kock, C.P.J.; Baayen, J.C.; Meredith, R.M.; Zeeuw, C.I.; Giugliano, M.; Mansvelder, H.D.

    2014-01-01

    Neuronal firing, synaptic transmission, and its plasticity form the building blocks for processing and storage of information in the brain. It is unknown whether adult human synapses are more efficient in transferring information between neurons than rodent synapses. To test this, we recorded from

  7. High Bandwidth Synaptic Communication and Frequency Tracking in Human Neocortex

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    G. Testa-Silva (Guilherme); M.B. Verhoog (Matthijs); D. Linaro (Daniele); C.P.J. de Kock (Christiaan); J.C. Baayen; R.M. Meredith (Rhiannon); C.I. de Zeeuw (Chris); M. Giugliano (Michele); H.D. Mansvelder (Huibert)

    2014-01-01

    textabstractNeuronal firing, synaptic transmission, and its plasticity form the building blocks for processing and storage of information in the brain. It is unknown whether adult human synapses are more efficient in transferring information between neurons than rodent synapses. To test this, we

  8. Control of synaptic plasticity in deep cortical networks

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Roelfsema, Pieter R.; Holtmaat, Anthony

    2018-01-01

    Humans and many other animals have an enormous capacity to learn about sensory stimuli and to master new skills. However, many of the mechanisms that enable us to learn remain to be understood. One of the greatest challenges of systems neuroscience is to explain how synaptic connections change to

  9. Glutamatergic synaptic plasticity in the mesocorticolimbic system in addiction.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Huijstee, A.N.; Mansvelder, H.D.

    2015-01-01

    Addictive drugs remodel the brain’s reward circuitry, the mesocorticolimbic dopamine (DA) system, by inducing widespread adaptations of glutamatergic synapses. This drug-induced synaptic plasticity is thought to contribute to both the development and the persistence of addiction. This review

  10. Synaptic activity regulates AMPA receptor trafficking through different recycling pathways

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Ning; Jeyifous, Okunola; Munro, Charlotte; Montgomery, Johanna M; Green, William N

    2015-01-01

    Changes in glutamatergic synaptic strength in brain are dependent on AMPA-type glutamate receptor (AMPAR) recycling, which is assumed to occur through a single local pathway. In this study, we present evidence that AMPAR recycling occurs through different pathways regulated by synaptic activity. Without synaptic stimulation, most AMPARs recycled in dynamin-independent endosomes containing the GTPase, Arf6. Few AMPARs recycled in dynamin-dependent endosomes labeled by transferrin receptors (TfRs). AMPAR recycling was blocked by alterations in the GTPase, TC10, which co-localized with Arf6 endosomes. TC10 mutants that reduced AMPAR recycling had no effect on increased AMPAR levels with long-term potentiation (LTP) and little effect on decreased AMPAR levels with long-term depression. However, internalized AMPAR levels in TfR-containing recycling endosomes increased after LTP, indicating increased AMPAR recycling through the dynamin-dependent pathway with synaptic plasticity. LTP-induced AMPAR endocytosis is inconsistent with local recycling as a source of increased surface receptors, suggesting AMPARs are trafficked from other sites. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.06878.001 PMID:25970033

  11. Inhibitory Synaptic Plasticity - Spike timing dependence and putative network function.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tim P Vogels

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available While the plasticity of excitatory synaptic connections in the brain has been widely studied, the plasticity of inhibitory connections is much less understood. Here, we present recent experimental and theoretical □ndings concerning the rules of spike timing-dependent inhibitory plasticity and their putative network function. This is a summary of a workshop at the COSYNE conference 2012.

  12. Irregular persistent activity induced by synaptic excitatory feedback

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francesca Barbieri

    2007-11-01

    Full Text Available Neurophysiological experiments on monkeys have reported highly irregular persistent activity during the performance of an oculomotor delayed-response task. These experiments show that during the delay period the coefficient of variation (CV of interspike intervals (ISI of prefrontal neurons is above 1, on average, and larger than during the fixation period. In the present paper, we show that this feature can be reproduced in a network in which persistent activity is induced by excitatory feedback, provided that (i the post-spike reset is close enough to threshold , (ii synaptic efficacies are a non-linear function of the pre-synaptic firing rate. Non-linearity between presynaptic rate and effective synaptic strength is implemented by a standard short-term depression mechanism (STD. First, we consider the simplest possible network with excitatory feedback: a fully connected homogeneous network of excitatory leaky integrate-and-fire neurons, using both numerical simulations and analytical techniques. The results are then confirmed in a network with selective excitatory neurons and inhibition. In both the cases there is a large range of values of the synaptic efficacies for which the statistics of firing of single cells is similar to experimental data.

  13. Economic competitiveness of nuclear power in China

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hu Chuanwen

    2005-01-01

    Development of nuclear power in China has made a good progress. Currently, economic competitiveness of nuclear power compared to fossil-fuelled power plants is one of the major problems which hamper its development. This article presents the economic competitiveness of nuclear power in China with two-level analyses. First, levelized lifetime cost method is adopted for electricity generation cost comparisons. Important factors influencing economic competitiveness of nuclear power are described. Furthermore, a broad economic evaluation of the full fuel chain of nuclear power and fossil-fuelled plants is discussed concerning macro social-economic issues, environmental and health impacts. The comprehensive comparative assessment would be carried out for decision making to implement nuclear power programme. In consideration of external costs and carbon value, the economic competitiveness of nuclear power would be further improved. Facing swift economic growth, huge energy demand and heavy environmental burden, nuclear power could play a significant role in sustainable development in China. (authors)

  14. Reactive Oxygen Species-Mediated Loss of Synaptic Akt1 Signaling Leads to Deficient Activity-Dependent Protein Translation Early in Alzheimer's Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmad, Faraz; Singh, Kunal; Das, Debajyoti; Gowaikar, Ruturaj; Shaw, Eisha; Ramachandran, Arathy; Rupanagudi, Khader Valli; Kommaddi, Reddy Peera; Bennett, David A; Ravindranath, Vijayalakshmi

    2017-12-01

    Synaptic deficits are known to underlie the cognitive dysfunction seen in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) by β-amyloid has also been implicated in AD pathogenesis. However, it is unclear whether ROS contributes to synaptic dysfunction seen in AD pathogenesis and, therefore, we examined whether altered redox signaling could contribute to synaptic deficits in AD. Activity dependent but not basal translation was impaired in synaptoneurosomes from 1-month old presymptomatic APP Swe /PS1ΔE9 (APP/PS1) mice, and this deficit was sustained till middle age (MA, 9-10 months). ROS generation leads to oxidative modification of Akt1 in the synapse and consequent reduction in Akt1-mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling, leading to deficiency in activity-dependent protein translation. Moreover, we found a similar loss of activity-dependent protein translation in synaptoneurosomes from postmortem AD brains. Loss of activity-dependent protein translation occurs presymptomatically early in the pathogenesis of AD. This is caused by ROS-mediated loss of pAkt1, leading to reduced synaptic Akt1-mTOR signaling and is rescued by overexpression of Akt1. ROS-mediated damage is restricted to the synaptosomes, indicating selectivity. We demonstrate that ROS-mediated oxidative modification of Akt1 contributes to synaptic dysfunction in AD, seen as loss of activity-dependent protein translation that is essential for synaptic plasticity and maintenance. Therapeutic strategies promoting Akt1-mTOR signaling at synapses may provide novel target(s) for disease-modifying therapy in AD. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 27, 1269-1280.

  15. Optogenetic Examination of Prefrontal-Amygdala Synaptic Development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arruda-Carvalho, Maithe; Wu, Wan-Chen; Cummings, Kirstie A; Clem, Roger L

    2017-03-15

    A brain network comprising the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and amygdala plays important roles in developmentally regulated cognitive and emotional processes. However, very little is known about the maturation of mPFC-amygdala circuitry. We conducted anatomical tracing of mPFC projections and optogenetic interrogation of their synaptic connections with neurons in the basolateral amygdala (BLA) at neonatal to adult developmental stages in mice. Results indicate that mPFC-BLA projections exhibit delayed emergence relative to other mPFC pathways and establish synaptic transmission with BLA excitatory and inhibitory neurons in late infancy, events that coincide with a massive increase in overall synaptic drive. During subsequent adolescence, mPFC-BLA circuits are further modified by excitatory synaptic strengthening as well as a transient surge in feedforward inhibition. The latter was correlated with increased spontaneous inhibitory currents in excitatory neurons, suggesting that mPFC-BLA circuit maturation culminates in a period of exuberant GABAergic transmission. These findings establish a time course for the onset and refinement of mPFC-BLA transmission and point to potential sensitive periods in the development of this critical network. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Human mPFC-amygdala functional connectivity is developmentally regulated and figures prominently in numerous psychiatric disorders with a high incidence of adolescent onset. However, it remains unclear when synaptic connections between these structures emerge or how their properties change with age. Our work establishes developmental windows and cellular substrates for synapse maturation in this pathway involving both excitatory and inhibitory circuits. The engagement of these substrates by early life experience may support the ontogeny of fundamental behaviors but could also lead to inappropriate circuit refinement and psychopathology in adverse situations. Copyright © 2017 the authors 0270-6474/17/372976-10$15.00/0.

  16. Innovation and strategic competitiveness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jović Mile B.

    2003-01-01

    Full Text Available Paper discussed relationships of innovation to achieving strategic competitiveness in today globalized economic environment. Special attention is devoted to the nature of competitive advantages on global industries as well national level. Competitive advantage is a firm's ability to transform inputs into goods and services at a profit on a sustained basis, better than competitors. Comparative advantage resides in the factor endowments and created endowments of particular regions. Beside the traditional endowment approach (land, natural resources, labor and the size of the local population it is emphasized the importance of created one such as skilled labor, the technology and knowledge base, government support and culture. Creating corporate or country competitiveness roadmap there are no substantial difference - innovative as well strategic approach is essential.

  17. COMPETITIVENESS FOR SUSTAINABLE ECONOMIES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nelu Eugen POPESCU

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available The current economic environment puts pressure on all national economies which struggle to improve their competitiveness and innovativeness in a sustainable way. This article aims to present the current state of the competitiveness by reviewing the main literature and worldwide researches, in order to provide a brief overview of the determinants that drive productivity and economic success at global and national level, taking into consideration the entrepreneurial activity for a country’s competitiveness and economic growth. The paper identifies the ways in which efficiency driven countries can improve their policies and get a better return on their investments, underlining a set of competitiveness enhancing policies (measures that can be implemented by public and private institutions in order to strengthen the economic fundamentals of the economies.

  18. Competition Policy and Innovation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Møllgaard, Peter; Lorentzen, Jo

    2005-01-01

    We briefly review the rationale behind technological alliances and provide a snapshot oftheir role in global competition, especially insofar as it is based around intellectual capital.They nicely illustrate the increased importance of horizontal agreements and thusestablish the relevance of the t......We briefly review the rationale behind technological alliances and provide a snapshot oftheir role in global competition, especially insofar as it is based around intellectual capital.They nicely illustrate the increased importance of horizontal agreements and thusestablish the relevance...... of the topic. We move on to discuss the organisation of industriesin a dynamic context and draw out consequences for competition policy. We concludewith an outlook on the underlying tensions between technology alliances, competitionpolicy, and industrial policy.JEL codes: L4, L5, O31Keywords: Competition...

  19. Competition and Development

    International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Digital Library (Canada)

    Ensure that judges receive specialized training in competition law . .... ensure good coverage and quality of service; banks are subject to prudential and other .... vendors who offer the best value do the most business and the customers benefit.

  20. DMEPOS Competitive Bidding

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Department of Health & Human Services — The DMEPOS Competitive Bidding Program was mandated by Congress through the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003 (MMA). The statute...

  1. More competition, less staff

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Martin, T.D.

    1996-01-01

    Staffing at US nuclear plants has been sharply reduced in recent years, as nuclear plants strive for aggressive cost reduction in a deregulating energy market. These steps have proved necessary to make nuclear plant production competitive with alternative sources. (author)

  2. Competition between herbage plants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wit, de C.T.; Bergh, van den J.P.

    1965-01-01

    Starting from work with annuals a model of competition between herbage plants is discussed. It is shown that their mutual interference can only be described adequately if they are grown in mixture and also in monoculture

  3. Synaptic plasticity in a recurrent neural network for versatile and adaptive behaviors of a walking robot

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Grinke, Eduard; Tetzlaff, Christian; Wörgötter, Florentin

    2015-01-01

    correlation-based learning with synaptic scaling is applied to adequately change the connections of the network. By doing so, we can effectively exploit neural dynamics (i.e., hysteresis effects and single attractors) in the network to generate different turning angles with short-term memory for a walking...... dynamics, plasticity, sensory feedback, and biomechanics. Generating such versatile and adaptive behaviors for a many degrees-of-freedom (DOFs) walking robot is a challenging task. Thus, in this study, we present a bio-inspired approach to solve this task. Specifically, the approach combines neural...... mechanisms with plasticity, exteroceptive sensory feedback, and biomechanics. The neural mechanisms consist of adaptive neural sensory processing and modular neural locomotion control. The sensory processing is based on a small recurrent neural network consisting of two fully connected neurons. Online...

  4. ANALYSIS OF COMPETITION INDUSTRIAL ENTERPRISES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. O. Egorova

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The paper analyzed and systematized the definition of "competition" proposed by domestic and foreign scholars in the field of strategic management, based on these discovered and refined essence of the concept of "competition". We consider the price and non-price competition. Examples are given of the methods of competition used in the practice of industrial activities. Substantiated that the forms and methods of competition must be constantly improved through the search for new competitive advantages.

  5. 2000 FIRST Robotics Competition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Purman, Richard

    2000-01-01

    The New Horizons Regional Education Center (NHREC) in Hampton, VA sought and received NASA funding to support its participation in the 2000 FIRST Robotics competition. FIRST, Inc. (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is an organization which encourages the application of creative science, math, and computer science principles to solve real-world engineering problems. The FIRST competition is an international engineering contest featuring high school, government, and business partnerships.

  6. Sperm competition in bats.

    OpenAIRE

    Hosken, D J

    1997-01-01

    Sperm competition is a widespread phenomenon influencing the evolution of male anatomy, physiology and behaviour. Bats are an ideal group for studying sperm competition. Females store fertile sperm for up to 200 days and the size of social groups varies from single animals to groups of hundreds of thousands. This study examines the relationship between social group size and investment in spermatogenesis across 31 species of microchiropteran bat using new and published data on testis mass and ...

  7. World competitiveness and agriculture

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. van Zyl

    1997-07-01

    Full Text Available Against the background of a changing environment in which market factors and greater world trade and competitiveness are increasingly becoming the only criteria for success, a framework for the analysis of world competitiveness is initially developed. This is followed by a discussion on the growth of productivity in agriculture, as well as an exposition of the role of agricultural research. Thirdly, price factors and the terms of trade are discussed, followed by a summary of policy implications.

  8. Competition between bank regulators

    OpenAIRE

    Schindler, Dirk; Eggert, Wolfgang

    2004-01-01

    This paper examines competition between bank regulators in open economies. We use a model where credit demand of firms is endogenous and show any tendency for downward competition in regulation policy is limited by the effect of regulation on profits of nonfinancial firms. Moreover, perfect mobility on loans and deposit markets fully eliminates the incentives of regulators to set bank regulation at ine±cient low levels.

  9. Costing and competition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bates, K; Brignall, S

    1994-01-01

    Working for patients established a new system of contracts between providers and purchasers of healthcare, with prices based on full costs, avoiding cross-subsidization. The new regime necessitates greatly improved costing systems, to improve the efficiency of service provision by creating price competition between providers. Ken Bates and Stan Brignall argue that non-price competition also occurs, with providers 'differentiating' on quality of service/product, flexibility or innovation.

  10. Odor-Specific Habituation Arises from Interaction of Afferent Synaptic Adaptation and Intrinsic Synaptic Potentiation in Olfactory Cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linster, Christiane; Menon, Alka V.; Singh, Christopher Y.; Wilson, Donald A.

    2009-01-01

    Segmentation of target odorants from background odorants is a fundamental computational requirement for the olfactory system and is thought to be behaviorally mediated by olfactory habituation memory. Data from our laboratory have shown that odor-specific adaptation in piriform neurons, mediated at least partially by synaptic adaptation between…

  11. Competition in energy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Haynes, Warren

    1995-01-01

    With changes occurring within both the gas and electricity industries and both sectors undergoing simultaneous reforms at the State and national levels it is timely to look at some major aspects of the energy-reform processes in Australia and to attempt to offer some perspectives from the viewpoint of an industry user of energy. From an industry user's viewpoint there is quantifiable evidence that competition in the energy sector will deliver major economic benefits to industry and the nation. The reform process currently in train will increase Australia's international competitiveness. Commonwealth-State collaboration is useful on economic issues which require a national consistent approach. Many significant and complex arrangement apply to the gas and electricity sectors which add to the complexity of the respective reform processes. More competitive arrangements are therefore required more quickly at several stages of the gas-sector reform process, such as in the commercialization of government utilities, resolving the issue of third-party transmission pricing, and the removal of State governments' impediments to competitive trading. The Hilmer Report on National Competition Policy will help deal with some difficult structural and transitional issues, e.g. third-party access, competitive structures, regulatory regimes, and a consistent national approach.(author). 1 fig., 1 photo

  12. Managing Multiple Sources of Competitive Advantage in a Complex Competitive Environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandre Howard Henry Lapersonne

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this article is to review the literature on the topic of sustained and temporary competitive advantage creation, specifically in dynamic markets, and to propose further research possibilities. After having analyzed the main trends and scholars’ works on the subject, it was concluded that a firm which has been experiencing erosion of its core sources of economic rent generation, should have diversified its strategy portfolio in a search for new sources of competitive advantage, ones that could compensate for the decline of profits provoked by intensive competitive environments. This review concludes with the hypothesis that firms, who have decided to enter and manage multiple competitive environments, should have developed a multiple strategies framework approach. The management of this source of competitive advantage portfolio should have allowed persistence of a firm’s superior economic performance through the management of diverse temporary advantages lifecycle and through a resilient effect, where a very successful source of competitive advantage compensates the ones that have been eroded. Additionally, the review indicates that economies of emerging countries, such as the ones from the BRIC block, should present a more complex competitive environment due to their historical nature of cultural diversity, social contrasts and frequent economic disruption, and also because of recent institutional normalization that has turned the market into hypercompetition. Consequently, the study of complex competition should be appropriate in such environments.

  13. MACROECONOMIC ASPECTS OF COMPETITIVENESS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oleg Hooke

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available In the process of globalization of world economic processes, the role of individual national economies increases, comparative advantages of the development of a country are formed, and their competitiveness is ensured. That is why it is worth emphasizing the importance of increasing the competitiveness of each individual country, based on its internal capacity. In a broad aspect, the competitiveness of the national economy is perceived as the ability of the country to ensure the balance of its external proportions and to avoid those constraints imposed by the foreign economic sphere, to self-organizing the improvement of their world economic ties. The competitiveness of the economy at the macro level is associated with the duration of the cycle of reproduction of the main productive assets and, accordingly, the jobs, productive forces of society and determined by the overall economic efficiency of investment. The criteria of competitiveness of the national economy are the growth of social productivity of labor, increase of social and economic efficiency of production and standard of living of the population. The competitiveness of the national economy determines sustainable socio-economic development of the country, as well as sustainable development predetermines the competitiveness of not only the country, but also all its levels. Scientific results are obtained using special methods of research of economic objects and phenomena, that is, based on the correlation and regressive, comparative analysis (establishing the relationship between the indicator factor, as well as economic modeling. Findings. Generalizing analysis and the importance of the macroeconomic aspect of competitiveness were used in the research paper, which will allow to better respond to the economic situation, in accordance with the trends of the “green” transformation of the economy; which in turn will solve important problems of the development and implementation of its

  14. Statistical theory of synaptic connectivity in the neocortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Escobar, Gina

    Learning and long-term memory rely on plasticity of neural circuits. In adult cerebral cortex plasticity can be mediated by modulation of existing synapses and structural reorganization of circuits through growth and retraction of dendritic spines. In the first part of this thesis, we describe a theoretical framework for the analysis of spine remodeling plasticity. New synaptic contacts appear in the neuropil where gaps between axonal and dendritic branches can be bridged by dendritic spines. Such sites are termed potential synapses. We derive expressions for the densities of potential synapses in the neuropil. We calculate the ratio of actual to potential synapses, called the connectivity fraction, and use it to find the number of structurally different circuits attainable with spine remodeling. These parameters are calculated in four systems: mouse occipital cortex, rat hippocampal area CA1, monkey primary visual (V1), and human temporal cortex. The neurogeometric results indicate that a dendritic spine can choose among an average of 4-7 potential targets in rodents, while in primates it can choose from 10-20 potential targets. The potential of the neuropil to undergo circuit remodeling is found to be highest in rat CA1 (4.9-6.0 nats/mum 3) and lowest in monkey V1 (0.9-1.0 nats/mum3). We evaluate the lower bound of neuron selectivity in the choice of synaptic partners and find that post-synaptic excitatory neurons in rodents make synaptic contacts with more than 21-30% of pre-synaptic axons encountered with new spine growth. Primate neurons appear to be more selective, making synaptic connections with more than 7-15% of encountered axons. Another plasticity mechanism is included in the second part of this work: long-term potentiation and depression of excitatory synaptic connections. Because synaptic strength is correlated with the size of the synapse, the former can be inferred from the distribution of spine head volumes. To this end we analyze and compare 166

  15. Possible Effects of Synaptic Imbalances on Oligodendrocyte-Axonic Interactions in Schizophrenia: a Hypothetical Model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bernhard Joseph Mitterauer

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available AbstractA model of glial-neuronal interactions is proposed that could be explanatory for the demyelination identified in brains with schizophrenia. According to this model, receptors on astrocytes in glial-neuronal synaptic units are not functional, loosing their modulatory influence on synaptic neurotransmission. Hence, an unconstrained neurotransmission flux occurs that hyperactivates the axon and floods the cognate receptors of neurotransmitters on oligodendrocytes. The excess of neurotransmitters may have a toxic effect on oligodendrocytes and myelin, causing demyelination. In parallel, an increasing impairment of axons may disconnect neuronal networks. It is formally shown how oligodendrocytes normally categorize axonic information processing via their processes. Demyelination decomposes the oligodendrocyte-axonic system making it incapable to generate categories of information. This incoherence may be responsible for symptoms of disorganization in schizophrenia, such as thought disorder, inappropriate affect and incommunicable motor behavior. In parallel, the loss of oligodendrocytes affects gap junctions in the panglial syncytium, presumably responsible for memory impairment in schizophrenia.

  16. Volterra representation enables modeling of complex synaptic nonlinear dynamics in large-scale simulations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Eric Y; Bouteiller, Jean-Marie C; Song, Dong; Baudry, Michel; Berger, Theodore W

    2015-01-01

    Chemical synapses are comprised of a wide collection of intricate signaling pathways involving complex dynamics. These mechanisms are often reduced to simple spikes or exponential representations in order to enable computer simulations at higher spatial levels of complexity. However, these representations cannot capture important nonlinear dynamics found in synaptic transmission. Here, we propose an input-output (IO) synapse model capable of generating complex nonlinear dynamics while maintaining low computational complexity. This IO synapse model is an extension of a detailed mechanistic glutamatergic synapse model capable of capturing the input-output relationships of the mechanistic model using the Volterra functional power series. We demonstrate that the IO synapse model is able to successfully track the nonlinear dynamics of the synapse up to the third order with high accuracy. We also evaluate the accuracy of the IO synapse model at different input frequencies and compared its performance with that of kinetic models in compartmental neuron models. Our results demonstrate that the IO synapse model is capable of efficiently replicating complex nonlinear dynamics that were represented in the original mechanistic model and provide a method to replicate complex and diverse synaptic transmission within neuron network simulations.

  17. An unbiased expression screen for synaptogenic proteins identifies the LRRTM protein family as synaptic organizers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linhoff, Michael W; Laurén, Juha; Cassidy, Robert M; Dobie, Frederick A; Takahashi, Hideto; Nygaard, Haakon B; Airaksinen, Matti S; Strittmatter, Stephen M; Craig, Ann Marie

    2009-03-12

    Delineating the molecular basis of synapse development is crucial for understanding brain function. Cocultures of neurons with transfected fibroblasts have demonstrated the synapse-promoting activity of candidate molecules. Here, we performed an unbiased expression screen for synaptogenic proteins in the coculture assay using custom-made cDNA libraries. Reisolation of NGL-3/LRRC4B and neuroligin-2 accounts for a minority of positive clones, indicating that current understanding of mammalian synaptogenic proteins is incomplete. We identify LRRTM1 as a transmembrane protein that induces presynaptic differentiation in contacting axons. All four LRRTM family members exhibit synaptogenic activity, LRRTMs localize to excitatory synapses, and artificially induced clustering of LRRTMs mediates postsynaptic differentiation. We generate LRRTM1(-/-) mice and reveal altered distribution of the vesicular glutamate transporter VGLUT1, confirming an in vivo synaptic function. These results suggest a prevalence of LRR domain proteins in trans-synaptic signaling and provide a cellular basis for the reported linkage of LRRTM1 to handedness and schizophrenia.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-05-19

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

  19. RNA-Dependent Intergenerational Inheritance of Enhanced Synaptic Plasticity after Environmental Enrichment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eva Benito

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Summary: Physical exercise in combination with cognitive training is known to enhance synaptic plasticity, learning, and memory and lower the risk for various complex diseases including Alzheimer’s disease. Here, we show that exposure of adult male mice to an environmental enrichment paradigm leads to enhancement of synaptic plasticity and cognition also in the next generation. We show that this effect is mediated through sperm RNA and especially miRs 212/132. In conclusion, our study reports intergenerational inheritance of an acquired cognitive benefit and points to specific miRs as candidates mechanistically involved in this type of transmission. : Environmental enrichment (EE, a combination of physical and mental exercise, has been shown to increase cognitive abilities in mice and in humans. Benito et al. find that offspring of male mice subjected to EE also show this increase. This effect is dependent on sperm RNA and involves microRNA212/132. Keywords: epigenetics, brain, microRNA, memory, intergenerational, transgenerational, exercise, environmental enrichment, cognition

  20. Synaptic Plasticity and Memory: New Insights from Hippocampal Left-Right Asymmetries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    El-Gaby, Mohamady; Shipton, Olivia A; Paulsen, Ole

    2015-10-01

    All synapses are not the same. They differ in their morphology, molecular constituents, and malleability. A striking left-right asymmetry in the distribution of different types of synapse was recently uncovered at the CA3-CA1 projection in the mouse hippocampus, whereby afferents from the CA3 in the left hemisphere innervate small, highly plastic synapses on the apical dendrites of CA1 pyramidal neurons, whereas those originating from the right CA3 target larger, more stable synapses. Activity-dependent modification of these synapses is thought to participate in circuit formation and remodeling during development, and further plastic changes may support memory encoding in adulthood. Therefore, exploiting the CA3-CA1 asymmetry provides a promising opportunity to investigate the roles that different types of synapse play in these fundamental properties of the CNS. Here we describe the discovery of these segregated synaptic populations in the mouse hippocampus, and discuss what we have already learnt about synaptic plasticity from this asymmetric arrangement. We then propose models for how the asymmetry could be generated during development, and how the adult hippocampus might use these distinct populations of synapses differentially during learning and memory. Finally, we outline the potential implications of this left-right asymmetry for human hippocampal function, as well as dysfunction in memory disorders such as Alzheimer's disease. © The Author(s) 2014.

  1. Propagation of Homeostatic Sleep Signals by Segregated Synaptic Microcircuits of the Drosophila Mushroom Body.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sitaraman, Divya; Aso, Yoshinori; Jin, Xin; Chen, Nan; Felix, Mario; Rubin, Gerald M; Nitabach, Michael N

    2015-11-16

    The Drosophila mushroom body (MB) is a key associative memory center that has also been implicated in the control of sleep. However, the identity of MB neurons underlying homeostatic sleep regulation, as well as the types of sleep signals generated by specific classes of MB neurons, has remained poorly understood. We recently identified two MB output neuron (MBON) classes whose axons convey sleep control signals from the MB to converge in the same downstream target region: a cholinergic sleep-promoting MBON class and a glutamatergic wake-promoting MBON class. Here, we deploy a combination of neurogenetic, behavioral, and physiological approaches to identify and mechanistically dissect sleep-controlling circuits of the MB. Our studies reveal the existence of two segregated excitatory synaptic microcircuits that propagate homeostatic sleep information from different populations of intrinsic MB "Kenyon cells" (KCs) to specific sleep-regulating MBONs: sleep-promoting KCs increase sleep by preferentially activating the cholinergic MBONs, while wake-promoting KCs decrease sleep by preferentially activating the glutamatergic MBONs. Importantly, activity of the sleep-promoting MB microcircuit is increased by sleep deprivation and is necessary for homeostatic rebound sleep (i.e., the increased sleep that occurs after, and in compensation for, sleep lost during deprivation). These studies reveal for the first time specific functional connections between subsets of KCs and particular MBONs and establish the identity of synaptic microcircuits underlying transmission of homeostatic sleep signals in the MB. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Reflections on Competition, Competition Regulation and the Current Crises

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Buch-Hansen, Hubert; Wigger, Angela

    2013-01-01

    competition came to enjoy such an exalted status in Europe and then challenges conventional wisdom by bringing into focus the downsides of competition. It argues that excessive competition and neoliberal competition regulation have contributed to intensify the economic, political, social and environmental...

  3. Healthy Competition and Unsound Comparison: Reforming Educational Competition in Singapore

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christensen, Søren

    2015-01-01

    It is frequently claimed that the "competition state" responds to external competition by making competition increasingly central to its internal processes as well. This article discusses education reform in Singapore as departing from the opposite position. In Singapore "excessive" competition in education is now targeted by…

  4. Competitiveness in tourism: A comparison between Brazil and Switzerland

    OpenAIRE

    Maria Gabriela Montanari; Janaina de Moura Engracia Giraldi

    2013-01-01

    Despite the unstable global situation and the crisis in the euro area, world tourism has remained strong and with a positive growth in the last years. Besides, this activity has a great economic and social importance which is reflected in its ability to generate jobs and income. Thus, this article aims to analyze the competitiveness of the tourism sector in Brazil and Switzerland, comparing the two countries through competitive factors identified by the World Competitiveness Index in Tourism ...

  5. The Middle East competitiveness report: regional and territorial analysis

    OpenAIRE

    Huggins, R; Mahroum, S; Thompson, P

    2016-01-01

    This report explores the extent to which Middle Eastern regions have generated relatively high or low levels of competitiveness. Whilst many Middle Eastern regions may owe some of their competitiveness to the natural advantages of oil reserves, for others their competitiveness has been achieved through other means. Their small size and high degree of autonomy means that many of the regions are effectively independent states. Middle Eastern nations and their regions have been characterized by ...

  6. SOCIAL ASPECTS OF COMPETITIVENESS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Klimova A. V.

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available One of the most important conditions of the existence of every organization, every enterprise is to insure the long-term sustainable development, one of the conditions of which is the increase of an organizational competitiveness. In modern economic conditions, social aspects of competitiveness are now in the foreground of interest, because just the strategy of social responsibility (SSR of modern enterprises can assure some commercial benefits, in responding, at the same time, to the social demands and in creating its well-being. Such an approach is in the basis of the notion of competitiveness. Along with «rigid parameters», such as price characteristics, the capability to deal with competitors, effective financial and production policies, «flexible factors» of competitiveness are of a big importance: a personnel potential, individual and collective competencies, organizational and managerial capabilities. As a result, we have formulated a research hypothesis: the organizational competitiveness is defined by individual and collective competencies of an organization, is based on socially responsible actions, confirms the demand for the object and insures its sustainable long-term development. Any organization should base all its actions aimed to increase its competitiveness on its intellectual potential, or on the management of individual and collective competencies that assure the sustainable development and the goal achievement. For every organizational strategic action, an effective combination of these competencies exists. So, we suggest a new definition of competitiveness: it is a social and economic category of understanding of the social responsibility, having as a central element individual and collective competencies, based on socially responsible actions of an enterprise, insuring its long-term sustainable development.

  7. Competitiveness of chinese socialist market economy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Henry Ernesto Turner Barragán

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available The article analyzes the dynamics held by the Chinese economy becomes, since it happened to be a communist to a capitalist economy and social market economy. Being in the latter, in which the country achieved high rates of economic growth, and improve their competitiveness pillars, generating higher growth prospects in the economy and the income of the society.

  8. Requirements for success in competitive energy markets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wallis, E.

    1997-01-01

    A summary of a lecture delivered to the Institute of Energy on a power generator's experience of the UK competitive electricity market is given. It is concluded that privatization has met the public interest better than nationalisation and that the future lies in international growth and globalisation. (UK)

  9. Agrin and synaptic laminin are required to maintain adult neuromuscular junctions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melanie A Samuel

    Full Text Available As synapses form and mature the synaptic partners produce organizing molecules that regulate each other's differentiation and ensure precise apposition of pre- and post-synaptic specializations. At the skeletal neuromuscular junction (NMJ, these molecules include agrin, a nerve-derived organizer of postsynaptic differentiation, and synaptic laminins, muscle-derived organizers of presynaptic differentiation. Both become concentrated in the synaptic cleft as the NMJ develops and are retained in adulthood. Here, we used mutant mice to ask whether these organizers are also required for synaptic maintenance. Deletion of agrin from a subset of adult motor neurons resulted in the loss of acetylcholine receptors and other components of the postsynaptic apparatus and synaptic cleft. Nerve terminals also atrophied and eventually withdrew from muscle fibers. On the other hand, mice lacking the presynaptic organizer laminin-α4 retained most of the synaptic cleft components but exhibited synaptic alterations reminiscent of those observed in aged animals. Although we detected no marked decrease in laminin or agrin levels at aged NMJs, we observed alterations in the distribution and organization of these synaptic cleft components suggesting that such changes could contribute to age-related synaptic disassembly. Together, these results demonstrate that pre- and post-synaptic organizers actively function to maintain the structure and function of adult NMJs.

  10. Preparation of synaptic plasma membrane and postsynaptic density proteins using a discontinuous sucrose gradient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bermejo, Marie Kristel; Milenkovic, Marija; Salahpour, Ali; Ramsey, Amy J

    2014-09-03

    Neuronal subcellular fractionation techniques allow the quantification of proteins that are trafficked to and from the synapse. As originally described in the late 1960's, proteins associated with the synaptic plasma membrane can be isolated by ultracentrifugation on a sucrose density gradient. Once synaptic membranes are isolated, the macromolecular complex known as the post-synaptic density can be subsequently isolated due to its detergent insolubility. The techniques used to isolate synaptic plasma membranes and post-synaptic density proteins remain essentially the same after 40 years, and are widely used in current neuroscience research. This article details the fractionation of proteins associated with the synaptic plasma membrane and post-synaptic density using a discontinuous sucrose gradient. Resulting protein preparations are suitable for western blotting or 2D DIGE analysis.

  11. Two Classes of Secreted Synaptic Organizers in the Central Nervous System.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuzaki, Michisuke

    2018-02-10

    Research in the last two decades has identified many synaptic organizers in the central nervous system that directly regulate the assembly of pre- and/or postsynaptic molecules, such as synaptic vesicles, active zone proteins, and neurotransmitter receptors. They are classified into secreted factors and cell adhesion molecules, such as neurexins and neuroligins. Certain secreted factors are termed extracellular scaffolding proteins (ESPs) because they are components of the synaptic extracellular matrix and serve as a scaffold at the synaptic cleft. These include Lgi1, Cbln1, neuronal pentraxins, Hevin, thrombospondins, and glypicans. Diffusible secreted factors, such as Wnts, fibroblast growth factors, and semaphorins, tend to act from a distance. In contrast, ESPs remain at the synaptic cleft and often help synaptic adhesion and/or accumulation of postsynaptic receptors. Many fundamental questions remain about when, how, and why various synaptic organizers establish and modify the vast numbers of connections during development and throughout life.

  12. COMPETITIVENESS OF DEFENSE INDUSTRY IN TURKEY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hakki BILGEN

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Turkey has created some opportunities for the organisations in the defense industry to generate a suitable business and to ensure its sustainability. The domestic coverage ratio of defense system need in 2010 is aimed as 50%. To achieve this target depends on the defense industry competitiveness. In this study, the development plans, strategies and foreign trade are examined. Its contribution which has an important place in the research and development investment, is not at the level expected in Turkey’s economy. Turkey occupies 47th position in World Competitiveness Scoreboard, and 61st position in Global Competitiveness Index in 2009. The index factors are investigated to understand the competitiveness according to the Porter’s diamond model, applied in Turkey for the first time. As a result, the competitiveness analysis of Turkish defense industry is carried out and its global place and competitive advantage are exposed. Therefore, a framework is made to introduce a guide for decision-making by using a widely-accepted model, and to contribute to the plans and strategies

  13. Cell-Specific PKM Isoforms Contribute to the Maintenance of Different Forms of Persistent Long-Term Synaptic Plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Jiangyuan; Adler, Kerry; Farah, Carole Abi; Hastings, Margaret H; Sossin, Wayne S; Schacher, Samuel

    2017-03-08

    Multiple kinase activations contribute to long-term synaptic plasticity, a cellular mechanism mediating long-term memory. The sensorimotor synapse of Aplysia expresses different forms of long-term facilitation (LTF)-nonassociative and associative LTF-that require the timely activation of kinases, including protein kinase C (PKC). It is not known which PKC isoforms in the sensory neuron or motor neuron L7 are required to sustain each form of LTF. We show that different PKMs, the constitutively active isoforms of PKCs generated by calpain cleavage, in the sensory neuron and L7 are required to maintain each form of LTF. Different PKMs or calpain isoforms were blocked by overexpressing specific dominant-negative constructs in either presynaptic or postsynaptic neurons. Blocking either PKM Apl I in L7, or PKM Apl II or PKM Apl III in the sensory neuron 2 d after 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) treatment reversed persistent nonassociative LTF. In contrast, blocking either PKM Apl II or PKM Apl III in L7, or PKM Apl II in the sensory neuron 2 d after paired stimuli reversed persistent associative LTF. Blocking either classical calpain or atypical small optic lobe (SOL) calpain 2 d after 5-HT treatment or paired stimuli did not disrupt the maintenance of persistent LTF. Soon after 5-HT treatment or paired stimuli, however, blocking classical calpain inhibited the expression of persistent associative LTF, while blocking SOL calpain inhibited the expression of persistent nonassociative LTF. Our data suggest that different stimuli activate different calpains that generate specific sets of PKMs in each neuron whose constitutive activities sustain long-term synaptic plasticity. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Persistent synaptic plasticity contributes to the maintenance of long-term memory. Although various kinases such as protein kinase C (PKC) contribute to the expression of long-term plasticity, little is known about how constitutive activation of specific kinase isoforms sustains long

  14. Alberta's electricity policy framework : competitive, reliable, sustainable

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2005-01-01

    This paper described public policies in Alberta that are implemented to create an electric power industry that is competitive, reliable and sustainable. The success of Alberta's competitive electric market framework can be attributed to new investment in the industry along with new players participating in the electricity market. The Alberta Department of Energy is committed to a competitive wholesale market model and to competitively-priced electricity. The Alberta Energy and Utilities Board supports the development of Alberta's vast resource base and facilitates power generation development and support through transmission development and an interconnected transmission system. A wholesale market Policy Task Force was established in 2005 to review the progress in Alberta's electric market design and its competitive retail market. This paper outlines a policy framework which addresses design of the regulated rate option post July 1, 2006; short-term adequacy; and long-term adequacy. Other inter-related market issues were also discussed, such as operating reserves market, transmission services, interties, demand response, balancing pool assets, credit, market power mitigation, and wind generation. It is expected that the recommendations in this paper will be implemented as quickly as possible following amendments to regulations or ISO rules. tabs., figs.

  15. COMPETITION: CLASSICAL VERSUS NEOCLASSICAL VIEW

    OpenAIRE

    Mihaela Cornelia Sandu

    2013-01-01

    Competition is an important element from economical theory. Over time it has experienced several definitions and classifications much of them being contradictory. In this paper I will make a parallel between classical and neoclassical point of view according to competition. Keywords. Competition; neoclassical theory; classical theory; monopolistic; perfect competition.

  16. Accumulation of oligomer-prone α-synuclein exacerbates synaptic and neuronal degeneration in vivo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rockenstein, Edward; Nuber, Silke; Overk, Cassia R; Ubhi, Kiren; Mante, Michael; Patrick, Christina; Adame, Anthony; Trejo-Morales, Margarita; Gerez, Juan; Picotti, Paola; Jensen, Poul H; Campioni, Silvia; Riek, Roland; Winkler, Jürgen; Gage, Fred H; Winner, Beate; Masliah, Eliezer

    2014-05-01

    In Parkinson's disease and dementia with Lewy bodies, α-synuclein aggregates to form oligomers and fibrils; however, the precise nature of the toxic α-synuclein species remains unclear. A number of synthetic α-synuclein mutations were recently created (E57K and E35K) that produce species of α-synuclein that preferentially form oligomers and increase α-synuclein-mediated toxicity. We have shown that acute lentiviral expression of α-synuclein E57K leads to the degeneration of dopaminergic neurons; however, the effects of chronic expression of oligomer-prone α-synuclein in synapses throughout the brain have not been investigated. Such a study could provide insight into the possible mechanism(s) through which accumulation of α-synuclein oligomers in the synapse leads to neurodegeneration. For this purpose, we compared the patterns of neurodegeneration and synaptic damage between a newly generated mThy-1 α-synuclein E57K transgenic mouse model that is prone to forming oligomers and the mThy-1 α-synuclein wild-type mouse model (Line 61), which accumulates various forms of α-synuclein. Three lines of α-synuclein E57K (Lines 9, 16 and 54) were generated and compared with the wild-type. The α-synuclein E57K Lines 9 and 16 were higher expressings of α-synuclein, similar to α-synuclein wild-type Line 61, and Line 54 was a low expressing of α-synuclein compared to Line 61. By immunoblot analysis, the higher-expressing α-synuclein E57K transgenic mice showed abundant oligomeric, but not fibrillar, α-synuclein whereas lower-expressing mice accumulated monomeric α-synuclein. Monomers, oligomers, and fibrils were present in α-synuclein wild-type Line 61. Immunohistochemical and ultrastructural analyses demonstrated that α-synuclein accumulated in the synapses but not in the neuronal cells bodies, which was different from the α-synuclein wild-type Line 61, which accumulates α-synuclein in the soma. Compared to non-transgenic and lower-expressing mice, the

  17. Does autophagy work in synaptic plasticity and memory?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shehata, Mohammad; Inokuchi, Kaoru

    2014-01-01

    Many studies have reported the roles played by regulated proteolysis in neural plasticity and memory. Within this context, most of the research focused on the ubiquitin-proteasome system and the endosome-lysosome system while giving lesser consideration to another major protein degradation system, namely, autophagy. Although autophagy intersects with many of the pathways known to underlie synaptic plasticity and memory, only few reports related autophagy to synaptic remodeling. These pathways include PI3K-mTOR pathway and endosome-dependent proteolysis. In this review, we will discuss several lines of evidence supporting a physiological role of autophagy in memory processes, and the possible mechanistic scenarios for how autophagy could fulfill this function.

  18. Synaptic Bistability Due to Nucleation and Evaporation of Receptor Clusters

    KAUST Repository

    Burlakov, V. M.

    2012-01-10

    We introduce a bistability mechanism for long-term synaptic plasticity based on switching between two metastable states that contain significantly different numbers of synaptic receptors. One state is characterized by a two-dimensional gas of mobile interacting receptors and is stabilized against clustering by a high nucleation barrier. The other state contains a receptor gas in equilibrium with a large cluster of immobile receptors, which is stabilized by the turnover rate of receptors into and out of the synapse. Transitions between the two states can be initiated by either an increase (potentiation) or a decrease (depotentiation) of the net receptor flux into the synapse. This changes the saturation level of the receptor gas and triggers nucleation or evaporation of receptor clusters. © 2012 American Physical Society.

  19. Synaptic communication between neurons and NG2+ cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paukert, Martin; Bergles, Dwight E

    2006-10-01

    Chemical synaptic transmission provides the basis for much of the rapid signaling that occurs within neuronal networks. However, recent studies have provided compelling evidence that synapses are not used exclusively for communication between neurons. Physiological and anatomical studies indicate that a distinct class of glia known as NG2(+) cells also forms direct synaptic junctions with both glutamatergic and GABAergic neurons. Glutamatergic signaling can influence intracellular Ca(2+) levels in NG2(+) cells by activating Ca(2+) permeable AMPA receptors, and these inputs can be potentiated through high frequency stimulation. Although the significance of this highly differentiated form of communication remains to be established, these neuro-glia synapses might enable neurons to influence rapidly the behavior of this ubiquitous class of glial progenitors.

  20. Emulating short-term synaptic dynamics with memristive devices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berdan, Radu; Vasilaki, Eleni; Khiat, Ali; Indiveri, Giacomo; Serb, Alexandru; Prodromakis, Themistoklis

    2016-01-01

    Neuromorphic architectures offer great promise for achieving computation capacities beyond conventional Von Neumann machines. The essential elements for achieving this vision are highly scalable synaptic mimics that do not undermine biological fidelity. Here we demonstrate that single solid-state TiO2 memristors can exhibit non-associative plasticity phenomena observed in biological synapses, supported by their metastable memory state transition properties. We show that, contrary to conventional uses of solid-state memory, the existence of rate-limiting volatility is a key feature for capturing short-term synaptic dynamics. We also show how the temporal dynamics of our prototypes can be exploited to implement spatio-temporal computation, demonstrating the memristors full potential for building biophysically realistic neural processing systems.

  1. Short-term synaptic plasticity and heterogeneity in neural systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mejias, J. F.; Kappen, H. J.; Longtin, A.; Torres, J. J.

    2013-01-01

    We review some recent results on neural dynamics and information processing which arise when considering several biophysical factors of interest, in particular, short-term synaptic plasticity and neural heterogeneity. The inclusion of short-term synaptic plasticity leads to enhanced long-term memory capacities, a higher robustness of memory to noise, and irregularity in the duration of the so-called up cortical states. On the other hand, considering some level of neural heterogeneity in neuron models allows neural systems to optimize information transmission in rate coding and temporal coding, two strategies commonly used by neurons to codify information in many brain areas. In all these studies, analytical approximations can be made to explain the underlying dynamics of these neural systems.

  2. Random synaptic feedback weights support error backpropagation for deep learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lillicrap, Timothy P.; Cownden, Daniel; Tweed, Douglas B.; Akerman, Colin J.

    2016-01-01

    The brain processes information through multiple layers of neurons. This deep architecture is representationally powerful, but complicates learning because it is difficult to identify the responsible neurons when a mistake is made. In machine learning, the backpropagation algorithm assigns blame by multiplying error signals with all the synaptic weights on each neuron's axon and further downstream. However, this involves a precise, symmetric backward connectivity pattern, which is thought to be impossible in the brain. Here we demonstrate that this strong architectural constraint is not required for effective error propagation. We present a surprisingly simple mechanism that assigns blame by multiplying errors by even random synaptic weights. This mechanism can transmit teaching signals across multiple layers of neurons and performs as effectively as backpropagation on a variety of tasks. Our results help reopen questions about how the brain could use error signals and dispel long-held assumptions about algorithmic constraints on learning. PMID:27824044

  3. Irregular activity arises as a natural consequence of synaptic inhibition

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Terman, D.; Rubin, J. E.; Diekman, C. O.

    2013-01-01

    Irregular neuronal activity is observed in a variety of brain regions and states. This work illustrates a novel mechanism by which irregular activity naturally emerges in two-cell neuronal networks featuring coupling by synaptic inhibition. We introduce a one-dimensional map that captures the irregular activity occurring in our simulations of conductance-based differential equations and mathematically analyze the instability of fixed points corresponding to synchronous and antiphase spiking for this map. We find that the irregular solutions that arise exhibit expansion, contraction, and folding in phase space, as expected in chaotic dynamics. Our analysis shows that these features are produced from the interplay of synaptic inhibition with sodium, potassium, and leak currents in a conductance-based framework and provides precise conditions on parameters that ensure that irregular activity will occur. In particular, the temporal details of spiking dynamics must be present for a model to exhibit this irregularity mechanism and must be considered analytically to capture these effects

  4. Irregular activity arises as a natural consequence of synaptic inhibition

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Terman, D., E-mail: terman@math.ohio-state.edu [Department of Mathematics, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio 43210 (United States); Rubin, J. E., E-mail: jonrubin@pitt.edu [Department of Mathematics, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15260 (United States); Diekman, C. O., E-mail: diekman@njit.edu [Department of Mathematical Sciences, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark, New Jersey 07102 (United States)

    2013-12-15

    Irregular neuronal activity is observed in a variety of brain regions and states. This work illustrates a novel mechanism by which irregular activity naturally emerges in two-cell neuronal networks featuring coupling by synaptic inhibition. We introduce a one-dimensional map that captures the irregular activity occurring in our simulations of conductance-based differential equations and mathematically analyze the instability of fixed points corresponding to synchronous and antiphase spiking for this map. We find that the irregular solutions that arise exhibit expansion, contraction, and folding in phase space, as expected in chaotic dynamics. Our analysis shows that these features are produced from the interplay of synaptic inhibition with sodium, potassium, and leak currents in a conductance-based framework and provides precise conditions on parameters that ensure that irregular activity will occur. In particular, the temporal details of spiking dynamics must be present for a model to exhibit this irregularity mechanism and must be considered analytically to capture these effects.

  5. Inhibition of hippocampal synaptic transmission by impairment of Ral function

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Owe-Larsson, Björn; Chaves-Olarte, Esteban; Chauhan, Ashok

    2005-01-01

    Large clostridial cytotoxins and protein overexpression were used to probe for involvement of Ras-related GTPases (guanosine triphosphate) in synaptic transmission in cultured rat hippocampal neurons. The toxins TcdA-10463 (inactivates Rho, Rac, Cdc42, Rap) and TcsL-1522 (inactivates Ral, Rac, Ras......, R-Ras, Rap) both inhibited autaptic responses. In a proportion of the neurons (25%, TcdA-10463; 54%, TcsL-1522), the inhibition was associated with a shift from activity-dependent depression to facilitation, indicating that the synaptic release probability was reduced. Overexpression of a dominant...... negative Ral mutant, Ral A28N, caused a strong inhibition of autaptic responses, which was associated with a shift to facilitation in a majority (80%) of the neurons. These results indicate that Ral, along with at least one other non-Rab GTPase, participates in presynaptic regulation in hippocampal neurons....

  6. Business plan competition

    CERN Multimedia

    2007-01-01

    "Venture – Companies for tomorrow" is a business plan competition, which supports students and other junior entrepreneurs in developing their business plans. The sixth edition of the competition is now taking place. Venture 2008 highlights: - prize money totalling CHF 150’000; - possibility to optimize business ideas and business plans with the help of experienced coaches: around 200 coaches are available, with a wide range of backgrounds, entrepreneurs as well as venture capitalists; -\tpossibility to present business ideas and business plans to potential investors ("Investor Days" - 17 January and 7 May); - active involvement in the start-up community; -\tcontribution to potential independence. The competition consists of two phases: Phase I, Business idea, Deadline for submission of business idea: 5 December 2007 (online at http://www.venture.ch). Award Ceremony: 17 January 2008 Phase II, Business plan Deadline for submission of business plan: 2 April 2008 (online at...

  7. Price competition in procurement

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Keisler, J.M.; Buehring, W.A.

    1996-07-01

    When creating a private market to provide a public good, government agencies can influence the market's competitive characteristics. Markets have predictable, but often counterintuitive, behaviors. To succeed in applying available controls, and thereby reduce future costs, agencies must understand the behavior of the market. A model has been constructed to examine some issues in establishing competition for a structure in which there are economies of scale and government is obligated to purchase a fixed total quantity of a good. This model is used to demonstrate a way to estimate the cost savings from several alternative plans for a buyer exploring competitive procurement. The results are not and cannot be accurate for budgeting purposes; rather, they indicate the approximate magnitude of changes in cost that would be associated with changes in the market structure within which procurement occurs

  8. Competitive Advantage through Innovation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Brem, Alexander; Maier, Maximilian; Wimschneider, Christine

    2016-01-01

    Purpose The purpose of this paper is to describe how Nespresso achieved competitive advantage through innovation by changing the rules of the game in its industry. Design/methodology/approach Nespresso was analyzed based on public available secondary data, in combination with related academic...... concepts on innovation and competitive advantage. Findings The company succeeded by the thorough application of a strategy that, through perfect alignment, allowed the company to reach a unique market position. However, as described in the case, it took a relatively long time and the company came close...... as a source for competitive advantage. Research limitations/implications Especially given the current market situation, the case offers different starting points for discussion about innovation and long-term company success. Practical implications Especially before the current market situation, the case...

  9. Fragile X Mental Retardation Protein Regulates Activity-Dependent Membrane Trafficking and Trans-Synaptic Signaling Mediating Synaptic Remodeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sears, James C.; Broadie, Kendal

    2018-01-01

    Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is the leading monogenic cause of autism and intellectual disability. The disease arises through loss of fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP), which normally exhibits peak expression levels in early-use critical periods, and is required for activity-dependent synaptic remodeling during this transient developmental window. FMRP canonically binds mRNA to repress protein translation, with targets that regulate cytoskeleton dynamics, membrane trafficking, and trans-synaptic signaling. We focus here on recent advances emerging in these three areas from the Drosophila disease model. In the well-characterized central brain mushroom body (MB) olfactory learning/memory circuit, FMRP is required for activity-dependent synaptic remodeling of projection neurons innervating the MB calyx, with function tightly restricted to an early-use critical period. FMRP loss is phenocopied by conditional removal of FMRP only during this critical period, and rescued by FMRP conditional expression only during this critical period. Consistent with FXS hyperexcitation, FMRP loss defects are phenocopied by heightened sensory experience and targeted optogenetic hyperexcitation during this critical period. FMRP binds mRNA encoding Drosophila ESCRTIII core component Shrub (human CHMP4 homolog) to restrict Shrub translation in an activity-dependent mechanism only during this same critical period. Shrub mediates endosomal membrane trafficking, and perturbing Shrub expression is known to interfere with neuronal process pruning. Consistently, FMRP loss and Shrub overexpression targeted to projection neurons similarly causes endosomal membrane trafficking defects within synaptic boutons, and genetic reduction of Shrub strikingly rescues Drosophila FXS model defects. In parallel work on the well-characterized giant fiber (GF) circuit, FMRP limits iontophoretic dye loading into central interneurons, demonstrating an FMRP role controlling core neuronal properties through the

  10. The Impact of Stimulation Induced Short Term Synaptic Plasticity on Firing Patterns in the Globus Pallidus of the Rat

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jenia eBugaysen

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Electrical stimulation in the globus pallidus (GP leads to complex modulations of neuronal activity in the stimulated nucleus. Multiple in-vivo studies have demonstrated the modulation of both firing rates and patterns during and immediately following the GP stimulation. Previous in-vitro studies, together with computational studies, have suggested the involvement of short-term synaptic plasticity (STP during the stimulation. The aim of the current study was to explore in-vitro the effects of STP on neuronal activity of GP neurons during local repetitive stimulation. We recorded synaptic potentials and assessed the modulations of spontaneous firing in a postsynaptic neuron in acute brain slices via a whole-cell pipette. Low-frequency repetitive stimulation locked the firing of the neuron to the stimulus. However, high-frequency repetitive stimulation in the GP generated a biphasic modulation of the firing frequency consisting of inhibitory and excitatory phases. Using blockers of synaptic transmission, we show that GABAergic synapses mediated the inhibitory and glutamatergic synapses the excitatory part of the response. Furthermore, we report that at high stimulation frequencies both types of synapses undergo short-term depression leading to a time dependent modulation of the neuronal firing. These findings indicate that STP modulates the dynamic responses of pallidal activity during electrical stimulation, and may contribute to a better understanding of the mechanism underlying deep brain stimulation (DBS like protocols.

  11. Mathematical analysis and algorithms for efficiently and accurately implementing stochastic simulations of short-term synaptic depression and facilitation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark D McDonnell

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available The release of neurotransmitter vesicles after arrival of a pre-synaptic action potential at cortical synapses is known to be a stochastic process, as is the availability of vesicles for release. These processes are known to also depend on the recent history of action-potential arrivals, and this can be described in terms of time-varying probabilities of vesicle release. Mathematical models of such synaptic dynamics frequently are based only on the mean number of vesicles released by each pre-synaptic action potential, since if it is assumed there are sufficiently many vesicle sites, then variance is small. However, it has been shown recently that variance across sites can be significant for neuron and network dynamics, and this suggests the potential importance of studying short-term plasticity using simulations that do generate trial-to-trial variability. Therefore, in this paper we study several well-known conceptual models for stochastic availability and release. We state explicitly the random variables that these models describe and propose efficient algorithms for accurately implementing stochastic simulations of these random variables in software or hardware. Our results are complemented by mathematical analysis and statement of pseudo-code algorithms.

  12. Synaptic Changes in AMPA Receptor Subunit Expression in Cortical Parvalbumin Interneurons in the Stargazer Model of Absence Epilepsy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nadia K. Adotevi

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Feedforward inhibition is essential to prevent run away excitation within the brain. Recent evidence suggests that a loss of feed-forward inhibition in the corticothalamocortical circuitry may underlie some absence seizures. However, it is unclear if this aberration is specifically linked to loss of synaptic excitation onto local fast-spiking parvalbumin-containing (PV+ inhibitory interneurons, which are responsible for mediating feedforward inhibition within cortical networks. We recently reported a global tissue loss of AMPA receptors (AMPARs, and a specific mistrafficking of these AMPARs in PV+ interneurons in the stargazer somatosensory cortex. The current study was aimed at investigating if cellular changes in AMPAR expression were translated into deficits in receptors at specific synapses in the feedforward inhibitory microcircuit. Using western blot immunolabeling on biochemically isolated synaptic fractions, we demonstrate a loss of AMPAR GluA1–4 subunits in the somatosensory cortex of stargazers compared to non-epileptic control mice. Furthermore, using double post-embedding immunogold-cytochemistry, we show a loss of GluA1–4-AMPARs at excitatory synapses onto cortical PV+ interneurons. Altogether, these data indicate a loss of synaptic AMPAR-mediated excitation of cortical PV+ inhibitory neurons. As the cortex is considered the site of initiation of spike wave discharges (SWDs within the corticothalamocortical circuitry, loss of AMPARs at cortical PV+ interneurons likely impairs feed-forward inhibitory output, and contributes to the generation of SWDs and absence seizures in stargazers.

  13. Activity-dependent modulation of neural circuit synaptic connectivity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Charles R Tessier

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available In many nervous systems, the establishment of neural circuits is known to proceed via a two-stage process; 1 early, activity-independent wiring to produce a rough map characterized by excessive synaptic connections, and 2 subsequent, use-dependent pruning to eliminate inappropriate connections and reinforce maintained synapses. In invertebrates, however, evidence of the activity-dependent phase of synaptic refinement has been elusive, and the dogma has long been that invertebrate circuits are “hard-wired” in a purely activity-independent manner. This conclusion has been challenged recently through the use of new transgenic tools employed in the powerful Drosophila system, which have allowed unprecedented temporal control and single neuron imaging resolution. These recent studies reveal that activity-dependent mechanisms are indeed required to refine circuit maps in Drosophila during precise, restricted windows of late-phase development. Such mechanisms of circuit refinement may be key to understanding a number of human neurological diseases, including developmental disorders such as Fragile X syndrome (FXS and autism, which are hypothesized to result from defects in synaptic connectivity and activity-dependent circuit function. This review focuses on our current understanding of activity-dependent synaptic connectivity in Drosophila, primarily through analyzing the role of the fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP in the Drosophila FXS disease model. The particular emphasis of this review is on the expanding array of new genetically-encoded tools that are allowing cellular events and molecular players to be dissected with ever greater precision and detail.

  14. Convergent synaptic and circuit substrates underlying autism genetic risks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGee, Aaron; Li, Guohui; Lu, Zhongming; Qiu, Shenfeng

    2014-02-01

    There has been a surge of diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) over the past decade. While large, high powered genome screening studies of children with ASD have identified numerous genetic risk factors, research efforts to understanding how each of these risk factors contributes to the development autism has met with limited success. Revealing the mechanisms by which these genetic risk factors affect brain development and predispose a child to autism requires mechanistic understanding of the neurobiological changes underlying this devastating group of developmental disorders at multifaceted molecular, cellular and system levels. It has been increasingly clear that the normal trajectory of neurodevelopment is compromised in autism, in multiple domains as much as aberrant neuronal production, growth, functional maturation, patterned connectivity, and balanced excitation and inhibition of brain networks. Many autism risk factors identified in humans have been now reconstituted in experimental mouse models to allow mechanistic interrogation of the biological role of the risk gene. Studies utilizing these mouse models have revealed that underlying the enormous heterogeneity of perturbed cellular events, mechanisms directing synaptic and circuit assembly may provide a unifying explanation for the pathophysiological changes and behavioral endophenotypes seen in autism, although synaptic perturbations are far from being the only alterations relevant for ASD. In this review, we discuss synaptic and circuit abnormalities obtained from several prevalent mouse models, particularly those reflecting syndromic forms of ASD that are caused by single gene perturbations. These compiled results reveal that ASD risk genes contribute to proper signaling of the developing gene networks that maintain synaptic and circuit homeostasis, which is fundamental to normal brain development.

  15. Quercetin targets cysteine string protein (CSPalpha and impairs synaptic transmission.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fenglian Xu

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Cysteine string protein (CSPalpha is a synaptic vesicle protein that displays unique anti-neurodegenerative properties. CSPalpha is a member of the conserved J protein family, also called the Hsp40 (heat shock protein of 40 kDa protein family, whose importance in protein folding has been recognized for many years. Deletion of the CSPalpha in mice results in knockout mice that are normal for the first 2-3 weeks of life followed by an unexplained presynaptic neurodegeneration and premature death. How CSPalpha prevents neurodegeneration is currently not known. As a neuroprotective synaptic vesicle protein, CSPalpha represents a promising therapeutic target for the prevention of neurodegenerative disorders.Here, we demonstrate that the flavonoid quercetin promotes formation of stable CSPalpha-CSPalpha dimers and that quercetin-induced dimerization is dependent on the unique cysteine string region. Furthermore, in primary cultures of Lymnaea neurons, quercetin induction of CSPalpha dimers correlates with an inhibition of synapse formation and synaptic transmission suggesting that quercetin interfers with CSPalpha function. Quercetin's action on CSPalpha is concentration dependent and does not promote dimerization of other synaptic proteins or other J protein family members and reduces the assembly of CSPalpha:Hsc70 units (70kDa heat shock cognate protein.Quercetin is a plant derived flavonoid and popular nutritional supplement proposed to prevent memory loss and altitude sickness among other ailments, although its precise mechanism(s of action has been unclear. In view of the therapeutic promise of upregulation of CSPalpha and the undesired consequences of CSPalpha dysfunction, our data establish an essential proof of principle that pharmaceutical agents can selectively target the neuroprotective J protein CSPalpha.

  16. Presynaptic Active Zone Density during Development and Synaptic Plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clarke, Gwenaëlle L; Chen, Jie; Nishimune, Hiroshi

    2012-01-01

    Neural circuits transmit information through synapses, and the efficiency of synaptic transmission is closely related to the density of presynaptic active zones, where synaptic vesicles are released. The goal of this review is to highlight recent insights into the molecular mechanisms that control the number of active zones per presynaptic terminal (active zone density) during developmental and stimulus-dependent changes in synaptic efficacy. At the neuromuscular junctions (NMJs), the active zone density is preserved across species, remains constant during development, and is the same between synapses with different activities. However, the NMJ active zones are not always stable, as exemplified by the change in active zone density during acute experimental manipulation or as a result of aging. Therefore, a mechanism must exist to maintain its density. In the central nervous system (CNS), active zones have restricted maximal size, exist in multiple numbers in larger presynaptic terminals, and maintain a constant density during development. These findings suggest that active zone density in the CNS is also controlled. However, in contrast to the NMJ, active zone density in the CNS can also be increased, as observed in hippocampal synapses in response to synaptic plasticity. Although the numbers of known active zone proteins and protein interactions have increased, less is known about the mechanism that controls the number or spacing of active zones. The following molecules are known to control active zone density and will be discussed herein: extracellular matrix laminins and voltage-dependent calcium channels, amyloid precursor proteins, the small GTPase Rab3, an endocytosis mechanism including synaptojanin, cytoskeleton protein spectrins and β-adducin, and a presynaptic web including spectrins. The molecular mechanisms that organize the active zone density are just beginning to be elucidated.

  17. Mechanisms of Synaptic Alterations in a Neuroinflammation Model of Autism

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-10-01

    inhibitory presynaptic input in the cortex of MIA offspring To determine if the altered number, shape and dynamic proper- ties of spines are...affects synaptic function in the cortex . We performed whole-cell voltage -clamp recordings from layer 2 pyramidal neurons in the somatosensory cortex ...highly dynamic struc- tures with new spines forming and others disappearing on a time scale of minutes (Dailey and Smith, 1996; Dunaevsky et al., 1999

  18. Dynamic learning and memory, synaptic plasticity and neurogenesis: an update

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Stuchlík, Aleš

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 8, APR 1 (2014), s. 106 ISSN 1662-5153 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA14-03627S Grant - others:Rada Programu interní podpory projektů mezinárodní spolupráce AV ČR(CZ) M200111204 Institutional support: RVO:67985823 Keywords : learning * memory * synaptic plasticity * neurogenesis Subject RIV: FH - Neurology Impact factor: 3.270, year: 2014

  19. Robust Short-Term Memory without Synaptic Learning

    OpenAIRE

    Johnson, Samuel; Marro, J.; Torres, Joaquin J.

    2013-01-01

    Short-term memory in the brain cannot in general be explained the way long-term memory can ??? as a gradual modification of synaptic weights ??? since it takes place too quickly. Theories based on some form of cellular bistability, however, do not seem able to account for the fact that noisy neurons can collectively store information in a robust manner. We show how a sufficiently clustered network of simple model neurons can be instantly induced into metastable states capable of retaining inf...

  20. Synaptic metaplasticity underlies tetanic potentiation in Lymnaea: a novel paradigm.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anita Mehta

    Full Text Available We present a mathematical model that explains and interprets a novel form of short-term potentiation, which was found to be use-, but not time-dependent, in experiments done on Lymnaea neurons. The high degree of potentiation is explained using a model of synaptic metaplasticity, while the use-dependence (which is critically reliant on the presence of kinase in the experiment is explained using a model of a stochastic and bistable biological switch.

  1. Two Aspects of ASIC Function: Synaptic Plasticity and Neuronal Injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Yan; Jiang, Nan; Li, Jun; Ji, Yong-Hua; Xiong, Zhi-Gang; Zha, Xiang-ming

    2015-01-01

    Extracellular brain pH fluctuates in both physiological and disease conditions. The main postsynaptic proton receptor is the acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs). During the past decade, much progress has been made on protons, ASICs, and neurological disease. This review summarizes the recent progress on synaptic role of protons and our current understanding of how ASICs contribute to various types of neuronal injury in the brain. PMID:25582290

  2. Price Competition on Graphs

    OpenAIRE

    Adriaan R. Soetevent

    2010-01-01

    This paper extends Hotelling's model of price competition with quadratic transportation costs from a line to graphs. I propose an algorithm to calculate firm-level demand for any given graph, conditional on prices and firm locations. One feature of graph models of price competition is that spatial discontinuities in firm-level demand may occur. I show that the existence result of D'Aspremont et al. (1979) does not extend to simple star graphs. I conjecture that this non-existence result holds...

  3. Price Competition on Graphs

    OpenAIRE

    Pim Heijnen; Adriaan Soetevent

    2014-01-01

    This paper extends Hotelling's model of price competition with quadratic transportation costs from a line to graphs. We derive an algorithm to calculate firm-level demand for any given graph, conditional on prices and firm locations. These graph models of price competition may lead to spatial discontinuities in firm-level demand. We show that the existence result of D'Aspremont et al. (1979) does not extend to simple star graphs and conjecture that this non-existence result holds more general...

  4. Competition and social cohesion

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mario Libertini

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available "Competition" and "social cohesion" are both protected by E.U. and Italian laws. The author moves from the analysis of the meaning of these two concepts, in order to reflect on their compatibility and the way to conciliate them. The central problem - in the opinion of the Author - is to abandon the myth of spontaneous markets' order and to rebuild a political order able to maintain and support, as far as possible, the competitive market economy, but also to govern economic processes in critical moments and situations.

  5. Competition Fosters Trust

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Huck, Steffen; Ruchala, Gabriele K.; Tyran, Jean-Robert

    We study the effects of reputation and competition in a stylized market for experience goods. If interaction is anonymous, such markets perform poorly: sellers are not trustworthy, and buyers do not trust sellers. If sellers are identifiable and can, hence, build a reputation, efficiency quadruples...... but is still at only a third of the first best. Adding more information by granting buyers access to all sellers’ complete history has, somewhat surprisingly, no effect. On the other hand, we find that competition, coupled with some minimal information, eliminates the trust problem almost completely...

  6. Competition Fosters Trust

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Huck, Steffen; Lünser, Gabriele; Tyran, Jean-Robert Karl

    2012-01-01

    We study the effects of reputation and competition in a trust game. If trustees are anonymous, outcomes are poor: trustees are not trustworthy, and trustors do not trust. If trustees are identifiable and can, hence, build a reputation, efficiency quadruples but is still at only a third of the first...... best. Adding more information by granting trustors access to all trustees' complete history has, somewhat surprisingly, no effect. On the other hand, we find that competition, coupled with some minimal information, eliminates the trust problem almost completely...

  7. VIRTUAL COMPETITIVENESS: YOUTHS’ VIEWS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Yu. Semenov

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Introduction. Nowadays, the use of information and communication technologies (ICT has become an integral part both of every individual’s life and of the society in general. It is no longer possible to deny the impact of virtual environment on socialisation and development of the identity of young people. In this regard, the investigation of young people’s view on virtual social networks, and the possibility of students’ own competitiveness realization through various web services. The aim of the research presented in the article is to study the factors of students’ assessment of virtual social networks as a tool of personal fulfillment. Methodology and research methods. Content analysis and synthesis of scientific publications studies were carried out at a theoretical stage of the research; secondary sampling analysis of sociologic data material sources was conducted. The empirical research stage involved the instrument of questionnaire surveys, statistical data processing and interpretation of the results. Results and scientific novelty. The social survey conducted in 2017 with the participation of 1087 high school students and 1196 college students of the Tyumen Region shown that the more competitive students consider themselves, the more competitive they perceive the people having great popularity on the Internet. At that, compared to girls, young people are more inclined to consider the people having great popularity on the Internet competitive. It is determined that having a popular virtual media account for the young person is less worthwhile than for female respondents. The author explains this fact: male representatives regard it as “social capital” which can contribute to growth of their competitiveness in society as well as to achieve some profit. The author concludes that youth views on competitiveness are not directly related to the activity in virtual social networks. Frequent use by respondents of the Internet and

  8. Location-dependent excitatory synaptic interactions in pyramidal neuron dendrites.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bardia F Behabadi

    Full Text Available Neocortical pyramidal neurons (PNs receive thousands of excitatory synaptic contacts on their basal dendrites. Some act as classical driver inputs while others are thought to modulate PN responses based on sensory or behavioral context, but the biophysical mechanisms that mediate classical-contextual interactions in these dendrites remain poorly understood. We hypothesized that if two excitatory pathways bias their synaptic projections towards proximal vs. distal ends of the basal branches, the very different local spike thresholds and attenuation factors for inputs near and far from the soma might provide the basis for a classical-contextual functional asymmetry. Supporting this possibility, we found both in compartmental models and electrophysiological recordings in brain slices that the responses of basal dendrites to spatially separated inputs are indeed strongly asymmetric. Distal excitation lowers the local spike threshold for more proximal inputs, while having little effect on peak responses at the soma. In contrast, proximal excitation lowers the threshold, but also substantially increases the gain of distally-driven responses. Our findings support the view that PN basal dendrites possess significant analog computing capabilities, and suggest that the diverse forms of nonlinear response modulation seen in the neocortex, including uni-modal, cross-modal, and attentional effects, could depend in part on pathway-specific biases in the spatial distribution of excitatory synaptic contacts onto PN basal dendritic arbors.

  9. Robust Short-Term Memory without Synaptic Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Samuel; Marro, J.; Torres, Joaquín J.

    2013-01-01

    Short-term memory in the brain cannot in general be explained the way long-term memory can – as a gradual modification of synaptic weights – since it takes place too quickly. Theories based on some form of cellular bistability, however, do not seem able to account for the fact that noisy neurons can collectively store information in a robust manner. We show how a sufficiently clustered network of simple model neurons can be instantly induced into metastable states capable of retaining information for a short time (a few seconds). The mechanism is robust to different network topologies and kinds of neural model. This could constitute a viable means available to the brain for sensory and/or short-term memory with no need of synaptic learning. Relevant phenomena described by neurobiology and psychology, such as local synchronization of synaptic inputs and power-law statistics of forgetting avalanches, emerge naturally from this mechanism, and we suggest possible experiments to test its viability in more biological settings. PMID:23349664

  10. Robust short-term memory without synaptic learning.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samuel Johnson

    Full Text Available Short-term memory in the brain cannot in general be explained the way long-term memory can--as a gradual modification of synaptic weights--since it takes place too quickly. Theories based on some form of cellular bistability, however, do not seem able to account for the fact that noisy neurons can collectively store information in a robust manner. We show how a sufficiently clustered network of simple model neurons can be instantly induced into metastable states capable of retaining information for a short time (a few seconds. The mechanism is robust to different network topologies and kinds of neural model. This could constitute a viable means available to the brain for sensory and/or short-term memory with no need of synaptic learning. Relevant phenomena described by neurobiology and psychology, such as local synchronization of synaptic inputs and power-law statistics of forgetting avalanches, emerge naturally from this mechanism, and we suggest possible experiments to test its viability in more biological settings.

  11. Robust short-term memory without synaptic learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Samuel; Marro, J; Torres, Joaquín J

    2013-01-01

    Short-term memory in the brain cannot in general be explained the way long-term memory can--as a gradual modification of synaptic weights--since it takes place too quickly. Theories based on some form of cellular bistability, however, do not seem able to account for the fact that noisy neurons can collectively store information in a robust manner. We show how a sufficiently clustered network of simple model neurons can be instantly induced into metastable states capable of retaining information for a short time (a few seconds). The mechanism is robust to different network topologies and kinds of neural model. This could constitute a viable means available to the brain for sensory and/or short-term memory with no need of synaptic learning. Relevant phenomena described by neurobiology and psychology, such as local synchronization of synaptic inputs and power-law statistics of forgetting avalanches, emerge naturally from this mechanism, and we suggest possible experiments to test its viability in more biological settings.

  12. A versatile optical tool for studying synaptic GABAA receptor trafficking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lorenz-Guertin, Joshua M; Wilcox, Madeleine R; Zhang, Ming; Larsen, Mads B; Pilli, Jyotsna; Schmidt, Brigitte F; Bruchez, Marcel P; Johnson, Jon W; Waggoner, Alan S; Watkins, Simon C; Jacob, Tija C

    2017-11-15

    Live-cell imaging methods can provide critical real-time receptor trafficking measurements. Here, we describe an optical tool to study synaptic γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) type A receptor (GABA A R) dynamics through adaptable fluorescent-tracking capabilities. A fluorogen-activating peptide (FAP) was genetically inserted into a GABA A R γ2 subunit tagged with pH-sensitive green fluorescent protein (γ2 pH FAP). The FAP selectively binds and activates Malachite Green (MG) dyes that are otherwise non-fluorescent in solution. γ2 pH FAP GABA A Rs are expressed at the cell surface in transfected cortical neurons, form synaptic clusters and do not perturb neuronal development. Electrophysiological studies show γ2 pH FAP GABA A Rs respond to GABA and exhibit positive modulation upon stimulation with the benzodiazepine diazepam. Imaging studies using γ2 pH FAP-transfected neurons and MG dyes show time-dependent receptor accumulation into intracellular vesicles, revealing constitutive endosomal and lysosomal trafficking. Simultaneous analysis of synaptic, surface and lysosomal receptors using the γ2 pH FAP-MG dye approach reveals enhanced GABA A R turnover following a bicucculine-induced seizure paradigm, a finding not detected by standard surface receptor measurements. To our knowledge, this is the first application of the FAP-MG dye system in neurons, demonstrating the versatility to study nearly all phases of GABA A R trafficking. © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  13. Evolution of the aging brain transcriptome and synaptic regulation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrick M Loerch

    Full Text Available Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative disorders of aging are characterized by clinical and pathological features that are relatively specific to humans. To obtain greater insight into how brain aging has evolved, we compared age-related gene expression changes in the cortex of humans, rhesus macaques, and mice on a genome-wide scale. A small subset of gene expression changes are conserved in all three species, including robust age-dependent upregulation of the neuroprotective gene apolipoprotein D (APOD and downregulation of the synaptic cAMP signaling gene calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase IV (CAMK4. However, analysis of gene ontology and cell type localization shows that humans and rhesus macaques have diverged from mice due to a dramatic increase in age-dependent repression of neuronal genes. Many of these age-regulated neuronal genes are associated with synaptic function. Notably, genes associated with GABA-ergic inhibitory function are robustly age-downregulated in humans but not in mice at the level of both mRNA and protein. Gene downregulation was not associated with overall neuronal or synaptic loss. Thus, repression of neuronal gene expression is a prominent and recently evolved feature of brain aging in humans and rhesus macaques that may alter neural networks and contribute to age-related cognitive changes.

  14. Structural Components of Synaptic Plasticity and Memory Consolidation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bailey, Craig H.; Kandel, Eric R.; Harris, Kristen M.

    2015-01-01

    Consolidation of implicit memory in the invertebrate Aplysia and explicit memory in the mammalian hippocampus are associated with remodeling and growth of preexisting synapses and the formation of new synapses. Here, we compare and contrast structural components of the synaptic plasticity that underlies these two distinct forms of memory. In both cases, the structural changes involve time-dependent processes. Thus, some modifications are transient and may contribute to early formative stages of long-term memory, whereas others are more stable, longer lasting, and likely to confer persistence to memory storage. In addition, we explore the possibility that trans-synaptic signaling mechanisms governing de novo synapse formation during development can be reused in the adult for the purposes of structural synaptic plasticity and memory storage. Finally, we discuss how these mechanisms set in motion structural rearrangements that prepare a synapse to strengthen the same memory and, perhaps, to allow it to take part in other memories as a basis for understanding how their anatomical representation results in the enhanced expression and storage of memories in the brain. PMID:26134321

  15. Modulation of NMDA Receptor Properties and Synaptic Transmission by the NR3A Subunit in Mouse Hippocampal and Cerebrocortical Neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tong, Gary; Takahashi, Hiroto; Tu, Shichun; Shin, Yeonsook; Talantova, Maria; Zago, Wagner; Xia, Peng; Nie, Zhiguo; Goetz, Thomas; Zhang, Dongxian; Lipton, Stuart A.; Nakanishi, Nobuki

    2015-01-01

    Expression of the NR3A subunit with NR1/NR2 in Xenopus oocytes or mammalian cell lines leads to a reduction in N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA)-induced currents and decreased Mg2+ sensitivity and Ca2+ permeability compared with NR1/NR2 receptors. Consistent with these findings, neurons from NR3A knockout (KO) mice exhibit enhanced NMDA-induced currents. Recombinant NR3A can also form excitatory glycine receptors with NR1 in the absence of NR2. However, the effects of NR3A on channel properties in neurons and synaptic transmission have not been fully elucidated. To study physiological roles of NR3A subunits, we generated NR3A transgenic (Tg) mice. Cultured NR3A Tg neurons exhibited two populations of NMDA receptor (NMDAR) channels, reduced Mg2+ sensitivity, and decreased Ca2+ permeability in response to NMDA/glycine, but glycine alone did not elicit excitatory currents. In addition, NMDAR-mediated excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) in NR3A Tg hippocampal slices showed reduced Mg2+ sensitivity, consistent with the notion that NR3A subunits incorporated into synaptic NMDARs. To study the function of endogenous NR3A subunits, we compared NMDAR-mediated EPSCs in NR3A KO and WT control mice. In NR3A KO mice, the ratio of the amplitudes of the NMDAR-mediated component to α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isox-azolepropionic acid receptor-mediated component of the EPSC was significantly larger than that seen in WT littermates. This result suggests that NR3A subunits contributed to the NMDAR-mediated component of the EPSC in WT mice. Taken together, these results show that NR3A subunits contribute to NMDAR responses from both synaptic and extra-synaptic receptors, likely composed of NR1, NR2, and NR3 subunits. PMID:18003876

  16. Competitive intelligence as an enabler for firm competitiveness: An overview

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexander Maune

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of this article is to provide an overview, from literature, about how competitive intelligence can be an enabler towards a firm’s competitiveness. This overview is done under the background of intense global competition that firms are currently experiencing. This paper used a qualitative content analysis as a data collection methodology on all identified journal articles on competitive intelligence and firm competitiveness. To identify relevant literature, academic databases and search engines were used. Moreover, a review of references in related studies led to more relevant sources, the references of which were further reviewed and analysed. To ensure reliability and trustworthiness, peer-reviewed journal articles and triangulation were used. The paper found that competitive intelligence is an important enabler of firm competitiveness. The findings from this paper will assist business managers to understand and improve their outlook of competitive intelligence as an enabler of firm competitiveness and will be of great academic value.

  17. Nursing: the hospital's competitive edge.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaffer, F A; Preziosi, P

    1988-09-01

    The health care marketplace is becoming increasingly competitive. The hospital has a built-in marketing force with the nursing department, because nurses are in constant, direct contact with the customer. Nursing must identify the case mix profile of the community and focus the hospital product lines to meet community needs. The nursing department should decentralize, change, measure, and innovate the staff mix needed to operationalize these product lines. The development of nursing practice standards for the case mix will help to identify the staff mix needed and create systems to efficiently manage the product lines. Nursing management must become aware of cross-subsidization and downward skill substitution of nursing personnel. Nursing information systems must generate quality reports that invoke cost consciousness on the part of nursing staff. Quality assurance programs must become unit based and complete with frequent audits to correlate length of stay with nursing quality. Correlations must be determined between nursing productivity and case mix to determine the hospital's niche in the marketplace. The transformation of health care into a competitive business industry has created many opportunities for nursing. The health care industry's incentives for efficiency along with the decreasing demand for inpatient hospital services will be the forces driving health care toward a competitive marketplace. The hospital's nursing department should be strategically positioned to become accountable for increasing market share and enhancing quality patient outcomes. The focus has shifted from the theoretical to the tactical, which is a step in the right direction, particularly for nursing. Nursing, if strategically positioned, will not only thrive but will also excel in this chaotic environment by capturing the opportunities and being innovative.

  18. Costs and competitiveness of nuclear electricity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bennett, L.L.; Woite, G.

    1995-01-01

    The experienced and projected future construction costs and electricity generation costs of nuclear and fossil fired power plants are reviewed and compared. On the basis of actual operating experience, nuclear power has been demonstrated to be economically competitive with other base load generation options, and international studies project that this economic competitiveness will be largely maintained in the future, over a range of conditions and in a number of countries. However, retaining and improving this competitiveness position requires concerted efforts to ensure that nuclear plants are constructed within schedule and budget, and are operated reliably and efficiently. Relevant cost impacting factors are identified, and conclusions for successful nuclear power plant construction and operation are drawn. The desire to attain sustainable development with balanced resource use and control of the environmental and climatic impacts of energy systems could lead to renewed interest in nuclear power as an energy source that does not emit greenhouse gases, thus contributing to a revival of the nuclear option. In this regard also, mitigation of emissions from fossil fuelled power plants could lead to restrictions of fossil fuel use and/or result in higher costs of fossil based generation, thus improving the economic competitiveness of nuclear power. (author). 19 refs, 7 figs, 2 tabs

  19. Synaptic Correlates of Low-Level Perception in V1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerard-Mercier, Florian; Carelli, Pedro V; Pananceau, Marc; Troncoso, Xoana G; Frégnac, Yves

    2016-04-06

    The computational role of primary visual cortex (V1) in low-level perception remains largely debated. A dominant view assumes the prevalence of higher cortical areas and top-down processes in binding information across the visual field. Here, we investigated the role of long-distance intracortical connections in form and motion processing by measuring, with intracellular recordings, their synaptic impact on neurons in area 17 (V1) of the anesthetized cat. By systematically mapping synaptic responses to stimuli presented in the nonspiking surround of V1 receptive fields, we provide the first quantitative characterization of the lateral functional connectivity kernel of V1 neurons. Our results revealed at the population level two structural-functional biases in the synaptic integration and dynamic association properties of V1 neurons. First, subthreshold responses to oriented stimuli flashed in isolation in the nonspiking surround exhibited a geometric organization around the preferred orientation axis mirroring the psychophysical "association field" for collinear contour perception. Second, apparent motion stimuli, for which horizontal and feedforward synaptic inputs summed in-phase, evoked dominantly facilitatory nonlinear interactions, specifically during centripetal collinear activation along the preferred orientation axis, at saccadic-like speeds. This spatiotemporal integration property, which could constitute the neural correlate of a human perceptual bias in speed detection, suggests that local (orientation) and global (motion) information is already linked within V1. We propose the existence of a "dynamic association field" in V1 neurons, whose spatial extent and anisotropy are transiently updated and reshaped as a function of changes in the retinal flow statistics imposed during natural oculomotor exploration. The computational role of primary visual cortex in low-level perception remains debated. The expression of this "pop-out" perception is often assumed

  20. Characterizing synaptic protein development in human visual cortex enables alignment of synaptic age with rat visual cortex

    OpenAIRE

    Pinto, Joshua G. A.; Jones, David G.; Williams, C. Kate; Murphy, Kathryn M.

    2015-01-01

    Although many potential neuroplasticity based therapies have been developed in the lab, few have translated into established clinical treatments for human neurologic or neuropsychiatric diseases. Animal models, especially of the visual system, have shaped our understanding of neuroplasticity by characterizing the mechanisms that promote neural changes and defining timing of the sensitive period. The lack of knowledge about development of synaptic plasticity mechanisms in human cortex, and abo...