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Sample records for vglut1 prefrontal increase

  1. SIRT2 inhibition reverses anhedonia in the VGLUT1+/- depression model.

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    Muñoz-Cobo, I; Belloch, F B; Díaz-Perdigón, T; Puerta, E; Tordera, R M

    2017-09-29

    Some histone deacetylase (HDACs) enzymes have been proposed as epigenetic targets involved in the pathophysiology of depression and antidepressant-like action. Among them, we have recently identified SIRT2, a class III NAD + -dependent HDAC, as being oppositely regulated by stress and antidepressants. Moreover, SIRT2 inhibition has shown antianhedonic-like action in the chronic mild stress model of depression. Here we have extended the study using an alternative model of depression based in a genetic manipulation of glutamate function. Specifically, mice heterozygous for the vesicular glutamate transporter 1 (VGLUT1+/-) were used. Firstly, mRNA expression of the different members of the HDAC superfamily in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) of VGLUT1+/- mice and WT littermates were studied by RT-PCR. Secondly, the effect of repeated treatment with the selective SIRT2 inhibitor 33i and the antidepressant imipramine on anhedonic behaviour of VGLUT1+/- mice was studied by weekly monitoring of sucrose intake. Further, the interaction of 33i towards specific monoaminergic targets such as serotonin or noradrenaline transporters as well as the monoaminooxidase enzyme was studied. The mRNA occurance of the different members of HDAC superfamily was not altered in the PFC of VGLUT1+/- mice. While repeated imipramine showed an anti-anhedonic action in both VGLUT1+/- and WT, the selective SIRT2 inhibitor 33i fully reversed anhedonia of VGLUT1+/-. Further, 33i showed no interaction with the above mentioned monoaminergic molecular targets. These results confirm that SIRT2 inhibition is able to reverse anhedonia in different animal models and highlight the need to further investigate the role of SIRT2 inhibitors as new antidepressant agents. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Ca2+-dependent mobility of vesicles capturing anti-VGLUT1 antibodies

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    Stenovec, Matjaz; Kreft, Marko; Grilc, Sonja; Potokar, Maja; Kreft, Mateja Erdani; Pangrsic, Tina; Zorec, Robert

    2007-01-01

    Several aspects of secretory vesicle cycle have been studied in the past, but vesicle trafficking in relation to the fusion site is less well understood. In particular, the mobility of recaptured vesicles that traffic back toward the central cytoplasm is still poorly defined. We exposed astrocytes to antibodies against the vesicular glutamate transporter 1 (VGLUT1), a marker of glutamatergic vesicles, to fluorescently label vesicles undergoing Ca 2+ -dependent exocytosis and examined their number, fluorescence intensity, and mobility by confocal microscopy. In nonstimulated cells, immunolabeling revealed discrete fluorescent puncta, indicating that VGLUT1 vesicles, which are approximately 50 nm in diameter, cycle slowly between the plasma membrane and the cytoplasm. When the cytosolic Ca 2+ level was raised with ionomycin, the number and fluorescence intensity of the puncta increased, likely because the VGLUT1 epitopes were more accessible to the extracellularly applied antibodies following Ca 2+ -triggered exocytosis. In nonstimulated cells, the mobility of labeled vesicles was limited. In stimulated cells, many vesicles exhibited directional mobility that was abolished by cytoskeleton-disrupting agents, indicating dependence on intact cytoskeleton. Our findings show that postfusion vesicle mobility is regulated and may likely play a role in synaptic vesicle cycle, and also more generally in the genesis and removal of endocytic vesicles

  3. IGF-1 deficiency causes atrophic changes associated with upregulation of VGluT1 and downregulation of MEF2 transcription factors in the mouse cochlear nuclei.

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    Fuentes-Santamaría, V; Alvarado, J C; Rodríguez-de la Rosa, L; Murillo-Cuesta, S; Contreras, J; Juiz, J M; Varela-Nieto, I

    2016-03-01

    Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) is a neurotrophic protein that plays a crucial role in modulating neuronal function and synaptic plasticity in the adult brain. Mice lacking the Igf1 gene exhibit profound deafness and multiple anomalies in the inner ear and spiral ganglion. An issue that remains unknown is whether, in addition to these peripheral abnormalities, IGF-1 deficiency also results in structural changes along the central auditory pathway that may contribute to an imbalance between excitation and inhibition, which might be reflected in abnormal auditory brainstem responses (ABR). To assess such a possibility, we evaluated the morphological and physiological alterations in the cochlear nucleus complex of the adult mouse. The expression and distribution of the vesicular glutamate transporter 1 (VGluT1) and the vesicular inhibitory transporter (VGAT), which were used as specific markers for labeling excitatory and inhibitory terminals, and the involvement of the activity-dependent myocyte enhancer factor 2 (MEF2) transcription factors in regulating excitatory synapses were assessed in a 4-month-old mouse model of IGF-1 deficiency and neurosensorial deafness (Igf1 (-/-) homozygous null mice). The results demonstrate decreases in the cochlear nucleus area and cell size along with cell loss in the cochlear nuclei of the deficient mouse. Additionally, our results demonstrate that there is upregulation of VGluT1, but not VGAT, immunostaining and downregulation of MEF2 transcription factors together with increased wave II amplitude in the ABR recording. Our observations provide evidence of an abnormal neuronal cytoarchitecture in the cochlear nuclei of Igf1 (-/-) null mice and suggest that the increased efficacy of glutamatergic synapses might be mediated by MEF2 transcription factors.

  4. Impulsive-antisocial psychopathic traits linked to increased volume and functional connectivity within prefrontal cortex.

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    Korponay, Cole; Pujara, Maia; Deming, Philip; Philippi, Carissa; Decety, Jean; Kosson, David S; Kiehl, Kent A; Koenigs, Michael

    2017-07-01

    Psychopathy is a personality disorder characterized by callous lack of empathy, impulsive antisocial behavior, and criminal recidivism. Studies of brain structure and function in psychopathy have frequently identified abnormalities in the prefrontal cortex. However, findings have not yet converged to yield a clear relationship between specific subregions of prefrontal cortex and particular psychopathic traits. We performed a multimodal neuroimaging study of prefrontal cortex volume and functional connectivity in psychopathy, using a sample of adult male prison inmates (N = 124). We conducted volumetric analyses in prefrontal subregions, and subsequently assessed resting-state functional connectivity in areas where volume was related to psychopathy severity. We found that overall psychopathy severity and Factor 2 scores (which index the impulsive/antisocial traits of psychopathy) were associated with larger prefrontal subregion volumes, particularly in the medial orbitofrontal cortex and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. Furthermore, Factor 2 scores were also positively correlated with functional connectivity between several areas of the prefrontal cortex. The results were not attributable to age, race, IQ, substance use history, or brain volume. Collectively, these findings provide evidence for co-localized increases in prefrontal cortex volume and intra-prefrontal functional connectivity in relation to impulsive/antisocial psychopathic traits. © The Author (2017). Published by Oxford University Press.

  5. Mindful attention to breath regulates emotions via increased amygdala-prefrontal cortex connectivity.

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    Doll, Anselm; Hölzel, Britta K; Mulej Bratec, Satja; Boucard, Christine C; Xie, Xiyao; Wohlschläger, Afra M; Sorg, Christian

    2016-07-01

    Mindfulness practice is beneficial for emotion regulation; however, the neural mechanisms underlying this effect are poorly understood. The current study focuses on effects of attention-to-breath (ATB) as a basic mindfulness practice on aversive emotions at behavioral and brain levels. A key finding across different emotion regulation strategies is the modulation of amygdala and prefrontal activity. It is unclear how ATB relevant brain areas in the prefrontal cortex integrate with amygdala activation during emotional stimulation. We proposed that, during emotional stimulation, ATB down-regulates activation in the amygdala and increases its integration with prefrontal regions. To address this hypothesis, 26 healthy controls were trained in mindfulness-based attention-to-breath meditation for two weeks and then stimulated with aversive pictures during both attention-to-breath and passive viewing while undergoing fMRI. Data were controlled for breathing frequency. Results indicate that (1) ATB was effective in regulating aversive emotions. (2) Left dorso-medial prefrontal cortex was associated with ATB in general. (3) A fronto-parietal network was additionally recruited during emotional stimulation. (4) ATB down regulated amygdala activation and increased amygdala-prefrontal integration, with such increased integration being associated with mindfulness ability. Results suggest amygdala-dorsal prefrontal cortex integration as a potential neural pathway of emotion regulation by mindfulness practice. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Increased contextual cue utilization with tDCS over the prefrontal cortex during a recognition task

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    Pergolizzi, Denise; Chua, Elizabeth F.

    2016-01-01

    The precise role of the prefrontal and posterior parietal cortices in recognition performance remains controversial, with questions about whether these regions contribute to recognition via the availability of mnemonic evidence or via decision biases and retrieval orientation. Here we used an explicit memory cueing paradigm, whereby external cues probabilistically predict upcoming memoranda as old or new, in our case with 75% validity, and these cues affect recognition decision biases in the direction of the cue. The present study applied bilateral transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) over prefrontal or posterior parietal cortex, or sham tDCS, to test the causal role of these regions in recognition accuracy or decision biasing. Participants who received tDCS over prefrontal cortex showed increased cue utilization compared to tDCS over posterior parietal cortex and sham tDCS, suggesting that the prefrontal cortex is involved in processes that contribute to decision biases in memory. PMID:27845032

  7. Increased functional connectivity between prefrontal cortex and reward system in pathological gambling.

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    Saskia Koehler

    Full Text Available Pathological gambling (PG shares clinical characteristics with substance-use disorders and is thus discussed as a behavioral addiction. Recent neuroimaging studies on PG report functional changes in prefrontal structures and the mesolimbic reward system. While an imbalance between these structures has been related to addictive behavior, whether their dysfunction in PG is reflected in the interaction between them remains unclear. We addressed this question using functional connectivity resting-state fMRI in male subjects with PG and controls. Seed-based functional connectivity was computed using two regions-of-interest, based on the results of a previous voxel-based morphometry study, located in the prefrontal cortex and the mesolimbic reward system (right middle frontal gyrus and right ventral striatum. PG patients demonstrated increased connectivity from the right middle frontal gyrus to the right striatum as compared to controls, which was also positively correlated with nonplanning aspect of impulsiveness, smoking and craving scores in the PG group. Moreover, PG patients demonstrated decreased connectivity from the right middle frontal gyrus to other prefrontal areas as compared to controls. The right ventral striatum demonstrated increased connectivity to the right superior and middle frontal gyrus and left cerebellum in PG patients as compared to controls. The increased connectivity to the cerebellum was positively correlated with smoking in the PG group. Our results provide further evidence for alterations in functional connectivity in PG with increased connectivity between prefrontal regions and the reward system, similar to connectivity changes reported in substance use disorder.

  8. VGLUT1 or VGLUT2 mRNA-positive neurons in spinal trigeminal nucleus provide collateral projections to both the thalamus and the parabrachial nucleus in rats.

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    Zhang, Chun-Kui; Li, Zhi-Hong; Qiao, Yu; Zhang, Ting; Lu, Ya-Cheng; Chen, Tao; Dong, Yu-Lin; Li, Yun-Qing; Li, Jin-Lian

    2018-04-12

    The trigemino-thalamic (T-T) and trigemino-parabrachial (T-P) pathways are strongly implicated in the sensory-discriminative and affective/emotional aspects of orofacial pain, respectively. These T-T and T-P projection fibers originate from the spinal trigeminal nucleus (Vsp). We previously determined that many vesicular glutamate transporter (VGLUT1 and/or VGLUT2) mRNA-positive neurons were distributed in the Vsp of the adult rat, and most of these neurons sent their axons to the thalamus or cerebellum. However, whether VGLUT1 or VGLUT2 mRNA-positive projection neurons exist that send their axons to both the thalamus and the parabrachial nucleus (PBN) has not been reported. Thus, in the present study, dual retrograde tract tracing was used in combination with fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) for VGLUT1 or VGLUT2 mRNA to identify the existence of VGLUT1 or VGLUT2 mRNA neurons that send collateral projections to both the thalamus and the PBN. Neurons in the Vsp that send collateral projections to both the thalamus and the PBN were mainly VGLUT2 mRNA-positive, with a proportion of 90.3%, 93.0% and 85.4% in the oral (Vo), interpolar (Vi) and caudal (Vc) subnucleus of the Vsp, respectively. Moreover, approximately 34.0% of the collateral projection neurons in the Vc showed Fos immunopositivity after injection of formalin into the lip, and parts of calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP)-immunopositive axonal varicosities were in direct contact with the Vc collateral projection neurons. These results indicate that most collateral projection neurons in the Vsp, particularly in the Vc, which express mainly VGLUT2, may relay orofacial nociceptive information directly to the thalamus and PBN via axon collaterals.

  9. Bupropion Administration Increases Resting-State Functional Connectivity in Dorso-Medial Prefrontal Cortex.

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    Rzepa, Ewelina; Dean, Zola; McCabe, Ciara

    2017-06-01

    Patients on the selective serotonergic reuptake inhibitors like citalopram report emotional blunting. We showed previously that citalopram reduces resting-state functional connectivity in healthy volunteers in a number of brain regions, including the dorso-medial prefrontal cortex, which may be related to its clinical effects. Bupropion is a dopaminergic and noradrenergic reuptake inhibitor and is not reported to cause emotional blunting. However, how bupropion affects resting-state functional connectivity in healthy controls remains unknown. Using a within-subjects, repeated-measures, double-blind, crossover design, we examined 17 healthy volunteers (9 female, 8 male). Volunteers received 7 days of bupropion (150 mg/d) and 7 days of placebo treatment and underwent resting-state functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging. We selected seed regions in the salience network (amygdala and pregenual anterior cingulate cortex) and the central executive network (dorsal medial prefrontal cortex). Mood and anhedonia measures were also recorded and examined in relation to resting-state functional connectivity. Relative to placebo, bupropion increased resting-state functional connectivity in healthy volunteers between the dorsal medial prefrontal cortex seed region and the posterior cingulate cortex and the precuneus cortex, key parts of the default mode network. These results are opposite to that which we found with 7 days treatment of citalopram in healthy volunteers. These results reflect a different mechanism of action of bupropion compared with selective serotonergic reuptake inhibitors. These results help explain the apparent lack of emotional blunting caused by bupropion in depressed patients. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of CINP.

  10. A neuropsychological test of belief and doubt: Damage to ventromedial prefrontal cortex increases credulity for misleading advertising

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    Erik eAsp

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available We have proposed the False Tagging Theory as a neurobiological model of belief and doubt processes. The theory posits that the prefrontal cortex is critical for normative doubt toward properly comprehended ideas or cognitions. Such doubt is important for advantageous decisions, for example in the financial and consumer purchasing realms. Here, using a neuropsychological approach, we put the False Tagging Theory to an empirical test, hypothesizing that focal damage to the ventromedial prefrontal cortex would cause a doubt deficit that would result in higher credulity and purchase intention for consumer products featured in misleading advertisements. We presented 8 consumer ads to 18 patients with focal brain damage to the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, 21 patients with focal brain damage outside the prefrontal cortex, and 10 demographically similar healthy comparison participants. Patients with ventromedial prefrontal cortex damage were (1 more credulous to misleading ads; and (2 showed the highest intention to purchase the products in the misleading advertisements, relative to patients with brain damage outside the prefrontal cortex and healthy comparison participants. The pattern of findings was obtained even for ads in which the misleading bent was corrected by a disclaimer. The evidence is consistent with our proposal that damage to the ventromedial prefrontal cortex disrupts a false tagging mechanism which normally produces doubt and skepticism for cognitive representations. We suggest that the disruption increases credulity for misleading information, even when the misleading information is corrected for by a disclaimer. This mechanism could help explain poor financial decision-making when persons with ventromedial prefrontal dysfunction (e.g., caused by neurological injury or aging are exposed to persuasive information.

  11. INCREASES IN FUNCTIONAL CONNECTIVITY BETWEEN PREFRONTAL CORTEX AND STRIATUM DURING CATEGORY LEARNING

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    Antzoulatos, Evan G.; Miller, Earl K.

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY Functional connectivity between the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and striatum (STR) is thought critical for cognition, and has been linked to conditions like autism and schizophrenia. We recorded from multiple electrodes in PFC and STR while monkeys acquired new categories. Category learning was accompanied by an increase in beta-band synchronization of LFPs between, but not within, the PFC and STR. After learning, different pairs of PFC-STR electrodes showed stronger synchrony for one or the other category, suggesting category-specific functional circuits. This category-specific synchrony was also seen between PFC spikes and STR LFPs, but not the reverse, reflecting the direct monosynaptic connections from the PFC to STR. However, causal connectivity analyses suggested that the polysynaptic connections from STR to the PFC exerted a stronger overall influence. This supports models positing that the basal ganglia “train” the PFC. Category learning may depend on the formation of functional circuits between the PFC and STR. PMID:24930701

  12. Neuropeptide S overcomes short term memory deficit induced by sleep restriction by increasing prefrontal cortex activity.

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    Thomasson, Julien; Canini, Frédéric; Poly-Thomasson, Betty; Trousselard, Marion; Granon, Sylvie; Chauveau, Frédéric

    2017-12-01

    Sleep restriction (SR) impairs short term memory (STM) that might be related to different processes. Neuropeptide S (NPS), an endogenous neuropeptide that improves short term memory, activates arousal and decreases anxiety is likely to counteract the SR-induced impairment of STM. The objective of the present study was to find common cerebral pathways in sleep restriction and NPS action in order to ultimately antagonize SR effect on memory. The STM was assessed using a spontaneous spatial alternation task in a T-maze. C57-Bl/6J male mice were distributed in 4 groups according to treatment (0.1nmol of NPS or vehicle intracerebroventricular injection) and to 20h-SR. Immediately after behavioural testing, regional c-fos immunohistochemistry was performed and used as a neural activation marker for spatial short term memory (prefrontal cortex, dorsal hippocampus) and emotional reactivity (basolateral amygdala and ventral hippocampus). Anxiety-like behaviour was assessed using elevated-plus maze task. Results showed that SR impaired short term memory performance and decreased neuronal activation in cingular cortex.NPS injection overcame SR-induced STM deficits and increased neuronal activation in infralimbic cortex. SR spared anxiety-like behavior in the elevated-plus maze. Neural activation in basolateral nucleus of amygdala and ventral hippocampus were not changed after SR.In conclusion, the present study shows that NPS overcomes SR-induced STM deficits by increasing prefrontal cortex activation independently of anxiety-like behaviour. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Centella asiatica increases B-cell lymphoma 2 expression in rat prefrontal cortex

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    Kuswati

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Background Stress is one of the factors that cause apoptosis in neuronal cells. Centella asiatica has a neuroprotective effect that can inhibit apoptosis. This study aimed to examine the effect of Centella asiatica ethanol extract on B-cell lymphoma 2 (Bcl-2 protein expression in the prefrontal cortex of rats. Methods An experimental study was conducted on 34 brain tissue samples from male Sprague Dawley rats exposed to chronic restraint stress for 21 days. The samples were taken from following groups: non-stress group K, negative control group P1 (stress + arabic gum powder, P2 (stress + C.asiatica at 150 mg/kgBW, P3 (stress + C.asiatica at 300 mg/kg BW, P4 (stress + C.asiatica at 600 mg/kg body weight and positive control group P5 (stress + fluoxetine at 10 mg/kgBW. The samples were made into sections that were stained immunohistochemically using Bcl-2 antibody to determine the percentage of cells expressing Bcl-2. Data were analyzed using one way ANOVA test followed by a post - hoc test. Results There were significant differences in mean Bcl-2 expression between the groups receiving Centella asiatica compared with the non-stress group and stress-only group (negative control group (p<0.05. The results were comparable to those of the fluoxetine treatment group. Conclusion The Centella asiatica ethanol extract was able to increase Bcl-2 expression in the prefrontal cortex of Sprague Dawley rats exposed to restraint stress. This study suggests that Centella asiatica may be useful in the treatment of cerebral stress.

  14. Dynamic adjustments in prefrontal, hippocampal, and inferior temporal interactions with increasing visual working memory load.

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    Rissman, Jesse; Gazzaley, Adam; D'Esposito, Mark

    2008-07-01

    The maintenance of visual stimuli across a delay interval in working memory tasks is thought to involve reverberant neural communication between the prefrontal cortex and posterior visual association areas. Recent studies suggest that the hippocampus might also contribute to this retention process, presumably via reciprocal interactions with visual regions. To characterize the nature of these interactions, we performed functional connectivity analysis on an event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging data set in which participants performed a delayed face recognition task. As the number of faces that participants were required to remember was parametrically increased, the right inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) showed a linearly decreasing degree of functional connectivity with the fusiform face area (FFA) during the delay period. In contrast, the hippocampus linearly increased its delay period connectivity with both the FFA and the IFG as the mnemonic load increased. Moreover, the degree to which participants' FFA showed a load-dependent increase in its connectivity with the hippocampus predicted the degree to which its connectivity with the IFG decreased with load. Thus, these neural circuits may dynamically trade off to accommodate the particular mnemonic demands of the task, with IFG-FFA interactions mediating maintenance at lower loads and hippocampal interactions supporting retention at higher loads.

  15. An increase in tobacco craving is associated with enhanced medial prefrontal cortex network coupling.

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    Amy C Janes

    Full Text Available Craving is a key aspect of drug dependence that is thought to motivate continued drug use. Numerous brain regions have been associated with craving, suggesting that craving is mediated by a distributed brain network. Whether an increase in subjective craving is associated with enhanced interactions among brain regions was evaluated using resting state functional magnetic imaging (fMRI in nicotine dependent participants. We focused on craving-related changes in the orbital and medial prefrontal cortex (OMPFC network, which also included the subgenual anterior cingulate cortex (sgACC extending into the ventral striatum. Brain regions in the OMPFC network are not only implicated in addiction and reward, but, due to their rich anatomic interconnections, may serve as the site of integration across craving-related brain regions. Subjective craving and resting state fMRI were evaluated twice with an ∼1 hour delay between the scans. Cigarette craving was significantly increased at the end, relative to the beginning of the scan session. Enhanced craving was associated with heightened coupling between the OMPFC network and other cortical, limbic, striatal, and visceromotor brain regions that are both anatomically interconnected with the OMPFC, and have been implicated in addiction and craving. This is the first demonstration confirming that an increase in craving is associated with enhanced brain region interactions, which may play a role in the experience of craving.

  16. α-Synuclein expression in the mouse cerebellum is restricted to VGluT1 excitatory terminals and is enriched in unipolar brush cells.

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    Lee, Sun Kyong; Sillitoe, Roy V; Silva, Coralie; Martina, Marco; Sekerkova, Gabriella

    2015-10-01

    α-Synuclein has a crucial role in synaptic vesicle release and synaptic membrane recycling. Although its general expression pattern has been described in the cerebellum, the precise cerebellar structures where α-synuclein is localized are poorly understood. To address this question, we used α-synuclein immunohistochemistry in adult mice cerebellar sections. We found that α-synuclein labels glutamatergic but not glycinergic and GABAergic synaptic terminals in the molecular and granule cell layers. α-Synuclein was preferentially expressed in parallel and mossy fiber synaptic terminals that also express vesicular glutamate transporter 1 (VGluT1), while it was not detected in VGluT2-positive climbing fibers. α-Synuclein was particularly enriched in lobules IX and X, a region known to contain a high density of unipolar brush cells (UBCs). To elucidate whether the α-synuclein-positive mossy fibers belong to UBCs, we double-labeled cerebellar sections with antibodies to α-synuclein and UBC-type-specific markers (calretinin for type I and metabotropic glutamate receptor 1α (mGluR1α) for type II UBCs) and took advantage of organotypic cerebellar cultures (in which all mossy fibers are UBC axons) and moonwalker mice (in which almost all UBCs are ablated) and found that both type I and type II UBCs express α-synuclein. In moonwalker mutant cerebella, the α-synuclein/VGluT1 immunolabeling showed a dramatic decrease in the vestibulocerebellum that correlated with the absence of UBC. α-Synuclein appears to be an excellent marker for intrinsic mossy fibers of the VGluT1 subset in conjunction with UBCs of both subtypes.

  17. Media multitasking is associated with distractibility and increased prefrontal activity in adolescents and young adults.

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    Moisala, M; Salmela, V; Hietajärvi, L; Salo, E; Carlson, S; Salonen, O; Lonka, K; Hakkarainen, K; Salmela-Aro, K; Alho, K

    2016-07-01

    The current generation of young people indulges in more media multitasking behavior (e.g., instant messaging while watching videos) in their everyday lives than older generations. Concerns have been raised about how this might affect their attentional functioning, as previous studies have indicated that extensive media multitasking in everyday life may be associated with decreased attentional control. In the current study, 149 adolescents and young adults (aged 13-24years) performed speech-listening and reading tasks that required maintaining attention in the presence of distractor stimuli in the other modality or dividing attention between two concurrent tasks. Brain activity during task performance was measured using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). We studied the relationship between self-reported daily media multitasking (MMT), task performance and brain activity during task performance. The results showed that in the presence of distractor stimuli, a higher MMT score was associated with worse performance and increased brain activity in right prefrontal regions. The level of performance during divided attention did not depend on MMT. This suggests that daily media multitasking is associated with behavioral distractibility and increased recruitment of brain areas involved in attentional and inhibitory control, and that media multitasking in everyday life does not translate to performance benefits in multitasking in laboratory settings. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Increased neuronal firing in resting and sleep in areas of the macaque medial prefrontal cortex.

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    Gabbott, Paul L; Rolls, Edmund T

    2013-06-01

    The medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) of humans and macaques is an integral part of the default mode network and is a brain region that shows increased activation in the resting state. A previous paper from our laboratory reported significantly increased firing rates of neurons in the macaque subgenual cingulate cortex, Brodmann area (BA) 25, during disengagement from a task and also during slow wave sleep [E.T. Rolls et al. (2003) J. Neurophysiology, 90, 134-142]. Here we report the finding that there are neurons in other areas of mPFC that also increase their firing rates during disengagement from a task, drowsiness and eye-closure. During the neurophysiological recording of single mPFC cells (n = 249) in BAs 9, 10, 13 m, 14c, 24b and especially pregenual area 32, populations of neurons were identified whose firing rates altered significantly with eye-closure compared with eye-opening. Three types of neuron were identified: Type 1 cells (28.1% of the total population) significantly increased (mean + 329%; P ≪ 0.01) their average firing rate with eye-closure, from 3.1 spikes/s when awake to 10.2 spikes/s when asleep; Type 2 cells (6.0%) significantly decreased (mean -68%; P areas of mPFC, implicated in the anterior default mode network, there is a substantial population of neurons that significantly increase their firing rates during periods of eye-closure. Such neurons may be part of an interconnected network of distributed brain regions that are more active during periods of relaxed wakefulness than during attention-demanding tasks. © 2013 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  19. Motivational incentives lead to a strong increase in lateral prefrontal activity after self-control exertion.

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    Luethi, Matthias S; Friese, Malte; Binder, Julia; Boesiger, Peter; Luechinger, Roger; Rasch, Björn

    2016-10-01

    Self-control is key to success in life. Initial acts of self-control temporarily impair subsequent self-control performance. Why such self-control failures occur is unclear, with prominent models postulating a loss of a limited resource vs a loss of motivation, respectively. Here, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging to identify the neural correlates of motivation-induced benefits on self-control. Participants initially exerted or did not exert self-control. In a subsequent Stroop task, participants performed worse after exerting self-control, but not if they were motivated to perform well by monetary incentives. On the neural level, having exerted self-control resulted in decreased activation in the left inferior frontal gyrus. Increasing motivation resulted in a particularly strong activation of this area specifically after exerting self-control. Thus, after self-control exertion participants showed more prefrontal neural activity without improving performance beyond baseline level. These findings suggest that impaired performance after self-control exertion may not exclusively be due to a loss of motivation. © The Author (2016). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  20. Tramadol Pretreatment Enhances Ketamine-Induced Antidepressant Effects and Increases Mammalian Target of Rapamycin in Rat Hippocampus and Prefrontal Cortex

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    Chun Yang

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Several lines of evidence have demonstrated that acute administration of ketamine elicits fast-acting antidepressant effects. Moreover, tramadol also has potential antidepressant effects. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of pretreatment with tramadol on ketamine-induced antidepressant activity and was to determine the expression of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR in rat hippocampus and prefrontal cortex. Rats were intraperitoneally administrated with ketamine at the dose of 10 mg/kg or saline 1 h before the second episode of the forced swimming test (FST. Tramadol or saline was intraperitoneally pretreated 30 min before the former administration of ketamine or saline. The locomotor activity and the immobility time of FST were both measured. After that, rats were sacrificed to determine the expression of mTOR in hippocampus and prefrontal cortex. Tramadol at the dose of 5 mg/kg administrated alone did not elicit the antidepressant effects. More importantly, pretreatment with tramadol enhanced the ketamine-induced antidepressant effects and upregulated the expression of mTOR in rat hippocampus and prefrontal cortex. Pretreatment with tramadol enhances the ketamine-induced antidepressant effects, which is associated with the increased expression of mTOR in rat hippocampus and prefrontal cortex.

  1. The Contingency of Cocaine Administration Accounts for Structural and Functional Medial Prefrontal Deficits and Increased Adrenocortical Activation

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    Anderson, Rachel M.; Cosme, Caitlin V.; Glanz, Ryan M.; Miller, Mary C.; Romig-Martin, Sara A.; LaLumiere, Ryan T.

    2015-01-01

    The prelimbic region (PL) of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) is implicated in the relapse of drug-seeking behavior. Optimal mPFC functioning relies on synaptic connections involving dendritic spines in pyramidal neurons, whereas prefrontal dysfunction resulting from elevated glucocorticoids, stress, aging, and mental illness are each linked to decreased apical dendritic branching and spine density in pyramidal neurons in these cortical fields. The fact that cocaine use induces activation of the stress-responsive hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis raises the possibility that cocaine-related impairments in mPFC functioning may be manifested by similar changes in neuronal architecture in mPFC. Nevertheless, previous studies have generally identified increases, rather than decreases, in structural plasticity in mPFC after cocaine self-administration. Here, we use 3D imaging and analysis of dendritic spine morphometry to show that chronic cocaine self-administration leads to mild decreases of apical dendritic branching, prominent dendritic spine attrition in PL pyramidal neurons, and working memory deficits. Importantly, these impairments were largely accounted for in groups of rats that self-administered cocaine compared with yoked-cocaine- and saline-matched counterparts. Follow-up experiments failed to demonstrate any effects of either experimenter-administered cocaine or food self-administration on structural alterations in PL neurons. Finally, we verified that the cocaine self-administration group was distinguished by more protracted increases in adrenocortical activity compared with yoked-cocaine- and saline-matched controls. These studies suggest a mechanism whereby increased adrenocortical activity resulting from chronic cocaine self-administration may contribute to regressive prefrontal structural and functional plasticity. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Stress, aging, and mental illness are each linked to decreased prefrontal plasticity. Here, we show that chronic

  2. Increases in the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and decreases the rostral prefrontal cortex activation after-8 weeks of focused attention based mindfulness meditation.

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    Tomasino, Barbara; Fabbro, Franco

    2016-02-01

    Mindfulness meditation is a form of attention control training. The training exercises the ability to repeatedly focus attention. We addressed the activation changes related to an 8-weeks mindfulness-oriented focused attention meditation training on an initially naïve subject cohort. Before and after training participants underwent an fMRI experiment, thus, although not strictly a cross over design, they served as their internal own control. During fMRI they exercised focused attention on breathing and body scan as compared to resting. We found increased and decreased activation in different parts of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) by comparing pre- vs. post-mindfulness training (MT) during breathing and body scan meditation exercises that were compared against their own resting state. In the post-MT (vs. pre-MT) meditation increased activation in the right dorsolateral PFC and in the left caudate/anterior insula and decreased activation in the rostral PFC and right parietal area 3b. Thus a brief mindfulness training caused increased activation in areas involved in sustaining and monitoring the focus of attention (dorsolateral PFC), consistent with the aim of mindfulness that is exercising focused attention mechanisms, and in the left caudate/anterior insula involved in attention and corporeal awareness and decreased activation in areas part of the "default mode" network and is involved in mentalizing (rostral PFC), consistent with the ability trained by mindfulness of reducing spontaneous mind wandering. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Semantic strategy training increases memory performance and brain activity in patients with prefrontal cortex lesions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miotto, Eliane C; Savage, Cary R; Evans, Jonathan J; Wilson, Barbara A; Martin, Maria G M; Balardin, Joana B; Barros, Fabio G; Garrido, Griselda; Teixeira, Manoel J; Amaro Junior, Edson

    2013-03-01

    Memory deficit is a frequent cognitive disorder following acquired prefrontal cortex lesions. In the present study, we investigated the brain correlates of a short semantic strategy training and memory performance of patients with distinct prefrontal cortex lesions using fMRI and cognitive tests. Twenty-one adult patients with post-acute prefrontal cortex (PFC) lesions, twelve with left dorsolateral PFC (LPFC) and nine with bilateral orbitofrontal cortex (BOFC) were assessed before and after a short cognitive semantic training using a verbal memory encoding paradigm during scanning and neuropsychological tests outside the scanner. After the semantic strategy training both groups of patients showed significant behavioral improvement in verbal memory recall and use of semantic strategies. In the LPFC group, greater activity in left inferior and medial frontal gyrus, precentral gyrus and insula was found after training. For the BOFC group, a greater activation was found in the left parietal cortex, right cingulated and precuneus after training. The activation of these specific areas in the memory and executive networks following cognitive training was associated to compensatory brain mechanisms and application of the semantic strategy. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Acute stress increases depolarization-evoked glutamate release in the rat prefrontal/frontal cortex: the dampening action of antidepressants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura Musazzi

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Behavioral stress is recognized as a main risk factor for neuropsychiatric diseases. Converging evidence suggested that acute stress is associated with increase of excitatory transmission in certain forebrain areas. Aim of this work was to investigate the mechanism whereby acute stress increases glutamate release, and if therapeutic drugs prevent the effect of stress on glutamate release.Rats were chronically treated with vehicle or drugs employed for therapy of mood/anxiety disorders (fluoxetine, desipramine, venlafaxine, agomelatine and then subjected to unpredictable footshock stress. Acute stress induced marked increase in depolarization-evoked release of glutamate from synaptosomes of prefrontal/frontal cortex in superfusion, and the chronic drug treatments prevented the increase of glutamate release. Stress induced rapid increase in the circulating levels of corticosterone in all rats (both vehicle- and drug-treated, and glutamate release increase was blocked by previous administration of selective antagonist of glucocorticoid receptor (RU 486. On the molecular level, stress induced accumulation of presynaptic SNARE complexes in synaptic membranes (both in vehicle- and drug-treated rats. Patch-clamp recordings of pyramidal neurons in the prefrontal cortex revealed that stress increased glutamatergic transmission through both pre- and postsynaptic mechanisms, and that antidepressants may normalize it by reducing release probability.Acute footshock stress up-regulated depolarization-evoked release of glutamate from synaptosomes of prefrontal/frontal cortex. Stress-induced increase of glutamate release was dependent on stimulation of glucocorticoid receptor by corticosterone. Because all drugs employed did not block either elevation of corticosterone or accumulation of SNARE complexes, the dampening action of the drugs on glutamate release must be downstream of these processes. This novel effect of antidepressants on the response to stress

  5. Paranoid schizophrenia is characterized by increased CB1 receptor binding in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalton, Victoria S; Long, Leonora E; Weickert, Cyndi Shannon; Zavitsanou, Katerina

    2011-07-01

    A number of studies suggest a dysregulation of the endogenous cannabinoid system in schizophrenia (SCZ). In the present study, we examined cannabinoid CB(1) receptor (CB(1)R) binding and mRNA expression in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) (Brodmann's area 46) of SCZ patients and controls, post-mortem. Receptor density was investigated using autoradiography with the CB(1)R ligand [(3)H] CP 55,940 and CB(1)R mRNA expression was measured using quantitative RT-PCR in a cohort of 16 patients with paranoid SCZ, 21 patients with non-paranoid SCZ and 37 controls matched for age, post-mortem interval and pH. All cases were obtained from the University of Sydney Tissue Resource Centre. Results were analyzed using one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) and post hoc Bonferroni tests and with analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) to control for demographic factors that would potentially influence CB(1)R expression. There was a main effect of diagnosis on [(3)H] CP 55,940 binding quantified across all layers of the DLPFC (F(2,71) = 3.740, p = 0.029). Post hoc tests indicated that this main effect was due to patients with paranoid SCZ having 22% higher levels of CB(1)R binding compared with the control group. When ANCOVA was employed, this effect was strengthened (F(2,67) = 6.048, p = 0.004) with paranoid SCZ patients differing significantly from the control (p = 0.004) and from the non-paranoid group (p = 0.016). In contrast, no significant differences were observed in mRNA expression between the different disease subtypes and the control group. Our findings confirm the existence of a CB(1)R dysregulation in SCZ and underline the need for further investigation of the role of this receptor particularly in those diagnosed with paranoid SCZ.

  6. Reduced prefrontal and increased subcortical brain functioning assessed using positron emission tomography in predatory and affective murderers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raine, A; Meloy, J R; Bihrle, S; Stoddard, J; LaCasse, L; Buchsbaum, M S

    1998-01-01

    There appear to be no brain imaging studies investigating which brain mechanisms subserve affective, impulsive violence versus planned, predatory violence. It was hypothesized that affectively violent offenders would have lower prefrontal activity, higher subcortical activity, and reduced prefrontal/subcortical ratios relative to controls, while predatory violent offenders would show relatively normal brain functioning. Glucose metabolism was assessed using positron emission tomography in 41 comparisons, 15 predatory murderers, and nine affective murderers in left and right hemisphere prefrontal (medial and lateral) and subcortical (amygdala, midbrain, hippocampus, and thalamus) regions. Affective murderers relative to comparisons had lower left and right prefrontal functioning, higher right hemisphere subcortical functioning, and lower right hemisphere prefrontal/subcortical ratios. In contrast, predatory murderers had prefrontal functioning that was more equivalent to comparisons, while also having excessively high right subcortical activity. Results support the hypothesis that emotional, unplanned impulsive murderers are less able to regulate and control aggressive impulses generated from subcortical structures due to deficient prefrontal regulation. It is hypothesized that excessive subcortical activity predisposes to aggressive behaviour, but that while predatory murderers have sufficiently good prefrontal functioning to regulate these aggressive impulses, the affective murderers lack such prefrontal control over emotion regulation.

  7. Prefrontal cortical parvalbumin and somatostatin expression and cell density increase during adolescence and are modified by BDNF and sex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Du, X; Serena, K; Hwang, W; Grech, A M; Wu, Y W C; Schroeder, A; Hill, R A

    2018-04-01

    Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is known to play a critical role early in the development of cortical GABAergic interneurons. Recently our laboratory and others have shown protracted development of specific subpopulations of GABAergic interneurons extending into adolescence. BDNF expression also changes significantly across adolescent development. However the role of BDNF in regulating GABAergic changes across adolescence remains unclear. Here, we performed a week-by-week analysis of the protein expression and cell density of three major GABAergic interneurons, parvalbumin (PV), somatostatin (SST) and calretinin (Cal) in the medial prefrontal cortex from prepubescence (week 3) to adulthood (week 12). In order to assess how BDNF and sex might influence the adolescent trajectory of GABAergic interneurons we compared WT as well as BDNF heterozygous (+/-) male and female mice. In both males and females PV expression increases during adolescent development in the mPFC. Compared to wild-types, PV expression was reduced in male but not female BDNF+/- mice throughout adolescent development. This reduction in protein expression corresponded with reduced cell density, specifically within the infralimbic prefrontal cortex. SST expression increased in early adolescent WT females and this upregulation was delayed in BDNF+/-. SST cell density also increased in early adolescent mPFC of WT female mice, with BDNF+/- again showing a reduced pattern of expression. Cal protein expression was also sex-dependently altered across adolescence with WT males showing a steady decline but that of BDNF+/- remaining unaltered. Reduced cell density in on the other hand was observed particularly in male BDNF+/- mice. In females, Cal protein expression and cell density remained largely stable. Our results show that PV, SST and calretinin interneurons are indeed still developing into early adolescence in the mPFC and that BDNF plays a critical, sex-specific role in mediating expression and

  8. Sustained anxiety increases amygdala–dorsomedial prefrontal coupling: a mechanism for maintaining an anxious state in healthy adults

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vytal, Katherine E.; Overstreet, Cassie; Charney, Danielle R.; Robinson, Oliver J.; Grillon, Christian

    2014-01-01

    Background Neuroimaging research has traditionally explored fear and anxiety in response to discrete threat cues (e.g., during fear conditioning). However, anxiety is a sustained aversive state that can persist in the absence of discrete threats. Little is known about mechanisms that maintain anxiety states over a prolonged period. Here, we used a robust translational paradigm (threat of shock) to induce sustained anxiety. Recent translational work has implicated an amygdala–prefrontal cortex (PFC) circuit in the maintenance of anxiety in rodents. To explore the functional homologues of this circuitry in humans, we used a novel paradigm to examine the impact of sustained anticipatory anxiety on amygdala–PFC intrinsic connectivity. Methods Task-independent fMRI data were collected in healthy participants during long-duration periods of shock anticipation and safety. We examined intrinsic functional connectivity. Results Our study involved 20 healthy participants. During sustained anxiety, amygdala activity was positively coupled with dorsomedial PFC (DMPFC) activity. High trait anxiety was associated with increased amygdala–DMPFC coupling. In addition, induced anxiety was associated with positive coupling between regions involved in defensive responding, and decreased coupling between regions involved in emotional control and the default mode network. Limitations Inferences regarding anxious pathology should be made with caution because this study was conducted in healthy participants. Conclusion Findings suggest that anticipatory anxiety increases intrinsic amygdala–DMPFC coupling and that the DMPFC may serve as a functional homologue for the rodent prefrontal regions by sustaining anxiety. Future research may use this defensive neural context to identify bio-markers of risk for anxious pathology and target these circuits for therapeutic intervention. PMID:24886788

  9. Cadherin-13 Deficiency Increases Dorsal Raphe 5-HT Neuron Density and Prefrontal Cortex Innervation in the Mouse Brain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea Forero

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Background: During early prenatal stages of brain development, serotonin (5-HT-specific neurons migrate through somal translocation to form the raphe nuclei and subsequently begin to project to their target regions. The rostral cluster of cells, comprising the median and dorsal raphe (DR, innervates anterior regions of the brain, including the prefrontal cortex. Differential analysis of the mouse 5-HT system transcriptome identified enrichment of cell adhesion molecules in 5-HT neurons of the DR. One of these molecules, cadherin-13 (Cdh13 has been shown to play a role in cell migration, axon pathfinding, and synaptogenesis. This study aimed to investigate the contribution of Cdh13 to the development of the murine brain 5-HT system.Methods: For detection of Cdh13 and components of the 5-HT system at different embryonic developmental stages of the mouse brain, we employed immunofluorescence protocols and imaging techniques, including epifluorescence, confocal and structured illumination microscopy. The consequence of CDH13 loss-of-function mutations on brain 5-HT system development was explored in a mouse model of Cdh13 deficiency.Results: Our data show that in murine embryonic brain Cdh13 is strongly expressed on 5-HT specific neurons of the DR and in radial glial cells (RGCs, which are critically involved in regulation of neuronal migration. We observed that 5-HT neurons are intertwined with these RGCs, suggesting that these neurons undergo RGC-guided migration. Cdh13 is present at points of intersection between these two cell types. Compared to wildtype controls, Cdh13-deficient mice display increased cell densities in the DR at embryonic stages E13.5, E17.5, and adulthood, and higher serotonergic innervation of the prefrontal cortex at E17.5.Conclusion: Our findings provide evidence for a role of CDH13 in the development of the serotonergic system in early embryonic stages. Specifically, we indicate that Cdh13 deficiency affects the cell

  10. The dopamine beta-hydroxylase inhibitor nepicastat increases dopamine release and potentiates psychostimulant-induced dopamine release in the prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Devoto, Paola; Flore, Giovanna; Saba, Pierluigi; Bini, Valentina; Gessa, Gian Luigi

    2014-07-01

    The dopamine-beta-hydroxylase inhibitor nepicastat has been shown to reproduce disulfiram ability to suppress the reinstatement of cocaine seeking after extinction in rats. To clarify its mechanism of action, we examined the effect of nepicastat, given alone or in association with cocaine or amphetamine, on catecholamine release in the medial prefrontal cortex and the nucleus accumbens, two key regions involved in the reinforcing and motivational effects of cocaine and in the reinstatement of cocaine seeking. Nepicastat effect on catecholamines was evaluated by microdialysis in freely moving rats. Nepicastat reduced noradrenaline release both in the medial prefrontal cortex and in the nucleus accumbens, and increased dopamine release in the medial prefrontal cortex but not in the nucleus accumbens. Moreover, nepicastat markedly potentiated cocaine- and amphetamine-induced extracellular dopamine accumulation in the medial prefrontal cortex but not in the nucleus accumbens. Extracellular dopamine accumulation produced by nepicastat alone or by its combination with cocaine or amphetamine was suppressed by the α2 -adrenoceptor agonist clonidine. It is suggested that nepicastat, by suppressing noradrenaline synthesis and release, eliminated the α2 -adrenoceptor mediated inhibitory mechanism that constrains dopamine release and cocaine- and amphetamine-induced dopamine release from noradrenaline or dopamine terminals in the medial prefrontal cortex. © 2012 The Authors, Addiction Biology © 2012 Society for the Study of Addiction.

  11. Localized infusions of the partial alpha 7 nicotinic receptor agonist SSR180711 evoke rapid and transient increases in prefrontal glutamate release

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bortz, D M; Mikkelsen, J D; Bruno, J P

    2013-01-01

    The ability of local infusions of the alpha 7 nicotinic acetycholine receptor (α7 nAChR) partial agonist SSR180711 to evoke glutamate release in prefrontal cortex was determined in awake rats using a microelectrode array. Infusions of SSR180711 produced dose-dependent increases in glutamate levels...

  12. Increased transient Na+ conductance and action potential output in layer 2/3 prefrontal cortex neurons of the fmr1-/y mouse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Routh, Brandy N; Rathour, Rahul K; Baumgardner, Michael E; Kalmbach, Brian E; Johnston, Daniel; Brager, Darrin H

    2017-07-01

    + and K + channel function could reliably reproduce the observed increase in action potential firing and altered action potential waveform. These results, in conjunction with our prior findings on L5 neurons, suggest that principal neurons in the circuitry of the medial prefrontal cortex are altered in distinct ways in the fmr1 -/y mouse and may contribute to dysfunctional prefrontal cortex processing in fragile X syndrome. © 2017 The Authors. The Journal of Physiology © 2017 The Physiological Society.

  13. Fasting mediated increase in p-BAD(ser155) and p-AKT(ser473) in the prefrontal cortex of mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pitchaimani, Vigneshwaran; Arumugam, Somasundaram; Thandavarayan, Rajarajan Amirthalingam; Karuppagounder, Vengadeshprabhu; Sreedhar, Remya; Afrin, Rejina; Harima, Meilei; Suzuki, Hiroshi; Miyashita, Shizuka; Nomoto, Mayumi; Sone, Hirohito; Suzuki, Kenji; Watanabe, Kenichi

    2014-09-05

    BAD-deficient mice and fasting have several common functional roles in seizures, beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) uptake in brain and alteration in counterregulatory hormonal regulation during hypoglycemia. Neuronal specific insulin receptor knockout (NIRKO) mice display impaired counterregulatory hormonal responses during hypoglycemia. In this study we investigated the fasting mediated expression of p-BAD(ser155) and p-AKT(ser473) in different regions of brain (prefrontal cortex, hippocampus, midbrain and hypothalamus). Fasting specifically increases p-BAD(ser155) and p-AKT(ser473) in prefrontal cortex and decreases in other regions of brain. Our results suggest that fasting may increase the uptake BHB by decreasing p-BAD(ser155) in the brain during hypoglycemia except prefrontal cortex and it uncovers specific functional area of p-BAD(ser155) and p-AKT(ser473) that may regulates counter regulatory hormonal response. Overall in support with previous findings, fasting mediated hypoglycemia activates prefrontal cortex insulin signaling which influences the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus mediated activation of sympathoadrenal hormonal responses. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. The increase in medial prefrontal glutamate/glutamine concentration during memory encoding is associated with better memory performance and stronger functional connectivity in the human medial prefrontal-thalamus-hippocampus network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thielen, Jan-Willem; Hong, Donghyun; Rohani Rankouhi, Seyedmorteza; Wiltfang, Jens; Fernández, Guillén; Norris, David G; Tendolkar, Indira

    2018-06-01

    The classical model of the declarative memory system describes the hippocampus and its interactions with representational brain areas in posterior neocortex as being essential for the formation of long-term episodic memories. However, new evidence suggests an extension of this classical model by assigning the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) a specific, yet not fully defined role in episodic memory. In this study, we utilized 1H magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) and psychophysiological interaction (PPI) analysis to lend further support for the idea of a mnemonic role of the mPFC in humans. By using MRS, we measured mPFC γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and glutamate/glutamine (GLx) concentrations before and after volunteers memorized face-name association. We demonstrate that mPFC GLx but not GABA levels increased during the memory task, which appeared to be related to memory performance. Regarding functional connectivity, we used the subsequent memory paradigm and found that the GLx increase was associated with stronger mPFC connectivity to thalamus and hippocampus for associations subsequently recognized with high confidence as opposed to subsequently recognized with low confidence/forgotten. Taken together, we provide new evidence for an mPFC involvement in episodic memory by showing a memory-related increase in mPFC excitatory neurotransmitter levels that was associated with better memory and stronger memory-related functional connectivity in a medial prefrontal-thalamus-hippocampus network. © 2018 The Authors Human Brain Mapping Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  15. Dietary-induced binge eating increases prefrontal cortex neural activation to restraint stress and increases binge food consumption following chronic guanfacine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bello, Nicholas T; Walters, Amy L; Verpeut, Jessica L; Caverly, Jonathan

    2014-10-01

    Binge eating is a prominent feature of bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder. Stress or perceived stress is an often-cited reason for binge eating. One notion is that the neural pathways that overlap with stress reactivity and feeding behavior are altered by recurrent binge eating. Using young adult female rats in a dietary-induced binge eating model (30 min access to binge food with or without 24-h calorie restriction, twice a week, for 6 weeks) we measured the neural activation by c-Fos immunoreactivity to the binge food (vegetable shortening mixed with 10% sucrose) in bingeing and non-bingeing animals under acute stress (immobilization; 1 h) or no stress conditions. There was an increase in the number of immunopositive cells in the dorsal medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) in stressed animals previously exposed to the binge eating feeding schedules. Because attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) medications target the mPFC and have some efficacy at reducing binge eating in clinical populations, we examined whether chronic (2 weeks; via IP osmotic mini-pumps) treatment with a selective alpha-2A adrenergic agonist (0.5 mg/kg/day), guanfacine, would reduce binge-like eating. In the binge group with only scheduled access to binge food (30 min; twice a week; 8 weeks), guanfacine increased total calories consumed during the 30-min access period from the 2-week pre-treatment baseline and increased binge food consumption compared with saline-treated animals. These experiments suggest that mPFC is differentially activated in response to an immobilization stress in animals under different dietary conditions and chronic guanfacine, at the dose tested, was ineffective at reducing binge-like eating. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Passive heat exposure induced by hot water leg immersion increased oxyhemoglobin in pre-frontal cortex to preserve oxygenation and did not contribute to impaired cognitive functioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wijayanto, Titis; Toramoto, Sayo; Tochihara, Yutaka

    2013-07-01

    This study investigated the effects of passive heat exposure on pre-frontal cortex oxygenation and cognitive functioning, specifically to examine whether the change in pre-frontal cortex oxygenation coincided with cognitive functioning during heat exposure. Eleven male students who participated in this study immersed their lower legs to the knees in three different water temperatures, 38 °C, 40 °C, and 42 °C water in an air temperature of 28 º C and 50 % relative humidity for 60 min. After 45 min of leg immersion they performed cognitive functioning tasks assessing their short-term memory while immersing their lower legs. There were higher rectal temperature ( P 0.05). No statistical difference in cognitive functioning among the three conditions was observed with a higher increase of oxyhemoglobin during the cognitive functioning in the 42 °C condition for the left ( P = 0.05) and right ( P thermally comfortable.

  17. Cocaine addiction is associated with abnormal prefrontal function, increased striatal connectivity and sensitivity to monetary incentives, and decreased connectivity outside the human reward circuit.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vaquero, Lucía; Cámara, Estela; Sampedro, Frederic; Pérez de Los Cobos, José; Batlle, Francesca; Fabregas, Josep Maria; Sales, Joan Artur; Cervantes, Mercè; Ferrer, Xavier; Lazcano, Gerardo; Rodríguez-Fornells, Antoni; Riba, Jordi

    2017-05-01

    Cocaine addiction has been associated with increased sensitivity of the human reward circuit to drug-related stimuli. However, the capacity of non-drug incentives to engage this network is poorly understood. Here, we characterized the functional sensitivity to monetary incentives and the structural integrity of the human reward circuit in abstinent cocaine-dependent (CD) patients and their matched controls. We assessed the BOLD response to monetary gains and losses in 30 CD patients and 30 healthy controls performing a lottery task in a magnetic resonance imaging scanner. We measured brain gray matter volume (GMV) using voxel-based morphometry and white matter microstructure using voxel-based fractional anisotropy (FA). Functional data showed that, after monetary incentives, CD patients exhibited higher activation in the ventral striatum than controls. Furthermore, we observed an inverted BOLD response pattern in the prefrontal cortex, with activity being highest after unexpected high gains and lowest after losses. Patients showed increased GMV in the caudate and the orbitofrontal cortex, increased white matter FA in the orbito-striatal pathway but decreased FA in antero-posterior association bundles. Abnormal activation in the prefrontal cortex correlated with GMV and FA increases in the orbitofrontal cortex. While functional abnormalities in the ventral striatum were inversely correlated with abstinence duration, structural alterations were not. In conclusion, results suggest abnormal incentive processing in CD patients with high salience for rewards and punishments in subcortical structures but diminished prefrontal control after adverse outcomes. They further suggest that hypertrophy and hyper-connectivity within the reward circuit, to the expense of connectivity outside this network, characterize cocaine addiction. © 2016 Society for the Study of Addiction.

  18. Implicit sequence-specific motor learning after sub-cortical stroke is associated with increased prefrontal brain activations: An fMRI study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meehan, Sean K.; Randhawa, Bubblepreet; Wessel, Brenda; Boyd, Lara A.

    2010-01-01

    Implicit motor learning is preserved after stroke, but how the brain compensates for damage to facilitate learning is unclear. We used a random effects analysis to determine how stroke alters patterns of brain activity during implicit sequence-specific motor learning as compared to general improvements in motor control. Nine healthy participants and 9 individuals with chronic, right focal sub-cortical stroke performed a continuous joystick-based tracking task during an initial fMRI session, over 5 days of practice, and a retention test during a separate fMRI session. Sequence-specific implicit motor learning was differentiated from general improvements in motor control by comparing tracking performance on a novel, repeated tracking sequences during early practice and again at the retention test. Both groups demonstrated implicit sequence-specific motor learning at the retention test, yet substantial differences were apparent. At retention, healthy control participants demonstrated increased BOLD response in left dorsal premotor cortex (BA 6) but decreased BOLD response left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC; BA 9) during repeated sequence tracking. In contrast, at retention individuals with stroke did not show this reduction in DLPFC during repeated tracking. Instead implicit sequence-specific motor learning and general improvements in motor control were associated with increased BOLD response in the left middle frontal gyrus BA 8, regardless of sequence type after stroke. These data emphasize the potential importance of a prefrontal-based attentional network for implicit motor learning after stroke. The present study is the first to highlight the importance of the prefrontal cortex for implicit sequence-specific motor learning after stroke. PMID:20725908

  19. Increased prefrontal hemodynamic change after atomoxetine administration in pediatric attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder as measured by near-infrared spectroscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ota, Toyosaku; Iida, Junzo; Nakanishi, Yoko; Sawada, Satomi; Matsuura, Hiroki; Yamamuro, Kazuhiko; Ueda, Shotaro; Uratani, Mitsuhiro; Kishimoto, Naoko; Negoro, Hideki; Kishimoto, Toshifumi

    2015-03-01

    Atomoxetine, approved in Japan for the treatment of pediatric attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in April 2009, is a nonstimulant that is thought to act presynaptically via the inhibition of norepinephrine reuptake. Near-infrared spectroscopy is a non-invasive optical tool that can be used to study oxygenation and hemodynamic changes in the cerebral cortex. The present study examined the effects of a clinical dose of atomoxetine on changes in prefrontal hemodynamic activity in children with ADHD, as measured by near-infrared spectroscopy using the Stroop Color-Word Task. Ten children with ADHD participated in the present study. We used 24-channel near-infrared spectroscopy to measure the relative concentrations of oxyhemoglobin in the frontal lobes of participants in the drug-naïve condition and those who had received atomoxetine for 8 weeks. Measurements were conducted every 0.1 s during the Stroop Color-Word Task. We used the ADHD Rating Scale-IV-Japanese version (Home Version) to evaluate ADHD symptoms. We found a significant decrease in ADHD Rating Scale-IV-Japanese version scores, from 30.7 to 22.6 (P=0.003). During the Stroop Color-Word Task, we found significantly higher levels of oxyhemoglobin changes in the prefrontal cortex of participants in the atomoxetine condition compared with those in the drug-naïve condition. This increase in oxyhemoglobin changes might indicate an intensified prefrontal hemodynamic response induced by atomoxetine. Near-infrared spectroscopy is a sensitive tool for measuring the pharmacological effects of atomoxetine in children with ADHD. © 2014 The Authors. Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences © 2014 Japanese Society of Psychiatry and Neurology.

  20. Elevated Thyroid Peroxidase Antibody Increases Risk of Post-partum Depression by Decreasing Prefrontal Cortex BDNF and 5-HT Levels in Mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Yingying; Wang, Xinyi; Zhao, Yuhang; Liu, Aihua; Zhao, Tong; Zhang, Yuanyuan; Shan, Zhongyan; Teng, Weiping

    2016-01-01

    Post-partum depression (PPD) is a common mental disease in the perinatal period that profoundly affects mothers and their offspring. Some clinical studies have found that PPD is related to thyroid peroxidase antibodies (TPOAbs); however, the mechanism underlying this relationship is unclear. Female C57BL/6 mice immunized with adenovirus encoding the cDNA of the full-length mTPO (mTPO-Ad) were used to establish the isolated TPOAb-positive mouse model in the present study. Maternal depressive-like behaviors were assessed using the forced swimming test (FST), sucrose preference test (SPT), and tail suspension test (TST) post-partum. The serum TPOAb titer was measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) before pregnancy and post-partum. Furthermore, in the prefrontal cortex, the mRNA and protein expression levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) were measured, serotonin (5-HT) levels were measured by ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass-spectrometry (UHPLC-MS/MS), and total thyroxine (TT4) levels were determined by ELISA. Compared with the controls, the mice immunized with mTPO-Ad displayed depressive behaviors, with a significantly lower sucrose preference (SP) at the 12-h time point and a longer immobility time in the FST and TST, which were accompanied by a lower expression of BDNF and 5-HT but no change in the TT4 concentration in the prefrontal cortex. Together, these findings suggest that elevated TPOAb may increase the risk of subsequent PPD and decrease the concentration of BDNF and 5-HT in the prefrontal cortex.

  1. Pavlovian autoshaping procedures increase plasma corticosterone and levels of norepinephrine and serotonin in prefrontal cortex in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomie, Arthur; Tirado, Aidaluz D; Yu, Lung; Pohorecky, Larissa A

    2004-08-12

    Pavlovian autoshaping procedures provide for pairings of a small object conditioned stimulus (CS) with a rewarding substance unconditioned stimulus (US), resulting in the acquisition of complex sequences of CS-directed skeletal-motor responses or autoshaping conditioned responses (CRs). Autoshaping procedures induce higher post-session levels of corticosterone than in controls receiving CS and US randomly, and the enhanced post-session corticosterone levels have been attributed to the appetitive or arousal-inducing effects of autoshaping procedures. Enhanced corticosterone release can be induced by aversive stimulation or stressful situations, where it is often accompanied by higher levels of norepinephrine (NE) and serotonin (5-HT) in prefrontal cortex (PFC) but not in striatum (ST). Effects of autoshaping procedures on post-session corticosterone levels, NE contents in PFC, and 5-HT contents in PFC and ST were investigated in male Long-Evans rats. Post-session blood samples revealed higher corticosterone levels in the CS-US Paired group (n = 46) than in the CS-US Random control group (n = 21), and brain samples revealed higher levels of PFC NE and 5-HT in CS-US Paired group. Striatal 5-HT levels were unaltered by the autoshaping procedures. Autoshaping procedures provide for appetitive stimulation and induce an arousal-like state, as well as simultaneous stress-like changes in plasma corticosterone and monoamine levels in PFC. Autoshaping, therefore, may be useful for the study of endocrine and central processes associated with appetitive conditions.

  2. Connecting to create: expertise in musical improvisation is associated with increased functional connectivity between premotor and prefrontal areas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pinho, Ana Luísa; de Manzano, Örjan; Fransson, Peter; Eriksson, Helene; Ullén, Fredrik

    2014-04-30

    Musicians have been used extensively to study neural correlates of long-term practice, but no studies have investigated the specific effects of training musical creativity. Here, we used human functional MRI to measure brain activity during improvisation in a sample of 39 professional pianists with varying backgrounds in classical and jazz piano playing. We found total hours of improvisation experience to be negatively associated with activity in frontoparietal executive cortical areas. In contrast, improvisation training was positively associated with functional connectivity of the bilateral dorsolateral prefrontal cortices, dorsal premotor cortices, and presupplementary areas. The effects were significant when controlling for hours of classical piano practice and age. These results indicate that even neural mechanisms involved in creative behaviors, which require a flexible online generation of novel and meaningful output, can be automated by training. Second, improvisational musical training can influence functional brain properties at a network level. We show that the greater functional connectivity seen in experienced improvisers may reflect a more efficient exchange of information within associative networks of importance for musical creativity.

  3. Increased activity in the right prefrontal cortex measured using near-infrared spectroscopy during a flower arrangement task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morita, Yuka; Ebara, Fumio; Morita, Yoshimitsu; Horikawa, Etsuo

    2018-03-01

    Flower arrangement program (FAP) horticultural therapy promotes psychological, social and physiological wellness and recovery. Moreover, FAPs have been used to evaluate the outcomes related to visuospatial working memory; yet, most of these studies used subjective outcome measures such as behavioural observations and questionnaires. Few studies report objective evaluations of FAP effects in humans. In the present study, we measured the effects of an FAP task on frontal lobe activity in healthy participants using near-infrared spectroscopy. We quantified salivary amylase levels as an indicator of stress level during the FAP. The FAP task involved a predetermined arrangement pattern of natural materials (flowers and leaves) that required the participants to identify where a given material should be placed and temporarily memorise the designated position to complete the flower arrangement. The FAP task was compared to the block-tapping task (BTT), which is routinely used to evaluate visuospatial working memory. Both the FAP task and BTT positively stimulated the right prefrontal cortex; however, stress was more effectively limited during the performance of the FAP task. Our data suggest that FAP therapy may be useful for the rehabilitation of patients who are sensitive to stress.

  4. Adenosine A2A receptors modulate the dopamine D2 receptor-mediated inhibition of synaptic transmission in the mouse prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Real, Joana I; Simões, Ana Patrícia; Cunha, Rodrigo A; Ferreira, Samira G; Rial, Daniel

    2018-05-01

    Prefrontal cortex (PFC) circuits are modulated by dopamine acting on D 1 - and D 2 -like receptors, which are pharmacologically exploited to manage neuropsychiatric conditions. Adenosine A 2A receptors (A 2 A R) also control PFC-related responses and A 2 A R antagonists are potential anti-psychotic drugs. As tight antagonistic A 2 A R-D 2 R and synergistic A 2 A R-D 1 R interactions occur in other brain regions, we now investigated the crosstalk between A 2 A R and D 1 /D 2 R controlling synaptic transmission between layers II/III and V in mouse PFC coronal slices. Dopamine decreased synaptic transmission, a presynaptic effect based on the parallel increase in paired-pulse responses. Dopamine inhibition was prevented by the D 2 R-like antagonist sulpiride but not by the D 1 R antagonist SCH23390 and was mimicked by the D 2 R agonist sumanirole, but not by the agonists of either D 4 R (A-412997) or D 3 R (PD128907). Dopamine inhibition was prevented by the A 2 A R antagonist, SCH58261, and attenuated in A 2 A R knockout mice. Accordingly, triple-labelling immunocytochemistry experiments revealed the co-localization of A 2 A R and D 2 R immunoreactivity in glutamatergic (vGluT1-positive) nerve terminals of the PFC. This reported positive A 2 A R-D 2 R interaction controlling PFC synaptic transmission provides a mechanistic justification for the anti-psychotic potential of A 2 A R antagonists. © 2018 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  5. Peripuberty stress leads to abnormal aggression, altered amygdala and orbitofrontal reactivity and increased prefrontal MAOA gene expression

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Márquez, C; Poirier, G L; Cordero, M I

    2013-01-01

    Although adverse early life experiences have been found to increase lifetime risk to develop violent behaviors, the neurobiological mechanisms underlying these long-term effects remain unclear. We present a novel animal model for pathological aggression induced by peripubertal exposure to stress ...

  6. Long Withdrawal of Methylphenidate Induces a Differential Response of the Dopaminergic System and Increases Sensitivity to Cocaine in the Prefrontal Cortex of Spontaneously Hypertensive Rats.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maurício dos Santos Pereira

    Full Text Available Methylphenidate (MPD is one of the most prescribed drugs for alleviating the symptoms of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD. However, changes in the molecular mechanisms related to MPD withdrawal and susceptibility to consumption of other psychostimulants in normal individuals or individuals with ADHD phenotype are not completely understood. The aims of the present study were: (i to characterize the molecular differences in the prefrontal dopaminergic system of SHR and Wistar strains, (ii to establish the neurochemical consequences of short- (24 hours and long-term (10 days MPD withdrawal after a subchronic treatment (30 days with Ritalin® (Methylphenidate Hydrochloride; 2.5 mg/kg orally, (iii to investigate the dopaminergic synaptic functionality after a cocaine challenge in adult MPD-withdrawn SHR and Wistar rats. Our results indicate that SHR rats present reduced [3H]-Dopamine uptake and cAMP accumulation in the prefrontal cortex (PFC and are not responsive to dopaminergic stimuli in when compared to Wistar rats. After a 24-hour withdrawal of MPD, SHR did not present any alterations in [3H]-Dopamine Uptake, [3H]-SCH 23390 binding and cAMP production; nonetheless, after a 10-day MPD withdrawal, the results showed a significant increase of [3H]-Dopamine uptake, of the quantity of [3H]-SCH 23390 binding sites and of cAMP levels in these animals. Finally, SHR that underwent a 10-day MPD withdrawal and were challenged with cocaine (10 mg/kg i.p. presented reduced [3H]-Dopamine uptake and increased cAMP production. Wistar rats were affected by the 10-day withdrawal of MPD in [3H]-dopamine uptake but not in cAMP accumulation; in addition, cocaine was unable to induce significant modifications in [3H]-dopamine uptake and in cAMP levels after the 10-day withdrawal of MPD. These results indicate a mechanism that could explain the high comorbidity between ADHD adolescent patients under methylphenidate treatment and substance abuse in adult

  7. The 5-HT1A/1B-receptor agonist eltoprazine increases both catecholamine release in the prefrontal cortex and dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens and decreases motivation for reward and "waiting" impulsivity, but increases "stopping" impulsivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Korte, S Mechiel; Prins, Jolanda; Van den Bergh, Filip S; Oosting, Ronald S; Dupree, Rudy; Korte-Bouws, Gerdien A H; Westphal, Koen G C; Olivier, Berend; Denys, Damiaan A; Garland, Alexis; Güntürkün, Onur

    2017-01-05

    The 5-HT 1A/1B -receptor agonist eltoprazine has a behavioral drug signature that resembles that of a variety of psychostimulant drugs, despite the differences in receptor binding profile. These psychostimulants are effective in treating impulsivity disorders, most likely because they increase norepinephrine (NE) and dopamine (DA) levels in the prefrontal cortex. Both amphetamine and methylphenidate, however, also increase dopamine levels in the nucleus accumbens (NAc), which has a significant role in motivation, pleasure, and reward. How eltoprazine affects monoamine release in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), and the NAc is unknown. It is also unknown whether eltoprazine affects different forms of impulsivity and brain reward mechanisms. Therefore, in the present study, we investigate the effects of eltoprazine in rats in the following sequence: 1) the activity of the monoaminergic systems using in vivo microdialysis, 2) motivation for reward measured using the intracranial self-stimulation (ICSS) procedure, and finally, 3) "waiting" impulsivity in the delay-aversion task, and the "stopping" impulsivity in the stop-signal task. The microdialysis studies clearly showed that eltoprazine increased DA and NE release in both the mPFC and OFC, but only increased DA concentration in the NAc. In contrast, eltoprazine decreased 5-HT release in the mPFC and NAc (undetectable in the OFC). Remarkably, eltoprazine decreased impulsive choice, but increased impulsive action. Furthermore, brain stimulation was less rewarding following eltoprazine treatment. These results further support the long-standing hypothesis that "waiting" and "stopping" impulsivity are regulated by distinct neural circuits, because 5-HT 1A/1B -receptor activation decreases impulsive choice, but increases impulsive action. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Structural and Functional Plasticity within the Nucleus Accumbens and Prefrontal Cortex Associated with Time-Dependent Increases in Food Cue-Seeking Behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dingess, Paige M; Darling, Rebecca A; Derman, Rifka C; Wulff, Shaun S; Hunter, Melissa L; Ferrario, Carrie R; Brown, Travis E

    2017-11-01

    Urges to consume food can be driven by stimuli in the environment that are associated with previous food experience. Identifying adaptations within brain reward circuits that facilitate cue-induced food seeking is critical for understanding and preventing the overconsumption of food and subsequent weight gain. Utilizing electrophysiological, biochemical, and DiI labeling, we examined functional and structural changes in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) and prefrontal cortex (PFC) associated with time-dependent increases in food craving ('incubation of craving'). Rats self-administered 60% high fat or chow 45 mg pellets and were then tested for incubation of craving either 1 or 30 days after training. High fat was chosen for comparison to determine whether palatability differentially affected incubation and/or plasticity. Rats showed robust incubation of craving for both food rewards, although responding for cues previously associated with high fat was greater than chow at both 1 and 30 days. In addition, previous experience with high-fat consumption reduced dendritic spine density in the PFC at both time points. In contrast, incubation was associated with an increase in NAc spine density and α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptor (AMPAR)-mediated transmission at 30 days in both groups. Finally, incubation of craving for chow and high fat was accompanied by an increase in calcium-permeable and calcium-impermeable AMPARs, respectively. Our results suggest that incubation of food craving alters brain reward circuitry and macronutrient composition specifically induces cortical changes in a way that may facilitate maladaptive food-seeking behaviors.

  9. Inhibition of GABA synthesis in the prefrontal cortex increases locomotor activity but does not affect attention in the 5-choice serial reaction time task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asinof, Samuel K; Paine, Tracie A

    2013-02-01

    Attention deficits are a core cognitive symptom of schizophrenia; the neuropathology underlying these deficits is not known. Attention is regulated, at least in part, by the prefrontal cortex (PFC), a brain area in which pathology of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) neurons has been consistently observed in post-mortem analysis of the brains of people with schizophrenia. Specifically, expression of the 67-kD isoform of the GABA synthesis enzyme glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD67) is reduced in parvalbumin-containing fast-spiking GABA interneurons. Thus it is hypothesized that reduced cortical GABA synthesis and release may contribute to the attention deficits in schizophrenia. Here the effect of reducing cortical GABA synthesis with l-allylglycine (LAG) on attention was tested using three different versions of the 5-choice serial reaction time task (5CSRTT). Because 5CSRTT performance can be affected by locomotor activity, we also measured this behavior in an open field. Finally, the expression of Fos protein was used as an indirect measure of reduced GABA synthesis. Intra-cortical LAG (10 μg/0.5 μl/side) infusions increased Fos expression and resulted in hyperactivity in the open field. Intra-cortical LAG infusions did not affect attention in any version of the 5CSRTT. These results suggest that a general decrease in GABA synthesis is not sufficient to cause attention deficits. It remains to be tested whether a selective decrease in GABA synthesis in parvalbumin-containing GABA neurons could cause attention deficits. Decreased cortical GABA synthesis did increase locomotor activity; this may reflect the positive symptoms of schizophrenia. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Selective increases of AMPA, NMDA and kainate receptor subunit mRNAs in the hippocampus and orbitofrontal cortex but not in prefrontal cortex of human alcoholics

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    Zhe eJin

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Glutamate is the main excitatory transmitter in the human brain. Drugs that affect the glutamatergic signaling will alter neuronal excitability. Ethanol inhibits glutamate receptors. We examined the expression level of glutamate receptor subunit mRNAs in human post-mortem samples from alcoholics and compared the results to brain samples from control subjects. RNA from hippocampal dentate gyrus (HP-DG, orbitofrontal cortex (OFC, and dorso-lateral prefrontal cortex (DL-PFC samples from 21 controls and 19 individuals with chronic alcohol dependence were included in the study. Total RNA was assayed using quantitative RT-PCR. Out of the 16 glutamate receptor subunits, mRNAs encoding two AMPA (2-amino-3-(3-hydroxy-5-methyl-isoxazol-4-ylpropanoic acid receptor subunits GluA2 and GluA3; three kainate receptor subunits GluK2, GluK3 and GluK5 and five NMDA (N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor subunits GluN1, GluN2A, GluN2C, GluN2D and GluN3A were significantly increased in the HP-DG region in alcoholics. In the OFC, mRNA encoding the NMDA receptor subunit GluN3A was increased, whereas in the DL-PFC, no differences in mRNA levels were observed. Our laboratory has previously shown that the expression of genes encoding inhibitory GABA-A receptors is altered in the HP-DG and OFC of alcoholics (Jin et al., 2011. Whether the changes in one neurotransmitter system drives changes in the other or if they change independently is currently not known. The results demonstrate that excessive long-term alcohol consumption is associated with altered expression of genes encoding glutamate receptors in a brain region-specific manner. It is an intriguing possibility that genetic predisposition to alcoholism may contribute to these gene expression changes.

  11. Antagonism at the NR2B subunit of NMDA receptors induces increased connectivity of the prefrontal and subcortical regions regulating reward behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gass, Natalia; Becker, Robert; Sack, Markus; Schwarz, Adam J; Reinwald, Jonathan; Cosa-Linan, Alejandro; Zheng, Lei; von Hohenberg, Christian Clemm; Inta, Dragos; Meyer-Lindenberg, Andreas; Weber-Fahr, Wolfgang; Gass, Peter; Sartorius, Alexander

    2018-04-01

    Evidence indicates that ketamine's rapid antidepressant efficacy likely results from its antagonism of NR2B-subunit-containing NMDA receptors (NMDAR). Since ketamine equally blocks NR2A- and NR2B-containing NMDAR, and has affinity to other receptors, NR2B-selective drugs might have improved therapeutic efficiency and side effect profile. We aimed to compare the effects of (S)-ketamine and two different types of NR2B-selective antagonists on functional brain networks in rats, in order to find common circuits, where their effects intersect, and that might explain their antidepressant action. The experimental design comprised four parallel groups of rats (N = 37), each receiving (S)-Ketamine, CP-101,606, Ro 25-6981 or saline. After compound injection, we acquired resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging time series. We used graph theoretical approach to calculate brain network properties. Ketamine and CP-101,606 diminished the global clustering coefficient and small-worldness index. At the nodal level, all compounds induced increased connectivity of the regions mediating reward and cognitive aspects of emotional processing, such as ventromedial prefrontal cortex, septal nuclei, and nucleus accumbens. The dorsal hippocampus and regions involved in sensory processing and aversion, such as superior and inferior colliculi, exhibited an opposite effect. The effects common to ketamine and NR2B-selective compounds were localized to the same brain regions as those reported in depression, but in the opposite direction. The upregulation of the reward circuitry might partially underlie the antidepressant and anti-anhedonic effects of the antagonists and could potentially serve as a translational imaging phenotype for testing putative antidepressants, especially those targeting the NR2B receptor subtype.

  12. The Neural Basis of Recollection Rejection: Increases in Hippocampal-Prefrontal Connectivity in the Absence of a Shared Recall-to-Reject and Target Recollection Network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowman, Caitlin R; Dennis, Nancy A

    2016-08-01

    Recollection rejection or "recall-to-reject" is a mechanism that has been posited to help maintain accurate memory by preventing the occurrence of false memories. Recollection rejection occurs when the presentation of a new item during recognition triggers recall of an associated target, a mismatch in features between the new and old items is registered, and the lure is correctly rejected. Critically, this characterization of recollection rejection involves a recall signal that is conceptually similar to recollection as elicited by a target. However, previous neuroimaging studies have not evaluated the extent to which recollection rejection and target recollection rely on a common neural signal but have instead focused on recollection rejection as a postretrieval monitoring process. This study utilized a false memory paradigm in conjunction with an adapted remember-know-new response paradigm that separated "new" responses based on recollection rejection from those that were based on a lack of familiarity with the item. This procedure allowed for parallel recollection rejection and target recollection contrasts to be computed. Results revealed that, contrary to predictions from theoretical and behavioral literature, there was virtually no evidence of a common retrieval mechanism supporting recollection rejection and target recollection. Instead of the typical target recollection network, recollection rejection recruited a network of lateral prefrontal and bilateral parietal regions that is consistent with the retrieval monitoring network identified in previous neuroimaging studies of recollection rejection. However, a functional connectivity analysis revealed a component of the frontoparietal rejection network that showed increased coupling with the right hippocampus during recollection rejection responses. As such, we demonstrate a possible link between PFC monitoring network and basic retrieval mechanisms within the hippocampus that was not revealed with

  13. Inhibition of GABA synthesis in the prefrontal cortex increases locomotor activity but does not affect attention in the 5-choice serial reaction time task

    OpenAIRE

    Asinof, Samuel K.; Paine, Tracie A.

    2012-01-01

    Attention deficits are a core cognitive symptom of schizophrenia; the neuropathology underlying these deficits is not known. Attention is regulated, at least in part, by the prefrontal cortex (PFC), a brain area in which pathology of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) neurons has been consistently observed in post-mortem analysis of the brains of people with schizophrenia. Specifically, expression of the 67-kD isoform of the GABA synthesis enzyme glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD67) is reduced in parv...

  14. Low-frequency brain stimulation to the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex increases the negative impact of social exclusion among those high in personal distress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fitzgibbon, Bernadette Mary; Kirkovski, Melissa; Bailey, Neil Wayne; Thomson, Richard Hilton; Eisenberger, Naomi; Enticott, Peter Gregory; Fitzgerald, Paul Bernard

    2017-06-01

    The dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) is thought to play a key role in the cognitive control of emotion and has therefore, unsurprisingly, been implicated in the regulation of physical pain perception. This brain region may also influence the experience of social pain, which has been shown to activate similar neural networks as seen in response to physical pain. Here, we applied sham or active low-frequency (1 Hz) repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) to the left DLPFC, previously shown to exert bilateral effects in pain perception, in healthy participants. Following stimulation, participants played the "Cyberball Task"; an online ball-tossing game in which the subject participant is included or excluded. Compared to sham, rTMS did not modulate behavioural response to social exclusion. However, within the active rTMS group only, greater trait personal distress was related to enhanced negative outcomes to social exclusion. These results add further support to the notion that the effect of brain stimulation is not homogenous across individuals, and indicates the need to consider baseline individual differences when assessing response to brain stimulation. This seems particularly relevant in social neuroscience investigations, where trait factors may have a meaningful effect.

  15. Working Memory in the Prefrontal Cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Funahashi, Shintaro

    2017-01-01

    The prefrontal cortex participates in a variety of higher cognitive functions. The concept of working memory is now widely used to understand prefrontal functions. Neurophysiological studies have revealed that stimulus-selective delay-period activity is a neural correlate of the mechanism for temporarily maintaining information in working memory processes. The central executive, which is the master component of Baddeley’s working memory model and is thought to be a function of the prefrontal cortex, controls the performance of other components by allocating a limited capacity of memory resource to each component based on its demand. Recent neurophysiological studies have attempted to reveal how prefrontal neurons achieve the functions of the central executive. For example, the neural mechanisms of memory control have been examined using the interference effect in a dual-task paradigm. It has been shown that this interference effect is caused by the competitive and overloaded recruitment of overlapping neural populations in the prefrontal cortex by two concurrent tasks and that the information-processing capacity of a single neuron is limited to a fixed level, can be flexibly allocated or reallocated between two concurrent tasks based on their needs, and enhances behavioral performance when its allocation to one task is increased. Further, a metamemory task requiring spatial information has been used to understand the neural mechanism for monitoring its own operations, and it has been shown that monitoring the quality of spatial information represented by prefrontal activity is an important factor in the subject's choice and that the strength of spatially selective delay-period activity reflects confidence in decision-making. Although further studies are needed to elucidate how the prefrontal cortex controls memory resource and supervises other systems, some important mechanisms related to the central executive have been identified. PMID:28448453

  16. Typical and Atypical Antipsychotic Drugs Increase Extracellular Histamine Levels in the Rat Medial Prefrontal Cortex: Contribution of Histamine H1 Receptor Blockade

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kjell A Svensson

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Atypical antipsychotics such as clozapine and olanzapine have been shown to enhance histamine turnover and this effect has been hypothesized to contribute to their improved therapeutic profile compared to typical antipsychotics. In the present study, we examined the effects of antipsychotic drugs on histamine (HA efflux in the mPFC of the rat by means of in vivo microdialysis and sought to differentiate the receptor mechanisms which underlie such effects. Olanzapine and clozapine increased mPFC HA efflux in a dose related manner. Increased HA efflux was also observed after quetiapine, chlorpromazine and perphenazine treatment. We found no effect of the selective 5-HT2A antagonist MDL100907, 5-HT2c antagonist SB242084 or the 5-HT6 antagonist Ro 04-6790 on mPFC HA efflux. HA efflux was increased following treatment with selective H1 receptor antagonists pyrilamine, diphenhydramine and triprolidine, the H3 receptor antagonist ciproxifan and the mixed 5HT2A/H1 receptor antagonist ketanserin. The potential novel antipsychotic drug FMPD, which has a lower affinity at H1 receptors than olanzapine, did not affect HA efflux. Similarly, other antipsychotics with lower H1 receptor affinity (risperidone, aripiprazole and haloperidol were also without effect on HA efflux. Perfusion of clozapine and pyrilamine into the TMN, but not the mPFC, increased local HA efflux. Finally, HA efflux after antipsychotic treatment was significantly correlated with affinity at H1 receptors whereas 9 other receptors, including 5-HT2A, were not. These results demonstrate that both typical and atypical antipsychotics increase mPFC histamine efflux and this effect may be mediated via antagonism of histamine H1 receptors.

  17. Regulating prefrontal cortex activation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Aznar, Susana; Klein, Anders Bue

    2013-01-01

    The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is involved in mediating important higher-order cognitive processes such as decision making, prompting thereby our actions. At the same time, PFC activation is strongly influenced by emotional reactions through its functional interaction with the amygdala...... of emotion-based actions, such as addiction and other impulse-related behaviors. In this review, we give an overview of the 5-HT2A receptor distribution (neuronal, intracellular, and anatomical) along with its functional and physiological effect on PFC activation, and how that relates to more recent findings...... of a regulatory effect of the PFC on the emotional control of our actions....

  18. Capacity-speed relationships in prefrontal cortex.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vivek Prabhakaran

    Full Text Available Working memory (WM capacity and WM processing speed are simple cognitive measures that underlie human performance in complex processes such as reasoning and language comprehension. These cognitive measures have shown to be interrelated in behavioral studies, yet the neural mechanism behind this interdependence has not been elucidated. We have carried out two functional MRI studies to separately identify brain regions involved in capacity and speed. Experiment 1, using a block-design WM verbal task, identified increased WM capacity with increased activity in right prefrontal regions, and Experiment 2, using a single-trial WM verbal task, identified increased WM processing speed with increased activity in similar regions. Our results suggest that right prefrontal areas may be a common region interlinking these two cognitive measures. Moreover, an overlap analysis with regions associated with binding or chunking suggest that this strategic memory consolidation process may be the mechanism interlinking WM capacity and WM speed.

  19. Prefrontal system dysfunction and credit card debt.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spinella, Marcello; Yang, Bijou; Lester, David

    2004-10-01

    Credit card use often involves a disadvantageous allocation of finances because they allow for spending beyond means and buying on impulse. Accordingly they are associated with increased bankruptcy, anxiety, stress, and health problems. Mounting evidence from functional neuroimaging and clinical studies implicates prefrontal-subcortical systems in processing financial information. This study examined the relationship of credit card debt and executive functions using the Frontal System Behavior Scale (FRSBE). After removing the influences of demographic variables (age, sex, education, and income), credit card debt was associated with the Executive Dysfunction scale, but not the Apathy or Disinhibition scales. This suggests that processes of conceptualizing and organizing finances are most relevant to credit card debt, and implicates dorsolateral prefrontal dysfunction.

  20. Increases in [3H]muscimol and [3H]flumazenil binding in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in schizophrenia are linked to α4 and γ2S mRNA levels respectively.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mathieu Verdurand

    Full Text Available GABA(A receptors (GABA(AR are composed of several subunits that determine sensitivity to drugs, synaptic localisation and function. Recent studies suggest that agonists targeting selective GABA(AR subunits may have therapeutic value against the cognitive impairments observed in schizophrenia. In this study, we determined whether GABA(AR binding deficits exist in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC of people with schizophrenia and tested if changes in GABA(AR binding are related to the changes in subunit mRNAs. The GABA orthosteric and the benzodiazepine allosteric binding sites were assessed autoradiographically using [(3H]Muscimol and [(3H]Flumazenil, respectively, in a large cohort of individuals with schizophrenia (n = 37 and their matched controls (n = 37. We measured, using qPCR, mRNA of β (β1, β2, β3, γ (γ1, γ2, γ2S for short and γ2L for long isoform, γ3 and δ subunits and used our previous measurements of GABA(AR α subunit mRNAs in order to relate mRNAs and binding through correlation and regression analysis.Significant increases in both [(3H]Muscimol (p = 0.016 and [(3H]Flumazenil (p = 0.012 binding were found in the DLPFC of schizophrenia patients. Expression levels of mRNA subunits measured did not show any significant difference in schizophrenia compared to controls. Regression analysis revealed that in schizophrenia, the [(3H]Muscimol binding variance was most related to α4 mRNA levels and the [(3H]Flumazenil binding variance was most related to γ2S subunit mRNA levels. [(3H]Muscimol and [(3H]Flumazenil binding were not affected by the lifetime anti-psychotics dose (chlorpromazine equivalent.We report parallel increases in orthosteric and allosteric GABA(AR binding sites in the DLPFC in schizophrenia that may be related to a "shift" in subunit composition towards α4 and γ2S respectively, which may compromise normal GABAergic modulation and function. Our results may have implications for the

  1. Distraction decreases prefrontal oxygenation: A NIRS study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ozawa, Sachiyo; Hiraki, Kazuo

    2017-04-01

    When near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) is used to measure emotion-related cerebral blood flow (CBF) changes in the prefrontal cortex regions, the functional distinction of CBF changes is often difficult because NIRS is unable to measure neural activity in deeper brain regions that play major roles in emotional processing. The CBF changes could represent cognitive control of emotion and emotional responses to emotional materials. Supposing that emotion-related CBF changes in the prefrontal cortex regions during distraction are emotional responses, we examined whether oxygenated hemoglobin (oxyHb) decreases. Attention-demanding tasks cause blood flow decreases, and we thus compared the effects of visually paced tapping with different tempos, on distraction. The results showed that the oxyHb level induced by emotional stimulation decreased with fast-tempo tapping significantly more than slow-tempo tapping in ventral medial prefrontal cortex regions. Moreover, a Global-Local task following tapping showed significantly greater local-minus-global response time (RT) difference scores in the fast- and mid-tempo condition compared with those in the slow-tempo, suggesting an increased attentional focus, and decreased negative emotion. The overall findings indicate that oxyHb changes in a relatively long distraction task, as measured by NIRS, are associated with emotional responses, and oxyHb can be decreased by successfully performing attention-demanding distraction tasks. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Impaired prefrontal hemodynamic maturation in autism and unaffected siblings.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuki Kawakubo

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Dysfunctions of the prefrontal cortex have been previously reported in individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD. Previous studies reported that first-degree relatives of individuals with ASD show atypical brain activity during tasks associated with social function. However, developmental changes in prefrontal dysfunction in ASD and genetic influences on the phenomena remain unclear. In the present study, we investigated the change in hemoglobin concentration in the prefrontal cortex as measured with near-infrared spectroscopy, in children and adults with ASD during the letter fluency test. Moreover, to clarify the genetic influences on developmental changes in the prefrontal dysfunction in ASD, unaffected siblings of the ASD participants were also assessed. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Study participants included 27 individuals with high-functioning ASD, age- and IQ-matched 24 healthy non-affected siblings, and 27 unrelated healthy controls aged 5 to 39 years. The relative concentration of hemoglobin ([Hb] in the prefrontal cortex was measured during the letter fluency task. For children, neither the [oxy-Hb] change during the task nor task performances differed significantly among three groups. For adults, the [oxy-Hb] increases during the task were significantly smaller in the bilateral prefrontal cortex in ASD than those in control subjects, although task performances were similar. In the adult siblings the [oxy-Hb] change was intermediate between those in controls and ASDs. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: Although indirectly due to a cross-sectional design, the results of this study indicate altered age-related change of prefrontal activity during executive processing in ASD. This is a first near-infrared spectroscopy study that implies alteration in the age-related changes of prefrontal activity in ASD and genetic influences on the phenomena.

  3. The 5-HT1A/1B-receptor agonist eltoprazine increases both catecholamine release in the prefrontal cortex and dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens and decreases motivation for reward and "waiting" impulsivity, but increases "stopping" impulsivity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Korte, S. Mechiel; Prins, Jolanda; van den Bergh, Filip S.; Oosting, Ronald S.; Dupree, Rudy; Korte-Bouws, Gerdien A. H.; Westphal, Koen G. C.; Olivier, Berend; Denys, Damiaan A.; Garland, Alexis; Güntürkün, Onur

    2017-01-01

    The 5-HT1A/1B-receptor agonist eltoprazine has a behavioral drug signature that resembles that of a variety of psychostimulant drugs, despite the differences in receptor binding profile. These psychostimulants are effective in treating impulsivity disorders, most likely because they increase

  4. MRI volumetry of prefrontal cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheline, Yvette I.; Black, Kevin J.; Lin, Daniel Y.; Pimmel, Joseph; Wang, Po; Haller, John W.; Csernansky, John G.; Gado, Mokhtar; Walkup, Ronald K.; Brunsden, Barry S.; Vannier, Michael W.

    1995-05-01

    Prefrontal cortex volumetry by brain magnetic resonance (MR) is required to estimate changes postulated to occur in certain psychiatric and neurologic disorders. A semiautomated method with quantitative characterization of its performance is sought to reliably distinguish small prefrontal cortex volume changes within individuals and between groups. Stereological methods were tested by a blinded comparison of measurements applied to 3D MR scans obtained using an MPRAGE protocol. Fixed grid stereologic methods were used to estimate prefrontal cortex volumes on a graphic workstation, after the images are scaled from 16 to 8 bits using a histogram method. In addition images were resliced into coronal sections perpendicular to the bicommissural plane. Prefrontal cortex volumes were defined as all sections of the frontal lobe anterior to the anterior commissure. Ventricular volumes were excluded. Stereological measurement yielded high repeatability and precision, and was time efficient for the raters. The coefficient of error was volumetry by stereology can yield accurate and repeatable measurements. Small frontal lobe volume reductions in patients with brain disorders such as depression and schizophrenia can be efficiently assessed using this method.

  5. The amygdala and ventromedial prefrontal cortex in morality and psychopathy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blair, R J R

    2007-09-01

    Recent work has implicated the amygdala and ventromedial prefrontal cortex in morality and, when dysfunctional, psychopathy. This model proposes that the amygdala, through stimulus-reinforcement learning, enables the association of actions that harm others with the aversive reinforcement of the victims' distress. Consequent information on reinforcement expectancy, fed forward to the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, can guide the healthy individual away from moral transgressions. In psychopathy, dysfunction in these structures means that care-based moral reasoning is compromised and the risk that antisocial behavior is used instrumentally to achieve goals is increased.

  6. Stress amplifies sex differences in primate prefrontal profiles of gene expression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Alex G; Hagenauer, Megan; Absher, Devin; Morrison, Kathleen E; Bale, Tracy L; Myers, Richard M; Watson, Stanley J; Akil, Huda; Schatzberg, Alan F; Lyons, David M

    2017-11-02

    Stress is a recognized risk factor for mood and anxiety disorders that occur more often in women than men. Prefrontal brain regions mediate stress coping, cognitive control, and emotion. Here, we investigate sex differences and stress effects on prefrontal cortical profiles of gene expression in squirrel monkey adults. Dorsolateral, ventrolateral, and ventromedial prefrontal cortical regions from 18 females and 12 males were collected after stress or no-stress treatment conditions. Gene expression profiles were acquired using HumanHT-12v4.0 Expression BeadChip arrays adapted for squirrel monkeys. Extensive variation between prefrontal cortical regions was discerned in the expression of numerous autosomal and sex chromosome genes. Robust sex differences were also identified across prefrontal cortical regions in the expression of mostly autosomal genes. Genes with increased expression in females compared to males were overrepresented in mitogen-activated protein kinase and neurotrophin signaling pathways. Many fewer genes with increased expression in males compared to females were discerned, and no molecular pathways were identified. Effect sizes for sex differences were greater in stress compared to no-stress conditions for ventromedial and ventrolateral prefrontal cortical regions but not dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. Stress amplifies sex differences in gene expression profiles for prefrontal cortical regions involved in stress coping and emotion regulation. Results suggest molecular targets for new treatments of stress disorders in human mental health.

  7. The role of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex in memory consolidation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nieuwenhuis, I.L.C.; Takashima, A.

    2011-01-01

    System-level memory consolidation theory posits that the hippocampus initially links the neocortical representations, followed by a shift to a hippocampus-independent neocortical network. With consolidation, an increase in activity in the human subgenual ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) has

  8. Dysfunctional amygdala activation and connectivity with the prefrontal cortex in current cocaine users

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Crunelle, Cleo L.; Kaag, Anne Marije; van den Munkhof, Hanna E.; Reneman, Liesbeth; Homberg, Judith R.; Sabbe, Bernard; van den Brink, Wim; van Wingen, Guido

    2015-01-01

    Stimulant use is associated with increased anxiety and a single administration of dexamphetamine increases amygdala activation to biologically salient stimuli in healthy individuals. Here, we investigate how current cocaine use affects amygdala activity and amygdala connectivity with the prefrontal

  9. The positive effects of high-frequency right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation on memory, correlated with increases in brain metabolites detected by proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy in recently detoxified alcohol-dependent patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qiao, Jun; Jin, Guixing; Lei, Licun; Wang, Lan; Du, Yaqiang; Wang, Xueyi

    2016-01-01

    To explore the effect of right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) on memory, and its correlation with levels of hippocampal brain metabolites detected by proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy ( 1 H-MRS) in recently detoxified alcohol-dependent patients. In this randomized, double-blind sham-controlled trial, alcohol-dependent patients were enrolled and randomized into two groups: the experimental group (rTMS, 10 Hz, on right DLPFC, 20 sessions) and the control group (sham stimulation). Memory function was assessed using Hopkins Verbal Learning Test-Revised (HVLT-R) and Brief Visuospatial Memory Test-Revised (BVMT-R) before and after treatment. 1 H-MRS was used to detect the levels of N -acetyl aspartic acid (NAA), choline (Cho), and creatine (Cr) in bilateral hippocampi before and after treatment. Thirty-eight patients (18 in the experimental group and 20 in the control group) were included in the analyses. The experimental group showed significantly greater changes in HVLT-R, BVMT-R, NAA/Cr, and Cho/Cr after rTMS from baseline than the control group. The percentage change in BVMT-R and HVLT-R correlated with the percentage change in NAA/Cr and Cho/Cr in the right brain. High-frequency right DLPFC rTMS was associated with improvement in memory dysfunction, which is correlated with levels of hippocampal brain metabolites detected by 1 H-MRS in recently detoxified alcohol-dependent patients.

  10. Compulsive Sexual Behavior: Prefrontal and Limbic Volume and Interactions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schmidt, Casper; Morris, Laurel S.; Kvamme, Timo L.

    2017-01-01

    prefrontal cortex (whole brain, cluster corrected FWE P motivational salience and emotion processing, and impaired functional connectivity between prefrontal control regulatory and limbic regions...

  11. Reduced prefrontal dopaminergic activity in valproic acid-treated mouse autism model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hara, Yuta; Takuma, Kazuhiro; Takano, Erika; Katashiba, Keisuke; Taruta, Atsuki; Higashino, Kosuke; Hashimoto, Hitoshi; Ago, Yukio; Matsuda, Toshio

    2015-08-01

    Previous studies suggest that dysfunction of neurotransmitter systems is associated with the pathology of autism in humans and the disease model rodents, but the precise mechanism is not known. Rodent offspring exposed prenatally to VPA shows autism-related behavioral abnormalities. The present study examined the effect of prenatal VPA exposure on brain monoamine neurotransmitter systems in male and female mice. The prenatal VPA exposure did not affect the levels of dopamine (DA), noradrenaline (NA), serotonin (5-HT) and their metabolites in the prefrontal cortex and striatum, while it significantly reduced methamphetamine (METH) (1.0 mg/kg)-induced hyperlocomotion in male offspring. In vivo microdialysis study demonstrated that prenatal VPA exposure attenuated METH-induced increases in extracellular DA levels in the prefrontal cortex, while it did not affect those in extracellular NA and 5-HT levels. Prenatal VPA exposure also decreased METH-induced c-Fos expression in the prefrontal cortex and the mRNA levels of DA D1 and D2 receptors in the prefrontal cortex. These effects of VPA were not observed in the striatum. In contrast to male offspring, prenatal VPA exposure did not affect METH-induced increases in locomotor activity and prefrontal DA levels and the D1 and D2 receptor mRNA levels in the prefrontal cortex in female offspring. These findings suggest that prenatal VPA exposure causes hypofunction of prefrontal DA system in a sex-dependent way. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. The positive effects of high-frequency right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation on memory, correlated with increases in brain metabolites detected by proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy in recently detoxified alcohol-dependent patients

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qiao J

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Jun Qiao,1,2 Guixing Jin,1,2 Licun Lei,3 Lan Wang,1,2 Yaqiang Du,3 Xueyi Wang1,2 1Institute of Mental Health, The First Hospital of Hebei Medical University, 2Brain Ageing and Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory, Hebei Medical University, 3Department of Radiology, The First Hospital of Hebei Medical University, Hebei, People’s Republic of China Objective: To explore the effect of right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS on memory, and its correlation with levels of hippocampal brain metabolites detected by proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H-MRS in recently detoxified alcohol-dependent patients. Materials and methods: In this randomized, double-blind sham-controlled trial, alcohol-dependent patients were enrolled and randomized into two groups: the experimental group (rTMS, 10 Hz, on right DLPFC, 20 sessions and the control group (sham stimulation. Memory function was assessed using Hopkins Verbal Learning Test-Revised (HVLT-R and Brief Visuospatial Memory Test-Revised (BVMT-R before and after treatment. 1H-MRS was used to detect the levels of N-acetyl aspartic acid (NAA, choline (Cho, and creatine (Cr in bilateral hippocampi before and after treatment. Results: Thirty-eight patients (18 in the experimental group and 20 in the control group were included in the analyses. The experimental group showed significantly greater changes in HVLT-R, BVMT-R, NAA/Cr, and Cho/Cr after rTMS from baseline than the control group. The percentage change in BVMT-R and HVLT-R correlated with the percentage change in NAA/Cr and Cho/Cr in the right brain. Conclusion: High-frequency right DLPFC rTMS was associated with improvement in memory dysfunction, which is correlated with levels of hippocampal brain metabolites detected by 1H-MRS in recently detoxified alcohol-dependent patients. Keywords: alcohol dependence, memory, repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation, MR spectroscopy

  13. A dorsolateral prefrontal cortex semi-automatic segmenter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Hakim, Ramsey; Fallon, James; Nain, Delphine; Melonakos, John; Tannenbaum, Allen

    2006-03-01

    Structural, functional, and clinical studies in schizophrenia have, for several decades, consistently implicated dysfunction of the prefrontal cortex in the etiology of the disease. Functional and structural imaging studies, combined with clinical, psychometric, and genetic analyses in schizophrenia have confirmed the key roles played by the prefrontal cortex and closely linked "prefrontal system" structures such as the striatum, amygdala, mediodorsal thalamus, substantia nigra-ventral tegmental area, and anterior cingulate cortices. The nodal structure of the prefrontal system circuit is the dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), or Brodmann area 46, which also appears to be the most commonly studied and cited brain area with respect to schizophrenia. 1, 2, 3, 4 In 1986, Weinberger et. al. tied cerebral blood flow in the DLPFC to schizophrenia.1 In 2001, Perlstein et. al. demonstrated that DLPFC activation is essential for working memory tasks commonly deficient in schizophrenia. 2 More recently, groups have linked morphological changes due to gene deletion and increased DLPFC glutamate concentration to schizophrenia. 3, 4 Despite the experimental and clinical focus on the DLPFC in structural and functional imaging, the variability of the location of this area, differences in opinion on exactly what constitutes DLPFC, and inherent difficulties in segmenting this highly convoluted cortical region have contributed to a lack of widely used standards for manual or semi-automated segmentation programs. Given these implications, we developed a semi-automatic tool to segment the DLPFC from brain MRI scans in a reproducible way to conduct further morphological and statistical studies. The segmenter is based on expert neuroanatomist rules (Fallon-Kindermann rules), inspired by cytoarchitectonic data and reconstructions presented by Rajkowska and Goldman-Rakic. 5 It is semi-automated to provide essential user interactivity. We present our results and provide details on

  14. Hypocretin (orexin) regulates glutamate input to fast-spiking interneurons in layer V of the Fr2 region of the murine prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aracri, Patrizia; Banfi, Daniele; Pasini, Maria Enrica; Amadeo, Alida; Becchetti, Andrea

    2015-05-01

    We studied the effect of hypocretin 1 (orexin A) in the frontal area 2 (Fr2) of the murine neocortex, implicated in the motivation-dependent goal-directed tasks. In layer V, hypocretin stimulated the spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) on fast-spiking (FS) interneurons. The effect was accompanied by increased frequency of miniature EPSCs, indicating that hypocretin can target the glutamatergic terminals. Moreover, hypocretin stimulated the spontaneous inhibitory postsynaptic currents (IPSCs) on pyramidal neurons, with no effect on miniature IPSCs. This action was prevented by blocking 1) the ionotropic glutamatergic receptors; 2) the hypocretin receptor type 1 (HCRTR-1), with SB-334867. Finally, hypocretin increased the firing frequency in FS cells, and the effect was blocked when the ionotropic glutamate transmission was inhibited. Immunolocalization confirmed that HCRTR-1 is highly expressed in Fr2, particularly in layer V-VI. Conspicuous labeling was observed in pyramidal neuron somata and in VGLUT1+ glutamatergic terminals, but not in VGLUT2+ fibers (mainly thalamocortical afferents). The expression of HCRTR-1 in GABAergic structures was scarce. We conclude that 1) hypocretin regulates glutamate release in Fr2; 2) the effect presents a presynaptic component; 3) the peptide control of FS cells is indirect, and probably mediated by the regulation of glutamatergic input onto these cells. © The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press.

  15. Reducing prefrontal gamma-aminobutyric acid activity induces cognitive, behavioral, and dopaminergic abnormalities that resemble schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Enomoto, Takeshi; Tse, Maric T; Floresco, Stan B

    2011-03-01

    Perturbations in gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-related markers have been reported in the prefrontal cortex of schizophrenic patients. However, a preclinical assessment of how suppression of prefrontal cortex GABA activity may reflect behavioral and cognitive pathologies observed in schizophrenia is forthcoming. We assessed the effects of pharmacologic blockade of prefrontal cortex GABA(A) receptors in rats on executive functions and other behaviors related to schizophrenia, as well as neural activity of midbrain dopamine neurons. Blockade of prefrontal cortex GABA(A) receptors with bicuculline (12.5-50 ng) did not affect working memory accuracy but did increase response latencies, resembling speed of processing deficits observed in schizophrenia. Prefrontal cortex GABA(A) blockade did not impede simple discrimination or reversal learning but did impair set-shifting in a manner dependent on when these treatments were given. Reducing GABA activity before the set-shift impaired the ability to acquire a novel strategy, whereas treatment before the initial discrimination increased perseveration during the shift. Latent inhibition was unaffected by bicuculline infusions before the preexposure/conditioning phases, suggesting that reduced prefrontal cortex GABA activity does not impair "learned irrelevance." GABA(A) blockade increased locomotor activity and showed synergic effects with a subthreshold dose of amphetamine. Furthermore, reducing medial prefrontal cortex GABA activity selectively increased phasic burst firing of ventral tegmental area dopamine neurons, without altering the their overall population activity. These results suggest that prefrontal cortex GABA hypofunction may be a key contributing factor to deficits in speed of processing, cognitive flexibility, and enhanced phasic dopamine activity observed in schizophrenia. Copyright © 2011 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Reduced prefrontal connectivity in psychopathy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Motzkin, Julian C; Newman, Joseph P; Kiehl, Kent A; Koenigs, Michael

    2011-11-30

    Linking psychopathy to a specific brain abnormality could have significant clinical, legal, and scientific implications. Theories on the neurobiological basis of the disorder typically propose dysfunction in a circuit involving ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC). However, to date there is limited brain imaging data to directly test whether psychopathy may indeed be associated with any structural or functional abnormality within this brain area. In this study, we employ two complementary imaging techniques to assess the structural and functional connectivity of vmPFC in psychopathic and non-psychopathic criminals. Using diffusion tensor imaging, we show that psychopathy is associated with reduced structural integrity in the right uncinate fasciculus, the primary white matter connection between vmPFC and anterior temporal lobe. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we show that psychopathy is associated with reduced functional connectivity between vmPFC and amygdala as well as between vmPFC and medial parietal cortex. Together, these data converge to implicate diminished vmPFC connectivity as a characteristic neurobiological feature of psychopathy.

  17. Postnatal Developmental Trajectories of Neural Circuits in the Primate Prefrontal Cortex: Identifying Sensitive Periods for Vulnerability to Schizophrenia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoftman, Gil D.; Lewis, David A.

    2011-01-01

    Schizophrenia is a disorder of cognitive neurodevelopment with characteristic abnormalities in working memory attributed, at least in part, to alterations in the circuitry of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. Various environmental exposures from conception through adolescence increase risk for the illness, possibly by altering the developmental trajectories of prefrontal cortical circuits. Macaque monkeys provide an excellent model system for studying the maturation of prefrontal cortical circuits. Here, we review the development of glutamatergic and γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-ergic circuits in macaque monkey prefrontal cortex and discuss how these trajectories may help to identify sensitive periods during which environmental exposures, such as those associated with increased risk for schizophrenia, might lead to the types of abnormalities in prefrontal cortical function present in schizophrenia. PMID:21505116

  18. Prefrontal Cortex, Emotion, and Approach/Withdrawal Motivation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spielberg, Jeffrey M; Stewart, Jennifer L; Levin, Rebecca L; Miller, Gregory A; Heller, Wendy

    2008-01-01

    This article provides a selective review of the literature and current theories regarding the role of prefrontal cortex, along with some other critical brain regions, in emotion and motivation. Seemingly contradictory findings have often appeared in this literature. Research attempting to resolve these contradictions has been the basis of new areas of growth and has led to more sophisticated understandings of emotional and motivational processes as well as neural networks associated with these processes. Progress has, in part, depended on methodological advances that allow for increased resolution in brain imaging. A number of issues are currently in play, among them the role of prefrontal cortex in emotional or motivational processes. This debate fosters research that will likely lead to further refinement of conceptualizations of emotion, motivation, and the neural processes associated with them.

  19. Auditory Connections and Functions of Prefrontal Cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bethany ePlakke

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available The functional auditory system extends from the ears to the frontal lobes with successively more complex functions occurring as one ascends the hierarchy of the nervous system. Several areas of the frontal lobe receive afferents from both early and late auditory processing regions within the temporal lobe. Afferents from the early part of the cortical auditory system, the auditory belt cortex, which are presumed to carry information regarding auditory features of sounds, project to only a few prefrontal regions and are most dense in the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC. In contrast, projections from the parabelt and the rostral superior temporal gyrus (STG most likely convey more complex information and target a larger, widespread region of the prefrontal cortex. Neuronal responses reflect these anatomical projections as some prefrontal neurons exhibit responses to features in acoustic stimuli, while other neurons display task-related responses. For example, recording studies in non-human primates indicate that VLPFC is responsive to complex sounds including vocalizations and that VLPFC neurons in area 12/47 respond to sounds with similar acoustic morphology. In contrast, neuronal responses during auditory working memory involve a wider region of the prefrontal cortex. In humans, the frontal lobe is involved in auditory detection, discrimination, and working memory. Past research suggests that dorsal and ventral subregions of the prefrontal cortex process different types of information with dorsal cortex processing spatial/visual information and ventral cortex processing non-spatial/auditory information. While this is apparent in the non-human primate and in some neuroimaging studies, most research in humans indicates that specific task conditions, stimuli or previous experience may bias the recruitment of specific prefrontal regions, suggesting a more flexible role for the frontal lobe during auditory cognition.

  20. Auditory connections and functions of prefrontal cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plakke, Bethany; Romanski, Lizabeth M.

    2014-01-01

    The functional auditory system extends from the ears to the frontal lobes with successively more complex functions occurring as one ascends the hierarchy of the nervous system. Several areas of the frontal lobe receive afferents from both early and late auditory processing regions within the temporal lobe. Afferents from the early part of the cortical auditory system, the auditory belt cortex, which are presumed to carry information regarding auditory features of sounds, project to only a few prefrontal regions and are most dense in the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC). In contrast, projections from the parabelt and the rostral superior temporal gyrus (STG) most likely convey more complex information and target a larger, widespread region of the prefrontal cortex. Neuronal responses reflect these anatomical projections as some prefrontal neurons exhibit responses to features in acoustic stimuli, while other neurons display task-related responses. For example, recording studies in non-human primates indicate that VLPFC is responsive to complex sounds including vocalizations and that VLPFC neurons in area 12/47 respond to sounds with similar acoustic morphology. In contrast, neuronal responses during auditory working memory involve a wider region of the prefrontal cortex. In humans, the frontal lobe is involved in auditory detection, discrimination, and working memory. Past research suggests that dorsal and ventral subregions of the prefrontal cortex process different types of information with dorsal cortex processing spatial/visual information and ventral cortex processing non-spatial/auditory information. While this is apparent in the non-human primate and in some neuroimaging studies, most research in humans indicates that specific task conditions, stimuli or previous experience may bias the recruitment of specific prefrontal regions, suggesting a more flexible role for the frontal lobe during auditory cognition. PMID:25100931

  1. Atomoxetine Enhances Connectivity of Prefrontal Networks in Parkinson's Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borchert, Robin J; Rittman, Timothy; Passamonti, Luca; Ye, Zheng; Sami, Saber; Jones, Simon P; Nombela, Cristina; Vázquez Rodríguez, Patricia; Vatansever, Deniz; Rae, Charlotte L; Hughes, Laura E; Robbins, Trevor W; Rowe, James B

    2016-07-01

    Cognitive impairment is common in Parkinson's disease (PD), but often not improved by dopaminergic treatment. New treatment strategies targeting other neurotransmitter deficits are therefore of growing interest. Imaging the brain at rest ('task-free') provides the opportunity to examine the impact of a candidate drug on many of the brain networks that underpin cognition, while minimizing task-related performance confounds. We test this approach using atomoxetine, a selective noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor that modulates the prefrontal cortical activity and can facilitate some executive functions and response inhibition. Thirty-three patients with idiopathic PD underwent task-free fMRI. Patients were scanned twice in a double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover design, following either placebo or 40-mg oral atomoxetine. Seventy-six controls were scanned once without medication to provide normative data. Seed-based correlation analyses were used to measure changes in functional connectivity, with the right inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) a critical region for executive function. Patients on placebo had reduced connectivity relative to controls from right IFG to dorsal anterior cingulate cortex and to left IFG and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. Atomoxetine increased connectivity from the right IFG to the dorsal anterior cingulate. In addition, the atomoxetine-induced change in connectivity from right IFG to dorsolateral prefrontal cortex was proportional to the change in verbal fluency, a simple index of executive function. The results support the hypothesis that atomoxetine may restore prefrontal networks related to executive functions. We suggest that task-free imaging can support translational pharmacological studies of new drug therapies and provide evidence for engagement of the relevant neurocognitive systems.

  2. Brain injury impairs working memory and prefrontal circuit function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Colin James Smith

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available More than 2.5 million Americans suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI each year. Even mild to moderate traumatic brain injury causes long-lasting neurological effects. Despite its prevalence, no therapy currently exists to treat the underlying cause of cognitive impairment suffered by TBI patients. Following lateral fluid percussion injury (LFPI, the most widely used experimental model of TBI, we investigated alterations in working memory and excitatory/inhibitory synaptic balance in the prefrontal cortex. LFPI impaired working memory as assessed with a T-maze behavioral task. Field excitatory postsynaptic potentials recorded in the prefrontal cortex were reduced in slices derived from brain-injured mice. Spontaneous and miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents onto layer 2/3 neurons were more frequent in slices derived from LFPI mice while inhibitory currents onto layer 2/3 neurons were smaller after LFPI. Additionally, an increase in action potential threshold and concomitant decrease in firing rate was observed in layer 2/3 neurons in slices from injured animals. Conversely, no differences in excitatory or inhibitory synaptic transmission onto layer 5 neurons were observed; however, layer 5 neurons demonstrated a decrease in input resistance and action potential duration after LFPI. These results demonstrate synaptic and intrinsic alterations in prefrontal circuitry that may underlie working memory impairment caused by TBI.

  3. Serial pathways from primate prefrontal cortex to autonomic areas may influence emotional expression

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Saha Subhash

    2003-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Experiencing emotions engages high-order orbitofrontal and medial prefrontal areas, and expressing emotions involves low-level autonomic structures and peripheral organs. How is information from the cortex transmitted to the periphery? We used two parallel approaches to map simultaneously multiple pathways to determine if hypothalamic autonomic centres are a key link for orbitofrontal areas and medial prefrontal areas, which have been associated with emotional processes, as well as low-level spinal and brainstem autonomic structures. The latter innervate peripheral autonomic organs, whose activity is markedly increased during emotional arousal. Results We first determined if pathways linking the orbitofrontal cortex with the hypothalamus overlapped with projection neurons directed to the intermediolateral column of the spinal cord, with the aid of neural tracers injected in these disparate structures. We found that axons from orbitofrontal and medial prefrontal cortices converged in the hypothalamus with neurons projecting to brainstem and spinal autonomic centers, linking the highest with the lowest levels of the neuraxis. Using a parallel approach, we injected bidirectional tracers in the lateral hypothalamic area, an autonomic center, to label simultaneously cortical pathways leading to the hypothalamus, as well as hypothalamic axons projecting to low-level brainstem and spinal autonomic centers. We found densely distributed projection neurons in medial prefrontal and orbitofrontal cortices leading to the hypothalamus, as well as hypothalamic axonal terminations in several brainstem structures and the intermediolateral column of the spinal cord, which innervate peripheral autonomic organs. We then provided direct evidence that axons from medial prefrontal cortex synapse with hypothalamic neurons, terminating as large boutons, comparable in size to the highly efficient thalamocortical system. The interlinked orbitofrontal

  4. White matter integrity deficits in prefrontal-amygdala pathways in Williams syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Avery, Suzanne N; Thornton-Wells, Tricia A; Anderson, Adam W; Blackford, Jennifer Urbano

    2012-01-16

    Williams syndrome is a neurodevelopmental disorder associated with significant non-social fears. Consistent with this elevated non-social fear, individuals with Williams syndrome have an abnormally elevated amygdala response when viewing threatening non-social stimuli. In typically-developing individuals, amygdala activity is inhibited through dense, reciprocal white matter connections with the prefrontal cortex. Neuroimaging studies suggest a functional uncoupling of normal prefrontal-amygdala inhibition in individuals with Williams syndrome, which might underlie both the extreme amygdala activity and non-social fears. This functional uncoupling might be caused by structural deficits in underlying white matter pathways; however, prefrontal-amygdala white matter deficits have yet to be explored in Williams syndrome. We used diffusion tensor imaging to investigate prefrontal-amygdala white matter integrity differences in individuals with Williams syndrome and typically-developing controls with high levels of non-social fear. White matter pathways between the amygdala and several prefrontal regions were isolated using probabilistic tractography. Within each pathway, we tested for between-group differences in three measures of white matter integrity: fractional anisotropy (FA), radial diffusivity (RD), and parallel diffusivity (λ(1)). Individuals with Williams syndrome had lower FA, compared to controls, in several of the prefrontal-amygdala pathways investigated, indicating a reduction in white matter integrity. Lower FA in Williams syndrome was explained by significantly higher RD, with no differences in λ(1), suggestive of lower fiber density or axon myelination in prefrontal-amygdala pathways. These results suggest that deficits in the structural integrity of prefrontal-amygdala white matter pathways might underlie the increased amygdala activity and extreme non-social fears observed in Williams syndrome. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Prefrontal control of attention to threat

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Polly V Peers

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Attentional control refers to the regulatory processes that ensure that our actions are in accordance with our goals. Dual-system accounts view temperament as consisting of both individual variation in emotionality (e.g. trait anxiety and variation in regulatory attentional mechanisms that act to modulate emotionality. Increasing evidence links trait variation in attentional control to clinical mood and anxiety disorder symptoms, independent of trait emotionality. Attentional biases to threat have been robustly linked to mood and anxiety disorders. However, the role of variation in attentional control in influencing such biases, and the neural underpinnings of trait variation in attentional control, are unknown. Here, we show, that individual differences in trait attentional control, even when accounting for trait and state anxiety, are related to the magnitude of an attentional blink following threat-related targets. Moreover, we demonstrate that activity in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, is observed specifically in relation to control of attention over threatening stimuli, in line with neural theories of attentional control, such as guided activation theory. These results have key implications for neurocognitive theories of attentional bias and emotional resilience.

  6. Schizophrenia: a tale of two critical periods for prefrontal cortical development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Selemon, L D; Zecevic, N

    2015-01-01

    Schizophrenia is a disease of abnormal brain development. Considerable evidence now indicates that environmental factors have a causative role in schizophrenia. Elevated incidence of the disease has been linked to a wide range of disturbances in the prenatal environment and to social factors and drug intake during adolescence. Here we examine neurodevelopment of the prefrontal cortex in the first trimester of gestation and during adolescence to gain further insight into the neurodevelopmental processes that may be vulnerable in schizophrenia. Early embryonic development of the prefrontal cortex is characterized by cell proliferation, including renewal of progenitor cells, generation of early transient cell populations and neurogenesis of subcortical populations. Animal models show that curtailing early gestational cell proliferation produces schizophrenia-like pathology in the prefrontal cortex and mimics key behavioral and cognitive symptoms of the disease. At the other end of the spectrum, elimination of excitatory synapses is the fundamental process occurring during adolescent maturation in the prefrontal cortex. Adverse social situations that elevate stress increase dopamine stimulation of the mesocortical pathway and may lead to exaggerated synaptic pruning during adolescence. In a non-human primate model, dopamine hyperstimulation has been shown to decrease prefrontal pyramidal cell spine density and to be associated with profound cognitive dysfunction. Development of the prefrontal cortex in its earliest stage in gestation and in its final stage in adolescence represents two critical periods of vulnerability for schizophrenia in which cell proliferation and synaptic elimination, respectively, may be influenced by environmental factors. PMID:26285133

  7. Electrical Stimulation of Low-Threshold Proprioceptive Fibers in the Adult Rat Increases Density of Glutamatergic and Cholinergic Terminals on Ankle Extensor α-Motoneurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olga Gajewska-Woźniak

    Full Text Available The effects of stimulation of low-threshold proprioceptive afferents in the tibial nerve on two types of excitatory inputs to α-motoneurons were tested. The first input is formed by glutamatergic Ia sensory afferents contacting monosynaptically α-motoneurons. The second one is the cholinergic input originating from V0c-interneurons, located in lamina X of the spinal cord, modulating activity of α-motoneurons via C-terminals. Our aim was to clarify whether enhancement of signaling to ankle extensor α-motoneurons, via direct electrical stimulation addressed predominantly to low-threshold proprioceptive fibers in the tibial nerve of awake rats, will affect Ia glutamatergic and cholinergic innervation of α-motoneurons of lateral gastrocnemius (LG. LG motoneurons were identified with True Blue tracer injected intramuscularly. Tibial nerve was stimulated for 7 days with continuous bursts of three pulses applied in four 20 min sessions daily. The Hoffmann reflex and motor responses recorded from the soleus muscle, LG synergist, allowed controlling stimulation. Ia terminals and C-terminals abutting on LG-labeled α-motoneurons were detected by immunofluorescence (IF using input-specific anti- VGLUT1 and anti-VAChT antibodies, respectively. Quantitative analysis of confocal images revealed that the number of VGLUT1 IF and VAChT IF terminals contacting the soma of LG α-motoneurons increased after stimulation by 35% and by 26%, respectively, comparing to the sham-stimulated side. The aggregate volume of VGLUT1 IF and VAChT IF terminals increased by 35% and by 30%, respectively. Labeling intensity of boutons was also increased, suggesting an increase of signaling to LG α-motoneurons after stimulation. To conclude, one week of continuous burst stimulation of proprioceptive input to LG α-motoneurons is effective in enrichment of their direct glutamatergic but also indirect cholinergic inputs. The effectiveness of such and longer stimulation in models

  8. I find you more attractive … after (prefrontal cortex) stimulation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ferrari, C.; Lega, C.; Tamietto, M.; Nadal, M.; Cattaneo, Z.

    2015-01-01

    Facial attractiveness seems to be perceived immediately. Neuroimaging evidence suggests that the appraisal of facial attractiveness is mediated by a network of cortical and subcortical regions, mainly encompassing the reward circuit, but also including prefrontal cortices. The prefrontal cortex is

  9. fNIRS evidence of prefrontal regulation of frustration in early childhood.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perlman, Susan B; Luna, Beatriz; Hein, Tyler C; Huppert, Theodore J

    2014-01-15

    The experience of frustration is common in early childhood, yet some children seem to possess a lower tolerance for frustration than others. Characterizing the biological mechanisms underlying a wide range of frustration tolerance observed in early childhood may inform maladaptive behavior and psychopathology that is associated with this construct. The goal of this study was to measure prefrontal correlates of frustration in 3-5-year-old children, who are not readily adaptable for typical neuroimaging approaches, using functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). fNIRS of frontal regions were measured as frustration was induced in children through a computer game where a desired and expected prize was "stolen" by an animated dog. A fNIRS general linear model (GLM) was used to quantify the correlation of brain regions with the task and identify areas that were statistically different between the winning and frustrating test conditions. A second-level voxel-based ANOVA analysis was then used to correlate the amplitude of each individual's brain activation with measure of parent-reported frustration. Experimental results indicated increased activity in the middle prefrontal cortex during winning of a desired prize, while lateral prefrontal cortex activity increased during frustration. Further, activity increase in lateral prefrontal cortex during frustration correlated positively with parent-reported frustration tolerance. These findings point to the role of the lateral prefrontal cortex as a potential region supporting the regulation of emotion during frustration. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Altered Communicative Decisions following Ventromedial Prefrontal Lesions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stolk, A.; D'Imperio, D.; Pellegrino, G. di; Toni, I.

    2015-01-01

    Damage to the human ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) leads to profound changes in everyday social interactions [1, 2]. Yet, in the lab, vmPFC patients show surprising proficiency in reasoning about other agents [3-8]. These conflicting observations suggest that what vmPFC patients lack in

  11. Decreased prefrontal cortical dopamine transmission in alcoholism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Narendran, Rajesh; Mason, Neale Scott; Paris, Jennifer; Himes, Michael L; Douaihy, Antoine B; Frankle, W Gordon

    2014-08-01

    Basic studies have demonstrated that optimal levels of prefrontal cortical dopamine are critical to various executive functions such as working memory, attention, inhibitory control, and risk/reward decisions, all of which are impaired in addictive disorders such as alcoholism. Based on this and imaging studies of alcoholism that have demonstrated less dopamine in the striatum, the authors hypothesized decreased dopamine transmission in the prefrontal cortex in persons with alcohol dependence. To test this hypothesis, amphetamine and [11C]FLB 457 positron emission tomography were used to measure cortical dopamine transmission in 21 recently abstinent persons with alcohol dependence and 21 matched healthy comparison subjects. [11C]FLB 457 binding potential, specific compared to nondisplaceable uptake (BPND), was measured in subjects with kinetic analysis using the arterial input function both before and after 0.5 mg kg-1 of d-amphetamine. Amphetamine-induced displacement of [11C]FLB 457 binding potential (ΔBPND) was significantly smaller in the cortical regions in the alcohol-dependent group compared with the healthy comparison group. Cortical regions that demonstrated lower dopamine transmission in the alcohol-dependent group included the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, medial prefrontal cortex, orbital frontal cortex, temporal cortex, and medial temporal lobe. The results of this study, for the first time, unambiguously demonstrate decreased dopamine transmission in the cortex in alcoholism. Further research is necessary to understand the clinical relevance of decreased cortical dopamine as to whether it is related to impaired executive function, relapse, and outcome in alcoholism.

  12. Monetary reward activates human prefrontal cortex

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Thut, G.; Roelcke, U.; Nienhusmeier, M.; Missimer, J.; Maguire, R.P.; Leenders, K.L.; Schultz, W.

    1997-01-01

    We present a rCBF PET activation study, in which we demonstrated that reward processing in humans activates a cortical-subcortical network including dorsolateral prefrontal, orbital frontal, thalamic and midbrain regions. It is suggested that, as found for non-human primates, the basal ganglia-thalamo-cortical system is implicated in reward processing. (author) 1 fig., 3 refs

  13. Neural modeling of prefrontal executive function

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Levine, D.S. [Univ. of Texas, Arlington, TX (United States)

    1996-12-31

    Brain executive function is based in a distributed system whereby prefrontal cortex is interconnected with other cortical. and subcortical loci. Executive function is divided roughly into three interacting parts: affective guidance of responses; linkage among working memory representations; and forming complex behavioral schemata. Neural network models of each of these parts are reviewed and fit into a preliminary theoretical framework.

  14. Schizotypal traits in healthy women predict prefrontal activation patterns during a verbal fluency task: a near-infrared spectroscopy study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hori, Hiroaki; Nagamine, Mitsue; Soshi, Takahiro; Okabe, Shigeo; Kim, Yoshiharu; Kunugi, Hiroshi

    2008-01-01

    Previous functional neuroimaging studies have reported that patients with schizophrenia show reduced prefrontal activation during cognitive tasks whereas patients with schizotypal personality disorder (SPD) show preserved or even increased right prefrontal activation, compared to healthy controls; on the other hand, reduced hemispheric laterality is considered to be common to these two disorders. The aim of this study was to examine the possible association between schizotypal traits at a nonclinical level and prefrontal activation patterns during a letter version of the verbal fluency task (VFT). We examined the relationships of schizotypal traits as measured by the Schizotypal Personality Questionnaire (SPQ) in a nonclinical female population with prefrontal activation patterns during the VFT, using near-infrared spectroscopy. Twenty-seven healthy participants were divided into high (n = 14) and low (n = 13) SPQ groups by the median split of the total SPQ score. Compared to the low SPQ group, the high SPQ group showed significantly larger right prefrontal activation during the performance of the VFT, leading to more bilateral activation. Our results suggest that schizotypal traits at a nonclinical level may be related to relative right prefrontal laterality with overall prefrontal activation being preserved, consistent with previous findings obtained by studies of patients with SPD. 2008 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  15. The prefrontal oxygenation and ventilatory responses at start of one-legged cycling exercise have relation to central command.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asahara, Ryota; Matsukawa, Kanji; Ishii, Kei; Liang, Nan; Endo, Kana

    2016-11-01

    When performing exercise arbitrarily, activation of central command should start before the onset of exercise, but when exercise is forced to start with cue, activation of central command should be delayed. We examined whether the in-advance activation of central command influenced the ventilatory response and reflected in the prefrontal oxygenation, by comparing the responses during exercise with arbitrary and cued start. The breath-by-breath respiratory variables and the prefrontal oxygenated-hemoglobin concentration (Oxy-Hb) were measured during one-legged cycling. Minute ventilation (V̇e) at the onset of arbitrary one-legged cycling was augmented to a greater extent than cued cycling, while end-tidal carbon dioxide tension (ETco 2 ) decreased irrespective of arbitrary or cued start. Symmetric increase in the bilateral prefrontal Oxy-Hb occurred before and at the onset of arbitrary one-legged cycling, whereas such an increase was absent with cued start. The time course and magnitude of the increased prefrontal oxygenation were not influenced by the extent of subjective rating of perceived exertion and were the same as those of the prefrontal oxygenation during two-legged cycling previously reported. Mental imagery or passive performance of the one-legged cycling increased V̇e and decreased ETco 2 Neither intervention, however, augmented the prefrontal Oxy-Hb. The changes in ETco 2 could not explain the prefrontal oxygenation response during voluntary or passive one-legged cycling. Taken together, it is likely that the in-advance activation of central command influenced the ventilatory response by enhancing minute ventilation at the onset of one-legged cycling exercise and reflected in the preexercise increase in the prefrontal oxygenation. Copyright © 2016 the American Physiological Society.

  16. Lateralized effect of rapid-rate transcranial magnetic stimulation of the prefrontal cortex on mood.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pascual-Leone, A; Catalá, M D; Pascual-Leone Pascual, A

    1996-02-01

    We studied the effects of rapid-rate transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) of different scalp positions on mood. Ten normal volunteers rated themselves before and after rTMS on five analog scales labeled "Tristeza" (Sadness), "Ansiedad" (Anxiety), "Alegria" (Happiness), "Cansancio" (Tiredness), and "Dolor/Malestar" (Pain/Discomfort). rTMS was applied to the right lateral prefrontal, left prefrontal, or midline frontal cortex in trains of 5 seconds' duration at 10 Hz and 110% of the subject's motor threshold intensity. Each stimulation position received 10 trains separated by a 25-second pause. No clinically apparent mood changes were evoked by rTMS to any of the scalp positions in any subject. However, left prefrontal rTMS resulted in a significant increase in the Sadness ratings (Tristeza) and a significant decrease in the Happiness ratings ("Alegria") as compared with right prefrontal and midfrontal cortex stimulation. These results show differential effects of rTMS of left and right prefrontal cortex stimulation on mood and illustrate the lateralized control of mood in normal volunteers.

  17. Prefrontal contributions to visual selective attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Squire, Ryan F; Noudoost, Behrad; Schafer, Robert J; Moore, Tirin

    2013-07-08

    The faculty of attention endows us with the capacity to process important sensory information selectively while disregarding information that is potentially distracting. Much of our understanding of the neural circuitry underlying this fundamental cognitive function comes from neurophysiological studies within the visual modality. Past evidence suggests that a principal function of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) is selective attention and that this function involves the modulation of sensory signals within posterior cortices. In this review, we discuss recent progress in identifying the specific prefrontal circuits controlling visual attention and its neural correlates within the primate visual system. In addition, we examine the persisting challenge of precisely defining how behavior should be affected when attentional function is lost.

  18. An integrative theory of prefrontal cortex function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, E K; Cohen, J D

    2001-01-01

    The prefrontal cortex has long been suspected to play an important role in cognitive control, in the ability to orchestrate thought and action in accordance with internal goals. Its neural basis, however, has remained a mystery. Here, we propose that cognitive control stems from the active maintenance of patterns of activity in the prefrontal cortex that represent goals and the means to achieve them. They provide bias signals to other brain structures whose net effect is to guide the flow of activity along neural pathways that establish the proper mappings between inputs, internal states, and outputs needed to perform a given task. We review neurophysiological, neurobiological, neuroimaging, and computational studies that support this theory and discuss its implications as well as further issues to be addressed

  19. The role of prefrontal cortex in psychopathy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koenigs, Michael

    2014-01-01

    Psychopathy is a personality disorder characterized by remorseless and impulsive antisocial behavior. Given the significant societal costs of the recidivistic criminal activity associated with the disorder, there is a pressing need for more effective treatment strategies, and hence, a better understanding of the psychobiological mechanisms underlying the disorder. The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is likely to play an important role in psychopathy. In particular, the ventromedial and anterior cingulate sectors of PFC are theorized to mediate a number of social and affective decision-making functions that appear to be disrupted in psychopathy. This article provides a critical summary of human neuroimaging data implicating prefrontal dysfunction in psychopathy. A growing body of evidence associates psychopathy with structural and functional abnormalities in ventromedial PFC and anterior cingulate cortex. Although this burgeoning field still faces a number of methodological challenges and outstanding questions that will need to be resolved by future studies, the research to date has established a link between psychopathy and PFC. PMID:22752782

  20. Specialized prefrontal auditory fields: organization of primate prefrontal-temporal pathways

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria eMedalla

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available No other modality is more frequently represented in the prefrontal cortex than the auditory, but the role of auditory information in prefrontal functions is not well understood. Pathways from auditory association cortices reach distinct sites in the lateral, orbital, and medial surfaces of the prefrontal cortex in rhesus monkeys. Among prefrontal areas, frontopolar area 10 has the densest interconnections with auditory association areas, spanning a large antero-posterior extent of the superior temporal gyrus from the temporal pole to auditory parabelt and belt regions. Moreover, auditory pathways make up the largest component of the extrinsic connections of area 10, suggesting a special relationship with the auditory modality. Here we review anatomic evidence showing that frontopolar area 10 is indeed the main frontal auditory field as the major recipient of auditory input in the frontal lobe and chief source of output to auditory cortices. Area 10 is thought to be the functional node for the most complex cognitive tasks of multitasking and keeping track of information for future decisions. These patterns suggest that the auditory association links of area 10 are critical for complex cognition. The first part of this review focuses on the organization of prefrontal-auditory pathways at the level of the system and the synapse, with a particular emphasis on area 10. Then we explore ideas on how the elusive role of area 10 in complex cognition may be related to the specialized relationship with auditory association cortices.

  1. Improved Prefrontal Activity and Chewing Performance as Function of Wearing Denture in Partially Edentulous Elderly Individuals: Functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamiya, Kazunobu; Narita, Noriyuki; Iwaki, Sunao

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to elucidate the effects of wearing a denture on prefrontal activity during chewing performance. We specifically examined that activity in 12 elderly edentulous subjects [63.1±6.1 years old (mean ± SD)] and 12 young healthy controls (22.1±2.3 years old) using functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) in order to evaluate the quality of prefrontal functionality during chewing performance under the conditions of wearing a denture and tooth loss, and then compared the findings with those of young healthy controls. fNIRS and electromyography were used simultaneously to detect prefrontal and masticatory muscle activities during chewing, while occlusal force and masticatory score were also examined by use of a food intake questionnaire. A significant increase in prefrontal activity was observed during chewing while wearing a denture, which was accompanied by increased masticatory muscle activity, occlusal force, and masticatory score, as compared with the tooth loss condition. Prefrontal activation during chewing while wearing a denture in the elderly subjects was not much different from that in the young controls. In contrast, tooth loss in the elderly group resulted in marked prefrontal deactivation, accompanied by decreased masticatory muscle activity, occlusal force, and masticatory score, as compared with the young controls. We concluded that intrinsic prefrontal activation during chewing with a denture may prevent prefrontal depression induced by tooth loss in elderly edentulous patients. PMID:27362255

  2. Tangram solved? Prefrontal cortex activation analysis during geometric problem solving.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ayaz, Hasan; Shewokis, Patricia A; Izzetoğlu, Meltem; Çakır, Murat P; Onaral, Banu

    2012-01-01

    Recent neuroimaging studies have implicated prefrontal and parietal cortices for mathematical problem solving. Mental arithmetic tasks have been used extensively to study neural correlates of mathematical reasoning. In the present study we used geometric problem sets (tangram tasks) that require executive planning and visuospatial reasoning without any linguistic representation interference. We used portable optical brain imaging (functional near infrared spectroscopy--fNIR) to monitor hemodynamic changes within anterior prefrontal cortex during tangram tasks. Twelve healthy subjects were asked to solve a series of computerized tangram puzzles and control tasks that required same geometric shape manipulation without problem solving. Total hemoglobin (HbT) concentration changes indicated a significant increase during tangram problem solving in the right hemisphere. Moreover, HbT changes during failed trials (when no solution found) were significantly higher compared to successful trials. These preliminary results suggest that fNIR can be used to assess cortical activation changes induced by geometric problem solving. Since fNIR is safe, wearable and can be used in ecologically valid environments such as classrooms, this neuroimaging tool may help to improve and optimize learning in educational settings.

  3. Dopaminergic Modulation of Medial Prefrontal Cortex Deactivation in Parkinson Depression

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anders H. Andersen

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Parkinson’s disease (PD is associated with emotional abnormalities. Dopaminergic medications ameliorate Parkinsonian motor symptoms, but less is known regarding the impact of dopaminergic agents on affective processing, particularly in depressed PD (dPD patients. The aim of this study was to examine the effects of dopaminergic pharmacotherapy on brain activation to emotional stimuli in depressed versus nondepressed Parkinson disease (ndPD patients. Participants included 18 ndPD patients (11 men, 7 women and 10 dPD patients (7 men, 3 women. Patients viewed photographs of emotional faces during functional MRI. Scans were performed while the patient was taking anti-Parkinson medication and the day after medication had been temporarily discontinued. Results indicate that dopaminergic medications have opposite effects in the prefrontal cortex depending upon depression status. DPD patients show greater deactivation in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (VMPFC on dopaminergic medications than off, while ndPD patients show greater deactivation in this region off drugs. The VMPFC is in the default-mode network (DMN. DMN activity is negatively correlated with activity in brain systems used for external visual attention. Thus dopaminergic medications may promote increased attention to external visual stimuli among dPD patients but impede normal suppression of DMN activity during external stimulation among ndPD patients.

  4. Efficiency of the Prefrontal Cortex during Working Memory in Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheridan, Margaret A.; Hinshaw, Stephen; D'Esposito, Mark

    2007-01-01

    Objective: Previous research has demonstrated that during task conditions requiring an increase in inhibitory function or working memory, children and adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) exhibit greater and more varied prefrontal cortical(PFC) activation compared to age-matched control participants. This pattern may reflect…

  5. Hemodynamic Responses on Prefrontal Cortex Related to Meditation and Attentional Task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Singh eDeepeshwar

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Recent neuroimaging studies state that meditation increases regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF in the prefrontal cortex (PFC. The present study employed functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS to evaluate the relative hemodynamic changes in prefrontal cortex during a cognitive task. Twenty-two healthy male volunteers with ages between 18 and 30 years (group mean age ± SD; 22.9 ± 4.6 years performed a color-word stroop task before and after 20 minutes of meditation and random thinking. Repeated measures ANOVA was performed followed by a post-hoc analysis with Bonferroni adjustment for multiple comparisons between the mean values of ‘During’ and ‘Post’ with ‘Pre’ state. During meditation there was an increased in oxy-hemoglobin (∆HbO and total hemoglobin (∆THC concentration with reduced deoxy-hemoglobin (∆HbR concentration over the right prefrontal cortex (rPFC, whereas in random thinking there was increased ∆HbR with reduced total hemoglobin concentration on the rPFC. The mean reaction time was shorter in stroop color word task with reduced ∆THC after meditation, suggestive of improved performance and efficiency in task related to attention. Our findings demonstrated that meditation increased cerebral oxygenation and enhanced performance, which was associated with prefrontal cortex activation.

  6. Basal ganglia impairments in autism spectrum disorder are related to abnormal signal gating to prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prat, Chantel S; Stocco, Andrea; Neuhaus, Emily; Kleinhans, Natalia M

    2016-10-01

    Research on the biological basis of autism spectrum disorder has yielded a list of brain abnormalities that are arguably as diverse as the set of behavioral symptoms that characterize the disorder. Among these are patterns of abnormal cortical connectivity and abnormal basal ganglia development. In attempts to integrate the existing literature, the current paper tests the hypothesis that impairments in the basal ganglia's function to flexibly select and route task-relevant neural signals to the prefrontal cortex underpins patterns of abnormal synchronization between the prefrontal cortex and other cortical processing centers observed in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). We tested this hypothesis using a Dynamic Causal Modeling analysis of neuroimaging data collected from 16 individuals with ASD (mean age=25.3 years; 6 female) and 17 age- and IQ-matched neurotypical controls (mean age=25.6, 6 female), who performed a Go/No-Go test of executive functioning. Consistent with the hypothesis tested, a random-effects Bayesian model selection procedure determined that a model of network connectivity in which basal ganglia activation modulated connectivity between the prefrontal cortex and other key cortical processing centers best fit the data of both neurotypicals and individuals with ASD. Follow-up analyses suggested that the largest group differences were observed for modulation of connectivity between prefrontal cortex and the sensory input region in the occipital lobe [t(31)=2.03, p=0.025]. Specifically, basal ganglia activation was associated with a small decrease in synchronization between the occipital region and prefrontal cortical regions in controls; however, in individuals with ASD, basal ganglia activation resulted in increased synchronization between the occipital region and the prefrontal cortex. We propose that this increased synchronization may reflect a failure in basal ganglia signal gating mechanisms, resulting in a non-selective copying

  7. Effect of Bilateral Prefrontal rTMS on Left Prefrontal NAA and Glx Levels in Schizophrenia Patients with Predominant Negative Symptoms: An Exploratory Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dlabac-de Lange, Jozarni J; Liemburg, Edith J; Bais, Leonie; van de Poel-Mustafayeva, Aida T; de Lange-de Klerk, Elly S M; Knegtering, Henderikus; Aleman, André

    Prefrontal repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) may improve negative symptoms in patients with schizophrenia, but few studies have investigated the underlying neural mechanism. This study aims to investigate changes in the levels of glutamate and glutamine (Glx, neurotransmitter and precursor) and N-Acetyl Aspartate (NAA) in the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex of patients with schizophrenia treated with active bilateral prefrontal rTMS as compared to sham-rTMS, as measured with 1 H-Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy ( 1 H-MRS). Patients were randomized to a 3-week course of active or sham high-frequency rTMS. Pre-treatment and post-treatment 1 H-MRS data were available for 24 patients with schizophrenia with moderate to severe negative symptoms (Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) negative subscale ≥ 15). Absolute metabolite concentrations were calculated using LCModel with the water peak as reference. To explore the association between treatment condition and changes in concentration of Glx and NAA, we applied a linear regression model. We observed an increase of Glx concentration in the active treatment group and a decrease of Glx concentration in the group receiving sham treatment. The association between changes in Glx concentration and treatment condition was significant. No significant associations between changes in NAA and treatment condition were found. Noninvasive neurostimulation with high-frequency bilateral prefrontal rTMS may influence Glx concentration in the prefrontal cortex of patients with schizophrenia. Larger studies are needed to confirm these findings and further elucidate the underlying neural working mechanism of rTMS. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Changes of heart rate variability and prefrontal oxygenation during Tai Chi practice versus arm ergometer cycling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Xi; Hui-Chan, Christina Wan-Ying; Tsang, William Wai-Nam

    2016-11-01

    [Purpose] Exercise has been shown to improve cardiovascular fitness and cognitive function. Whether the inclusion of mind over exercise would increase parasympathetic control of the heart and brain activities more than general exercise at a similar intensity is not known. The aim of this study was to compare the effects of Tai Chi (mind-body exercise) versus arm ergometer cycling (body-focused exercise) on the heart rate variability and prefrontal oxygenation level. [Subjects and Methods] A Tai Chi master was invited to perform Tai Chi and arm ergometer cycling with similar exercise intensity on two separate days. Heart rate variability and prefrontal oxyhemoglobin levels were measured continuously by a RR recorder and near-infrared spectroscopy, respectively. [Results] During Tai Chi exercise, spectral analysis of heart rate variability demonstrated a higher high-frequency power as well as a lower low-frequency/high-frequency ratio than during ergometer cycling, suggesting increased parasympathetic and decreased sympathetic control of the heart. Also, prefrontal oxyhemoglobin and total hemoglobin levels were higher than those during arm ergometer exercise. [Conclusion] These findings suggest that increased parasympathetic control of the heart and prefrontal activities may be associated with Tai Chi practice. Having a "mind" component in Tai Chi could be more beneficial for older adults' cardiac health and cognitive function than body-focused ergometer cycling.

  9. Prefrontal Activity and Connectivity with the Basal Ganglia during Performance of Complex Cognitive Tasks Is Associated with Apathy in Healthy Subjects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fazio, Leonardo; Logroscino, Giancarlo; Taurisano, Paolo; Amico, Graziella; Quarto, Tiziana; Antonucci, Linda Antonella; Barulli, Maria Rosaria; Mancini, Marina; Gelao, Barbara; Ferranti, Laura; Popolizio, Teresa; Bertolino, Alessandro; Blasi, Giuseppe

    2016-01-01

    Convergent evidence indicates that apathy affects cognitive behavior in different neurological and psychiatric conditions. Studies of clinical populations have also suggested the primary involvement of the prefrontal cortex and the basal ganglia in apathy. These brain regions are interconnected at both the structural and functional levels and are deeply involved in cognitive processes, such as working memory and attention. However, it is unclear how apathy modulates brain processing during cognition and whether such a modulation occurs in healthy young subjects. To address this issue, we investigated the link between apathy and prefrontal and basal ganglia function in healthy young individuals. We hypothesized that apathy may be related to sub-optimal activity and connectivity in these brain regions. Three hundred eleven healthy subjects completed an apathy assessment using the Starkstein's Apathy Scale and underwent fMRI during working memory and attentional performance tasks. Using an ROI approach, we investigated the association of apathy with activity and connectivity in the DLPFC and the basal ganglia. Apathy scores correlated positively with prefrontal activity and negatively with prefrontal-basal ganglia connectivity during both working memory and attention tasks. Furthermore, prefrontal activity was inversely related to attentional behavior. These results suggest that in healthy young subjects, apathy is a trait associated with inefficient cognitive-related prefrontal activity, i.e., it increases the need for prefrontal resources to process cognitive stimuli. Furthermore, apathy may alter the functional relationship between the prefrontal cortex and the basal ganglia during cognition.

  10. Prefrontal Activity and Connectivity with the Basal Ganglia during Performance of Complex Cognitive Tasks Is Associated with Apathy in Healthy Subjects.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leonardo Fazio

    Full Text Available Convergent evidence indicates that apathy affects cognitive behavior in different neurological and psychiatric conditions. Studies of clinical populations have also suggested the primary involvement of the prefrontal cortex and the basal ganglia in apathy. These brain regions are interconnected at both the structural and functional levels and are deeply involved in cognitive processes, such as working memory and attention. However, it is unclear how apathy modulates brain processing during cognition and whether such a modulation occurs in healthy young subjects. To address this issue, we investigated the link between apathy and prefrontal and basal ganglia function in healthy young individuals. We hypothesized that apathy may be related to sub-optimal activity and connectivity in these brain regions.Three hundred eleven healthy subjects completed an apathy assessment using the Starkstein's Apathy Scale and underwent fMRI during working memory and attentional performance tasks. Using an ROI approach, we investigated the association of apathy with activity and connectivity in the DLPFC and the basal ganglia.Apathy scores correlated positively with prefrontal activity and negatively with prefrontal-basal ganglia connectivity during both working memory and attention tasks. Furthermore, prefrontal activity was inversely related to attentional behavior.These results suggest that in healthy young subjects, apathy is a trait associated with inefficient cognitive-related prefrontal activity, i.e., it increases the need for prefrontal resources to process cognitive stimuli. Furthermore, apathy may alter the functional relationship between the prefrontal cortex and the basal ganglia during cognition.

  11. Larger mid-dorsolateral prefrontal gray matter volume in young binge drinkers revealed by voxel-based morphometry.

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    Sonia Doallo

    Full Text Available Binge drinking or heavy episodic drinking is a high prevalent pattern of alcohol consumption among young people in several countries. Despite increasing evidence that binge drinking is associated with impairments in executive aspects of working memory (i.e. self-ordered working memory, processes known to depend on the mid-dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (Brodmann areas 46 and 9, less is known about the impact of binge drinking on prefrontal gray matter integrity. Here, we investigated the effects of binge drinking on gray matter volume of mid- dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in youths. We used voxel-based morphometry on the structural magnetic resonance images of subjects reporting a persistent (at least three years binge drinking pattern of alcohol use (n = 11; age 22.43 ± 1.03 and control subjects (n = 21; age 22.18 ± 1.08 to measure differences in gray matter volume between both groups. In a region of interest analysis of the mid-dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, after co-varying for age and gender, we observed significantly larger gray matter volume in the left mid-dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (Brodmann areas 46 and 9 in binge drinkers in comparison with control subjects. Furthermore, there was a significant positive correlation between left mid-dorsolateral prefrontal cortex volume and Self-Ordered Pointing Test (SOPT total errors score in binge drinkers. The left mid-dorsolateral prefrontal cortex volume also correlated with the quantity and speed of alcohol intake. These findings indicate that a repeated exposure to alcohol -that does not meet criteria for alcohol dependence- throughout post-adolescent years and young adulthood is linked with structural anomalies in mid-dorsolateral prefrontal regions critically involved in executive aspects of working memory.

  12. Plasticity in the Prefrontal Cortex of Adult Rats

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    Bryan eKolb

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available We review the plastic changes of the prefrontal cortex of the rat in response to a wide range of experiences including sensory and motor experience, gonadal hormones, psychoactive drugs, learning tasks, stress, social experience, metaplastic experiences, and brain injury. Our focus is on synaptic changes (dendritic morphology and spine density in pyramidal neurons and the relationship to behavioral changes. The most general conclusion we can reach is that the prefrontal cortex is extremely plastic and that the medial and orbital prefrontal regions frequently respond very differently to the same experience in the same brain and the rules that govern prefrontal plasticity appear to differ for those of other cortical regions.

  13. Prenatal cocaine exposure decreases parvalbumin-immunoreactive neurons and GABA-to-projection neuron ratio in the medial prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCarthy, Deirdre M; Bhide, Pradeep G

    2012-01-01

    Cocaine abuse during pregnancy produces harmful effects not only on the mother but also on the unborn child. The neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin are known as the principal targets of the action of cocaine in the fetal and postnatal brain. However, recent evidence suggests that cocaine can impair cerebral cortical GABA neuron development and function. We sought to analyze the effects of prenatal cocaine exposure on the number and distribution of GABA and projection neurons (inhibitory interneurons and excitatory output neurons, respectively) in the mouse cerebral cortex. We found that the prenatal cocaine exposure decreased GABA neuron numbers and GABA-to-projection neuron ratio in the medial prefrontal cortex of 60-day-old mice. The neighboring prefrontal cortex did not show significant changes in either of these measures. However, there was a significant increase in projection neuron numbers in the prefrontal cortex but not in the medial prefrontal cortex. Thus, the effects of cocaine on GABA and projection neurons appear to be cortical region specific. The population of parvalbumin-immunoreactive GABA neurons was decreased in the medial prefrontal cortex following the prenatal cocaine exposure. The cocaine exposure also delayed the developmental decline in the volume of the medial prefrontal cortex. Thus, prenatal cocaine exposure produced persisting and region-specific effects on cortical cytoarchitecture and impaired the physiological balance between excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmission. These structural changes may underlie the electrophysiological and behavioral effects of prenatal cocaine exposure observed in animal models and human subjects. Copyright © 2012 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  14. Prefrontal Hemodynamics of Physical Activity and Environmental Complexity During Cognitive Work.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKendrick, Ryan; Mehta, Ranjana; Ayaz, Hasan; Scheldrup, Melissa; Parasuraman, Raja

    2017-02-01

    The aim of this study was to assess performance and cognitive states during cognitive work in the presence of physical work and in natural settings. Authors of previous studies have examined the interaction between cognitive and physical work, finding performance decrements in working memory. Neuroimaging has revealed increases and decreases in prefrontal oxygenated hemoglobin during the interaction of cognitive and physical work. The effect of environment on cognitive-physical dual tasking has not been previously considered. Thirteen participants were monitored with wireless functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) as they performed an auditory 1-back task while sitting, walking indoors, and walking outdoors. Relative to sitting and walking indoors, auditory working memory performance declined when participants were walking outdoors. Sitting during the auditory 1-back task increased oxygenated hemoglobin and decreased deoxygenated hemoglobin in bilateral prefrontal cortex. Walking reduced the total hemoglobin available to bilateral prefrontal cortex. An increase in environmental complexity reduced oxygenated hemoglobin and increased deoxygenated hemoglobin in bilateral prefrontal cortex. Wireless fNIRS is capable of monitoring cognitive states in naturalistic environments. Selective attention and physical work compete with executive processing. During executive processing loading of selective attention and physical work results in deactivation of bilateral prefrontal cortex and degraded working memory performance, indicating that physical work and concomitant selective attention may supersede executive processing in the distribution of mental resources. This research informs decision-making procedures in work where working memory, physical activity, and attention interact. Where working memory is paramount, precautions should be taken to eliminate competition from physical work and selective attention.

  15. Selective memory retrieval of auditory what and auditory where involves the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kostopoulos, Penelope; Petrides, Michael

    2016-02-16

    There is evidence from the visual, verbal, and tactile memory domains that the midventrolateral prefrontal cortex plays a critical role in the top-down modulation of activity within posterior cortical areas for the selective retrieval of specific aspects of a memorized experience, a functional process often referred to as active controlled retrieval. In the present functional neuroimaging study, we explore the neural bases of active retrieval for auditory nonverbal information, about which almost nothing is known. Human participants were scanned with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in a task in which they were presented with short melodies from different locations in a simulated virtual acoustic environment within the scanner and were then instructed to retrieve selectively either the particular melody presented or its location. There were significant activity increases specifically within the midventrolateral prefrontal region during the selective retrieval of nonverbal auditory information. During the selective retrieval of information from auditory memory, the right midventrolateral prefrontal region increased its interaction with the auditory temporal region and the inferior parietal lobule in the right hemisphere. These findings provide evidence that the midventrolateral prefrontal cortical region interacts with specific posterior cortical areas in the human cerebral cortex for the selective retrieval of object and location features of an auditory memory experience.

  16. Amodal processing in human prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tamber-Rosenau, Benjamin J; Dux, Paul E; Tombu, Michael N; Asplund, Christopher L; Marois, René

    2013-07-10

    Information enters the cortex via modality-specific sensory regions, whereas actions are produced by modality-specific motor regions. Intervening central stages of information processing map sensation to behavior. Humans perform this central processing in a flexible, abstract manner such that sensory information in any modality can lead to response via any motor system. Cognitive theories account for such flexible behavior by positing amodal central information processing (e.g., "central executive," Baddeley and Hitch, 1974; "supervisory attentional system," Norman and Shallice, 1986; "response selection bottleneck," Pashler, 1994). However, the extent to which brain regions embodying central mechanisms of information processing are amodal remains unclear. Here we apply multivariate pattern analysis to functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data to compare response selection, a cognitive process widely believed to recruit an amodal central resource across sensory and motor modalities. We show that most frontal and parietal cortical areas known to activate across a wide variety of tasks code modality, casting doubt on the notion that these regions embody a central processor devoid of modality representation. Importantly, regions of anterior insula and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex consistently failed to code modality across four experiments. However, these areas code at least one other task dimension, process (instantiated as response selection vs response execution), ensuring that failure to find coding of modality is not driven by insensitivity of multivariate pattern analysis in these regions. We conclude that abstract encoding of information modality is primarily a property of subregions of the prefrontal cortex.

  17. Dorsolateral Prefrontal Contributions to Human Intelligence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barbey, Aron K.; Colom, Roberto; Grafman, Jordan

    2012-01-01

    Although cognitive neuroscience has made remarkable progress in understanding the involvement of the prefrontal cortex in executive control functions for human intelligence, the necessity of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) for key competencies of general intelligence and executive function remains to be well established. Here we studied human brain lesion patients with dlPFC lesions to investigate whether this region is computationally necessary for performance on neuropsychological tests of general intelligence and executive function, administering the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS) and subtests of the Delis Kaplan Executive Function System (D-KEFS) to three groups: dlPFC lesions (n = 19), non-dlPFC lesions (n = 152), and no brain lesions (n = 55). The key results indicate that: (1) patients with focal dlPFC damage exhibit lower scores, at the latent variable level, than controls in general intelligence (g) and executive function; (2) dlPFC patients demonstrate lower scores than controls in several executive measures; and (3) these latter differences are no longer significant when the pervasive influence of the general factor of intelligence (g) is statistically removed. The observed findings support a central role for the dlPFC in general intelligence and make specific recommendations for the interpretation and application of the WAIS and D-KEFS to the study of high-level cognition in health and disease. PMID:22634247

  18. Electrophysiological mapping of novel prefrontal - cerebellar pathways

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas C Watson

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available Whilst the cerebellum is predominantly considered a sensorimotor control structure, accumulating evidence suggests that it may also subserve non motor functions during cognition. However, this possibility is not universally accepted, not least because the nature and pattern of links between higher cortical structures and the cerebellum are poorly characterized. We have therefore used in vivo electrophysiological methods in anaesthetized rats to directly investigate connectivity between the medial prefrontal cortex (prelimbic subdivision, PrL and the cerebellum. Stimulation of deep layers of PrL evoked distinct field potentials in the cerebellar cortex with a mean latency to peak of approximately 35ms. These responses showed a well-defined topography, and were maximal in lobule VII of the contralateral vermis (a known oculomotor centre; they were not attenuated by local anesthesia of the overlying M2 motor cortex, though M2 stimulation did evoke field potentials in lobule VII with a shorter latency. Single-unit recordings showed that prelimbic cortical stimulation elicits complex spikes in lobule VII Purkinje cells, indicating transmission via a previously undescribed cerebro-olivocerebellar pathway. Our results therefore establish a physiological basis for communication between PrL and the cerebellum. The role(s of this pathway remain to be resolved, but presumably relate to control of eye movements and/or distributed networks associated with integrated prefrontal cortical functions.

  19. Anterior prefrontal involvement in implicit contextual change detection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefan Pollmann

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available Anterior prefrontal cortex is usually associated with high level executive functions. Here, we show that the frontal pole, specifically left lateral frontopolar cortex, is involved in signaling change in implicitly learned spatial contexts, in the absence of conscious change detection. In a variant of the contextual cueing paradigm, participants first learned implicitly contingencies between distractor contexts and target locations. After learning, repeated distractor contexts were paired with new target locations. Left lateral frontopolar (BA10 and superior frontal (BA9 cortices showed selective signal increase for this target location change in repeated displays in an event-related fMRI experiment, which was most pronounced in participants with high contextual facilitation before the change. The data support the view that left lateral frontopolar cortex is involved in signaling contextual change to posterior brain areas as a precondition for adaptive changes of attentional resource allocation. This signaling occurs in the absence of awareness of learned contingencies or contextual change.

  20. Khat distorts the prefrontal cortex histology and function of adult ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Khat is a psychoactive herbal drug of pronounced ethno-pharmacological significance often abused due to its unregulated use. It affects many brain centers including the prefrontal cortex which is the anterior most part of the frontal lobe. The prefrontal cortex modulates working memory, planning complex cognitive ...

  1. Implicit and Explicit Learning Mechanisms Meet in Monkey Prefrontal Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chafee, Matthew V; Crowe, David A

    2017-10-11

    In this issue, Loonis et al. (2017) provide the first description of unique synchrony patterns differentiating implicit and explicit forms of learning in monkey prefrontal networks. Their results have broad implications for how prefrontal networks integrate the two learning mechanisms to control behavior. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Incremental rate of prefrontal oxygenation determines performance speed during cognitive Stroop test: the effect of ageing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Endo, Kana; Liang, Nan; Idesako, Mitsuhiro; Ishii, Kei; Matsukawa, Kanji

    2018-02-19

    Cognitive function declines with age. The underlying mechanisms responsible for the deterioration of cognitive performance, however, remain poorly understood. We hypothesized that an incremental rate of prefrontal oxygenation during a cognitive Stroop test decreases in progress of ageing, resulting in a slowdown of cognitive performance. To test this hypothesis, we identified, using multichannel near-infrared spectroscopy, the characteristics of the oxygenated-hemoglobin concentration (Oxy-Hb) responses of the prefrontal cortex to both incongruent Stroop and congruent word-reading test. Spatial distributions of the significant changes in the three components (initial slope, peak amplitude, and area under the curve) of the Oxy-Hb response were compared between young and elderly subjects. The Stroop interference time (as a difference in total periods for executing Stroop and word-reading test, respectively) approximately doubled in elderly as compared to young subjects. The Oxy-Hb in the rostrolateral, but not caudal, prefrontal cortex increased during the Stroop test in both age groups. The initial slope of the Oxy-Hb response, rather than the peak and area under the curve, had a strong correlation with cognitive performance speed. Taken together, it is likely that the incremental rate of prefrontal oxygenation may decrease in progress of ageing, resulting in a decline in cognitive performance.

  3. Prefrontal activation may predict working-memory training gain in normal aging and mild cognitive impairment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vermeij, Anouk; Kessels, Roy P C; Heskamp, Linda; Simons, Esther M F; Dautzenberg, Paul L J; Claassen, Jurgen A H R

    2017-02-01

    Cognitive training has been shown to result in improved behavioral performance in normal aging and mild cognitive impairment (MCI), yet little is known about the neural correlates of cognitive plasticity, or about individual differences in responsiveness to cognitive training. In this study, 21 healthy older adults and 14 patients with MCI received five weeks of adaptive computerized working-memory (WM) training. Before and after training, functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS) was used to assess the hemodynamic response in left and right prefrontal cortex during performance of a verbal n-back task with varying levels of WM load. After training, healthy older adults demonstrated decreased prefrontal activation at high WM load, which may indicate increased processing efficiency. Although MCI patients showed improved behavioral performance at low WM load after training, no evidence was found for training-related changes in prefrontal activation. Whole-group analyses showed that a relatively strong hemodynamic response at low WM load was related to worse behavioral performance, while a relatively strong hemodynamic response at high WM load was related to higher training gain. Therefore, a 'youth-like' prefrontal activation pattern at older age may be associated with better behavioral outcome and cognitive plasticity.

  4. Prefrontal cerebral blood volume patterns while playing video games--a near-infrared spectroscopy study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagamitsu, Shinichiro; Nagano, Miki; Yamashita, Yushiro; Takashima, Sachio; Matsuishi, Toyojiro

    2006-06-01

    Video game playing is an attractive form of entertainment among school-age children. Although this activity reportedly has many adverse effects on child development, these effects remain controversial. To investigate the effect of video game playing on regional cerebral blood volume, we measured cerebral hemoglobin concentrations using near-infrared spectroscopy in 12 normal volunteers consisting of six children and six adults. A Hitachi Optical Topography system was used to measure hemoglobin changes. For all subjects, the video game Donkey Kong was played on a Game Boy device. After spectroscopic probes were positioned on the scalp near the target brain regions, the participants were asked to play the game for nine periods of 15s each, with 15-s rest intervals between these task periods. Significant increases in bilateral prefrontal total-hemoglobin concentrations were observed in four of the adults during video game playing. On the other hand, significant decreases in bilateral prefrontal total-hemoglobin concentrations were seen in two of the children. A significant positive correlation between mean oxy-hemoglobin changes in the prefrontal region and those in the bilateral motor cortex area was seen in adults. Playing video games gave rise to dynamic changes in cerebral blood volume in both age groups, while the difference in the prefrontal oxygenation patterns suggested an age-dependent utilization of different neural circuits during video game tasks.

  5. Action control is mediated by prefrontal BDNF and glucocorticoid receptor binding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gourley, Shannon L; Swanson, Andrew M; Jacobs, Andrea M; Howell, Jessica L; Mo, Michelle; Dileone, Ralph J; Koleske, Anthony J; Taylor, Jane R

    2012-12-11

    Stressor exposure biases decision-making strategies from those based on the relationship between actions and their consequences to others restricted by stimulus-response associations. Chronic stressor exposure also desensitizes glucocorticoid receptors (GR) and diminishes motivation to acquire food reinforcement, although causal relationships are largely not established. We show that a history of chronic exposure to the GR ligand corticosterone or acute posttraining GR blockade with RU38486 makes rodents less able to perform actions based on their consequences. Thus, optimal GR binding is necessary for the consolidation of new response-outcome learning. In contrast, medial prefrontal (but not striatal) BDNF can account for stress-related amotivation, in that selective medial prefrontal cortical Bdnf knockdown decreases break-point ratios in a progressive-ratio task. Knockdown also increases vulnerability to RU38486. Despite the role of BDNF in dendritic spine reorganization, deep-layer spine remodeling does not obviously parallel progressive-ratio response patterns, but treatment with the Na(+)-channel inhibitor riluzole reverses corticosteroid-induced motivational deficits and restores prefrontal BDNF expression after corticosterone. We argue that when prefrontal neurotrophin systems are compromised, and GR-mediated hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis feedback is desensitized (as in the case of chronic stress hormone exposure), amotivation and inflexible maladaptive response strategies that contribute to stress-related mood disorders result.

  6. Anticipatory activity in rat medial prefrontal cortex during a working memory task

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Wenwen Bai; Tiaotiao Liu; Hu Yi; Shuangyan Li; Xin Tian

    2012-01-01

    Objective Working memory is a key cognitive function in which the prefrontal cortex plays a crucial role.This study aimed to show the firing patterns of a neuronal population in the prefrontal cortex of the rat in a working memory task and to explore how a neuronal ensemble encodes a working memory event.Methods Sprague-Dawley rats were trained in a Y-maze until they reached an 80% correct rate in a working memory task.Then a 16-channel microelectrode array was implanted in the prefrontal cortex.After recovery,neuronal population activity was recorded during the task,using the Cerebus data-acquisition system.Spatio-temporal trains of action potentials were obtained from the original neuronal population signals.Results During the Y-maze working memory task,some neurons showed significantly increased firing rates and evident neuronal ensemble activity.Moreover,the anticipatory activity was associated with the delayed alternate choice of the upcoming movement.In correct trials,the averaged pre-event firing rate (10.86 ± 1.82 spikes/bin) was higher than the post-event rate (8.17 ± 1.15 spikes/bin) (P <0.05).However,in incorrect trials,the rates did not differ.Conclusion The results indicate that the anticipatory activity of a neuronal ensemble in the prefrontal cortex may play a role in encoding working memory events.

  7. Back to front: cerebellar connections and interactions with the prefrontal cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas C Watson

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Although recent neuroanatomical evidence has demonstrated closed-loop connectivity between prefrontal cortex and the cerebellum, the physiology of cerebello-cerebral circuits and the extent to which cerebellar output modulates neuronal activity in neocortex during behavior remain relatively unexplored. We show that electrical stimulation of the contralateral cerebellar fastigial nucleus (FN in awake, behaving rats evokes distinct local field potential (LFP responses (onset latency ~13 ms in the prelimbic (PrL subdivision of the medial prefrontal cortex. Trains of FN stimulation evoke heterogeneous patterns of response in putative pyramidal cells in frontal and prefrontal regions in both urethane-anaesthetized and awake, behaving rats. However, the majority of cells showed decreased firing rates during stimulation and subsequent rebound increases; more than 90% of cells showed significant changes in response. Simultaneous recording of on-going LFP activity from FN and PrL while rats were at rest or actively exploring an open field arena revealed significant network coherence restricted to the theta frequency range (5-10 Hz. Granger causality analysis indicated that this coherence was significantly directed from cerebellum to PrL during active locomotion. Our results demonstrate the presence of a cerebello-prefrontal pathway in rat and reveal behaviorally dependent coordinated network activity between the two structures, which could facilitate transfer of sensorimotor information into ongoing neocortical processing during goal directed behaviors.

  8. Prefrontal cortical GABA modulation of spatial reference and working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Auger, Meagan L; Floresco, Stan B

    2014-10-31

    Dysfunction in prefrontal cortex (PFC) GABA transmission has been proposed to contribute to cognitive dysfunction in schizophrenia, yet how this system regulates different cognitive and mnemonic functions remains unclear. We assessed the effects of pharmacological reduction of GABAA signaling in the medial PFC of rats on spatial reference/working memory using different versions of the radial-arm maze task. We used a massed-trials procedure to probe how PFC GABA regulates susceptibility to proactive interference. Male rats were well-trained to retrieve food from the same 4 arms of an 8-arm maze, receiving 5 trials/day (1-2 min intervals). Infusions of the GABAA receptor antagonist bicuculline (12.5-50 ng) markedly increased working and reference memory errors and response latencies. Similar treatments also impaired short-term memory on an 8-baited arm task. These effects did not appear to be due to increased susceptibility to proactive interference. In contrast, PFC inactivation via infusion of GABA agonists baclofen/muscimol did not affect reference/working memory. In comparison to the pronounced effects on the 8-arm maze tasks, PFC GABAA antagonism only causes a slight and transient decrease in accuracy on a 2-arm spatial discrimination. These findings demonstrate that prefrontal GABA hypofunction severely disrupts spatial reference and short-term memory and that disinhibition of the PFC can, in some instances, perturb memory processes not normally dependent on the frontal lobes. Moreover, these impairments closely resemble those observed in schizophrenic patients, suggesting that perturbation in PFC GABA signaling may contribute to these types of cognitive deficits associated with the disorder. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of CINP.

  9. The Development of the Ventral Prefrontal Cortex and Social Flexibility

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, Eric E.; Guyer, Amanda E.

    2011-01-01

    Over the last several years a number of studies in both humans and animals have suggested that the orbitofrontal and ventrolateral prefrontal cortices play an important role in generating flexible behavior. We suggest that input from these brain regions contribute to three functions involved in generating flexible behavior within social contexts: valuation, inhibition, and rule use. Recent studies have also demonstrated that the prefrontal cortex undergoes a prolonged course of maturation that extends well after puberty. Here, we review evidence that the prolonged development of these prefrontal regions parallels a slowly emerging ability for flexible social behavior. We also speculate on the possibility that sensitive periods for organizing social behavior may be embedded within this developmental time-fame. Finally, we discuss the role of prefrontal cortex in adolescent mood and anxiety disorders, particularly as orbitofrontal and ventrolateral prefrontal cortices are engaged in a social context. PMID:21804907

  10. The Analgesic and Anxiolytic Effect of Souvenaid, a Novel Nutraceutical, Is Mediated by Alox15 Activity in the Prefrontal Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shalini, Suku-Maran; Herr, Deron R; Ong, Wei-Yi

    2017-10-01

    Pain and anxiety have a complex relationship and pain is known to share neurobiological pathways and neurotransmitters with anxiety. Top-down modulatory pathways of pain have been shown to originate from cortical and subcortical regions, including the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. In this study, a novel docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)-containing nutraceutical, Souvenaid, was administered to mice with infraorbital nerve ligation-induced neuropathic pain and behavioral responses recorded. Infraorbital nerve ligation resulted in increased face wash strokes of the face upon von Frey hair stimulation, indicating increased nociception. Part of this response involves general pain sensitization that is dependent on the CNS, since increased nociception was also found in the paws during the hot plate test. Mice receiving oral gavage of Souvenaid, a nutraceutical containing DHA; choline; and other cell membrane components, showed significantly reduced pain sensitization. The mechanism of Souvenaid's activity involves supraspinal antinociception, originating in the prefrontal cortex, since inhibition of the DHA-metabolizing enzyme 15-lipoxygenase (Alox15) in the prefrontal cortex attenuated the antinociceptive effect of Souvenaid. Alox15 inhibition also modulated anxiety behavior associated with pain after infraorbital nerve ligation. The effects of Souvenaid components and Alox15 on reducing central sensitization of pain may be due to strengthening of a known supraspinal antinociceptive pathway from the prefrontal cortex to the periaqueductal gray. Together, results indicate the importance of the prefrontal cortex and DHA/Alox15 in central antinociceptive pathways and suggest that Souvenaid may be a novel therapeutic for neuropathic pain.

  11. Neurons responsive to face-view in the primate ventrolateral prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romanski, L M; Diehl, M M

    2011-08-25

    Studies have indicated that temporal and prefrontal brain regions process face and vocal information. Face-selective and vocalization-responsive neurons have been demonstrated in the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC) and some prefrontal cells preferentially respond to combinations of face and corresponding vocalizations. These studies suggest VLPFC in nonhuman primates may play a role in communication that is similar to the role of inferior frontal regions in human language processing. If VLPFC is involved in communication, information about a speaker's face including identity, face-view, gaze, and emotional expression might be encoded by prefrontal neurons. In the following study, we examined the effect of face-view in ventrolateral prefrontal neurons by testing cells with auditory, visual, and a set of human and monkey faces rotated through 0°, 30°, 60°, 90°, and -30°. Prefrontal neurons responded selectively to either the identity of the face presented (human or monkey) or to the specific view of the face/head, or to both identity and face-view. Neurons which were affected by the identity of the face most often showed an increase in firing in the second part of the stimulus period. Neurons that were selective for face-view typically preferred forward face-view stimuli (0° and 30° rotation). The neurons which were selective for forward face-view were also auditory responsive compared to other neurons which responded to other views or were unselective which were not auditory responsive. Our analysis showed that the human forward face (0°) was decoded better and also contained the most information relative to other face-views. Our findings confirm a role for VLPFC in the processing and integration of face and vocalization information and add to the growing body of evidence that the primate ventrolateral prefrontal cortex plays a prominent role in social communication and is an important model in understanding the cellular mechanisms of communication

  12. Functional Connectivity Bias in the Prefrontal Cortex of Psychopaths.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Contreras-Rodríguez, Oren; Pujol, Jesus; Batalla, Iolanda; Harrison, Ben J; Soriano-Mas, Carles; Deus, Joan; López-Solà, Marina; Macià, Dídac; Pera, Vanessa; Hernández-Ribas, Rosa; Pifarré, Josep; Menchón, José M; Cardoner, Narcís

    2015-11-01

    Psychopathy is characterized by a distinctive interpersonal style that combines callous-unemotional traits with inflexible and antisocial behavior. Traditional emotion-based perspectives link emotional impairment mostly to alterations in amygdala-ventromedial frontal circuits. However, these models alone cannot explain why individuals with psychopathy can regularly benefit from emotional information when placed on their focus of attention and why they are more resistant to interference from nonaffective contextual cues. The present study aimed to identify abnormal or distinctive functional links between and within emotional and cognitive brain systems in the psychopathic brain to characterize further the neural bases of psychopathy. High-resolution anatomic magnetic resonance imaging with a functional sequence acquired in the resting state was used to assess 22 subjects with psychopathy and 22 control subjects. Anatomic and functional connectivity alterations were investigated first using a whole-brain analysis. Brain regions showing overlapping anatomic and functional changes were examined further using seed-based functional connectivity mapping. Subjects with psychopathy showed gray matter reduction involving prefrontal cortex, paralimbic, and limbic structures. Anatomic changes overlapped with areas showing increased degree of functional connectivity at the medial-dorsal frontal cortex. Subsequent functional seed-based connectivity mapping revealed a pattern of reduced functional connectivity of prefrontal areas with limbic-paralimbic structures and enhanced connectivity within the dorsal frontal lobe in subjects with psychopathy. Our results suggest that a weakened link between emotional and cognitive domains in the psychopathic brain may combine with enhanced functional connections within frontal executive areas. The identified functional alterations are discussed in the context of potential contributors to the inflexible behavior displayed by individuals with

  13. Predicting Treatment Outcomes from Prefrontal Cortex Activation for Self-Harming Patients with Borderline Personality Disorder: A Preliminary Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anthony Charles Ruocco

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Self-harm is a potentially lethal symptom of borderline personality disorder (BPD that often improves with dialectical behavior therapy (DBT. While DBT is effective for reducing self-harm in many patients with BPD, a small but significant number of patients either does not improve in treatment or ends treatment prematurely. Accordingly, it is crucial to identify factors that may prospectively predict which patients are most likely to benefit from and remain in treatment. In the present preliminary study, twenty-nine actively self-harming patients with BPD completed brain-imaging procedures probing activation of the prefrontal cortex during impulse control prior to beginning DBT and after seven months of treatment. Patients that reduced their frequency of self-harm the most over treatment displayed lower levels of neural activation in the bilateral dorsolateral prefrontal cortex prior to beginning treatment, and they showed the greatest increases in activity within this region after seven months of treatment. Prior to starting DBT, treatment non-completers demonstrated greater activation than treatment-completers in the medial prefrontal cortex and right inferior frontal gyrus. Reductions in self-harm over the treatment period were associated with increases in activity in right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex even after accounting for improvements in depression, mania, and BPD symptom severity. These findings suggest that pre-treatment patterns of activation in the prefrontal cortex underlying impulse control may be prospectively associated with improvements in self-harm and treatment attrition for patients with BPD treated with DBT.

  14. Cognitive deficits caused by prefrontal cortical and hippocampal neural disinhibition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bast, Tobias; Pezze, Marie; McGarrity, Stephanie

    2017-10-01

    We review recent evidence concerning the significance of inhibitory GABA transmission and of neural disinhibition, that is, deficient GABA transmission, within the prefrontal cortex and the hippocampus, for clinically relevant cognitive functions. Both regions support important cognitive functions, including attention and memory, and their dysfunction has been implicated in cognitive deficits characterizing neuropsychiatric disorders. GABAergic inhibition shapes cortico-hippocampal neural activity, and, recently, prefrontal and hippocampal neural disinhibition has emerged as a pathophysiological feature of major neuropsychiatric disorders, especially schizophrenia and age-related cognitive decline. Regional neural disinhibition, disrupting spatio-temporal control of neural activity and causing aberrant drive of projections, may disrupt processing within the disinhibited region and efferent regions. Recent studies in rats showed that prefrontal and hippocampal neural disinhibition (by local GABA antagonist microinfusion) dysregulates burst firing, which has been associated with important aspects of neural information processing. Using translational tests of clinically relevant cognitive functions, these studies showed that prefrontal and hippocampal neural disinhibition disrupts regional cognitive functions (including prefrontal attention and hippocampal memory function). Moreover, hippocampal neural disinhibition disrupted attentional performance, which does not require the hippocampus but requires prefrontal-striatal circuits modulated by the hippocampus. However, some prefrontal and hippocampal functions (including inhibitory response control) are spared by regional disinhibition. We consider conceptual implications of these findings, regarding the distinct relationships of distinct cognitive functions to prefrontal and hippocampal GABA tone and neural activity. Moreover, the findings support the proposition that prefrontal and hippocampal neural disinhibition

  15. Prefrontal Cortex Networks Shift from External to Internal Modes during Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brincat, Scott L.

    2016-01-01

    As we learn about items in our environment, their neural representations become increasingly enriched with our acquired knowledge. But there is little understanding of how network dynamics and neural processing related to external information changes as it becomes laden with “internal” memories. We sampled spiking and local field potential activity simultaneously from multiple sites in the lateral prefrontal cortex (PFC) and the hippocampus (HPC)—regions critical for sensory associations—of monkeys performing an object paired-associate learning task. We found that in the PFC, evoked potentials to, and neural information about, external sensory stimulation decreased while induced beta-band (∼11–27 Hz) oscillatory power and synchrony associated with “top-down” or internal processing increased. By contrast, the HPC showed little evidence of learning-related changes in either spiking activity or network dynamics. The results suggest that during associative learning, PFC networks shift their resources from external to internal processing. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT As we learn about items in our environment, their representations in our brain become increasingly enriched with our acquired “top-down” knowledge. We found that in the prefrontal cortex, but not the hippocampus, processing of external sensory inputs decreased while internal network dynamics related to top-down processing increased. The results suggest that during learning, prefrontal cortex networks shift their resources from external (sensory) to internal (memory) processing. PMID:27629722

  16. Changes of heart rate variability and prefrontal oxygenation during Tai Chi practice versus arm ergometer cycling

    OpenAIRE

    Lu, Xi; Hui-Chan, Christina Wan-Ying; Tsang, William Wai-Nam

    2016-01-01

    [Purpose] Exercise has been shown to improve cardiovascular fitness and cognitive function. Whether the inclusion of mind over exercise would increase parasympathetic control of the heart and brain activities more than general exercise at a similar intensity is not known. The aim of this study was to compare the effects of Tai Chi (mind-body exercise) versus arm ergometer cycling (body-focused exercise) on the heart rate variability and prefrontal oxygenation level. [Subjects and Methods] A T...

  17. Co-activation-based parcellation of the lateral prefrontal cortex delineates the inferior frontal junction area

    OpenAIRE

    Muhle-Karbe, Paul Simon; Derrfuss, Jan; Lynn, Maggie; Neubert, Franz Xaver; Fox, Peter; Brass, Marcel; Eickhoff, Simon

    2016-01-01

    The inferior frontal junction (IFJ) area, a small region in the posterior lateral prefrontal cortex (LPFC), has received increasing interest in recent years due to its central involvement in the control of action, attention, and memory. Yet, both its function and anatomy remain controversial. Here, we employed a meta-analytic parcellation of the left LPFC to show that the IFJ can be isolated based on its specific functional connections. A seed region, oriented along the left inferior frontal ...

  18. Activation of 5-HT2 receptors enhances the release of acetylcholine in the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus of the rat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nair, Sunila G; Gudelsky, Gary A

    2004-09-15

    The role of 5-HT2 receptors in the regulation of acetylcholine (ACh) release was examined in the medial prefrontal cortex and dorsal hippocampus using in vivo microdialysis. The 5-HT(2A/2C) agonist +/-1-(2,5-dimethoxy-4-iodophenyl) -2- aminopropane hydrochloride (DOI) (1 and 2 mg/kg, i.p.) significantly increased the extracellular concentration of ACh in both brain regions, and this response was attenuated in rats treated with the 5-HT(2A/2B/2C) antagonist LY-53,857 (3 mg/kg, i.p.). Treatment with LY-53,857 alone did not significantly alter ACh release in either brain region The 5-HT(2C) agonist 6-chloro-2-(1-piperazinyl)-pyrazine) (MK-212) (5 mg/kg, i.p.) significantly enhanced the release of ACh in both the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus, whereas the 5-HT2 agonist mescaline (10 mg/kg, i.p.) produced a 2-fold increase in ACh release only in the prefrontal cortex. Intracortical, but not intrahippocampal, infusion of DOI (100 microM) significantly enhanced the release of ACh, and intracortical infusion of LY-53,857 (100 microM) significantly attenuated this response. These results suggest that the release of ACh in the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus is influenced by 5-HT2 receptor mechanisms. The increase in release of ACh induced by DOI in the prefrontal cortex, but not in the hippocampus, appears to be due to 5-HT2 receptor mechanisms localized within this brain region. Furthermore, it appears that the prefrontal cortex is more sensitive than the dorsal hippocampus to the stimulatory effect of 5-HT2 agonists on ACh release.

  19. Common and dissociable prefrontal loci associated with component mechanisms of analogical reasoning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cho, Soohyun; Moody, Teena D; Fernandino, Leonardo; Mumford, Jeanette A; Poldrack, Russell A; Cannon, Tyrone D; Knowlton, Barbara J; Holyoak, Keith J

    2010-03-01

    The ability to draw analogies requires 2 key cognitive processes, relational integration and resolution of interference. The present study aimed to identify the neural correlates of both component processes of analogical reasoning within a single, nonverbal analogy task using event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging. Participants verified whether a visual analogy was true by considering either 1 or 3 relational dimensions. On half of the trials, there was an additional need to resolve interference in order to make a correct judgment. Increase in the number of dimensions to integrate was associated with increased activation in the lateral prefrontal cortex as well as lateral frontal pole in both hemispheres. When there was a need to resolve interference during reasoning, activation increased in the lateral prefrontal cortex but not in the frontal pole. We identified regions in the middle and inferior frontal gyri which were exclusively sensitive to demands on each component process, in addition to a partial overlap between these neural correlates of each component process. These results indicate that analogical reasoning is mediated by the coordination of multiple regions of the prefrontal cortex, of which some are sensitive to demands on only one of these 2 component processes, whereas others are sensitive to both.

  20. A translational investigation targeting stress-reactivity and prefrontal cognitive control with guanfacine for smoking cessation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKee, Sherry A; Potenza, Marc N; Kober, Hedy; Sofuoglu, Mehmet; Arnsten, Amy F T; Picciotto, Marina R; Weinberger, Andrea H; Ashare, Rebecca; Sinha, Rajita

    2015-03-01

    Stress and prefrontal cognitive dysfunction have key roles in driving smoking; however, there are no therapeutics for smoking cessation that attenuate the effects of stress on smoking and enhance cognition. Central noradrenergic pathways are involved in stress-induced reinstatement to nicotine and in the prefrontal executive control of adaptive behaviors. We used a novel translational approach employing a validated laboratory analogue of stress-precipitated smoking, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), and a proof-of-concept treatment period to evaluate whether the noradrenergic α2a agonist guanfacine (3 mg/day) versus placebo (0 mg/day) reduced stress-precipitated smoking in the laboratory, altered cortico-striatal activation during the Stroop cognitive-control task, and reduced smoking following a quit attempt. In nicotine-deprived smokers (n=33), stress versus a neutral condition significantly decreased the latency to smoke, and increased tobacco craving, ad-libitum smoking, and systolic blood pressure in placebo-treated subjects, and these effects were absent or reduced in guanfacine-treated subjects. Following stress, placebo-treated subjects demonstrated decreased cortisol levels whereas guanfacine-treated subjects demonstrated increased levels. Guanfacine, compared with placebo, altered prefrontal activity during a cognitive-control task, and reduced cigarette use but did not increase complete abstinence during treatment. These preliminary laboratory, neuroimaging, and clinical outcome data were consistent and complementary and support further development of guanfacine for smoking cessation. © The Author(s) 2014.

  1. Compulsive Sexual Behavior: Prefrontal and Limbic Volume and Interactions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schmidt, Casper; Morris, Laurel S.; Kvamme, Timo L.

    2017-01-01

    with matched healthy volunteers (HV). Methods: Structural MRI (MPRAGE) data were collected in 92 subjects (23 CSB males and 69 age-matched male HV) and analyzed using voxel-based morphometry. Resting state functional MRI data using multi-echo planar sequence and independent components analysis (ME-ICA) were...... prefrontal cortex (whole brain, cluster corrected FWE P motivational salience and emotion processing, and impaired functional connectivity between prefrontal control regulatory and limbic regions...

  2. Sensitivity of the prefrontal GABAergic system to chronic stress in male and female mice: Relevance for sex differences in stress-related disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shepard, Ryan; Page, Chloe E; Coutellier, Laurence

    2016-09-22

    Stress-induced modifications of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) are believed to contribute to the onset of mood disorders, such as depression and anxiety, which are more prevalent in women. In depression, the PFC is hypoactive; however the origin of this hypoactivity remains unclear. Possibly, stress could impact the prefrontal GABAergic inhibitory system that, as a result, impairs the functioning of downstream limbic structures controlling emotions. Preclinical evidence indicates that the female PFC is more sensitive to the effects of stress. These findings suggest that exposure to stress could lead to sex-specific alterations in prefrontal GABAergic signaling, which contribute to sex-specific abnormal functioning of limbic regions. These limbic changes could promote the onset of depressive and anxiety behaviors in a sex-specific manner, providing a possible mechanism mediating sex differences in the clinical presentation of stress-related mood disorders. We addressed this hypothesis using a mouse model of stress-induced depressive-like behaviors: the unpredictable chronic mild stress (UCMS) paradigm. We observed changes in prefrontal GABAergic signaling after exposure to UCMS most predominantly in females. Increased parvalbumin (PV) expression and decreased prefrontal neuronal activity were correlated in females with severe emotionality deficit following UCMS, and with altered activity of the amygdala. In males, small changes in emotionality following UCMS were associated with minor changes in prefrontal PV expression, and with hypoactivity of the nucleus accumbens. Our data suggest that prefrontal hypoactivity observed in stress-related mood disorders could result from stress-induced increases in PV expression, particularly in females. This increased vulnerability of the female prefrontal PV system to stress could underlie sex differences in the prevalence and symptomatology of stress-related mood disorders. Copyright © 2016 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All

  3. Prefrontal-hippocampal interactions for spatial navigation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ito, Hiroshi T

    2018-04-01

    Animals have the ability to navigate to a desired location by making use of information about environmental landmarks and their own movements. While decades of neuroscience research have identified neurons in the hippocampus and parahippocampal structures that represent an animal's position in space, it is still largely unclear how an animal can choose the next movement direction to reach a desired goal. As the goal destination is typically located somewhere outside of the range of sensory perception, the animal is required to rely on the internal metric of space to estimate the direction and distance of the destination to plan a next action. Therefore, the hippocampal spatial map should interact with action-planning systems in other cortical regions. In accordance with this idea, several recent studies have indicated the importance of functional interactions between the hippocampus and the prefrontal cortex for goal-directed navigation. In this paper, I will review these studies and discuss how an animal can estimate its future positions correspond to a next movement. Investigation of the navigation problem may further provide general insights into internal models of the brain for action planning. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ireland Ltd and Japan Neuroscience Society. All rights reserved.

  4. Prefrontal Dopamine in Associative Learning and Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Puig, M. Victoria; Antzoulatos, Evan G.; Miller, Earl K.

    2014-01-01

    Learning to associate specific objects or actions with rewards and remembering the associations are everyday tasks crucial for our flexible adaptation to the environment. These higher-order cognitive processes depend on the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and frontostriatal circuits that connect areas in the frontal lobe with the striatum in the basal ganglia. Both structures are densely innervated by dopamine (DA) afferents that originate in the midbrain. Although the activity of DA neurons is thought to be important for learning, the exact role of DA transmission in frontostriatal circuits during learning-related tasks is still unresolved. Moreover, the neural substrates of this modulation are poorly understood. Here, we review our recent work in monkeys utilizing local pharmacology of DA agents in the PFC to investigate the cellular mechanisms of DA modulation of associative learning and memory. We show that blocking both D1 and D2 receptors in the lateral PFC impairs learning of new stimulus-response associations and cognitive flexibility, but not the memory of highly familiar associations. In addition, D2 receptors may also contribute to motivation. The learning deficits correlated with reductions of neural information about the associations in PFC neurons, alterations in global excitability and spike synchronization, and exaggerated alpha and beta neural oscillations. Our findings provide new insights into how DA transmission modulate associative learning and memory processes in frontostriatal systems. PMID:25241063

  5. Prefrontal dopamine in associative learning and memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Puig, M V; Antzoulatos, E G; Miller, E K

    2014-12-12

    Learning to associate specific objects or actions with rewards and remembering the associations are everyday tasks crucial for our flexible adaptation to the environment. These higher-order cognitive processes depend on the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and frontostriatal circuits that connect areas in the frontal lobe with the striatum in the basal ganglia. Both structures are densely innervated by dopamine (DA) afferents that originate in the midbrain. Although the activity of DA neurons is thought to be important for learning, the exact role of DA transmission in frontostriatal circuits during learning-related tasks is still unresolved. Moreover, the neural substrates of this modulation are poorly understood. Here, we review our recent work in monkeys utilizing local pharmacology of DA agents in the PFC to investigate the cellular mechanisms of DA modulation of associative learning and memory. We show that blocking both D1 and D2 receptors in the lateral PFC impairs learning of new stimulus-response associations and cognitive flexibility, but not the memory of highly familiar associations. In addition, D2 receptors may also contribute to motivation. The learning deficits correlated with reductions of neural information about the associations in PFC neurons, alterations in global excitability and spike synchronization, and exaggerated alpha and beta neural oscillations. Our findings provide new insights into how DA transmission modulates associative learning and memory processes in frontostriatal systems. Copyright © 2014 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. 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.

  7. High social desirability and prefrontal cortical activity in cancer patients: a preliminary study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tashiro, Manabu; Juengling, Freimut D; Moser, Ernst; Reinhardt, Michael J; Kubota, Kazuo; Yanai, Kazuhiko; Sasaki, Hidetada; Nitzsche, Egbert U; Kumano, Hiroaki; Itoh, Masatoshi

    2003-04-01

    Social desirability is sometimes associated with poor prognosis in cancer patients. Psycho-neuro-immune interaction has been hypothesized as an underlying mechanism of the negative clinical outcome. Purpose of this study was to examine possible effects of high social desirability on the regional brain activity in patients with malignant diseases. Brain metabolism of 16 patients with various malignant diseases was measured by PET with 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG). Patients were divided into 2 groups using median split on Marlowe & Crown's Social Desirability Scale (MC), controlling for age, gender, and for severity of depression and anxiety, the possible two major influential factors. A group comparison of the regional cerebral activity was calculated on a voxel-by-voxel basis using statistical parametric mapping (SPM). The subgroup comparison showed that the high social desirability was associated with relatively increased metabolism in the cortical regions in the prefrontal, temporal and occipital lobes as well as in the anterior cingulate gyrus. High social desirability seems to be associated with increased activity in the prefrontal and other cortical areas. The finding is in an accordance with previous studies that demonstrated an association between prefrontal damage and anti-social behavior. Functional neuroimaging seems to be useful not only for psychiatric evaluation of major factors such as depression and anxiety but also for further psychosocial factors in cancer patients.

  8. Optogenetic Stimulation of Prefrontal Glutamatergic Neurons Enhances Recognition Memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benn, Abigail; Barker, Gareth R I; Stuart, Sarah A; Roloff, Eva V L; Teschemacher, Anja G; Warburton, E Clea; Robinson, Emma S J

    2016-05-04

    Finding effective cognitive enhancers is a major health challenge; however, modulating glutamatergic neurotransmission has the potential to enhance performance in recognition memory tasks. Previous studies using glutamate receptor antagonists have revealed that the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) plays a central role in associative recognition memory. The present study investigates short-term recognition memory using optogenetics to target glutamatergic neurons within the rodent mPFC specifically. Selective stimulation of glutamatergic neurons during the online maintenance of information enhanced associative recognition memory in normal animals. This cognitive enhancing effect was replicated by local infusions of the AMPAkine CX516, but not CX546, which differ in their effects on EPSPs. This suggests that enhancing the amplitude, but not the duration, of excitatory synaptic currents improves memory performance. Increasing glutamate release through infusions of the mGluR7 presynaptic receptor antagonist MMPIP had no effect on performance. These results provide new mechanistic information that could guide the targeting of future cognitive enhancers. Our work suggests that improved associative-recognition memory can be achieved by enhancing endogenous glutamatergic neuronal activity selectively using an optogenetic approach. We build on these observations to recapitulate this effect using drug treatments that enhance the amplitude of EPSPs; however, drugs that alter the duration of the EPSP or increase glutamate release lack efficacy. This suggests that both neural and temporal specificity are needed to achieve cognitive enhancement. Copyright © 2016 Benn et al.

  9. Recruitment of prefrontal-striatal circuit in response to skilled motor challenge.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Yumei; Wang, Zhuo; Prathap, Sandhya; Holschneider, Daniel P

    2017-12-13

    A variety of physical fitness regimens have been shown to improve cognition, including executive function, yet our understanding of which parameters of motor training are important in optimizing outcomes remains limited. We used functional brain mapping to compare the ability of two motor challenges to acutely recruit the prefrontal-striatal circuit. The two motor tasks - walking in a complex running wheel with irregularly spaced rungs or walking in a running wheel with a smooth internal surface - differed only in the extent of skill required for their execution. Cerebral perfusion was mapped in rats by intravenous injection of [C]-iodoantipyrine during walking in either a motorized complex wheel or in a simple wheel. Regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) was quantified by whole-brain autoradiography and analyzed in three-dimensional reconstructed brains by statistical parametric mapping and seed-based functional connectivity. Skilled or simple walking compared with rest, increased rCBF in regions of the motor circuit, somatosensory and visual cortex, as well as the hippocampus. Significantly greater rCBF increases were noted during skilled walking than for simple walking. Skilled walking, unlike simple walking or the resting condition, was associated with a significant positive functional connectivity in the prefrontal-striatal circuit (prelimbic cortex-dorsomedial striatum) and greater negative functional connectivity in the prefrontal-hippocampal circuit. Our findings suggest that the level of skill of a motor training task determines the extent of functional recruitment of the prefrontal-corticostriatal circuit, with implications for a new approach in neurorehabilitation that uses circuit-specific neuroplasticity to improve motor and cognitive functions.

  10. Right prefrontal TMS disrupts interregional anticipatory EEG alpha activity during shifting of visuospatial attention

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul eSauseng

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Visual attention can be shifted in space without moving the eyes. Amplitude decrease of rhythmical brain activity around 10 Hz (so called alpha activity at contralateral posterior sites has been reported during covert shifts of visuospatial attention to one visual hemifield. Alpha amplitude increase, on the other hand, can be found at ipsilateral visual cortex. There is some evidence suggesting an involvement of prefrontal brain areas during the control of attention-related anticipatory alpha amplitude asymmetry. However, the exact neural mechanism by which prefrontal cortex influences visual processing has not been completely clear yet. This open question has been studied in detail using a multimodal approach combining transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS and multichannel electroencephalography (EEG in healthy humans. Slow (1 Hz repetitive TMS inducing an inhibitory effect at the stimulation site was delivered either to right frontal eye field or a control site (vertex. Subsequently, participants had to perform a spatial cueing task in which covert shifts of attention were required to either the left or the right visual hemi-field. After stimulation at the vertex (control condition a pattern of anticipatory, attention-related ipsilateral alpha increase / contralateral alpha decrease over posterior recording sites could be obtained. Additionally, there was pronounced coupling between (in particular right FEF and posterior brain sites. When, however, the right prefrontal cortex had been virtually lesioned preceding the task, these EEG correlates of visuospatial attention were attenuated. Notably, the effect of TMS at the right FEF on interregional fronto-parietal alpha coupling predicted the effect on response times. This suggests that visual attention processes associated with posterior EEG alpha activity are at least partly top-down controlled by the prefrontal cortex.

  11. Nonlinear response of the anterior cingulate and prefrontal cortex in schizophrenia as a function of variable attentional control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blasi, Giuseppe; Taurisano, Paolo; Papazacharias, Apostolos; Caforio, Grazia; Romano, Raffaella; Lobianco, Luciana; Fazio, Leonardo; Di Giorgio, Annabella; Latorre, Valeria; Sambataro, Fabio; Popolizio, Teresa; Nardini, Marcello; Mattay, Venkata S; Weinberger, Daniel R; Bertolino, Alessandro

    2010-04-01

    Previous studies have reported abnormal prefrontal and cingulate activity during attentional control processing in schizophrenia. However, it is not clear how variation in attentional control load modulates activity within these brain regions in this brain disorder. The aim of this study in schizophrenia is to investigate the impact of increasing levels of attentional control processing on prefrontal and cingulate activity. Blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) responses of 16 outpatients with schizophrenia were compared with those of 21 healthy subjects while performing a task eliciting increasing levels of attentional control during event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging at 3 T. Results showed reduced behavioral performance in patients at greater attentional control levels. Imaging data indicated greater prefrontal activity at intermediate attentional control levels in patients but greater prefrontal and cingulate responses at high attentional control demands in controls. The BOLD activity profile of these regions in controls increased linearly with increasing cognitive loads, whereas in patients, it was nonlinear. Correlation analysis consistently showed differential region and load-specific relationships between brain activity and behavior in the 2 groups. These results indicate that varying attentional control load is associated in schizophrenia with load- and region-specific modification of the relationship between behavior and brain activity, possibly suggesting earlier saturation of cognitive capacity.

  12. Altered communicative decisions following ventromedial prefrontal lesions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stolk, Arjen; D'Imperio, Daniela; di Pellegrino, Giuseppe; Toni, Ivan

    2015-06-01

    Damage to the human ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) leads to profound changes in everyday social interactions [1, 2]. Yet, in the lab, vmPFC patients show surprising proficiency in reasoning about other agents [3-8]. These conflicting observations suggest that what vmPFC patients lack in everyday social interactions might be the ability to guide their decisions with knowledge about a social partner [9-13], despite preserved access to that knowledge [2, 14]. Quantification of socially relevant decisions during live interaction with different partners offers the possibility of testing this hypothesis. Eight patients with vmPFC damage, eight patients with brain damage elsewhere, and 15 healthy participants were asked to communicate non-verbally with two different addressees, an adult or a child, in an experimentally controlled interactive setting [15, 16]. In reality, a confederate blindly performed the role of both adult and child addressee, with matched performance and response times, such that the two addressees differed only in terms of the communicator's beliefs. Patients with vmPFC damage were able-and motivated-to generate communicatively effective behaviors. However, unlike patient and healthy controls, vmPFC patients failed to adjust their communicative decisions to the presumed abilities of their addressee. These findings indicate that the human vmPFC is necessarily involved in social interactions, insofar as those interactions need to be tailored toward knowledge about a social partner. In this perspective, the known contribution of this region to disparate domains like value-based decision-making [17-19], schema-based memory-processing [20-22], and person-specific mentalizing [11-13] might be instances of decisions based on contingently updated conceptual knowledge. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Shifting brain inhibitory balance and connectivity of the prefrontal cortex of adults with autism spectrum disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ajram, L A; Horder, J; Mendez, M A; Galanopoulos, A; Brennan, L P; Wichers, R H; Robertson, D M; Murphy, C M; Zinkstok, J; Ivin, G; Heasman, M; Meek, D; Tricklebank, M D; Barker, G J; Lythgoe, D J; Edden, R A E; Williams, S C; Murphy, D G M; McAlonan, G M

    2017-05-23

    Currently, there are no effective pharmacologic treatments for the core symptoms of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). There is, nevertheless, potential for progress. For example, recent evidence suggests that the excitatory (E) glutamate and inhibitory (I) GABA systems may be altered in ASD. However, no prior studies of ASD have examined the 'responsivity' of the E-I system to pharmacologic challenge; or whether E-I modulation alters abnormalities in functional connectivity of brain regions implicated in the disorder. Therefore, we used magnetic resonance spectroscopy ([1H]MRS) to measure prefrontal E-I flux in response to the glutamate and GABA acting drug riluzole in adult men with and without ASD. We compared the change in prefrontal 'Inhibitory Index'-the GABA fraction within the pool of glutamate plus GABA metabolites-post riluzole challenge; and the impact of riluzole on differences in resting-state functional connectivity. Despite no baseline differences in E-I balance, there was a significant group difference in response to pharmacologic challenge. Riluzole increased the prefrontal cortex inhibitory index in ASD but decreased it in controls. There was also a significant group difference in prefrontal functional connectivity at baseline, which was abolished by riluzole within the ASD group. Our results also show, for we believe the first time in ASD, that E-I flux can be 'shifted' with a pharmacologic challenge, but that responsivity is significantly different from controls. Further, our initial evidence suggests that abnormalities in functional connectivity can be 'normalised' by targeting E-I, even in adults.

  14. Adolescent exposure to THC in female rats disrupts developmental changes in the prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rubino, Tiziana; Prini, Pamela; Piscitelli, Fabiana; Zamberletti, Erica; Trusel, Massimo; Melis, Miriam; Sagheddu, Claudia; Ligresti, Alessia; Tonini, Raffaella; Di Marzo, Vincenzo; Parolaro, Daniela

    2015-01-01

    Current concepts suggest that exposure to THC during adolescence may act as a risk factor for the development of psychiatric disorders later in life. However, the molecular underpinnings of this vulnerability are still poorly understood. To analyze this, we investigated whether and how THC exposure in female rats interferes with different maturational events occurring in the prefrontal cortex during adolescence through biochemical, pharmacological and electrophysiological means. We found that the endocannabinoid system undergoes maturational processes during adolescence and that THC exposure disrupts them, leading to impairment of both endocannabinoid signaling and endocannabinoid-mediated LTD in the adult prefrontal cortex. THC also altered the maturational fluctuations of NMDA subunits, leading to larger amounts of gluN2B at adulthood. Adult animals exposed to THC during adolescence also showed increased AMPA gluA1 with no changes in gluA2 subunits. Finally, adolescent THC exposure altered cognition at adulthood. All these effects seem to be triggered by the disruption of the physiological role played by the endocannabinoid system during adolescence. Indeed, blockade of CB1 receptors from early to late adolescence seems to prevent the occurrence of pruning at glutamatergic synapses. These results suggest that vulnerability of adolescent female rats to long-lasting THC adverse effects might partly reside in disruption of the pivotal role played by the endocannabinoid system in the prefrontal cortex maturation. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Emotion regulation in spider phobia: role of the medial prefrontal cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schäfer, Axel; Walter, Bertram; Stark, Rudolf; Vaitl, Dieter; Schienle, Anne

    2009-01-01

    Phobic responses are strong emotional reactions towards phobic objects, which can be described as a deficit in the automatic regulation of emotions. Difficulties in the voluntary cognitive control of these emotions suggest a further phobia-specific deficit in effortful emotion regulation mechanisms. The actual study is based on this emotion regulation conceptualization of specific phobias. The aim is to investigate the neural correlates of these two emotion regulation deficits in spider phobics. Sixteen spider phobic females participated in a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study in which they were asked to voluntarily up- and down-regulate their emotions elicited by spider and generally aversive pictures with a reappraisal strategy. In line with the hypothesis concerning an automatic emotion regulation deficit, increased activity in the insula and reduced activity in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex was observed. Furthermore, phobia-specific effortful regulation within phobics was associated with altered activity in medial prefrontal cortex areas. Altogether, these results suggest that spider phobic subjects are indeed characterized by a deficit in the automatic as well as the effortful regulation of emotions elicited by phobic compared with aversive stimuli. These two forms of phobic emotion regulation deficits are associated with altered activity in different medial prefrontal cortex subregions. PMID:19398537

  16. Reduced prefrontal cortical gray matter volume in young adults exposed to harsh corporal punishment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomoda, Akemi; Suzuki, Hanako; Rabi, Keren; Sheu, Yi-Shin; Polcari, Ann; Teicher, Martin H

    2009-08-01

    Harsh corporal punishment (HCP) during childhood is a chronic, developmental stressor associated with depression, aggression and addictive behaviors. Exposure to traumatic stressors, such as sexual abuse, is associated with alteration in brain structure, but nothing is known about the potential neurobiological consequences of HCP. The aim of this study was to investigate whether HCP was associated with discernible alterations in gray matter volume (GMV) using voxel-based morphometry (VBM). 1455 young adults (18-25 years) were screened to identify 23 with exposure to HCP (minimum 3 years duration, 12 episodes per year, frequently involving objects) and 22 healthy controls. High-resolution T1-weighted MRI datasets were obtained using Siemens 3 T trio scanner. GMV was reduced by 19.1% in the right medial frontal gyrus (medial prefrontal cortex; MPFC, BA10) (P=0.037, corrected cluster level), by 14.5% in the left medial frontal gyrus (dorsolateral prefrontal cortex; DLPFC, BA9) (P=0.015, uncorrected cluster level) and by 16.9% in the right anterior cingulate gyrus (BA24) (P<0.001, uncorrected cluster level) of HCP subjects. There were significant correlations between GMV in these identified regions and performance IQ on the WAIS-III. Exposing children to harsh HCP may have detrimental effects on trajectories of brain development. However, it is also conceivable that differences in prefrontal cortical development may increase risk of exposure to HCP.

  17. Phencyclidine administration during neurodevelopment alters network activity in prefrontal cortex and hippocampus in adult rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kjaerby, Celia; Hovelsø, Nanna; Dalby, Nils Ole; Sotty, Florence

    2017-08-01

    Symptoms of schizophrenia have been linked to insults during neurodevelopment such as NMDA receptor (NMDAR) antagonist exposure. In animal models, this leads to schizophrenia-like behavioral symptoms as well as molecular and functional changes within hippocampal and prefrontal regions. The aim of this study was to determine how administration of the NMDAR antagonist phencyclidine (PCP) during neurodevelopment affects functional network activity within the hippocampus and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). We recorded field potentials in vivo after electrical brain stem stimulation and observed a suppression of evoked theta power in ventral hippocampus, while evoked gamma power in mPFC was enhanced in rats administered with PCP neonatally. In addition, increased gamma synchrony elicited by acute administration of the NMDAR antagonist MK-801 was exaggerated in neonatal PCP animals. These data suggest that NMDAR antagonist exposure during brain development alters functional networks within hippocampus and mPFC possibly contributing to the reported behavioral symptoms of this animal model of schizophrenia. NEW & NOTEWORTHY We show that insults with a NMDA receptor antagonist during neurodevelopment lead to suppressed evoked theta oscillations in ventral hippocampus in adult rats, while evoked gamma oscillations are enhanced and hypersensitive to an acute challenge with a NMDA receptor antagonist in prefrontal cortex. These observations reveal the significance of neurodevelopmental disturbances in the evolvement of schizophrenia-like symptoms and contribute to the understanding of the functional deficits underlying aberrant behavior in this disease. Copyright © 2017 the American Physiological Society.

  18. The role of the prefrontal cortex in controlling gender-stereotypical associations: a TMS investigation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cattaneo, Zaira; Mattavelli, Giulia; Platania, Elisa; Papagno, Costanza

    2011-06-01

    Stereotypes associated with gender, race, ethnicity and religion are powerful forces in human social interactions. Previous neuroimaging and neuropsychological studies point to a role of the prefrontal cortex in controlling stereotypical responses. Here we used transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) in combination with an Implicit Association Test (IAT) to highlight the possible causal role of the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and the right anterior dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (aDMPFC) in controlling gender-stereotypical responses. Young male and female participants were tested. Our results showed that applying TMS over the left DLPFC and the right aDMPFC increased the gender-stereotypical bias in male participants compared to when TMS was applied to a control site (vertex). This suggests that both the left DLPFC and the right aDMPFC play a direct role in stereotyping. Females did not show a significant gender bias on the IAT; correspondingly their responses were unaffected by TMS. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Electrophysiological evidence during episodic prospection implicates medial prefrontal and bilateral middle temporal gyrus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsu, Chia-Fen; Sonuga-Barke, Edmund J S

    2016-08-01

    fMRI studies have implicated the medial prefrontal cortex and medial temporal lobe, components of the default mode network (DMN), in episodic prospection. This study compared quantitative EEG localized to these DMN regions during prospection and during resting and while waiting for rewards. EEG was recorded in twenty-two adults while they were asked to (i) envision future monetary episodes; (ii) wait for rewards and (iii) rest. Activation sources were localized to core DMN regions. EEG power and phase coherence were compared across conditions. Prospection, compared to resting and waiting, was associated with reduced power in the medial prefrontal gyrus and increased power in the bilateral medial temporal gyrus across frequency bands as well as greater phase synchrony between these regions in the delta band. The current quantitative EEG analysis confirms prior fMRI research suggesting that medial prefrontal and medial temporal gyrus interactions are central to the capacity for episodic prospection. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Disrupting the right prefrontal cortex alters moral judgement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tassy, Sébastien; Oullier, Olivier; Duclos, Yann; Coulon, Olivier; Mancini, Julien; Deruelle, Christine; Attarian, Sharam; Felician, Olivier; Wicker, Bruno

    2012-03-01

    Humans daily face social situations involving conflicts between competing moral decision. Despite a substantial amount of studies published over the past 10 years, the respective role of emotions and reason, their possible interaction, and their behavioural expression during moral evaluation remains an unresolved issue. A dualistic approach to moral evaluation proposes that the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (rDLPFc) controls emotional impulses. However, recent findings raise the possibility that the right DLPFc processes emotional information during moral decision making. We used repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) to transiently disrupt rDLPFc activity before measuring decision making in the context of moral dilemmas. Results reveal an increase of the probability of utilitarian responses during objective evaluation of moral dilemmas in the rTMS group (compared to a SHAM one). This suggests that the right DLPFc function not only participates to a rational cognitive control process, but also integrates emotions generated by contextual information appraisal, which are decisive for response selection in moral judgements. © The Author (2011). Published by Oxford University Press.

  1. Lateral prefrontal cortex subregions make dissociable contributions during fluid reasoning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hampshire, Adam; Thompson, Russell; Duncan, John; Owen, Adrian M

    2011-01-01

    Reasoning is a key component of adaptable "executive" behavior and is known to depend on a network of frontal and parietal brain regions. However, the mechanisms by which this network supports reasoning and adaptable behavior remain poorly defined. Here, we examine the relationship between reasoning, executive control, and frontoparietal function in a series of nonverbal reasoning experiments. Our results demonstrate that, in accordance with previous studies, a network of frontal and parietal brain regions is recruited during reasoning. Our results also reveal that this network can be fractionated according to how different subregions respond when distinct reasoning demands are manipulated. While increased rule complexity modulates activity within a right lateralized network including the middle frontal gyrus and the superior parietal cortex, analogical reasoning demand-or the requirement to remap rules on to novel features-recruits the left inferior rostrolateral prefrontal cortex and the lateral occipital complex. In contrast, the posterior extent of the inferior frontal gyrus, associated with simpler executive demands, is not differentially sensitive to rule complexity or analogical demand. These findings accord well with the hypothesis that different reasoning demands are supported by different frontal and parietal subregions.

  2. Lateral Prefrontal Cortex Subregions Make Dissociable Contributions during Fluid Reasoning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Russell; Duncan, John; Owen, Adrian M.

    2011-01-01

    Reasoning is a key component of adaptable “executive” behavior and is known to depend on a network of frontal and parietal brain regions. However, the mechanisms by which this network supports reasoning and adaptable behavior remain poorly defined. Here, we examine the relationship between reasoning, executive control, and frontoparietal function in a series of nonverbal reasoning experiments. Our results demonstrate that, in accordance with previous studies, a network of frontal and parietal brain regions is recruited during reasoning. Our results also reveal that this network can be fractionated according to how different subregions respond when distinct reasoning demands are manipulated. While increased rule complexity modulates activity within a right lateralized network including the middle frontal gyrus and the superior parietal cortex, analogical reasoning demand—or the requirement to remap rules on to novel features—recruits the left inferior rostrolateral prefrontal cortex and the lateral occipital complex. In contrast, the posterior extent of the inferior frontal gyrus, associated with simpler executive demands, is not differentially sensitive to rule complexity or analogical demand. These findings accord well with the hypothesis that different reasoning demands are supported by different frontal and parietal subregions. PMID:20483908

  3. Basal Forebrain Gating by Somatostatin Neurons Drives Prefrontal Cortical Activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Espinosa, Nelson; Alonso, Alejandra; Morales, Cristian; Espinosa, Pedro; Chávez, Andrés E; Fuentealba, Pablo

    2017-11-17

    The basal forebrain provides modulatory input to the cortex regulating brain states and cognitive processing. Somatostatin-expressing neurons constitute a heterogeneous GABAergic population known to functionally inhibit basal forebrain cortically projecting cells thus favoring sleep and cortical synchronization. However, it remains unclear if somatostatin cells can regulate population activity patterns in the basal forebrain and modulate cortical dynamics. Here, we demonstrate that somatostatin neurons regulate the corticopetal synaptic output of the basal forebrain impinging on cortical activity and behavior. Optogenetic inactivation of somatostatin neurons in vivo rapidly modified neural activity in the basal forebrain, with the consequent enhancement and desynchronization of activity in the prefrontal cortex, reflected in both neuronal spiking and network oscillations. Cortical activation was partially dependent on cholinergic transmission, suppressing slow waves and potentiating gamma oscillations. In addition, recruitment dynamics was cell type-specific, with interneurons showing similar temporal profiles, but stronger responses than pyramidal cells. Finally, optogenetic stimulation of quiescent animals during resting periods prompted locomotor activity, suggesting generalized cortical activation and increased arousal. Altogether, we provide physiological and behavioral evidence indicating that somatostatin neurons are pivotal in gating the synaptic output of the basal forebrain, thus indirectly controlling cortical operations via both cholinergic and non-cholinergic mechanisms. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  4. Electrical stimulation of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex improves memory monitoring.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chua, Elizabeth F; Ahmed, Rifat

    2016-05-01

    The ability to accurately monitor one's own memory is an important feature of normal memory function. Converging evidence from neuroimaging and lesion studies have implicated the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) in memory monitoring. Here we used high definition transcranial direct stimulation (HD-tDCS), a non-invasive form of brain stimulation, to test whether the DLPFC has a causal role in memory monitoring, and the nature of that role. We used a metamemory monitoring task, in which participants first attempted to recall the answer to a general knowledge question, then gave a feeling-of-knowing (FOK) judgment, followed by a forced choice recognition task. When participants received DLPFC stimulation, their feeling-of-knowing judgments were better predictors of memory performance, i.e., they had better memory monitoring accuracy, compared to stimulation of a control site, the anterior temporal lobe (ATL). Effects of DLPFC stimulation were specific to monitoring accuracy, as there was no significant increase in memory performance, and if anything, there was poorer memory performance with DLPFC stimulation. Thus we have demonstrated a causal role for the DLPFC in memory monitoring, and showed that electrically stimulating the left DLPFC led people to more accurately monitor and judge their own memory. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Measurements of the frontal and prefrontal lobe volumes by three dimensional magnetic resonance imaging scan. III. Analysis of sex differences with advanced age

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kanemura, Hideaki; Aihara, Masao; Nakazawa, Shinpei [Yamanashi Medical Univ., Tamaho (Japan)

    2002-09-01

    To determine whether there is sex difference in the growth of the frontal and prefrontal lobes, we quantitatively measured the volume of these lobes by three dimensional (3-D) MRI in healthy 12 males (5 months to 39 years) and six females (1 year 11 months to 27 years). The left and right lobes were studied separately. The 3-D MRI data were acquired by the fast spoiled gradient recalled (SPGR) sequence using a 1.5 T MR imager. The frontal and prefrontal lobe volumes were measured by the volume measurement function of the Workstation. In males, the left to right ratio (L/R ratio) of the frontal and prefrontal lobes increased with age. On the contrary, in females, L/R ratio of the frontal and prefrontal lobes showed no significant change with advancing age. These results highlighted sex-specific maturational changes of the frontal and prefrontal lobes and suggested that quantitative data on the frontal and prefrontal lobe are important in interpreting brain abnormalities in children with developmental disorders. (author)

  6. Measurements of the frontal and prefrontal lobe volumes by three dimensional magnetic resonance imaging scan. III. Analysis of sex differences with advanced age

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kanemura, Hideaki; Aihara, Masao; Nakazawa, Shinpei

    2002-01-01

    To determine whether there is sex difference in the growth of the frontal and prefrontal lobes, we quantitatively measured the volume of these lobes by three dimensional (3-D) MRI in healthy 12 males (5 months to 39 years) and six females (1 year 11 months to 27 years). The left and right lobes were studied separately. The 3-D MRI data were acquired by the fast spoiled gradient recalled (SPGR) sequence using a 1.5 T MR imager. The frontal and prefrontal lobe volumes were measured by the volume measurement function of the Workstation. In males, the left to right ratio (L/R ratio) of the frontal and prefrontal lobes increased with age. On the contrary, in females, L/R ratio of the frontal and prefrontal lobes showed no significant change with advancing age. These results highlighted sex-specific maturational changes of the frontal and prefrontal lobes and suggested that quantitative data on the frontal and prefrontal lobe are important in interpreting brain abnormalities in children with developmental disorders. (author)

  7. Ventromedial prefrontal cortex mediates visual attention during facial emotion recognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolf, Richard C; Philippi, Carissa L; Motzkin, Julian C; Baskaya, Mustafa K; Koenigs, Michael

    2014-06-01

    The ventromedial prefrontal cortex is known to play a crucial role in regulating human social and emotional behaviour, yet the precise mechanisms by which it subserves this broad function remain unclear. Whereas previous neuropsychological studies have largely focused on the role of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex in higher-order deliberative processes related to valuation and decision-making, here we test whether ventromedial prefrontal cortex may also be critical for more basic aspects of orienting attention to socially and emotionally meaningful stimuli. Using eye tracking during a test of facial emotion recognition in a sample of lesion patients, we show that bilateral ventromedial prefrontal cortex damage impairs visual attention to the eye regions of faces, particularly for fearful faces. This finding demonstrates a heretofore unrecognized function of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex-the basic attentional process of controlling eye movements to faces expressing emotion. © The Author (2014). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Guarantors of Brain. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  8. An exploratory study of the effects of spatial working-memory load on prefrontal activation in low- and high-performing elderly.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vermeij, Anouk; van Beek, Arenda H E A; Reijs, Babette L R; Claassen, Jurgen A H R; Kessels, Roy P C

    2014-01-01

    Older adults show more bilateral prefrontal activation during cognitive performance than younger adults, who typically show unilateral activation. This over-recruitment has been interpreted as compensation for declining structure and function of the brain. Here we examined how the relationship between behavioral performance and prefrontal activation is modulated by different levels of working-memory load. Eighteen healthy older adults (70.8 ± 5.0 years; MMSE 29.3 ± 0.9) performed a spatial working-memory task (n-back). Oxygenated ([O2Hb]) and deoxygenated ([HHb]) hemoglobin concentration changes were registered by two functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS) channels located over the left and right prefrontal cortex. Increased working-memory load resulted in worse performance compared to the control condition. [O2Hb] increased with rising working-memory load in both fNIRS channels. Based on the performance in the high working-memory load condition, the group was divided into low and high performers. A significant interaction effect of performance level and hemisphere on [O2Hb] increase was found, indicating that high performers were better able to keep the right prefrontal cortex engaged under high cognitive demand. Furthermore, in the low performers group, individuals with a larger decline in task performance from the control to the high working-memory load condition had a larger bilateral increase of [O2Hb]. The high performers did not show a correlation between performance decline and working-memory load related prefrontal activation changes. Thus, additional bilateral prefrontal activation in low performers did not necessarily result in better cognitive performance. Our study showed that bilateral prefrontal activation may not always be successfully compensatory. Individual behavioral performance should be taken into account to be able to distinguish successful and unsuccessful compensation or declined neural efficiency.

  9. Interplay of hippocampus and prefrontal cortex in memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Preston, Alison R.; Eichenbaum, Howard

    2013-01-01

    Recent studies on the hippocampus and the prefrontal cortex have considerably advanced our understanding of the distinct roles of these brain areas in the encoding and retrieval of memories, and of how they interact in the prolonged process by which new memories are consolidated into our permanent storehouse of knowledge. These studies have led to a new model of how the hippocampus forms and replays memories and how the prefrontal cortex engages representations of the meaningful contexts in which related memories occur, as well as how these areas interact during memory retrieval. Furthermore, they have provided new insights into how interactions between the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex support the assimilation of new memories into pre-existing networks of knowledge, called schemas, and how schemas are modified in this process as the foundation of memory consolidation. PMID:24028960

  10. Association of GSK-3β genetic variation with GSK-3β expression, prefrontal cortical thickness, prefrontal physiology, and schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blasi, Giuseppe; Napolitano, Francesco; Ursini, Gianluca; Di Giorgio, Annabella; Caforio, Grazia; Taurisano, Paolo; Fazio, Leonardo; Gelao, Barbara; Attrotto, Maria Teresa; Colagiorgio, Lucia; Todarello, Giovanna; Piva, Francesco; Papazacharias, Apostolos; Masellis, Rita; Mancini, Marina; Porcelli, Annamaria; Romano, Raffaella; Rampino, Antonio; Quarto, Tiziana; Giulietti, Matteo; Lipska, Barbara K; Kleinman, Joel E; Popolizio, Teresa; Weinberger, Daniel R; Usiello, Alessandro; Bertolino, Alessandro

    2013-08-01

    OBJECTIVE Glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK-3β) is an enzyme implicated in neurodevelopmental processes with a broad range of substrates mediating several canonical signaling pathways in the brain. The authors investigated the association of variation in the GSK-3β gene with a series of progressively more complex phenotypes of relevance to schizophrenia, a neurodevelopmental disorder with strong genetic risk. METHOD Based on computer predictions, the authors investigated in humans the association of GSK-3β functional variation with 1) GSK-3β mRNA expression from postmortem prefrontal cortex, 2) GSK-3β and β-catenin protein expression from peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), 3) prefrontal imaging phenotypes, and 4) diagnosis of schizophrenia. RESULTS Consistent with predictions, the TT genotype of a single-nucleotide polymorphism in GSK-3β (rs12630592) was associated with reduced GSK-3β mRNA from postmortem prefrontal cortex. Furthermore, this genotype was associated with GSK-3β protein expression and kinase activity, as well as with downstream effects on β-catenin expression in PBMCs. Finally, the TT genotype was associated with attenuated functional MRI prefrontal activity, reduced prefrontal cortical thickness, and diagnosis of schizophrenia. CONCLUSIONS These results suggest that GSK-3β variation is implicated in multiple phenotypes relevant to schizophrenia.

  11. NOS1 ex1f-VNTR polymorphism influences prefrontal brain oxygenation during a working memory task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kopf, Juliane; Schecklmann, Martin; Hahn, Tim; Dresler, Thomas; Dieler, Alica C; Herrmann, Martin J; Fallgatter, Andreas J; Reif, Andreas

    2011-08-15

    Nitric oxide (NO) synthase produces NO, which serves as first and second messenger in neurons, where the protein is encoded by the NOS1 gene. A functional variable number of tandem repeats (VNTR) polymorphism in the promoter region of the alternative first exon 1f of NOS1 is associated with various functions of human behavior, for example increased impulsivity, while another, non-functional variant was linked to decreased verbal working memory and a heightened risk for schizophrenia. We therefore investigated the influence of NOS1 ex 1f-VNTR on working memory function as reflected by both behavioral measures and prefrontal oxygenation. We hypothesized that homozygous short allele carriers exhibit altered brain oxygenation in task-related areas, namely the dorsolateral and ventrolateral prefrontal cortex and the parietal cortex. To this end, 56 healthy subjects were stratified into a homozygous long allele group and a homozygous short allele group comparable for age, sex and intelligence. All subjects completed a letter n-back task (one-, two-, and three-back), while concentration changes of oxygenated (O(2)Hb) hemoglobin in the prefrontal cortex were measured with functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). We found load-associated O(2)Hb increases in the prefrontal and parts of the parietal cortex. Significant load-associated oxygenation differences between the two genotype groups could be shown for the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and the parietal cortex. Specifically, short allele carriers showed a significantly larger increase in oxygenation in all three n-back tasks. This suggests a potential compensatory mechanism, with task-related brain regions being more active in short allele carriers to compensate for reduced NOS1 expression. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Role of Prefrontal Persistent Activity in Working Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riley, Mitchell R.; Constantinidis, Christos

    2016-01-01

    The prefrontal cortex is activated during working memory, as evidenced by fMRI results in human studies and neurophysiological recordings in animal models. Persistent activity during the delay period of working memory tasks, after the offset of stimuli that subjects are required to remember, has traditionally been thought of as the neural correlate of working memory. In the last few years several findings have cast doubt on the role of this activity. By some accounts, activity in other brain areas, such as the primary visual and posterior parietal cortex, is a better predictor of information maintained in visual working memory and working memory performance; dynamic patterns of activity may convey information without requiring persistent activity at all; and prefrontal neurons may be ill-suited to represent non-spatial information about the features and identity of remembered stimuli. Alternative interpretations about the role of the prefrontal cortex have thus been suggested, such as that it provides a top-down control of information represented in other brain areas, rather than maintaining a working memory trace itself. Here we review evidence for and against the role of prefrontal persistent activity, with a focus on visual neurophysiology. We show that persistent activity predicts behavioral parameters precisely in working memory tasks. We illustrate that prefrontal cortex represents features of stimuli other than their spatial location, and that this information is largely absent from early cortical areas during working memory. We examine memory models not dependent on persistent activity, and conclude that each of those models could mediate only a limited range of memory-dependent behaviors. We review activity decoded from brain areas other than the prefrontal cortex during working memory and demonstrate that these areas alone cannot mediate working memory maintenance, particularly in the presence of distractors. We finally discuss the discrepancy between

  13. Transitions between Multiband Oscillatory Patterns Characterize Memory-Guided Perceptual Decisions in Prefrontal Circuits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wimmer, Klaus; Ramon, Marc; Pasternak, Tatiana; Compte, Albert

    2016-01-13

    Neuronal activity in the lateral prefrontal cortex (LPFC) reflects the structure and cognitive demands of memory-guided sensory discrimination tasks. However, we still do not know how neuronal activity articulates in network states involved in perceiving, remembering, and comparing sensory information during such tasks. Oscillations in local field potentials (LFPs) provide fingerprints of such network dynamics. Here, we examined LFPs recorded from LPFC of macaques while they compared the directions or the speeds of two moving random-dot patterns, S1 and S2, separated by a delay. LFP activity in the theta, beta, and gamma bands tracked consecutive components of the task. In response to motion stimuli, LFP theta and gamma power increased, and beta power decreased, but showed only weak motion selectivity. In the delay, LFP beta power modulation anticipated the onset of S2 and encoded the task-relevant S1 feature, suggesting network dynamics associated with memory maintenance. After S2 onset the difference between the current stimulus S2 and the remembered S1 was strongly reflected in broadband LFP activity, with an early sensory-related component proportional to stimulus difference and a later choice-related component reflecting the behavioral decision buildup. Our results demonstrate that individual LFP bands reflect both sensory and cognitive processes engaged independently during different stages of the task. This activation pattern suggests that during elementary cognitive tasks, the prefrontal network transitions dynamically between states and that these transitions are characterized by the conjunction of LFP rhythms rather than by single LFP bands. Neurons in the brain communicate through electrical impulses and coordinate this activity in ensembles that pulsate rhythmically, very much like musical instruments in an orchestra. These rhythms change with "brain state," from sleep to waking, but also signal with different oscillation frequencies rapid changes

  14. Developmental trajectories of abuse--an hypothesis for the effects of early childhood maltreatment on dorsolateral prefrontal cortical development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burrus, Caley

    2013-11-01

    The United States has a high rate of child maltreatment, with nearly 12 in 1000 children being victims of abuse or neglect. Child abuse strongly predicts negative life outcomes, especially in areas of emotional and mental health. Abused children are also more likely than their peers to engage in violence and enter the juvenile justice system, as well as to become abusive parents themselves. Research has shown that child abuse and trauma can lead to decreased hippocampal volume, which could be indicative of abnormal hippocampal development. Hippocampal development appears to directly affect the development of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, a brain area responsible for emotion regulation, cognitive reappraisal, and general executive function. Therefore, I hypothesize that if child abuse results in abnormal hippocampal development, which leads to abnormal dorsolateral prefrontal cortex development, many of the correlated risk factors of child abuse, such as emotionally-laden parenting and unfavorable cognitive distortions regarding children's behaviors, may be in part caused by underdevelopment or abnormal functioning of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, as a function of the individual's own experiences with abuse during childhood. If this hypothesis is supported with future research, more targeted, successful, and cost-effective prevention and treatment protocols could ensue. For instance, programs that have been empirically shown to increase the activity of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, could be effective in decreasing the incidence of intergenerational transfer of abuse. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  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. Association between catechol-O-methyltrasferase Val108/158Met genotype and prefrontal hemodynamic response in schizophrenia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ryu Takizawa

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: "Imaging genetics" studies have shown that brain function by neuroimaging is a sensitive intermediate phenotype that bridges the gap between genes and psychiatric conditions. Although the evidence of association between functional val108/158met polymorphism of the catechol-O-methyltransferase gene (COMT and increasing risk for developing schizophrenia from genetic association studies remains to be elucidated, one of the most topical findings from imaging genetics studies is the association between COMT genotype and prefrontal function in schizophrenia. The next important step in the translational approach is to establish a useful neuroimaging tool in clinical settings that is sensitive to COMT variation, so that the clinician could use the index to predict clinical response such as improvement in cognitive dysfunction by medication. Here, we investigated spatiotemporal characteristics of the association between prefrontal hemodynamic activation and the COMT genotype using a noninvasive neuroimaging technique, near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Study participants included 45 patients with schizophrenia and 60 healthy controls matched for age and gender. Signals that are assumed to reflect regional cerebral blood volume were monitored over prefrontal regions from 52-channel NIRS and compared between two COMT genotype subgroups (Met carriers and Val/Val individuals matched for age, gender, premorbid IQ, and task performance. The [oxy-Hb] increase in the Met carriers during the verbal fluency task was significantly greater than that in the Val/Val individuals in the frontopolar prefrontal cortex of patients with schizophrenia, although neither medication nor clinical symptoms differed significantly between the two subgroups. These differences were not found to be significant in healthy controls. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: These data suggest that the prefrontal NIRS signals can noninvasively detect the impact

  17. Enhanced pain expectation in migraine: EEG-based evidence for impaired prefrontal function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lev, Rina; Granovsky, Yelena; Yarnitsky, David

    2013-01-01

    Dysexcitability characterizes the interictal migraineous brain. The main central expressions of this dysexcitability are decreased habituation and enhanced anticipation and attention to pain and other external sensory stimuli. This study evaluates the effects of anticipation on pain modulation and their neural correlates in migraine. In 39 migraineurs (20 migraine with aura [MWA] and 19 migraine without aura [MOA]) and 22 healthy controls, cortical responses to 2 successive trains of noxious contact-heat stimuli, presented in either predicted or unpredicted manner, were analyzed using standardized low-resolution electromagnetic tomography key. A lack of habituation to repeated predicted pain was associated with significantly increased pain-evoked potential amplitudes in MWAs (increase of 3.9 μV) and unchanged ones in MOAs (1.1 μV) but not in controls (decrease of 5 μV). Repeated unpredicted pain resulted in enhanced pain-evoked potential amplitudes in both MWA and MOA groups (increase of 5.5 μV and 4.4 μV, respectively) compared with controls (decrease of 0.2 μV). Source localization revealed reduced activations in the anterior-medial prefrontal cortices and subsequent increased somatosensory activity in migraineurs (P < .05). The prefrontal-somatosensory dysfunction positively correlated with lifetime headache duration (P < .05) and concern of upcoming migraine attacks (P < .05) in MWAs, and with frequency of migraine attacks in MOAs (P < .05). Our findings of impaired modulation of anticipated pain in migraine suggest a heightened state of anticipatory readiness combined with ineffective recruitment of prefrontal inhibitory pathways during experience of pain; the latter might account for the former, at least partially. In line, less efficient inhibitory capability is a plausible mechanistic explanation for patients' high concern about their upcoming migraine attacks. © 2012 American Headache Society.

  18. Prefrontal dysfunction in early and continuously treated phenylketonuria

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stemerdink, NBA; Kalverboer, AF; van der Meere, JJ; de Jong, LW; Slijper, FME; Verkerk, PH; van Spronsen, FJ

    1999-01-01

    In this study, we tested the hypothesis that patients with early and continuously treated phenylketonuria (PKU) are selectively impaired in cognitive functions dependent on the prefrontal cortex (PFC) over a wide age range. Thirty-six patients with PKU between 8 and 20 years of age and 36 controls

  19. khat distorts the prefrontal cortex histology and function of adult

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    2018-02-28

    Feb 28, 2018 ... It affects many brain centers including the prefrontal cortex which is the ... cognitive behaviors however; it is linked to many psychological ... by traumatic events while others experience ... scientific research in exposing the effects. ... between 3 to 5pm daily. ... needle attached a plastic tubing was connected.

  20. Comparison of (stereotactic) parcellations in mouse prefrontal cortex

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van de Werd, H.J.J.M.; Uylings, H.B.M.

    2014-01-01

    This study compares the cytoarchitectonic parcellation of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) in the mouse as presented in publications that are commonly used for identifying brain areas. Agreement was found to be greater for boundaries in the medial PFC than in the lateral PFC and lowest for those in the

  1. The impact of social disparity on prefrontal function in childhood.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Margaret A Sheridan

    Full Text Available The prefrontal cortex (PFC develops from birth through late adolescence. This extended developmental trajectory provides many opportunities for experience to shape the structure and function of the PFC. To date, a few studies have reported links between parental socioeconomic status (SES and prefrontal function in childhood, raising the possibility that aspects of environment associated with SES impact prefrontal function. Considering that behavioral measures of prefrontal function are associated with learning across multiple domains, this is an important area of investigation. In this study, we used fMRI to replicate previous findings, demonstrating an association between parental SES and PFC function during childhood. In addition, we present two hypothetical mechanisms by which SES could come to affect PFC function of this association: language environment and stress reactivity. We measured language use in the home environment and change in salivary cortisol before and after fMRI scanning. Complexity of family language, but not the child's own language use, was associated with both parental SES and PFC activation. Change in salivary cortisol was also associated with both SES and PFC activation. These observed associations emphasize the importance of both enrichment and adversity-reduction interventions in creating good developmental environments for all children.

  2. Prefrontal Cortex and Social Cognition in Mouse and Man

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bicks, Lucy K.; Koike, Hiroyuki; Akbarian, Schahram; Morishita, Hirofumi

    2015-01-01

    Social cognition is a complex process that requires the integration of a wide variety of behaviors, including salience, reward-seeking, motivation, knowledge of self and others, and flexibly adjusting behavior in social groups. Not surprisingly, social cognition represents a sensitive domain commonly disrupted in the pathology of a variety of psychiatric disorders including Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Schizophrenia (SCZ). Here, we discuss convergent research from animal models to human disease that implicates the prefrontal cortex (PFC) as a key regulator in social cognition, suggesting that disruptions in prefrontal microcircuitry play an essential role in the pathophysiology of psychiatric disorders with shared social deficits. We take a translational perspective of social cognition, and review three key behaviors that are essential to normal social processing in rodents and humans, including social motivation, social recognition, and dominance hierarchy. A shared prefrontal circuitry may underlie these behaviors. Social cognition deficits in animal models of neurodevelopmental disorders like ASD and SCZ have been linked to an altered balance of excitation and inhibition (E/I ratio) within the cortex generally, and PFC specifically. A clear picture of the mechanisms by which altered E/I ratio in the PFC might lead to disruptions of social cognition across a variety of behaviors is not well understood. Future studies should explore how disrupted developmental trajectory of prefrontal microcircuitry could lead to altered E/I balance and subsequent deficits in the social domain. PMID:26635701

  3. Social cognition in patients following surgery to the prefrontal cortex

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jenkins, L.M.; Andrewes, D.G.; Nicholas, C.L.; Drummond, K.J.; Moffat, B.A.; Phal, P.; Desmond, P.; Kessels, R.P.C.

    2014-01-01

    Impaired social cognition, including emotion recognition, may explain dysfunctional emotional and social behaviour in patients with lesions to the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (VMPFC). However, the VMPFC is a large, poorly defined area that can be sub-divided into orbital and medial sectors. We

  4. Development of Rostral Prefrontal Cortex and Cognitive and Behavioural Disorders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dumontheil, Iroise; Burgess, Paul W.; Blakemore, Sarah-Jayne

    2008-01-01

    Information on the development and functions of rostral prefrontal cortex (PFC), or Brodmann area 10, has been gathered from different fields, from anatomical development to functional neuroimaging in adults, and put forward in relation to three particular cognitive and behavioural disorders. Rostral PFC is larger and has a lower cell density in…

  5. Anatomical segmentation of the human medial prefrontal cortex

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Corcoles-Parada, M.; Müller, N.C.J.; Ubero, M.; Serrano-Del-Pueblo, V.M.; Mansilla, F.; Marcos-Rabal, P.; Artacho-Perula, E.; Dresler, M.; Insausti, R.; Fernandez, G.; Munoz-Lopez, M.

    2017-01-01

    The medial prefrontal areas 32, 24, 14, and 25 (mPFC) form part of the limbic memory system, but little is known about their functional specialization in humans. To add anatomical precision to structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data, we aimed to identify these mPFC subareas

  6. Neural mechanisms of memory retrieval: role of the prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hasegawa, I

    2000-01-01

    In the primate brain, long-term memory is stored in the neocortical association area which is also engaged in sensory perception. The coded representation of memory is retrieved via interactions of hierarchically different cortical areas along bottom-up and top-down anatomical connections. The functional significance of the fronto-cortical top-down neuronal projections has been relevantly assessed in a new experimental paradigm using posterior-split-brain monkeys. When the splenium of the corpus callosum and the anterior commissure were selectively split, the bottom-up visual signal originating from the unilateral striate cortex could not reach the contralateral visual cortical areas. In this preparation, long-term memory acquired through visual stimulus-stimulus association learning was prevented from transferring across hemispheres. Nonetheless, following the presentation of a visual cue to one hemisphere, the prefrontal cortex could instruct the contralateral hemisphere to retrieve the correct stimulus specified by the cue. These results support the hypothesis that the prefrontal cortex can regulate memory recall in the absence of bottom-up sensory input. In humans, functional neuroimaging studies have revealed activation of a distributed neural network, including the prefrontal cortex, during memory retrieval tasks. Thus, the prefrontal cortex is consistently involved in retrieval of long-term memory in primates.

  7. Prefrontal glucose deficits in murderers lacking psychosocial deprivation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raine, A; Phil, D; Stoddard, J; Bihrle, S; Buchsbaum, M

    1998-01-01

    Previous research has suggested that links between autonomic nervous system functioning and violence are strongest in those who come from benign home backgrounds, but there appears to be no similar research using brain-imaging measures of central nervous system functioning. It was hypothesized that murderers who had no early psychosocial deprivation (e.g., no childhood abuse, family neglect) would demonstrate lower prefrontal glucose metabolism than murderers with early psychosocial deprivation and a group of normal controls. Murderers from a previous study, which showed prefrontal deficits in murderers, were assessed for psychosocial deprivation and divided into those with and without deprivation. Murderers without any clear psychosocial deficits were significantly lower on prefrontal glucose metabolism than murderers with psychosocial deficits and controls. These results suggest that murderers lacking psychosocial deficits are characterized by prefrontal deficits. It is argued that among violent offenders without deprived home backgrounds, the "social push" to violence is minimized, and consequently, brain abnormalities provide a relatively stronger predisposition to violence in this group.

  8. Selective reductions in prefrontal glucose metabolism in murderers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raine, A; Buchsbaum, M S; Stanley, J; Lottenberg, S; Abel, L; Stoddard, J

    1994-09-15

    This study tests the hypothesis that seriously violent offenders pleading not guilty by reason of insanity or incompetent to stand trial are characterized by prefrontal dysfunction. This hypothesis was tested in a group of 22 subjects accused of murder and 22 age-matched and gender-matched controls by measuring local cerebral uptake of glucose using positron emission tomography during the continuous performance task. Murderers had significantly lower glucose metabolism in both lateral and medial prefrontal cortex relative to controls. No group differences were observed for posterior frontal, temporal, and parietal glucose metabolism, indicating regional specificity for the prefrontal deficit. Group differences were not found to be a function of raised levels of left-handedness, schizophrenia, ethnic minority status, head injury, or motivation deficits in the murder group. These preliminary results suggest that deficits localized to the prefrontal cortex may be related to violence in a selected group of offenders, although further studies are needed to establish the generalizability of these findings to violent offenders in the community.

  9. Disrupted thalamic prefrontal pathways in patients with idiopathic dystonia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bonilha, Leonardo; de Vries, Paulien M.; Hurd, Mark W.; Rorden, Chris; Morgan, Paul S.; Besenski, Nada; Bergmann, Kenneth J.; Hinson, Vanessa K.

    There are quantifiable abnormalities in water diffusion properties of the white matter in thalamic and prefrontal areas in patients with idiopathic dystonia (ID). However, it is unclear which pathways are disrupted in these patients. Using probabilistic tractography of high resolution DTI, we

  10. Locus coeruleus phasic discharge is essential for stimulus-induced gamma oscillations in the prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neves, Ricardo M; van Keulen, Silvia; Yang, Mingyu; Logothetis, Nikos K; Eschenko, Oxana

    2018-03-01

    The locus coeruleus (LC) noradrenergic (NE) neuromodulatory system is critically involved in regulation of neural excitability via its diffuse ascending projections. Tonic NE release in the forebrain is essential for maintenance of vigilant states and increases the signal-to-noise ratio of cortical sensory responses. The impact of phasic NE release on cortical activity and sensory processing is less explored. We previously reported that LC microstimulation caused a transient desynchronization of population activity in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), similar to noxious somatosensory stimuli. The LC receives nociceptive information from the medulla and therefore may mediate sensory signaling to its forebrain targets. Here we performed extracellular recordings in LC and mPFC while presenting noxious stimuli in urethane-anesthetized rats. A brief train of foot shocks produced a robust phasic response in the LC and a transient change in the mPFC power spectrum, with the strongest modulation in the gamma (30-90 Hz) range. The LC phasic response preceded prefrontal gamma power increase, and cortical modulation was proportional to the LC excitation. We also quantitatively characterized distinct cortical states and showed that sensory responses in both LC and mPFC depend on the ongoing cortical state. Finally, cessation of the LC firing by bilateral local iontophoretic injection of clonidine, an α 2 -adrenoreceptor agonist, completely eliminated sensory responses in the mPFC without shifting cortex to a less excitable state. Together, our results suggest that the LC phasic response induces gamma power increase in the PFC and is essential for mediating sensory information along an ascending noxious pathway. NEW & NOTEWORTHY Our study shows linear relationships between locus coeruleus phasic excitation and the amplitude of gamma oscillations in the prefrontal cortex. Results suggest that the locus coeruleus phasic response is essential for mediating sensory information

  11. Reversal of Cocaine-Associated Synaptic Plasticity in Medial Prefrontal Cortex Parallels Elimination of Memory Retrieval.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Otis, James M; Mueller, Devin

    2017-09-01

    Addiction is characterized by abnormalities in prefrontal cortex that are thought to allow drug-associated cues to drive compulsive drug seeking and taking. Identification and reversal of these pathologic neuroadaptations are therefore critical for treatment of addiction. Previous studies using rodents reveal that drugs of abuse cause dendritic spine plasticity in prelimbic medial prefrontal cortex (PL-mPFC) pyramidal neurons, a phenomenon that correlates with the strength of drug-associated memories in vivo. Thus, we hypothesized that cocaine-evoked plasticity in PL-mPFC may underlie cocaine-associated memory retrieval, and therefore disruption of this plasticity would prevent retrieval. Indeed, using patch clamp electrophysiology we find that cocaine place conditioning increases excitatory presynaptic and postsynaptic transmission in rat PL-mPFC pyramidal neurons. This was accounted for by increases in excitatory presynaptic release, paired-pulse facilitation, and increased AMPA receptor transmission. Noradrenergic signaling is known to maintain glutamatergic plasticity upon reactivation of modified circuits, and we therefore next determined whether inhibition of noradrenergic signaling during memory reactivation would reverse the cocaine-evoked plasticity and/or disrupt the cocaine-associated memory. We find that administration of the β-adrenergic receptor antagonist propranolol before memory retrieval, but not after (during memory reconsolidation), reverses the cocaine-evoked presynaptic and postsynaptic modifications in PL-mPFC and causes long-lasting memory impairments. Taken together, these data reveal that cocaine-evoked synaptic plasticity in PL-mPFC is reversible in vivo, and suggest a novel strategy that would allow normalization of prefrontal circuitry in addiction.

  12. Fear Expression Suppresses Medial Prefrontal Cortical Firing in Rats.

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    Thomas F Giustino

    Full Text Available The medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC plays a crucial role in emotional learning and memory in rodents and humans. While many studies suggest a differential role for the prelimbic (PL and infralimbic (IL subdivisions of mPFC, few have considered the relationship between neural activity in these two brain regions recorded simultaneously in behaving animals. Importantly, how concurrent PL and IL activity relate to conditioned freezing behavior is largely unknown. Here we used single-unit recordings targeting PL and IL in awake, behaving rats during the acquisition and expression of conditioned fear. On Day 1, rats received either signaled or unsignaled footshocks in the recording chamber; an auditory conditioned stimulus (CS preceded signaled footshocks. Twenty-four hours later, animals were returned to the recording chamber (modified to create a novel context where they received 5 CS-alone trials. After fear conditioning, both signaled and unsignaled rats exhibited high levels of post-shock freezing that was associated with an enduring suppression of mPFC spontaneous firing, particularly in the IL of signaled rats. Twenty-four hours later, CS presentation produced differential conditioned freezing in signaled and unsignaled rats: freezing increased in rats that had received signaled shocks, but decreased in animals in the unsignaled condition (i.e., external inhibition. This group difference in CS-evoked freezing was mirrored in the spontaneous firing rate of neurons in both PL and IL. Interestingly, differences in PL and IL firing rate highly correlated with freezing levels. In other words, in the signaled group IL spontaneous rates were suppressed relative to PL, perhaps limiting IL-mediated suppression of fear and allowing PL activity to dominate performance, resulting in high levels of freezing. This was not observed in the unsignaled group, which exhibited low freezing. These data reveal that the activity of mPFC neurons is modulated by both

  13. A hierarchy for relational reasoning in the prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krawczyk, Daniel C; Michelle McClelland, M; Donovan, Colin M

    2011-05-01

    The human brain possesses a unique capacity to reason about abstract relationships among items in our environment. The neural organization of reasoning abilities has remained elusive. Two approaches toward investigating human reasoning have involved studying visuo-spatial reasoning abilities and studying analogical reasoning. These approaches have both revealed anterior prefrontal cortex (PFC) involvement, but no prior studies have jointly investigated these two forms of reasoning to understand any potential convergence of activation within the PFC. Using fMRI, we tested the extent to which these two forms of reasoning (visuo-spatial and analogical) overlap in PFC activation. We conducted a visuo-spatial reasoning task that required processing multiple changes across three abstract pictures. This task activated a progressively anterior series of PFC regions when multiple relations had to be integrated. We also conducted a four-term analogy task in a stage-wise manner and compared results from this task to semantic and perceptual control conditions that did not require integrating relations across the problems. We found greater activation for analogical reasoning in the series of PFC regions that were sequentially involved in the visuo-spatial reasoning task. These findings indicate that stages of neural processing overlap for different domains within human reasoning. The pattern of differences across the analogy task suggests a hierarchical organization for relational reasoning across domains in which posterior frontal cortex is active across concrete reasoning tasks, while progressively more anterior regions are recruited to process increasingly abstract representations in reasoning. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Srl. All rights reserved.

  14. Prefrontal Neuronal Excitability Maintains Cocaine-Associated Memory During Retrieval

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    James M. Otis

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available Presentation of drug-associated cues provokes craving and drug seeking, and elimination of these associative memories would facilitate recovery from addiction. Emotionally salient memories are maintained during retrieval, as particular pharmacologic or optogenetic perturbations of memory circuits during retrieval, but not after, can induce long-lasting memory impairments. For example, in rats, inhibition of noradrenergic beta-receptors, which control intrinsic neuronal excitability, in the prelimbic medial prefrontal cortex (PL-mPFC can cause long-term memory impairments that prevent subsequent cocaine-induced reinstatement. The physiologic mechanisms that allow noradrenergic signaling to maintain drug-associated memories during retrieval, however, are unclear. Here we combine patch-clamp electrophysiology ex vivo and behavioral neuropharmacology in vivo to evaluate the mechanisms that maintain drug-associated memory during retrieval in rats. Consistent with previous studies, we find that cocaine experience increases the intrinsic excitability of pyramidal neurons in PL-mPFC. In addition, we now find that this intrinsic plasticity positively predicts the retrieval of a cocaine-induced conditioned place preference (CPP memory, suggesting that such plasticity may contribute to drug-associated memory retrieval. In further support of this, we find that pharmacological blockade of a cAMP-dependent signaling cascade, which allows noradrenergic signaling to elevate neuronal excitability, is required for memory maintenance during retrieval. Thus, inhibition of PL-mPFC neuronal excitability during memory retrieval not only leads to long-term deficits in the memory, but this memory deficit provides protection against subsequent cocaine-induced reinstatement. These data reveal that PL-mPFC intrinsic neuronal excitability maintains a cocaine-associated memory during retrieval and suggest a unique mechanism whereby drug-associated memories could be targeted

  15. A study of 1H-MR spectroscopy in the prefrontal cortex and amygdala of heroine abusers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yang Lanying; Wang Yarong; Li Qiang; Xiong Xiaoshuang; Wang Wei; Zhao Wei; Bai Yunliang

    2009-01-01

    Objective: To explore the characteristic findings of 1 H-MR spectroscopy ( 1 H-MRS) in the prefrontal cortex and amygdala of patients with heroine dependence (HD), and the relationship to total cumulative dose of inhaled heroine. Methods: Fourteen male HD patients and 12 healthy controls (HC) underwent 1 H-MRS at the prefrontal cortex and amygdala regions. The total cumulative in haled heroin dose was (852±341) g in HD. Ratios of N-acetylaspartate/creatine(NAA/Cr) and choline/creatine (Cho/Cr) were respectively measured in the prefrontal cortex and bilateral amygdale regions. The student's t test and the linear correlation were employed for statistical analysis. Results: Compared to HC group, HD patients had a significant lower ratio of NAA/Cr in the prefrontal cortex (1.44±0.46 vs 1.50±0.75, t=1.77, P< 0.05), left amygdala region (1.32±0.08 vs 1.42±0.08, t=3.41, P<0.05), and right amygdala region (1.34±0.09 vs 1.44±0.10, t=2.63, P<0.05), the HD patients had a significant increased ratio of Cho/Cr in the prefrontal cortex (0.92±0.06 vs 0.86±0.08, t=2.31, P<0.05), left amygdala region (1.20±0.12 vs 1.07±0.04, t=3.60, P<0.05) and right amygdala region(1.26±0.15 vs 1.12±0.11, t=2.60, P<0.05). There was a negative linear correlation between the total cumulative inhaled heroine dose and the ratio of NAA/Cr in the prefrontal cortex (r=-0.9159, P<0.01), left amygdala region( r= -0.8756, P<0.01), and right amygdala region (r=-0.9399, P<0.01) respectively. Conclusions: The study indicates that neuronal damage and glial proliferation may occur in the prefrontal cortex and amygdala region, which suggests the abnormalities of executive function and emotion in patients with HD. A relationship exists between the heroin-induced metabolic abnormality and the total cumulative dose of inhaled heroine. (authors)

  16. Enhanced prefrontal functional–structural networks to support postural control deficits after traumatic brain injury in a pediatric population

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    Ibai Diez

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Traumatic brain injury (TBI affects structural connectivity, triggering the reorganization of structural–functional circuits in a manner that remains poorly understood. We focus here on brain network reorganization in relation to postural control deficits after TBI. We enrolled young participants who had suffered moderate to severe TBI, comparing them to young, typically developing control participants. TBI patients (but not controls recruited prefrontal regions to interact with two separated networks: (1 a subcortical network, including parts of the motor network, basal ganglia, cerebellum, hippocampus, amygdala, posterior cingulate gyrus, and precuneus; and (2 a task-positive network, involving regions of the dorsal attention system, together with dorsolateral and ventrolateral prefrontal regions. We also found that the increased prefrontal connectivity in TBI patients was correlated with some postural control indices, such as the amount of body sway, whereby patients with worse balance increased their connectivity in frontal regions more strongly. The increased prefrontal connectivity found in TBI patients may provide the structural scaffolding for stronger cognitive control of certain behavioral functions, consistent with the observations that various motor tasks are performed less automatically following TBI and that more cognitive control is associated with such actions. Using a new hierarchical atlas whose modules are relevant for both structure and function, we found increased structural and functional connectivity in prefrontal regions in TBI patients as compared to controls, in addition to a general pattern of overall decreased connectivity across the TBI brain. Although this increased prefrontal connectivity reflected interactions between brain areas when participants were at rest, the enhanced connectivity was found to be negatively correlated with active behavior such as postural control performance. Thus our findings, obtained

  17. The toxic influence of dibromoacetic acid on the hippocampus and pre-frontal cortex of rat: involvement of neuroinflammation response and oxidative stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Wenbo; Li, Bai; Chen, Yingying; Gao, Shuying

    2017-12-01

    Dibromoacetic acid (DBA) exsits in drinking water as a by-product of disinfection as a result of chlorination or ozonation processes. Hippocampus and pre-frontal cortex are the key structures in memory formation and weanling babies are more sensitive to environmental toxicant than adults, so this study was conducted to evaluate the potential neurotoxicity effects of DBA exposure when administered intragastrically for 4 weeks to weanling Sprague-Dawley rats, at concentration of 0, 20, 50, 125 mg/kg via the neurobehavioral and neurochemical effects. Results indicated that animals weight gain and food consumption were not significantly affected by DBA. However, morris water maze test showed varying degrees of changes between control and high-dose group. Additionally, the level of malondialdehyde (MDA) and generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the hippocampus and pre-frontal cortex of rats increased significantly. The activities of total superoxide dismutase (SOD) and the glutathione (GSH) content in the hippocampus and pre-frontal cortex of rats decreased significantly after treatment with DBA. Treatment with DBA increased the protein and mRNA expression of Iba-1, NF-κB, TNF-α, IL-6, IL-1β and HO-1 in the hippocampus and pre-frontal cortex of rats. These data suggested that DBA had a toxic influence on the hippocampus and pre-frontal cortex of rats, and that the mechanism of toxicity might be associated with the neuroinflammation response and oxidative stress.

  18. Ventral medial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) as a target of the dorsolateral prefrontal modulation by transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) in drug addiction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakamura-Palacios, Ester Miyuki; Lopes, Isabela Bittencourt Coutinho; Souza, Rodolpho Albuquerque; Klauss, Jaisa; Batista, Edson Kruger; Conti, Catarine Lima; Moscon, Janine Andrade; de Souza, Rodrigo Stênio Moll

    2016-10-01

    Here, we report some electrophysiologic and imaging effects of the transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) over the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) in drug addiction, notably in alcohol and crack-cocaine dependence. The low resolution electromagnetic tomography (LORETA) analysis obtained through event-related potentials (ERPs) under drug-related cues, more specifically in its P3 segment (300-500 ms) in both, alcoholics and crack-cocaine users, showed that the ventral medial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) was the brain area with the largest change towards increasing activation under drug-related cues in those subjects that kept abstinence during and after the treatment with bilateral tDCS (2 mA, 35 cm(2), cathodal left and anodal right) over dlPFC, applied repetitively (five daily sessions). In an additional study in crack-cocaine, which showed craving decreases after repetitive bilateral tDCS, we examined data originating from diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), and we found increased DTI parameters in the left connection between vmPFC and nucleus accumbens (NAcc), such as the number of voxels, fractional anisotropy (FA) and apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC), in tDCS-treated crack-cocaine users when compared to the sham-tDCS group. This increasing of DTI parameters was significantly correlated with craving decreasing after the repetitive tDCS. The vmPFC relates to the control of drug seeking, possibly by extinguishing this behavior. In our studies, the bilateral dlPFC tDCS reduced relapses and craving to the drug use, and increased the vmPFC activation under drug cues, which may be of a great importance in the control of drug use in drug addiction.

  19. Amygdala-prefrontal pathways and the dopamine system affect nociceptive responses in the prefrontal cortex

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    Onozawa Kitaro

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background We previously demonstrated nociceptive discharges to be evoked by mechanical noxious stimulation in the prefrontal cortex (PFC. The nociceptive responses recorded in the PFC are conceivably involved in the affective rather than the sensory-discriminative dimension of pain. The PFC receives dense projection from the limbic system. Monosynaptic projections from the basolateral nucleus of the amygdala (BLA to the PFC are known to produce long-lasting synaptic plasticity. We examined effects of high frequency stimulation (HFS delivered to the BLA on nociceptive responses in the rat PFC. Results HFS induced long lasting suppression (LLS of the specific high threshold responses of nociceptive neurons in the PFC. Microinjection of N-methyl-D-aspartic acid (NMDA receptor antagonists (2-amino-5-phosphonovaleric acid (APV, dizocilpine (MK-801 and also metabotropic glutamate receptor (mGluR group antagonists (α-methyl-4-carboxyphenylglycine (MCPG, and 2-[(1S,2S-2-carboxycyclopropyl]-3-(9H-xanthen-9-yl-D-alanine (LY341495, prevented the induction of LLS of nociceptive responses. We also examined modulatory effects of dopamine (DA on the LLS of nociceptive responses. With depletion of DA in response to 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA injection into the ipsilateral forebrain bundle, LLS of nociceptive responses was decreased, while nociceptive responses were normally evoked. Antagonists of DA receptor subtypes D2 (sulpiride and D4 (3-{[4-(4-chlorophenyl piperazin-1-yl] methyl}-1H-pyrrolo [2, 3-b] pyridine (L-745,870, microinjected into the PFC, inhibited LLS of nociceptive responses. Conclusions Our results indicate that BLA-PFC pathways inhibited PFC nociceptive cell activities and that the DA system modifies the BLA-PFC regulatory function.

  20. Male carriers of the FMR1 premutation show altered hippocampal-prefrontal function during memory encoding

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    John M Wang

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Previous functional MRI (fMRI studies have shown that fragile X mental retardation 1 (FMR1 premutation allele carriers (FXPCs exhibit decreased hippocampal activation during a recall task and lower inferior frontal activation during a working memory task compared to matched controls. The molecular characteristics of FXPCs includes 55 to 200 CGG trinucleoutide expansions, increased FMR1 mRNA levels, and decreased FMRP levels especially at higher repeat sizes. In the current study, we utilized MRI to examine differences in hippocampal volume and function during an encoding task in young male FXPCs. While no decreases in either hippocampal volume or hippocampal activity were observed during the encoding task in FXPCs, FMRP level (measured in blood correlated with decreases in parahippocampal activation. In addition, activity in the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex during correctly encoded trials correlated negatively with mRNA levels. These results, as well as the established biological effects associated with elevated mRNA levels and decreased FMRP levels on dendritic maturation and axonal growth, prompted us to explore functional connectivity between the hippocampus, prefrontal cortex, and parahippocampal gyrus using a psychophysiological interaction analysis. In FXPCs, the right hippocampus evinced significantly lower connectivity with right ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC and right parahippocampal gyrus. Furthermore, the weaker connectivity between the right hippocampus and VLPFC was associated with reduced FMRP in the FXPC group. These results suggest that while FXPCs show relatively typical brain response during encoding, faulty connectivity between frontal and hippocampal regions may have subsequent effects on recall and working memory.

  1. The Role of the Rat Medial Prefrontal Cortex in Adapting to Changes in Instrumental Contingency

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coutureau, Etienne; Esclassan, Frederic; Di Scala, Georges; Marchand, Alain R.

    2012-01-01

    In order to select actions appropriate to current needs, a subject must identify relationships between actions and events. Control over the environment is determined by the degree to which action consequences can be predicted, as described by action-outcome contingencies – i.e. performing an action should affect the probability of the outcome. We evaluated in a first experiment adaptation to contingency changes in rats with neurotoxic lesions of the medial prefrontal cortex. Results indicate that this brain region is not critical to adjust instrumental responding to a negative contingency where the rats must refrain from pressing a lever, as this action prevents reward delivery. By contrast, this brain region is required to reduce responding in a non-contingent situation where the same number of rewards is freely delivered and actions do not affect the outcome any more. In a second experiment, we determined that this effect does not result from a different perception of temporal relationships between actions and outcomes since lesioned rats adapted normally to gradually increasing delays in reward delivery. These data indicate that the medial prefrontal cortex is not directly involved in evaluating the correlation between action-and reward-rates or in the perception of reward delays. The deficit in lesioned rats appears to consist of an abnormal response to the balance between contingent and non-contingent rewards. By highlighting the role of prefrontal regions in adapting to the causal status of actions, these data contribute to our understanding of the neural basis of choice tasks. PMID:22496747

  2. Hyperresponsivity and impaired prefrontal control of the mesolimbic reward system in schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richter, Anja; Petrovic, Aleksandra; Diekhof, Esther K; Trost, Sarah; Wolter, Sarah; Gruber, Oliver

    2015-12-01

    Schizophrenia is characterized by substantial dysfunctions of reward processing, leading to detrimental consequences for decision-making. The neurotransmitter dopamine is responsible for the transmission of reward signals and also known to be involved in the mechanism of psychosis. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), sixteen medicated patients with schizophrenia and sixteen healthy controls performed the 'desire-reason dilemma' (DRD) paradigm. This paradigm allowed us to directly investigate reward-related brain activations depending on the interaction of bottom-up and top-down mechanisms, when a previously conditioned reward stimulus had to be rejected to achieve a superordinate long-term goal. Both patients and controls showed significant activations in the mesolimbic reward system. In patients with schizophrenia, however, we found a significant hyperactivation of the left ventral striatum (vStr) when they were allowed to accept the conditioned reward stimuli, and a reduced top-down regulation of activation in the ventral striatum (vStr) and ventral tegmental area (VTA) while having to reject the immediate reward to pursue the superordinate task-goal. Moreover, while healthy subjects exhibited a negative functional coupling of the vStr with both the anteroventral prefrontal cortex (avPFC) and the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (VMPFC) in the dilemma situation, this functional coupling was significantly impaired in the patient group. These findings provide evidence for an increased ventral striatal activation to reward stimuli and an impaired top-down control of reward signals by prefrontal brain regions in schizophrenia. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Stimulation in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex changes subjective evaluation of percepts.

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    Tzu-Ching Chiang

    Full Text Available Nelson and Narens have proposed a metacognition model that dissociates the objective processing of information (object-level and the subjective evaluation of the performance (i.e., the metalevel. Neurophysiological evidence also indicates that the prefrontal cortices (PFC are the brain areas which perform the metalevel function [1]-[3]. A corresponding neural mechanism of Nelson and Narens's model, called dynamic filtering theory [4], [5], indicates that object-level processing is distributed in the posterior cortices and regulated by the prefrontal cortices with a filtering or gating mechanism to select appropriate signals and suppress inappropriate signals and noise. Based on this model, a hypothesis can be developed that, in the case of uncertainty or overloading of object-level processing, the prefrontal cortices will become more active in order to modulate signals and noise. This hypothesis is supported by a recent fMRI study [6] showing that the PFC (Brodmann area 9, BA9 was activated when subjects were overloaded in a bimodal attentional task, compared to a unimodal task. Here, we report a study showing that applying repetitive transmagnetic stimulation (rTMS over the BA9 in order to interfere with its functional activity resulted in significant increas in guessed responses, compared to three other control conditions (i.e., no-TMS, sham TMS on BA9, and rTMS on Cz. The results are compatible with the dynamic filtering theory and suggest that a malfunction of the PFC would weaken the quality of meta-cognitive percepts and increase the number of guessed responses.

  4. Guanfacine modulates the influence of emotional cues on prefrontal cortex activation for cognitive control.

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    Schulz, Kurt P; Clerkin, Suzanne M; Fan, Jin; Halperin, Jeffrey M; Newcorn, Jeffrey H

    2013-03-01

    Functional interactions between limbic regions that process emotions and frontal networks that guide response functions provide a substrate for emotional cues to influence behavior. Stimulation of postsynaptic α₂ adrenoceptors enhances the function of prefrontal regions in these networks. However, the impact of this stimulation on the emotional biasing of behavior has not been established. This study tested the effect of the postsynaptic α₂ adrenoceptor agonist guanfacine on the emotional biasing of response execution and inhibition in prefrontal cortex. Fifteen healthy young adults were scanned twice with functional magnetic resonance imaging while performing a face emotion go/no-go task following counterbalanced administration of single doses of oral guanfacine (1 mg) and placebo in a double-blind, cross-over design. Lower perceptual sensitivity and less response bias for sad faces resulted in fewer correct responses compared to happy and neutral faces but had no effect on correct inhibitions. Guanfacine increased the sensitivity and bias selectively for sad faces, resulting in response accuracy comparable to happy and neutral faces, and reversed the valence-dependent variation in response-related activation in left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), resulting in enhanced activation for response execution cued by sad faces relative to happy and neutral faces, in line with other frontoparietal regions. These results provide evidence that guanfacine stimulation of postsynaptic α₂ adrenoceptors moderates DLPFC activation associated with the emotional biasing of response execution processes. The findings have implications for the α₂ adrenoceptor agonist treatment of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.

  5. Structural Covariance of the Prefrontal-Amygdala Pathways Associated with Heart Rate Variability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Luqing; Chen, Hong; Wu, Guo-Rong

    2018-01-01

    The neurovisceral integration model has shown a key role of the amygdala in neural circuits underlying heart rate variability (HRV) modulation, and suggested that reciprocal connections from amygdala to brain regions centered on the central autonomic network (CAN) are associated with HRV. To provide neuroanatomical evidence for these theoretical perspectives, the current study used covariance analysis of MRI-based gray matter volume (GMV) to map structural covariance network of the amygdala, and then determined whether the interregional structural correlations related to individual differences in HRV. The results showed that covariance patterns of the amygdala encompassed large portions of cortical (e.g., prefrontal, cingulate, and insula) and subcortical (e.g., striatum, hippocampus, and midbrain) regions, lending evidence from structural covariance analysis to the notion that the amygdala was a pivotal node in neural pathways for HRV modulation. Importantly, participants with higher resting HRV showed increased covariance of amygdala to dorsal medial prefrontal cortex and anterior cingulate cortex (dmPFC/dACC) extending into adjacent medial motor regions [i.e., pre-supplementary motor area (pre-SMA)/SMA], demonstrating structural covariance of the prefrontal-amygdala pathways implicated in HRV, and also implying that resting HRV may reflect the function of neural circuits underlying cognitive regulation of emotion as well as facilitation of adaptive behaviors to emotion. Our results, thus, provide anatomical substrates for the neurovisceral integration model that resting HRV may index an integrative neural network which effectively organizes emotional, cognitive, physiological and behavioral responses in the service of goal-directed behavior and adaptability.

  6. Impact of Prefrontal Theta Burst Stimulation on Clinical Neuropsychological Tasks

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    Raquel Viejo-Sobera

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Theta burst stimulation (TBS protocols hold high promise in neuropsychological rehabilitation. Nevertheless, their ability to either decrease (continuous, cTBS or increase (intermittent, iTBS cortical excitability in areas other than the primary motor cortex, and their consistency modulating human behaviors with clinically relevant tasks remain to be fully established. The behavioral effects of TBS over the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC are particularly interesting given its involvement in working memory (WM and executive functions (EF, often impaired following frontal brain damage. We aimed to explore the ability of cTBS and iTBS to modulate WM and EF in healthy individuals, assessed with clinical neuropsychological tests (Digits Backward, 3-back task, Stroop Test, and Tower of Hanoi. To this end, 36 participants were assessed using the four tests 1 week prior to stimulation and immediately following a single session of either cTBS, iTBS, or sham TBS, delivered to the left dlPFC. No significant differences were found across stimulation conditions in any of the clinical tasks. Nonetheless, in some of them, active stimulation induced significant pre/post performance modulations, which were not found for the sham condition. More specifically, sham stimulation yielded improvements in the 3-back task and the Color, Color-Word, and Interference Score of the Stroop Test, an effect likely caused by task practice. Both, iTBS and cTBS, produced improvements in Digits Backward and impairments in 3-back task accuracy. Moreover, iTBS increased Interference Score in the Stroop Test in spite of the improved word reading and impaired color naming, whereas cTBS decreased the time required to complete the Tower of Hanoi. Differing from TBS outcomes reported for cortico-spinal measures on the primary motor cortex, our analyses did not reveal any of the expected performance differences across stimulation protocols. However, if one considers independently

  7. Higher Order Spike Synchrony in Prefrontal Cortex during visual memory

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    Gordon ePipa

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Precise temporal synchrony of spike firing has been postulated as an important neuronal mechanism for signal integration and the induction of plasticity in neocortex. As prefrontal cortex plays an important role in organizing memory and executive functions, the convergence of multiple visual pathways onto PFC predicts that neurons should preferentially synchronize their spiking when stimulus information is processed. Furthermore, synchronous spike firing should intensify if memory processes require the induction of neuronal plasticity, even if this is only for short-term. Here we show with multiple simultaneously recorded units in ventral prefrontal cortex that neurons participate in 3 ms precise synchronous discharges distributed across multiple sites separated by at least 500 µm. The frequency of synchronous firing is modulated by behavioral performance and is specific for the memorized visual stimuli. In particular, during the memory period in which activity is not stimulus driven, larger groups of up to 7 sites exhibit performance dependent modulation of their spike synchronization.

  8. Prefrontal gray matter volume mediates genetic risks for obesity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Opel, N; Redlich, R; Kaehler, C; Grotegerd, D; Dohm, K; Heindel, W; Kugel, H; Thalamuthu, A; Koutsouleris, N; Arolt, V; Teuber, A; Wersching, H; Baune, B T; Berger, K; Dannlowski, U

    2017-05-01

    Genetic and neuroimaging research has identified neurobiological correlates of obesity. However, evidence for an integrated model of genetic risk and brain structural alterations in the pathophysiology of obesity is still absent. Here we investigated the relationship between polygenic risk for obesity, gray matter structure and body mass index (BMI) by the use of univariate and multivariate analyses in two large, independent cohorts (n=330 and n=347). Higher BMI and higher polygenic risk for obesity were significantly associated with medial prefrontal gray matter decrease, and prefrontal gray matter was further shown to significantly mediate the effect of polygenic risk for obesity on BMI in both samples. Building on this, the successful individualized prediction of BMI by means of multivariate pattern classification algorithms trained on whole-brain imaging data and external validations in the second cohort points to potential clinical applications of this imaging trait marker.

  9. Nonlinear responses within the medial prefrontal cortex reveal when specific implicit information influences economic decision making.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deppe, Michael; Schwindt, Wolfram; Kugel, Harald; Plassmann, Hilke; Kenning, Peter

    2005-04-01

    The authors used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate how individual economic decisions are influenced by implicit memory contributions. Twenty-two participants were asked to make binary decisions between different brands of sensorily nearly undistinguishable consumer goods. Changes of brain activity comparing decisions in the presence or absence of a specific target brand were detected by fMRI. Only when the tar get brand was the participant's favorite one did the authors find reduced activation in the dorsolateral prefrontal, posterior parietal, and occipital cortices and the left premotor area (Brodmann areas [BA] 9, 46, 7/19, and 6). Simultaneously, activity was increased in the inferior precuneus and posterior cingulate (BA 7), right superior frontal gyrus (BA 10), right supramarginal gyrus (BA 40), and, most pronounced, in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (BA 10). For products mainly distinguishable by brand information, the authors revealed a nonlinear winner-take-all effect for a participant's favorite brand characterized, on one hand, by reduced activation in brain areas associated with working memory and reasoning and, on the other hand, increased activation in areas involved in processing of emotions and self-reflections during decision making.

  10. Changes in prefrontal neuronal activity after learning to perform a spatial working memory task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qi, Xue-Lian; Meyer, Travis; Stanford, Terrence R; Constantinidis, Christos

    2011-12-01

    The prefrontal cortex is considered essential for learning to perform cognitive tasks though little is known about how the representation of stimulus properties is altered by learning. To address this issue, we recorded neuronal activity in monkeys before and after training on a task that required visual working memory. After the subjects learned to perform the task, we observed activation of more prefrontal neurons and increased activity during working memory maintenance. The working memory-related increase in firing rate was due mostly to regular-spiking putative pyramidal neurons. Unexpectedly, the selectivity of neurons for stimulus properties and the ability of neurons to discriminate between stimuli decreased as the information about stimulus properties was apparently present in neural firing prior to training and neuronal selectivity degraded after training in the task. The effect was robust and could not be accounted for by differences in sampling sites, selection of neurons, level of performance, or merely the elapse of time. The results indicate that, in contrast to the effects of perceptual learning, mastery of a cognitive task degrades the apparent stimulus selectivity as neurons represent more abstract information related to the task. This effect is countered by the recruitment of more neurons after training.

  11. Intranasal insulin modulates intrinsic reward and prefrontal circuitry of the human brain in lean women.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kullmann, Stephanie; Frank, Sabine; Heni, Martin; Ketterer, Caroline; Veit, Ralf; Häring, Hans-Ulrich; Fritsche, Andreas; Preissl, Hubert

    2013-01-01

    There is accumulating evidence that food consumption is controlled by a wide range of brain circuits outside of the homeostatic system. Activation in these brain circuits may override the homeostatic system and also contribute to the enormous increase of obesity. However, little is known about the influence of hormonal signals on the brain's non-homeostatic system. Thus, selective insulin action in the brain was investigated by using intranasal application. We performed 'resting-state' functional magnetic resonance imaging in 17 healthy lean female subjects to assess intrinsic brain activity by fractional amplitude of low-frequency fluctuations (fALFF) before, 30 and 90 min after application of intranasal insulin. Here, we showed that insulin modulates intrinsic brain activity in the hypothalamus and orbitofrontal cortex. Furthermore, we could show that the prefrontal and anterior cingulate cortex response to insulin is associated with body mass index. This demonstrates that hormonal signals as insulin may reduce food intake by modifying the reward and prefrontal circuitry of the human brain, thereby potentially decreasing the rewarding properties of food. Due to the alarming increase in obesity worldwide, it is of great importance to identify neural mechanisms of interaction between the homeostatic and non-homeostatic system to generate new targets for obesity therapy. Copyright © 2012 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  12. A TRANSLATIONAL INVESTIGATION TARGETING STRESS-REACTIVITY AND PRE-FRONTAL COGNITIVE CONTROL WITH GUANFACINE FOR SMOKING CESSATION

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKee, Sherry A.; Potenza, Marc N.; Kober, Hedy; Sofuoglu, Mehmet; Arnsten, Amy F. T.; Picciotto, Marina R.; Weinberger, Andrea H.; Ashare, Rebecca; Sinha, Rajita

    2015-01-01

    Stress and pre-frontal cognitive dysfunction have key roles in driving smoking, however, there are no therapeutics for smoking cessation which attenuate the effects of stress on smoking and enhance cognition. Central noradrenergic pathways are involved in stress-induced reinstatement to nicotine and in the prefrontal executive control of adaptive behaviors. We used a novel translational approach employing a validated laboratory analogue of stress-precipitated smoking, fMRI, and a proof-of-concept treatment period to evaluate whether the noradrenergic α2a agonist, guanfacine (3mg/day) versus placebo (0mg/day) reduced stress-precipitated smoking in the laboratory, altered cortico-striatal activation during the Stroop cognitive-control task, and reduced smoking following a quit attempt. In nicotine-deprived smokers (n=33), stress versus a neutral condition significantly decreased the latency to smoke, and increased tobacco craving, ad-libitum smoking, and systolic blood pressure in placebo-treated subjects, and these effects were absent or reduced in guanfacine-treated subjects. Following stress, placebo-treated subjects demonstrated decreased cortisol levels whereas guanfacine-treated subjects demonstrated increased levels. Guanfacine, compared to placebo, altered prefrontal activity during a cognitive control task, and reduced cigarette use but did not increase complete abstinence during treatment. These preliminary laboratory, neuroimaging and clinical outcome data were consistent and complementary and support further development of guanfacine for smoking cessation. PMID:25516371

  13. Impact of Vortioxetine on Synaptic Integration in Prefrontal-Subcortical Circuits: Comparisons with Escitalopram

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    Shreaya Chakroborty

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Prefrontal-subcortical circuits support executive functions which often become dysfunctional in psychiatric disorders. Vortioxetine is a multimodal antidepressant that is currently used in the clinic to treat major depressive disorder. Mechanisms of action of vortioxetine include serotonin (5-HT transporter blockade, 5-HT1A receptor agonism, 5-HT1B receptor partial agonism, and 5-HT1D, 5-HT3, and 5-HT7 receptor antagonism. Vortioxetine facilitates 5-HT transmission in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC, however, the impact of this compound on related prefrontal-subcortical circuits is less clear. Thus, the current study examined the impact of systemic vortioxetine administration (0.8 mg/kg, i.v. on spontaneous spiking and spikes evoked by electrical stimulation of the mPFC in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC, medial shell of the nucleus accumbens (msNAc, and lateral septal nucleus (LSN in urethane-anesthetized rats. We also examined whether vortioxetine modulated afferent drive in the msNAc from hippocampal fimbria (HF inputs. Similar studies were performed using the selective 5-HT reuptake inhibitor [selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI] escitalopram (1.6 mg/kg, i.v. to enable comparisons between the multimodal actions of vortioxetine and SSRI-mediated effects. No significant differences in spontaneous activity were observed in the ACC, msNAc, and LSN across treatment groups. No significant impact of treatment on mPFC-evoked responses was observed in the ACC. In contrast, vortioxetine decreased mPFC-evoked activity recorded in the msNAc as compared to parallel studies in control and escitalopram treated groups. Thus, vortioxetine may reduce mPFC-msNAc afferent drive via a mechanism that, in addition to an SSRI-like effect, requires 5-HT receptor modulation. Recordings in the LSN revealed a significant increase in mPFC-evoked activity following escitalopram administration as compared to control and vortioxetine treated groups

  14. Sex differences in prefrontal hemodynamic response to mental arithmetic as assessed by near-infrared spectroscopy.

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    Yang, Hongyu; Wang, Ying; Zhou, Zhenyu; Gong, Hui; Luo, Qingming; Wang, Yiwen; Lu, Zuhong

    2009-12-01

    Sex differences in cognitive tasks have been widely investigated. With brain-imaging techniques, the functions of the brain during the performance of tasks can be examined. Mental arithmetic and near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) were used to assess sex differences in prefrontal area activation in a functional brain study. Healthy college students were recruited to perform 2 mental arithmetic tasks. In the first (easy) task, students had to subtract a 1-digit number from a 3-digit number. In the second (difficult) task, they had to subtract a 2-digit number from a 3-digit number. Changes in the concentration of oxygenated hemoglobin (oxy-Hgb) in the prefrontal area during the tasks were measured with NIRS. Thirty students (15 men, 15 women; mean [SD] age: 24.9 [2.2] and 24.3 [2.6] years, respectively) were recruited from Southeast University, Nanjing, China, to participate in the study. The concentration of oxy-Hgb increased during both mental arithmetic tasks (difficult task vs easy task, mean [SD] % arbitrary units: 4.36 [4.38] vs 2.26 [2.82]; F(1,28) = 222.80; P men and women were observed in the mean (SD) response time (men vs women, sec: 3.60 [0.74] vs 3.56 [0.49] for the easy task, 6.55 [0.77] vs 6.44 [0.75] for the difficult task; F(1,28) = 0.67; P = NS) or accuracy rate (men vs women, %: 95.33 [7.40] vs 92.77 [8.80] for the easy task, 62.67 [28.56] vs 54.67 [18.75] for the difficult task; F(1,28) = 0.54; P = NS). Male students showed neural efficiency (less prefrontal activation in subjects with better performance) during the difficult task. In these subjects, sex differences in prefrontal response when performing mental arithmetic were associated with the intensity of the task. Compared with men, women had greater efficiency in task performance (ie, less activation or oxygen consumption for equal performance). Copyright 2009 Excerpta Medica Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Prefrontal Cortical GABA Modulation of Spatial Reference and Working Memory

    OpenAIRE

    Auger, Meagan L.; Floresco, Stan B.

    2014-01-01

    Background: Dysfunction in prefrontal cortex (PFC) GABA transmission has been proposed to contribute to cognitive dysfunction in schizophrenia, yet how this system regulates different cognitive and mnemonic functions remains unclear. Methods: We assessed the effects of pharmacological reduction of GABAA signaling in the medial PFC of rats on spatial reference/working memory using different versions of the radial-arm maze task. We used a massed-trials procedure to probe how PFC GABA regulates ...

  16. Reward Inference by Primate Prefrontal and Striatal Neurons

    OpenAIRE

    Pan, Xiaochuan; Fan, Hongwei; Sawa, Kosuke; Tsuda, Ichiro; Tsukada, Minoru; Sakagami, Masamichi

    2014-01-01

    The brain contains multiple yet distinct systems involved in reward prediction. To understand the nature of these processes, we recorded single-unit activity from the lateral prefrontal cortex (LPFC) and the striatum in monkeys performing a reward inference task using an asymmetric reward schedule. We found that neurons both in the LPFC and in the striatum predicted reward values for stimuli that had been previously well experienced with set reward quantities in the asymmetric reward task. Im...

  17. Ventromedial prefrontal cortex, adding value to autobiographical memories

    OpenAIRE

    Lin, W. J.; Horner, A. J.; Burgess, N.

    2016-01-01

    The medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) has been consistently implicated in autobiographical memory recall and decision making. Its function in decision making tasks is believed to relate to value representation, but its function in autobiographical memory recall is not yet clear. We hypothesised that the mPFC represents the subjective value of elements during autobiographical memory retrieval. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging during an autobiographical memory recall task, we found tha...

  18. Prefrontal cortex activity during swallowing in dysphagia patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Jun; Yamate, Chisato; Taira, Masato; Shinoda, Masamichi; Urata, Kentaro; Maruno, Mitsuru; Ito, Reio; Saito, Hiroto; Gionhaku, Nobuhito; Iinuma, Toshimitsu; Iwata, Koichi

    2018-05-24

    Prefrontal cortex activity is modulated by flavor and taste stimuli and changes during swallowing. We hypothesized that changes in the modulation of prefrontal cortex activity by flavor and taste were associated with swallowing movement and evaluated brain activity during swallowing in patients with dysphagia. To evaluate prefrontal cortex activity in dysphagia patients during swallowing, change in oxidized hemoglobin (z-score) was measured with near-infrared spectroscopy while dysphagia patients and healthy controls swallowed sweetened/unsweetened and flavored/unflavored jelly. Total z-scores were positive during swallowing of flavored/unsweetened jelly and negative during swallowing of unflavored/sweetened jelly in controls but negative during swallowing of sweetened/unsweetened and flavored/unflavored jelly in dysphagia patients. These findings suggest that taste and flavor during food swallowing are associated with positive and negative z-scores, respectively. Change in negative and positive z-scores may be useful in evaluating brain activity of dysphagia patients during swallowing of sweetened and unsweetened food.

  19. Major Thought Restructuring: The Roles of Different Prefrontal Cortical Regions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seyed-Allaei, Shima; Avanaki, Zahra Nasiri; Bahrami, Bahador; Shallice, Tim

    2017-07-01

    An important question for understanding the neural basis of problem solving is whether the regions of human prefrontal cortices play qualitatively different roles in the major cognitive restructuring required to solve difficult problems. However, investigating this question using neuroimaging faces a major dilemma: either the problems do not require major cognitive restructuring, or if they do, the restructuring typically happens once, rendering repeated measurements of the critical mental process impossible. To circumvent these problems, young adult participants were challenged with a one-dimensional Subtraction (or Nim) problem [Bouton, C. L. Nim, a game with a complete mathematical theory. The Annals of Mathematics, 3, 35-39, 1901] that can be tackled using two possible strategies. One, often used initially, is effortful, slow, and error-prone, whereas the abstract solution, once achieved, is easier, quicker, and more accurate. Behaviorally, success was strongly correlated with sex. Using voxel-based morphometry analysis controlling for sex, we found that participants who found the more abstract strategy (i.e., Solvers) had more gray matter volume in the anterior medial, ventrolateral prefrontal, and parietal cortices compared with those who never switched from the initial effortful strategy (i.e., Explorers). Removing the sex covariate showed higher gray matter volume in Solvers (vs. Explorers) in the right ventrolateral prefrontal and left parietal cortex.

  20. Neural correlates of memory retrieval in the prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nácher, Verónica; Ojeda, Sabiela; Cadarso-Suárez, Carmen; Roca-Pardiñas, Javier; Acuña, Carlos

    2006-08-01

    Working memory includes short-term representations of information that were recently experienced or retrieved from long-term representations of sensory stimuli. Evidence is presented here that working memory activates the same dorsolateral prefrontal cortex neurons that: (a) maintained recently perceived visual stimuli; and (b) retrieved visual stimuli from long-term memory (LTM). Single neuron activity was recorded in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex while trained monkeys discriminated between two orientated lines shown sequentially, separated by a fixed interstimulus interval. This visual task required the monkey to compare the orientation of the second line with the memory trace of the first and to decide the relative orientation of the second. When the behavioural task required the monkey to maintain in working memory a first stimulus that continually changed from trial to trial, the discharge in these cells was related to the parameters--the orientation--of the memorized item. Then, what the monkey had to recall from memory was manipulated by switching to another task in which the first stimulus was not shown, and had to be retrieved from LTM. The discharge rates of the same neurons also varied depending on the parameters of the memorized stimuli, and their response was progressively delayed as the monkey performed the task. These results suggest that working memory activates dorsolateral prefrontal cortex neurons that maintain parametrical visual information in short-term and LTM, and that the contents of working memory cannot be limited to what has recently happened in the sensory environment.

  1. Glucose-monitoring neurons in the mediodorsal prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagy, Bernadett; Szabó, István; Papp, Szilárd; Takács, Gábor; Szalay, Csaba; Karádi, Zoltán

    2012-03-20

    The mediodorsal prefrontal cortex (mdPFC), a key structure of the limbic neural circuitry, plays important roles in the central regulation of feeding. As an integrant part of the forebrain dopamine (DA) system, it performs complex roles via interconnections with various brain areas where glucose-monitoring (GM) neurons have been identified. The main goal of the present experiments was to examine whether similar GM neurons exist in the mediodorsal prefrontal cortex. To search for such chemosensory cells here, and to estimate their involvement in the DA circuitry, extracellular single neuron activity of the mediodorsal prefrontal cortex of anesthetized Wistar and Sprague-Dawley rats was recorded by means of tungsten wire multibarreled glass microelectrodes during microelectrophoretic administration of d-glucose and DA. One fourth of the neurons tested changed in firing rate in response to glucose, thus, proved to be elements of the forebrain GM neural network. DA responsive neurons in the mdPFC were found to represent similar proportion of all cells; the glucose-excited units were shown to display excitatory whereas the glucose-inhibited neurons were demonstrated to exert mainly inhibitory responses to dopamine. The glucose-monitoring neurons of the mdPFC and their distinct DA sensitivity are suggested to be of particular significance in adaptive processes of the central feeding control. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. DRD2/CHRNA5 interaction on prefrontal biology and physiology during working memory.

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    Annabella Di Giorgio

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Prefrontal behavior and activity in humans are heritable. Studies in animals demonstrate an interaction between dopamine D2 receptors and nicotinic acetylcholine receptors on prefrontal behavior but evidence in humans is weak. Therefore, we hypothesize that genetic variation regulating dopamine D2 and nicotinic acetylcholine receptor signaling impact prefrontal cortex activity and related cognition. To test this hypothesis in humans, we explored the interaction between functional genetic variants in the D2 receptor gene (DRD2, rs1076560 and in the nicotinic receptor α5 gene (CHRNA5, rs16969968 on both dorsolateral prefrontal cortex mediated behavior and physiology during working memory and on prefrontal gray matter volume. METHODS: A large sample of healthy subjects was compared for genotypic differences for DRD2 rs1076560 (G>T and CHNRA5 rs16969968 (G>A on prefrontal phenotypes, including cognitive performance at the N-Back task, prefrontal physiology with BOLD fMRI during performance of the 2-Back working memory task, and prefrontal morphometry with structural MRI. RESULTS: We found that DRD2 rs1076560 and CHNRA5 rs16969968 interact to modulate cognitive function, prefrontal physiology during working memory, and prefrontal gray matter volume. More specifically, CHRNA5-AA/DRD2-GT subjects had greater behavioral performance, more efficient prefrontal cortex activity at 2Back working memory task, and greater prefrontal gray matter volume than the other genotype groups. CONCLUSIONS: The present data extend previous studies in animals and enhance our understanding of dopamine and acetylcholine signaling in the human prefrontal cortex, demonstrating interactions elicited by working memory that are modulated by genetic variants in DRD2 and CHRNA5.

  3. DRD2/CHRNA5 interaction on prefrontal biology and physiology during working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Giorgio, Annabella; Smith, Ryan M; Fazio, Leonardo; D'Ambrosio, Enrico; Gelao, Barbara; Tomasicchio, Aldo; Selvaggi, Pierluigi; Taurisano, Paolo; Quarto, Tiziana; Masellis, Rita; Rampino, Antonio; Caforio, Grazia; Popolizio, Teresa; Blasi, Giuseppe; Sadee, Wolfgang; Bertolino, Alessandro

    2014-01-01

    Prefrontal behavior and activity in humans are heritable. Studies in animals demonstrate an interaction between dopamine D2 receptors and nicotinic acetylcholine receptors on prefrontal behavior but evidence in humans is weak. Therefore, we hypothesize that genetic variation regulating dopamine D2 and nicotinic acetylcholine receptor signaling impact prefrontal cortex activity and related cognition. To test this hypothesis in humans, we explored the interaction between functional genetic variants in the D2 receptor gene (DRD2, rs1076560) and in the nicotinic receptor α5 gene (CHRNA5, rs16969968) on both dorsolateral prefrontal cortex mediated behavior and physiology during working memory and on prefrontal gray matter volume. A large sample of healthy subjects was compared for genotypic differences for DRD2 rs1076560 (G>T) and CHNRA5 rs16969968 (G>A) on prefrontal phenotypes, including cognitive performance at the N-Back task, prefrontal physiology with BOLD fMRI during performance of the 2-Back working memory task, and prefrontal morphometry with structural MRI. We found that DRD2 rs1076560 and CHNRA5 rs16969968 interact to modulate cognitive function, prefrontal physiology during working memory, and prefrontal gray matter volume. More specifically, CHRNA5-AA/DRD2-GT subjects had greater behavioral performance, more efficient prefrontal cortex activity at 2Back working memory task, and greater prefrontal gray matter volume than the other genotype groups. The present data extend previous studies in animals and enhance our understanding of dopamine and acetylcholine signaling in the human prefrontal cortex, demonstrating interactions elicited by working memory that are modulated by genetic variants in DRD2 and CHRNA5.

  4. The Cortical Connectivity of the Prefrontal Cortex in the Monkey Brain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yeterian, Edward H.; Pandya, Deepak N.; Tomaiuolo, Francesco; Petrides, Michael

    2011-01-01

    One dimension of understanding the functions of the prefrontal cortex is knowledge of cortical connectivity. We have surveyed three aspects of prefrontal cortical connections: local projections (within the frontal lobe), the termination patterns of long association (post-Rolandic) projections, and the trajectories of major fiber pathways. The local connections appear to be organized in relation to dorsal (hippocampal origin) and ventral (paleocortical origin) architectonic trends. According to the proposal of a dual origin of the cerebral cortex, cortical areas can be traced as originating from archicortex (hippocampus) on the one hand, and paleocortex, on the other hand, in a stepwise manner (e.g., Sanides, 1969; Pandya and Yeterian, 1985). Prefrontal areas within each trend are connected with less architectonically differentiated areas, and, on the other hand, with more differentiated areas. Such organization may allow for the systematic exchange of information within each architectonic trend. The long connections of the prefrontal cortex with post-Rolandic regions seem to be organized preferentially in relation to dorsal and ventral prefrontal architectonic trends. Prefrontal areas are connected with post-Rolandic auditory, visual and somatosensory association areas, and with multimodal and paralimbic regions. This long connectivity likely works in conjunction with local connections to serve prefrontal cortical functions. The afferent and efferent connections of the prefrontal cortex with post-Rolandic regions are conveyed by specific long association pathways. These pathways as well appear to be organized in relation to dorsal and ventral prefrontal architectonic trends. Finally, although prefrontal areas have preferential connections in relation to dual architectonic trends, it is clear that there are interconnections between and among areas in each trend, which may provide a substrate for the overall integrative function of the prefrontal cortex. Prefrontal

  5. Association of Oxytocin and Parental Prefrontal Activation during Reunion with Infant: A Functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy Study

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    Jun Ito

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Although previous studies have revealed the role of oxytocin (OT in parental behavior, the role of OT has not been investigated through the direct assessment of prefrontal brain activation during parenting. By using functional near-infrared spectroscopy, we aimed to show the relationship between parental [maternal (N = 15 and paternal (N = 21] OT levels and the activation of the prefrontal cortex (PFC, while holding their infants after separation. Baseline OT levels were measured in the subjects’ saliva samples before the experiment. Prefrontal brain activation was assessed in participants sitting alone on a chair (i.e., separation from their infant for 120 s and during the target period (i.e., holding their infant for 45 s, which was done in triplicate. The oxygen hemoglobin (oxy-Hb dissociation curve significantly increased in 9 out of 22 channels on the PFC when maternal and paternal samples were combined. However, only the fathers showed a correlation between salivary OT and oxy-Hb signal. Furthermore, while holding their infants, high-OT fathers showed left hemispheric dominance compared to low-OT fathers, while high-OT mothers showed right hemispheric dominance compared to low-OT mothers. This study showed that fathers with high-OT levels showed neural activation with left hemispheric dominance, while holding their infants, suggesting that increase of OT level might activate paternal PFC related to parenting behavior, although the same is not true for mothers.

  6. Amygdala functional disconnection with the prefrontal-cingulate-temporal circuit in chronic tinnitus patients with depressive mood.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Yu-Chen; Bo, Fan; Xia, Wenqing; Liu, Shenghua; Wang, Peng; Su, Wen; Xu, Jin-Jing; Xiong, Zhenyu; Yin, Xindao

    2017-10-03

    Chronic tinnitus is often accompanied with depressive symptom, which may arise from aberrant functional coupling between the amygdala and cerebral cortex. To explore this hypothesis, resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was used to investigate the disrupted amygdala-cortical functional connectivity (FC) in chronic tinnitus patients with depressive mood. Chronic tinnitus patients with depressive mood (n=20), without depressive mood (n=20), and well-matched healthy controls (n=23) underwent resting-state fMRI scanning. Amygdala-cortical FC was characterized using a seed-based whole-brain correlation method. The bilateral amygdala FC was compared among the three groups. Compared to non-depressed patients, depressive tinnitus patients showed decreased amygdala FC with the prefrontal cortex and anterior cingulate cortex as well as increased amygdala FC with the postcentral gyrus and lingual gyrus. Relative to healthy controls, depressive tinnitus patients revealed decreased amygdala FC with the superior and middle temporal gyrus, anterior and posterior cingulate cortex, and prefrontal cortex, as well as increased amygdala FC with the postcentral gyrus and lingual gyrus. The current study identified for the first time abnormal resting-state amygdala-cortical FC with the prefrontal-cingulate-temporal circuit in chronic tinnitus patients with depressive mood, which will provide novel insight into the underlying neuropathological mechanisms of tinnitus-induced depressive disorder. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Positive effect of acute mild exercise on executive function via arousal-related prefrontal activations: an fNIRS study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Byun, Kyeongho; Hyodo, Kazuki; Suwabe, Kazuya; Ochi, Genta; Sakairi, Yosuke; Kato, Morimasa; Dan, Ippeita; Soya, Hideaki

    2014-09-01

    Despite the practical implication of mild exercise, little is known about its influence on executive function and its neural substrates. To address these issues, the present study examined the effect of an acute bout of mild exercise on executive function and attempted to identify potential neural substrates using non-invasive functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). Twenty-five young individuals performed a color-word matching Stroop task (CWST) and a two-dimensional scale to measure changes of psychological mood states both before and after a 10-minute exercise session on a cycle ergometer at light intensity (30% v(·)o2peak) and, for the control session, without exercise. Cortical hemodynamic changes in the prefrontal area were monitored with fNIRS during the CWST in both sessions. The acute bout of mild exercise led to improved Stroop performance, which was positively correlated with increased arousal levels. It also evoked cortical activations regarding Stroop interference on the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and frontopolar area. These activations significantly corresponded with both improved cognitive performance and increased arousal levels. Concurrently, this study provides empirical evidence that an acute bout of mild exercise improves executive function mediated by the exercise-induced arousal system, which intensifies cortical activation in task-related prefrontal sub-regions. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Does rTMS Alter Neurocognitive Functioning in Patients with Panic Disorder/Agoraphobia? An fNIRS-Based Investigation of Prefrontal Activation during a Cognitive Task and Its Modulation via Sham-Controlled rTMS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Saskia Deppermann

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Objectives. Neurobiologically, panic disorder (PD is supposed to be characterised by cerebral hypofrontality. Via functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS, we investigated whether prefrontal hypoactivity during cognitive tasks in PD-patients compared to healthy controls (HC could be replicated. As intermittent theta burst stimulation (iTBS modulates cortical activity, we furthermore investigated its ability to normalise prefrontal activation. Methods. Forty-four PD-patients, randomised to sham or verum group, received 15 iTBS-sessions above the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC in addition to psychoeducation. Before first and after last iTBS-treatment, cortical activity during a verbal fluency task was assessed via fNIRS and compared to the results of 23 HC. Results. At baseline, PD-patients showed hypofrontality including the DLPFC, which differed significantly from activation patterns of HC. However, verum iTBS did not augment prefrontal fNIRS activation. Solely after sham iTBS, a significant increase of measured fNIRS activation in the left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG during the phonological task was found. Conclusion. Our results support findings that PD is characterised by prefrontal hypoactivation during cognitive performance. However, verum iTBS as an “add-on” to psychoeducation did not augment prefrontal activity. Instead we only found increased fNIRS activation in the left IFG after sham iTBS application. Possible reasons including task-related psychophysiological arousal are discussed.

  9. Does rTMS alter neurocognitive functioning in patients with panic disorder/agoraphobia? An fNIRS-based investigation of prefrontal activation during a cognitive task and its modulation via sham-controlled rTMS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deppermann, Saskia; Vennewald, Nadja; Diemer, Julia; Sickinger, Stephanie; Haeussinger, Florian B; Notzon, Swantje; Laeger, Inga; Arolt, Volker; Ehlis, Ann-Christine; Zwanzger, Peter; Fallgatter, Andreas J

    2014-01-01

    Neurobiologically, panic disorder (PD) is supposed to be characterised by cerebral hypofrontality. Via functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS), we investigated whether prefrontal hypoactivity during cognitive tasks in PD-patients compared to healthy controls (HC) could be replicated. As intermittent theta burst stimulation (iTBS) modulates cortical activity, we furthermore investigated its ability to normalise prefrontal activation. Forty-four PD-patients, randomised to sham or verum group, received 15 iTBS-sessions above the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) in addition to psychoeducation. Before first and after last iTBS-treatment, cortical activity during a verbal fluency task was assessed via fNIRS and compared to the results of 23 HC. At baseline, PD-patients showed hypofrontality including the DLPFC, which differed significantly from activation patterns of HC. However, verum iTBS did not augment prefrontal fNIRS activation. Solely after sham iTBS, a significant increase of measured fNIRS activation in the left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) during the phonological task was found. Our results support findings that PD is characterised by prefrontal hypoactivation during cognitive performance. However, verum iTBS as an "add-on" to psychoeducation did not augment prefrontal activity. Instead we only found increased fNIRS activation in the left IFG after sham iTBS application. Possible reasons including task-related psychophysiological arousal are discussed.

  10. Effects of prefrontal rTMS on autonomic reactions to affective pictures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berger, Christoph; Domes, Gregor; Balschat, Johannes; Thome, Johannes; Höppner, Jacqueline

    2017-02-01

    Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) can modulate the excitability of stimulated cortical areas, such as prefrontal areas involved in emotion regulation. Low frequency (LF) rTMS is expected to have inhibitory effects on prefrontal regions, and thereby should disinhibit limbic activity, resulting in enhanced emotional and autonomic reactions. For high frequency (HF) rTMS, the opposite pattern might be assumed. The objective of this study was to determine the effects of different rTMS frequencies applied to the right dlPFC on autonomic functions and on emotional perception. In a crossover design, two groups of 20 healthy young women were either stimulated with one session of LF rTMS (1 Hz) or one session of HF rTMS (10 Hz), compared to sham stimulation. We assessed phasic cardiac responses (PCR), skin conductance reactions (SCR), and emotional appraisal of emotional pictures as well as recognition memory after each rTMS application. After LF rTMS, PCR (heart rate deceleration) during presentation of pictures with negative and neutral valence was significantly increased compared to the presentation of positive pictures. In contrast, the modulatory effect of picture valence and arousal on the cardiac orienting response was absent after HF rTMS. Our results suggest that frontal LF rTMS indirectly activates the ANS via inhibition of the right dlPFC activity, likely by enhancing the sensory processing or attention to aversive and neutral stimuli.

  11. Premenstrual dysphoric disorder and prefrontal reactivity during anticipation of emotional stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gingnell, Malin; Bannbers, Elin; Wikström, Johan; Fredrikson, Mats; Sundström-Poromaa, Inger

    2013-11-01

    Premenstrual disorder (PMDD) affects around 5% of women in childbearing ages. An increased sensitivity in emotion processing areas of the brain to variations in ovarian steroid levels has been suggested as part of the pathophysiology in PMDD, but prior neuroimaging studies of emotion processing are yet inconclusive. Previous behavioral studies of women with PMDD have, however, reported enhanced luteal phase startle responsivity during emotional anticipation. Here we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate central neural circuitry activity during anticipation of, and exposure to, emotional stimuli across the menstrual cycle in women with and without PMDD. As compared to healthy controls, women with PMDD displayed significantly enhanced reactivity in the prefrontal cortex during anticipation of, but not exposure to, negative emotional stimuli during the luteal phase. In PMDD patients, BOLD reactivity during anticipation or viewing of negative emotional stimuli was not dependent on absolute levels of estradiol or progesterone. However, progesterone levels were positively correlated with emotion-induced reactivity in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex to positive emotional stimuli. These findings suggest that cortical emotional circuitry reactivity during anticipation is altered in PMDD during the luteal phase, which might be part of the pathophysiology behind the emotional symptoms or lack of emotional control reported by women with PMDD. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. and ECNP. All rights reserved.

  12. Methylphenidate and Atomoxetine Inhibit Social Play Behavior through Prefrontal and Subcortical Limbic Mechanisms in Rats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Achterberg, E.J. Marijke; van Kerkhof, Linda W.M.; Damsteegt, Ruth; Trezza, Viviana

    2015-01-01

    Positive social interactions during the juvenile and adolescent phases of life, in the form of social play behavior, are important for social and cognitive development. However, the neural mechanisms of social play behavior remain incompletely understood. We have previously shown that methylphenidate and atomoxetine, drugs widely used for the treatment of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), suppress social play in rats through a noradrenergic mechanism of action. Here, we aimed to identify the neural substrates of the play-suppressant effects of these drugs. Methylphenidate is thought to exert its effects on cognition and emotion through limbic corticostriatal systems. Therefore, methylphenidate was infused into prefrontal and orbitofrontal cortical regions as well as into several subcortical limbic areas implicated in social play. Infusion of methylphenidate into the anterior cingulate cortex, infralimbic cortex, basolateral amygdala, and habenula inhibited social play, but not social exploratory behavior or locomotor activity. Consistent with a noradrenergic mechanism of action of methylphenidate, infusion of the noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor atomoxetine into these same regions also reduced social play. Methylphenidate administration into the prelimbic, medial/ventral orbitofrontal, and ventrolateral orbitofrontal cortex, mediodorsal thalamus, or nucleus accumbens shell was ineffective. Our data show that the inhibitory effects of methylphenidate and atomoxetine on social play are mediated through a distributed network of prefrontal and limbic subcortical regions implicated in cognitive control and emotional processes. These findings increase our understanding of the neural underpinnings of this developmentally important social behavior, as well as the mechanism of action of two widely used treatments for ADHD. PMID:25568111

  13. Enhanced prefrontal function with pharmacotherapy on a response inhibition task in adolescent bipolar disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pavuluri, Mani N; Passarotti, Alessandra M; Harral, Erin M; Sweeney, John A

    2010-11-01

    The aim of the current study is to determine whether pharmacotherapy normalizes cognitive circuitry function supporting voluntary behavioral inhibition in adolescent bipolar disorder. Healthy controls and unmedicated patients with DSM-IV adolescent bipolar disorder in manic, mixed, or hypomanic episodes were matched on demographics and IQ (n = 13 per group; mean age = 14.4 ± 2.4 years). Functional magnetic resonance imaging studies were performed at baseline and after 14 weeks, during which time patients with adolescent bipolar disorder were treated initially with second-generation antipsychotics (SGAs) followed by lamotrigine monotherapy. The primary outcome measure was a Response Inhibition Task, which involved a planned motor response, already "on the way" to execution, that had to be voluntarily inhibited by the subjects in the trials in which a stop signal was presented. There were 6 blocks, each with a predominant rate of either "go" or "stop" trials. The study was conducted from June 2006 through July 2009. All patients showed significant improvement (P adolescent bipolar disorder group than in healthy controls. Increased ventrolateral prefrontal cortex function was related to clinical treatment response. Treatment with SGAs followed by lamotrigine monotherapy enhanced prefrontal and temporal lobe activity during a Response Inhibition Task demonstrating the reversal of disorder-relevant neural circuitry dysfunction in patients with adolescent bipolar disorder. Patient performance was not slowed down with this treatment regimen. clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT00176228. © Copyright 2010 Physicians Postgraduate Press, Inc.

  14. Differential Motor and Prefrontal Cerebello-Cortical Network Development: Evidence from Multimodal Neuroimaging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernard, Jessica A.; Orr, Joseph M.; Mittal, Vijay A.

    2015-01-01

    While our understanding of cerebellar structural development through adolescence and young adulthood has expanded, we still lack knowledge of the developmental patterns of cerebellar networks during this critical portion of the lifespan. Volume in lateral posterior cerebellar regions associated with cognition and the prefrontal cortex develops more slowly, reaching their peak volume in adulthood, particularly as compared to motor Lobule V. We predicted that resting state functional connectivity of the lateral posterior regions would show a similar pattern of development during adolescence and young adulthood. That is, we expected to see changes over time in Crus I and Crus II connectivity with the cortex, but no changes in Lobule V connectivity. Additionally, we were interested in how structural connectivity changes in cerebello-thalamo-cortical white matter are related to changes in functional connectivity. A sample of 23 individuals between 12 and 21 years old underwent neuroimaging scans at baseline and 12-months later. Functional networks of Crus I and Crus II showed significant connectivity decreases over 12-months, though there were no differences in Lobule V. Furthermore, these functional connectivity changes were correlated with increases in white matter structural integrity in the corresponding cerebello-thalamo-cortical white matter tract. We suggest that these functional network changes are due to both later pruning in the prefrontal cortex as well as further development of the white matter tracts linking these brain regions. PMID:26391125

  15. fMRI neurofeedback of amygdala response to aversive stimuli enhances prefrontal-limbic brain connectivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paret, Christian; Ruf, Matthias; Gerchen, Martin Fungisai; Kluetsch, Rosemarie; Demirakca, Traute; Jungkunz, Martin; Bertsch, Katja; Schmahl, Christian; Ende, Gabriele

    2016-01-15

    Down-regulation of the amygdala with real-time fMRI neurofeedback (rtfMRI NF) potentially allows targeting brain circuits of emotion processing and may involve prefrontal-limbic networks underlying effective emotion regulation. Little research has been dedicated to the effect of rtfMRI NF on the functional connectivity of the amygdala and connectivity patterns in amygdala down-regulation with neurofeedback have not been addressed yet. Using psychophysiological interaction analysis of fMRI data, we present evidence that voluntary amygdala down-regulation by rtfMRI NF while viewing aversive pictures was associated with increased connectivity of the right amygdala with the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) in healthy subjects (N=16). In contrast, a control group (N=16) receiving sham feedback did not alter amygdala connectivity (Group×Condition t-contrast: pneurofeedback to influence functional connectivity in key networks of emotion processing and regulation. This may be beneficial for patients suffering from severe emotion dysregulation by improving neural self-regulation. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Ritmos circadianos y neurotransmisores : estudios en la corteza prefrontal de la rata

    OpenAIRE

    Márquez de Prado García, Blanca

    2004-01-01

    El objetivo de esta tesis doctoral fue el estudio los posibles ritmos circadianos de los neurotransmisores glutamato, GABA, dopamina y acetilcolina en la corteza prefrontal. Una vez descritos los ritmos circadianos de estos neurotransmisores en corteza prefrontal se estudió su regulación por cambios en el fotoperíodo y la melatonina. Se estudiaron también los efectos del envejecimiento sobre los ritmos circadianos neurotransmisores en corteza prefrontal, estriado y núcleo accumbens. Se realiz...

  17. Object recognition impairment in Fmr1 knockout mice is reversed by amphetamine: involvement of dopamine in the medial prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ventura, R; Pascucci, T; Catania, M V; Musumeci, S A; Puglisi-Allegra, S

    2004-09-01

    Fragile X syndrome is an X-linked form of mental retardation including, among others, symptoms such as stereotypic behaviour, hyperactivity, hyperarousal, and cognitive deficits. We hypothesized that hyperactivity and/or compromised attentional, cognitive functions may lead to impaired performance in cognitive tasks in Fmr1 knockout mice, the most widely used animal model of fragile X syndrome, and suggested that psychostimulant treatment may improve performance by acting on one or both components. Since hyperactivity and cognitive functions have been suggested to depend on striatal and prefrontal cortex dopaminergic dysfunction, we assessed whether amphetamine produced beneficial, positive effects by acting on dopaminergic corticostriatal systems. Our results show that Fmr1 knockout mice are not able to discriminate between a familiar object and a novel one in the object recognition test, thus showing a clear-cut cognitive impairment that, to date, has been difficult to demonstrate in other cognitive tasks. Amphetamine improved performance of Fmr1 knockout mice, leading to enhanced ability to discriminate novel versus familiar objects, without significantly affecting locomotor activity. In agreement with behavioural data, amphetamine produced a greater increase in dopamine release in the prefrontal cortex of Fmr1 knockout compared with the wild-type mice, while a weak striatal dopaminergic response was observed in Fmr1 knockout mice. Our data support the view that the psychostimulant ameliorates performance in Fmr1 knockout mice by improving merely cognitive functions through its action on prefrontal cortical dopamine, irrespective of its action on motor hyperactivity. These results indicate that prefrontal cortical dopamine plays a major role in cognitive impairments characterizing Fmr1 knockout mice, thus pointing to an important aetiological factor in the fragile X syndrome.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-10-01

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

  19. Is less really more: Does a prefrontal efficiency genotype actually confer better performance when working memory becomes difficult?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ihne, Jessica L; Gallagher, Natalie M; Sullivan, Marie; Callicott, Joseph H; Green, Adam E

    2016-01-01

    Perhaps the most widely studied effect to emerge from the combination of neuroimaging and human genetics is the association of the COMT-Val(108/158)Met polymorphism with prefrontal activity during working memory. COMT-Val is a putative risk factor in schizophrenia, which is characterized by disordered prefrontal function. Work in healthy populations has sought to characterize mechanisms by which the valine (Val) allele may lead to disadvantaged prefrontal cognition. Lower activity in methionine (Met) carriers has been interpreted as advantageous neural efficiency. Notably, however, studies reporting COMT effects on neural efficiency have generally not reported working memory performance effects. Those studies have employed relatively low/easy working memory loads. Higher loads are known to elicit individual differences in working memory performance that are not visible at lower loads. If COMT-Met confers greater neural efficiency when working memory is easy, a reasonable prediction is that Met carriers will be better able to cope with increasing demand for neural resources when working memory becomes difficult. To our knowledge, this prediction has thus far gone untested. Here, we tested performance on three working memory tasks. Performance on each task was measured at multiple levels of load/difficulty, including loads more demanding than those used in prior studies. We found no genotype-by-load interactions or main effects of COMT genotype on accuracy or reaction time. Indeed, even testing for performance differences at each load of each task failed to find a single significant effect of COMT genotype. Thus, even if COMT genotype has the effects on prefrontal efficiency that prior work has suggested, such effects may not directly impact high-load working memory ability. The present findings accord with previous evidence that behavioral effects of COMT are small or nonexistent and, more broadly, with a growing consensus that substantial effects on phenotype will

  20. Right prefrontal rTMS treatment for refractory auditory command hallucinations - a neuroSPECT assisted case study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schreiber, Shaul; Dannon, Pinhas N; Goshen, Elinor; Amiaz, Revital; Zwas, Tzila S; Grunhaus, Leon

    2002-11-30

    Auditory command hallucinations probably arise from the patient's failure to monitor his/her own 'inner speech', which is connected to activation of speech perception areas of the left cerebral cortex and to various degrees of dysfunction of cortical circuits involved in schizophrenia as supported by functional brain imaging. We hypothesized that rapid transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS), by increasing cortical activation of the right prefrontal brain region, would bring about a reduction of the hallucinations. We report our first schizophrenic patient affected with refractory command hallucinations treated with 10 Hz rTMS. Treatment was performed over the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, with 1200 magnetic stimulations administered daily for 20 days at 90% motor threshold. Regional cerebral blood flow changes were monitored with neuroSPECT. Clinical evaluation and scores on the Positive and Negative Symptoms Scale and the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale demonstrated a global improvement in the patient's condition, with no change in the intensity and frequency of the hallucinations. NeuroSPECT performed at intervals during and after treatment indicated a general improvement in cerebral perfusion. We conclude that right prefrontal rTMS may induce a general clinical improvement of schizophrenic brain function, without directly influencing the mechanism involved in auditory command hallucinations.

  1. Effect of stimulation by foliage plant display images on prefrontal cortex activity: a comparison with stimulation using actual foliage plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Igarashi, Miho; Song, Chorong; Ikei, Harumi; Miyazaki, Yoshifumi

    2015-01-01

    Natural scenes like forests and flowers evoke neurophysiological responses that can suppress anxiety and relieve stress. We examined whether images of natural objects can elicit neural responses similar to those evoked by real objects by comparing the activation of the prefrontal cortex during presentation of real foliage plants with a projected image of the same foliage plants. Oxy-hemoglobin concentrations in the prefrontal cortex were measured using time-resolved near-infrared spectroscopy while the subjects viewed the real plants or a projected image of the same plants. Compared with a projected image of foliage plants, viewing the actual foliage plants significantly increased oxy-hemoglobin concentrations in the prefrontal cortex. However, using the modified semantic differential method, subjective emotional response ratings ("comfortable vs. uncomfortable" and "relaxed vs. awakening") were similar for both stimuli. The frontal cortex responded differently to presentation of actual plants compared with images of these plants even when the subjective emotional response was similar. These results may help explain the physical and mental health benefits of urban, domestic, and workplace foliage. © 2014 The Authors. Journal of Neuroimaging published by the American Society of Neuroimaging.

  2. Short-term environmental enrichment exposure induces proliferation and maturation of doublecortin-positive cells in the prefrontal cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fan, Chunling; Zhang, Mengqi; Shang, Lei; Cynthia, Ngobe Akume; Li, Zhi; Yang, Zhenyu; Chen, Dan; Huang, Jufang; Xiong, Kun

    2014-01-01

    Previous studies have demonstrated that doublecortin-positive immature neurons exist predominantly in the superficial layer of the cerebral cortex of adult mammals such as guinea pigs, and these neurons exhibit very weak properties of self-proliferation during adulthood under physiological conditions. To verify whether environmental enrichment has an impact on the proliferation and maturation of these immature neurons in the prefrontal cortex of adult guinea pigs, healthy adult guinea pigs were subjected to short-term environmental enrichment. Animals were allowed to play with various cognitive and physical stimulating objects over a period of 2 weeks, twice per day, for 60 minutes each. Immunofluorescence staining results indicated that the number of doublecortin-positive cells in layer II of the prefrontal cortex was significantly increased after short-term environmental enrichment exposure. In addition, these doublecortin-positive cells co-expressed 5-bromo-2-deoxyuridine (a marker of cell proliferation), c-Fos (a marker of cell viability) and NeuN (a marker of mature neurons). Experimental findings showed that short-term environmental enrichment can induce proliferation, activation and maturation of doublecortin-positive cells in layer II of the prefrontal cortex of adult guinea pigs. PMID:25206818

  3. Left Prefrontal Activity Reflects the Ability of Vicarious Fear Learning: A Functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qingguo Ma

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Fear could be acquired indirectly via social observation. However, it remains unclear which cortical substrate activities are involved in vicarious fear transmission. The present study was to examine empathy-related processes during fear learning by-proxy and to examine the activation of prefrontal cortex by using functional near-infrared spectroscopy. We simultaneously measured participants’ hemodynamic responses and skin conductance responses when they were exposed to a movie. In this movie, a demonstrator (i.e., another human being was receiving a classical fear conditioning. A neutral colored square paired with shocks (CSshock and another colored square paired with no shocks (CSno-shock were randomly presented in front of the demonstrator. Results showed that increased concentration of oxygenated hemoglobin in left prefrontal cortex was observed when participants watched a demonstrator seeing CSshock compared with that exposed to CSno-shock. In addition, enhanced skin conductance responses showing a demonstrator's aversive experience during learning object-fear association were observed. The present study suggests that left prefrontal cortex, which may reflect speculation of others’ mental state, is associated with social fear transmission.

  4. Left prefrontal activity reflects the ability of vicarious fear learning: a functional near-infrared spectroscopy study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Qingguo; Huang, Yujing; Wang, Lei

    2013-01-01

    Fear could be acquired indirectly via social observation. However, it remains unclear which cortical substrate activities are involved in vicarious fear transmission. The present study was to examine empathy-related processes during fear learning by-proxy and to examine the activation of prefrontal cortex by using functional near-infrared spectroscopy. We simultaneously measured participants' hemodynamic responses and skin conductance responses when they were exposed to a movie. In this movie, a demonstrator (i.e., another human being) was receiving a classical fear conditioning. A neutral colored square paired with shocks (CS(shock)) and another colored square paired with no shocks (CS(no-shock)) were randomly presented in front of the demonstrator. Results showed that increased concentration of oxygenated hemoglobin in left prefrontal cortex was observed when participants watched a demonstrator seeing CS(shock) compared with that exposed to CS(no-shock). In addition, enhanced skin conductance responses showing a demonstrator's aversive experience during learning object-fear association were observed. The present study suggests that left prefrontal cortex, which may reflect speculation of others' mental state, is associated with social fear transmission.

  5. Emergence of realism: Enhanced visual artistry and high accuracy of visual numerosity representation after left prefrontal damage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takahata, Keisuke; Saito, Fumie; Muramatsu, Taro; Yamada, Makiko; Shirahase, Joichiro; Tabuchi, Hajime; Suhara, Tetsuya; Mimura, Masaru; Kato, Motoichiro

    2014-05-01

    Over the last two decades, evidence of enhancement of drawing and painting skills due to focal prefrontal damage has accumulated. It is of special interest that most artworks created by such patients were highly realistic ones, but the mechanism underlying this phenomenon remains to be understood. Our hypothesis is that enhanced tendency of realism was associated with accuracy of visual numerosity representation, which has been shown to be mediated predominantly by right parietal functions. Here, we report a case of left prefrontal stroke, where the patient showed enhancement of artistic skills of realistic painting after the onset of brain damage. We investigated cognitive, functional and esthetic characteristics of the patient׳s visual artistry and visual numerosity representation. Neuropsychological tests revealed impaired executive function after the stroke. Despite that, the patient׳s visual artistry related to realism was rather promoted across the onset of brain damage as demonstrated by blind evaluation of the paintings by professional art reviewers. On visual numerical cognition tasks, the patient showed higher performance in comparison with age-matched healthy controls. These results paralleled increased perfusion in the right parietal cortex including the precuneus and intraparietal sulcus. Our data provide new insight into mechanisms underlying change in artistic style due to focal prefrontal lesion. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Differential patterns of prefrontal MEG activation during verbal & visual encoding and retrieval.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prendergast, Garreth; Limbrick-Oldfield, Eve; Ingamells, Ed; Gathercole, Susan; Baddeley, Alan; Green, Gary G R

    2013-01-01

    The spatiotemporal profile of activation of the prefrontal cortex in verbal and non-verbal recognition memory was examined using magnetoencephalography (MEG). Sixteen neurologically healthy right-handed participants were scanned whilst carrying out a modified version of the Doors and People Test of recognition memory. A pattern of significant prefrontal activity was found for non-verbal and verbal encoding and recognition. During the encoding, verbal stimuli activated an area in the left ventromedial prefrontal cortex, and non-verbal stimuli activated an area in the right. A region in the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex also showed significant activation during the encoding of non-verbal stimuli. Both verbal and non-verbal stimuli significantly activated an area in the right dorsomedial prefrontal cortex and the right anterior prefrontal cortex during successful recognition, however these areas showed temporally distinct activation dependent on material, with non-verbal showing activation earlier than verbal stimuli. Additionally, non-verbal material activated an area in the left anterior prefrontal cortex during recognition. These findings suggest a material-specific laterality in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex during encoding for verbal and non-verbal but also support the HERA model for verbal material. The discovery of two process dependent areas during recognition that showed patterns of temporal activation dependent on material demonstrates the need for the application of more temporally sensitive techniques to the involvement of the prefrontal cortex in recognition memory.

  7. Differential patterns of prefrontal MEG activation during verbal & visual encoding and retrieval.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Garreth Prendergast

    Full Text Available The spatiotemporal profile of activation of the prefrontal cortex in verbal and non-verbal recognition memory was examined using magnetoencephalography (MEG. Sixteen neurologically healthy right-handed participants were scanned whilst carrying out a modified version of the Doors and People Test of recognition memory. A pattern of significant prefrontal activity was found for non-verbal and verbal encoding and recognition. During the encoding, verbal stimuli activated an area in the left ventromedial prefrontal cortex, and non-verbal stimuli activated an area in the right. A region in the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex also showed significant activation during the encoding of non-verbal stimuli. Both verbal and non-verbal stimuli significantly activated an area in the right dorsomedial prefrontal cortex and the right anterior prefrontal cortex during successful recognition, however these areas showed temporally distinct activation dependent on material, with non-verbal showing activation earlier than verbal stimuli. Additionally, non-verbal material activated an area in the left anterior prefrontal cortex during recognition. These findings suggest a material-specific laterality in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex during encoding for verbal and non-verbal but also support the HERA model for verbal material. The discovery of two process dependent areas during recognition that showed patterns of temporal activation dependent on material demonstrates the need for the application of more temporally sensitive techniques to the involvement of the prefrontal cortex in recognition memory.

  8. Prefrontal activity and impaired memory encoding strategies in schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guimond, Synthia; Hawco, Colin; Lepage, Martin

    2017-08-01

    Schizophrenia patients have significant memory difficulties that have far-reaching implications in their daily life. These impairments are partly attributed to an inability to self-initiate effective memory encoding strategies, but its core neurobiological correlates remain unknown. The current study addresses this critical gap in our knowledge of episodic memory impairments in schizophrenia. Schizophrenia patients (n = 35) and healthy controls (n = 23) underwent a Semantic Encoding Memory Task (SEMT) during an fMRI scan. Brain activity was examined for conditions where participants were a) prompted to use semantic encoding strategies, or b) not prompted but required to self-initiate such strategies. When prompted to use semantic encoding strategies, schizophrenia patients exhibited similar recognition performance and brain activity as healthy controls. However, when required to self-initiate these strategies, patients had significant reduced recognition performance and brain activity in the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, as well as in the left temporal gyrus, left superior parietal lobule, and cerebellum. When patients were divided based on performance on the SEMT, the subgroup with more severe deficits in self-initiation also showed greater reduction in left dorsolateral prefrontal activity. These results suggest that impaired self-initiation of elaborative encoding strategies is a driving feature of memory deficits in schizophrenia. We also identified the neural correlates of impaired self-initiation of semantic encoding strategies, in which a failure to activate the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex plays a key role. These findings provide important new targets in the development of novel treatments aiming to improve memory and ultimately patients' outcome. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  9. Cocaine mummies and the pre-frontal reality

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lloyd, Mark Anthony

    2001-01-01

    Full text: The scientific community frames its world with facts - facts which have been subjected to tests and apparently proven themselves and are therefore proffered by scientists to mankind as things upon which it can rely to steer it safely through life. However, facts are a moveable feast. Time and fresh minds often prove scientific 'facts' wrong. The cocaine mummies seem to indicate that 2000 years ago the Ancient Egyptians had access to both tobacco and cocaine - something previously believed impossible. One part of the German and British scientific community has proven in laboratory tests that the mummies are telling the truth. The rest of the scientific community disputes that truth'. But if the laboratory tests are right, then humanity has to rewrite its entire history. Nuclear communicators have very little credibility with the general public because they represent scientists, who not only are often proven wrong by time but also cannot agree on the truth. At the same time, there are fundamental facts about the human condition that nuclear communicators ignore - to the detriment of their message. Fact: thinking is a learned skill, not an instinct. Fact: language is a learned skill, not an instinct. For humans to follow the positive nuclear argument they must both think and also understand language. But thinking is not the brain's first choice of operation. Fact: the pre-frontal lobe of the brain is the seat of mankind's primitive emotions, including the instinct of fear and the instinct for life. The pre-frontal lobe dominates the way man thinks and speaks. Therefore, nuclear communicators have to learn the skill of mapping their messages to the pre-frontal human reality. This presentation provides practical points for that learning and message mapping exercise. (author)

  10. An integrative theory of the phasic and tonic modes of dopamine modulation in the prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dreher, Jean-Claude; Burnod, Yves

    2002-01-01

    This paper presents a model of both tonic and phasic dopamine (DA) effects on maintenance of working memory representations in the prefrontal cortex (PFC). The central hypothesis is that DA modulates the efficacy of inputs to prefrontal pyramidal neurons to prevent interferences for active maintenance. Phasic DA release, due to DA neurons discharges, acts at a short time-scale (a few seconds), while the tonic mode of DA release, independent of DA neurons firing, acts at a long time-scale (a few minutes). The overall effect of DA modulation is modeled as a threshold restricting incoming inputs arriving on PFC neurons. Phasic DA release temporary increases this threshold while tonic DA release progressively increases the basal level of this threshold. Thus, unlike the previous gating theory of phasic DA release, proposing that it facilitates incoming inputs at the time of their arrival, the effect of phasic DA release is supposed to restrict incoming inputs during a period of time after DA neuron discharges. The model links the cellular and behavioral levels during performance of a working memory task. It allows us to understand why a critical range of DA D1 receptors stimulation is required for optimal working memory performance and how D1 receptor agonists (respectively antagonists) increase perseverations (respectively distractability). Finally, the model leads to several testable predictions, including that the PFC regulates DA neurons firing rate to adapt to the delay of the task and that increase in tonic DA release may either improve or decrease performance, depending on the level of DA receptors stimulation at the beginning of the task.

  11. Impaired Wnt Signaling in the Prefrontal Cortex of Alzheimer's Disease

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Folke, Jonas; Pakkenberg, Bente; Brudek, Tomasz

    2018-01-01

    Wnt pathway is involved in synaptic plasticity and neuronal survival, and alterations in Wnt signaling have previously been reported both in aging and neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's disease (AD). This study sought to evaluate Wnt signaling pathway interplay integrity across......, in addition to downstream effects associated with disease progression and cognitive decline. This study is the first that comprehensively evaluates Wnt signaling pathway in the prefrontal cortical lobe structures of AD brains, in relation to age-related coordinated Wnt signaling changes. Our findings further...

  12. Preserved speech abilities and compensation following prefrontal damage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buckner, R L; Corbetta, M; Schatz, J; Raichle, M E; Petersen, S E

    1996-02-06

    Lesions to left frontal cortex in humans produce speech production impairments (nonfluent aphasia). These impairments vary from subject to subject and performance on certain speech production tasks can be relatively preserved in some patients. A possible explanation for preservation of function under these circumstances is that areas outside left prefrontal cortex are used to compensate for the injured brain area. We report here a direct demonstration of preserved language function in a stroke patient (LF1) apparently due to the activation of a compensatory brain pathway. We used functional brain imaging with positron emission tomography (PET) as a basis for this study.

  13. Neuroanatomical Substrates of Executive Functions: Beyond Prefrontal Structures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bettcher, Brianne M.; Mungas, Dan; Patel, Nihar; Elofson, Jonathan; Dutt, Shubir; Wynn, Matthew; Watson, Christa L.; Stephens, Melanie; Walsh, Christine M.; Kramer, Joel H.

    2016-01-01

    Executive functions are often considered lynchpin “frontal lobe tasks”, despite accumulating evidence that a broad network of anterior and posterior brain structures supports them. Using a latent variable modeling approach, we assessed whether prefrontal grey matter volumes independently predict executive function performance when statistically differentiated from global atrophy and individual non-frontal lobar volume contributions. We further examined whether fronto-parietal white matter microstructure underlies and independently contributes to executive functions. We developed a latent variable model to decompose lobar grey matter volumes into a global grey matter factor and specific lobar volumes (i.e. prefrontal, parietal, temporal, occipital) that were independent of global grey matter. We then added mean fractional anisotropy (FA) for the superior longitudinal fasciculus (dorsal portion), corpus callosum, and cingulum bundle (dorsal portion) to models that included grey matter volumes related to cognitive variables in previous analyses. Results suggested that the 2-factor model (shifting/inhibition, updating/working memory) plus an information processing speed factor best explained our executive function data in a sample of 202 community dwelling older adults, and was selected as the base measurement model for further analyses. Global grey matter was related to the executive function and speed variables in all four lobar models, but independent contributions of the frontal lobes were not significant. In contrast, when assessing the effect of white matter microstructure, cingulum FA made significant independent contributions to all three executive function and speed variables and corpus callosum FA was independently related to shifting/inhibition and speed. Findings from the current study indicate that while prefrontal grey matter volumes are significantly associated with cognitive neuroscience measures of shifting/inhibition and working memory in healthy

  14. Medial prefrontal cortex involvement in the expression of extinction and ABA renewal of instrumental behavior for a food reinforcer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eddy, Meghan C; Todd, Travis P; Bouton, Mark E; Green, John T

    2016-02-01

    Instrumental renewal, the return of extinguished instrumental responding after removal from the extinction context, is an important model of behavioral relapse that is poorly understood at the neural level. In two experiments, we examined the role of the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (dmPFC) and the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) in extinction and ABA renewal of instrumental responding for a sucrose reinforcer. Previous work, exclusively using drug reinforcers, has suggested that the roles of the dmPFC and vmPFC in expression of extinction and ABA renewal may depend at least in part on the type of drug reinforcer used. The current experiments used a food reinforcer because the behavioral mechanisms underlying the extinction and renewal of instrumental responding are especially well worked out in this paradigm. After instrumental conditioning in context A and extinction in context B, we inactivated dmPFC, vmPFC, or a more ventral medial prefrontal cortex region by infusing baclofen/muscimol (B/M) just prior to testing in both contexts. In rats with inactivated dmPFC, ABA renewal was still present (i.e., responding increased when returned to context A); however responding was lower (less renewal) than controls. Inactivation of vmPFC increased responding in context B (the extinction context) and decreased responding in context A, indicating no renewal in these animals. There was no effect of B/M infusion on rats with cannula placements ventral to the vmPFC. Fluorophore-conjugated muscimol was infused in a subset of rats following test to visualize infusion spread. Imaging suggested that the infusion spread was minimal and mainly constrained to the targeted area. Together, these experiments suggest that there is a region of medial prefrontal cortex encompassing both dmPFC and vmPFC that is important for ABA renewal of extinguished instrumental responding for a food reinforcer. In addition, vmPFC, but not dmPFC, is important for expression of extinction of

  15. Connections underlying the synthesis of cognition, memory, and emotion in primate prefrontal cortices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barbas, H

    2000-07-15

    Distinct domains of the prefrontal cortex in primates have a set of connections suggesting that they have different roles in cognition, memory, and emotion. Caudal lateral prefrontal areas (areas 8 and 46) receive projections from cortices representing early stages in visual or auditory processing, and from intraparietal and posterior cingulate areas associated with oculomotor guidance and attentional processes. Cortical input to areas 46 and 8 is complemented by projections from the thalamic multiform and parvicellular sectors of the mediodorsal nucleus associated with oculomotor functions and working memory. In contrast, caudal orbitofrontal areas receive diverse input from cortices representing late stages of processing within every unimodal sensory cortical system. In addition, orbitofrontal and caudal medial (limbic) prefrontal cortices receive robust projections from the amygdala, associated with emotional memory, and from medial temporal and thalamic structures associated with long-term memory. Prefrontal cortices are linked with motor control structures related to their specific roles in central executive functions. Caudal lateral prefrontal areas project to brainstem oculomotor structures, and are connected with premotor cortices effecting head, limb and body movements. In contrast, medial prefrontal and orbitofrontal limbic cortices project to hypothalamic visceromotor centers for the expression of emotions. Lateral, orbitofrontal, and medial prefrontal cortices are robustly interconnected, suggesting that they participate in concert in central executive functions. Prefrontal limbic cortices issue widespread projections through their deep layers and terminate in the upper layers of lateral (eulaminate) cortices, suggesting a predominant role in feedback communication. In contrast, when lateral prefrontal cortices communicate with limbic areas they issue projections from their upper layers and their axons terminate in the deep layers, suggesting a role in

  16. Guanfacine potentiates the activation of prefrontal cortex evoked by warning signals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clerkin, Suzanne M; Schulz, Kurt P; Halperin, Jeffrey M; Newcorn, Jeffrey H; Ivanov, Iliyan; Tang, Cheuk Y; Fan, Jin

    2009-08-15

    Warning signals evoke an alert state of readiness that prepares for a rapid response by priming a thalamo-frontal-striatal network that includes the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). Animal models indicate that noradrenergic input is essential for this stimulus-driven activation of DLPFC, but the precise mechanisms involved have not been determined. We tested the role that postsynaptic alpha(2A) adrenoceptors play in the activation of DLPFC evoked by warning cues using a placebo-controlled challenge with the alpha(2A) agonist guanfacine. Sixteen healthy young adults were scanned twice with event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), while performing a simple cued reaction time (RT) task following administration of a single dose of oral guanfacine (1 mg) and placebo in counterbalanced order. The RT task temporally segregates the neural effects of warning cues and motor responses and minimizes mnemonic demands. Warning cues produced a marked reduction in RT accompanied by significant activation in a distributed thalamo-frontal-striatal network, including bilateral DLPFC. Guanfacine selectively increased the cue-evoked activation of the left DLPFC and right anterior cerebellum, although this increase was not accompanied by further reductions in RT. The effects of guanfacine on DLPFC activation were specifically associated with the warning cue and were not seen for visual- or target-related activation. Guanfacine produced marked increases in the cue-evoked activation of DLPFC that correspond to the well-described actions of postsynaptic alpha(2) adrenoceptor stimulation. The current procedures provide an opportunity to test postsynaptic alpha(2A) adrenoceptor function in the prefrontal cortex in the pathophysiology of several psychiatric disorders.

  17. Child abuse associates with an imbalance of oligodendrocyte-lineage cells in ventromedial prefrontal white matter.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanti, A; Kim, J J; Wakid, M; Davoli, M-A; Turecki, G; Mechawar, N

    2017-11-21

    Child abuse (CA) is a major risk factor for depression, and strongly associates with suicidal behavior during adulthood. Neuroimaging studies have reported widespread changes in white matter integrity and brain connectivity in subjects with a history of CA. Although such observations could reflect changes in myelin and oligodendrocyte function, their cellular underpinnings have never been addressed. Using postmortem brain samples from depressed suicides with or without history of CA and matched controls (18 per group), we aimed to characterize the effects of CA on oligodendrocyte-lineage (OL) cells in the ventromedial prefrontal white matter. Using immunoblotting, double-labeling immunofluorescence and stereological estimates of stage-specific markers, we found that CA is associated with increased numbers of mature myelinating oligodendrocytes, accompanied by decreased numbers of more immature OL cells. This was paralleled by an increased expression of transcription factor MASH1, which is involved in the terminal differentiation of the OL, suggesting that CA may trigger an increased maturation, or bias the populations of OL cells toward a more mature phenotype. Some of these effects, which were absent in the brain of depressed suicides with no history of CA, were also found to recover with age, suggesting that changes in the balance of the OL may reflect a transient adaptive mechanism triggered by early-life adversity. In conclusion, our results indicate that CA in depressed suicides is associated with an imbalance of the OL in the ventromedial prefrontal white matter, an effect that could lead to myelin remodeling and long-term connectivity changes within the limbic network.Molecular Psychiatry advance online publication, 21 November 2017; doi:10.1038/mp.2017.231.

  18. Hypofunction of prefrontal cortex NMDA receptors does not change stress-induced release of dopamine and noradrenaline in amygdala but disrupts aversive memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Del Arco, Alberto; Ronzoni, Giacomo; Mora, Francisco

    2015-07-01

    A dysfunction of prefrontal cortex has been associated with the exacerbated response to stress observed in schizophrenic patients and high-risk individuals to develop psychosis. The hypofunction of NMDA glutamatergic receptors induced by NMDA antagonists produces cortico-limbic hyperactivity, and this is used as an experimental model to resemble behavioural abnormalities observed in schizophrenia. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether injections of NMDA antagonists into the medial prefrontal cortex of the rat change (1) the increases of dopamine, noradrenaline and corticosterone concentrations produced by acute stress in amygdala, and (2) the acquisition of aversive memory related to a stressful event. Male Wistar rats were implanted with guide cannulae to perform microdialysis and bilateral microinjections (0.5 μl/side) of the NMDA antagonist 3-[(R)-2-carboxypiperazin-4-yl]-propyl-1-phophonic acid (CPP) (25 and 100 ng). Prefrontal injections were performed 60 min before restraint stress in microdialysis experiments, or training (footshock; 0.6 mA, 2 s) in inhibitory avoidance test. Retention latency was evaluated 24 h after training as an index of aversive memory. Acute stress increased amygdala dialysate concentrations of dopamine (160% of baseline), noradrenaline (145% of baseline) and corticosterone (170% of baseline). Prefrontal injections of CPP did not change the increases of dopamine, noradrenaline or corticosterone produced by stress. In contrast, CPP significantly reduced the retention latency in the inhibitory avoidance test. These results suggest that the hypofunction of prefrontal NMDA receptors does not change the sensitivity to acute stress of dopamine and noradrenaline projections to amygdala but impairs the acquisition of aversive memory.

  19. Directional hippocampal-prefrontal interactions during working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Tiaotiao; Bai, Wenwen; Xia, Mi; Tian, Xin

    2018-02-15

    Working memory refers to a system that is essential for performing complex cognitive tasks such as reasoning, comprehension and learning. Evidence shows that hippocampus (HPC) and prefrontal cortex (PFC) play important roles in working memory. The HPC-PFC interaction via theta-band oscillatory synchronization is critical for successful execution of working memory. However, whether one brain region is leading or lagging relative to another is still unclear. Therefore, in the present study, we simultaneously recorded local field potentials (LFPs) from rat ventral hippocampus (vHPC) and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and while the rats performed a Y-maze working memory task. We then applied instantaneous amplitudes cross-correlation method to calculate the time lag between PFC and vHPC to explore the functional dynamics of the HPC-PFC interaction. Our results showed a strong lead from vHPC to mPFC preceded an animal's correct choice during the working memory task. These findings suggest the vHPC-leading interaction contributes to the successful execution of working memory. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  20. Responses of prefrontal multisensory neurons to mismatching faces and vocalizations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diehl, Maria M; Romanski, Lizabeth M

    2014-08-20

    Social communication relies on the integration of auditory and visual information, which are present in faces and vocalizations. Evidence suggests that the integration of information from multiple sources enhances perception compared with the processing of a unimodal stimulus. Our previous studies demonstrated that single neurons in the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC) of the rhesus monkey (Macaca mulatta) respond to and integrate conspecific vocalizations and their accompanying facial gestures. We were therefore interested in how VLPFC neurons respond differentially to matching (congruent) and mismatching (incongruent) faces and vocalizations. We recorded VLPFC neurons during the presentation of movies with congruent or incongruent species-specific facial gestures and vocalizations as well as their unimodal components. Recordings showed that while many VLPFC units are multisensory and respond to faces, vocalizations, or their combination, a subset of neurons showed a significant change in neuronal activity in response to incongruent versus congruent vocalization movies. Among these neurons, we typically observed incongruent suppression during the early stimulus period and incongruent enhancement during the late stimulus period. Incongruent-responsive VLPFC neurons were both bimodal and nonlinear multisensory, fostering their ability to respond to changes in either modality of a face-vocalization stimulus. These results demonstrate that ventral prefrontal neurons respond to changes in either modality of an audiovisual stimulus, which is important in identity processing and for the integration of multisensory communication information. Copyright © 2014 the authors 0270-6474/14/3411233-11$15.00/0.

  1. Medial prefrontal cortex role in recognition memory in rodents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morici, Juan Facundo; Bekinschtein, Pedro; Weisstaub, Noelia V

    2015-10-01

    The study of the neurobiology of recognition memory, defined by the integration of the different components of experiences that support recollection of past experiences have been a challenge for memory researches for many years. In the last twenty years, with the development of the spontaneous novel object recognition task and all its variants this has started to change. The features of recognition memory include a particular object or person ("what"), the context in which the experience took place, which can be the arena itself or the location within a particular arena ("where") and the particular time at which the event occurred ("when"). This definition instead of the historical anthropocentric one allows the study of this type of episodic memory in animal models. Some forms of recognition memory that require integration of different features recruit the medial prefrontal cortex. Focusing on findings from spontaneous recognition memory tasks performed by rodents, this review concentrates on the description of previous works that have examined the role that the medial prefrontal cortex has on the different steps of recognition memory. We conclude that this structure, independently of the task used, is required at different memory stages when the task cannot be solved by a single item strategy. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Left prefrontal repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation in schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holi, Matti M; Eronen, Markku; Toivonen, Kari; Toivonen, Päivi; Marttunen, Mauri; Naukkarinen, Hannu

    2004-01-01

    In a double-blind, controlled study, we examined the therapeutic effects of high-frequency left prefrontal repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) on schizophrenia symptoms. A total of 22 chronic hospitalized schizophrenia patients were randomly assigned to 2 weeks (10 sessions) of real or sham rTMS. rTMS was given with the following parameters: 20 trains of 5-second 10-Hz stimulation at 100 percent motor threshold, 30 seconds apart. Effects on positive and negative symptoms, self-reported symptoms, rough neuropsychological functioning, and hormones were assessed. Although there was a significant improvement in both groups in most of the symptom measures, no real differences were found between the groups. A decrease of more than 20 percent in the total PANSS score was found in 7 control subjects but only 1 subject from the real rTMS group. There was no change in hormone levels or neuropsychological functioning, measured by the MMSE, in either group. Left prefrontal rTMS (with the used parameters) seems to produce a significant nonspecific effect of the treatment procedure but no therapeutic effect in the most chronic and severely ill schizophrenia patients.

  3. Ventromedial prefrontal cortex, adding value to autobiographical memories.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Wen-Jing; Horner, Aidan J; Burgess, Neil

    2016-06-24

    The medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) has been consistently implicated in autobiographical memory recall and decision making. Its function in decision making tasks is believed to relate to value representation, but its function in autobiographical memory recall is not yet clear. We hypothesised that the mPFC represents the subjective value of elements during autobiographical memory retrieval. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging during an autobiographical memory recall task, we found that the blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) signal in ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) was parametrically modulated by the affective values of items in participants' memories when they were recalling and evaluating these items. An unrelated modulation by the participant's familiarity with the items was also observed. During retrieval of the event, the BOLD signal in the same region was modulated by the personal significance and emotional intensity of the memory, which was correlated with the values of the items within them. These results support the idea that vmPFC processes self-relevant information, and suggest that it is involved in representing the personal emotional values of the elements comprising autobiographical memories.

  4. Inequality signals in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex inform social preference models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holper, Lisa; Burke, Christopher J; Fausch, Christoph; Seifritz, Erich; Tobler, Philippe N

    2018-05-01

    Humans typically display inequality aversion in social situations, which manifests itself as a preference for fairer distributions of resources. However, people differ in the degree to which they dislike being worse off [disadvantageous inequality (DI) aversion] or better off [advantageous inequality (AI) aversion] than others. Competing models explain such behavior by focusing on aversion to payoff differences, maximization of total payoff or reciprocity. Using functional near-infrared spectroscopy, we asked which of these theories could better explain dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) activity while participants accepted or punished fair vs unfair monetary transfers in an anonymous norm compliance task. We found that while all participants exhibited DI aversion, there were substantial differences in preferences for AI, which were strongly predicted by dlPFC activation. Model comparisons revealed that both punishment behavior and prefrontal activity were best explained by a model that allowed for AI seeking rather than imposing aversion. Moreover, enhancing this model by taking into account behavioral response times, as a proxy for choice difficulty, further improved model fits. Our data provide evidence that the dlPFC encodes subjective values of payoff inequality and that this representation is richer than envisaged by standard models of social preferences.

  5. Is Love Right? Prefrontal Resting Brain Asymmetry is Related to the Affiliation Motive

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Markus eQuirin

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Previous research on relationships between affective-motivational traits and hemispheric asymmetries in resting frontal alpha band power as measured by electroencephalography (EEG has focused on individual differences in motivational direction (approach vs. withdrawal or behavioral activation. The present study investigated resting frontal alpha asymmetries in 72 participants as a function of individual differences in the implicit affiliation motive as measured with the operant motive test (OMT and explored the brain source thereof. As predicted, relative right frontal activity as indexed by increased alpha band suppression was related to the implicit affiliation motive. No relationships were found for explicit personality measures. Intracranial current density distributions of alpha based on Variable Resolution Electromagnetic Tomography (VARETA source estimations suggests that the source of cortical alpha distribution is located within the right ventromedial prefrontal cortex (PFC. The present results are discussed with respect to differential roles of the two hemispheres in social motivation.

  6. Bidirectional control of social hierarchy by synaptic efficacy in medial prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Fei; Zhu, Jun; Zhu, Hong; Zhang, Qi; Lin, Zhanmin; Hu, Hailan

    2011-11-04

    Dominance hierarchy has a profound impact on animals' survival, health, and reproductive success, but its neural circuit mechanism is virtually unknown. We found that dominance ranking in mice is transitive, relatively stable, and highly correlates among multiple behavior measures. Recording from layer V pyramidal neurons of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) showed higher strength of excitatory synaptic inputs in mice with higher ranking, as compared with their subordinate cage mates. Furthermore, molecular manipulations that resulted in an increase and decrease in the synaptic efficacy in dorsal mPFC neurons caused an upward and downward movement in the social rank, respectively. These results provide direct evidence for mPFC's involvement in social hierarchy and suggest that social rank is plastic and can be tuned by altering synaptic strength in mPFC pyramidal cells.

  7. Congenital olfactory impairment is linked to cortical changes in prefrontal and limbic brain regions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Karstensen, Helena Gásdal; Vestergaard, Martin; Baaré, William F C

    2018-01-01

    differently in individuals who suffer from lifelong olfactory deprivation relative to healthy normosmic individuals. To address this question, we examined if regional variations in gray matter volume were associated with smell ability in seventeen individuals with isolated congenital olfactory impairment (COI...... in left middle frontal gyrus and right superior frontal sulcus (SFS). COI subjects with severe olfactory impairment (anosmia) had reduced grey matter volume in the left mOFC and increased volume in right piriform cortex and SFS. Within the COI group olfactory ability, measured with the "Sniffin' Sticks...... piriform cortex, while olfactory identification was negatively associated with right SFS volume. Our findings suggest that lifelong olfactory deprivation trigger changes in the cortical volume of prefrontal and limbic brain regions previously linked to olfactory memory....

  8. Neonatal isolation augments social dominance by altering actin dynamics in the medial prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tada, Hirobumi; Miyazaki, Tomoyuki; Takemoto, Kiwamu; Takase, Kenkichi; Jitsuki, Susumu; Nakajima, Waki; Koide, Mayu; Yamamoto, Naoko; Komiya, Kasane; Suyama, Kumiko; Sano, Akane; Taguchi, Akiko; Takahashi, Takuya

    2016-10-25

    Social separation early in life can lead to the development of impaired interpersonal relationships and profound social disorders. However, the underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms involved are largely unknown. Here, we found that isolation of neonatal rats induced glucocorticoid-dependent social dominance over nonisolated control rats in juveniles from the same litter. Furthermore, neonatal isolation inactivated the actin-depolymerizing factor (ADF)/cofilin in the juvenile medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). Isolation-induced inactivation of ADF/cofilin increased stable actin fractions at dendritic spines in the juvenile mPFC, decreasing glutamate synaptic AMPA receptors. Expression of constitutively active ADF/cofilin in the mPFC rescued the effect of isolation on social dominance. Thus, neonatal isolation affects spines in the mPFC by reducing actin dynamics, leading to altered social behavior later in life.

  9. Prenatal Protein Malnutrition Decreases KCNJ3 and 2DG Activity in Rat Prefrontal Cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amaral, A.C.; Jakovcevski, M.; McGaughy, J.A.; Calderwood, S.K.; Mokler, D.J.; Rushmore, R.J.; Galler, J.R.; Akbarian, S.A.; Rosene, D.L.

    2014-01-01

    Prenatal protein malnutrition (PPM) in rats causes enduring changes in brain and behavior including increased cognitive rigidity and decreased inhibitory control. A preliminary gene microarray screen of PPM rat prefrontal cortex (PFC) identified alterations in KCNJ3 (GIRK1/Kir3.1), a gene important for regulating neuronal excitability. Follow-up with polymerase chain reaction and Western blot showed decreased KCNJ3 expression in PFC, but not hippocampus or brainstem. To verify localization of the effect to the PFC, baseline regional brain activity was assessed with 14C-2-deoxyglucose. Results showed decreased activation in PFC but not hippocampus. Together these findings point to the unique vulnerability of the PFC to the nutritional insult during early brain development, with enduring effects in adulthood on KCNJ3 expression and baseline metabolic activity. PMID:25446346

  10. Dissecting contributions of prefrontal cortex and fusiform face area to face working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Druzgal, T Jason; D'Esposito, Mark

    2003-08-15

    Interactions between prefrontal cortex (PFC) and stimulus-specific visual cortical association areas are hypothesized to mediate visual working memory in behaving monkeys. To clarify the roles for homologous regions in humans, event-related fMRI was used to assess neural activity in PFC and fusiform face area (FFA) of subjects performing a delay-recognition task for faces. In both PFC and FFA, activity increased parametrically with memory load during encoding and maintenance of face stimuli, despite quantitative differences in the magnitude of activation. Moreover, timing differences in PFC and FFA activation during memory encoding and retrieval implied a context dependence in the flow of neural information. These results support existing neurophysiological models of visual working memory developed in the nonhuman primate.

  11. Neonatal isolation augments social dominance by altering actin dynamics in the medial prefrontal cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tada, Hirobumi; Miyazaki, Tomoyuki; Takemoto, Kiwamu; Takase, Kenkichi; Jitsuki, Susumu; Nakajima, Waki; Koide, Mayu; Yamamoto, Naoko; Komiya, Kasane; Suyama, Kumiko; Sano, Akane; Taguchi, Akiko; Takahashi, Takuya

    2016-01-01

    Social separation early in life can lead to the development of impaired interpersonal relationships and profound social disorders. However, the underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms involved are largely unknown. Here, we found that isolation of neonatal rats induced glucocorticoid-dependent social dominance over nonisolated control rats in juveniles from the same litter. Furthermore, neonatal isolation inactivated the actin-depolymerizing factor (ADF)/cofilin in the juvenile medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). Isolation-induced inactivation of ADF/cofilin increased stable actin fractions at dendritic spines in the juvenile mPFC, decreasing glutamate synaptic AMPA receptors. Expression of constitutively active ADF/cofilin in the mPFC rescued the effect of isolation on social dominance. Thus, neonatal isolation affects spines in the mPFC by reducing actin dynamics, leading to altered social behavior later in life. PMID:27791080

  12. Coordinated cell type-specific epigenetic remodeling in prefrontal cortex begins before birth and continues into early adulthood.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hennady P Shulha

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Development of prefrontal and other higher-order association cortices is associated with widespread changes in the cortical transcriptome, particularly during the transitions from prenatal to postnatal development, and from early infancy to later stages of childhood and early adulthood. However, the timing and longitudinal trajectories of neuronal gene expression programs during these periods remain unclear in part because of confounding effects of concomitantly occurring shifts in neuron-to-glia ratios. Here, we used cell type-specific chromatin sorting techniques for genome-wide profiling of a histone mark associated with transcriptional regulation--H3 with trimethylated lysine 4 (H3K4me3--in neuronal chromatin from 31 subjects from the late gestational period to 80 years of age. H3K4me3 landscapes of prefrontal neurons were developmentally regulated at 1,157 loci, including 768 loci that were proximal to transcription start sites. Multiple algorithms consistently revealed that the overwhelming majority and perhaps all of developmentally regulated H3K4me3 peaks were on a unidirectional trajectory defined by either rapid gain or loss of histone methylation during the late prenatal period and the first year after birth, followed by similar changes but with progressively slower kinetics during early and later childhood and only minimal changes later in life. Developmentally downregulated H3K4me3 peaks in prefrontal neurons were enriched for Paired box (Pax and multiple Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription (STAT motifs, which are known to promote glial differentiation. In contrast, H3K4me3 peaks subject to a progressive increase in maturing prefrontal neurons were enriched for activating protein-1 (AP-1 recognition elements that are commonly associated with activity-dependent regulation of neuronal gene expression. We uncovered a developmental program governing the remodeling of neuronal histone methylation landscapes in the prefrontal

  13. Hippocampal-prefrontal connectivity predicts midfrontal oscillations and long-term memory performance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cohen, M.X.

    2011-01-01

    The hippocampus and prefrontal cortex interact to support working memory (WM) and long-term memory [1, 2 and 3]. Neurophysiologically, WM is thought to be subserved by reverberatory activity of distributed networks within the prefrontal cortex (PFC) [2, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8], which become synchronized

  14. Prefrontal Cortex Cognitive Deficits in Children Treated Early and Continuously for PKU.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diamond, Adele; Prevor, Meredith B.; Druin, Donald P.; Callender, Glenda

    1997-01-01

    Hypothesized that elevated ratio of phenylalanine to tyrosine in blood of children with phenylketonuria uniquely affects cognitive functions dependent on prefrontal cortex because of the special sensitivity of prefrontally projecting dopamine neurons to small decreases in tyrosine. Found that children whose phenylalanine levels were three to five…

  15. Williams Syndrome Hypersociability: A Neuropsychological Study of the Amygdala and Prefrontal Cortex Hypotheses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Capitao, Liliana; Sampaio, Adriana; Fernandez, Montse; Sousa, Nuno; Pinheiro, Ana; Goncalves, Oscar F.

    2011-01-01

    Individuals with Williams syndrome display indiscriminate approach towards strangers. Neuroimaging studies conducted so far have linked this social profile to structural and/or functional abnormalities in WS amygdala and prefrontal cortex. In this study, the neuropsychological hypotheses of amygdala and prefrontal cortex involvement in WS…

  16. Considering healthiness promotes healthier choices but modulates medial prefrontal cortex differently in children compared with adults

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meer, van Floor; Laan, van der Laura N.; Viergever, Max A.; Adan, Roger A.H.; Smeets, Paul A.M.

    2017-01-01

    Childhood obesity is a rising problem worldwide mainly caused by overconsumption, which is driven by food choices. In adults, food choices are based on a value signal encoded in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). This signal is modulated by the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC), which is

  17. Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Type I Affects Brain Structure in Prefrontal and Motor Cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pleger, Burkhard; Draganski, Bogdan; Schwenkreis, Peter; Lenz, Melanie; Nicolas, Volkmar; Maier, Christoph; Tegenthoff, Martin

    2014-01-01

    The complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a rare but debilitating pain disorder that mostly occurs after injuries to the upper limb. A number of studies indicated altered brain function in CRPS, whereas possible influences on brain structure remain poorly investigated. We acquired structural magnetic resonance imaging data from CRPS type I patients and applied voxel-by-voxel statistics to compare white and gray matter brain segments of CRPS patients with matched controls. Patients and controls were statistically compared in two different ways: First, we applied a 2-sample ttest to compare whole brain white and gray matter structure between patients and controls. Second, we aimed to assess structural alterations specifically of the primary somatosensory (S1) and motor cortex (M1) contralateral to the CRPS affected side. To this end, MRI scans of patients with left-sided CRPS (and matched controls) were horizontally flipped before preprocessing and region-of-interest-based group comparison. The unpaired ttest of the “non-flipped” data revealed that CRPS patients presented increased gray matter density in the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex. The same test applied to the “flipped” data showed further increases in gray matter density, not in the S1, but in the M1 contralateral to the CRPS-affected limb which were inversely related to decreased white matter density of the internal capsule within the ipsilateral brain hemisphere. The gray-white matter interaction between motor cortex and internal capsule suggests compensatory mechanisms within the central motor system possibly due to motor dysfunction. Altered gray matter structure in dorsomedial prefrontal cortex may occur in response to emotional processes such as pain-related suffering or elevated analgesic top-down control. PMID:24416397

  18. Complex regional pain syndrome type I affects brain structure in prefrontal and motor cortex.

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    Burkhard Pleger

    Full Text Available The complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS is a rare but debilitating pain disorder that mostly occurs after injuries to the upper limb. A number of studies indicated altered brain function in CRPS, whereas possible influences on brain structure remain poorly investigated. We acquired structural magnetic resonance imaging data from CRPS type I patients and applied voxel-by-voxel statistics to compare white and gray matter brain segments of CRPS patients with matched controls. Patients and controls were statistically compared in two different ways: First, we applied a 2-sample ttest to compare whole brain white and gray matter structure between patients and controls. Second, we aimed to assess structural alterations specifically of the primary somatosensory (S1 and motor cortex (M1 contralateral to the CRPS affected side. To this end, MRI scans of patients with left-sided CRPS (and matched controls were horizontally flipped before preprocessing and region-of-interest-based group comparison. The unpaired ttest of the "non-flipped" data revealed that CRPS patients presented increased gray matter density in the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex. The same test applied to the "flipped" data showed further increases in gray matter density, not in the S1, but in the M1 contralateral to the CRPS-affected limb which were inversely related to decreased white matter density of the internal capsule within the ipsilateral brain hemisphere. The gray-white matter interaction between motor cortex and internal capsule suggests compensatory mechanisms within the central motor system possibly due to motor dysfunction. Altered gray matter structure in dorsomedial prefrontal cortex may occur in response to emotional processes such as pain-related suffering or elevated analgesic top-down control.

  19. Cocaine Promotes Coincidence Detection and Lowers Induction Threshold during Hebbian Associative Synaptic Potentiation in Prefrontal Cortex.

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    Ruan, Hongyu; Yao, Wei-Dong

    2017-01-25

    Addictive drugs usurp neural plasticity mechanisms that normally serve reward-related learning and memory, primarily by evoking changes in glutamatergic synaptic strength in the mesocorticolimbic dopamine circuitry. Here, we show that repeated cocaine exposure in vivo does not alter synaptic strength in the mouse prefrontal cortex during an early period of withdrawal, but instead modifies a Hebbian quantitative synaptic learning rule by broadening the temporal window and lowers the induction threshold for spike-timing-dependent LTP (t-LTP). After repeated, but not single, daily cocaine injections, t-LTP in layer V pyramidal neurons is induced at +30 ms, a normally ineffective timing interval for t-LTP induction in saline-exposed mice. This cocaine-induced, extended-timing t-LTP lasts for ∼1 week after terminating cocaine and is accompanied by an increased susceptibility to potentiation by fewer pre-post spike pairs, indicating a reduced t-LTP induction threshold. Basal synaptic strength and the maximal attainable t-LTP magnitude remain unchanged after cocaine exposure. We further show that the cocaine facilitation of t-LTP induction is caused by sensitized D1-cAMP/protein kinase A dopamine signaling in pyramidal neurons, which then pathologically recruits voltage-gated l-type Ca 2+ channels that synergize with GluN2A-containing NMDA receptors to drive t-LTP at extended timing. Our results illustrate a mechanism by which cocaine, acting on a key neuromodulation pathway, modifies the coincidence detection window during Hebbian plasticity to facilitate associative synaptic potentiation in prefrontal excitatory circuits. By modifying rules that govern activity-dependent synaptic plasticity, addictive drugs can derail the experience-driven neural circuit remodeling process important for executive control of reward and addiction. It is believed that addictive drugs often render an addict's brain reward system hypersensitive, leaving the individual more susceptible to

  20. Functional organization and visual representations in human ventral lateral prefrontal cortex

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    Annie Wai Yiu Chan

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Recent neuroimaging studies in both human and non-human primates have identified face selective activation in the ventral lateral prefrontal cortex even in the absence of working memory demands. Further, research has suggested that this face-selective response is largely driven by the presence of the eyes. However, the nature and origin of visual category responses in the ventral lateral prefrontal cortex remain unclear. Further, in a broader sense, how do these findings relate to our current understandings of lateral prefrontal cortex? What do these findings tell us about the underlying function and organization principles of the ventral lateral prefrontal cortex? What is the future direction for investigating visual representations in this cortex? This review focuses on the function, topography, and circuitry of the ventral lateral prefrontal cortex to enhance our understanding of the evolution and development of this cortex.

  1. Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation over the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex affects strategic decision-making.

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    van 't Wout, Mascha; Kahn, René S; Sanfey, Alan G; Aleman, André

    2005-11-07

    Although decision-making is typically seen as a rational process, emotions play a role in tasks that include unfairness. Recently, activation in the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex during offers experienced as unfair in the Ultimatum Game was suggested to subserve goal maintenance in this task. This is restricted to correlational evidence, however, and it remains unclear whether the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex is crucial for strategic decision-making. The present study used repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation in order to investigate the causal role of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in strategic decision-making in the Ultimatum Game. The results showed that repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation over the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex resulted in an altered decision-making strategy compared with sham stimulation. We conclude that the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex is causally implicated in strategic decision-making in healthy human study participants.

  2. Increase in Prefrontal Cortical Volume following Cognitive Behavioural Therapy in Patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

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    de Lange, Floris P.; Koers, Anda; Kalkman, Joke S.; Bleijenberg, Gijs; Hagoort, Peter; van der Meer, Jos W. M.; Toni, Ivan

    2008-01-01

    Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a disabling disorder, characterized by persistent or relapsing fatigue. Recent studies have detected a decrease in cortical grey matter volume in patients with CFS, but it is unclear whether this cerebral atrophy constitutes a cause or a consequence of the disease. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is an…

  3. Successful Face Recognition Is Associated with Increased Prefrontal Cortex Activation in Autism Spectrum Disorder

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    Herrington, John D.; Riley, Meghan E.; Grupe, Daniel W.; Schultz, Robert T.

    2015-01-01

    This study examines whether deficits in visual information processing in autism-spectrum disorder (ASD) can be offset by the recruitment of brain structures involved in selective attention. During functional MRI, 12 children with ASD and 19 control participants completed a selective attention one-back task in which images of faces and houses were…

  4. Prefrontal cortex activation during obstacle negotiation: What's the effect size and timing?

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    Maidan, Inbal; Shustak, Shiran; Sharon, Topaz; Bernad-Elazari, Hagar; Geffen, Nimrod; Giladi, Nir; Hausdorff, Jeffrey M; Mirelman, Anat

    2018-04-01

    Obstacle negotiation is a daily activity that requires the integration of sensorimotor and cognitive information. Recent studies provide evidence for the important role of prefrontal cortex during obstacle negotiation. We aimed to explore the effects of obstacle height and available response time on prefrontal activation. Twenty healthy young adults (age: 30.1 ± 1.0 years; 50% women) walked in an obstacle course while negotiating anticipated and unanticipated obstacles at heights of 50 mm and 100 mm. Prefrontal activation was measured using a functional near-infrared spectroscopy system. Kinect cameras measured the obstacle negotiation strategy. Prefrontal activation was defined based on mean level of HbO 2 before, during and after obstacle negotiation and the HbO 2 slope from gait initiation and throughout the task. Changes between types of obstacles were assessed using linear-mix models and partial correlation analyses evaluated the relationship between prefrontal activation and the distance between the feet as the subjects traversed the obstacles. Different obstacle heights showed similar changes in prefrontal activation measures (p > 0.210). However, during unanticipated obstacles, the slope of the HbO 2 response was steeper (p = 0.048), as compared to anticipated obstacles. These changes in prefrontal activation during negotiation of unanticipated obstacles were correlated with greater distance of the leading foot after the obstacles (r = 0.831, p = 0.041). These findings are the first to show that the pattern of prefrontal activation depends on the nature of the obstacle. More specifically, during unanticipated obstacles the recruitment of the prefrontal cortex is faster and greater than during negotiating anticipated obstacles. These results provide evidence of the important role of the prefrontal cortex and the ability of healthy young adults to tailor the activation pattern to different types of obstacles. Copyright © 2018

  5. Enhanced Operant Extinction and Prefrontal Excitability in a Mouse Model of Angelman Syndrome.

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    Sidorov, Michael S; Judson, Matthew C; Kim, Hyojin; Rougie, Marie; Ferrer, Alejandra I; Nikolova, Viktoriya D; Riddick, Natallia V; Moy, Sheryl S; Philpot, Benjamin D

    2018-03-14

    Angelman syndrome (AS), a neurodevelopmental disorder associated with intellectual disability, is caused by loss of maternal allele expression of UBE3A in neurons. Mouse models of AS faithfully recapitulate disease phenotypes across multiple domains, including behavior. Yet in AS, there has been only limited study of behaviors encoded by the prefrontal cortex, a region broadly involved in executive function and cognition. Because cognitive impairment is a core feature of AS, it is critical to develop behavioral readouts of prefrontal circuit function in AS mouse models. One such readout is behavioral extinction, which has been well described mechanistically and relies upon prefrontal circuits in rodents. Here we report exaggerated operant extinction in male AS model mice, concomitant with enhanced excitability in medial prefrontal neurons from male and female AS model mice. Abnormal behavior was specific to operant extinction, as two other prefrontally dependent tasks (cued fear extinction and visuospatial discrimination) were largely normal in AS model mice. Inducible deletion of Ube3a during adulthood was not sufficient to drive abnormal extinction, supporting the hypothesis that there is an early critical period for development of cognitive phenotypes in AS. This work represents the first formal experimental analysis of prefrontal circuit function in AS, and identifies operant extinction as a useful experimental paradigm for modeling cognitive aspects of AS in mice. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Prefrontal cortex encodes "high-level" cognitive processes. Thus, understanding prefrontal function is critical in neurodevelopmental disorders where cognitive impairment is highly penetrant. Angelman syndrome is a neurodevelopmental disorder associated with speech and motor impairments, an outwardly happy demeanor, and intellectual disability. We describe a behavioral phenotype in a mouse model of Angelman syndrome and related abnormalities in prefrontal cortex function. We

  6. Monkey prefrontal neurons during Sternberg task performance: full contents of working memory or most recent item?

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    Konecky, R O; Smith, M A; Olson, C R

    2017-06-01

    To explore the brain mechanisms underlying multi-item working memory, we monitored the activity of neurons in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex while macaque monkeys performed spatial and chromatic versions of a Sternberg working-memory task. Each trial required holding three sequentially presented samples in working memory so as to identify a subsequent probe matching one of them. The monkeys were able to recall all three samples at levels well above chance, exhibiting modest load and recency effects. Prefrontal neurons signaled the identity of each sample during the delay period immediately following its presentation. However, as each new sample was presented, the representation of antecedent samples became weak and shifted to an anomalous code. A linear classifier operating on the basis of population activity during the final delay period was able to perform at approximately the level of the monkeys on trials requiring recall of the third sample but showed a falloff in performance on trials requiring recall of the first or second sample much steeper than observed in the monkeys. We conclude that delay-period activity in the prefrontal cortex robustly represented only the most recent item. The monkeys apparently based performance of this classic working-memory task on some storage mechanism in addition to the prefrontal delay-period firing rate. Possibilities include delay-period activity in areas outside the prefrontal cortex and changes within the prefrontal cortex not manifest at the level of the firing rate. NEW & NOTEWORTHY It has long been thought that items held in working memory are encoded by delay-period activity in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. Here we describe evidence contrary to that view. In monkeys performing a serial multi-item working memory task, dorsolateral prefrontal neurons encode almost exclusively the identity of the sample presented most recently. Information about earlier samples must be encoded outside the prefrontal cortex or

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

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

    2013-11-01

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

  8. Motor learning and modulation of prefrontal cortex: an fNIRS assessment

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    Ono, Yumie; Noah, Jack Adam; Zhang, Xian; Nomoto, Yasunori; Suzuki, Tatsuya; Shimada, Sotaro; Tachibana, Atsumichi; Bronner, Shaw; Hirsch, Joy

    2015-12-01

    Objective. Prefrontal hemodynamic responses are observed during performance of motor tasks. Using a dance video game (DVG), a complex motor task that requires temporally accurate footsteps with given visual and auditory cues, we investigated whether 20 h of DVG training modified hemodynamic responses of the prefrontal cortex in six healthy young adults. Approach. Fronto-temporal activity during actual DVG play was measured using functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) pre- and post-training. To evaluate the training-induced changes in the time-courses of fNIRS signals, we employed a regression analysis using the task-specific template fNIRS signals that were generated from alternate well-trained and/or novice DVG players. The HRF was also separately incorporated as a template to construct an alternate regression model. Change in coefficients for template functions at pre- and post- training were determined and compared among different models. Main results. Training significantly increased the motor performance using the number of temporally accurate steps in the DVG as criteria. The mean oxygenated hemoglobin (ΔoxyHb) waveform changed from an activation above baseline pattern to that of a below baseline pattern. Participants showed significantly decreased coefficients for regressors of the ΔoxyHb response of novice players and HRF. The model using ΔoxyHb responses from both well-trained and novice players of DVG as templates showed the best fit for the ΔoxyHb responses of the participants at both pre- and post-training when analyzed with Akaike information criteria. Significance. These results suggest that the coefficients for the template ΔoxyHb responses of the novice players are sensitive indicators of motor learning during the initial stage of training and thus clinically useful to determine the improvement in motor performance when patients are engaged in a specific rehabilitation program.

  9. Reduced prefrontal and temporal processing and recall of high "sensation value" ads.

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    Langleben, Daniel D; Loughead, James W; Ruparel, Kosha; Hakun, Jonathan G; Busch-Winokur, Samantha; Holloway, Matthew B; Strasser, Andrew A; Cappella, Joseph N; Lerman, Caryn

    2009-05-15

    Public service announcements (PSAs) are non-commercial broadcast ads that are an important part of televised public health campaigns. "Message sensation value" (MSV), a measure of sensory intensity of audio, visual, and content features of an ad, is an important factor in PSA impact. Some communication theories propose that higher message sensation value brings increased attention and cognitive processing, leading to higher ad impact. Others argue that the attention-intensive format could compete with ad's message for cognitive resources and result in reduced processing of PSA content and reduced overall effectiveness. Brain imaging during PSA viewing provides a quantitative surrogate measure of PSA impact and addresses questions of PSA evaluation and design not accessible with traditional subjective and epidemiological methods. We used Blood Oxygenation Level Dependent (BOLD) functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) and recognition memory measures to compare high and low MSV anti-tobacco PSAs and neutral videos. In a short-delay, forced-choice memory test, frames extracted from PSAs were recognized more accurately than frames extracted from the NV. Frames from the low MSV PSAs were better recognized than frames from the high MSV PSAs. The accuracy of recognition of PSA frames was positively correlated with the prefrontal and temporal, and negatively correlated with the occipital cortex activation. The low MSV PSAs were associated with greater prefrontal and temporal activation, than the high MSV PSAs. The high MSV PSAs produced greater activation primarily in the occipital cortex. These findings support the "dual processing" and "limited capacity" theories of communication that postulate a competition between ad's content and format for the viewers' cognitive resources and suggest that the "attention-grabbing" high MSV format could impede the learning and retention of an ad. These findings demonstrate the potential of using neuroimaging in the design and

  10. Reduced prefrontal and temporal processing and recall of high “sensation value” ads

    Science.gov (United States)

    Langleben, Daniel D.; Loughead, James W.; Ruparel, Kosha; Hakun, Jonathan G.; Busch-Winokur, Samantha; Strasser, Andrew; Holloway, Matthew B.; Cappella, Joseph N.; Lerman, Caryn

    2010-01-01

    Public service announcements (PSAs) are non-commercial broadcast ads that are an important part of televised public health campaigns. “Message sensation value” (MSV), a measure of sensory intensity of audio, visual, and content features of an ad, is an important factor in PSA impact. Some communication theories propose that higher message sensation value brings increased attention and cognitive processing, leading to higher ad impact. Others argue that the attention-intensive format could compete with ad's message for cognitive resources and result in reduced processing of PSA content and reduced overall effectiveness. Brain imaging during PSA viewing provides a quantitative surrogate measure of PSA impact and addresses questions of PSA evaluation and design not accessible with traditional subjective and epidemiological methods. We used Blood Oxygenation Level Dependent (BOLD) functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) and recognition memory measures to compare high and low MSV anti-tobacco PSAs and neutral videos. In a short-delay, forced-choice memory test, frames extracted from PSAs were recognized more accurately than frames extracted from the NV. Frames from the low MSV PSAs were better recognized than frames from the high MSV PSAs. The accuracy of recognition of PSA frames was positively correlated with the prefrontal and temporal, and negatively correlated with the occipital cortex activation. The low MSV PSAs were associated with greater prefrontal and temporal activation, than the high MSV PSAs. The high MSV PSAs produced greater activation primarily in the occipital cortex. These findings support the “dual processing” and “limited capacity” theories of communication that postulate a competition between ad's content and format for the viewers’ cognitive resources and suggest that the “attention-grabbing” high MSV format could impede the learning and retention of an ad. These findings demonstrate the potential of using neuroimaging in

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

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

    2017-08-30

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

  12. Prefrontal, posterior parietal and sensorimotor network activity underlying speed control during walking

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    Thomas C Bulea

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Accumulating evidence suggests cortical circuits may contribute to control of human locomotion. Here, noninvasive electroencephalography (EEG recorded from able-bodied volunteers during a novel treadmill walking paradigm was used to assess neural correlates of walking. A systematic processing method, including a recently developed subspace reconstruction algorithm, reduced movement-related EEG artifact prior to independent component analysis and dipole source localization. We quantified cortical activity while participants tracked slow and fast target speeds across two treadmill conditions: an active mode that adjusted belt speed based on user movements and a passive mode reflecting a typical treadmill. Our results reveal frequency specific, multi-focal task related changes in cortical oscillations elicited by active walking. Low γ band power, localized to the prefrontal and posterior parietal cortices, was significantly increased during double support and early swing phases, critical points in the gait cycle since the active controller adjusted speed based on pelvis position and swing foot velocity. These phasic γ band synchronizations provide evidence that prefrontal and posterior parietal networks, previously implicated in visuo-spatial and somotosensory integration, are engaged to enhance lower limb control during gait. Sustained μ and β band desynchronization within sensorimotor cortex, a neural correlate for movement, was observed during walking thereby validating our methods for isolating cortical activity. Our results also demonstrate the utility of EEG recorded during locomotion for probing the multi-regional cortical networks which underpin its execution. For example, the cortical network engagement elicited by the active treadmill suggests that it may enhance neuroplasticity for more effective motor training.

  13. Altered gene expression profiles in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex of type 2 diabetic rats

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    Abdul-Rahman Omar

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background There has been an increasing body of epidemiologic and biochemical evidence implying the role of cerebral insulin resistance in Alzheimer-type dementia. For a better understanding of the insulin effect on the central nervous system, we performed microarray-based global gene expression profiling in the hippocampus, striatum and prefrontal cortex of streptozotocin-induced and spontaneously diabetic Goto-Kakizaki rats as model animals for type 1 and type 2 diabetes, respectively. Results Following pathway analysis and validation of gene lists by real-time polymerase chain reaction, 30 genes from the hippocampus, such as the inhibitory neuropeptide galanin, synuclein gamma and uncoupling protein 2, and 22 genes from the prefrontal cortex, e.g. galanin receptor 2, protein kinase C gamma and epsilon, ABCA1 (ATP-Binding Cassette A1, CD47 (Cluster of Differentiation 47 and the RET (Rearranged During Transfection protooncogene, were found to exhibit altered expression levels in type 2 diabetic model animals in comparison to non-diabetic control animals. These gene lists proved to be partly overlapping and encompassed genes related to neurotransmission, lipid metabolism, neuronal development, insulin secretion, oxidative damage and DNA repair. On the other hand, no significant alterations were found in the transcriptomes of the corpus striatum in the same animals. Changes in the cerebral gene expression profiles seemed to be specific for the type 2 diabetic model, as no such alterations were found in streptozotocin-treated animals. Conclusions According to our knowledge this is the first characterization of the whole-genome expression changes of specific brain regions in a diabetic model. Our findings shed light on the complex role of insulin signaling in fine-tuning brain functions, and provide further experimental evidence in support of the recently elaborated theory of type 3 diabetes.

  14. Decreased regional cerebral glucose metabolism in the prefrontal regions in adults' with internet game addiction

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Park, Hyun Soo; Bang, Soong Ae; Yoon, Eun Jin; Cho, Sang Soo; Kim, Sang Hee; Kim, Yu Kyeong; Kim, Sang Eun

    2007-01-01

    Internet Game Addiction (IGA) is known to be associated with poor decision-making and diminished impulse control; however, the underlying neural substrates of IGA have not been identified. To investigate the neural substrates of IGA, we compared regional cerebral glucose metabolism between adults with and without IGA, primarily in the prefrontal brain regions, which have been implicated in inhibitory control. We studied 10 right-handed participants (5 controls: male, 23.8±0.75 y, 5 IGAs: male, 22.6±2.42 y) with FDG PET. A standardized questionnaire was used to assess the severity of IGA. Before scanning, all subjects carried out a computerized version of the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT) and the Balloon Analogue Risk Task (BART), as measures of behavioral inhibitory control. Statistical Parametric Mapping 2 (SPM2) was used to analyze differences in regional brain glucose metabolism between adults with and without IGA. Consistent with our predictions, compared to controls, significant reductions in FDG uptake in individuals with IGA were found in the bilateral orbitofrontal gyrus (BA 11, 47), bilateral inferior frontal gyrus (BA 44, 48), cingulate cortex (BA 24), and bilateral supplementary motor area (SMA) (BA 6); whereas increases were found in the bilateral hippocampus. Correlation analyses within the IGA group further showed that the level of glucose metabolism in the right orbitofrontal gyrus was marginally positively correlated with task scores in BART. Our results showed that IGA is associated with reduced glucose metabolism in the prefrontal regions involved in inhibitory control. This finding highlights dysfunctional inhibitory brain systems in individuals with IGA and offers implications for the development for therapeutic paradigms for IGA

  15. Medial prefrontal brain activation to anticipated reward and loss in obsessive-compulsive disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaufmann, C; Beucke, J C; Preuße, F; Endrass, T; Schlagenhauf, F; Heinz, A; Juckel, G; Kathmann, N

    2013-01-01

    Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is associated with dysfunctional brain activity in several regions which are also involved in the processing of motivational stimuli. Processing of reward and punishment appears to be of special importance to understand clinical symptoms. There is evidence for higher sensitivity to punishment in patients with OCD which raises the question how avoidance of punishment relates to activity within the brain's reward circuitry. We employed the monetary incentive delay task paradigm optimized for modeling the anticipation phase of immediate reward and punishment, in the context of a cross-sectional event-related FMRI study comparing OCD patients and healthy control participants (n = 19 in each group). While overall behavioral performance was similar in both groups, patients showed increased activation upon anticipated losses in a medial and superior frontal cortex region extending into the cingulate cortex, and decreased activation upon anticipated rewards. No evidence was found for altered activation of dorsal or ventral striatal regions. Patients also showed more delayed responses for anticipated rewards than for anticipated losses whereas the reverse was true in healthy participants. The medial prefrontal cortex has been shown to implement a domain-general process comprising negative affect, pain and cognitive control. This process uses information about punishment to control aversively motivated actions by integrating signals arriving from subcortical regions. Our results support the notion that OCD is associated with altered sensitivity to anticipated rewards and losses in a medial prefrontal region whereas there is no significant aberrant activation in ventral or dorsal striatal brain regions during processing of reinforcement anticipation.

  16. Cognitive regulation during decision making shifts behavioral control between ventromedial and dorsolateral prefrontal value systems.

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    Hutcherson, Cendri A; Plassmann, Hilke; Gross, James J; Rangel, Antonio

    2012-09-26

    Cognitive regulation is often used to influence behavioral outcomes. However, the computational and neurobiological mechanisms by which it affects behavior remain unknown. We studied this issue using an fMRI task in which human participants used cognitive regulation to upregulate and downregulate their cravings for foods at the time of choice. We found that activity in both ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) correlated with value. We also found evidence that two distinct regulatory mechanisms were at work: value modulation, which operates by changing the values assigned to foods in vmPFC and dlPFC at the time of choice, and behavioral control modulation, which operates by changing the relative influence of the vmPFC and dlPFC value signals on the action selection process used to make choices. In particular, during downregulation, activation decreased in the value-sensitive region of dlPFC (indicating value modulation) but not in vmPFC, and the relative contribution of the two value signals to behavior shifted toward the dlPFC (indicating behavioral control modulation). The opposite pattern was observed during upregulation: activation increased in vmPFC but not dlPFC, and the relative contribution to behavior shifted toward the vmPFC. Finally, ventrolateral PFC and posterior parietal cortex were more active during both upregulation and downregulation, and were functionally connected with vmPFC and dlPFC during cognitive regulation, which suggests that they help to implement the changes to the decision-making circuitry generated by cognitive regulation.

  17. Recruitment of the prefrontal cortex and cerebellum in Parkinsonian rats following skilled aerobic exercise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Zhuo; Guo, Yumei; Myers, Kalisa G; Heintz, Ryan; Holschneider, Daniel P

    2015-05-01

    Exercise modality and complexity play a key role in determining neurorehabilitative outcome in Parkinson's disease (PD). Exercise training (ET) that incorporates both motor skill training and aerobic exercise has been proposed to synergistically improve cognitive and automatic components of motor control in PD patients. Here we introduced such a skilled aerobic ET paradigm in a rat model of dopaminergic deafferentation. Rats with bilateral, intra-striatal 6-hydroxydopamine lesions were exposed to forced ET for 4weeks, either on a simple running wheel (non-skilled aerobic exercise, NSAE) or on a complex wheel with irregularly spaced rungs (skilled aerobic exercise, SAE). Cerebral perfusion was mapped during horizontal treadmill walking or at rest using [(14)C]-iodoantipyrine 1week after the completion of ET. Regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) was quantified by autoradiography and analyzed in 3-dimensionally reconstructed brains by statistical parametric mapping. SAE compared to NSAE resulted in equal or greater recovery in motor deficits, as well as greater increases in rCBF during walking in the prelimbic area of the prefrontal cortex, broad areas of the somatosensory cortex, and the cerebellum. NSAE compared to SAE animals showed greater activation in the dorsal caudate-putamen and dorsal hippocampus. Seed correlation analysis revealed enhanced functional connectivity in SAE compared to NSAE animals between the prelimbic cortex and motor areas, as well as altered functional connectivity between midline cerebellum and sensorimotor regions. Our study provides the first evidence for functional brain reorganization following skilled aerobic exercise in Parkinsonian rats, and suggests that SAE compared to NSAE results in enhancement of prefrontal cortex- and cerebellum-mediated control of motor function. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. The role of prefrontal catecholamines in attention and working memory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Behrad eNoudoost

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available While much progress has been made in identifying the brain regions and neurochemical systems involved in the cognitive processes disrupted in mental illnesses, To date, the level of detail at which neurobiologists can describe the chain of events giving rise to cognitive functions is very rudimentary. Much of the intense interest in understanding cognitive functions is motivated by the hope that it might be possible to understand these complex functions at the level of neurons and neural circuits. Here, we review the current state of the literature regarding how modulations in catecholamine levels within the prefrontal cortex alter the neuronal and behavioral correlates of cognitive functions, particularly attention and working memory.

  19. Monoaminergic modulation of emotional impact in the inferomedial prefrontal cortex

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Geday, Jacob; Gjedde, Albert

    2009-01-01

    of the standard Empathy Picture System on a scale from +3 to -3. We then used regression analysis to identify sites in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex at which the two separately acquired measures, blood flow change and emotional impact of images, correlated significantly. The regression analysis identified......People assess the impact of emotionally loaded images differently. We define this impact as the average difference between individual ratings of standardized "pleasant" and "unpleasant" images. To determine the neuroanatomical correlate of a hypothetical interaction between emotional impact...... cortex underwent deactivation in proportion to a separately rated emotional impact of a stimulus. We propose a specific pharmacodynamic mechanism that explains the correlation between the emotional impact and the effect of a serotonin-noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor on cerebral blood flow....

  20. The role of prefrontal catecholamines in attention and working memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, Kelsey L.; Noudoost, Behrad

    2014-01-01

    While much progress has been made in identifying the brain regions and neurochemical systems involved in the cognitive processes disrupted in mental illnesses, to date, the level of detail at which neurobiologists can describe the chain of events giving rise to cognitive functions is very rudimentary. Much of the intense interest in understanding cognitive functions is motivated by the hope that it might be possible to understand these complex functions at the level of neurons and neural circuits. Here, we review the current state of the literature regarding how modulations in catecholamine levels within the prefrontal cortex (PFC) alter the neuronal and behavioral correlates of cognitive functions, particularly attention and working memory. PMID:24782714

  1. Behavioral effects of congenital ventromedial prefrontal cortex malformation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Boes Aaron D

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background A detailed behavioral profile associated with focal congenital malformation of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC has not been reported previously. Here we describe a 14 year-old boy, B.W., with neurological and psychiatric sequelae stemming from focal cortical malformation of the left vmPFC. Case Presentation B.W.'s behavior has been characterized through extensive review Patience of clinical and personal records along with behavioral and neuropsychological testing. A central feature of the behavioral profile is severe antisocial behavior. He is aggressive, manipulative, and callous; features consistent with psychopathy. Other problems include: egocentricity, impulsivity, hyperactivity, lack of empathy, lack of respect for authority, impaired moral judgment, an inability to plan ahead, and poor frustration tolerance. Conclusions The vmPFC has a profound contribution to the development of human prosocial behavior. B.W. demonstrates how a congenital lesion to this cortical region severely disrupts this process.

  2. Sleep deprivation alters valuation signals in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex

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    Camilo eLibedinsky

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Even a single night of total sleep-deprivation (SD can have dramatic effects on economic decision making. Here we tested the novel hypothesis that SD influences economic decisions by altering the valuation process. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI we identified value signals related to the anticipation and the experience of monetary and social rewards (attractive female faces. We then derived decision value signals that were predictive of each participant’s willingness to exchange money for brief views of attractive faces in an independent market task. Strikingly, SD altered decision value signals in ventromedial prefrontal cortex (VMPFC in proportion to the corresponding change in economic preferences. These changes in preference were independent of the effects of SD on attention and vigilance. Our results provide novel evidence that signals in VMPFC track the current state of the individual, and thus reflect not static but constructed preferences.

  3. Visual attention: Linking prefrontal sources to neuronal and behavioral correlates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, Kelsey; Squire, Ryan Fox; Merrikhi, Yaser; Noudoost, Behrad

    2015-09-01

    Attention is a means of flexibly selecting and enhancing a subset of sensory input based on the current behavioral goals. Numerous signatures of attention have been identified throughout the brain, and now experimenters are seeking to determine which of these signatures are causally related to the behavioral benefits of attention, and the source of these modulations within the brain. Here, we review the neural signatures of attention throughout the brain, their theoretical benefits for visual processing, and their experimental correlations with behavioral performance. We discuss the importance of measuring cue benefits as a way to distinguish between impairments on an attention task, which may instead be visual or motor impairments, and true attentional deficits. We examine evidence for various areas proposed as sources of attentional modulation within the brain, with a focus on the prefrontal cortex. Lastly, we look at studies that aim to link sources of attention to its neuronal signatures elsewhere in the brain. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  4. Prefrontal control of cerebellum-dependent associative motor learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Hao; Yang, Li; Xu, Yan; Wu, Guang-yan; Yao, Juan; Zhang, Jun; Zhu, Zhi-ru; Hu, Zhi-an; Sui, Jian-feng; Hu, Bo

    2014-02-01

    Behavioral studies have demonstrated that both medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and cerebellum play critical roles in trace eyeblink conditioning. However, little is known regarding the mechanism by which the two brain regions interact. By use of electrical stimulation of the caudal mPFC as a conditioned stimulus, we show evidence that persistent outputs from the mPFC to cerebellum are necessary and sufficient for the acquisition and expression of a trace conditioned response (CR)-like response. Specifically, the persistent outputs of caudal mPFC are relayed to the cerebellum via the rostral part of lateral pontine nuclei. Moreover, interfering with persistent activity by blockade of the muscarinic Ach receptor in the caudal mPFC impairs the expression of learned trace CRs. These results suggest an important way for the caudal mPFC to interact with the cerebellum during associative motor learning.

  5. Levels of conflict in reasoning modulate right lateral prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stollstorff, Melanie; Vartanian, Oshin; Goel, Vinod

    2012-01-05

    Right lateral prefrontal cortex (rlPFC) has previously been implicated in logical reasoning under conditions of conflict. A functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study was conducted to explore its role in conflict more precisely. Specifically, we distinguished between belief-logic conflict and belief-content conflict, and examined the role of rlPFC under each condition. The results demonstrated that a specific region of rlPFC is consistently activated under both types of conflict. Moreover, the results of a parametric analysis demonstrated that the same region was modulated by the level of conflict contained in reasoning arguments. This supports the idea that this specific region is engaged to resolve conflict, including during deductive reasoning. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled "The Cognitive Neuroscience of Thought". Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Single neurons in prefrontal cortex encode abstract rules.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2001-06-21

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

  7. Opposite effective connectivity in the posterior cingulate and medial prefrontal cortex between first-episode schizophrenic patients with suicide risk and healthy controls.

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    Huiran Zhang

    Full Text Available OBJECTIVE: The schizophrenic patients with high suicide risk are characterized by depression, better cognitive function, and prominent positive symptoms. However, the neurobiological basis of suicide attempts in schizophrenia is not clear. The suicide in schizophrenia is implicated in the defects in emotional process and decision-making, which are associated with prefrontal-cingulate circuit. In order to explore the possible neurobiological basis of suicide in schizophrenia, we investigated the correlation of prefrontal-cingulate circuit with suicide risk in schizophrenia via dynamic casual modelling. METHOD: Participants were 33 first-episode schizophrenic patients comprising of a high suicide risk group (N = 14 and a low suicide risk group (N = 19. A comparison group of healthy controls (N = 15 were matched for age, gender and education. N-back tasking functional magnetic resonance imaging data was collected. RESULTS: Compared with healthy controls group, the two patients groups showed decreased task-related suppression during 2-back task state versus baseline state in the left posterior cingulate and medial prefrontal cortex; the hyper-connectivity from the left posterior cingulate cortex to the left medial prefrontal cortex existed in both schizophrenic patients groups, but hypo-connectivity in the opposite direction only existed in the schizophrenic patients group with high suicide risk. CONCLUSIONS: The hyper-connectivity from the left posterior cingulate cortex to the left medial prefrontal cortex may suggest that the abnormal effective connectivity was associated with risk for schizophrenia. The hypo-connectivity in the opposite direction may represent a possible correlate of increased vulnerability to suicide attempt.

  8. Prefrontal cortex glutamate correlates with mental perspective-taking.

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    Christiane Montag

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Dysfunctions in theory of mind and empathic abilities have been suggested as core symptoms in major psychiatric disorders including schizophrenia and autism. Since self monitoring, perspective taking and empathy have been linked to prefrontal (PFC and anterior cingulate cortex (ACC function, neurotransmitter variations in these areas may account for normal and pathological variations of these functions. Converging evidence indicates an essential role of glutamatergic neurotransmission in psychiatric diseases with pronounced deficits in empathy. However, the role of the glutamate system for different dimensions of empathy has not been investigated so far. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Absolute concentrations of cerebral glutamate in the ACC, left dorsolateral PFC and left hippocampus were determined by 3-tesla proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H-MRS in 17 healthy individuals. Three dimensions of empathy were estimated by a self-rating questionnaire, the Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI. Linear regression analysis showed that dorsolateral PFC glutamate concentration was predicted by IRI factor "perspective taking" (T = -2.710, p = 0.018; adjusted alpha-level of 0.017, Bonferroni but not by "empathic concern" or "personal distress". No significant relationship between IRI subscores and the glutamate levels in the ACC or left hippocampus was detected. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: This is the first study to investigate the role of the glutamate system for dimensions of theory of mind and empathy. Results are in line with recent concepts that executive top-down control of behavior is mediated by prefrontal glutamatergic projections. This is a preliminary finding that needs a replication in an independent sample.

  9. Power spectrum scale invariance identifies prefrontal dysregulation in paranoid schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Radulescu, Anca R; Rubin, Denis; Strey, Helmut H; Mujica-Parodi, Lilianne R

    2012-07-01

    Theory and experimental evidence suggest that complex living systems function close to the boundary of chaos, with erroneous organization to an improper dynamical range (too stiff or chaotic) underlying system-wide dysregulation and disease. We hypothesized that erroneous organization might therefore also characterize paranoid schizophrenia, via optimization abnormalities in the prefrontal-limbic circuit regulating emotion. To test this, we acquired fMRI scans from 35 subjects (N = 9 patients with paranoid schizophrenia and N = 26 healthy controls), while they viewed affect-valent stimuli. To quantify dynamic regulation, we analyzed the power spectrum scale invariance (PSSI) of fMRI time-courses and computed the geometry of time-delay (Poincaré) maps, a measure of variability. Patients and controls showed distinct PSSI in two clusters (k(1) : Z = 4.3215, P = 0.00002 and k(2) : Z = 3.9441, P = 0.00008), localized to the orbitofrontal/medial prefrontal cortex (Brodmann Area 10), represented by β close to white noise in patients (β ≈ 0) and in the pink noise range in controls (β ≈ -1). Interpreting the meaning of PSSI differences, the Poincaré maps indicated less variability in patients than controls (Z = -1.9437, P = 0.05 for k(1) ; Z = -2.5099, P = 0.01 for k(2) ). That the dynamics identified Brodmann Area 10 is consistent with previous schizophrenia research, which implicates this area in deficits of working memory, executive functioning, emotional regulation and underlying biological abnormalities in synaptic (glutamatergic) transmission. Our results additionally cohere with a large body of work finding pink noise to be the normal range of central function at the synaptic, cellular, and small network levels, and suggest that patients show less supple responsivity of this region. Copyright © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  10. Effects of decreased inhibition on synaptic plasticity and dendritic morphology in the juvenile prefrontal cortex

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    Xanthippi Konstantoudaki

    2014-03-01

    , we tested whether synaptic plasticity properties of intra-cortical layer II synapses are affected. In adult control mice, tetanic stimulation results in long-term potentiation that lasts at least 50 min (Konstantoudaki et al, 2013. In control mice of the age tested in this study (PD 20-30, LTP could not be induced with the same stimulation. However, we find that Rac1 KO mice do express long-term potentiation. We next studied the dendritic morphology of layer II neurons in the prefrontal cortex, in an effort to identify the mechanism by which Rac1 KO mice exhibit LTP, while the control mice of the same age do not. For this, we stained mouse brains of Rac1 KO and Rac1 heterozygous mice with the Golgi-Cox method. We analyzed the number of secondary apical dendrites, their thickness, as well as the number of spines. We find that the dendrites of pyramidal neurons of Rac1 KO mice have decreased thickness and increased number of spines compared to pyramidal neurons from Rac1 heterozygous mice. These findings could also provide a mechanistic explanation for the presence of LTP in Rac1 KO mice. In conclusion, we find that decreased inhibition during development alters the morphological and functional characteristics of pyramidal neurons in layer II prefrontal cortex of mice. These alterations could provide a cellular substrate for emotional and cognitive dysfunctions present in these mice (Konstantoudaki et al, 2012.

  11. The effect of single and repeated prefrontal intermittent theta burst stimulation on cortical reactivity and working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chung, Sung Wook; Rogasch, Nigel C; Hoy, Kate E; Fitzgerald, Paul B

    With an increasing interest in the use of theta burst stimulation (TBS) as a cognitive enhancer and a potential therapeutic tool for psychiatric disorders, there is a need to identify optimal parameters of TBS in the prefrontal cortex. This study examined the effect of two blocks of prefrontal intermittent TBS (iTBS) on cortical reactivity and working memory performance, compared to one block of iTBS and sham stimulation. We hypothesized that greater cortical effects would be obtained with two blocks of iTBS. Eighteen healthy participants attended three experimental sessions and received either sham, one block or two blocks of iTBS with a 15-min interval. Concurrent transcranial magnetic stimulation with electroencephalography (TMS-EEG) was used to assess the change in cortical reactivity via TMS-evoked potentials. Working memory performance was assessed using the N-back task. Cluster-based permutation statistics and two-way ANOVAs were used for neurophysiological and behavioural data, respectively. Both single and two blocks of iTBS resulted in a significant increase in the amplitude of TMS-evoked N100 and P200. No significant differences were observed between active conditions in either neurophysiological changes or working memory performance, and both failed to improve working memory performance relative to sham. Two blocks of iTBS did not result in stronger measured effects as compared to one block of iTBS. Future studies are needed to identify the optimal stimulation pattern in order to achieve a desired effect. It is also important to establish the best approach in quantifying neuromodulatory effects targeting the prefrontal cortex. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Changes in self-regulation-related prefrontal activities in eating disorders: a near infrared spectroscopy study.

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    Chihiro Sutoh

    Full Text Available OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study is to clarify the symptomatology of the eating disorders examining the prefrontal function and activity associated with self-regulation among participants with or without eating disorders. METHODS: Ten patients with anorexia nervosa, fourteen with bulimia nervosa, and fourteen healthy control participants performed two cognitive tasks assessing self-regulatory functions, an auditorily distracted word fluency task and a rock-paper-scissors task under the measurements on prefrontal oxyhemoglobin concentration with near infrared spectroscopy. The psychiatric symptoms of patient groups were assessed with several questionnaires. RESULTS: Patients with bulimia nervosa showed decreased performances and prefrontal hyper activation patterns. Prefrontal activities showed a moderate negative correlation with task performances not in the patient groups but only in the healthy participants. The prefrontal activities of the patient groups showed positive correlations with some symptom scale aspects. CONCLUSIONS: The decreased cognitive abilities and characteristic prefrontal activation patterns associated with self-regulatory functions were shown in patients with bulimia nervosa, which correlated with their symptoms. These findings suggest inefficient prefrontal self-regulatory function of bulimia nervosa that associate with its symptoms.

  13. When seeing outweighs feeling: a role for prefrontal cortex in passive control of negative affect in blindsight.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anders, Silke; Eippert, Falk; Wiens, Stefan; Birbaumer, Niels; Lotze, Martin; Wildgruber, Dirk

    2009-11-01

    Affective neuroscience has been strongly influenced by the view that a 'feeling' is the perception of somatic changes and has consequently often neglected the neural mechanisms that underlie the integration of somatic and other information in affective experience. Here, we investigate affective processing by means of functional magnetic resonance imaging in nine cortically blind patients. In these patients, unilateral postgeniculate lesions prevent primary cortical visual processing in part of the visual field which, as a result, becomes subjectively blind. Residual subcortical processing of visual information, however, is assumed to occur in the entire visual field. As we have reported earlier, these patients show significant startle reflex potentiation when a threat-related visual stimulus is shown in their blind visual field. Critically, this was associated with an increase of brain activity in somatosensory-related areas, and an increase in experienced negative affect. Here, we investigated the patients' response when the visual stimulus was shown in the sighted visual field, that is, when it was visible and cortically processed. Despite the fact that startle reflex potentiation was similar in the blind and sighted visual field, patients reported significantly less negative affect during stimulation of the sighted visual field. In other words, when the visual stimulus was visible and received full cortical processing, the patients' phenomenal experience of affect did not closely reflect somatic changes. This decoupling of phenomenal affective experience and somatic changes was associated with an increase of activity in the left ventrolateral prefrontal cortex and a decrease of affect-related somatosensory activity. Moreover, patients who showed stronger left ventrolateral prefrontal cortex activity tended to show a stronger decrease of affect-related somatosensory activity. Our findings show that similar affective somatic changes can be associated with

  14. THC alters alters morphology of neurons in medial prefrontal cortex, orbital prefrontal cortex, and nucleus accumbens and alters the ability of later experience to promote structural plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kolb, Bryan; Li, Yilin; Robinson, Terry; Parker, Linda A

    2018-03-01

    Psychoactive drugs have the ability to alter the morphology of neuronal dendrites and spines and to influence later experience-dependent structural plasticity. If rats are given repeated injections of psychomotor stimulants (amphetamine, cocaine, nicotine) prior to being placed in complex environments, the drug experience interferes with the ability of the environment to increase dendritic arborization and spine density. Repeated exposure to Delta 9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) changes the morphology of dendrites in medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and nucleus accumbens (NAcc). To determine if drugs other than psychomotor stimulants will also interfere with later experience-dependent structural plasticity we gave Long-Evans rats THC (0.5 mg/kg) or saline for 11 days before placing them in complex environments or standard laboratory caging for 90 days. Brains were subsequently processed for Golgi-Cox staining and analysis of dendritic morphology and spine density mPFC, orbital frontal cortex (OFC), and NAcc. THC altered both dendritic arborization and spine density in all three regions, and, like psychomotor stimulants, THC influenced the effect of later experience in complex environments to shape the structure of neurons in these three regions. We conclude that THC may therefore contribute to persistent behavioral and cognitive deficits associated with prolonged use of the drug. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  15. Cognitive and behavioural deficits associated with the orbitomedial prefrontal cortex in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meier, Sandra L; Charleston, Alison J; Tippett, Lynette J

    2010-11-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a progressive disease affecting motor neurons, may variably affect cognition and behaviour. We tested the hypothesis that functions associated with orbitomedial prefrontal cortex are affected by evaluating the behavioural and cognitive performance of 18 participants with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis without dementia and 18 healthy, matched controls. We measured Theory of Mind (Faux Pas Task), emotional prosody recognition (Aprosodia Battery), reversal of behaviour in response to changes in reward (Probabilistic Reversal Learning Task), decision making without risk (Holiday Apartment Task) and aberrant behaviour (Neuropsychiatric Inventory). We also assessed dorsolateral prefrontal function, using verbal and written fluency and planning (One-touch Stockings of Cambridge), to determine whether impairments in tasks sensitive to these two prefrontal regions co-occur. The patient group was significantly impaired at identifying social faux pas, recognizing emotions and decision-making, indicating mild, but consistent impairment on most measures sensitive to orbitomedial prefrontal cortex. Significant levels of aberrant behaviour were present in 50% of patients. Patients were also impaired on verbal fluency and planning. Individual subject analyses involved computing classical dissociations between tasks sensitive to different prefrontal regions. These revealed heterogeneous patterns of impaired and spared cognitive abilities: 33% of participants had classical dissociations involving orbitomedial prefrontal tasks, 17% had classical dissociations involving dorsolateral prefrontal tasks, 22% had classical dissociations between tasks of both regions, and 28% had no classical dissociations. These data indicate subtle changes in behaviour, emotional processing, decision-making and altered social awareness, associated with orbitomedial prefrontal cortex, may be present in a significant proportion of individuals with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

  16. Prefrontal NAA and Glx Levels in Different Stages of Psychotic Disorders: a 3T 1H-MRS Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liemburg, Edith; Sibeijn-Kuiper, Anita; Bais, Leonie; Pijnenborg, Gerdina; Knegtering, Henderikus; van der Velde, Jorien; Opmeer, Esther; de Vos, Annerieke; Dlabac-De Lange, Jozarni; Wunderink, Lex; Aleman, André

    2016-02-23

    H-Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy ((1)H-MRS) can offer insights in various neuropathologies by measuring metabolite levels in the brain. In the current study we investigated the levels of glutamate + glutamine (Glx, neurotransmitter and precursor) and N-Acetyl Aspartate + glutamic acid (NAA + NAAG; neuronal viability) in the prefrontal cortex of patients with a psychotic disorder and people at Ultra High Risk (UHR) for psychosis. A (1)H-MRS spectrum was acquired in 31 patients with a recent onset psychotic disorder and 60 with a chronic state, 16 UHR patients and 36 healthy controls. Absolute metabolite levels were calculated using LCModel with a reference water peak. Groups were compared while taking into account age and partial volume effects. Moreover, we investigated associations with positive and negative symptoms, duration of illness, and antipsychotic treatment in patients. The most notable finding is that chronicity of schizophrenia was related to decreased levels of Glx and NAA. On the other hand, although on an exploratory note, UHR showed increased levels of prefrontal Glx and NAA levels with increasing age. Our results may indicate an initial Glx and NAA increase and subsequent decrease during illness progression that may be related to the neurotoxic effects of glutamate.

  17. Collaborative activity between parietal and dorso-lateral prefrontal cortex in dynamic spatial working memory revealed by fMRI.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diwadkar, V A; Carpenter, P A; Just, M A

    2000-07-01

    Functional MRI was used to determine how the constituents of the cortical network subserving dynamic spatial working memory respond to two types of increases in task complexity. Participants mentally maintained the most recent location of either one or three objects as the three objects moved discretely in either a two- or three-dimensional array. Cortical activation in the dorsolateral prefrontal (DLPFC) and the parietal cortex increased as a function of the number of object locations to be maintained and the dimensionality of the display. An analysis of the response characteristics of the individual voxels showed that a large proportion were activated only when both the variables imposed the higher level of demand. A smaller proportion were activated specifically in response to increases in task demand associated with each of the independent variables. A second experiment revealed the same effect of dimensionality in the parietal cortex when the movement of objects was signaled auditorily rather than visually, indicating that the additional representational demands induced by 3-D space are independent of input modality. The comodulation of activation in the prefrontal and parietal areas by the amount of computational demand suggests that the collaboration between areas is a basic feature underlying much of the functionality of spatial working memory. Copyright 2000 Academic Press.

  18. Partial genetic deletion of neuregulin 1 and adolescent stress interact to alter NMDA receptor binding in the medial prefrontal cortex

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    Tariq Waseem Chohan

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Schizophrenia is thought to arise due to a complex interaction between genetic and environmental factors during early neurodevelopment. We have recently shown that partial genetic deletion of the schizophrenia susceptibility gene neuregulin 1 (Nrg1 and adolescent stress interact to disturb sensorimotor gating, neuroendocrine activity and dendritic morphology in mice. Both stress and Nrg1 may have converging effects upon N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors (NMDARs which are implicated in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia, sensorimotor gating and dendritic spine plasticity. Using an identical repeated restraint stress paradigm to our previous study, here we determined NMDAR binding across various brain regions in adolescent Nrg1 heterozygous (HET and wild-type (WT mice using [3H] MK-801 autoradiography. Repeated restraint stress increased NMDAR binding in the ventral part of the lateral septum (LSV and the dentate gyrus (DG of the hippocampus irrespective of genotype. Partial genetic deletion of Nrg1 interacted with adolescent stress to promote an altered pattern of NMDAR binding in the infralimbic (IL subregion of the medial prefrontal cortex. In the IL, whilst stress tended to increase NMDAR binding in WT mice, it decreased binding in Nrg1 HET mice. However in the DG, stress selectively increased the expression of NMDAR binding in Nrg1 HET mice but not WT mice. These results demonstrate a Nrg1-stress interaction during adolescence on NMDAR binding in the medial prefrontal cortex.

  19. Perturbations in reward-related decision-making induced by reduced prefrontal cortical GABA transmission: Relevance for psychiatric disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piantadosi, Patrick T; Khayambashi, Shahin; Schluter, Magdalen G; Kutarna, Agnes; Floresco, Stan B

    2016-02-01

    The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is critical for higher-order cognitive functions, including decision-making. In psychiatric conditions such as schizophrenia, prefrontal dysfunction co-occurs with pronounced alterations in decision-making ability. These alterations include a diminished ability to utilize probabilistic reinforcement in guiding future choice, and a reduced willingness to expend effort to receive reward. Among the neurochemical abnormalities observed in the PFC of individuals with schizophrenia are alterations in the production and function of the inhibitory neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). To probe how PFC GABA hypofunction may contribute to alterations in cost/benefit decision-making, we assessed the effects GABAA-receptor antagonist bicuculline (BIC; 50 ng in 0.5 μl saline/hemisphere) infusion in the medial PFC of rats during performance on a series of well-validated cost/benefit decision-making tasks. Intra-PFC BIC reduced risky choice and reward sensitivity during probabilistic discounting and decreased the preference for larger rewards associated with a greater effort cost, similar to the behavioral sequelae observed in schizophrenia. Additional experiments revealed that these treatments did not alter instrumental responding on a progressive ratio schedule, nor did they impair the ability to discriminate between reward and no reward. However, BIC induced a subtle but consistent impairment in preference for larger vs. smaller rewards of equal cost. BIC infusion also increased decision latencies and impaired the ability to "stay on task" as indexed by reduced rates of instrumental responding. Collectively, these results implicate prefrontal GABAergic dysfunction as a key contributing factor to abnormal decision-making observed in schizophrenia and other neuropsychiatric conditions with similar neurobiological and behavioral alterations. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Glutamate in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and auditory verbal hallucinations in patients with schizophrenia: A 1H MRS study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ćurčić-Blake, Branislava; Bais, Leonie; Sibeijn-Kuiper, Anita; Pijnenborg, Hendrika Maria; Knegtering, Henderikus; Liemburg, Edith; Aleman, André

    2017-08-01

    Glutamatergic models of psychosis propose that dysfunction of N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptors, and associated excess of glutamate, may underlie psychotic experiences in people with schizophrenia. However, little is known about the specific relation between glutamate and auditory verbal hallucinations (AVH) in patients with psychosis. In this study, levels of glutamate+glutamine (Glx) in the left lateral prefrontal lobe were determined using proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy ( 1 H MRS) to calculate their association with AVH. Sixty-seven patients with schizophrenia and thirty healthy control participants (HC) underwent magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) to estimate levels of Glx in the white matter of the left prefrontal lobe. The spectrum was estimated from an 8mm 3 voxel placed in the left lateral prefrontal region, belonging to both the cingulum and forceps minor. Patients with lifetime AVH (AVH group; n=45) and patients without lifetime AVH were compared (NoAVH group; n=22) to control participants. Levels of Glx were significantly different between the groups (F(2,94)=5.27, p=0.007). Planned comparisons showed that higher Glx levels were found in control participants than in the total patient group (p=0.010). However, patients with lifetime AVH had higher levels of Glx compared to patients without lifetime AVH (p=0.019). Creatin levels were similar in all three groups. We found no association between Glx and the severity of symptoms (item P3 of the PANSS or PANSS positive subscale). The higher Glx levels in patients with lifetime AVH as compared to patients without lifetime AVH suggest a mediating role for Glx in AVH. Our results are consistent with a previous study that found similar decreased levels of Glx in patients with schizophrenia, and increased levels in an AVH group as compared to a NoAVH group. The role of the glutamatergic system deserves further investigation, for example in different brain regions and in relation to clinical variables

  1. Neuronal Kmt2a/Mll1 histone methyltransferase is essential for prefrontal synaptic plasticity and working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jakovcevski, Mira; Ruan, Hongyu; Shen, Erica Y; Dincer, Aslihan; Javidfar, Behnam; Ma, Qi; Peter, Cyril J; Cheung, Iris; Mitchell, Amanda C; Jiang, Yan; Lin, Cong L; Pothula, Venu; Stewart, A Francis; Ernst, Patricia; Yao, Wei-Dong; Akbarian, Schahram

    2015-04-01

    Neuronal histone H3-lysine 4 methylation landscapes are defined by sharp peaks at gene promoters and other cis-regulatory sequences, but molecular and cellular phenotypes after neuron-specific deletion of H3K4 methyl-regulators remain largely unexplored. We report that neuronal ablation of the H3K4-specific methyltransferase, Kmt2a/Mixed-lineage leukemia 1 (Mll1), in mouse postnatal forebrain and adult prefrontal cortex (PFC) is associated with increased anxiety and robust cognitive deficits without locomotor dysfunction. In contrast, only mild behavioral phenotypes were observed after ablation of the Mll1 ortholog Kmt2b/Mll2 in PFC. Impaired working memory after Kmt2a/Mll1 ablation in PFC neurons was associated with loss of training-induced transient waves of Arc immediate early gene expression critical for synaptic plasticity. Medial prefrontal layer V pyramidal neurons, a major output relay of the cortex, demonstrated severely impaired synaptic facilitation and temporal summation, two forms of short-term plasticity essential for working memory. Chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by deep sequencing in Mll1-deficient cortical neurons revealed downregulated expression and loss of the transcriptional mark, trimethyl-H3K4, at <50 loci, including the homeodomain transcription factor Meis2. Small RNA-mediated Meis2 knockdown in PFC was associated with working memory defects similar to those elicited by Mll1 deletion. Therefore, mature prefrontal neurons critically depend on maintenance of Mll1-regulated H3K4 methylation at a subset of genes with an essential role in cognition and emotion. Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/355097-12$15.00/0.

  2. Prefrontal control of the amygdala during real-time fMRI neurofeedback training of emotion regulation.

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    Vadim Zotev

    Full Text Available We observed in a previous study (PLoS ONE 6:e24522 that the self-regulation of amygdala activity via real-time fMRI neurofeedback (rtfMRI-nf with positive emotion induction was associated, in healthy participants, with an enhancement in the functional connectivity between the left amygdala (LA and six regions of the prefrontal cortex. These regions included the left rostral anterior cingulate cortex (rACC, bilateral dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (DMPFC, bilateral superior frontal gyrus (SFG, and right medial frontopolar cortex (MFPC. Together with the LA, these six prefrontal regions thus formed the functional neuroanatomical network engaged during the rtfMRI-nf procedure. Here we perform a structural vector autoregression (SVAR analysis of the effective connectivity for this network. The SVAR analysis demonstrates that the left rACC plays an important role during the rtfMRI-nf training, modulating the LA and the other network regions. According to the analysis, the rtfMRI-nf training leads to a significant enhancement in the time-lagged effect of the left rACC on the LA, potentially consistent with the ipsilateral distribution of the monosynaptic projections between these regions. The training is also accompanied by significant increases in the instantaneous (contemporaneous effects of the left rACC on four other regions - the bilateral DMPFC, the right MFPC, and the left SFG. The instantaneous effects of the LA on the bilateral DMPFC are also significantly enhanced. Our results are consistent with a broad literature supporting the role of the rACC in emotion processing and regulation. Our exploratory analysis provides, for the first time, insights into the causal relationships within the network of regions engaged during the rtfMRI-nf procedure targeting the amygdala. It suggests that the rACC may constitute a promising target for rtfMRI-nf training along with the amygdala in patients with affective disorders, particularly posttraumatic stress

  3. Cerebral responses and role of the prefrontal cortex in conditioned pain modulation: an fMRI study in healthy subjects

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    Bogdanov, Volodymyr B.; Viganò, Alessandro; Noirhomme, Quentin; Bogdanova, Olena V.; Guy, Nathalie; Laureys, Steven; Renshaw, Perry F.; Dallel, Radhouane; Phillips, Christophe; Schoenen, Jean

    2017-01-01

    The mechanisms underlying conditioned pain modulation (CPM) are multifaceted. We searched for a link between individual differences in prefrontal cortex activity during multi-trial heterotopic noxious cold conditioning and modulation of the cerebral response to phasic heat pain. In 24 healthy female subjects, we conditioned laser heat stimuli to the left hand by applying alternatively ice-cold or lukewarm compresses to the right foot. We compared pain ratings with cerebral fMRI BOLD responses. We also analyzed the relation between CPM and BOLD changes produced by the heterotopic cold conditioning itself, as well as the impact of anxiety and habituation of cold-pain ratings. Specific cerebral activation was identified in precuneus and left posterior insula/SII, respectively, during early and sustained phases of cold application. During cold conditioning, laser pain decreased (n = 7), increased (n = 10) or stayed unchanged (n = 7). At the individual level, the psychophysical effect was directly proportional to the cold-induced modulation of the laser-induced BOLD response in left posterior insula/SII. The latter correlated with the BOLD response recorded 80 s earlier during the initial 10-s phase of cold application in anterior cingulate, orbitofrontal and lateral prefrontal cortices. High anxiety and habituation of cold pain were associated with greater laser heat-induced pain during heterotopic cold stimulation. The habituation was also linked to the early cold-induced orbitofrontal responses. We conclude that individual differences in conditioned pain modulation are related to different levels of prefrontal cortical activation by the early part of the conditioning stimulus, possibly due to different levels in trait anxiety. PMID:25461267

  4. Lower expression of glutamic acid decarboxylase 67 in the prefrontal cortex in schizophrenia: contribution of altered regulation by Zif268.

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    Kimoto, Sohei; Bazmi, H Holly; Lewis, David A

    2014-09-01

    Cognitive deficits of schizophrenia may be due at least in part to lower expression of the 67-kDa isoform of glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD67), a key enzyme for GABA synthesis, in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex of individuals with schizophrenia. However, little is known about the molecular regulation of lower cortical GAD67 levels in schizophrenia. The GAD67 promoter region contains a conserved Zif268 binding site, and Zif268 activation is accompanied by increased GAD67 expression. Thus, altered expression of the immediate early gene Zif268 may contribute to lower levels of GAD67 mRNA in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in schizophrenia. The authors used polymerase chain reaction to quantify GAD67 and Zif268 mRNA levels in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex area 9 from 62 matched pairs of schizophrenia and healthy comparison subjects, and in situ hybridization to assess Zif268 expression at laminar and cellular levels of resolution. The effects of potentially confounding variables were assessed in human subjects, and the effects of antipsychotic treatments were tested in antipsychotic-exposed monkeys. The specificity of the Zif268 findings was assessed by quantifying mRNA levels for other immediate early genes. GAD67 and Zif268 mRNA levels were significantly lower and were positively correlated in the schizophrenia subjects. Both Zif268 mRNA-positive neuron density and Zif268 mRNA levels per neuron were significantly lower in the schizophrenia subjects. These findings were robust to the effects of the confounding variables examined and differed from other immediate early genes. Deficient Zif268 mRNA expression may contribute to lower cortical GAD67 levels in schizophrenia, suggesting a potential mechanistic basis for altered cortical GABA synthesis and impaired cognition in schizophrenia.

  5. Inhibitory Gating of Basolateral Amygdala Inputs to the Prefrontal Cortex.

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    McGarry, Laura M; Carter, Adam G

    2016-09-07

    Interactions between the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and basolateral amygdala (BLA) regulate emotional behaviors. However, a circuit-level understanding of functional connections between these brain regions remains incomplete. The BLA sends prominent glutamatergic projections to the PFC, but the overall influence of these inputs is predominantly inhibitory. Here we combine targeted recordings and optogenetics to examine the synaptic underpinnings of this inhibition in the mouse infralimbic PFC. We find that BLA inputs preferentially target layer 2 corticoamygdala over neighboring corticostriatal neurons. However, these inputs make even stronger connections onto neighboring parvalbumin and somatostatin expressing interneurons. Inhibitory connections from these two populations of interneurons are also much stronger onto corticoamygdala neurons. Consequently, BLA inputs are able to drive robust feedforward inhibition via two parallel interneuron pathways. Moreover, the contributions of these interneurons shift during repetitive activity, due to differences in short-term synaptic dynamics. Thus, parvalbumin interneurons are activated at the start of stimulus trains, whereas somatostatin interneuron activation builds during these trains. Together, these results reveal how the BLA impacts the PFC through a complex interplay of direct excitation and feedforward inhibition. They also highlight the roles of targeted connections onto multiple projection neurons and interneurons in this cortical circuit. Our findings provide a mechanistic understanding for how the BLA can influence the PFC circuit, with important implications for how this circuit participates in the regulation of emotion. The prefrontal cortex (PFC) and basolateral amygdala (BLA) interact to control emotional behaviors. Here we show that BLA inputs elicit direct excitation and feedforward inhibition of layer 2 projection neurons in infralimbic PFC. BLA inputs are much stronger at corticoamygdala neurons compared

  6. Layer-specific interference with cholinergic signaling in the prefrontal cortex by smoking concentrations of nicotine

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Poorthuis, R.B.; Bloem, B.R.; Verhoog, M.B.; Mansvelder, H.D.

    2013-01-01

    Adolescence is a period in which the developing prefrontal cortex (PFC) is sensitive to maladaptive changes when exposed to nicotine. Nicotine affects PFC function and repeated exposure to nicotine during adolescence impairs attention performance and impulse control during adulthood. Nicotine

  7. The prefrontal landscape: implications of functional architecture for understanding human mentation and the central executive.

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    Goldman-Rakic, P S

    1996-10-29

    The functional architecture of prefrontal cortex is central to our understanding of human mentation and cognitive prowess. This region of the brain is often treated as an undifferentiated structure, on the one hand, or as a mosaic of psychological faculties, on the other. This paper focuses on the working memory processor as a specialization of prefrontal cortex and argues that the different areas within prefrontal cortex represent iterations of this function for different information domains, including spatial cognition, object cognition and additionally, in humans, semantic processing. According to this parallel processing architecture, the 'central executive' could be considered an emergent property of multiple domain-specific processors operating interactively. These processors are specializations of different prefrontal cortical areas, each interconnected both with the domain-relevant long-term storage sites in posterior regions of the cortex and with appropriate output pathways.

  8. Adaptation to conflict via context-driven anticipatory signals in the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex.

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    Horga, Guillermo; Maia, Tiago V; Wang, Pengwei; Wang, Zhishun; Marsh, Rachel; Peterson, Bradley S

    2011-11-09

    Behavioral interference elicited by competing response tendencies adapts to contextual changes. Recent nonhuman primate research suggests a key mnemonic role of distinct prefrontal cells in supporting such context-driven behavioral adjustments by maintaining conflict information across trials, but corresponding prefrontal functions have yet to be probed in humans. Using event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging, we investigated the human neural substrates of contextual adaptations to conflict. We found that a neural system comprising the rostral dorsomedial prefrontal cortex and portions of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex specifically encodes the history of previously experienced conflict and influences subsequent adaptation to conflict on a trial-by-trial basis. This neural system became active in anticipation of stimulus onsets during preparatory periods and interacted with a second neural system engaged during the processing of conflict. Our findings suggest that a dynamic interaction between a system that represents conflict history and a system that resolves conflict underlies the contextual adaptation to conflict.

  9. Thalamic–hippocampal–prefrontal disruption in relapsing–remitting multiple sclerosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kyle C. Kern

    2015-01-01

    Conclusions: Hippocampal–thalamic–prefrontal disruption affects cognitive performance in early RRMS with mild to minimal cognitive impairment, confirming both white and gray matter involvement in MS and demonstrating utility in assessing functional networks to monitor cognition.

  10. [Effect of Reading a Book on a Tablet Computer on Cerebral Blood Flow in the Prefrontal Cortex].

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    Sugiura, Akihiro; Eto, Takuya; Kinoshita, Fumiya; Takada, Hiroki

    2018-01-01

    By measuring cerebral blood flow in the prefrontal cortex, we aimed to determine how reading a book on a tablet computer affects sleep. Seven students (7 men age range, 21-32 years) participated in this study. In a controlled illuminance environment, the subjects read a novel in printed form or on a tablet computer from any distance. As the subjects were reading, the cerebral blood flow in their prefrontal cortex was measured by near-infrared spectroscopy. The study protocol was as follows. 1) Subjects mentally counted a sequence of numbers for 30 s as a pretest to standardized thinking and then 2) read the novel for 10 min, using the printed book or tablet computer. In step 2), the use of the book or tablet computer was in a random sequence. Subjects rested between the two tasks. Significantly increased brain activity (increase in regional cerebral blood flow) was observed following reading a novel on a tablet computer compared with that after reading a printed book. Furthermore, the region around Broca's area was more active when reading on a tablet computer than when reading a printed book. Considering the results of this study and previous studies on physiological characteristics during nonrapid eye movement sleep, we concluded that reading a book on a tablet computer before the onset of sleep leads to the potential inhibition of sound sleep through mechanisms other than the suppression of melatonin secretion.

  11. Predicting Treatment Outcomes from Prefrontal Cortex Activation for Self-Harming Patients with Borderline Personality Disorder: A Preliminary Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruocco, Anthony C.; Rodrigo, Achala H.; McMain, Shelley F.; Page-Gould, Elizabeth; Ayaz, Hasan; Links, Paul S.

    2016-01-01

    Self-harm is a potentially lethal symptom of borderline personality disorder (BPD) that often improves with dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). While DBT is effective for reducing self-harm in many patients with BPD, a small but significant number of patients either does not improve in treatment or ends treatment prematurely. Accordingly, it is crucial to identify factors that may prospectively predict which patients are most likely to benefit from and remain in treatment. In the present preliminary study, 29 actively self-harming patients with BPD completed brain-imaging procedures probing activation of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) during impulse control prior to beginning DBT and after 7 months of treatment. Patients that reduced their frequency of self-harm the most over treatment displayed lower levels of neural activation in the bilateral dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) prior to beginning treatment, and they showed the greatest increases in activity within this region after 7 months of treatment. Prior to starting DBT, treatment non-completers demonstrated greater activation than treatment-completers in the medial PFC and right inferior frontal gyrus. Reductions in self-harm over the treatment period were associated with increases in activity in right DLPFC even after accounting for improvements in depression, mania, and BPD symptom severity. These findings suggest that pre-treatment patterns of activation in the PFC underlying impulse control may be prospectively associated with improvements in self-harm and treatment attrition for patients with BPD treated with DBT. PMID:27242484

  12. Predicting Treatment Outcomes from Prefrontal Cortex Activation for Self-Harming Patients with Borderline Personality Disorder: A Preliminary Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruocco, Anthony C; Rodrigo, Achala H; McMain, Shelley F; Page-Gould, Elizabeth; Ayaz, Hasan; Links, Paul S

    2016-01-01

    Self-harm is a potentially lethal symptom of borderline personality disorder (BPD) that often improves with dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). While DBT is effective for reducing self-harm in many patients with BPD, a small but significant number of patients either does not improve in treatment or ends treatment prematurely. Accordingly, it is crucial to identify factors that may prospectively predict which patients are most likely to benefit from and remain in treatment. In the present preliminary study, 29 actively self-harming patients with BPD completed brain-imaging procedures probing activation of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) during impulse control prior to beginning DBT and after 7 months of treatment. Patients that reduced their frequency of self-harm the most over treatment displayed lower levels of neural activation in the bilateral dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) prior to beginning treatment, and they showed the greatest increases in activity within this region after 7 months of treatment. Prior to starting DBT, treatment non-completers demonstrated greater activation than treatment-completers in the medial PFC and right inferior frontal gyrus. Reductions in self-harm over the treatment period were associated with increases in activity in right DLPFC even after accounting for improvements in depression, mania, and BPD symptom severity. These findings suggest that pre-treatment patterns of activation in the PFC underlying impulse control may be prospectively associated with improvements in self-harm and treatment attrition for patients with BPD treated with DBT.

  13. Single unit activity in the medial prefrontal cortex during Pavlovian heart rate conditioning: Effects of peripheral autonomic blockade.

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    Powell, D A; Ginsberg, Jay P

    2005-11-01

    Electrical activity was recorded from single neurons in the medial prefrontal cortex of rabbits during differential Pavlovian heart rate (HR) conditioning. A heterogeneous population of cells were found, some of which showed CS-evoked increases and others CS-evoked decreases in discharge, while some cells were biphasic. A subset of cells also showed trial-related changes in discharge that were related to acquisition of the HR discrimination between the reinforced CS+ and non-reinforced CS-. Administration of the peripheral cholinergic antagonist, methylscopolamine, and the andrenergic antagonist, atenolol, either increased or decreased maintained baseline activity of many cells, but had little or no effect on the CS-evoked activity of these cells. Waveform changes also did not result from administration of these drugs. This finding suggests that CS-evoked mPFC activity is not being driven by cardiac afferent input to CNS cardiac control centers. Previous studies have shown that ibotenic acid lesions of this area greatly decreases the magnitude of decelerative heart rate conditioned responses; the latter finding, plus the results of the present study, suggest that processing of CS/US contingencies by the prefrontal cortex contributes to the acquisition of autonomic changes during Pavlovian conditioning.

  14. Role of Prefrontal Cortex in Learning and Generalizing Hierarchical Rules in 8-Month-Old Infants.

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    Werchan, Denise M; Collins, Anne G E; Frank, Michael J; Amso, Dima

    2016-10-05

    Recent research indicates that adults and infants spontaneously create and generalize hierarchical rule sets during incidental learning. Computational models and empirical data suggest that, in adults, this process is supported by circuits linking prefrontal cortex (PFC) with striatum and their modulation by dopamine, but the neural circuits supporting this form of learning in infants are largely unknown. We used near-infrared spectroscopy to record PFC activity in 8-month-old human infants during a simple audiovisual hierarchical-rule-learning task. Behavioral results confirmed that infants adopted hierarchical rule sets to learn and generalize spoken object-label mappings across different speaker contexts. Infants had increased activity over right dorsal lateral PFC when rule sets switched from one trial to the next, a neural marker related to updating rule sets into working memory in the adult literature. Infants' eye blink rate, a possible physiological correlate of striatal dopamine activity, also increased when rule sets switched from one trial to the next. Moreover, the increase in right dorsolateral PFC activity in conjunction with eye blink rate also predicted infants' generalization ability, providing exploratory evidence for frontostriatal involvement during learning. These findings provide evidence that PFC is involved in rudimentary hierarchical rule learning in 8-month-old infants, an ability that was previously thought to emerge later in life in concert with PFC maturation. Hierarchical rule learning is a powerful learning mechanism that allows rules to be selected in a context-appropriate fashion and transferred or reused in novel contexts. Data from computational models and adults suggests that this learning mechanism is supported by dopamine-innervated interactions between prefrontal cortex (PFC) and striatum. Here, we provide evidence that PFC also supports hierarchical rule learning during infancy, challenging the current dogma that PFC is an

  15. Dynamic changes in prefrontal cortex gene expression following lysergic acid diethylamide administration.

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    Nichols, Charles D; Garcia, Efrain E; Sanders-Bush, Elaine

    2003-03-17

    Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) is a psychoactive drug that transiently alters human perception, behavior, and mood at extremely low doses. Certain aspects of the behavior elicited by acute doses of LSD closely resemble symptoms of mental disorders such as schizophrenia. Characterizing gene expression profiles after LSD will be important for understanding how it alters behavior, and will lead to novel insights into disorders, such as schizophrenia, whose behavioral symptoms resemble the temporary effects of hallucinogenic drugs. We previously identified a small collection of genes within the rat prefrontal cortex that respond to LSD. Many of the products of these genes are involved in the process of synaptic plasticity. In the current report, we present a detailed analysis of the expression of these genes within the brain using RNase protection analysis. We find that the gene response to LSD is quite dynamic. The expression of some genes increases rapidly and decreases rapidly, while other genes change more gradually. Dose-response studies show two classes of expression; gene expression maximally stimulated at lower doses, versus gene expression that continues to rise at the higher doses. The role of the 5-HT(1A) and 5-HT(2A) receptor in mediating the increases in gene expression was examined in a series of experiments using receptor specific antagonists. Most expression increases were due to activation of the 5-HT(2A) receptor, however expression of two genes had neither a 5-HT(1A) nor a 5-HT(2A) receptor component.

  16. Testing the involvement of the prefrontal cortex in lucid dreaming: a tDCS study.

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    Stumbrys, Tadas; Erlacher, Daniel; Schredl, Michael

    2013-12-01

    Recent studies suggest that lucid dreaming (awareness of dreaming while dreaming) might be associated with increased brain activity over frontal regions during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. By applying transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), we aimed to manipulate the activation of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) during REM sleep to increase dream lucidity. Nineteen participants spent three consecutive nights in a sleep laboratory. On the second and third nights they randomly received either 1 mA tDCS for 10 min or sham stimulation during each REM period starting with the second one. According to the participants' self-ratings, tDCS over the DLPFC during REM sleep increased lucidity in dreams. The effects, however, were not strong and found only in frequent lucid dreamers. While this indicates some preliminary support for the involvement of the DLPFC in lucid dreaming, further research, controlling for indirect effects of stimulation and including other brain regions, is needed. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Reduced Synapse and Axon Numbers in the Prefrontal Cortex of Rats Subjected to a Chronic Stress Model for Depression

    Science.gov (United States)

    Csabai, Dávid; Wiborg, Ove; Czéh, Boldizsár

    2018-01-01

    Stressful experiences can induce structural changes in neurons of the limbic system. These cellular changes contribute to the development of stress-induced psychopathologies like depressive disorders. In the prefrontal cortex of chronically stressed animals, reduced dendritic length and spine loss have been reported. This loss of dendritic material should consequently result in synapse loss as well, because of the reduced dendritic surface. But so far, no one studied synapse numbers in the prefrontal cortex of chronically stressed animals. Here, we examined synaptic contacts in rats subjected to an animal model for depression, where animals are exposed to a chronic stress protocol. Our hypothesis was that long term stress should reduce the number of axo-spinous synapses in the medial prefrontal cortex. Adult male rats were exposed to daily stress for 9 weeks and afterward we did a post mortem quantitative electron microscopic analysis to quantify the number and morphology of synapses in the infralimbic cortex. We analyzed asymmetric (Type I) and symmetric (Type II) synapses in all cortical layers in control and stressed rats. We also quantified axon numbers and measured the volume of the infralimbic cortex. In our systematic unbiased analysis, we examined 21,000 axon terminals in total. We found the following numbers in the infralimbic cortex of control rats: 1.15 × 109 asymmetric synapses, 1.06 × 108 symmetric synapses and 1.00 × 108 myelinated axons. The density of asymmetric synapses was 5.5/μm3 and the density of symmetric synapses was 0.5/μm3. Average synapse membrane length was 207 nm and the average axon terminal membrane length was 489 nm. Stress reduced the number of synapses and myelinated axons in the deeper cortical layers, while synapse membrane lengths were increased. These stress-induced ultrastructural changes indicate that neurons of the infralimbic cortex have reduced cortical network connectivity. Such reduced network connectivity is likely

  18. Reduced Synapse and Axon Numbers in the Prefrontal Cortex of Rats Subjected to a Chronic Stress Model for Depression

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dávid Csabai

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Stressful experiences can induce structural changes in neurons of the limbic system. These cellular changes contribute to the development of stress-induced psychopathologies like depressive disorders. In the prefrontal cortex of chronically stressed animals, reduced dendritic length and spine loss have been reported. This loss of dendritic material should consequently result in synapse loss as well, because of the reduced dendritic surface. But so far, no one studied synapse numbers in the prefrontal cortex of chronically stressed animals. Here, we examined synaptic contacts in rats subjected to an animal model for depression, where animals are exposed to a chronic stress protocol. Our hypothesis was that long term stress should reduce the number of axo-spinous synapses in the medial prefrontal cortex. Adult male rats were exposed to daily stress for 9 weeks and afterward we did a post mortem quantitative electron microscopic analysis to quantify the number and morphology of synapses in the infralimbic cortex. We analyzed asymmetric (Type I and symmetric (Type II synapses in all cortical layers in control and stressed rats. We also quantified axon numbers and measured the volume of the infralimbic cortex. In our systematic unbiased analysis, we examined 21,000 axon terminals in total. We found the following numbers in the infralimbic cortex of control rats: 1.15 × 109 asymmetric synapses, 1.06 × 108 symmetric synapses and 1.00 × 108 myelinated axons. The density of asymmetric synapses was 5.5/μm3 and the density of symmetric synapses was 0.5/μm3. Average synapse membrane length was 207 nm and the average axon terminal membrane length was 489 nm. Stress reduced the number of synapses and myelinated axons in the deeper cortical layers, while synapse membrane lengths were increased. These stress-induced ultrastructural changes indicate that neurons of the infralimbic cortex have reduced cortical network connectivity. Such reduced network

  19. Functions of delay-period activity in the prefrontal cortex and mnemonic scotomas revisited

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shintaro eFunahashi

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Working memory is one of key concepts to understand functions of the prefrontal cortex. Delay-period activity is an important neural correlate to understand the role of working memory in prefrontal functions. The importance of delay-period activity is that this activity can encode not only visuospatial information but also a variety of information including non-spatial visual features, auditory and tactile stimuli, task rules, expected reward, and numerical quantity. This activity also participates in a variety of information processing including sensory-to-motor information transformation. These mnemonic features of delay-period activity enable to perform various important operations that the prefrontal cortex participates in, such as executive controls, and therefore, support the notion that working memory is an important function to understand prefrontal functions. On the other hand, although experiments using manual versions of the delayed-response task had revealed many important findings, an oculomotor version of this task enabled us to use multiple cue positions, exclude postural orientation during the delay period, and further prove the importance of mnemonic functions of the prefrontal cortex. In addition, monkeys with unilateral lesions exhibited specific impairment only in the performance of memory-guided saccades directed toward visual cues in the visual field contralateral to the lesioned hemisphere. This result indicates that memories for visuospatial coordinates in each hemifield are processed primarily in the contralateral prefrontal cortex. This result further strengthened the idea of mnemonic functions of the prefrontal cortex. Thus, the mnemonic functions of the prefrontal cortex and delay-period activity may not need to be reconsidered, but should be emphasized.

  20. Decreased expression of vesicular glutamate transporter 1 and complexin II mRNAs in schizophrenia: further evidence for a synaptic pathology affecting glutamate neurons.

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    Eastwood, S L; Harrison, P J

    2005-03-01

    Synaptic protein gene expression is altered in schizophrenia. In the hippocampal formation there may be particular involvement of glutamatergic neurons and their synapses, but overall the profile remains unclear. In this in situ hybridization histochemistry (ISHH) study, we examined four informative synaptic protein transcripts: vesicular glutamate transporter (VGLUT) 1, VGLUT2, complexin I, and complexin II, in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DPFC), superior temporal cortex (STC), and hippocampal formation, in 13 subjects with schizophrenia and 18 controls. In these areas, VGLUT1 and complexin II are expressed primarily by excitatory neurons, whereas complexin I is mainly expressed by inhibitory neurons. In schizophrenia, VGLUT1 mRNA was decreased in hippocampal formation and DPFC, complexin II mRNA was reduced in DPFC and STC, and complexin I mRNA decreased in STC. Hippocampal VGLUT1 mRNA declined with age selectively in the schizophrenia group. VGLUT2 mRNA was not quantifiable due to its low level. The data provide additional evidence for a synaptic pathology in schizophrenia, in terms of a reduced expression of three synaptic protein genes. In the hippocampus, the loss of VGLUT1 mRNA supports data indicating that glutamatergic presynaptic deficits are prominent, whereas the pattern of results in temporal and frontal cortex suggests broadly similar changes may affect inhibitory and excitatory neurons. The impairment of synaptic transmission implied by the synaptic protein reductions may contribute to the dysfunction of cortical neural circuits that characterises the disorder.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Treue, Stefan

    2018-01-01

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

  2. Transient medial prefrontal perturbation reduces false memory formation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berkers, Ruud M W J; van der Linden, Marieke; de Almeida, Rafael F; Müller, Nils C J; Bovy, Leonore; Dresler, Martin; Morris, Richard G M; Fernández, Guillén

    2017-03-01

    Knowledge extracted across previous experiences, or schemas, benefit encoding and retention of congruent information. However, they can also reduce specificity and augment memory for semantically related, but false information. A demonstration of the latter is given by the Deese-Roediger-McDermott (DRM) paradigm, where the studying of words that fit a common semantic schema are found to induce false memories for words that are congruent with the given schema, but were not studied. The medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) has been ascribed the function of leveraging prior knowledge to influence encoding and retrieval, based on imaging and patient studies. Here, we used transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to transiently perturb ongoing mPFC processing immediately before participants performed the DRM-task. We observed the predicted reduction in false recall of critical lures after mPFC perturbation, compared to two control groups, whereas veridical recall and recognition memory performance remained similar across groups. These data provide initial causal evidence for a role of the mPFC in biasing the assimilation of new memories and their consolidation as a function of prior knowledge. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Susceptibility to social pressure following ventromedial prefrontal cortex damage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Kuan-Hua; Rusch, Michelle L; Dawson, Jeffrey D; Rizzo, Matthew; Anderson, Steven W

    2015-11-01

    Social pressure influences human behavior including risk taking, but the psychological and neural underpinnings of this process are not well understood. We used the human lesion method to probe the role of ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) in resisting adverse social pressure in the presence of risk. Thirty-seven participants (11 with vmPFC damage, 12 with brain damage outside the vmPFC and 14 without brain damage) were tested in driving simulator scenarios requiring left-turn decisions across oncoming traffic with varying time gaps between the oncoming vehicles. Social pressure was applied by a virtual driver who honked aggressively from behind. Participants with vmPFC damage were more likely to select smaller and potentially unsafe gaps under social pressure, while gap selection by the comparison groups did not change under social pressure. Participants with vmPFC damage also showed prolonged elevated skin conductance responses (SCR) under social pressure. Comparison groups showed similar initial elevated SCR, which then declined prior to making left-turn decisions. The findings suggest that the vmPFC plays an important role in resisting explicit and immediately present social pressure with potentially negative consequences. The vmPFC appears to contribute to the regulation of emotional responses and the modulation of decision making to optimize long-term outcomes. © The Author (2015). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  4. Specialization of the Rostral Prefrontal Cortex for Distinct Analogy Processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilbert, Sam J.; Benoit, Roland G.; Burgess, Paul W.

    2010-01-01

    Analogical reasoning is central to learning and abstract thinking. It involves using a more familiar situation (source) to make inferences about a less familiar situation (target). According to the predominant cognitive models, analogical reasoning includes 1) generation of structured mental representations and 2) mapping based on structural similarities between them. This study used functional magnetic resonance imaging to specify the role of rostral prefrontal cortex (PFC) in these distinct processes. An experimental paradigm was designed that enabled differentiation between these processes, by temporal separation of the presentation of the source and the target. Within rostral PFC, a lateral subregion was activated by analogy task both during study of the source (before the source could be compared with a target) and when the target appeared. This may suggest that this subregion supports fundamental analogy processes such as generating structured representations of stimuli but is not specific to one particular processing stage. By contrast, a dorsomedial subregion of rostral PFC showed an interaction between task (analogy vs. control) and period (more activated when the target appeared). We propose that this region is involved in comparison or mapping processes. These results add to the growing evidence for functional differentiation between rostral PFC subregions. PMID:20156841

  5. The topology of connections between rat prefrontal and temporal cortices

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stacey eBedwell

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Understanding the structural organisation of the prefrontal cortex (PFC is an important step towards determining its functional organisation. Here we investigated the organisation of PFC using different neuronal tracers. We injected retrograde (Fluoro-Gold, 100nl and anterograde (Biotinylated dextran amine (BDA or Fluoro-Ruby, 100nl tracers into sites within PFC subdivisions (prelimbic, ventral orbital, ventrolateral orbital, dorsolateral orbital along a coronal axis within PFC. At each injection site one injection was made of the anterograde tracer and one injection was made of the retrograde tracer. The projection locations of retrogradely labelled neurons and anterogradely labelled axon terminals were then analysed in the temporal cortex: area Te, entorhinal and perirhinal cortex. We found evidence for an ordering of both the anterograde (anterior-posterior, dorsal-ventral and medial-lateral axes: p<0.001 and retrograde (anterior-posterior, dorsal-ventral and medial-lateral axes: p<0.001 connections of PFC. We observed that anterograde and retrograde labelling in ipsilateral temporal cortex (i.e. PFC inputs and outputs often occurred reciprocally (i.e. the same brain region, such as area 35d in perirhinal cortex, contained anterograde and retrograde labelling. However, often the same specific columnar temporal cortex regions contained only either labelling of retrograde or anterograde tracer, indicating that PFC inputs and outputs are frequently non-matched.

  6. Medial prefrontal cortex subserves diverse forms of self-reflection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jenkins, Adrianna C; Mitchell, Jason P

    2011-01-01

    The ability to think about oneself--to self--reflect--is one of the defining features of the human mind. Recent research has suggested that this ability may be subserved by a particular brain region: the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC). However, although humans can contemplate a variety of different aspects of themselves, including their stable personality traits, current feelings, and physical attributes, no research has directly examined the extent to which these different forms of self-reflection are subserved by common mechanisms. To address this question, participants were scanned using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) while making judgments about their own personality traits, current mental states, and physical attributes as well as those of another person. Whereas some brain regions responded preferentially during only one form of self-reflection, a robust region of MPFC was engaged preferentially during self-reflection across all three types of judgment. These results suggest that--although dissociable--diverse forms of self-referential thought draw on a shared cognitive process subserved by MPFC.

  7. prefrontal como mecanismo putativo del cambio en psicoterapia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jaime Silva C.

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available La corteza prefrontal (CPF es definida como la región cerebral cortical que se conecta recíprocamente con el núcleo dorsolateral del tálamo. La visión tradicional en las ciencias del comportamiento atribuye a la CPF un papel en la organización temporal de la conducta. Adicionalmente, estudios convergentes en el campo de la neurociencia afectiva han revelado el papel fundamental que juega la CPF en la determinación del estilo afectivo y en especial de la regulación emocional. El estilo afectivo involucra las diferencias individuales en diferentes parámetros de la reactividad afectiva y el estado de ánimo disposicional (por ejemplo, amplitud de la respuesta emocional, tiempo de recuperación, etc.. Dado que prácticamente todas las alteraciones psicopatológicas incluyen un trastorno en alguno de esos parámetros, proponemos que la modulación de la actividad de la CPF es una variable fundamental del cambio en psicoterapia. Presentamos nuestro modelo putativo, el cual se fundamenta en el control cognitivo en cascada de la CPF. Específicamente, proponemos que la regulación emocional ocurre asociada a la activación de la CPF lateral en un sentido rostralcaudal, donde zonas rostrales involucran formas complejas de control afectivo.

  8. Prefrontal-amygdala fear networks come into focus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maithe eArruda-Carvalho

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available The ability to form associations between aversive threats and their predictors is fundamental to survival. However, fear and anxiety in excess are detrimental and are a hallmark of psychiatric diseases such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD. PTSD symptomatology includes persistent and intrusive thoughts of an experienced trauma, suggesting an inability to downregulate fear when a corresponding threat has subsided. Convergent evidence from human and rodent studies supports a role for the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC-amygdala network in both PTSD and the regulation of fear memory expression. In particular, current models stipulate that the prelimbic and infralimbic subdivisions of the rodent mPFC bidirectionally regulate fear expression via differential recruitment of amygdala neuronal subpopulations. However, an array of recent studies that employ new technical approaches has fundamentally challenged this interpretation. Here we explore how a new emphasis on the contribution of inhibitory neuronal populations, subcortical structures and the passage of time is reshaping our understanding of mPFC-amygdala circuits and their control over fear.

  9. Reduced dorso-lateral prefrontal cortex in treatment resistant schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zugman, André; Gadelha, Ary; Assunção, Idaiane; Sato, João; Ota, Vanessa K; Rocha, Deyvis L; Mari, Jair J; Belangero, Sintia I; Bressan, Rodrigo A; Brietzke, Elisa; Jackowski, Andrea P

    2013-08-01

    Treatment resistance affects up to one third of patients with schizophrenia (SCZ). A better understanding of its biological underlying processes could improve treatment. The aim of this study was to compare cortical thickness between non-resistant SCZ (NR-SCZ), treatment-resistant SCZ (TR-SCZ) patients and healthy controls (HC). Structural MRI scans were obtained from 3 groups of individuals: 61 treatment resistant SCZ individuals, 67 non-resistant SCZ and 80 healthy controls. Images were analyzed using cortical surface modelling (implemented in freesurfer package) to identify group differences in cortical thickness. Statistical significant differences were identified using Monte-Carlo simulation method with a corrected p-cluster<0.01. Patients in the TR-SCZ group showed a widespread reduction in cortical thickness in frontal, parietal, temporal and occipital regions bilaterally. NR-SCZ group had reduced cortex in two regions (left superior frontal cortex and left caudal middle frontal cortex). TR-SCZ group also showed decreased thickness in the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) when compared with patients from NR-SCZ group. The reduction in cortical thickness in DLPFC indicates a more severe form of the disease or a specific finding for this group. Alterations in this region should be explored as a putative marker for treatment resistance. Prospective studies, with individuals being followed from first episode psychosis until refractoriness is diagnosed, are needed to clarify these hypotheses. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Reward inference by primate prefrontal and striatal neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pan, Xiaochuan; Fan, Hongwei; Sawa, Kosuke; Tsuda, Ichiro; Tsukada, Minoru; Sakagami, Masamichi

    2014-01-22

    The brain contains multiple yet distinct systems involved in reward prediction. To understand the nature of these processes, we recorded single-unit activity from the lateral prefrontal cortex (LPFC) and the striatum in monkeys performing a reward inference task using an asymmetric reward schedule. We found that neurons both in the LPFC and in the striatum predicted reward values for stimuli that had been previously well experienced with set reward quantities in the asymmetric reward task. Importantly, these LPFC neurons could predict the reward value of a stimulus using transitive inference even when the monkeys had not yet learned the stimulus-reward association directly; whereas these striatal neurons did not show such an ability. Nevertheless, because there were two set amounts of reward (large and small), the selected striatal neurons were able to exclusively infer the reward value (e.g., large) of one novel stimulus from a pair after directly experiencing the alternative stimulus with the other reward value (e.g., small). Our results suggest that although neurons that predict reward value for old stimuli in the LPFC could also do so for new stimuli via transitive inference, those in the striatum could only predict reward for new stimuli via exclusive inference. Moreover, the striatum showed more complex functions than was surmised previously for model-free learning.

  11. Anterior medial prefrontal cortex implements social priming of mimicry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yin; Hamilton, Antonia F de C

    2015-04-01

    The neural and cognitive mechanisms by which primed constructs can impact on social behavior are poorly understood. In the present study, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to explore how scrambled sentence priming can impact on mimicry behavior. Sentences involving pro/antisocial events from a first/third-person point of view were presented in short blocks, followed by a reaction-time assessment of mimicry. Behavioral results showed that both prosociality and viewpoint impact on mimicry, and fMRI analysis showed this effect is implemented by anterior medial prefrontal cortex (amPFC). We suggest that social primes may subtly modulate processing in amPFC in a manner linked to the later behavior, and that this same region also implements the top-down control of mimicry responses. This priming may be linked to processing of self-schemas in amPFC. Our findings demonstrate how social priming can be studied with fMRI, and have important implications for our understanding of the underlying mechanisms of prime-to-behavior effects as well as for current theories in social psychology. © The Author (2014). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  12. Altered amygdala-prefrontal connectivity during emotion perception in schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bjorkquist, Olivia A; Olsen, Emily K; Nelson, Brady D; Herbener, Ellen S

    2016-08-01

    Individuals with schizophrenia evidence impaired emotional functioning. Abnormal amygdala activity has been identified as an etiological factor underlying affective impairment in this population, but the exact nature remains unclear. The current study utilized psychophysiological interaction analyses to examine functional connectivity between the amygdala and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) during an emotion perception task. Participants with schizophrenia (SZ) and healthy controls (HC) viewed and rated positive, negative, and neutral images while undergoing functional neuroimaging. Results revealed a significant group difference in right amygdala-mPFC connectivity during perception of negative versus neutral images. Specifically, HC participants demonstrated positive functional coupling between the amygdala and mPFC, consistent with co-active processing of salient information. In contrast, SZ participants evidenced negative functional coupling, consistent with top-down inhibition of the amygdala by the mPFC. A significant positive correlation between connectivity strength during negative image perception and clinician-rated social functioning was also observed in SZ participants, such that weaker right amygdala-mPFC coupling during negative compared to neutral image perception was associated with poorer social functioning. Overall, results suggest that emotional dysfunction and associated deficits in functional outcome in schizophrenia may relate to abnormal interactions between the amygdala and mPFC during perception of emotional stimuli. This study adds to the growing literature on abnormal functional connections in schizophrenia and supports the functional disconnection hypothesis of schizophrenia. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Predicting risk-taking behavior from prefrontal resting-state activity and personality.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bettina Studer

    Full Text Available Risk-taking is subject to considerable individual differences. In the current study, we tested whether resting-state activity in the prefrontal cortex and trait sensitivity to reward and punishment can help predict risk-taking behavior. Prefrontal activity at rest was assessed in seventy healthy volunteers using electroencephalography, and compared to their choice behavior on an economic risk-taking task. The Behavioral Inhibition System/Behavioral Activation System scale was used to measure participants' trait sensitivity to reward and punishment. Our results confirmed both prefrontal resting-state activity and personality traits as sources of individual differences in risk-taking behavior. Right-left asymmetry in prefrontal activity and scores on the Behavioral Inhibition System scale, reflecting trait sensitivity to punishment, were correlated with the level of risk-taking on the task. We further discovered that scores on the Behavioral Inhibition System scale modulated the relationship between asymmetry in prefrontal resting-state activity and risk-taking. The results of this study demonstrate that heterogeneity in risk-taking behavior can be traced back to differences in the basic physiology of decision-makers' brains, and suggest that baseline prefrontal activity and personality traits might interplay in guiding risk-taking behavior.

  14. Prefrontal cortex modulates desire and dread generated by nucleus accumbens glutamate disruption.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richard, Jocelyn M; Berridge, Kent C

    2013-02-15

    Corticolimbic circuits, including direct projections from prefrontal cortex to nucleus accumbens (NAc), permit top-down control of intense motivations generated by subcortical circuits. In rats, localized disruptions of glutamate signaling within medial shell of NAc generate desire or dread, anatomically organized along a rostrocaudal gradient analogous to a limbic keyboard. At rostral locations in shell, these disruptions generate appetitive eating, but at caudal locations the disruptions generate progressively fearful behaviors (distress vocalizations, escape attempts, and antipredator reactions). Here, we asked whether medial prefrontal cortex can modulate intense motivations generated by subcortical NAc disruptions. We used simultaneous microinjections in medial prefrontal cortex regions and in NAc shell to examine whether the desire or dread generated by NAc shell disruptions is modulated by activation/inhibition of three specific regions of prefrontal cortex: medial orbitofrontal cortex, infralimbic cortex (homologous to area 25 or subgenual anterior cingulate in the human), or prelimbic cortex (midventral anterior cingulate). We found that activation of medial orbitofrontal cortex biased intense bivalent motivation in an appetitive direction by amplifying generation of eating behavior by middle to caudal NAc disruptions, without altering fear. In contrast, activation of infralimbic prefrontal cortex powerfully and generally suppressed both appetitive eating and fearful behaviors generated by NAc shell disruptions. These results suggest that corticolimbic projections from discrete prefrontal regions can either bias motivational valence or generally suppress subcortically generated intense motivations of desire or fear. Copyright © 2013 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Molecular underpinnings of prefrontal cortex development in rodents provide insights into the etiology of neurodevelopmental disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schubert, D; Martens, G J M; Kolk, S M

    2015-07-01

    The prefrontal cortex (PFC), seat of the highest-order cognitive functions, constitutes a conglomerate of highly specialized brain areas and has been implicated to have a role in the onset and installation of various neurodevelopmental disorders. The development of a properly functioning PFC is directed by transcription factors, guidance cues and other regulatory molecules and requires the intricate and temporal orchestration of a number of developmental processes. Disturbance or failure of any of these processes causing neurodevelopmental abnormalities within the PFC may contribute to several of the cognitive deficits seen in patients with neurodevelopmental disorders. In this review, we elaborate on the specific processes underlying prefrontal development, such as induction and patterning of the prefrontal area, proliferation, migration and axonal guidance of medial prefrontal progenitors, and their eventual efferent and afferent connections. We furthermore integrate for the first time the available knowledge from genome-wide studies that have revealed genes linked to neurodevelopmental disorders with experimental molecular evidence in rodents. The integrated data suggest that the pathogenic variants in the neurodevelopmental disorder-associated genes induce prefrontal cytoarchitectonical impairments. This enhances our understanding of the molecular mechanisms of prefrontal (mis)development underlying the four major neurodevelopmental disorders in humans, that is, intellectual disability, autism spectrum disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and schizophrenia, and may thus provide clues for the development of novel therapies.

  16. Thinning of the lateral prefrontal cortex during adolescence predicts emotion regulation in females.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vijayakumar, Nandita; Whittle, Sarah; Yücel, Murat; Dennison, Meg; Simmons, Julian; Allen, Nicholas B

    2014-11-01

    Adolescence is a crucial period for the development of adaptive emotion regulation strategies. Despite the fact that structural maturation of the prefrontal cortex during adolescence is often assumed to underlie the maturation of emotion regulation strategies, no longitudinal studies have directly assessed this relationship. This study examined whether use of cognitive reappraisal strategies during late adolescence was predicted by (i) absolute prefrontal cortical thickness during early adolescence and (ii) structural maturation of the prefrontal cortex between early and mid-adolescence. Ninety-two adolescents underwent baseline and follow-up magnetic resonance imaging scans when they were aged approximately 12 and 16 years, respectively. FreeSurfer software was used to obtain cortical thickness estimates for three prefrontal regions [anterior cingulate cortex; dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC); ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (vlPFC)]. The Emotion Regulation Questionnaire was completed when adolescents were aged approximately 19 years. Results showed that greater cortical thinning of the left dlPFC and left vlPFC during adolescence was significantly associated with greater use of cognitive reappraisal in females, though no such relationship was evident in males. Furthermore, baseline left dlPFC thickness predicted cognitive reappraisal at trend level. These findings suggest that cortical maturation may play a role in the development of adaptive emotion regulation strategies during adolescence. © The Author (2014). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  17. Predicting Risk-Taking Behavior from Prefrontal Resting-State Activity and Personality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Studer, Bettina; Pedroni, Andreas; Rieskamp, Jörg

    2013-01-01

    Risk-taking is subject to considerable individual differences. In the current study, we tested whether resting-state activity in the prefrontal cortex and trait sensitivity to reward and punishment can help predict risk-taking behavior. Prefrontal activity at rest was assessed in seventy healthy volunteers using electroencephalography, and compared to their choice behavior on an economic risk-taking task. The Behavioral Inhibition System/Behavioral Activation System scale was used to measure participants’ trait sensitivity to reward and punishment. Our results confirmed both prefrontal resting-state activity and personality traits as sources of individual differences in risk-taking behavior. Right-left asymmetry in prefrontal activity and scores on the Behavioral Inhibition System scale, reflecting trait sensitivity to punishment, were correlated with the level of risk-taking on the task. We further discovered that scores on the Behavioral Inhibition System scale modulated the relationship between asymmetry in prefrontal resting-state activity and risk-taking. The results of this study demonstrate that heterogeneity in risk-taking behavior can be traced back to differences in the basic physiology of decision-makers’ brains, and suggest that baseline prefrontal activity and personality traits might interplay in guiding risk-taking behavior. PMID:24116176

  18. In abstinent MDMA users the cortisol awakening response is off-set but associated with prefrontal serotonin transporter binding as in non-users

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Frokjaer, Vibe Gedsoe; Erritzoe, David; Holst, Klaus Kähler

    2014-01-01

    awakening response (CAR). Here, we tested (1) if such a correlation persists in a human model of chronic serotonin depletion, namely in 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA or 'Ecstasy') users, and (2) if CAR differed between MDMA users (N = 18) and non-using healthy volunteers (N = 32). Participants...... underwent SERT brain imaging with [11C]DASB-PET, and performed home-sampling of CAR, defined as the area under curve with respect to cortisol increase from awakening level. When adjusting for age and group, CAR was positively coupled to prefrontal SERT binding (p = 0.006) and MDMA users showed significantly...... higher CAR than the control group (p = 0.0003). In conclusion, our data confirm the recently described positive association between prefrontal SERT binding and CAR, this time in a human model of serotonin deficiency. Also, we find that CAR was higher in MDMA users relative to non-users. We suggest...

  19. Hebbian Learning in a Random Network Captures Selectivity Properties of the Prefrontal Cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindsay, Grace W.

    2017-01-01

    Complex cognitive behaviors, such as context-switching and rule-following, are thought to be supported by the prefrontal cortex (PFC). Neural activity in the PFC must thus be specialized to specific tasks while retaining flexibility. Nonlinear “mixed” selectivity is an important neurophysiological trait for enabling complex and context-dependent behaviors. Here we investigate (1) the extent to which the PFC exhibits computationally relevant properties, such as mixed selectivity, and (2) how such properties could arise via circuit mechanisms. We show that PFC cells recorded from male and female rhesus macaques during a complex task show a moderate level of specialization and structure that is not replicated by a model wherein cells receive random feedforward inputs. While random connectivity can be effective at generating mixed selectivity, the data show significantly more mixed selectivity than predicted by a model with otherwise matched parameters. A simple Hebbian learning rule applied to the random connectivity, however, increases mixed selectivity and enables the model to match the data more accurately. To explain how learning achieves this, we provide analysis along with a clear geometric interpretation of the impact of learning on selectivity. After learning, the model also matches the data on measures of noise, response density, clustering, and the distribution of selectivities. Of two styles of Hebbian learning tested, the simpler and more biologically plausible option better matches the data. These modeling results provide clues about how neural properties important for cognition can arise in a circuit and make clear experimental predictions regarding how various measures of selectivity would evolve during animal training. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT The prefrontal cortex is a brain region believed to support the ability of animals to engage in complex behavior. How neurons in this area respond to stimuli—and in particular, to combinations of stimuli (

  20. Striatal dopamine release induced by repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation over dorsolateral prefrontal cortex: effect of aging

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bang, Seong Ae; Cho, Sang Soo; Yoon, Eun Jin; Kim, Ji Sun; Lee, Byung Chul; Kim, Yu Kyeong; Kim, Sang Eun

    2007-01-01

    We previously demonstrated dopamine (DA) release in the bilateral striatal regions following prefrontal repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) in young subjects. Several lines of evidence support substantial age-related changes in human dopaminergic neurotransmission. One possible explanation is alteration of cortico striatal neural connection with aging. Therefore, we investigated how frontal activation by rTMS influences striatal DA release in the elderly with SPECT measurements of striatal binding of [123I]iodobenzamide (lBZM), a DA D2 receptor radioligand that is sensitive to endogenous DA. Five healthy elderly male subjects (age, 64 3 y) were studied with brain [123I]IBZM SPECT under three conditions (resting, sham stimulation, and active rTMS over left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC)), while receiving a bolus plus constant infusion of [123I]IBZM. rTMS session consisted of three blocks. In each block, 15 trains of 2 sec duration were delivered with 10 Hz stimulation frequency and 100% motor threshold. Striatal V3', calculated as (striatal - occipital)/occipital radioactivity, was measured under equilibrium condition at baseline and after sham and active rTMS. Sham stimulation did not affect striatal V3'. rTMS over left DLPFC induced no significant change in V3' in the right striatum compared with baseline condition (0.91 0.25 vs. 0.96 0.25, P = NS). Interestingly, left striatal V3' showed a significant increase after rTMS over left DLPFC compared with sham condition (1.09 0.33 vs. 0.93 0.27, P < 0.05; 17.0 11.1% increase). These results are discrepant from previous ones from young subjects, who showed frontal rTMS-induced reduction of striatal V3', indicating rTMS-induced striatal DA release. We found no significant striatal DA release induced by rTMS over DLPFC in healthy elderly subjects using in vivo binding competition techniques. These results may support an altered cortico striatal circuit in normal aging

  1. Striatal dopamine release induced by repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation over dorsolateral prefrontal cortex: effect of aging

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bang, Seong Ae; Cho, Sang Soo; Yoon, Eun Jin; Kim, Ji Sun; Lee, Byung Chul; Kim, Yu Kyeong; Kim, Sang Eun [Seoul National Univ. College of Medicine, Seoul (Korea, Republic of)

    2007-07-01

    We previously demonstrated dopamine (DA) release in the bilateral striatal regions following prefrontal repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) in young subjects. Several lines of evidence support substantial age-related changes in human dopaminergic neurotransmission. One possible explanation is alteration of cortico striatal neural connection with aging. Therefore, we investigated how frontal activation by rTMS influences striatal DA release in the elderly with SPECT measurements of striatal binding of [123I]iodobenzamide (lBZM), a DA D2 receptor radioligand that is sensitive to endogenous DA. Five healthy elderly male subjects (age, 64 3 y) were studied with brain [123I]IBZM SPECT under three conditions (resting, sham stimulation, and active rTMS over left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC)), while receiving a bolus plus constant infusion of [123I]IBZM. rTMS session consisted of three blocks. In each block, 15 trains of 2 sec duration were delivered with 10 Hz stimulation frequency and 100% motor threshold. Striatal V3', calculated as (striatal - occipital)/occipital radioactivity, was measured under equilibrium condition at baseline and after sham and active rTMS. Sham stimulation did not affect striatal V3'. rTMS over left DLPFC induced no significant change in V3' in the right striatum compared with baseline condition (0.91 0.25 vs. 0.96 0.25, P = NS). Interestingly, left striatal V3' showed a significant increase after rTMS over left DLPFC compared with sham condition (1.09 0.33 vs. 0.93 0.27, P < 0.05; 17.0 11.1% increase). These results are discrepant from previous ones from young subjects, who showed frontal rTMS-induced reduction of striatal V3', indicating rTMS-induced striatal DA release. We found no significant striatal DA release induced by rTMS over DLPFC in healthy elderly subjects using in vivo binding competition techniques. These results may support an altered cortico striatal circuit in normal aging.

  2. Posterior and prefrontal contributions to the development posttraumatic stress disorder symptom severity: an fMRI study of symptom provocation in acute stress disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cwik, Jan C; Sartory, Gudrun; Nuyken, Malte; Schürholt, Benjamin; Seitz, Rüdiger J

    2017-09-01

    Acute stress disorder (ASD) is predictive of the development of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In response to symptom provocation, the exposure to trauma-related pictures, ASD patients showed increased activation of the medial posterior areas of precuneus and posterior cingulate cortex as well as of superior prefrontal cortex in a previous study. The current study aimed at investigating which activated areas are predictive of the development of PTSD. Nineteen ASD patients took part in an fMRI study in which they were shown personalized trauma-related and neutral pictures within 4 weeks of the traumatic event. They were assessed for severity of PTSD 4 weeks later. Activation contrasts between trauma-related and neutral pictures were correlated with subsequent PTSD symptom severity. Greater activation in, among others, right medial precuneus, left retrosplenial cortex, precentral and right superior temporal gyrus as well as less activation in lateral, superior prefrontal and left fusiform gyrus was related to subsequently increased PTSD severity. The results are broadly in line with neural areas related to etiological models of PTSD, namely multisensory associative learning recruiting posterior regions on the one hand and failure to reappraise maladaptive cognitions, thought to involve prefrontal areas, on the other.

  3. Prefrontal cortex stimulation does not affect emotional bias, but may slow emotion identification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nord, Camilla L; Forster, Sophie; Halahakoon, D Chamith; Penton-Voak, Ian S; Munafò, Marcus R; Roiser, Jonathan P

    2017-05-01

    Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) has recently garnered attention as a putative depression treatment. However, the cognitive mechanisms by which it exerts an antidepressant effect are unclear: tDCS may directly alter 'hot' emotional processing biases, or alleviate depression through changes in 'cold' (non-emotional) cognitive function. Here, 75 healthy participants performed a facial emotion identification task during 20 minutes of anodal or sham tDCS over the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) in a double-blind, within-subject crossover design. A subset of 31 participants additionally completed a task measuring attentional distraction during stimulation. Compared to sham stimulation, anodal tDCS of the left DLPFC resulted in an increase in response latency across all emotional conditions. Bayesian analysis showed definitively that tDCS exerted no emotion-dependent effect on behaviour. Thus, we demonstrate that anodal tDCS produces a general, rather than an emotion-specific, effect. We also report a preliminary finding in the subset of participants who completed the distractibility task: increased distractibility during active stimulation correlated significantly with the degree to which tDCS slowed emotion identification. Our results provide insight into the possible mechanisms by which DLPFC tDCS may treat symptoms of depression, suggesting that it may not alter emotional biases, but instead may affect 'cold' cognitive processes. © The Author (2017). Published by Oxford University Press.

  4. Dysfunctional GABAergic inhibition in the prefrontal cortex leading to "psychotic" hyperactivation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tanaka Shoji

    2008-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The GABAergic system in the brain seems to be dysfunctional in various psychiatric disorders. Many studies have suggested so far that, in schizophrenia patients, GABAergic inhibition is selectively but consistently reduced in the prefrontal cortex (PFC. Results This study used a computational model of the PFC to investigate the dynamics of the PFC circuit with and without chandelier cells and other GABAergic interneurons. The inhibition by GABAergic interneurons other than chandelier cells effectively regulated the PFC activity with rather low or modest levels of dopaminergic neurotransmission. This activity of the PFC is associated with normal cognitive functions and has an inverted-U shaped profile of dopaminergic modulation. In contrast, the chandelier cell-type inhibition affected only the PFC circuit dynamics in hyperdopaminergic conditions. Reduction of chandelier cell-type inhibition resulted in bistable dynamics of the PFC circuit, in which the upper stable state is associated with a hyperactive mode. When both types of inhibition were reduced, this hyperactive mode and the conventional inverted-U mode merged. Conclusion The results of our simulation suggest that, in schizophrenia, a reduction of GABAergic inhibition increases vulnerability to psychosis by (i producing the hyperactive mode of the PFC with hyperdopaminergic neurotransmission by dysfunctional chandelier cells and (ii increasing the probability of the transition to the hyperactive mode from the conventional inverted-U mode by dysfunctional GABAergic interneurons.

  5. Lesions to the left lateral prefrontal cortex impair decision threshold adjustment for lexical selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anders, Royce; Riès, Stéphanie; Van Maanen, Leendert; Alario, F-Xavier

    Patients with lesions in the left prefrontal cortex (PFC) have been shown to be impaired in lexical selection, especially when interference between semantically related alternatives is increased. To more deeply investigate which computational mechanisms may be impaired following left PFC damage due to stroke, a psychometric modelling approach is employed in which we assess the cognitive parameters of the patients from an evidence accumulation (sequential information sampling) modelling of their response data. We also compare the results to healthy speakers. Analysis of the cognitive parameters indicates an impairment of the PFC patients to appropriately adjust their decision threshold, in order to handle the increased item difficulty that is introduced by semantic interference. Also, the modelling contributes to other topics in psycholinguistic theory, in which specific effects are observed on the cognitive parameters according to item familiarization, and the opposing effects of priming (lower threshold) and semantic interference (lower drift) which are found to depend on repetition. These results are developed for the blocked-cyclic picture naming paradigm, in which pictures are presented within semantically homogeneous (HOM) or heterogeneous (HET) blocks, and are repeated several times per block. Overall, the results are in agreement with a role of the left PFC in adjusting the decision threshold for lexical selection in language production.

  6. Impaired kynurenine pathway metabolism in the prefrontal cortex of individuals with schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sathyasaikumar, Korrapati V; Stachowski, Erin K; Wonodi, Ikwunga; Roberts, Rosalinda C; Rassoulpour, Arash; McMahon, Robert P; Schwarcz, Robert

    2011-11-01

    The levels of kynurenic acid (KYNA), an astrocyte-derived metabolite of the branched kynurenine pathway (KP) of tryptophan degradation and antagonist of α7 nicotinic acetylcholine and N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors, are elevated in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) of individuals with schizophrenia (SZ). Because endogenous KYNA modulates extracellular glutamate and acetylcholine levels in the PFC, these increases may be pathophysiologically significant. Using brain tissue from SZ patients and matched controls, we now measured the activity of several KP enzymes (kynurenine 3-monooxygenase [KMO], kynureninase, 3-hydroxyanthranilic acid dioxygenase [3-HAO], quinolinic acid phosphoribosyltransferase [QPRT], and kynurenine aminotransferase II [KAT II]) in the PFC, ie, Brodmann areas (BA) 9 and 10. Compared with controls, the activities of KMO (in BA 9 and 10) and 3-HAO (in BA 9) were significantly reduced in SZ, though there were no significant differences between patients and controls in kynureninase, QPRT, and KAT II. In the same samples, we also confirmed the increase in the tissue levels of KYNA in SZ. As examined in rats treated chronically with the antipsychotic drug risperidone, the observed biochemical changes were not secondary to medication. A persistent reduction in KMO activity may have a particular bearing on pathology because it may signify a shift of KP metabolism toward enhanced KYNA synthesis. The present results further support the hypothesis that the normalization of cortical KP metabolism may constitute an effective new treatment strategy in SZ.

  7. Adaptive Value Normalization in the Prefrontal Cortex Is Reduced by Memory Load

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burke, C. J.; Seifritz, E.; Tobler, P. N.

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Adaptation facilitates neural representation of a wide range of diverse inputs, including reward values. Adaptive value coding typically relies on contextual information either obtained from the environment or retrieved from and maintained in memory. However, it is unknown whether having to retrieve and maintain context information modulates the brain’s capacity for value adaptation. To address this issue, we measured hemodynamic responses of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) in two studies on risky decision-making. In each trial, healthy human subjects chose between a risky and a safe alternative; half of the participants had to remember the risky alternatives, whereas for the other half they were presented visually. The value of safe alternatives varied across trials. PFC responses adapted to contextual risk information, with steeper coding of safe alternative value in lower-risk contexts. Importantly, this adaptation depended on working memory load, such that response functions relating PFC activity to safe values were steeper with presented versus remembered risk. An independent second study replicated the findings of the first study and showed that similar slope reductions also arose when memory maintenance demands were increased with a secondary working memory task. Formal model comparison showed that a divisive normalization model fitted effects of both risk context and working memory demands on PFC activity better than alternative models of value adaptation, and revealed that reduced suppression of background activity was the critical parameter impairing normalization with increased memory maintenance demand. Our findings suggest that mnemonic processes can constrain normalization of neural value representations. PMID:28462394

  8. THC and endocannabinoids differentially regulate neuronal activity in the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus in the subchronic PCP model of schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aguilar, David D; Giuffrida, Andrea; Lodge, Daniel J

    2016-02-01

    Cannabis use has been associated with an increased risk to develop schizophrenia as well as symptom exacerbation in patients. In contrast, clinical studies have revealed an inverse relationship between the cerebrospinal fluid levels of the endocannabinoid anandamide and symptom severity, suggesting a therapeutic potential for endocannabinoid-enhancing drugs. Indeed, preclinical studies have shown that these drugs can reverse distinct behavioral deficits in a rodent model of schizophrenia. The mechanisms underlying the differences between exogenous and endogenous cannabinoid administration are currently unknown. Using the phencyclidine (PCP) rat model of schizophrenia, we compared the effects on neuronal activity of systematic administration of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) with the fatty acid amide hydrolase inhibitor URB597. Specifically, we found that the inhibitory response in the prefrontal cortex to THC administration was absent in PCP-treated rats. In contrast, an augmented response to endocannabinoid upregulation was observed in the prefrontal cortex of PCP-treated rats. Interestingly, differential effects were also observed at the neuronal population level, as endocannabinoid upregulation induced opposite effects on coordinated activity when compared with THC. Such information is important for understanding why marijuana and synthetic cannabinoid use may be contraindicated in schizophrenia patients while endocannabinoid enhancement may provide a novel therapeutic approach. © The Author(s) 2015.

  9. Dysfunctional Prefrontal Function Is Associated with Impulsivity in People with Internet Gaming Disorder during a Delay Discounting Task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yifan Wang

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Internet gaming disorder (IGD, defined as the persistent use of online games with ignorance of adverse consequences, has increasingly raised widespread public concerns. This study aimed at elucidating the precise mechanisms underlying IGD by comparing intertemporal decision-making process between 18 IGD participants and 21 matched healthy controls (HCs. Both behavioral and fMRI data were recorded from a delay discounting task. At the behavioral level, the IGD showed a higher discount rate k than HC; and in IGD group, both the reaction time (delay − immediate and the discount rate k were significantly positively correlated with the severity of IGD. At the neural level, the IGD exhibited reduced brain activations in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and bilateral inferior frontal gyrus compared to HC during performing delay trials relative to immediate ones. Taken together, the results suggested that IGD showed deficits in making decisions and tended to pursuit immediate satisfaction. The underlying mechanism arises from the deficient ability in evaluating between delayed reward and immediate satisfaction, and the impaired ability in impulse inhibition, which may be associated with the dysfunction of the prefrontal activation. These might be the reason why IGD continue playing online games in spite of facing severe negative consequences.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1995-09-01

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

  11. The NOS1 variant rs6490121 is associated with variation in prefrontal function and grey matter density in healthy individuals.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Rose, Emma J

    2012-03-01

    A common polymorphism within the nitric oxide sythanse-1 (NOS1) gene (rs6490121), initially identified as risk variant for schizophrenia, has been associated with variation in working memory and IQ. Here we investigated how this variation might be mediated at the level of brain structure and function. In healthy individuals (N=157), voxel based morphometry was used to compare grey matter (GM) volume between homozygous and heterozygous carriers of the \\'G\\' allele (i.e. the allele associated with impaired cognition and schizophrenia risk) and homozygous carriers of the non-risk \\'A\\' allele. Functional brain imaging data were also acquired from 48 participants during performance of a spatial working memory (SWM) task, and analysed to determine any effect of NOS1 risk status. An a priori region-of-interest analysis identified a significant reduction in ventromedial prefrontal GM volume in \\'G\\' allele carriers. Risk carriers also exhibited altered patterns of activation in the prefrontal cortex, caudate, and superior parietal lobe, which were characteristic of abnormal increases in activation in frontoparietal working memory networks and a failure to disengage regions of the default mode network. These functional changes suggest a NOS1-mediated processing inefficiency, which may contribute to cognitive dysfunction in schizophrenia. While the mechanisms by which NOS1 may influence brain structure and\\/or function have not yet been well delineated, these data provide further evidence for a role of NOS1 in risk for schizophrenia via an impact upon cognitive function.

  12. Activity in inferior parietal and medial prefrontal cortex signals the accumulation of evidence in a probability learning task.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mathieu d'Acremont

    Full Text Available In an uncertain environment, probabilities are key to predicting future events and making adaptive choices. However, little is known about how humans learn such probabilities and where and how they are encoded in the brain, especially when they concern more than two outcomes. During functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI, young adults learned the probabilities of uncertain stimuli through repetitive sampling. Stimuli represented payoffs and participants had to predict their occurrence to maximize their earnings. Choices indicated loss and risk aversion but unbiased estimation of probabilities. BOLD response in medial prefrontal cortex and angular gyri increased linearly with the probability of the currently observed stimulus, untainted by its value. Connectivity analyses during rest and task revealed that these regions belonged to the default mode network. The activation of past outcomes in memory is evoked as a possible mechanism to explain the engagement of the default mode network in probability learning. A BOLD response relating to value was detected only at decision time, mainly in striatum. It is concluded that activity in inferior parietal and medial prefrontal cortex reflects the amount of evidence accumulated in favor of competing and uncertain outcomes.

  13. Continuous theta-burst stimulation (cTBS) over the lateral prefrontal cortex alters reinforcement learning bias.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ott, Derek V M; Ullsperger, Markus; Jocham, Gerhard; Neumann, Jane; Klein, Tilmann A

    2011-07-15

    The prefrontal cortex is known to play a key role in higher-order cognitive functions. Recently, we showed that this brain region is active in reinforcement learning, during which subjects constantly have to integrate trial outcomes in order to optimize performance. To further elucidate the role of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) in reinforcement learning, we applied continuous theta-burst stimulation (cTBS) either to the left or right DLPFC, or to the vertex as a control region, respectively, prior to the performance of a probabilistic learning task in an fMRI environment. While there was no influence of cTBS on learning performance per se, we observed a stimulation-dependent modulation of reward vs. punishment sensitivity: Left-hemispherical DLPFC stimulation led to a more reward-guided performance, while right-hemispherical cTBS induced a more avoidance-guided behavior. FMRI results showed enhanced prediction error coding in the ventral striatum in subjects stimulated over the left as compared to the right DLPFC. Both behavioral and imaging results are in line with recent findings that left, but not right-hemispherical stimulation can trigger a release of dopamine in the ventral striatum, which has been suggested to increase the relative impact of rewards rather than punishment on behavior. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Ventrolateral prefrontal activation during a N-back task assessed with multichannel functional near-infrared spectroscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Yuan; Zhu, Ye; Jiang, Tianzi

    2007-05-01

    Functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) has been used to investigate the changes in the concentration of oxygenated (O2Hb) and deoxygenated (HHb) hemoglobin in brain issue during several cognitive tasks. In the present study, by means of multichannel dual wavelength light-emitting diode continuous-wave (CW) NIRS, we investigated the blood oxygenation changes of prefrontal cortex in 18 healthy subjects while performing a verbal n-back task (0-back and 2-back), which has been rarely investigated by fNIRS. Compared to the 0-back task (control task), we found a significant increase of O2Hb and total amount of hemoglobin (THb) in left and right ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC) during the execution of the 2-back task compared to the 0-back task (pdominance. In addition, the effects of gender and its interaction with task performance on O2Hb concentration change were suggested in the present study. Our findings not only confirm that multichannel fNIRS is suitable to detect spatially specific activation during the performance of cognitive tasks; but also suggest that it should be cautious of gender-dependent difference in cerebral activation when interpreting the fNIRS data during cognitive tasks.

  15. Perceived Occupational Stress is associated with Decreased Cortical Activity of the Prefrontal Cortex: A Multichannel Near-infrared Spectroscopy Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chou, Po-Han; Lin, Wei-Hao; Hung, Chao-An; Chang, Chiung-Chih; Li, Wan-Rung; Lan, Tsuo-Hung; Huang, Min-Wei

    2016-12-13

    Despite an increasing number of reports on the associations between chronic occupational stress and structural and functional changes of the brain, the underlying neural correlates of perceived occupational stress is still not clear. Perceived stress reflects the extents to which situations are appraised as stressful at a given point in one's life. Using near-infrared spectroscopy, we investigated the associations between perceived occupational stress and cortical activity over the bilateral frontotemporal regions during a verbal fluency test. Sixty-eight participants (17 men, 51 women), 20-62 years of age were recruited. Perceived occupational stress was measured using the Chinese version of Job Content Questionnaire, and the Chinese version of the Copenhagen Burnout Inventory. We found statistically significant negative associations between occupational burnout and brain cortical activity over the fronto-polar and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex during the VFT (r = -0.343 to -0.464). In conclusion, our research demonstrated a possible neural basis of perceived occupational stress that are distributed across the prefrontal cortex.

  16. Dysfunctional Prefrontal Function Is Associated with Impulsivity in People with Internet Gaming Disorder during a Delay Discounting Task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yifan; Hu, Yanbo; Xu, Jiaojing; Zhou, Hongli; Lin, Xiao; Du, Xiaoxia; Dong, Guangheng

    2017-01-01

    Internet gaming disorder (IGD), defined as the persistent use of online games with ignorance of adverse consequences, has increasingly raised widespread public concerns. This study aimed at elucidating the precise mechanisms underlying IGD by comparing intertemporal decision-making process between 18 IGD participants and 21 matched healthy controls (HCs). Both behavioral and fMRI data were recorded from a delay discounting task. At the behavioral level, the IGD showed a higher discount rate k than HC; and in IGD group, both the reaction time (delay - immediate) and the discount rate k were significantly positively correlated with the severity of IGD. At the neural level, the IGD exhibited reduced brain activations in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and bilateral inferior frontal gyrus compared to HC during performing delay trials relative to immediate ones. Taken together, the results suggested that IGD showed deficits in making decisions and tended to pursuit immediate satisfaction. The underlying mechanism arises from the deficient ability in evaluating between delayed reward and immediate satisfaction, and the impaired ability in impulse inhibition, which may be associated with the dysfunction of the prefrontal activation. These might be the reason why IGD continue playing online games in spite of facing severe negative consequences.

  17. Effect of Bilateral Prefrontal rTMS on Left Prefrontal NAA and Glx Levels in Schizophrenia Patients with Predominant Negative Symptoms : An Exploratory Study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dlabac-de Lange, Jozarni J.; Liemburg, Edith J.; Bais, Leonie; van de Poel-Mustafayeva, Aida T.; de Lange-de Klerk, Elly S. M.; Knegtering, Henderikus; Aleman, Andre

    2017-01-01

    Background: Prefrontal repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) may improve negative symptoms in patients with schizophrenia, but few studies have investigated the underlying neural mechanism. Objective: This study aims to investigate changes in the levels of glutamate and glutamine (Glx,

  18. Prefrontal lobotomy on Evita was done for behavior/personality modification, not just for pain control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nijensohn, Daniel E

    2015-07-01

    Eva Perón, best known as Evita, underwent a prefrontal lobotomy in 1952. Although the procedure was said to have been performed to relieve the pain of metastatic cancer, the author carried out a search for evidence that suggests that the procedure was prescribed to decrease violence and to modify Evita's behavior and personality, and not just for pain control. To further elucidate the circumstances surrounding the treatment of this well-known historic figure, the author reviewed the development of the procedure known as prefrontal lobotomy and its three main indications: management of psychiatric illness, control of intractable pain from terminal cancer, and mind control and behavior/personality modification. The role of pioneering neurosurgeons in the development of prefrontal lobotomy, particularly in Connecticut and at Yale University, was also studied, and the political and historical conditions in Argentina in 1952 and to the present were analyzed. Evita was the wife of Juan Perón, who was the supreme leader of the Peronist party as well as president of Argentina. In 1952, however, the Peronist government in Argentina was bicephalic because Evita led the left wing of the party and ran the Female Peronist Party and the Eva Perón Foundation. She was followed by a group of hardcore loyalists interested in accelerating the revolution. Evita was also suffering from metastatic cervical cancer, and her illness increased her anxiety and moved her to purchase weapons to start training workers' militias. Although the apparent purpose was to fight her husband's enemies, this was done without his knowledge. She delivered fiery political speeches and wrote incendiary documents that would have led to a fierce clash in the country at that time. Notwithstanding the disreputable connotation of conspiracy theories, evidence was found of a potentially sinister political conspiracy, led by General Perón, to quiet down his wife Evita and modify her behavior/personality to

  19. Medial prefrontal cortex stimulation modulates the processing of conditioned fear

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anne eGuhn

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available The extinction of conditioned fear is dependent on an efficient interplay between the amygdala and the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC. In rats, high-frequency electrical mPFC stimulation was shown to improve extinction by a reduction of amygdala activity. However, so far it is unclear whether stimulation of homologues regions in humans might have similar beneficial effects.Healthy volunteers received one-session of either active or sham repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS covering the mPFC while undergoing a two-day fear conditioning and extinction paradigm. rTMS was applied offline after fear acquisition in which one of two faces (CS+ but not CS- was associated with an aversive scream (UCS. Immediate extinction learning (day 1 and extinction recall (day 2 were conducted without UCS delivery. Conditioned responses were assessed in a multimodal approach using fear-potentiated startle (FPS, skin conductance responses (SCR, functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS and self-report scales. Consistent with the hypothesis of a modulated processing of conditioned fear after high-frequency rTMS, the active group showed a reduced CS+/CS- discrimination during extinction learning as evident in FPS as well as in SCR and arousal ratings. FPS responses to CS+ further showed a linear decrement throughout both extinction sessions. This study describes the first experimental approach of influencing conditioned fear by using rTMS which can be a basis for future studies investigating a complementation of mPFC stimulation to cognitive behavioral therapy.

  20. Exon microarray analysis of human dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in alcoholism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manzardo, Ann M; Gunewardena, Sumedha; Wang, Kun; Butler, Merlin G

    2014-06-01

    Alcohol abuse is associated with cellular and biochemical disturbances that impact upon protein and nucleic acid synthesis, brain development, function, and behavioral responses. To further characterize the genetic influences in alcoholism and the effects of alcohol consumption on gene expression, we used a highly sensitive exon microarray to examine mRNA expression in human frontal cortex of alcoholics and control males. Messenger RNA was isolated from the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC; Brodmann area 9) of 7 adult alcoholic (6 males, 1 female, mean age 49 years) and 7 matched controls. Affymetrix Human Exon 1.0 ST array was performed according to standard procedures and the results analyzed at the gene level. Microarray findings were validated using quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction, and the ontology of disturbed genes characterized using Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA). Decreased mRNA expression was observed for genes involved in cellular adhesion (e.g., CTNNA3, ITGA2), transport (e.g., TF, ABCA8), nervous system development (e.g., LRP2, UGT8, GLDN), and signaling (e.g., RASGRP3, LGR5) with influence over lipid and myelin synthesis (e.g., ASPA, ENPP2, KLK6). IPA identified disturbances in network functions associated with neurological disease and development including cellular assembly and organization impacting on psychological disorders. Our data in alcoholism support a reduction in expression of dlPFC mRNA for genes involved with neuronal growth, differentiation, and signaling that targets white matter of the brain. Copyright © 2014 by the Research Society on Alcoholism.

  1. Prefrontal inhibition of threat processing protects working memory from interference.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert James Clarke

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Bottom-up processes can interrupt ongoing cognitive processing in order to adaptively respond to emotional stimuli of high potential significance, such as those that threaten wellbeing. However it is vital that this interference can be modulated in certain contexts to focus on current tasks. Deficits in the ability to maintain the appropriate balance between cognitive and emotional demands can severely impact on day-to-day activities. This fMRI study examined this interaction between threat processing and cognition; 18 adult participants performed a visuospatial working memory (WM task with two load conditions, in the presence and absence of anxiety induction by threat of electric shock. Threat of shock interfered with performance in the low cognitive load condition; however interference was eradicated under high load, consistent with engagement of emotion regulation mechanisms. Under low load the amygdala showed significant activation to threat of shock that was modulated by high cognitive load. A directed top-down control contrast identified two regions associated with top-down control; ventrolateral PFC and dorsal ACC. Dynamic causal modelling provided further evidence that under high cognitive load, top-down inhibition is exerted on the amygdala and its outputs to prefrontal regions. Additionally, we hypothesised that individual differences in a separate, non-emotional top-down control task would predict the recruitment of dorsal ACC and ventrolateral PFC during top-down control of threat. Consistent with this, performance on a separate dichotic listening task predicted dorsal ACC and ventrolateral PFC activation during high WM load under threat of shock, though activation in these regions did not directly correlate with WM performance. Together, the findings suggest that under high cognitive load and threat, top-down control is exerted by dACC and vlPFC to inhibit threat processing, thus enabling WM performance without threat

  2. Emotion and the prefrontal cortex: An integrative review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dixon, Matthew L; Thiruchselvam, Ravi; Todd, Rebecca; Christoff, Kalina

    2017-10-01

    The prefrontal cortex (PFC) plays a critical role in the generation and regulation of emotion. However, we lack an integrative framework for understanding how different emotion-related functions are organized across the entire expanse of the PFC, as prior reviews have generally focused on specific emotional processes (e.g., decision making) or specific anatomical regions (e.g., orbitofrontal cortex). Additionally, psychological theories and neuroscientific investigations have proceeded largely independently because of the lack of a common framework. Here, we provide a comprehensive review of functional neuroimaging, electrophysiological, lesion, and structural connectivity studies on the emotion-related functions of 8 subregions spanning the entire PFC. We introduce the appraisal-by-content model, which provides a new framework for integrating the diverse range of empirical findings. Within this framework, appraisal serves as a unifying principle for understanding the PFC's role in emotion, while relative content-specialization serves as a differentiating principle for understanding the role of each subregion. A synthesis of data from affective, social, and cognitive neuroscience studies suggests that different PFC subregions are preferentially involved in assigning value to specific types of inputs: exteroceptive sensations, episodic memories and imagined future events, viscero-sensory signals, viscero-motor signals, actions, others' mental states (e.g., intentions), self-related information, and ongoing emotions. We discuss the implications of this integrative framework for understanding emotion regulation, value-based decision making, emotional salience, and refining theoretical models of emotion. This framework provides a unified understanding of how emotional processes are organized across PFC subregions and generates new hypotheses about the mechanisms underlying adaptive and maladaptive emotional functioning. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all

  3. Segregation of the human medial prefrontal cortex in social cognition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Danilo eBzdok

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available While the human medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC is widely believed to be a key node of neural networks relevant for socio-emotional processing, its functional subspecialization is still poorly understood. We thus revisited the often assumed differentiation of the mPFC in social cognition along its ventral-dorsal axis. Our neuroinformatic analysis was based on a neuroimaging meta-analysis of perspective-taking that yielded two separate clusters in the ventral and dorsal mPFC, respectively. We determined each seed region’s brain-wide interaction pattern by two complementary measures of functional connectivity: co-activation across a wide range of neuroimaging studies archived in the BrainMap database and correlated signal fluctuations during unconstrained (resting cognition. Furthermore, we characterized the functions associated with these two regions using the BrainMap database. Across methods, the ventral mPFC was more strongly connected with the nucleus accumbens, hippocampus, posterior cingulate cortex, and retrosplenial cortex, while the dorsal mPFC was more strongly connected with the inferior frontal gyrus, temporo-parietal junction, and middle temporal gyrus. Further, the ventral mPFC was selectively associated with action execution, olfaction, and reward related tasks, while the dorsal mPFC was selectively associated with perspective-taking and episodic memory retrieval. The ventral mPFC is therefore predominantly involved in sensory-driven, approach/avoidance-modulating, and evaluation-related processing, whereas the dorsal mPFC is predominantly involved in internally driven, memory-informed, and metacognition-related processing in social cognition.

  4. Functional coupling networks inferred from prefrontal cortex activity show experience-related effective plasticity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gaia Tavoni

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Functional coupling networks are widely used to characterize collective patterns of activity in neural populations. Here, we ask whether functional couplings reflect the subtle changes, such as in physiological interactions, believed to take place during learning. We infer functional network models reproducing the spiking activity of simultaneously recorded neurons in prefrontal cortex (PFC of rats, during the performance of a cross-modal rule shift task (task epoch, and during preceding and following sleep epochs. A large-scale study of the 96 recorded sessions allows us to detect, in about 20% of sessions, effective plasticity between the sleep epochs. These coupling modifications are correlated with the coupling values in the task epoch, and are supported by a small subset of the recorded neurons, which we identify by means of an automatized procedure. These potentiated groups increase their coativation frequency in the spiking data between the two sleep epochs, and, hence, participate to putative experience-related cell assemblies. Study of the reactivation dynamics of the potentiated groups suggests a possible connection with behavioral learning. Reactivation is largely driven by hippocampal ripple events when the rule is not yet learned, and may be much more autonomous, and presumably sustained by the potentiated PFC network, when learning is consolidated. Cell assemblies coding for memories are widely believed to emerge through synaptic modification resulting from learning, yet their identification from activity is very arduous. We propose a functional-connectivity-based approach to identify experience-related cell assemblies from multielectrode recordings in vivo, and apply it to the prefrontal cortex activity of rats recorded during a task epoch and the preceding and following sleep epochs. We infer functional couplings between the recorded cells in each epoch. Comparisons of the functional coupling networks across the epochs allow us

  5. Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex GABA Concentration in Humans Predicts Working Memory Load Processing Capacity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoon, Jong H; Grandelis, Anthony; Maddock, Richard J

    2016-11-16

    The discovery of neural mechanisms of working memory (WM) would significantly enhance our understanding of complex human behaviors and guide treatment development for WM-related impairments found in neuropsychiatric conditions and aging. Although the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) has long been considered critical for WM, we still know little about the neural elements and pathways within the DLPFC that support WM in humans. In this study, we tested whether an individual's DLPFC gamma-aminobutryic acid (GABA) content predicts individual differences in WM task performance using a novel behavioral approach. Twenty-three healthy adults completed a task that measured the unique contribution of major WM components (memory load, maintenance, and distraction resistance) to performance. This was done to address the possibility that components have differing GABA dependencies and the failure to parse WM into components would lead to missing true associations with GABA. The subjects then had their DLPFC GABA content measured by single-voxel proton magnetic spectroscopy. We found that individuals with lower DLPFC GABA showed greater performance degradation with higher load, accounting for 31% of variance, p (corrected) = 0.015. This relationship was component, neurochemical, and brain region specific. DLPFC GABA content did not predict performance sensitivity to other components tested; DLPFC glutamate + glutamine and visual cortical GABA content did not predict load sensitivity. These results confirm the involvement of DLPFC GABA in WM load processing in humans and implicate factors controlling DLPFC GABA content in the neural mechanisms of WM and its impairments. This study demonstrated for the first time that the amount of gamma-aminobutryic acid (GABA), the major inhibitory neurotransmitter of the brain, in an individual's prefrontal cortex predicts working memory (WM) task performance. Given that WM is required for many of the most characteristic cognitive and

  6. Reduced but broader prefrontal activity in patients with schizophrenia during n-back working memory tasks: a multi-channel near-infrared spectroscopy study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koike, Shinsuke; Takizawa, Ryu; Nishimura, Yukika; Kinou, Masaru; Kawasaki, Shingo; Kasai, Kiyoto

    2013-09-01

    Caudal regions of the prefrontal cortex, including the dorsolateral (DLPFC) and ventrolateral (VLPFC) prefrontal cortex, are involved in essential cognitive functions such as working memory. In contrast, more rostral regions, such as the frontopolar cortex (FpC), have integrative functions among cognitive functions and thereby contribute crucially to real-world social activity. Previous functional magnetic resonance imaging studies have shown patients with schizophrenia had different DLPFC activity pattern in response to cognitive load changes compared to healthy controls; however, the spatial relationship between the caudal and rostral prefrontal activation has not been evaluated under less-constrained conditions. Twenty-six patients with schizophrenia and 26 age-, sex-, and premorbid-intelligence-matched healthy controls participated in this study. Hemodynamic changes during n-back working memory tasks with different cognitive loads were measured using multi-channel near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS). Healthy controls showed significant task-related activity in the bilateral VLPFC and significant task-related decreased activity in the DLPFC, with greater signal changes when the task required more cognitive load. In contrast, patients with schizophrenia showed activation in the more rostral regions, including bilateral DLPFC and FpC. Neither decreased activity nor greater activation in proportion to elevated cognitive load occurred. This multi-channel NIRS study demonstrated that activation intensity did not increase in patients with schizophrenia associated with cognitive load changes, suggesting hypo-frontality as cognitive impairment in schizophrenia. On the other hand, patients had broader prefrontal activity in areas such as the bilateral DLPFC and FpC regions, thus suggesting a hyper-frontality compensatory response. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Developmental changes in real life decision making: performance on a gambling task previously shown to depend on the ventromedial prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crone, Eveline A; van der Molen, Maurits W

    2004-01-01

    Patients with bilateral lesions of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, when performing gambling tasks modeling real-life decision-making, opt for choices that yield high immediate gains in spite of higher future losses. Under the hypothesis that the prefrontal cortex is the last brain region to mature, it was examined whether young children would show a similar preference for immediate prospects. In Experiment 1, 4 age groups (6-9, 10-12, 13-15 and 18-25 years olds) performed 2 versions of a computerized variant of the original Iowa gambling task under 3 different feedback conditions (no feedback, global feedback, and option-specific feedback) and completed the Raven Standard Progressive Matrices as an index of inductive reasoning ability. In Experiment 2, 3 age groups (7-8, 11-12, and 15-16 year olds) performed both task versions in addition to a working memory task ("Digit Span Backwards"). Results showed a developmental increase in the sensitivity to future consequences, positive or negative, that could not be explained by developmental changes in working memory capacity or inductive reasoning. It was concluded that young children share with ventromedial prefrontal patients the failure to anticipate on future outcomes.

  8. Striatal dopamine D2 receptor availability predicts the thalamic and medial prefrontal responses to reward in cocaine abusers three years later

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Asensio, S.; Goldstein, R.; Romero, M.J.; Romero, F.J.; Wong, C.T.; Alia-Klein, N.; Tomasi, D.; Wang, G.-J.; Telang, F.; Volkow, N.D.; Goldstein, R.Z.

    2010-01-01

    Low levels of dopamine (DA) D2 receptor availability at a resting baseline have been previously reported in drug addicted individuals and have been associated with reduced ventral and dorsal prefrontal metabolism. The reduction in DA D2 receptor availability along with the reduced ventral frontal metabolism is thought to underlie compromised sensitivity to nondrug reward, a core characteristic of drug addiction. We therefore hypothesized that variability in DA D2 receptor availability at baseline will covary with dynamic responses to monetary reward in addicted individuals. Striatal DA D2 receptor availability was measured with ( 11 C)raclopride and positron emission tomography and response to monetary reward was measured (an average of three years later) with functional magnetic resonance imaging in seven cocaine-addicted individuals. Results show that low DA D2 receptor availability in the dorsal striatum was associated with decreased thalamic response to monetary reward; while low availability in ventral striatum was associated with increased medial prefrontal (Brodmann Area 6/8/32) response to monetary reward. These preliminary results, that need to be replicated in larger sample sizes and validated with healthy controls, suggest that resting striatal DA D2 receptor availability predicts variability in functional responses to a nondrug reinforcer (money) in prefrontal cortex, implicated in behavioral monitoring, and in thalamus, implicated in conditioned responses and expectation, in cocaine-addicted individuals.

  9. Striatal dopamine D2 receptor availability predicts the thalamic and medial prefrontal responses to reward in cocaine abusers three years later

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Asensio, S.; Goldstein, R.; Asensio, S.; Romero, M.J.; Romero, F.J.; Wong, C.T.; Alia-Klein, N.; Tomasi, D.; Wang, G.-J.; Telang, F..; Volkow, N.D.; Goldstein, R.Z.

    2010-05-01

    Low levels of dopamine (DA) D2 receptor availability at a resting baseline have been previously reported in drug addicted individuals and have been associated with reduced ventral and dorsal prefrontal metabolism. The reduction in DA D2 receptor availability along with the reduced ventral frontal metabolism is thought to underlie compromised sensitivity to nondrug reward, a core characteristic of drug addiction. We therefore hypothesized that variability in DA D2 receptor availability at baseline will covary with dynamic responses to monetary reward in addicted individuals. Striatal DA D2 receptor availability was measured with [{sup 11}C]raclopride and positron emission tomography and response to monetary reward was measured (an average of three years later) with functional magnetic resonance imaging in seven cocaine-addicted individuals. Results show that low DA D2 receptor availability in the dorsal striatum was associated with decreased thalamic response to monetary reward; while low availability in ventral striatum was associated with increased medial prefrontal (Brodmann Area 6/8/32) response to monetary reward. These preliminary results, that need to be replicated in larger sample sizes and validated with healthy controls, suggest that resting striatal DA D2 receptor availability predicts variability in functional responses to a nondrug reinforcer (money) in prefrontal cortex, implicated in behavioral monitoring, and in thalamus, implicated in conditioned responses and expectation, in cocaine-addicted individuals.

  10. Functional connectivity with ventromedial prefrontal cortex reflects subjective value for social rewards.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, David V; Clithero, John A; Boltuck, Sarah E; Huettel, Scott A

    2014-12-01

    According to many studies, the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (VMPFC) encodes the subjective value of disparate rewards on a common scale. Yet, a host of other reward factors-likely represented outside of VMPFC-must be integrated to construct such signals for valuation. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we tested whether the interactions between posterior VMPFC and functionally connected brain regions predict subjective value. During fMRI scanning, participants rated the attractiveness of unfamiliar faces. We found that activation in dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, anterior VMPFC and caudate increased with higher attractiveness ratings. Using data from a post-scan task in which participants spent money to view attractive faces, we quantified each individual's subjective value for attractiveness. We found that connectivity between posterior VMPFC and regions frequently modulated by social information-including the temporal-parietal junction (TPJ) and middle temporal gyrus-was correlated with individual differences in subjective value. Crucially, these additional regions explained unique variation in subjective value beyond that extracted from value regions alone. These findings indicate not only that posterior VMPFC interacts with additional brain regions during valuation, but also that these additional regions carry information employed to construct the subjective value for social reward. © The Author (2014). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  11. Reward-dependent modulation of working memory in lateral prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kennerley, Steven W; Wallis, Jonathan D

    2009-03-11

    Although research implicates lateral prefrontal cortex (PFC) in executive control and goal-directed behavior, it remains unclear how goals influence executive processes. One possibility is that goal-relevant information, such as expected rewards, could modulate the representation of information relating to executive control, thereby ensuring the efficient allocation of cognitive resources. To investigate this, we examined how reward modulated spatial working memory. Past studies investigating spatial working memory have focused on dorsolateral PFC, but this area only weakly connects with areas processing reward. Ventrolateral PFC has better connections in this regard. Thus, we contrasted the functional properties of single neurons in ventrolateral and dorsolateral PFC as two subjects performed a task that required them to hold spatial information in working memory under different expectancies of reward for correct performance. We balanced the order of presentation of spatial and reward information so we could assess the neuronal encoding of the two pieces of information independently and conjointly. Neurons in ventrolateral PFC encoded both spatial and reward information earlier, stronger and in a more sustained manner than neurons in dorsolateral PFC. Within ventrolateral PFC, spatial selectivity was more prevalent on the inferior convexity than within the principal sulcus. Finally, when reward increased spatial selectivity, behavioral performance improved, whereas when reward decreased spatial selectivity, behavioral performance deteriorated. These results suggest that ventrolateral PFC may be a locus whereby information about expected rewards can modulate information in working memory. The pattern of results is consistent with a role for ventrolateral PFC in attentional control.

  12. Reduced prefrontal activation in pediatric patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder during verbal episodic memory encoding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Batistuzzo, Marcelo Camargo; Balardin, Joana Bisol; Martin, Maria da Graça Morais; Hoexter, Marcelo Queiroz; Bernardes, Elisa Teixeira; Borcato, Sonia; Souza, Marina de Marco E; Querido, Cicero Nardini; Morais, Rosa Magaly; de Alvarenga, Pedro Gomes; Lopes, Antonio Carlos; Shavitt, Roseli Gedanke; Savage, Cary R; Amaro, Edson; Miguel, Euripedes C; Polanczyk, Guilherme V; Miotto, Eliane C

    2015-10-01

    Patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) often present with deficits in episodic memory, and there is evidence that these difficulties may be secondary to executive dysfunction, that is, impaired selection and/or application of memory-encoding strategies (mediation hypothesis). Semantic clustering is an effective strategy to enhance encoding of verbal episodic memory (VEM) when word lists are semantically related. Self-initiated mobilization of this strategy has been associated with increased activity in the prefrontal cortex, particularly the orbitofrontal cortex, a key region in the pathophysiology of OCD. We therefore studied children and adolescents with OCD during uncued semantic clustering strategy application in a VEM functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)-encoding paradigm. A total of 25 pediatric patients with OCD (aged 8.1-17.5 years) and 25 healthy controls (HC, aged 8.1-16.9) matched for age, gender, handedness, and IQ were evaluated using a block design VEM paradigm that manipulated semantically related and unrelated words. The semantic clustering strategy score (SCS) predicted VEM performance in HC (p semantic clustering in OCD. Copyright © 2015 American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. The Influence of Televised Food Commercials on Children's Food Choices: Evidence from Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex Activations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruce, Amanda S; Pruitt, Stephen W; Ha, Oh-Ryeong; Cherry, J Bradley C; Smith, Timothy R; Bruce, Jared M; Lim, Seung-Lark

    2016-10-01

    To investigate how food commercials influence children's food choices. Twenty-three children ages 8-14 years provided taste and health ratings for 60 food items. Subsequently, these children were scanned with the use of functional magnetic resonance imaging while making food choices (ie, "eat" or "not eat") after watching food and nonfood television commercials. Our results show that watching food commercials changes the way children consider the importance of taste when making food choices. Children did not use health values for their food choices, indicating children's decisions were largely driven by hedonic, immediate rewards (ie, "tastiness"); however, children placed significantly more importance on taste after watching food commercials compared with nonfood commercials. This change was accompanied by faster decision times during food commercial trials. The ventromedial prefrontal cortex, a reward valuation brain region, showed increased activity during food choices after watching food commercials compared with after watching nonfood commercials. Overall, our results suggest watching food commercials before making food choices may bias children's decisions based solely on taste, and that food marketing may systematically alter the psychological and neurobiologic mechanisms of children's food decisions. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Theta–gamma coordination between anterior cingulate and prefrontal cortex indexes correct attention shifts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Voloh, Benjamin; Valiante, Taufik A.; Everling, Stefan; Womelsdorf, Thilo

    2015-01-01

    Anterior cingulate and lateral prefrontal cortex (ACC/PFC) are believed to coordinate activity to flexibly prioritize the processing of goal-relevant over irrelevant information. This between-area coordination may be realized by common low-frequency excitability changes synchronizing segregated high-frequency activations. We tested this coordination hypothesis by recording in macaque ACC/PFC during the covert utilization of attention cues. We found robust increases of 5–10 Hz (theta) to 35–55 Hz (gamma) phase–amplitude correlation between ACC and PFC during successful attention shifts but not before errors. Cortical sites providing theta phases (i) showed a prominent cue-induced phase reset, (ii) were more likely in ACC than PFC, and (iii) hosted neurons with burst firing events that synchronized to distant gamma activity. These findings suggest that interareal theta–gamma correlations could follow mechanistically from a cue-triggered reactivation of rule memory that synchronizes theta across ACC/PFC. PMID:26100868

  15. Self-esteem modulates amygdala-ventrolateral prefrontal cortex connectivity in response to mortality threats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yanagisawa, Kuniaki; Abe, Nobuhito; Kashima, Emiko S; Nomura, Michio

    2016-03-01

    Reminders of death often elicit defensive responses in individuals, especially among those with low self-esteem. Although empirical evidence indicates that self-esteem serves as a buffer against mortality threats, the precise neural mechanism underlying this effect remains unknown. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to test the hypothesis that self-esteem modulates neural responses to death-related stimuli, especially functional connectivity within the limbic-frontal circuitry, thereby affecting subsequent defensive reactions. As predicted, individuals with high self-esteem subjected to a mortality threat exhibited increased amygdala-ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC) connectivity during the processing of death-related stimuli compared with individuals who have low self-esteem. Further analysis revealed that stronger functional connectivity between the amygdala and the VLPFC predicted a subsequent decline in responding defensively to those who threaten one's beliefs. These results suggest that the amygdala-VLPFC interaction, which is modulated by self-esteem, can reduce the defensiveness caused by death-related stimuli, thereby providing a neural explanation for why individuals with high self-esteem exhibit less defensive reactions to mortality threats. (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).

  16. Anticipation of a mentally effortful task recruits Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex: An fNIRS validation study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vassena, Eliana; Gerrits, Robin; Demanet, Jelle; Verguts, Tom; Siugzdaite, Roma

    2018-04-26

    Preparing for a mentally demanding task calls upon cognitive and motivational resources. The underlying neural implementation of these mechanisms is receiving growing attention because of its implications for professional, social, and medical contexts. While several fMRI studies converge in assigning a crucial role to a cortico-subcortical network including Anterior Cigulate Cortex (ACC) and striatum, the involvement of Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex (DLPFC) during mental effort anticipation has yet to be replicated. This study was designed to target DLPFC contribution to anticipation of a difficult task using functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS), as a more cost-effective tool measuring cortical hemodynamics. We adapted a validated mental effort task, where participants performed easy and difficult mental calculation, and measured DLPFC activity during the anticipation phase. As hypothesized, DLPFC activity increased during anticipation of a hard task as compared to an easy task. Besides replicating previous fMRI work, these results establish fNIRS as an effective tool to investigate cortical contributions to anticipation of effortful behavior. This is especially useful if one requires testing large samples (e.g., to target individual differences), populations with contraindication for functional MRI (e.g., infants or patients with metal implants), or subjects in more naturalistic environments (e.g., work or sport). Copyright © 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  17. Patterns of coupled theta activity in amygdala-hippocampal-prefrontal cortical circuits during fear extinction.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jörg Lesting

    Full Text Available Signals related to fear memory and extinction are processed within brain pathways involving the lateral amygdala (LA for formation of aversive stimulus associations, the CA1 area of the hippocampus for context-dependent modulation of these associations, and the infralimbic region of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC for extinction processes. While many studies have addressed the contribution of each of these modules individually, little is known about their interactions and how they function as an integrated system. Here we show, by combining multiple site local field potential (LFP and unit recordings in freely behaving mice in a fear conditioning paradigm, that theta oscillations may provide a means for temporally and functionally connecting these modules. Theta oscillations occurred with high specificity in the CA1-LA-mPFC network. Theta coupling increased between all areas during retrieval of conditioned fear, and declined during extinction learning. During extinction recall, theta coupling partly rebounded in LA-mPFC and CA1-mPFC, and remained at a low level in CA1-LA. Interfering with theta coupling through local electrical microstimulation in CA1-LA affected conditioned fear and extinction recall depending on theta phase. These results support the hypothesis that theta coupling provides a means for inter-areal coordination in conditioned behavioral responsiveness. More specifically, theta oscillations seem to contribute to a population code indicating conditioned stimuli during recall of fear memory before and after extinction.

  18. Dopamine Modulates Delta-Gamma Phase-Amplitude Coupling in the Prefrontal Cortex of Behaving Rats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andino-Pavlovsky, Victoria; Souza, Annie C.; Scheffer-Teixeira, Robson; Tort, Adriano B. L.; Etchenique, Roberto; Ribeiro, Sidarta

    2017-01-01

    Dopamine release and phase-amplitude cross-frequency coupling (CFC) have independently been implicated in prefrontal cortex (PFC) functioning. To causally investigate whether dopamine release affects phase-amplitude comodulation between different frequencies in local field potentials (LFP) recorded from the medial PFC (mPFC) of behaving rats, we used RuBiDopa, a light-sensitive caged compound that releases the neurotransmitter dopamine when irradiated with visible light. LFP power did not change in any frequency band after the application of light-uncaged dopamine, but significantly strengthened phase-amplitude comodulation between delta and gamma oscillations. Saline did not exert significant changes, while injections of dopamine and RuBiDopa produced a slow increase in comodulation for several minutes after the injection. The results show that dopamine release in the medial PFC shifts phase-amplitude comodulation from theta-gamma to delta-gamma. Although being preliminary results due to the limitation of the low number of animals present in this study, our findings suggest that dopamine-mediated modification of the frequencies involved in comodulation could be a mechanism by which this neurotransmitter regulates functioning in mPFC. PMID:28536507

  19. Learned stressor resistance requires extracellular signal-regulated kinase in the prefrontal cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John Paul Christianson

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Behaviorally controllable stressors confer protection from the neurochemical and behavioral consequences of future uncontrollable stressors, a phenomenon termed behavioral immunization. Recent data implicate neuroplasticity within the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (mPFC as critical to behavioral immunization. Adult, male Sprague-Dawley rats were exposed to a series of controllable tailshocks and one week later to uncontrollable tailshocks, followed 24h later by social exploration and shuttlebox escape tests. To test the involvement of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors (NMDAR and the extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK cascade in behavioral immunization, either D-AP5 or the MEK inhibitor U0126 was injected to the prelimbic (PL or infralimbic (IL mPFC prior to controllable stress exposure. Phosphorylated ERK and P70S6K, regulators of transcription and translation, were quantified by Western blot or immunohistochemistry after controllable or uncontrollable tailshocks. Prior controllable stress prevented the social exploration and shuttlebox performance deficits caused by the later uncontrollable stressor, and this effect was blocked by injections of D-AP5 into mPFC. A significant increase in phosphorylated ERK1 and ERK2, but not P70S6K, occurred within the PL and IL in rats exposed to controllable stress, but not to uncontrollable stress. However, U0126 only prevented behavioral immunization when injected to the PL. We provide evidence that NMDAR and ERK dependent plasticity within the PL region is required for behavioral immunization, a learned form of stressor resistance.

  20. Cytokine profiling in the prefrontal cortex of Parkinson's Disease and Multiple System Atrophy patients

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rydbirk, Rasmus; Elfving, Betina; Andersen, Mille Dahl

    2017-01-01

    . Cytokines, which are the main inflammatory signalling molecules, have been identified in blood and cerebrospinal fluid of PD patients, but studies investigating the human brain levels are scarce. It is documented that neurotrophins, necessary for survival of brain cells and known to interact with cytokines......, are altered in the basal ganglia of PD patients. In regards to MSA, no major study has investigated brain cytokine or neurotrophin protein expression. Here, we measured protein levels of 18 cytokines (IL-2, 4-8, 10, 12, 13, 17, G-CSF, GM-CSF, IFN-γ, MCP-1, MIP-1α and 1β, TNF-α) and 5 neurotrophins (BDNF, GDNF......, bFGF, PDGF-BB, VEGF) in the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex in brains of MSA and PD patients and control subjects. We found altered expression of IL-2, IL-13, and G-CSF, but no differences in neurotrophin levels. Further, in MSA patients we identified increased mRNA levels of GSK3β that is involved...

  1. Perceptual decision-making difficulty modulates feedforward effective connectivity to the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bidhan eLamichhane

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Diverse cortical structures are known to coordinate activity as a network in relaying and processing of visual information to discriminate visual objects. However, how this discrimination is achieved is still largely unknown. To contribute to answering this question, we used face-house categorization tasks with three levels of noise in face and house images in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI experiments involving thirty-three participants. The behavioral performance error and response time (RT were correlated with noise in face-house images. We then built dynamical causal models (DCM of fMRI blood-oxygenation level dependent (BOLD signals from the face and house category-specific regions in ventral temporal cortex, the fusiform face area (FFA and parahippocampal place area (PPA, and the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC. We found a strong feed-forward intrinsic connectivity pattern from FFA and PPA to dlPFC. Importantly, the feed-forward connectivity to dlPFC was significantly modulated by the perception of both faces and houses. The dlPFC-BOLD activity, the connectivity from FFA and PPA to the dlPFC all increased with noise level. These results suggest that the FFA-PPA-dlPFC network plays an important role for relaying and integrating competing sensory information to arrive at perceptual decisions.

  2. Differential expression of exosomal microRNAs in prefrontal cortices of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder patients.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Meredith G Banigan

    Full Text Available Exosomes are cellular secretory vesicles containing microRNAs (miRNAs. Once secreted, exosomes are able to attach to recipient cells and release miRNAs potentially modulating the function of the recipient cell. We hypothesized that exosomal miRNA expression in brains of patients diagnosed with schizophrenia (SZ and bipolar disorder (BD might differ from controls, reflecting either disease-specific or common aberrations in SZ and BD patients. The sources of the analyzed samples included McLean 66 Cohort Collection (Harvard Brain Tissue Resource Center, BrainNet Europe II (BNE, a consortium of 18 brain banks across Europe and Boston Medical Center (BMC. Exosomal miRNAs from frozen postmortem prefrontal cortices with well-preserved RNA were isolated and submitted to profiling by Luminex FLEXMAP 3D microfluidic device. Multiple statistical analyses of microarray data suggested that certain exosomal miRNAs were differentially expressed in SZ and BD subjects in comparison to controls. RT-PCR validation confirmed that two miRNAs, miR-497 in SZ samples and miR-29c in BD samples, have significantly increased expression when compared to control samples. These results warrant future studies to evaluate the potential of exosome-derived miRNAs to serve as biomarkers of SZ and BD.

  3. Structural Variation within the Amygdala and Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex Predict Memory for Impressions in Older Adults

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brittany Shane Cassidy

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Research has shown that lesions to regions involved in social and emotional cognition disrupt socioemotional processing and memory. We investigated how structural variation of regions involved in socioemotional memory (ventromedial prefrontal cortex [vmPFC], amygdala, as opposed to a region implicated in explicit memory (hippocampus, affected memory for impressions in young and older adults. Anatomical MRI scans for fifteen young and fifteen older adults were obtained and reconstructed to gather information about cortical thickness and subcortical volume. Young adults had greater amygdala and hippocampus volumes than old, and thicker left vmPFC than old, although right vmPFC thickness did not differ across the age groups. Participants formed behavior-based impressions and responded to interpersonally meaningful, social but interpersonally irrelevant, or non-social prompts, and completed a memory test. Results showed that greater left amygdala volume predicted enhanced overall memory for impressions in older but not younger adults. Increased right vmPFC thickness in older, but not younger, adults correlated with enhanced memory for impressions formed in the interpersonally meaningful context. Hippocampal volume was not predictive of social memory in young or older adults. These findings demonstrate the importance of structural variation in regions linked to socioemotional processing in the retention of impressions with age, and suggest that the amygdala and vmPFC play an integral role when encoding and retrieving social information.

  4. Maternal Sevoflurane Exposure Causes Abnormal Development of Fetal Prefrontal Cortex and Induces Cognitive Dysfunction in Offspring

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ruixue Song

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Maternal sevoflurane exposure during pregnancy is associated with increased risk for behavioral deficits in offspring. Several studies indicated that neurogenesis abnormality may be responsible for the sevoflurane-induced neurotoxicity, but the concrete impact of sevoflurane on fetal brain development remains poorly understood. We aimed to investigate whether maternal sevoflurane exposure caused learning and memory impairment in offspring through inducing abnormal development of the fetal prefrontal cortex (PFC. Pregnant mice at gestational day 15.5 received 2.5% sevoflurane for 6 h. Learning function of the offspring was evaluated with the Morris water maze test at postnatal day 30. Brain tissues of fetal mice were subjected to immunofluorescence staining to assess differentiation, proliferation, and cell cycle dynamics of the fetal PFC. We found that maternal sevoflurane anesthesia impaired learning ability in offspring through inhibiting deep-layer immature neuron output and neuronal progenitor replication. With the assessment of cell cycle dynamics, we established that these effects were mediated through cell cycle arrest in neural progenitors. Our research has provided insights into the cell cycle-related mechanisms by which maternal sevoflurane exposure can induce neurodevelopmental abnormalities and learning dysfunction and appeals people to consider the neurotoxicity of anesthetics when considering the benefits and risks of nonobstetric surgical procedures.

  5. Spike-timing-dependent plasticity in the human dorso-lateral prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Casula, Elias Paolo; Pellicciari, Maria Concetta; Picazio, Silvia; Caltagirone, Carlo; Koch, Giacomo

    2016-12-01

    Changes in the synaptic strength of neural connections are induced by repeated coupling of activity of interconnected neurons with precise timing, a phenomenon known as spike-timing-dependent plasticity (STDP). It is debated if this mechanism exists in large-scale cortical networks in humans. We combined transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) with concurrent electroencephalography (EEG) to directly investigate the effects of two paired associative stimulation (PAS) protocols (fronto-parietal and parieto-frontal) of pre and post-synaptic inputs within the human fronto-parietal network. We found evidence that the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) has the potential to form robust STDP. Long-term potentiation/depression of TMS-evoked cortical activity is prompted after that DLPFC stimulation is followed/preceded by posterior parietal stimulation. Such bidirectional changes are paralleled by sustained increase/decrease of high-frequency oscillatory activity, likely reflecting STDP responsivity. The current findings could be important to drive plasticity of damaged cortical circuits in patients with cognitive or psychiatric disorders. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Involvement of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and superior temporal sulcus in impaired social perception in schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shin, Jung Eun; Choi, Soo-Hee; Lee, Hyeongrae; Shin, Young Seok; Jang, Dong-Pyo; Kim, Jae-Jin

    2015-04-03

    Schizophrenia is a mental disorder characterized by impairments in diverse thinking and emotional responses, which are related to social perception dysfunction. This fMRI study was designed to investigate a neurobiological basis of social perception deficits of patients with schizophrenia in various social situations of daily life and their relationship with clinical symptoms and social dysfunction. Seventeen patients and 19 controls underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging, during which participants performed a virtual social perception task, containing an avatar's speech with positive, negative or neutral emotion in a virtual reality space. Participants were asked to determine whether or not the avatar's speech was appropriate to each situation. The significant group×appropriateness interaction was seen in the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), resulting from lower activity in patients in the inappropriate condition, and left DLPFC activity was negatively correlated with the severity of negative symptoms and positively correlated with the level of social functioning. The significant appropriateness×emotion interaction observed in the left superior temporal sulcus (STS) was present in controls, but absent in patients, resulting from the existence and absence of a difference between the inappropriate positive and negative conditions, respectively. These findings indicate that dysfunction of the DLPFC-STS network may underlie patients' abnormal social perception in various social situations of daily life. Abnormal functioning of this network may contribute to increases of negative symptoms and decreases of social functioning. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Brain cells in the avian 'prefrontal cortex' code for features of slot-machine-like gambling.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Damian Scarf

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Slot machines are the most common and addictive form of gambling. In the current study, we recorded from single neurons in the 'prefrontal cortex' of pigeons while they played a slot-machine-like task. We identified four categories of neurons that coded for different aspects of our slot-machine-like task. Reward-Proximity neurons showed a linear increase in activity as the opportunity for a reward drew near. I-Won neurons fired only when the fourth stimulus of a winning (four-of-a-kind combination was displayed. I-Lost neurons changed their firing rate at the presentation of the first nonidentical stimulus, that is, when it was apparent that no reward was forthcoming. Finally, Near-Miss neurons also changed their activity the moment it was recognized that a reward was no longer available, but more importantly, the activity level was related to whether the trial contained one, two, or three identical stimuli prior to the display of the nonidentical stimulus. These findings not only add to recent neurophysiological research employing simulated gambling paradigms, but also add to research addressing the functional correspondence between the avian NCL and primate PFC.

  8. Bidirectional modulation of goal-directed actions by prefrontal cortical dopamine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hitchcott, Paul K; Quinn, Jennifer J; Taylor, Jane R

    2007-12-01

    Instrumental actions are a vital cognitive asset that endows an organism with sensitivity to the consequences of its behavior. Response-outcome feedback allows responding to be shaped in order to maximize beneficial, and minimize detrimental, outcomes. Lesions of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) result in behavior that is insensitive to changes in outcome value in animals and compulsive behavior in several human psychopathologies. Such insensitivity to changes in outcome value is a defining characteristic of instrumental habits: responses that are controlled by antecedent stimuli rather than goal expectancy. Little is known regarding the neurochemical substrates mediating this sensitivity. The present experiments used sensitivity to posttraining outcome devaluation to index the action-habit status of instrumental responding. Infusions of dopamine into the ventral mPFC (vmPFC), but not dorsal mPFC, restored outcome sensitivity bidirectionally-decreasing responding following outcome devaluation and increasing responding when the outcome was not devalued. This bidirectionality makes the possibility that these infusions nonspecifically dysregulated vmPFC dopamine transmission unlikely. VmPFC dopamine promoted instrumental responding appropriate to outcome value. Reinforcer consumption data indicated that this was not a consequence of altered sensitivity to the reinforcer itself. We suggest that vmPFC dopamine reengages attentional processes underlying goal-directed behavior.

  9. Activation of dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in a dual neuropsychological screening test: An fMRI approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tachibana Atsumichi

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The Kana Pick-out Test (KPT, which uses Kana or Japanese symbols that represent syllables, requires parallel processing of discrete (pick-out and continuous (reading dual tasks. As a dual task, the KPT is thought to test working memory and executive function, particularly in the prefrontal cortex (PFC, and is widely used in Japan as a clinical screen for dementia. Nevertheless, there has been little neurological investigation into PFC activity during this test. Methods We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI to evaluate changes in the blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD signal in young healthy adults during performance of a computerized KPT dual task (comprised of reading comprehension and picking out vowels and compared it to its single task components (reading or vowel pick-out alone. Results Behavioral performance of the KPT degraded compared to its single task components. Performance of the KPT markedly increased BOLD signal intensity in the PFC, and also activated sensorimotor, parietal association, and visual cortex areas. In conjunction analyses, bilateral BOLD signal in the dorsolateral PFC (Brodmann's areas 45, 46 was present only in the KPT. Conclusions Our results support the central bottleneck theory and suggest that the dorsolateral PFC is an important mediator of neural activity for both short-term storage and executive processes. Quantitative evaluation of the KPT with fMRI in healthy adults is the first step towards understanding the effects of aging or cognitive impairment on KPT performance.

  10. Activation of dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in a dual neuropsychological screening test: an fMRI approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tachibana, Atsumichi; Noah, J Adam; Bronner, Shaw; Ono, Yumie; Hirano, Yoshiyuki; Niwa, Masami; Watanabe, Kazuko; Onozuka, Minoru

    2012-05-28

    The Kana Pick-out Test (KPT), which uses Kana or Japanese symbols that represent syllables, requires parallel processing of discrete (pick-out) and continuous (reading) dual tasks. As a dual task, the KPT is thought to test working memory and executive function, particularly in the prefrontal cortex (PFC), and is widely used in Japan as a clinical screen for dementia. Nevertheless, there has been little neurological investigation into PFC activity during this test. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to evaluate changes in the blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) signal in young healthy adults during performance of a computerized KPT dual task (comprised of reading comprehension and picking out vowels) and compared it to its single task components (reading or vowel pick-out alone). Behavioral performance of the KPT degraded compared to its single task components. Performance of the KPT markedly increased BOLD signal intensity in the PFC, and also activated sensorimotor, parietal association, and visual cortex areas. In conjunction analyses, bilateral BOLD signal in the dorsolateral PFC (Brodmann's areas 45, 46) was present only in the KPT. Our results support the central bottleneck theory and suggest that the dorsolateral PFC is an important mediator of neural activity for both short-term storage and executive processes. Quantitative evaluation of the KPT with fMRI in healthy adults is the first step towards understanding the effects of aging or cognitive impairment on KPT performance.

  11. Humor Appreciation Involves Parametric and Synchronized Activity in the Medial Prefrontal Cortex and Hippocampus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iidaka, Tetsuya

    2017-12-01

    Humor perception is a ubiquitous phenomenon in human societies. In theories of humor perception, three factors, non-seriousness, social context, and incongruity, have been implicated in humor. In another theory, however, elaboration and reinterpretation of contexts are considered to play a role in eliciting humor. Although the neural correlates of humor appreciation have been investigated using neuroimaging methods, only a few studies have conducted such experiments under natural conditions. In the present study, two functional magnetic resonance imaging experiments, using a comedy movie as a stimulus, were conducted to investigate the neural correlates of humor under natural conditions. The subjects' brain activity was measured while watching and enjoying a movie. In experiment 1, a parametric analysis showed that the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) and hippocampus/amygdala had a positive relationship with the subjective rating of funniness. In experiment 2, intersubject correlation was analyzed to investigate synchronized activity across all participants. Signal synchronization that paralleled increased funniness ratings was observed in the MPFC and hippocampus. Thus, it appears that both parametric and synchronized activity in the MPFC and hippocampus are important during humor appreciation. The present study has revealed the brain regions that are predominantly involved in humor sensation under natural condition. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  12. Brain structural network topological alterations of the left prefrontal and limbic cortex in psychogenic erectile dysfunction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Jianhuai; Chen, Yun; Gao, Qingqiang; Chen, Guotao; Dai, Yutian; Yao, Zhijian; Lu, Qing

    2018-05-01

    Despite increasing understanding of the cerebral functional changes and structural abnormalities in erectile dysfunction, alterations in the topological organization of brain networks underlying psychogenic erectile dysfunction remain unclear. Here, based on the diffusion tensor image data of 25 patients and 26 healthy controls, we investigated the topological organization of brain structural networks and its correlations with the clinical variables using the graph theoretical analysis. Patients displayed a preserved overall small-world organization and exhibited a less connectivity strength in the left inferior frontal gyrus, amygdale and the right inferior temporal gyrus. Moreover, an abnormal hub pattern was observed in patients, which might disturb the information interactions of the remaining brain network. Additionally, the clustering coefficient of the left hippocampus was positively correlated with the duration of patients and the normalized betweenness centrality of the right anterior cingulate gyrus and the left calcarine fissure were negatively correlated with the sum scores of the 17-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale. These findings suggested that the damaged white matter and the abnormal hub distribution of the left prefrontal and limbic cortex might contribute to the pathogenesis of psychogenic erectile dysfunction and provided new insights into the understanding of the pathophysiological mechanisms of psychogenic erectile dysfunction.

  13. Sensory Deprivation during Early Postnatal Period Alters the Density of Interneurons in the Mouse Prefrontal Cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hiroshi Ueno

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Early loss of one sensory system can cause improved function of other sensory systems. However, both the time course and neuronal mechanism of cross-modal plasticity remain elusive. Recent study using functional MRI in humans suggests a role of the prefrontal cortex (PFC in cross-modal plasticity. Since this phenomenon is assumed to be associated with altered GABAergic inhibition in the PFC, we have tested the hypothesis that early postnatal sensory deprivation causes the changes of inhibitory neuronal circuit in different regions of the PFC of the mice. We determined the effects of sensory deprivation from birth to postnatal day 28 (P28 or P58 on the density of parvalbumin (PV, calbindin (CB, and calretinin (CR neurons in the prelimbic, infralimbic, and dorsal anterior cingulate cortices. The density of PV and CB neurons was significantly increased in layer 5/6 (L5/6. Moreover, the density of CR neurons was higher in L2/3 in sensory deprived mice compared to intact mice. These changes were more prominent at P56 than at P28. These results suggest that long-term sensory deprivation causes the changes of intracortical inhibitory networks in the PFC and the changes of inhibitory networks in the PFC may contribute to cross-modal plasticity.

  14. Individual differences and specificity of prefrontal gamma frequency-tACS on fluid intelligence capabilities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santarnecchi, E; Muller, T; Rossi, S; Sarkar, A; Polizzotto, N R; Rossi, A; Cohen Kadosh, R

    2016-02-01

    Emerging evidence suggests that transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS) is an effective, frequency-specific modulator of endogenous brain oscillations, with the potential to alter cognitive performance. Here, we show that reduction in response latencies to solve complex logic problem indexing fluid intelligence is obtained through 40 Hz-tACS (gamma band) applied to the prefrontal cortex. This improvement in human performance depends on individual ability, with slower performers at baseline receiving greater benefits. The effect could have not being explained by regression to the mean, and showed task and frequency specificity: it was not observed for trials not involving logical reasoning, as well as with the application of low frequency 5 Hz-tACS (theta band) or non-periodic high frequency random noise stimulation (101-640 Hz). Moreover, performance in a spatial working memory task was not affected by brain stimulation, excluding possible effects on fluid intelligence enhancement through an increase in memory performance. We suggest that such high-level cognitive functions are dissociable by frequency-specific neuromodulatory effects, possibly related to entrainment of specific brain rhythms. We conclude that individual differences in cognitive abilities, due to acquired or developmental origins, could be reduced during frequency-specific tACS, a finding that should be taken into account for future individual cognitive rehabilitation studies. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Changes in ventromedial prefrontal and insular cortex support the development of metamemory from childhood into adolescence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fandakova, Yana; Selmeczy, Diana; Leckey, Sarah; Grimm, Kevin J; Wendelken, Carter; Bunge, Silvia A; Ghetti, Simona

    2017-07-18

    Metamemory monitoring, or the ability to introspect on the accuracy of one's memories, improves considerably during childhood, but the underlying neural changes and implications for intellectual development are largely unknown. The present study examined whether cortical changes in key brain areas hypothesized to support metacognition contribute to the development of metamemory monitoring from late childhood into early adolescence. Metamemory monitoring was assessed among 7- to 12-y-old children ( n = 145) and adults ( n = 31). Children returned for up to two additional assessments at 8 to 14 y of age ( n = 120) and at 9 to 15 y of age ( n = 107) ( n = 347 longitudinal scans). Results showed that metamemory monitoring continues to improve from childhood into adolescence. More pronounced cortical thinning in the anterior insula and a greater increase in the thickness of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex over the three assessment points predicted these improvements. Thus, performance benefits are linked to the unique patterns of regional cortical change during development. Metamemory monitoring at the first time point predicted intelligence at the third time point and vice versa, suggesting parallel development of these abilities and their reciprocal influence. Together, these results provide insights into the neuroanatomical correlates supporting the development of the capacity to self-reflect, and highlight the role of this capacity for general intellectual development.

  16. Lesions to polar/orbital prefrontal cortex selectively impair reasoning about emotional material.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goel, Vinod; Lam, Elaine; Smith, Kathleen W; Goel, Amit; Raymont, Vanessa; Krueger, Frank; Grafman, Jordan

    2017-05-01

    While it is widely accepted that lesions to orbital prefrontal cortex lead to emotion related disruptions and poor decision-making, there is very little patient data on this issue involving actual logical reasoning tasks. We tested patients with circumscribed, focal lesions largely confined to polar/orbital prefrontal cortex (BA 10 & 11) (N=17) on logical reasoning tasks involving neutral and emotional content, and compared their performance to that of an age and education-matched normal control group (N=22) and a posterior lesion control group (N=24). Our results revealed a significant group by content interaction driven by a selective impairment in the polar/orbital prefrontal cortex group compared to healthy normal controls and to the parietal patient group, in the emotional content reasoning trials. Subsequent analyses of congruent and incongruent reasoning trials indicated that this impairment was driven by the poor performance of patients with polar/orbital lesions in the incongruent trials. We conclude that the polar/orbital prefrontal cortex plays a critical role in filtering emotionally charged content from the material before it is passed on to the reasoning system in lateral/dorsal regions of prefrontal cortex. Where unfiltered content is passed to the reasoning engine, either as a result of pathology (as in the case of our patients) or as a result of individual differences, reasoning performance suffers. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Perceptual difficulty in source memory encoding and retrieval: prefrontal versus parietal electrical brain activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuo, Trudy Y; Van Petten, Cyma

    2008-01-01

    It is well established that source memory retrieval--remembering relationships between a core item and some additional attribute of an event--engages prefrontal cortex (PFC) more than simple item memory. In event-related potentials (ERPs), this is manifest in a late-onset difference over PFC between studied items which mandate retrieval of a second attribute, and unstudied items which can be immediately rejected. Although some sorts of attribute conjunctions are easier to remember than others, the role of source retrieval difficulty on prefrontal activity has received little attention. We examined memory for conjunctions of object shape and color when color was an integral part of the depicted object, and when monochrome objects were surrounded by colored frames. Source accuracy was reliably worse when shape and color were spatially separated, but prefrontal activity did not vary across the object-color and frame-color conditions. The insensitivity of prefrontal ERPs to this perceptual manipulation of difficulty stands in contrast to their sensitivity to encoding task: deliberate voluntary effort to integrate objects and colors during encoding reduced prefrontal activity during retrieval, but perceptual organization of stimuli did not. The amplitudes of ERPs over parietal cortex were larger for frame-color than object-color stimuli during both study and test phases of the memory task. Individual variability in parietal ERPs was strongly correlated with memory accuracy, which we suggest reflects a contribution of visual working memory to long-term memory. We discuss multiple bottlenecks for source memory performance.

  18. Study the left prefrontal cortex activity of Chinese children with dyslexia in phonological processing by NIRS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Zhili; Li, Ting; Zheng, Yi; Luo, Qingming; Song, Ranran; Gong, Hui

    2006-02-01

    Developmental dyslexia, a kind of prevalent psychological disease, represents that dyslexic children have unexpected difficulties in phonological processing and recognition test of Chinese characters. Some functional imaging technologies, such as fMRI and PET, have been used to study the brain activities of the children with dyslexia whose first language is English. In this paper, a portable, 16-channel, continuous-wave (CW) NIRS instrument was used to monitor the concentration changes of each hemoglobin species when Chinese children did the task of phonological processing and recognition test. The NIRS recorded the hemodynamic changes in the left prefrontal cortex of the children. 20 dyslexia-reading children (10~12 years old) and 20 normal-reading children took part in the phonological processing of Chinese characters including the phonological awareness section and the phonological decoding section. During the phonological awareness section, the changed concentration of deoxy-hemoglobin in dyslexia-reading children were significantly higher (p<0.05) than normal-reading children in the left ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC). While in the phonological decoding section, both normal and dyslexic reading children had more activity in the left VLPFC, but only normal-reading children had activity in the left middorsal prefrontal cortex. In conclusion, both dyslexic and normal-reading children have activity in the left prefrontal cortex, but the degree and the areas of the prefrontal cortex activity are different between them when they did phonological processing.

  19. Changes in prefrontal and amygdala activity during olanzapine treatment in schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blasi, Giuseppe; Popolizio, Teresa; Taurisano, Paolo; Caforio, Grazia; Romano, Raffaella; Di Giorgio, Annabella; Sambataro, Fabio; Rubino, Valeria; Latorre, Valeria; Lo Bianco, Luciana; Fazio, Leonardo; Nardini, Marcello; Weinberger, Daniel R; Bertolino, Alessandro

    2009-07-15

    Earlier imaging studies in schizophrenia have reported abnormal amygdala and prefrontal cortex activity during emotion processing. We investigated with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) during emotion processing changes in activity of the amygdala and of prefrontal cortex in patients with schizophrenia during 8 weeks of olanzapine treatment. Twelve previously drug-free/naive patients with schizophrenia were treated with olanzapine for 8 weeks and underwent two fMRI scans after 4 and 8 weeks of treatment during implicit and explicit emotional processing. Twelve healthy subjects were also scanned twice to control for potential repetition effects. Results showed a diagnosis by time interaction in left amygdala and a diagnosis by time by task interaction in right ventrolateral prefrontal cortex. In particular, activity in left amygdala was greater in patients than in controls at the first scan during both explicit and implicit processing, while it was lower in patients at the second relative to the first scan. Furthermore, during implicit processing, right ventrolateral prefrontal cortex activity was lower in patients than controls at the first scan, while it was greater in patients at the second relative to the first scan. These results suggest that longitudinal treatment with olanzapine may be associated with specific changes in activity of the amygdala and prefrontal cortex during emotional processing in schizophrenia.

  20. Subthalamic Nucleus Deep Brain Stimulation Alters Prefrontal Correlates of Emotion Induction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bick, Sarah K B; Folley, Bradley S; Mayer, Jutta S; Park, Sohee; Charles, P David; Camalier, Corrie R; Pallavaram, Srivatsan; Konrad, Peter E; Neimat, Joseph S

    2017-04-01

    Deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the subthalamic nucleus (STN) improves motor symptoms in advanced Parkinson's disease. STN DBS may also affect emotion, possibly by impacting a parallel limbic cortico-striatal circuit. The objective of this study was to investigate changes in prefrontal cortical activity related to DBS during an emotion induction task. We used near infrared spectroscopy to monitor prefrontal cortex hemodynamic changes during an emotion induction task. Seven DBS patients were tested sequentially in the stimulation-on and stimulation-off states while on dopaminergic medication. Patients watched a series of positive, negative, and neutral videos. The general linear model was used to compare prefrontal oxygenated hemoglobin concentration between DBS states. Deep brain stimulation was correlated with prefrontal oxygenated hemoglobin changes relative to the stimulation off state in response to both positive and negative videos. These changes were specific to emotional stimuli and were not seen during neutral stimuli. These results suggest that STN stimulation influences the prefrontal cortical representation of positive and negative emotion induction. © 2016 International Neuromodulation Society.

  1. Norepinephrine versus dopamine and their interaction in modulating synaptic function in the prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xing, Bo; Li, Yan-Chun; Gao, Wen-Jun

    2016-06-15

    Among the neuromodulators that regulate prefrontal cortical circuit function, the catecholamine transmitters norepinephrine (NE) and dopamine (DA) stand out as powerful players in working memory and attention. Perturbation of either NE or DA signaling is implicated in the pathogenesis of several neuropsychiatric disorders, including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), schizophrenia, and drug addiction. Although the precise mechanisms employed by NE and DA to cooperatively control prefrontal functions are not fully understood, emerging research indicates that both transmitters regulate electrical and biochemical aspects of neuronal function by modulating convergent ionic and synaptic signaling in the prefrontal cortex (PFC). This review summarizes previous studies that investigated the effects of both NE and DA on excitatory and inhibitory transmissions in the prefrontal cortical circuitry. Specifically, we focus on the functional interaction between NE and DA in prefrontal cortical local circuitry, synaptic integration, signaling pathways, and receptor properties. Although it is clear that both NE and DA innervate the PFC extensively and modulate synaptic function by activating distinctly different receptor subtypes and signaling pathways, it remains unclear how these two systems coordinate their actions to optimize PFC function for appropriate behavior. Throughout this review, we provide perspectives and highlight several critical topics for future studies. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled SI: Noradrenergic System. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Human Thalamic-Prefrontal Peduncle Connectivity Revealed by Diffusion Spectrum Imaging Fiber Tracking

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chuanqi Sun

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available The thalamic-prefrontal peduncle (TPP is a large bundle connecting the thalamus and prefrontal cortex. The definitive structure and function of the TPP are still controversial. To investigate the connectivity and segmentation patterns of the TPP, we employed diffusion spectrum imaging with generalized q-sampling reconstruction to perform both subject-specific and template-based analyses. Our results confirmed the trajectory and spatial relationship of the TPP in the human brain and identified the connection areas in the prefrontal cortex. The TPP-connecting areas identified based on Brodmann areas (BAs were BAs 8–11 and 45–47. Based on the automated anatomical atlas, these areas were the medial superior frontal gyrus, superior frontal gyrus, middle frontal gyrus, pars triangularis, pars orbitalis, anterior orbital gyrus, and lateral orbital gyrus. In addition, we identified the TPP connection areas in the thalamus, including the anterior and medial nuclei, and the lateral dorsal/lateral posterior nuclei. TPP fibers connected the thalamus with the ipsilateral prefrontal BAs 11, 47, 10, 46, 45, 9, and 8 seriatim from medial to lateral, layer by layer. Our results provide further details of the thalamic-prefrontal peduncle structure, and may aid future studies and a better understanding of the functional roles of the TPP in the human brain.

  3. Regulation of dopamine synthesis and release in striatal and prefrontal cortical brain slices

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wolf, M.E.

    1986-01-01

    Brain slices were used to investigate the role of nerve terminal autoreceptors in modulating dopamine (DA) synthesis and release in striatum and prefrontal cortex. Accumulation of dihydroxyphenylalanine (DOPA) was used as an index of tyrosine hydroxylation in vitro. Nomifensine, a DA uptake blocker, inhibited DOPA synthesis in striatal but not prefrontal slices. This effect was reversed by the DA antagonist sulpiride, suggesting it involved activation of DA receptors by elevated synaptic levels of DA. The autoreceptor-selective agonist EMD-23-448 also inhibited striatal but not prefrontal DOPA synthesis. DOPA synthesis was stimulated in both brain regions by elevated K + , however only striatal synthesis could be further enhanced by sulpiride. DA release was measured by following the efflux of radioactivity from brain slices prelabeled with [ 3 H]-DA. EMD-23-448 and apomorphine inhibited, while sulpiride enhanced, the K + -evoked overflow of radioactivity from both striatal and prefrontal cortical slices. These findings suggest that striatal DA nerve terminals possess autoreceptors which modulate tyrosine hydroxylation as well as autoreceptors which modulate release. Alternatively, one site may be coupled to both functions through distinct transduction mechanisms. In contrast, autoreceptors on prefrontal cortical terminals appear to regulate DA release but not DA synthesis

  4. Functional compensation in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex improves memory-dependent decisions in older adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lighthall, Nichole R; Huettel, Scott A; Cabeza, Roberto

    2014-11-19

    Everyday consumer choices frequently involve memory, as when we retrieve information about consumer products when making purchasing decisions. In this context, poor memory may affect decision quality, particularly in individuals with memory decline, such as older adults. However, age differences in choice behavior may be reduced if older adults can recruit additional neural resources that support task performance. Although such functional compensation is well documented in other cognitive domains, it is presently unclear whether it can support memory-guided decision making and, if so, which brain regions play a role in compensation. The current study engaged younger and older humans in a memory-dependent choice task in which pairs of consumer products from a popular online-shopping site were evaluated with different delays between the first and second product. Using functional imaging (fMRI), we found that the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) supports compensation as defined by three a priori criteria: (1) increased vmPFC activation was observed in older versus younger adults; (2) age-related increases in vmPFC activity were associated with increased retrieval demands; and (3) increased vmPFC activity was positively associated with performance in older adults-evidence of successful compensation. Extending these results, we observed evidence for compensation in connectivity between vmPFC and the dorsolateral PFC during memory-dependent choice. In contrast, we found no evidence for age differences in value-related processing or age-related compensation for choices without delayed retrieval. Together, these results converge on the conclusion that age-related decline in memory-dependent choice performance can be minimized via functional compensation in vmPFC. Copyright © 2014 the authors 0270-6474/14/3415648-10$15.00/0.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Yang; Mailman, Richard B

    2018-05-02

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

  6. Deficit in rewarding mechanisms and prefrontal left/right cortical effect in vulnerability for internet addiction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balconi, Michela; Finocchiaro, Roberta

    2016-10-01

    The present research explored the cortical correlates of rewarding mechanisms and cortical 'unbalance' effect in internet addiction (IA) vulnerability. Internet Addiction Inventory (IAT) and personality trait (Behavioural Inhibition System, BIS; Behavioural Activation System, BAS) were applied to 28 subjects. Electroencephalographic (EEG, alpha frequency band) and response times (RTs) were registered during a Go-NoGo task execution in response to different online stimuli: gambling videos, videogames or neutral stimuli. Higher-IAT (more than 50 score, with moderate or severe internet addiction) and lower-IAT (internet addiction). Alpha band and RTs were affected by IAT, with significant bias (reduced RTs) for high-IAT in response to gambling videos and videogames; and by BAS, BAS-Reward subscale (BAS-R), since not only higher-IAT, but also BAS and BAS-R values determined an increasing of left prefrontal cortex (PFC) activity (alpha reduction) in response to videogames and gambling stimuli for both Go and NoGo conditions, in addition to decreased RTs for these stimuli categories. The increased PFC responsiveness and the lateralisation (left PFC hemisphere) effect in NoGo condition was explained on the basis of a 'rewarding bias' towards more rewarding cues and a deficit in inhibitory control in higher-IAT and higher-BAS subjects. In contrast lower-IAT and lower-BAS predicted a decreased PFC response and increased RTs for NoGo (inhibitory mechanism). These results may support the significance of personality (BAS) and IAT measures for explaining future internet addiction behaviour based on this observed 'vulnerability'.

  7. GAD2 Alternative Transcripts in the Human Prefrontal Cortex, and in Schizophrenia and Affective Disorders.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kasey N Davis

    Full Text Available Genetic variation and early adverse environmental events work together to increase risk for schizophrenia. γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA, the major inhibitory neurotransmitter in adult mammalian brain, plays a major role in normal brain development, and has been strongly implicated in the pathobiology of schizophrenia. GABA synthesis is controlled by two glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD genes, GAD1 and GAD2, both of which produce a number of alternative transcripts. Genetic variants in the GAD1 gene are associated with increased risk for schizophrenia, and reduced expression of its major transcript in the human dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC. No consistent changes in GAD2 expression have been found in brains from patients with schizophrenia. In this work, with the use of RNA sequencing and PCR technologies, we confirmed and tracked the expression of an alternative truncated transcript of GAD2 (ENST00000428517 in human control DLPFC homogenates across lifespan besides the well-known full length transcript of GAD2. In addition, using quantitative RT-PCR, expression of GAD2 full length and truncated transcripts were measured in the DLPFC of patients with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depression. The expression of GAD2 full length transcript is decreased in the DLPFC of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder patients, while GAD2 truncated transcript is increased in bipolar disorder patients but decreased in schizophrenia patients. Moreover, the patients with schizophrenia with completed suicide or positive nicotine exposure showed significantly higher expression of GAD2 full length transcript. Alternative transcripts of GAD2 may be important in the growth and development of GABA-synthesizing neurons as well as abnormal GABA signaling in the DLPFC of patients with schizophrenia and affective disorders.

  8. Cytokine profiling in the prefrontal cortex of Parkinson's Disease and Multiple System Atrophy patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rydbirk, Rasmus; Elfving, Betina; Andersen, Mille Dahl; Langbøl, Mia Aggergaard; Folke, Jonas; Winge, Kristian; Pakkenberg, Bente; Brudek, Tomasz; Aznar, Susana

    2017-10-01

    Parkinson's Disease (PD) and Multiple System Atrophy (MSA) are neurodegenerative diseases characterized neuropathologically by alpha-synuclein accumulation in brain cells. This accumulation is hypothesized to contribute to constitutive neuroinflammation, and to participate in the neurodegeneration. Cytokines, which are the main inflammatory signalling molecules, have been identified in blood and cerebrospinal fluid of PD patients, but studies investigating the human brain levels are scarce. It is documented that neurotrophins, necessary for survival of brain cells and known to interact with cytokines, are altered in the basal ganglia of PD patients. In regards to MSA, no major study has investigated brain cytokine or neurotrophin protein expression. Here, we measured protein levels of 18 cytokines (IL-2, 4-8, 10, 12, 13, 17, G-CSF, GM-CSF, IFN-γ, MCP-1, MIP-1α and 1β, TNF-α) and 5 neurotrophins (BDNF, GDNF, bFGF, PDGF-BB, VEGF) in the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex in brains of MSA and PD patients and control subjects. We found altered expression of IL-2, IL-13, and G-CSF, but no differences in neurotrophin levels. Further, in MSA patients we identified increased mRNA levels of GSK3β that is involved in neuroinflammatory pathways. Lastly, we identified increased expression of the neurodegenerative marker S100B, but not CRP, in PD and MSA patients, indicating local rather than systemic inflammation. Supporting this, in both diseases we observed increased MHC class II + and CD45 + positive cells, and low numbers of infiltrating CD3 + cells. In conclusion, we identified neuroinflammatory responses in PD and MSA which seems more widespread in the brain than neurotrophic changes. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Unique and shared roles of the posterior parietal and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in cognitive functions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fumi eKatsuki

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available The dorsolateral prefrontal and posterior parietal cortex are two parts of a broader brain network involved in the control of cognitive functions such as working memory, spatial attention, and decision making. The two areas share many functional properties and exhibit similar patterns of activation during the execution of mental operations. However, neurophysiological experiments in non-human primates have also documented subtle differences, revealing functional specialization within the fronto-parietal network. These differences include the ability of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex to influence memory performance, attention allocation and motor responses to a greater extent, and to resist interference by distracting stimuli. In recent years, distinct cellular and anatomical differences have been identified, offering insights into how functional specialization is achieved. This article reviews the common functions and functional differences between the dorsolateral prefrontal and posterior parietal cortex, and their underlying mechanisms.

  10. Differential involvement of left prefrontal cortex in inductive and deductive reasoning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goel, Vinod; Dolan, Raymond J

    2004-10-01

    While inductive and deductive reasoning are considered distinct logical and psychological processes, little is known about their respective neural basis. To address this issue we scanned 16 subjects with fMRI, using an event-related design, while they engaged in inductive and deductive reasoning tasks. Both types of reasoning were characterized by activation of left lateral prefrontal and bilateral dorsal frontal, parietal, and occipital cortices. Neural responses unique to each type of reasoning determined from the Reasoning Type (deduction and induction) by Task (reasoning and baseline) interaction indicated greater involvement of left inferior frontal gyrus (BA 44) in deduction than induction, while left dorsolateral (BA 8/9) prefrontal gyrus showed greater activity during induction than deduction. This pattern suggests a dissociation within prefrontal cortex for deductive and inductive reasoning.

  11. Serotonin 1B Receptors Regulate Prefrontal Function by Gating Callosal and Hippocampal Inputs

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kjaerby, Celia; Athilingam, Jegath; Robinson, Sarah E

    2016-01-01

    Both medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and serotonin play key roles in anxiety; however, specific mechanisms through which serotonin might act on the mPFC to modulate anxiety-related behavior remain unknown. Here, we use a combination of optogenetics and synaptic physiology to show that serotonin...... acts presynaptically via 5-HT1B receptors to selectively suppress inputs from the contralateral mPFC and ventral hippocampus (vHPC), while sparing those from mediodorsal thalamus. To elucidate how these actions could potentially regulate prefrontal circuit function, we infused a 5-HT1B agonist...... into the mPFC of freely behaving mice. Consistent with previous studies that have optogenetically inhibited vHPC-mPFC projections, activating prefrontal 5-HT1B receptors suppressed theta-frequency mPFC activity (4-12 Hz), and reduced avoidance of anxiogenic regions in the elevated plus maze. These findings...

  12. Prefrontal cortex volume reductions and tic inhibition are unrelated in uncomplicated GTS adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ganos, Christos; Kühn, Simone; Kahl, Ursula; Schunke, Odette; Brandt, Valerie; Bäumer, Tobias; Thomalla, Götz; Haggard, Patrick; Münchau, Alexander

    2014-01-01

    Tics in Gilles de la Tourette syndrome (GTS) are repetitive patterned movements, resembling spontaneous motor behaviour, but escaping voluntary control. Previous studies hypothesised relations between structural alterations in prefrontal cortex of GTS adults and tic severity using voxel-based morphometry (VBM), but could not demonstrate a significant association. The relation between prefrontal cortex structure and tic inhibition has not been investigated. Here, we used VBM to examine 14 GTS adults without associated comorbidities, and 15 healthy controls. We related structural alterations in GTS to clinical measures of tic severity and tic control. Grey matter volumes in the right inferior frontal gyrus and the left frontal pole were reduced in patients relative to healthy controls. These changes were not related to tic severity and tic inhibition. Prefrontal grey matter volume reductions in GTS adults are not related to state measures of tic phenomenology. © 2013.

  13. Callosal window between prefrontal cortices: cognitive interaction to retrieve long-term memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hasegawa, I; Fukushima, T; Ihara, T; Miyashita, Y

    1998-08-07

    A perceptual image can be recalled from memory without sensory stimulation. However, the neural origin of memory retrieval remains unsettled. To examine whether memory retrieval can be regulated by top-down processes originating from the prefrontal cortex, a visual associative memory task was introduced into the partial split-brain paradigm in monkeys. Long-term memory acquired through stimulus-stimulus association did not transfer via the anterior corpus callosum, a key part interconnecting prefrontal cortices. Nonetheless, when a visual cue was presented to one hemisphere, the anterior callosum could instruct the other hemisphere to retrieve the correct stimulus specified by the cue. Thus, although visual long-term memory is stored in the temporal cortex, memory retrieval is under the executive control of the prefrontal cortex.

  14. Prefrontal serotonin transporter availability is positively associated with the cortisol awakening response

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Frokjaer, Vibe Gedsoe; Erritzoe, David; Holst, Klaus Kähler

    2013-01-01

    higher cortisol responses when exposed to psychosocial stressors relative to high expressing 5-HTTLPR variants. However, it is not clear how the relation between SERT and cortisol output is reflected in the adult brain. We investigated the relation between cortisol response to awakening (CAR) and SERT...... binding in brain regions considered relevant to modify the cortisol awakening response. Methods: thirty-two healthy volunteers underwent in vivo SERT imaging with [11C]DASB-Positron Emission Tomography (PET), genotyping, and performed home-sampling of saliva to assess CAR. Results: CAR, defined...... between CAR and prefrontal SERT binding as tested by an interaction analysis (genotype×CAR). Conclusion: prefrontal SERT binding is positively associated with cortisol response to awakening. We speculate that in mentally healthy individuals prefrontal serotonergic neurotransmission may exert an inhibitory...

  15. The prefrontal cortex: insights from functional neuroimaging using cognitive activation tasks

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Goethals, Ingeborg; Van de Wiele, Christophe; Dierckx, Rudi [Division of Nuclear Medicine, Polikliniek 7, Ghent University Hospital, De Pintelaan 185, 9000, Ghent (Belgium); Audenaert, Kurt [Department of Psychiatry and Medical Psychology, Ghent University Hospital, Ghent (Belgium)

    2004-03-01

    This review presents neuroimaging studies which have explored the functional anatomy of a variety of cognitive processes represented by the prefrontal cortex (PFC). Overall, these studies have demonstrated that standard prefrontal neuroactivation tasks recruit a widely distributed network within the brain of which the PFC consistently forms a part. As such, these results are in keeping with the notion that executive functions within the PFC rely not only on anterior (mainly prefrontal) brain areas, but also on posterior (mainly parietal) brain regions. Moreover, intervention of similar brain regions in a large number of different executive tasks suggests that higher-level cognitive functions may best be understood in terms of an interactive network of specialised anterior as well as posterior brain regions. (orig.)

  16. The prefrontal cortex: insights from functional neuroimaging using cognitive activation tasks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Goethals, Ingeborg; Van de Wiele, Christophe; Dierckx, Rudi; Audenaert, Kurt

    2004-01-01

    This review presents neuroimaging studies which have explored the functional anatomy of a variety of cognitive processes represented by the prefrontal cortex (PFC). Overall, these studies have demonstrated that standard prefrontal neuroactivation tasks recruit a widely distributed network within the brain of which the PFC consistently forms a part. As such, these results are in keeping with the notion that executive functions within the PFC rely not only on anterior (mainly prefrontal) brain areas, but also on posterior (mainly parietal) brain regions. Moreover, intervention of similar brain regions in a large number of different executive tasks suggests that higher-level cognitive functions may best be understood in terms of an interactive network of specialised anterior as well as posterior brain regions. (orig.)

  17. Association between prefrontal N-acetylaspartate and insight in psychotic disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larabi, Daouia I; Liemburg, Edith J; Pijnenborg, Gerdina H M; Sibeijn-Kuiper, Anita; de Vos, Annerieke E; Bais, Leonie; Knegtering, Henderikus; Ćurčić-Blake, Branislava; Aleman, André

    2017-01-01

    Insight is impaired in most patients with psychosis and has been associated with poorer prognosis. The exact neural basis of impaired insight is still unknown, but it may involve disrupted prefrontal neural connectivity. Numerous studies have indeed found white matter (WM) abnormalities in psychosis. The association between prefrontal WM abnormalities and insight has not been studied yet by means of proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy ( 1 H-MRS). 1 H-MRS can be used to measure N-acetylaspartate (NAA), which is considered to be a marker of neuronal integrity. We measured insight with the Birchwood Insight Scale (BIS) as well as item G12 of the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) in 88 patients with psychosis. Prefrontal WM concentrations of NAA and ratios of NAA to creatine (Cr) were assessed with 1 H-MRS. Nonparametric partial correlational analyses were conducted between NAA concentrations and insight controlling for illness duration, standardized antipsychotic dose, symptom scores, voxel grey matter content and voxel cerebrospinal fluid content. We found a significant correlation between reduced NAA/Cr ratios and poorer insight as measured with the BIS, which remained significant after additional correction for full width at half maximum, signal/noise and age. This is the first study reporting a relationship between lower prefrontal concentrations of a marker of neuronal integrity and impaired insight, providing further evidence that prefrontal pathology may play an important role in impaired insight in psychosis. This may be explained by the involvement of the prefrontal cortex in several executive and metacognitive functions, such as cognitive flexibility and perspective taking. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. Impaired verbal memory in Parkinson disease: relationship to prefrontal dysfunction and somatosensory discrimination

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    Weniger Dorothea

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Objective To study the neurocognitive profile and its relationship to prefrontal dysfunction in non-demented Parkinson's disease (PD with deficient haptic perception. Methods Twelve right-handed patients with PD and 12 healthy control subjects underwent thorough neuropsychological testing including Rey complex figure, Rey auditory verbal and figural learning test, figural and verbal fluency, and Stroop test. Test scores reflecting significant differences between patients and healthy subjects were correlated with the individual expression coefficients of one principal component, obtained in a principal component analysis of an oxygen-15-labeled water PET study exploring somatosensory discrimination that differentiated between the two groups and involved prefrontal cortices. Results We found significantly decreased total scores for the verbal learning trials and verbal delayed free recall in PD patients compared with normal volunteers. Further analysis of these parameters using Spearman's ranking correlation showed a significantly negative correlation of deficient verbal recall with expression coefficients of the principal component whose image showed a subcortical-cortical network, including right dorsolateral-prefrontal cortex, in PD patients. Conclusion PD patients with disrupted right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex function and associated diminished somatosensory discrimination are impaired also in verbal memory functions. A negative correlation between delayed verbal free recall and PET activation in a network including the prefrontal cortices suggests that verbal cues and accordingly declarative memory processes may be operative in PD during activities that demand sustained attention such as somatosensory discrimination. Verbal cues may be compensatory in nature and help to non-specifically enhance focused attention in the presence of a functionally disrupted prefrontal cortex.

  19. Preschool anxiety disorders predict different patterns of amygdala-prefrontal connectivity at school-age.

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    Kimberly L H Carpenter

    Full Text Available In this prospective, longitudinal study of young children, we examined whether a history of preschool generalized anxiety, separation anxiety, and/or social phobia is associated with amygdala-prefrontal dysregulation at school-age. As an exploratory analysis, we investigated whether distinct anxiety disorders differ in the patterns of this amygdala-prefrontal dysregulation.Participants were children taking part in a 5-year study of early childhood brain development and anxiety disorders. Preschool symptoms of generalized anxiety, separation anxiety, and social phobia were assessed with the Preschool Age Psychiatric Assessment (PAPA in the first wave of the study when the children were between 2 and 5 years old. The PAPA was repeated at age 6. We conducted functional MRIs when the children were 5.5 to 9.5 year old to assess neural responses to viewing of angry and fearful faces.A history of preschool social phobia predicted less school-age functional connectivity between the amygdala and the ventral prefrontal cortices to angry faces. Preschool generalized anxiety predicted less functional connectivity between the amygdala and dorsal prefrontal cortices in response to fearful faces. Finally, a history of preschool separation anxiety predicted less school-age functional connectivity between the amygdala and the ventral prefrontal cortices to angry faces and greater school-age functional connectivity between the amygdala and dorsal prefrontal cortices to angry faces.Our results suggest that there are enduring neurobiological effects associated with a history of preschool anxiety, which occur over-and-above the effect of subsequent emotional symptoms. Our results also provide preliminary evidence for the neurobiological differentiation of specific preschool anxiety disorders.

  20. Can neural activation in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex predict responsiveness to information? An application to egg production systems and campaign advertising.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brandon R McFadden

    Full Text Available Consumers prefer to pay low prices and increase animal welfare; however consumers are typically forced to make tradeoffs between price and animal welfare. Campaign advertising (i.e., advertising used during the 2008 vote on Proposition 2 in California may affect how consumers make tradeoffs between price and animal welfare. Neuroimaging data was used to determine the effects of brain activation in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC on choices making a tradeoff between price and animal welfare and responsiveness to campaign advertising. Results indicated that activation in the dlPFC was greater when making choices that forced a tradeoff between price and animal welfare, compared to choices that varied only by price or animal welfare. Furthermore, greater activation differences in right dlPFC between choices that forced a tradeoff and choices that did not, indicated greater responsiveness to campaign advertising.

  1. Differences in prefrontal cortex activation and deactivation during strategic episodic verbal memory encoding in Mild Cognitive Impairment

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    Joana Bisol Balardin

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available In this study we examined differences in fMRI activation and deactivation patterns during episodic verbal memory encoding between individuals with MCI (n=18 and healthy controls (n=17. Participants were scanned in two different sessions during the application of self-initiated or directed instructions to apply semantic strategies at encoding of word lists. MCI participants showed reduced free recall scores when using self-initiated encoding strategies that were increased to baseline controls’ level after directed instructions were provided. During directed strategic encoding, greater recruitment of frontoparietal regions was observed in both MCI and control groups; group differences between sessions were observed in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex and the right superior frontal gyrus. This study provides evidence suggesting that differences of activity in these regions may be related to encoding deficits in MCI, possibly mediating executive functions during task performance.

  2. Can neural activation in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex predict responsiveness to information? An application to egg production systems and campaign advertising.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McFadden, Brandon R; Lusk, Jayson L; Crespi, John M; Cherry, J Bradley C; Martin, Laura E; Aupperle, Robin L; Bruce, Amanda S

    2015-01-01

    Consumers prefer to pay low prices and increase animal welfare; however consumers are typically forced to make tradeoffs between price and animal welfare. Campaign advertising (i.e., advertising used during the 2008 vote on Proposition 2 in California) may affect how consumers make tradeoffs between price and animal welfare. Neuroimaging data was used to determine the effects of brain activation in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) on choices making a tradeoff between price and animal welfare and responsiveness to campaign advertising. Results indicated that activation in the dlPFC was greater when making choices that forced a tradeoff between price and animal welfare, compared to choices that varied only by price or animal welfare. Furthermore, greater activation differences in right dlPFC between choices that forced a tradeoff and choices that did not, indicated greater responsiveness to campaign advertising.

  3. Glucocorticoids in the prefrontal cortex enhance memory consolidation and impair working memory by a common neural mechanism

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    Barsegyan, Areg; Mackenzie, Scott M.; Kurose, Brian D.; McGaugh, James L.; Roozendaal, Benno

    2010-01-01

    It is well established that acute administration of adrenocortical hormones enhances the consolidation of memories of emotional experiences and, concurrently, impairs working memory. These different glucocorticoid effects on these two memory functions have generally been considered to be independently regulated processes. Here we report that a glucocorticoid receptor agonist administered into the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) of male Sprague-Dawley rats both enhances memory consolidation and impairs working memory. Both memory effects are mediated by activation of a membrane-bound steroid receptor and depend on noradrenergic activity within the mPFC to increase levels of cAMP-dependent protein kinase. These findings provide direct evidence that glucocorticoid effects on both memory consolidation and working memory share a common neural influence within the mPFC. PMID:20810923

  4. Hyper-connectivity and hyper-plasticity in the medial prefrontal cortex in the valproic Acid animal model of autism

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rinaldi, Tania; Perrodin, Catherine; Markram, Henry

    2008-01-01

    of synapses. The microcircuit alterations found in the prefrontal cortex are therefore similar to the alterations previously found in the somatosensory cortex. Hyper-connectivity and hyper-plasticity in the prefrontal cortex implies hyper-functionality of one of the highest order processing regions...

  5. Enhancement Of Motor Recovery Through Left Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex Stimulation After Acute Ischemic Stroke

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    Shahram Oveisgharan

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Background: Two previous studies, which investigated transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS use in motor recovery after acute ischemic stroke, did not show tDCS to be effective in this regard. We speculated that additional left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex ‎(DLPFC ‎stimulation may enhance post stroke motor recovery.  ‎ Methods: In the present randomized clinical trial, 20 acute ischemic stroke patients were recruited. Patients received real motor cortex (M1 stimulation in both arms of the trial. The two arms differed in terms of real vs. sham stimulation over the left DLPFC‎. Motor component of the Fugl-Meyer upper extremity assessment (FM and Action Research Arm Test (ARAT scores were used to assess primary outcomes, and non-linear mixed effects models were used for data analyses. Results: Primary outcome measures improved more and faster among the real stimulation group. During the first days of stimulations, sham group’s FM scores increased 1.2 scores per day, while real group’s scores increased 1.7 scores per day (P = 0.003. In the following days, FM improvement decelerated in both groups. Based on the derived models, a hypothetical stroke patient with baseline FM score of 15 improves to 32 in the sham stimulation group and to 41 in the real stimulation group within the first month after stroke. Models with ARAT scores yielded nearly similar results. Conclusion: The current study results showed that left DLPFC‎ stimulation in conjunction with M1 stimulation resulted in better motor recovery than M1 stimulation alone.

  6. Two Days' Sleep Debt Causes Mood Decline During Resting State Via Diminished Amygdala-Prefrontal Connectivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Motomura, Yuki; Katsunuma, Ruri; Yoshimura, Michitaka; Mishima, Kazuo

    2017-10-01

    Sleep debt (SD) has been suggested to evoke emotional instability by diminishing the suppression of the amygdala by the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC). Here, we investigated how short-term SD affects resting-state functional connectivity between the amygdala and MPFC, self-reported mood, and sleep parameters. Eighteen healthy adult men aged 29 ± 8.24 years participated in a 2-day sleep control session (SC; time in bed [TIB], 9 hours) and 2-day SD session (TIB, 3 hours). On day 2 of each session, resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging was performed, followed immediately by measuring self-reported mood on the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory-State subscale (STAI-S). STAI-S score was significantly increased, and functional connectivity between the amygdala and MPFC was significantly decreased in SD compared with SC. Significant correlations were observed between reduced rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and reduced left amygdala-MPFC functional connectivity (FCL_amg-MPFC) and between reduced FCL_amg-MPFC and increased STAI-S score in SD compared with SC. These findings suggest that reduced MPFC functional connectivity of amygdala activity is involved in mood deterioration under SD, and that REM sleep reduction is involved in functional changes in the corresponding brain regions. Having adequate REM sleep may be important for mental health maintenance. © Sleep Research Society 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Sleep Research Society. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail journals.permissions@oup.com.

  7. Prefrontal cortex NG2 glia undergo a developmental switch in their responsiveness to exercise.

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    Tomlinson, Lyl; Huang, Po Hsuan; Colognato, Holly

    2018-03-22

    Aerobic exercise is known to influence brain function, e.g., enhancing executive function in both children and adults, with many of these influences being attributed to alterations in neurogenesis and neuronal function. Yet oligodendroglia in adult brains have also been reported to be highly responsive to exercise, including in the prefrontal cortex (PFC), a late myelinating region implicated in working memory. However, whether exercise affects oligodendroglia or myelination in juveniles, either in the PFC or in other brain regions, remains unknown. To address this, both juvenile and young adult mice were provided free access to running wheels for four weeks followed by an analysis of oligodendrocyte development and myelination in the PFC and the corpus callosum, a major white matter tract. Working memory and PFC NG2+ cell development were both affected by exercise in juvenile mice, yet surprisingly these exercise-mediated effects were distinct in juveniles and young adults. In the PFC, NG2+ cell proliferation was increased in exercising juveniles, but not young adults, whereas newly-born oligodendrocyte production was increased in exercising young adults, but not juveniles. Although no overall changes in myelin genes were found, elevated levels of Monocarboxylate Transporter 1, a glial lactate transporter important during active myelination, were found in the PFC of exercising young adults. Overall our findings reveal that long-term exercise modu