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Sample records for visually responsive neurons

  1. Modulation of Neuronal Responses by Exogenous Attention in Macaque Primary Visual Cortex.

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    Wang, Feng; Chen, Minggui; Yan, Yin; Zhaoping, Li; Li, Wu

    2015-09-30

    Visual perception is influenced by attention deployed voluntarily or triggered involuntarily by salient stimuli. Modulation of visual cortical processing by voluntary or endogenous attention has been extensively studied, but much less is known about how involuntary or exogenous attention affects responses of visual cortical neurons. Using implanted microelectrode arrays, we examined the effects of exogenous attention on neuronal responses in the primary visual cortex (V1) of awake monkeys. A bright annular cue was flashed either around the receptive fields of recorded neurons or in the opposite visual field to capture attention. A subsequent grating stimulus probed the cue-induced effects. In a fixation task, when the cue-to-probe stimulus onset asynchrony (SOA) was visual fields weakened or diminished both the physiological and behavioral cueing effects. Our findings indicate that exogenous attention significantly modulates V1 responses and that the modulation strength depends on both novelty and task relevance of the stimulus. Significance statement: Visual attention can be involuntarily captured by a sudden appearance of a conspicuous object, allowing rapid reactions to unexpected events of significance. The current study discovered a correlate of this effect in monkey primary visual cortex. An abrupt, salient, flash enhanced neuronal responses, and shortened the animal's reaction time, to a subsequent visual probe stimulus at the same location. However, the enhancement of the neural responses diminished after repeated exposures to this flash if the animal was not required to react to the probe. Moreover, a second, simultaneous, flash at another location weakened the neuronal and behavioral effects of the first one. These findings revealed, beyond the observations reported so far, the effects of exogenous attention in the brain. Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/3513419-11$15.00/0.

  2. Curtailing effect of awakening on visual responses of cortical neurons by cholinergic activation of inhibitory circuits.

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    Kimura, Rui; Safari, Mir-Shahram; Mirnajafi-Zadeh, Javad; Kimura, Rie; Ebina, Teppei; Yanagawa, Yuchio; Sohya, Kazuhiro; Tsumoto, Tadaharu

    2014-07-23

    Visual responsiveness of cortical neurons changes depending on the brain state. Neural circuit mechanism underlying this change is unclear. By applying the method of in vivo two-photon functional calcium imaging to transgenic rats in which GABAergic neurons express fluorescent protein, we analyzed changes in visual response properties of cortical neurons when animals became awakened from anesthesia. In the awake state, the magnitude and reliability of visual responses of GABAergic neurons increased whereas the decay of responses of excitatory neurons became faster. To test whether the basal forebrain (BF) cholinergic projection is involved in these changes, we analyzed effects of electrical and optogenetic activation of BF on visual responses of mouse cortical neurons with in vivo imaging and whole-cell recordings. Electrical BF stimulation in anesthetized animals induced the same direction of changes in visual responses of both groups of neurons as awakening. Optogenetic activation increased the frequency of visually evoked action potentials in GABAergic neurons but induced the delayed hyperpolarization that ceased the late generation of action potentials in excitatory neurons. Pharmacological analysis in slice preparations revealed that photoactivation-induced depolarization of layer 1 GABAergic neurons was blocked by a nicotinic receptor antagonist, whereas non-fast-spiking layer 2/3 GABAergic neurons was blocked only by the application of both nicotinic and muscarinic receptor antagonists. These results suggest that the effect of awakening is mediated mainly through nicotinic activation of layer 1 GABAergic neurons and mixed nicotinic/muscarinic activation of layer 2/3 non-fast-spiking GABAergic neurons, which together curtails the visual responses of excitatory neurons. Copyright © 2014 the authors 0270-6474/14/3410122-12$15.00/0.

  3. Dietary Restriction Affects Neuronal Response Property and GABA Synthesis in the Primary Visual Cortex.

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    Yang, Jinfang; Wang, Qian; He, Fenfen; Ding, Yanxia; Sun, Qingyan; Hua, Tianmiao; Xi, Minmin

    2016-01-01

    Previous studies have reported inconsistent effects of dietary restriction (DR) on cortical inhibition. To clarify this issue, we examined the response properties of neurons in the primary visual cortex (V1) of DR and control groups of cats using in vivo extracellular single-unit recording techniques, and assessed the synthesis of inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA in the V1 of cats from both groups using immunohistochemical and Western blot techniques. Our results showed that the response of V1 neurons to visual stimuli was significantly modified by DR, as indicated by an enhanced selectivity for stimulus orientations and motion directions, decreased visually-evoked response, lowered spontaneous activity and increased signal-to-noise ratio in DR cats relative to control cats. Further, it was shown that, accompanied with these changes of neuronal responsiveness, GABA immunoreactivity and the expression of a key GABA-synthesizing enzyme GAD67 in the V1 were significantly increased by DR. These results demonstrate that DR may retard brain aging by increasing the intracortical inhibition effect and improve the function of visual cortical neurons in visual information processing. This DR-induced elevation of cortical inhibition may favor the brain in modulating energy expenditure based on food availability.

  4. Dietary Restriction Affects Neuronal Response Property and GABA Synthesis in the Primary Visual Cortex.

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    Jinfang Yang

    Full Text Available Previous studies have reported inconsistent effects of dietary restriction (DR on cortical inhibition. To clarify this issue, we examined the response properties of neurons in the primary visual cortex (V1 of DR and control groups of cats using in vivo extracellular single-unit recording techniques, and assessed the synthesis of inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA in the V1 of cats from both groups using immunohistochemical and Western blot techniques. Our results showed that the response of V1 neurons to visual stimuli was significantly modified by DR, as indicated by an enhanced selectivity for stimulus orientations and motion directions, decreased visually-evoked response, lowered spontaneous activity and increased signal-to-noise ratio in DR cats relative to control cats. Further, it was shown that, accompanied with these changes of neuronal responsiveness, GABA immunoreactivity and the expression of a key GABA-synthesizing enzyme GAD67 in the V1 were significantly increased by DR. These results demonstrate that DR may retard brain aging by increasing the intracortical inhibition effect and improve the function of visual cortical neurons in visual information processing. This DR-induced elevation of cortical inhibition may favor the brain in modulating energy expenditure based on food availability.

  5. Mouse V1 population correlates of visual detection rely on heterogeneity within neuronal response patterns

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    Montijn, Jorrit S; Goltstein, Pieter M; Pennartz, Cyriel MA

    2015-01-01

    Previous studies have demonstrated the importance of the primary sensory cortex for the detection, discrimination, and awareness of visual stimuli, but it is unknown how neuronal populations in this area process detected and undetected stimuli differently. Critical differences may reside in the mean strength of responses to visual stimuli, as reflected in bulk signals detectable in functional magnetic resonance imaging, electro-encephalogram, or magnetoencephalography studies, or may be more subtly composed of differentiated activity of individual sensory neurons. Quantifying single-cell Ca2+ responses to visual stimuli recorded with in vivo two-photon imaging, we found that visual detection correlates more strongly with population response heterogeneity rather than overall response strength. Moreover, neuronal populations showed consistencies in activation patterns across temporally spaced trials in association with hit responses, but not during nondetections. Contrary to models relying on temporally stable networks or bulk signaling, these results suggest that detection depends on transient differentiation in neuronal activity within cortical populations. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.10163.001 PMID:26646184

  6. Neurons Responsive to Global Visual Motion Have Unique Tuning Properties in Hummingbirds.

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    Gaede, Andrea H; Goller, Benjamin; Lam, Jessica P M; Wylie, Douglas R; Altshuler, Douglas L

    2017-01-23

    Neurons in animal visual systems that respond to global optic flow exhibit selectivity for motion direction and/or velocity. The avian lentiformis mesencephali (LM), known in mammals as the nucleus of the optic tract (NOT), is a key nucleus for global motion processing [1-4]. In all animals tested, it has been found that the majority of LM and NOT neurons are tuned to temporo-nasal (back-to-front) motion [4-11]. Moreover, the monocular gain of the optokinetic response is higher in this direction, compared to naso-temporal (front-to-back) motion [12, 13]. Hummingbirds are sensitive to small visual perturbations while hovering, and they drift to compensate for optic flow in all directions [14]. Interestingly, the LM, but not other visual nuclei, is hypertrophied in hummingbirds relative to other birds [15], which suggests enhanced perception of global visual motion. Using extracellular recording techniques, we found that there is a uniform distribution of preferred directions in the LM in Anna's hummingbirds, whereas zebra finch and pigeon LM populations, as in other tetrapods, show a strong bias toward temporo-nasal motion. Furthermore, LM and NOT neurons are generally classified as tuned to "fast" or "slow" motion [10, 16, 17], and we predicted that most neurons would be tuned to slow visual motion as an adaptation for slow hovering. However, we found the opposite result: most hummingbird LM neurons are tuned to fast pattern velocities, compared to zebra finches and pigeons. Collectively, these results suggest a role in rapid responses during hovering, as well as in velocity control and collision avoidance during forward flight of hummingbirds. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Visually Evoked 3-5 Hz Membrane Potential Oscillations Reduce the Responsiveness of Visual Cortex Neurons in Awake Behaving Mice.

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    Einstein, Michael C; Polack, Pierre-Olivier; Tran, Duy T; Golshani, Peyman

    2017-05-17

    Low-frequency membrane potential ( V m ) oscillations were once thought to only occur in sleeping and anesthetized states. Recently, low-frequency V m oscillations have been described in inactive awake animals, but it is unclear whether they shape sensory processing in neurons and whether they occur during active awake behavioral states. To answer these questions, we performed two-photon guided whole-cell V m recordings from primary visual cortex layer 2/3 excitatory and inhibitory neurons in awake mice during passive visual stimulation and performance of visual and auditory discrimination tasks. We recorded stereotyped 3-5 Hz V m oscillations where the V m baseline hyperpolarized as the V m underwent high amplitude rhythmic fluctuations lasting 1-2 s in duration. When 3-5 Hz V m oscillations coincided with visual cues, excitatory neuron responses to preferred cues were significantly reduced. Despite this disruption to sensory processing, visual cues were critical for evoking 3-5 Hz V m oscillations when animals performed discrimination tasks and passively viewed drifting grating stimuli. Using pupillometry and animal locomotive speed as indicators of arousal, we found that 3-5 Hz oscillations were not restricted to unaroused states and that they occurred equally in aroused and unaroused states. Therefore, low-frequency V m oscillations play a role in shaping sensory processing in visual cortical neurons, even during active wakefulness and decision making. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT A neuron's membrane potential ( V m ) strongly shapes how information is processed in sensory cortices of awake animals. Yet, very little is known about how low-frequency V m oscillations influence sensory processing and whether they occur in aroused awake animals. By performing two-photon guided whole-cell recordings from layer 2/3 excitatory and inhibitory neurons in the visual cortex of awake behaving animals, we found visually evoked stereotyped 3-5 Hz V m oscillations that disrupt

  8. Modulation of neuronal responses during covert search for visual feature conjunctions.

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    Buracas, Giedrius T; Albright, Thomas D

    2009-09-29

    While searching for an object in a visual scene, an observer's attentional focus and eye movements are often guided by information about object features and spatial locations. Both spatial and feature-specific attention are known to modulate neuronal responses in visual cortex, but little is known of the dynamics and interplay of these mechanisms as visual search progresses. To address this issue, we recorded from directionally selective cells in visual area MT of monkeys trained to covertly search for targets defined by a unique conjunction of color and motion features and to signal target detection with an eye movement to the putative target. Two patterns of response modulation were observed. One pattern consisted of enhanced responses to targets presented in the receptive field (RF). These modulations occurred at the end-stage of search and were more potent during correct target identification than during erroneous saccades to a distractor in RF, thus suggesting that this modulation is not a mere presaccadic enhancement. A second pattern of modulation was observed when RF stimuli were nontargets that shared a feature with the target. The latter effect was observed during early stages of search and is consistent with a global feature-specific mechanism. This effect often terminated before target identification, thus suggesting that it interacts with spatial attention. This modulation was exhibited not only for motion but also for color cue, although MT neurons are known to be insensitive to color. Such cue-invariant attentional effects may contribute to a feature binding mechanism acting across visual dimensions.

  9. Neuronal responses in visual area V2 (V2) of macaque monkeys with strabismic amblyopia.

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    Bi, H; Zhang, B; Tao, X; Harwerth, R S; Smith, E L; Chino, Y M

    2011-09-01

    Amblyopia, a developmental disorder of spatial vision, is thought to result from a cascade of cortical deficits over several processing stages beginning at the primary visual cortex (V1). However, beyond V1, little is known about how cortical development limits the visual performance of amblyopic primates. We quantitatively analyzed the monocular and binocular responses of V1 and V2 neurons in a group of strabismic monkeys exhibiting varying depths of amblyopia. Unlike in V1, the relative effectiveness of the affected eye to drive V2 neurons was drastically reduced in the amblyopic monkeys. The spatial resolution and the orientation bias of V2, but not V1, neurons were subnormal for the affected eyes. Binocular suppression was robust in both cortical areas, and the magnitude of suppression in individual monkeys was correlated with the depth of their amblyopia. These results suggest that the reduced functional connections beyond V1 and the subnormal spatial filter properties of V2 neurons might have substantially limited the sensitivity of the amblyopic eyes and that interocular suppression was likely to have played a key role in the observed alterations of V2 responses and the emergence of amblyopia.

  10. The effects of acute alcohol exposure on the response properties of neurons in visual cortex area 17 of cats

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    Chen Bo; Xia Jing; Li Guangxing; Zhou Yifeng

    2010-01-01

    Physiological and behavioral studies have demonstrated that a number of visual functions such as visual acuity, contrast sensitivity, and motion perception can be impaired by acute alcohol exposure. The orientation- and direction-selective responses of cells in primary visual cortex are thought to participate in the perception of form and motion. To investigate how orientation selectivity and direction selectivity of neurons are influenced by acute alcohol exposure in vivo, we used the extracellular single-unit recording technique to examine the response properties of neurons in primary visual cortex (A17) of adult cats. We found that alcohol reduces spontaneous activity, visual evoked unit responses, the signal-to-noise ratio, and orientation selectivity of A17 cells. In addition, small but detectable changes in both the preferred orientation/direction and the bandwidth of the orientation tuning curve of strongly orientation-biased A17 cells were observed after acute alcohol administration. Our findings may provide physiological evidence for some alcohol-related deficits in visual function observed in behavioral studies.

  11. Aversive learning shapes neuronal orientation tuning in human visual cortex.

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    McTeague, Lisa M; Gruss, L Forest; Keil, Andreas

    2015-07-28

    The responses of sensory cortical neurons are shaped by experience. As a result perceptual biases evolve, selectively facilitating the detection and identification of sensory events that are relevant for adaptive behaviour. Here we examine the involvement of human visual cortex in the formation of learned perceptual biases. We use classical aversive conditioning to associate one out of a series of oriented gratings with a noxious sound stimulus. After as few as two grating-sound pairings, visual cortical responses to the sound-paired grating show selective amplification. Furthermore, as learning progresses, responses to the orientations with greatest similarity to the sound-paired grating are increasingly suppressed, suggesting inhibitory interactions between orientation-selective neuronal populations. Changes in cortical connectivity between occipital and fronto-temporal regions mirror the changes in visuo-cortical response amplitudes. These findings suggest that short-term behaviourally driven retuning of human visual cortical neurons involves distal top-down projections as well as local inhibitory interactions.

  12. Statistics of Visual Responses to Image Object Stimuli from Primate AIT Neurons to DNN Neurons.

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    Dong, Qiulei; Wang, Hong; Hu, Zhanyi

    2018-02-01

    Under the goal-driven paradigm, Yamins et al. ( 2014 ; Yamins & DiCarlo, 2016 ) have shown that by optimizing only the final eight-way categorization performance of a four-layer hierarchical network, not only can its top output layer quantitatively predict IT neuron responses but its penultimate layer can also automatically predict V4 neuron responses. Currently, deep neural networks (DNNs) in the field of computer vision have reached image object categorization performance comparable to that of human beings on ImageNet, a data set that contains 1.3 million training images of 1000 categories. We explore whether the DNN neurons (units in DNNs) possess image object representational statistics similar to monkey IT neurons, particularly when the network becomes deeper and the number of image categories becomes larger, using VGG19, a typical and widely used deep network of 19 layers in the computer vision field. Following Lehky, Kiani, Esteky, and Tanaka ( 2011 , 2014 ), where the response statistics of 674 IT neurons to 806 image stimuli are analyzed using three measures (kurtosis, Pareto tail index, and intrinsic dimensionality), we investigate the three issues in this letter using the same three measures: (1) the similarities and differences of the neural response statistics between VGG19 and primate IT cortex, (2) the variation trends of the response statistics of VGG19 neurons at different layers from low to high, and (3) the variation trends of the response statistics of VGG19 neurons when the numbers of stimuli and neurons increase. We find that the response statistics on both single-neuron selectivity and population sparseness of VGG19 neurons are fundamentally different from those of IT neurons in most cases; by increasing the number of neurons in different layers and the number of stimuli, the response statistics of neurons at different layers from low to high do not substantially change; and the estimated intrinsic dimensionality values at the low

  13. The effects of overfeeding on the neuronal response to visual food cues in thin and reduced-obese individuals.

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    Marc-Andre Cornier

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available The regulation of energy intake is a complex process involving the integration of homeostatic signals and both internal and external sensory inputs. The objective of this study was to examine the effects of short-term overfeeding on the neuronal response to food-related visual stimuli in individuals prone and resistant to weight gain.22 thin and 19 reduced-obese (RO individuals were studied. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI was performed in the fasted state after two days of eucaloric energy intake and after two days of 30% overfeeding in a counterbalanced design. fMRI was performed while subjects viewed images of foods of high hedonic value and neutral non-food objects. In the eucaloric state, food as compared to non-food images elicited significantly greater activation of insula and inferior visual cortex in thin as compared to RO individuals. Two days of overfeeding led to significant attenuation of not only insula and visual cortex responses but also of hypothalamus response in thin as compared to RO individuals.These findings emphasize the important role of food-related visual cues in ingestive behavior and suggest that there are important phenotypic differences in the interactions between external visual sensory inputs, energy balance status, and brain regions involved in the regulation of energy intake. Furthermore, alterations in the neuronal response to food cues may relate to the propensity to gain weight.

  14. Neuronal Responses in Visual Area V2 (V2) of Macaque Monkeys with Strabismic Amblyopia

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    Bi, H.; Zhang, B.; Tao, X.; Harwerth, R. S.; Smith, E. L.; Chino, Y. M.

    2011-01-01

    Amblyopia, a developmental disorder of spatial vision, is thought to result from a cascade of cortical deficits over several processing stages beginning at the primary visual cortex (V1). However, beyond V1, little is known about how cortical development limits the visual performance of amblyopic primates. We quantitatively analyzed the monocular and binocular responses of V1 and V2 neurons in a group of strabismic monkeys exhibiting varying depths of amblyopia. Unlike in V1, the relative eff...

  15. Neurons in cortical area MST remap the memory trace of visual motion across saccadic eye movements.

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    Inaba, Naoko; Kawano, Kenji

    2014-05-27

    Perception of a stable visual world despite eye motion requires integration of visual information across saccadic eye movements. To investigate how the visual system deals with localization of moving visual stimuli across saccades, we observed spatiotemporal changes of receptive fields (RFs) of motion-sensitive neurons across periods of saccades in the middle temporal (MT) and medial superior temporal (MST) areas. We found that the location of the RFs moved with shifts of eye position due to saccades, indicating that motion-sensitive neurons in both areas have retinotopic RFs across saccades. Different characteristic responses emerged when the moving visual stimulus was turned off before the saccades. For MT neurons, virtually no response was observed after the saccade, suggesting that the responses of these neurons simply reflect the reafferent visual information. In contrast, most MST neurons increased their firing rates when a saccade brought the location of the visual stimulus into their RFs, where the visual stimulus itself no longer existed. These findings suggest that the responses of such MST neurons after saccades were evoked by a memory of the stimulus that had preexisted in the postsaccadic RFs ("memory remapping"). A delayed-saccade paradigm further revealed that memory remapping in MST was linked to the saccade itself, rather than to a shift in attention. Thus, the visual motion information across saccades was integrated in spatiotopic coordinates and represented in the activity of MST neurons. This is likely to contribute to the perception of a stable visual world in the presence of eye movements.

  16. Functional differentiation of macaque visual temporal cortical neurons using a parametric action space.

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    Vangeneugden, Joris; Pollick, Frank; Vogels, Rufin

    2009-03-01

    Neurons in the rostral superior temporal sulcus (STS) are responsive to displays of body movements. We employed a parametric action space to determine how similarities among actions are represented by visual temporal neurons and how form and motion information contributes to their responses. The stimulus space consisted of a stick-plus-point-light figure performing arm actions and their blends. Multidimensional scaling showed that the responses of temporal neurons represented the ordinal similarity between these actions. Further tests distinguished neurons responding equally strongly to static presentations and to actions ("snapshot" neurons), from those responding much less strongly to static presentations, but responding well when motion was present ("motion" neurons). The "motion" neurons were predominantly found in the upper bank/fundus of the STS, and "snapshot" neurons in the lower bank of the STS and inferior temporal convexity. Most "motion" neurons showed strong response modulation during the course of an action, thus responding to action kinematics. "Motion" neurons displayed a greater average selectivity for these simple arm actions than did "snapshot" neurons. We suggest that the "motion" neurons code for visual kinematics, whereas the "snapshot" neurons code for form/posture, and that both can contribute to action recognition, in agreement with computation models of action recognition.

  17. Prefrontal Neurons Represent Motion Signals from Across the Visual Field But for Memory-Guided Comparisons Depend on Neurons Providing These Signals.

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    Wimmer, Klaus; Spinelli, Philip; Pasternak, Tatiana

    2016-09-07

    Visual decisions often involve comparisons of sequential stimuli that can appear at any location in the visual field. The lateral prefrontal cortex (LPFC) in nonhuman primates, shown to play an important role in such comparisons, receives information about contralateral stimuli directly from sensory neurons in the same hemisphere, and about ipsilateral stimuli indirectly from neurons in the opposite hemisphere. This asymmetry of sensory inputs into the LPFC poses the question of whether and how its neurons incorporate sensory information arriving from the two hemispheres during memory-guided comparisons of visual motion. We found that, although responses of individual LPFC neurons to contralateral stimuli were stronger and emerged 40 ms earlier, they carried remarkably similar signals about motion direction in the two hemifields, with comparable direction selectivity and similar direction preferences. This similarity was also apparent around the time of the comparison between the current and remembered stimulus because both ipsilateral and contralateral responses showed similar signals reflecting the remembered direction. However, despite availability in the LPFC of motion information from across the visual field, these "comparison effects" required for the comparison stimuli to appear at the same retinal location. This strict dependence on spatial overlap of the comparison stimuli suggests participation of neurons with localized receptive fields in the comparison process. These results suggest that while LPFC incorporates many key aspects of the information arriving from sensory neurons residing in opposite hemispheres, it continues relying on the interactions with these neurons at the time of generating signals leading to successful perceptual decisions. Visual decisions often involve comparisons of sequential visual motion that can appear at any location in the visual field. We show that during such comparisons, the lateral prefrontal cortex (LPFC) contains

  18. Graded Neuronal Modulations Related to Visual Spatial Attention

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    Maunsell, John H. R.

    2016-01-01

    Studies of visual attention in monkeys typically measure neuronal activity when the stimulus event to be detected occurs at a cued location versus when it occurs at an uncued location. But this approach does not address how neuronal activity changes relative to conditions where attention is unconstrained by cueing. Human psychophysical studies have used neutral cueing conditions and found that neutrally cued behavioral performance is generally intermediate to that of cued and uncued conditions (Posner et al., 1978; Mangun and Hillyard, 1990; Montagna et al., 2009). To determine whether the neuronal correlates of visual attention during neutral cueing are similarly intermediate, we trained macaque monkeys to detect changes in stimulus orientation that were more likely to occur at one location (cued) than another (uncued), or were equally likely to occur at either stimulus location (neutral). Consistent with human studies, performance was best when the location was cued, intermediate when both locations were neutrally cued, and worst when the location was uncued. Neuronal modulations in visual area V4 were also graded as a function of cue validity and behavioral performance. By recording from both hemispheres simultaneously, we investigated the possibility of switching attention between stimulus locations during neutral cueing. The results failed to support a unitary “spotlight” of attention. Overall, our findings indicate that attention-related changes in V4 are graded to accommodate task demands. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Studies of the neuronal correlates of attention in monkeys typically use visual cues to manipulate where attention is focused (“cued” vs “uncued”). Human psychophysical studies often also include neutrally cued trials to study how attention naturally varies between points of interest. But the neuronal correlates of this neutral condition are unclear. We measured behavioral performance and neuronal activity in cued, uncued, and neutrally

  19. Graded Neuronal Modulations Related to Visual Spatial Attention.

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    Mayo, J Patrick; Maunsell, John H R

    2016-05-11

    Studies of visual attention in monkeys typically measure neuronal activity when the stimulus event to be detected occurs at a cued location versus when it occurs at an uncued location. But this approach does not address how neuronal activity changes relative to conditions where attention is unconstrained by cueing. Human psychophysical studies have used neutral cueing conditions and found that neutrally cued behavioral performance is generally intermediate to that of cued and uncued conditions (Posner et al., 1978; Mangun and Hillyard, 1990; Montagna et al., 2009). To determine whether the neuronal correlates of visual attention during neutral cueing are similarly intermediate, we trained macaque monkeys to detect changes in stimulus orientation that were more likely to occur at one location (cued) than another (uncued), or were equally likely to occur at either stimulus location (neutral). Consistent with human studies, performance was best when the location was cued, intermediate when both locations were neutrally cued, and worst when the location was uncued. Neuronal modulations in visual area V4 were also graded as a function of cue validity and behavioral performance. By recording from both hemispheres simultaneously, we investigated the possibility of switching attention between stimulus locations during neutral cueing. The results failed to support a unitary "spotlight" of attention. Overall, our findings indicate that attention-related changes in V4 are graded to accommodate task demands. Studies of the neuronal correlates of attention in monkeys typically use visual cues to manipulate where attention is focused ("cued" vs "uncued"). Human psychophysical studies often also include neutrally cued trials to study how attention naturally varies between points of interest. But the neuronal correlates of this neutral condition are unclear. We measured behavioral performance and neuronal activity in cued, uncued, and neutrally cued blocks of trials. Behavioral

  20. The effects of short-term and long-term learning on the responses of lateral intraparietal neurons to visually presented objects.

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    Sigurdardottir, Heida M; Sheinberg, David L

    2015-07-01

    The lateral intraparietal area (LIP) is thought to play an important role in the guidance of where to look and pay attention. LIP can also respond selectively to differently shaped objects. We sought to understand to what extent short-term and long-term experience with visual orienting determines the responses of LIP to objects of different shapes. We taught monkeys to arbitrarily associate centrally presented objects of various shapes with orienting either toward or away from a preferred spatial location of a neuron. The training could last for less than a single day or for several months. We found that neural responses to objects are affected by such experience, but that the length of the learning period determines how this neural plasticity manifests. Short-term learning affects neural responses to objects, but these effects are only seen relatively late after visual onset; at this time, the responses to newly learned objects resemble those of familiar objects that share their meaning or arbitrary association. Long-term learning affects the earliest bottom-up responses to visual objects. These responses tend to be greater for objects that have been associated with looking toward, rather than away from, LIP neurons' preferred spatial locations. Responses to objects can nonetheless be distinct, although they have been similarly acted on in the past and will lead to the same orienting behavior in the future. Our results therefore indicate that a complete experience-driven override of LIP object responses may be difficult or impossible. We relate these results to behavioral work on visual attention.

  1. The PM1 neurons, movement sensitive centrifugal visual brain neurons in the locust: anatomy, physiology, and modulation by identified octopaminergic neurons.

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    Stern, Michael

    2009-02-01

    The locust's optic lobe contains a system of wide-field, multimodal, centrifugal neurons. Two of these cells, the protocerebrum-medulla-neurons PM4a and b, are octopaminergic. This paper describes a second pair of large centrifugal neurons (the protocerebrum-medulla-neurons PM1a and PM1b) from the brain of Locusta migratoria based on intracellular cobalt fills, electrophysiology, and immunocytochemistry. They originate and arborise in the central brain and send processes into the medulla of the optic lobe. Double intracellular recording from the same cell suggests input in the central brain and output in the optic lobe. The neurons show immunoreactivity to gamma-amino-butyric acid and its synthesising enzyme, glutamate decarboxylase. The PM1 cells are movement sensitive and show habituation to repeated visual stimulation. Bath application of octopamine causes the response to dishabituate. A very similar effect is produced by electrical stimulation of one of an octopaminergic PM4 neuron. This effect can be blocked by application of the octopamine antagonists, mianserin and phentolamine. This readily accessible system of four wide-field neurons provides a system suitable for the investigation of octopaminergic effects on the visual system at the cellular level.

  2. A simple white noise analysis of neuronal light responses.

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    Chichilnisky, E J

    2001-05-01

    A white noise technique is presented for estimating the response properties of spiking visual system neurons. The technique is simple, robust, efficient and well suited to simultaneous recordings from multiple neurons. It provides a complete and easily interpretable model of light responses even for neurons that display a common form of response nonlinearity that precludes classical linear systems analysis. A theoretical justification of the technique is presented that relies only on elementary linear algebra and statistics. Implementation is described with examples. The technique and the underlying model of neural responses are validated using recordings from retinal ganglion cells, and in principle are applicable to other neurons. Advantages and disadvantages of the technique relative to classical approaches are discussed.

  3. Transcranial magnetic stimulation changes response selectivity of neurons in the visual cortex

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    Kim, Taekjun; Allen, Elena A.; Pasley, Brian N.; Freeman, Ralph D.

    2015-01-01

    Background Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is used to selectively alter neuronal activity of specific regions in the cerebral cortex. TMS is reported to induce either transient disruption or enhancement of different neural functions. However, its effects on tuning properties of sensory neurons have not been studied quantitatively. Objective/Hypothesis Here, we use specific TMS application parameters to determine how they may alter tuning characteristics (orientation, spatial frequency, and contrast sensitivity) of single neurons in the cat’s visual cortex. Methods Single unit spikes were recorded with tungsten microelectrodes from the visual cortex of anesthetized and paralyzed cats (12 males). Repetitive TMS (4Hz, 4sec) was delivered with a 70mm figure-8 coil. We quantified basic tuning parameters of individual neurons for each pre- and post-TMS condition. The statistical significance of changes for each tuning parameter between the two conditions was evaluated with a Wilcoxon signed-rank test. Results We generally find long-lasting suppression which persists well beyond the stimulation period. Pre- and post-TMS orientation tuning curves show constant peak values. However, strong suppression at non-preferred orientations tends to narrow the widths of tuning curves. Spatial frequency tuning exhibits an asymmetric change in overall shape, which results in an emphasis on higher frequencies. Contrast tuning curves show nonlinear changes consistent with a gain control mechanism. Conclusions These findings suggest that TMS causes extended interruption of the balance between sub-cortical and intra-cortical inputs. PMID:25862599

  4. Visual Neurons in the Superior Colliculus Discriminate Many Objects by Their Historical Values

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    Whitney S. Griggs

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available The superior colliculus (SC is an important structure in the mammalian brain that orients the animal toward distinct visual events. Visually responsive neurons in SC are modulated by visual object features, including size, motion, and color. However, it remains unclear whether SC activity is modulated by non-visual object features, such as the reward value associated with the object. To address this question, three monkeys were trained (>10 days to saccade to multiple fractal objects, half of which were consistently associated with large rewards while other half were associated with small rewards. This created historically high-valued (‘good’ and low-valued (‘bad’ objects. During the neuronal recordings from the SC, the monkeys maintained fixation at the center while the objects were flashed in the receptive field of the neuron without any reward. We found that approximately half of the visual neurons responded more strongly to the good than bad objects. In some neurons, this value-coding remained intact for a long time (>1 year after the last object-reward association learning. Notably, the neuronal discrimination of reward values started about 100 ms after the appearance of visual objects and lasted for more than 100 ms. These results provide evidence that SC neurons can discriminate objects by their historical (long-term values. This object value information may be provided by the basal ganglia, especially the circuit originating from the tail of the caudate nucleus. The information may be used by the neural circuits inside SC for motor (saccade output or may be sent to the circuits outside SC for future behavior.

  5. From elements to perception: local and global processing in visual neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spillmann, L

    1999-01-01

    Gestalt psychologists in the early part of the century challenged psychophysical notions that perceptual phenomena can be understood from a punctate (atomistic) analysis of the elements present in the stimulus. Their ideas slowed later attempts to explain vision in terms of single-cell recordings from individual neurons. A rapprochement between Gestalt phenomenology and neurophysiology seemed unlikely when the first ECVP was held in Marburg, Germany, in 1978. Since that time, response properties of neurons have been discovered that invite an interpretation of visual phenomena (including illusions) in terms of neuronal processing by long-range interactions, as first proposed by Mach and Hering in the last century. This article traces a personal journey into the early days of neurophysiological vision research to illustrate the progress that has taken place from the first attempts to correlate single-cell responses with visual perceptions. Whereas initially the receptive-field properties of individual classes of cells--e.g., contrast, wavelength, orientation, motion, disparity, and spatial-frequency detectors--were used to account for relatively simple visual phenomena, nowadays complex perceptions are interpreted in terms of long-range interactions, involving many neurons. This change in paradigm from local to global processing was made possible by recent findings, in the cortex, on horizontal interactions and backward propagation (feedback loops) in addition to classical feedforward processing. These mechanisms are exemplified by studies of the tilt effect and tilt aftereffect, direction-specific motion adaptation, illusory contours, filling-in and fading, figure--ground segregation by orientation and motion contrast, and pop-out in dynamic visual-noise patterns. Major questions for future research and a discussion of their epistemological implications conclude the article.

  6. Most superficial sublamina of rat superior colliculus: neuronal response properties and correlates with perceptual figure-ground segregation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Girman, S V; Lund, R D

    2007-07-01

    The uppermost layer (stratum griseum superficiale, SGS) of the superior colliculus (SC) provides an important gateway from the retina to the visual extrastriate and visuomotor systems. The majority of attention has been given to the role of this "visual" SC in saccade generation and target selection and it is generally considered to be less important in visual perception. We have found, however, that in the rat SGS1, the most superficial division of the SGS, the neurons perform very sophisticated analysis of visual information. First, in studying their responses with a variety of flashing stimuli we found that the neurons respond not to brightness changes per se, but to the appearance and/or disappearance of visual shapes in their receptive fields (RFs). Contrary to conventional RFs of neurons at the early stages of visual processing, the RFs in SGS1 cannot be described in terms of fixed spatial distribution of excitatory and inhibitory inputs. Second, SGS1 neurons showed robust orientation tuning to drifting gratings and orientation-specific modulation of the center response from surround. These are features previously seen only in visual cortical neurons and are considered to be involved in "contour" perception and figure-ground segregation. Third, responses of SGS1 neurons showed complex dynamics; typically the response tuning became progressively sharpened with repetitive grating periods. We conclude that SGS1 neurons are involved in considerably more complex analysis of retinal input than was previously thought. SGS1 may participate in early stages of figure-ground segregation and have a role in low-resolution nonconscious vision as encountered after visual decortication.

  7. Role of inferior temporal neurons in visual memory. II. Multiplying temporal waveforms related to vision and memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eskandar, E N; Optican, L M; Richmond, B J

    1992-10-01

    1. In the companion paper we reported on the activity of neurons in the inferior temporal (IT) cortex during a sequential pattern matching task. In this task a sample stimulus was followed by a test stimulus that was either a match or a nonmatch. Many of the neurons encoded information about the patterns of both current and previous stimuli in the temporal modulation of their responses. 2. A simple information processing model of visual memory can be formed with just four steps: 1) encode the current stimulus; 2) recall the code of a remembered stimulus; 3) compare the two codes; 4) and decide whether they are similar or different. The analysis presented in the first paper suggested that some IT neurons were performing the comparison step of visual memory. 3. We propose that IT neurons participate in the comparison of temporal waveforms related to vision and memory by multiplying them together. This product could form the basis of a crosscorrelation-based comparison. 4. We tested our hypothesis by fitting a simple multiplicative model to data from IT neurons. The model generated waveforms in separate memory and visual channels. The waveforms arising from the two channels were then multiplied on a point by point basis to yield the output waveform. The model was fitted to the actual neuronal data by a gradient descent method to find the best fit waveforms that also had the lowest total energy. 5. The multiplicative model fit the neuronal responses quite well. The multiplicative model made consistently better predictions of the actual response waveforms than did an additive model. Furthermore, the fit was better when the actual relationship between the responses and the sample and test stimuli were preserved than when that relationship was randomized. 6. We infer from the superior fit of the multiplicative model that IT neurons are multiplying temporally modulated waveforms arising from separate visual and memory systems in the comparison step of visual memory.

  8. Candidate glutamatergic neurons in the visual system of Drosophila.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shamprasad Varija Raghu

    Full Text Available The visual system of Drosophila contains approximately 60,000 neurons that are organized in parallel, retinotopically arranged columns. A large number of these neurons have been characterized in great anatomical detail. However, studies providing direct evidence for synaptic signaling and the neurotransmitter used by individual neurons are relatively sparse. Here we present a first layout of neurons in the Drosophila visual system that likely release glutamate as their major neurotransmitter. We identified 33 different types of neurons of the lamina, medulla, lobula and lobula plate. Based on the previous Golgi-staining analysis, the identified neurons are further classified into 16 major subgroups representing lamina monopolar (L, transmedullary (Tm, transmedullary Y (TmY, Y, medulla intrinsic (Mi, Mt, Pm, Dm, Mi Am, bushy T (T, translobula plate (Tlp, lobula intrinsic (Lcn, Lt, Li, lobula plate tangential (LPTCs and lobula plate intrinsic (LPi cell types. In addition, we found 11 cell types that were not described by the previous Golgi analysis. This classification of candidate glutamatergic neurons fosters the future neurogenetic dissection of information processing in circuits of the fly visual system.

  9. Dynamic binding of visual features by neuronal/stimulus synchrony.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iwabuchi, A

    1998-05-01

    When people see a visual scene, certain parts of the visual scene are treated as belonging together and we regard them as a perceptual unit, which is called a "figure". People focus on figures, and the remaining parts of the scene are disregarded as "ground". In Gestalt psychology this process is called "figure-ground segregation". According to current perceptual psychology, a figure is formed by binding various visual features in a scene, and developments in neuroscience have revealed that there are many feature-encoding neurons, which respond to such features specifically. It is not known, however, how the brain binds different features of an object into a coherent visual object representation. Recently, the theory of binding by neuronal synchrony, which argues that feature binding is dynamically mediated by neuronal synchrony of feature-encoding neurons, has been proposed. This review article portrays the problem of figure-ground segregation and features binding, summarizes neurophysiological and psychophysical experiments and theory relevant to feature binding by neuronal/stimulus synchrony, and suggests possible directions for future research on this topic.

  10. Auditory and Visual Modulation of Temporal Lobe Neurons in Voice-Sensitive and Association Cortices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perrodin, Catherine; Kayser, Christoph; Logothetis, Nikos K.

    2014-01-01

    Effective interactions between conspecific individuals can depend upon the receiver forming a coherent multisensory representation of communication signals, such as merging voice and face content. Neuroimaging studies have identified face- or voice-sensitive areas (Belin et al., 2000; Petkov et al., 2008; Tsao et al., 2008), some of which have been proposed as candidate regions for face and voice integration (von Kriegstein et al., 2005). However, it was unclear how multisensory influences occur at the neuronal level within voice- or face-sensitive regions, especially compared with classically defined multisensory regions in temporal association cortex (Stein and Stanford, 2008). Here, we characterize auditory (voice) and visual (face) influences on neuronal responses in a right-hemisphere voice-sensitive region in the anterior supratemporal plane (STP) of Rhesus macaques. These results were compared with those in the neighboring superior temporal sulcus (STS). Within the STP, our results show auditory sensitivity to several vocal features, which was not evident in STS units. We also newly identify a functionally distinct neuronal subpopulation in the STP that appears to carry the area's sensitivity to voice identity related features. Audiovisual interactions were prominent in both the STP and STS. However, visual influences modulated the responses of STS neurons with greater specificity and were more often associated with congruent voice-face stimulus pairings than STP neurons. Together, the results reveal the neuronal processes subserving voice-sensitive fMRI activity patterns in primates, generate hypotheses for testing in the visual modality, and clarify the position of voice-sensitive areas within the unisensory and multisensory processing hierarchies. PMID:24523543

  11. Auditory and visual modulation of temporal lobe neurons in voice-sensitive and association cortices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perrodin, Catherine; Kayser, Christoph; Logothetis, Nikos K; Petkov, Christopher I

    2014-02-12

    Effective interactions between conspecific individuals can depend upon the receiver forming a coherent multisensory representation of communication signals, such as merging voice and face content. Neuroimaging studies have identified face- or voice-sensitive areas (Belin et al., 2000; Petkov et al., 2008; Tsao et al., 2008), some of which have been proposed as candidate regions for face and voice integration (von Kriegstein et al., 2005). However, it was unclear how multisensory influences occur at the neuronal level within voice- or face-sensitive regions, especially compared with classically defined multisensory regions in temporal association cortex (Stein and Stanford, 2008). Here, we characterize auditory (voice) and visual (face) influences on neuronal responses in a right-hemisphere voice-sensitive region in the anterior supratemporal plane (STP) of Rhesus macaques. These results were compared with those in the neighboring superior temporal sulcus (STS). Within the STP, our results show auditory sensitivity to several vocal features, which was not evident in STS units. We also newly identify a functionally distinct neuronal subpopulation in the STP that appears to carry the area's sensitivity to voice identity related features. Audiovisual interactions were prominent in both the STP and STS. However, visual influences modulated the responses of STS neurons with greater specificity and were more often associated with congruent voice-face stimulus pairings than STP neurons. Together, the results reveal the neuronal processes subserving voice-sensitive fMRI activity patterns in primates, generate hypotheses for testing in the visual modality, and clarify the position of voice-sensitive areas within the unisensory and multisensory processing hierarchies.

  12. Visual motion-sensitive neurons in the bumblebee brain convey information about landmarks during a navigational task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcel eMertes

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Bees use visual memories to find the spatial location of previously learnt food sites. Characteristic learning flights help acquiring these memories at newly discovered foraging locations where landmarks - salient objects in the vicinity of the goal location - can play an important role in guiding the animal’s homing behavior. Although behavioral experiments have shown that bees can use a variety of visual cues to distinguish objects as landmarks, the question of how landmark features are encoded by the visual system is still open. Recently, it could be shown that motion cues are sufficient to allow bees localizing their goal using landmarks that can hardly be discriminated from the background texture. Here, we tested the hypothesis that motion sensitive neurons in the bee’s visual pathway provide information about such landmarks during a learning flight and might, thus, play a role for goal localization. We tracked learning flights of free-flying bumblebees (Bombus terrestris in an arena with distinct visual landmarks, reconstructed the visual input during these flights, and replayed ego-perspective movies to tethered bumblebees while recording the activity of direction-selective wide-field neurons in their optic lobe. By comparing neuronal responses during a typical learning flight and targeted modifications of landmark properties in this movie we demonstrate that these objects are indeed represented in the bee’s visual motion pathway. We find that object-induced responses vary little with object texture, which is in agreement with behavioral evidence. These neurons thus convey information about landmark properties that are useful for view-based homing.

  13. Properties of V1 neurons tuned to conjunctions of visual features: application of the V1 saliency hypothesis to visual search behavior.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li Zhaoping

    Full Text Available From a computational theory of V1, we formulate an optimization problem to investigate neural properties in the primary visual cortex (V1 from human reaction times (RTs in visual search. The theory is the V1 saliency hypothesis that the bottom-up saliency of any visual location is represented by the highest V1 response to it relative to the background responses. The neural properties probed are those associated with the less known V1 neurons tuned simultaneously or conjunctively in two feature dimensions. The visual search is to find a target bar unique in color (C, orientation (O, motion direction (M, or redundantly in combinations of these features (e.g., CO, MO, or CM among uniform background bars. A feature singleton target is salient because its evoked V1 response largely escapes the iso-feature suppression on responses to the background bars. The responses of the conjunctively tuned cells are manifested in the shortening of the RT for a redundant feature target (e.g., a CO target from that predicted by a race between the RTs for the two corresponding single feature targets (e.g., C and O targets. Our investigation enables the following testable predictions. Contextual suppression on the response of a CO-tuned or MO-tuned conjunctive cell is weaker when the contextual inputs differ from the direct inputs in both feature dimensions, rather than just one. Additionally, CO-tuned cells and MO-tuned cells are often more active than the single feature tuned cells in response to the redundant feature targets, and this occurs more frequently for the MO-tuned cells such that the MO-tuned cells are no less likely than either the M-tuned or O-tuned neurons to be the most responsive neuron to dictate saliency for an MO target.

  14. Properties of V1 neurons tuned to conjunctions of visual features: application of the V1 saliency hypothesis to visual search behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhaoping, Li; Zhe, Li

    2012-01-01

    From a computational theory of V1, we formulate an optimization problem to investigate neural properties in the primary visual cortex (V1) from human reaction times (RTs) in visual search. The theory is the V1 saliency hypothesis that the bottom-up saliency of any visual location is represented by the highest V1 response to it relative to the background responses. The neural properties probed are those associated with the less known V1 neurons tuned simultaneously or conjunctively in two feature dimensions. The visual search is to find a target bar unique in color (C), orientation (O), motion direction (M), or redundantly in combinations of these features (e.g., CO, MO, or CM) among uniform background bars. A feature singleton target is salient because its evoked V1 response largely escapes the iso-feature suppression on responses to the background bars. The responses of the conjunctively tuned cells are manifested in the shortening of the RT for a redundant feature target (e.g., a CO target) from that predicted by a race between the RTs for the two corresponding single feature targets (e.g., C and O targets). Our investigation enables the following testable predictions. Contextual suppression on the response of a CO-tuned or MO-tuned conjunctive cell is weaker when the contextual inputs differ from the direct inputs in both feature dimensions, rather than just one. Additionally, CO-tuned cells and MO-tuned cells are often more active than the single feature tuned cells in response to the redundant feature targets, and this occurs more frequently for the MO-tuned cells such that the MO-tuned cells are no less likely than either the M-tuned or O-tuned neurons to be the most responsive neuron to dictate saliency for an MO target.

  15. Adaptation in the visual cortex: influence of membrane trajectory and neuronal firing pattern on slow afterpotentials.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vanessa F Descalzo

    Full Text Available The input/output relationship in primary visual cortex neurons is influenced by the history of the preceding activity. To understand the impact that membrane potential trajectory and firing pattern has on the activation of slow conductances in cortical neurons we compared the afterpotentials that followed responses to different stimuli evoking similar numbers of action potentials. In particular, we compared afterpotentials following the intracellular injection of either square or sinusoidal currents lasting 20 seconds. Both stimuli were intracellular surrogates of different neuronal responses to prolonged visual stimulation. Recordings from 99 neurons in slices of visual cortex revealed that for stimuli evoking an equivalent number of spikes, sinusoidal current injection activated a slow afterhyperpolarization of significantly larger amplitude (8.5 ± 3.3 mV and duration (33 ± 17 s than that evoked by a square pulse (6.4 ± 3.7 mV, 28 ± 17 s; p<0.05. Spike frequency adaptation had a faster time course and was larger during plateau (square pulse than during intermittent (sinusoidal depolarizations. Similar results were obtained in 17 neurons intracellularly recorded from the visual cortex in vivo. The differences in the afterpotentials evoked with both protocols were abolished by removing calcium from the extracellular medium or by application of the L-type calcium channel blocker nifedipine, suggesting that the activation of a calcium-dependent current is at the base of this afterpotential difference. These findings suggest that not only the spikes, but the membrane potential values and firing patterns evoked by a particular stimulation protocol determine the responses to any subsequent incoming input in a time window that spans for tens of seconds to even minutes.

  16. NeuroLines: A Subway Map Metaphor for Visualizing Nanoscale Neuronal Connectivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Awami, Ali K; Beyer, Johanna; Strobelt, Hendrik; Kasthuri, Narayanan; Lichtman, Jeff W; Pfister, Hanspeter; Hadwiger, Markus

    2014-12-01

    We present NeuroLines, a novel visualization technique designed for scalable detailed analysis of neuronal connectivity at the nanoscale level. The topology of 3D brain tissue data is abstracted into a multi-scale, relative distance-preserving subway map visualization that allows domain scientists to conduct an interactive analysis of neurons and their connectivity. Nanoscale connectomics aims at reverse-engineering the wiring of the brain. Reconstructing and analyzing the detailed connectivity of neurons and neurites (axons, dendrites) will be crucial for understanding the brain and its development and diseases. However, the enormous scale and complexity of nanoscale neuronal connectivity pose big challenges to existing visualization techniques in terms of scalability. NeuroLines offers a scalable visualization framework that can interactively render thousands of neurites, and that supports the detailed analysis of neuronal structures and their connectivity. We describe and analyze the design of NeuroLines based on two real-world use-cases of our collaborators in developmental neuroscience, and investigate its scalability to large-scale neuronal connectivity data.

  17. NeuroLines: A Subway Map Metaphor for Visualizing Nanoscale Neuronal Connectivity

    KAUST Repository

    Al-Awami, Ali K.; Beyer, Johanna; Strobelt, Hendrik; Kasthuri, Narayanan; Lichtman, Jeff W.; Pfister, Hanspeter; Hadwiger, Markus

    2014-01-01

    We present NeuroLines, a novel visualization technique designed for scalable detailed analysis of neuronal connectivity at the nanoscale level. The topology of 3D brain tissue data is abstracted into a multi-scale, relative distance-preserving subway map visualization that allows domain scientists to conduct an interactive analysis of neurons and their connectivity. Nanoscale connectomics aims at reverse-engineering the wiring of the brain. Reconstructing and analyzing the detailed connectivity of neurons and neurites (axons, dendrites) will be crucial for understanding the brain and its development and diseases. However, the enormous scale and complexity of nanoscale neuronal connectivity pose big challenges to existing visualization techniques in terms of scalability. NeuroLines offers a scalable visualization framework that can interactively render thousands of neurites, and that supports the detailed analysis of neuronal structures and their connectivity. We describe and analyze the design of NeuroLines based on two real-world use-cases of our collaborators in developmental neuroscience, and investigate its scalability to large-scale neuronal connectivity data.

  18. NeuroLines: A Subway Map Metaphor for Visualizing Nanoscale Neuronal Connectivity

    KAUST Repository

    Al-Awami, Ali K.

    2014-12-31

    We present NeuroLines, a novel visualization technique designed for scalable detailed analysis of neuronal connectivity at the nanoscale level. The topology of 3D brain tissue data is abstracted into a multi-scale, relative distance-preserving subway map visualization that allows domain scientists to conduct an interactive analysis of neurons and their connectivity. Nanoscale connectomics aims at reverse-engineering the wiring of the brain. Reconstructing and analyzing the detailed connectivity of neurons and neurites (axons, dendrites) will be crucial for understanding the brain and its development and diseases. However, the enormous scale and complexity of nanoscale neuronal connectivity pose big challenges to existing visualization techniques in terms of scalability. NeuroLines offers a scalable visualization framework that can interactively render thousands of neurites, and that supports the detailed analysis of neuronal structures and their connectivity. We describe and analyze the design of NeuroLines based on two real-world use-cases of our collaborators in developmental neuroscience, and investigate its scalability to large-scale neuronal connectivity data.

  19. Kaleido: Visualizing Big Brain Data with Automatic Color Assignment for Single-Neuron Images.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Ting-Yuan; Chen, Nan-Yow; He, Guan-Wei; Wang, Guo-Tzau; Shih, Chi-Tin; Chiang, Ann-Shyn

    2018-03-03

    Effective 3D visualization is essential for connectomics analysis, where the number of neural images easily reaches over tens of thousands. A formidable challenge is to simultaneously visualize a large number of distinguishable single-neuron images, with reasonable processing time and memory for file management and 3D rendering. In the present study, we proposed an algorithm named "Kaleido" that can visualize up to at least ten thousand single neurons from the Drosophila brain using only a fraction of the memory traditionally required, without increasing computing time. Adding more brain neurons increases memory only nominally. Importantly, Kaleido maximizes color contrast between neighboring neurons so that individual neurons can be easily distinguished. Colors can also be assigned to neurons based on biological relevance, such as gene expression, neurotransmitters, and/or development history. For cross-lab examination, the identity of every neuron is retrievable from the displayed image. To demonstrate the effectiveness and tractability of the method, we applied Kaleido to visualize the 10,000 Drosophila brain neurons obtained from the FlyCircuit database ( http://www.flycircuit.tw/modules.php?name=kaleido ). Thus, Kaleido visualization requires only sensible computer memory for manual examination of big connectomics data.

  20. Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone Modulates Vomeronasal Neuron Response to Male Salamander Pheromone

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Celeste R. Wirsig-Wiechmann

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Electrophysiological studies have shown that gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH modifies chemosensory neurons responses to odors. We have previously demonstrated that male Plethodon shermani pheromone stimulates vomeronasal neurons in the female conspecific. In the present study we used agmatine uptake as a relative measure of the effects of GnRH on this pheromone-induced neural activation of vomeronasal neurons. Whole male pheromone extract containing 3 millimolar agmatine with or without 10 micromolar GnRH was applied to the nasolabial groove of female salamanders for 45 minutes. Immunocytochemical procedures were conducted to visualize and quantify relative agmatine uptake as measured by labeling density of activated vomeronasal neurons. The relative number of labeled neurons did not differ between the two groups: pheromone alone or pheromone-GnRH. However, vomeronasal neurons exposed to pheromone-GnRH collectively demonstrated higher labeling intensity, as a percentage above background (75% as compared with neurons exposed to pheromone alone (63%, P < 0.018. Since the labeling intensity of agmatine within neurons signifies the relative activity levels of the neurons, these results suggest that GnRH increases the response of female vomeronasal neurons to male pheromone.

  1. Can responses to basic non-numerical visual features explain neural numerosity responses?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Harvey, Ben M; Dumoulin, Serge O

    2017-01-01

    Humans and many animals can distinguish between stimuli that differ in numerosity, the number of objects in a set. Human and macaque parietal lobes contain neurons that respond to changes in stimulus numerosity. However, basic non-numerical visual features can affect neural responses to and

  2. Attention modulates the responses of simple cells in monkey primary visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McAdams, Carrie J; Reid, R Clay

    2005-11-23

    Spatial attention has long been postulated to act as a spotlight that increases the salience of visual stimuli at the attended location. We examined the effects of attention on the receptive fields of simple cells in primary visual cortex (V1) by training macaque monkeys to perform a task with two modes. In the attended mode, the stimuli relevant to the animal's task overlay the receptive field of the neuron being recorded. In the unattended mode, the animal was cued to attend to stimuli outside the receptive field of that neuron. The relevant stimulus, a colored pixel, was briefly presented within a white-noise stimulus, a flickering grid of black and white pixels. The receptive fields of the neurons were mapped by correlating spikes with the white-noise stimulus in both attended and unattended modes. We found that attention could cause significant modulation of the visually evoked response despite an absence of significant effects on the overall firing rates. On further examination of the relationship between the strength of the visual stimulation and the firing rate, we found that attention appears to cause multiplicative scaling of the visually evoked responses of simple cells, demonstrating that attention reaches back to the initial stages of visual cortical processing.

  3. Orientation selectivity of synaptic input to neurons in mouse and cat primary visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Andrew Y Y; Brown, Brandon D; Scholl, Benjamin; Mohanty, Deepankar; Priebe, Nicholas J

    2011-08-24

    Primary visual cortex (V1) is the site at which orientation selectivity emerges in mammals: visual thalamus afferents to V1 respond equally to all stimulus orientations, whereas their target V1 neurons respond selectively to stimulus orientation. The emergence of orientation selectivity in V1 has long served as a model for investigating cortical computation. Recent evidence for orientation selectivity in mouse V1 opens cortical computation to dissection by genetic and imaging tools, but also raises two essential questions: (1) How does orientation selectivity in mouse V1 neurons compare with that in previously described species? (2) What is the synaptic basis for orientation selectivity in mouse V1? A comparison of orientation selectivity in mouse and in cat, where such measures have traditionally been made, reveals that orientation selectivity in mouse V1 is weaker than in cat V1, but that spike threshold plays a similar role in narrowing selectivity between membrane potential and spike rate. To uncover the synaptic basis for orientation selectivity, we made whole-cell recordings in vivo from mouse V1 neurons, comparing neuronal input selectivity-based on membrane potential, synaptic excitation, and synaptic inhibition-to output selectivity based on spiking. We found that a neuron's excitatory and inhibitory inputs are selective for the same stimulus orientations as is its membrane potential response, and that inhibitory selectivity is not broader than excitatory selectivity. Inhibition has different dynamics than excitation, adapting more rapidly. In neurons with temporally modulated responses, the timing of excitation and inhibition was different in mice and cats.

  4. Can responses to basic non-numerical visual features explain neural numerosity responses?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harvey, Ben M; Dumoulin, Serge O

    2017-04-01

    Humans and many animals can distinguish between stimuli that differ in numerosity, the number of objects in a set. Human and macaque parietal lobes contain neurons that respond to changes in stimulus numerosity. However, basic non-numerical visual features can affect neural responses to and perception of numerosity, and visual features often co-vary with numerosity. Therefore, it is debated whether numerosity or co-varying low-level visual features underlie neural and behavioral responses to numerosity. To test the hypothesis that non-numerical visual features underlie neural numerosity responses in a human parietal numerosity map, we analyze responses to a group of numerosity stimulus configurations that have the same numerosity progression but vary considerably in their non-numerical visual features. Using ultra-high-field (7T) fMRI, we measure responses to these stimulus configurations in an area of posterior parietal cortex whose responses are believed to reflect numerosity-selective activity. We describe an fMRI analysis method to distinguish between alternative models of neural response functions, following a population receptive field (pRF) modeling approach. For each stimulus configuration, we first quantify the relationships between numerosity and several non-numerical visual features that have been proposed to underlie performance in numerosity discrimination tasks. We then determine how well responses to these non-numerical visual features predict the observed fMRI responses, and compare this to the predictions of responses to numerosity. We demonstrate that a numerosity response model predicts observed responses more accurately than models of responses to simple non-numerical visual features. As such, neural responses in cognitive processing need not reflect simpler properties of early sensory inputs. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Hand placement near the visual stimulus improves orientation selectivity in V2 neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sergio, Lauren E.; Crawford, J. Douglas; Fallah, Mazyar

    2015-01-01

    Often, the brain receives more sensory input than it can process simultaneously. Spatial attention helps overcome this limitation by preferentially processing input from a behaviorally-relevant location. Recent neuropsychological and psychophysical studies suggest that attention is deployed to near-hand space much like how the oculomotor system can deploy attention to an upcoming gaze position. Here we provide the first neuronal evidence that the presence of a nearby hand enhances orientation selectivity in early visual processing area V2. When the hand was placed outside the receptive field, responses to the preferred orientation were significantly enhanced without a corresponding significant increase at the orthogonal orientation. Consequently, there was also a significant sharpening of orientation tuning. In addition, the presence of the hand reduced neuronal response variability. These results indicate that attention is automatically deployed to the space around a hand, improving orientation selectivity. Importantly, this appears to be optimal for motor control of the hand, as opposed to oculomotor mechanisms which enhance responses without sharpening orientation selectivity. Effector-based mechanisms for visual enhancement thus support not only the spatiotemporal dissociation of gaze and reach, but also the optimization of vision for their separate requirements for guiding movements. PMID:25717165

  6. Visualization of Sensory Neurons and Their Projections in an Upper Motor Neuron Reporter Line.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Genç, Barış; Lagrimas, Amiko Krisa Bunag; Kuru, Pınar; Hess, Robert; Tu, Michael William; Menichella, Daniela Maria; Miller, Richard J; Paller, Amy S; Özdinler, P Hande

    2015-01-01

    Visualization of peripheral nervous system axons and cell bodies is important to understand their development, target recognition, and integration into complex circuitries. Numerous studies have used protein gene product (PGP) 9.5 [a.k.a. ubiquitin carboxy-terminal hydrolase L1 (UCHL1)] expression as a marker to label sensory neurons and their axons. Enhanced green fluorescent protein (eGFP) expression, under the control of UCHL1 promoter, is stable and long lasting in the UCHL1-eGFP reporter line. In addition to the genetic labeling of corticospinal motor neurons in the motor cortex and degeneration-resistant spinal motor neurons in the spinal cord, here we report that neurons of the peripheral nervous system are also fluorescently labeled in the UCHL1-eGFP reporter line. eGFP expression is turned on at embryonic ages and lasts through adulthood, allowing detailed studies of cell bodies, axons and target innervation patterns of all sensory neurons in vivo. In addition, visualization of both the sensory and the motor neurons in the same animal offers many advantages. In this report, we used UCHL1-eGFP reporter line in two different disease paradigms: diabetes and motor neuron disease. eGFP expression in sensory axons helped determine changes in epidermal nerve fiber density in a high-fat diet induced diabetes model. Our findings corroborate previous studies, and suggest that more than five months is required for significant skin denervation. Crossing UCHL1-eGFP with hSOD1G93A mice generated hSOD1G93A-UeGFP reporter line of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and revealed sensory nervous system defects, especially towards disease end-stage. Our studies not only emphasize the complexity of the disease in ALS, but also reveal that UCHL1-eGFP reporter line would be a valuable tool to visualize and study various aspects of sensory nervous system development and degeneration in the context of numerous diseases.

  7. Hemispheric differences in electrical and hemodynamic responses during hemifield visual stimulation with graded contrasts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Si, Juanning; Zhang, Xin; Zhang, Yujin; Jiang, Tianzi

    2017-04-01

    A multimodal neuroimaging technique based on electroencephalography (EEG) and functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) was used with horizontal hemifield visual stimuli with graded contrasts to investigate the retinotopic mapping more fully as well as to explore hemispheric differences in neuronal activity, the hemodynamic response, and the neurovascular coupling relationship in the visual cortex. The fNIRS results showed the expected activation over the contralateral hemisphere for both the left and right hemifield visual stimulations. However, the EEG results presented a paradoxical lateralization, with the maximal response located over the ipsilateral hemisphere but with the polarity inversed components located over the contralateral hemisphere. Our results suggest that the polarity inversion as well as the latency advantage over the contralateral hemisphere cause the amplitude of the VEP over the contralateral hemisphere to be smaller than that over the ipsilateral hemisphere. Both the neuronal and hemodynamic responses changed logarithmically with the level of contrast in the hemifield visual stimulations. Moreover, the amplitudes and latencies of the visual evoked potentials (VEPs) were linearly correlated with the hemodynamic responses despite differences in the slopes.

  8. Lack of functional specialization of neurons in the mouse primary visual cortex that have expressed calretinin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniela eCamillo

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Calretinin is a calcium-binding protein often used as a marker for a subset of inhibitory interneurons in the mammalian neocortex. We studied the labeled cells in offspring from a cross of a Cre-dependent reporter line with the CR-ires-Cre mice, which express Cre-recombinase in the same pattern as calretinin. We found that in the mature visual cortex, only a minority of the cells that have expressed calretinin and Cre-recombinase during their lifetime is GABAergic and only about 20% are immunoreactive for calretinin. The reason behind this is that calretinin is transiently expressed in many cortical pyramidal neurons during development. To determine whether neurons that express or have expressed calretinin share any distinct functional characteristics, we recorded their visual response properties using GCaMP6s calcium imaging. The average orientation selectivity, size tuning, and temporal and spatial frequency tuning of this group of cells, however, match the response profile of the general neuronal population, revealing the lack of functional specialization for the features studied.

  9. Role of serotonergic neurons in the Drosophila larval response to light

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    Campos Ana

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Drosophila larval locomotion consists of forward peristalsis interrupted by episodes of pausing, turning and exploratory behavior (head swinging. This behavior can be regulated by visual input as seen by light-induced increase in pausing, head swinging and direction change as well as reduction of linear speed that characterizes the larval photophobic response. During 3rd instar stage, Drosophila larvae gradually cease to be repelled by light and are photoneutral by the time they wander in search for a place to undergo metamorphosis. Thus, Drosophila larval photobehavior can be used to study control of locomotion. Results We used targeted neuronal silencing to assess the role of candidate neurons in the regulation of larval photobehavior. Inactivation of DOPA decarboxylase (Ddc neurons increases the response to light throughout larval development, including during the later stages of the 3rd instar characterized by photoneutral response. Increased response to light is characterized by increase in light-induced direction change and associated pause, and reduction of linear movement. Amongst Ddc neurons, suppression of the activity of corazonergic and serotonergic but not dopaminergic neurons increases the photophobic response observed during 3rd instar stage. Silencing of serotonergic neurons does not disrupt larval locomotion or the response to mechanical stimuli. Reduced serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT signaling within serotonergic neurons recapitulates the results obtained with targeted neuronal silencing. Ablation of serotonergic cells in the ventral nerve cord (VNC does not affect the larval response to light. Similarly, disruption of serotonergic projections that contact the photoreceptor termini in the brain hemispheres does not impact the larval response to light. Finally, pan-neural over-expression of 5-HT1ADro receptors, but not of any other 5-HT receptor subtype, causes a significant decrease in the response to

  10. 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.

  11. Visualizing neuronal network connectivity with connectivity pattern tables

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    Eilen Nordlie

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Complex ideas are best conveyed through well-designed illustrations. Up to now, computational neuroscientists have mostly relied on box-and-arrow diagrams of even complex neuronal networks, often using ad hoc notations with conflicting use of symbols from paper to paper. This significantly impedes the communication of ideas in neuronal network modeling. We present here Connectivity Pattern Tables (CPTs as a clutter-free visualization of connectivity in large neuronal networks containing two-dimensional populations of neurons. CPTs can be generated automatically from the same script code used to create the actual network in the NEST simulator. Through aggregation, CPTs can be viewed at different levels, providing either full detail or summary information. We also provide the open source ConnPlotter tool as a means to create connectivity pattern tables.

  12. Supralinear and Supramodal Integration of Visual and Tactile Signals in Rats: Psychophysics and Neuronal Mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nikbakht, Nader; Tafreshiha, Azadeh; Zoccolan, Davide; Diamond, Mathew E

    2018-02-07

    To better understand how object recognition can be triggered independently of the sensory channel through which information is acquired, we devised a task in which rats judged the orientation of a raised, black and white grating. They learned to recognize two categories of orientation: 0° ± 45° ("horizontal") and 90° ± 45° ("vertical"). Each trial required a visual (V), a tactile (T), or a visual-tactile (VT) discrimination; VT performance was better than that predicted by optimal linear combination of V and T signals, indicating synergy between sensory channels. We examined posterior parietal cortex (PPC) and uncovered key neuronal correlates of the behavioral findings: PPC carried both graded information about object orientation and categorical information about the rat's upcoming choice; single neurons exhibited identical responses under the three modality conditions. Finally, a linear classifier of neuronal population firing replicated the behavioral findings. Taken together, these findings suggest that PPC is involved in the supramodal processing of shape. Copyright © 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Transient activation of dopaminergic neurons during development modulates visual responsiveness, locomotion and brain activity in a dopamine ontogeny model of schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calcagno, B; Eyles, D; van Alphen, B; van Swinderen, B

    2013-01-08

    It has been observed that certain developmental environmental risk factors for schizophrenia when modeled in rodents alter the trajectory of dopaminergic development, leading to persistent behavioural changes in adults. This has recently been articulated as the "dopamine ontogeny hypothesis of schizophrenia". To test one aspect of this hypothesis, namely that transient dopaminergic effects during development modulate attention-like behavior and arousal in adults, we turned to a small-brain model, Drosophila melanogaster. By applying genetic tools allowing transient activation or silencing of dopaminergic neurons in the fly brain, we investigated whether a critical window exists during development when altered dopamine (DA) activity levels could lead to impairments in arousal states in adult animals. We found that increased activity in dopaminergic neurons in later stages of development significantly increased visual responsiveness and locomotion, especially in adult males. This misallocation of visual salience and hyperactivity mimicked the effect of acute methamphetamine feeding to adult flies, suggesting up-regulated DA signaling could result from developmental manipulations. Finally, brain recordings revealed significantly reduced gamma-band activity in adult animals exposed to the transient developmental insult. Together, these data support the idea that transient alterations in DA signaling during development can permanently alter behavior in adults, and that a reductionist model such as Drosophila can be used to investigate potential mechanisms underlying complex cognitive disorders such as schizophrenia.

  14. A Virtual Reality Visualization Tool for Neuron Tracing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Usher, Will; Klacansky, Pavol; Federer, Frederick; Bremer, Peer-Timo; Knoll, Aaron; Yarch, Jeff; Angelucci, Alessandra; Pascucci, Valerio

    2018-01-01

    Tracing neurons in large-scale microscopy data is crucial to establishing a wiring diagram of the brain, which is needed to understand how neural circuits in the brain process information and generate behavior. Automatic techniques often fail for large and complex datasets, and connectomics researchers may spend weeks or months manually tracing neurons using 2D image stacks. We present a design study of a new virtual reality (VR) system, developed in collaboration with trained neuroanatomists, to trace neurons in microscope scans of the visual cortex of primates. We hypothesize that using consumer-grade VR technology to interact with neurons directly in 3D will help neuroscientists better resolve complex cases and enable them to trace neurons faster and with less physical and mental strain. We discuss both the design process and technical challenges in developing an interactive system to navigate and manipulate terabyte-sized image volumes in VR. Using a number of different datasets, we demonstrate that, compared to widely used commercial software, consumer-grade VR presents a promising alternative for scientists.

  15. Top-down inputs enhance orientation selectivity in neurons of the primary visual cortex during perceptual learning.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samat Moldakarimov

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Perceptual learning has been used to probe the mechanisms of cortical plasticity in the adult brain. Feedback projections are ubiquitous in the cortex, but little is known about their role in cortical plasticity. Here we explore the hypothesis that learning visual orientation discrimination involves learning-dependent plasticity of top-down feedback inputs from higher cortical areas, serving a different function from plasticity due to changes in recurrent connections within a cortical area. In a Hodgkin-Huxley-based spiking neural network model of visual cortex, we show that modulation of feedback inputs to V1 from higher cortical areas results in shunting inhibition in V1 neurons, which changes the response properties of V1 neurons. The orientation selectivity of V1 neurons is enhanced without changing orientation preference, preserving the topographic organizations in V1. These results provide new insights to the mechanisms of plasticity in the adult brain, reconciling apparently inconsistent experiments and providing a new hypothesis for a functional role of the feedback connections.

  16. Neuron analysis of visual perception

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chow, K. L.

    1980-01-01

    The receptive fields of single cells in the visual system of cat and squirrel monkey were studied investigating the vestibular input affecting the cells, and the cell's responses during visual discrimination learning process. The receptive field characteristics of the rabbit visual system, its normal development, its abnormal development following visual deprivation, and on the structural and functional re-organization of the visual system following neo-natal and prenatal surgery were also studied. The results of each individual part of each investigation are detailed.

  17. Neuronal correlate of visual associative long-term memory in the primate temporal cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miyashita, Yasushi

    1988-10-01

    In human long-term memory, ideas and concepts become associated in the learning process1. No neuronal correlate for this cognitive function has so far been described, except that memory traces are thought to be localized in the cerebral cortex; the temporal lobe has been assigned as the site for visual experience because electric stimulation of this area results in imagery recall,2 and lesions produce deficits in visual recognition of objects3-9. We previously reported that in the anterior ventral temporal cortex of monkeys, individual neurons have a sustained activity that is highly selective for a few of the 100 coloured fractal patterns used in a visual working-memory task10. Here I report the development of this selectivity through repeated trials involving the working memory. The few patterns for which a neuron was conjointly selective were frequently related to each other through stimulus-stimulus association imposed during training. The results indicate that the selectivity acquired by these cells represents a neuronal correlate of the associative long-term memory of pictures.

  18. Correlation between electrical and hemodynamic responses during visual stimulation with graded contrasts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Si, Juanning; Zhang, Xin; Li, Yuejun; Zhang, Yujin; Zuo, Nianming; Jiang, Tianzi

    2016-09-01

    Brain functional activity involves complex cellular, metabolic, and vascular chain reactions, making it difficult to comprehend. Electroencephalography (EEG) and functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) have been combined into a multimodal neuroimaging method that captures both electrophysiological and hemodynamic information to explore the spatiotemporal characteristics of brain activity. Because of the significance of visually evoked functional activity in clinical applications, numerous studies have explored the amplitude of the visual evoked potential (VEP) to clarify its relationship with the hemodynamic response. However, relatively few studies have investigated the influence of latency, which has been frequently used to diagnose visual diseases, on the hemodynamic response. Moreover, because the latency and the amplitude of VEPs have different roles in coding visual information, investigating the relationship between latency and the hemodynamic response should be helpful. In this study, checkerboard reversal tasks with graded contrasts were used to evoke visual functional activity. Both EEG and fNIRS were employed to investigate the relationship between neuronal electrophysiological activities and the hemodynamic responses. The VEP amplitudes were linearly correlated with the hemodynamic response, but the VEP latency showed a negative linear correlation with the hemodynamic response.

  19. Visualization of odor-induced neuronal activity by immediate early gene expression

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    Bepari Asim K

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Sensitive detection of sensory-evoked neuronal activation is a key to mechanistic understanding of brain functions. Since immediate early genes (IEGs are readily induced in the brain by environmental changes, tracing IEG expression provides a convenient tool to identify brain activity. In this study we used in situ hybridization to detect odor-evoked induction of ten IEGs in the mouse olfactory system. We then analyzed IEG induction in the cyclic nucleotide-gated channel subunit A2 (Cnga2-null mice to visualize residual neuronal activity following odorant exposure since CNGA2 is a key component of the olfactory signal transduction pathway in the main olfactory system. Results We observed rapid induction of as many as ten IEGs in the mouse olfactory bulb (OB after olfactory stimulation by a non-biological odorant amyl acetate. A robust increase in expression of several IEGs like c-fos and Egr1 was evident in the glomerular layer, the mitral/tufted cell layer and the granule cell layer. Additionally, the neuronal IEG Npas4 showed steep induction from a very low basal expression level predominantly in the granule cell layer. In Cnga2-null mice, which are usually anosmic and sexually unresponsive, glomerular activation was insignificant in response to either ambient odorants or female stimuli. However, a subtle induction of c-fos took place in the OB of a few Cnga2-mutants which exhibited sexual arousal. Interestingly, very strong glomerular activation was observed in the OB of Cnga2-null male mice after stimulation with either the neutral odor amyl acetate or the predator odor 2, 3, 5-trimethyl-3-thiazoline (TMT. Conclusions This study shows for the first time that in vivo olfactory stimulation can robustly induce the neuronal IEG Npas4 in the mouse OB and confirms the odor-evoked induction of a number of IEGs. As shown in previous studies, our results indicate that a CNGA2-independent signaling pathway(s may activate the

  20. Localization of Nitric Oxide Synthase-containing Neurons in the Bat Visual Cortex and Co-localization with Calcium-binding Proteins

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gu, Ya-Nan; Kim, Hang-Gu; Jeon, Chang-Jin

    2015-01-01

    Microchiroptera (microbats) is a suborder of bats thought to have degenerated vision. However, many recent studies have shown that they have visual ability. In this study, we labeled neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS)—the synthesizing enzyme of the gaseous non-synaptic neurotransmitter nitric oxide—and co-localized it with calbindin D28K (CB), calretinin (CR), and parvalbumin (PV) in the visual cortex of the greater horseshoe bat (Rhinolophus ferrumequinum, a species of microbats). nNOS-immunoreactive (IR) neurons were found in all layers of the visual cortex. Intensely labeled neurons were most common in layer IV, and weakly labeled neurons were most common in layer VI. Majority of the nNOS-IR neurons were round- or oval-type neurons; no pyramidal-type neurons were found. None of these neurons co-localized with CB, CR, or PV. However, the synthesis of nitric oxide in the bat visual cortex by nNOS does not depend on CB, CR, or PV

  1. 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

  2. Feature-Specific Organization of Feedback Pathways in Mouse Visual Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huh, Carey Y L; Peach, John P; Bennett, Corbett; Vega, Roxana M; Hestrin, Shaul

    2018-01-08

    Higher and lower cortical areas in the visual hierarchy are reciprocally connected [1]. Although much is known about how feedforward pathways shape receptive field properties of visual neurons, relatively little is known about the role of feedback pathways in visual processing. Feedback pathways are thought to carry top-down signals, including information about context (e.g., figure-ground segmentation and surround suppression) [2-5], and feedback has been demonstrated to sharpen orientation tuning of neurons in the primary visual cortex (V1) [6, 7]. However, the response characteristics of feedback neurons themselves and how feedback shapes V1 neurons' tuning for other features, such as spatial frequency (SF), remain largely unknown. Here, using a retrograde virus, targeted electrophysiological recordings, and optogenetic manipulations, we show that putatively feedback neurons in layer 5 (hereafter "L5 feedback") in higher visual areas, AL (anterolateral area) and PM (posteromedial area), display distinct visual properties in awake head-fixed mice. AL L5 feedback neurons prefer significantly lower SF (mean: 0.04 cycles per degree [cpd]) compared to PM L5 feedback neurons (0.15 cpd). Importantly, silencing AL L5 feedback reduced visual responses of V1 neurons preferring low SF (mean change in firing rate: -8.0%), whereas silencing PM L5 feedback suppressed responses of high-SF-preferring V1 neurons (-20.4%). These findings suggest that feedback connections from higher visual areas convey distinctly tuned visual inputs to V1 that serve to boost V1 neurons' responses to SF. Such like-to-like functional organization may represent an important feature of feedback pathways in sensory systems and in the nervous system in general. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Visual Neurons in the Superior Colliculus Innervated by Islet2+ or Islet2− Retinal Ganglion Cells Display Distinct Tuning Properties

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    Rachel B. Kay

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Throughout the visual system, different subtypes of neurons are tuned to distinct aspects of the visual scene, establishing parallel circuits. Defining the mechanisms by which such tuning arises has been a long-standing challenge for neuroscience. To investigate this, we have focused on the retina’s projection to the superior colliculus (SC, where multiple visual neuron subtypes have been described. The SC receives inputs from a variety of retinal ganglion cell (RGC subtypes; however, which RGCs drive the tuning of different SC neurons remains unclear. Here, we pursued a genetic approach that allowed us to determine the tuning properties of neurons innervated by molecularly defined subpopulations of RGCs. In homozygous Islet2-EphA3 knock-in (Isl2EA3/EA3 mice, Isl2+ and Isl2− RGCs project to non-overlapping sub-regions of the SC. Based on molecular and anatomic data, we show that significantly more Isl2− RGCs are direction-selective (DS in comparison with Isl2+ RGCs. Targeted recordings of visual responses from each SC sub-region in Isl2EA3/EA3 mice revealed that Isl2− RGC-innervated neurons were significantly more DS than those innervated by Isl2+ RGCs. Axis-selective (AS neurons were found in both sub-regions, though AS neurons innervated by Isl2+ RGCs were more tightly tuned. Despite this segregation, DS and AS neurons innervated by Isl2+ or Isl2− RGCs did not differ in their spatial summation or spatial frequency (SF tuning. Further, we did not observe alterations in receptive field (RF size or structure of SC neurons innervated by Isl2+ or Isl2− RGCs. Together, these data show that innervation by Isl2+ and Isl2− RGCs results in distinct tuning in the SC and set the stage for future studies investigating the mechanisms by which these circuits are built.

  4. The Role of CREB, SRF, and MEF2 in Activity-Dependent Neuronal Plasticity in the Visual Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pulimood, Nisha S; Rodrigues, Wandilson Dos Santos; Atkinson, Devon A; Mooney, Sandra M; Medina, Alexandre E

    2017-07-12

    The transcription factors CREB (cAMP response element binding factor), SRF (serum response factor), and MEF2 (myocyte enhancer factor 2) play critical roles in the mechanisms underlying neuronal plasticity. However, the role of the activation of these transcription factors in the different components of plasticity in vivo is not well known. In this study, we tested the role of CREB, SRF, and MEF2 in ocular dominance plasticity (ODP), a paradigm of activity-dependent neuronal plasticity in the visual cortex. These three proteins bind to the synaptic activity response element (SARE), an enhancer sequence found upstream of many plasticity-related genes (Kawashima et al., 2009; Rodríguez-Tornos et al., 2013), and can act cooperatively to express Arc , a gene required for ODP (McCurry et al., 2010). We used viral-mediated gene transfer to block the transcription function of CREB, SRF, and MEF2 in the visual cortex, and measured visually evoked potentials in awake male and female mice before and after a 7 d monocular deprivation, which allowed us to examine both the depression component (Dc-ODP) and potentiation component (Pc-ODP) of plasticity independently. We found that CREB, SRF, and MEF2 are all required for ODP, but have differential effects on Dc-ODP and Pc-ODP. CREB is necessary for both Dc-ODP and Pc-ODP, whereas SRF and MEF2 are only needed for Dc-ODP. This finding supports previous reports implicating SRF and MEF2 in long-term depression (required for Dc-ODP), and CREB in long-term potentiation (required for Pc-ODP). SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Activity-dependent neuronal plasticity is the cellular basis for learning and memory, and it is crucial for the refinement of neuronal circuits during development. Identifying the mechanisms of activity-dependent neuronal plasticity is crucial to finding therapeutic interventions in the myriad of disorders where it is disrupted, such as Fragile X syndrome, Rett syndrome, epilepsy, major depressive disorder, and autism

  5. Neuronal plasticity and multisensory integration in filial imprinting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Town, Stephen Michael; McCabe, Brian John

    2011-03-10

    Many organisms sample their environment through multiple sensory systems and the integration of multisensory information enhances learning. However, the mechanisms underlying multisensory memory formation and their similarity to unisensory mechanisms remain unclear. Filial imprinting is one example in which experience is multisensory, and the mechanisms of unisensory neuronal plasticity are well established. We investigated the storage of audiovisual information through experience by comparing the activity of neurons in the intermediate and medial mesopallium of imprinted and naïve domestic chicks (Gallus gallus domesticus) in response to an audiovisual imprinting stimulus and novel object and their auditory and visual components. We find that imprinting enhanced the mean response magnitude of neurons to unisensory but not multisensory stimuli. Furthermore, imprinting enhanced responses to incongruent audiovisual stimuli comprised of mismatched auditory and visual components. Our results suggest that the effects of imprinting on the unisensory and multisensory responsiveness of IMM neurons differ and that IMM neurons may function to detect unexpected deviations from the audiovisual imprinting stimulus.

  6. Neuronal Plasticity and Multisensory Integration in Filial Imprinting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Town, Stephen Michael; McCabe, Brian John

    2011-01-01

    Many organisms sample their environment through multiple sensory systems and the integration of multisensory information enhances learning. However, the mechanisms underlying multisensory memory formation and their similarity to unisensory mechanisms remain unclear. Filial imprinting is one example in which experience is multisensory, and the mechanisms of unisensory neuronal plasticity are well established. We investigated the storage of audiovisual information through experience by comparing the activity of neurons in the intermediate and medial mesopallium of imprinted and naïve domestic chicks (Gallus gallus domesticus) in response to an audiovisual imprinting stimulus and novel object and their auditory and visual components. We find that imprinting enhanced the mean response magnitude of neurons to unisensory but not multisensory stimuli. Furthermore, imprinting enhanced responses to incongruent audiovisual stimuli comprised of mismatched auditory and visual components. Our results suggest that the effects of imprinting on the unisensory and multisensory responsiveness of IMM neurons differ and that IMM neurons may function to detect unexpected deviations from the audiovisual imprinting stimulus. PMID:21423770

  7. Monkey pulvinar neurons fire differentially to snake postures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le, Quan Van; Isbell, Lynne A; Matsumoto, Jumpei; Le, Van Quang; Hori, Etsuro; Tran, Anh Hai; Maior, Rafael S; Tomaz, Carlos; Ono, Taketoshi; Nishijo, Hisao

    2014-01-01

    There is growing evidence from both behavioral and neurophysiological approaches that primates are able to rapidly discriminate visually between snakes and innocuous stimuli. Recent behavioral evidence suggests that primates are also able to discriminate the level of threat posed by snakes, by responding more intensely to a snake model poised to strike than to snake models in coiled or sinusoidal postures (Etting and Isbell 2014). In the present study, we examine the potential for an underlying neurological basis for this ability. Previous research indicated that the pulvinar is highly sensitive to snake images. We thus recorded pulvinar neurons in Japanese macaques (Macaca fuscata) while they viewed photos of snakes in striking and non-striking postures in a delayed non-matching to sample (DNMS) task. Of 821 neurons recorded, 78 visually responsive neurons were tested with the all snake images. We found that pulvinar neurons in the medial and dorsolateral pulvinar responded more strongly to snakes in threat displays poised to strike than snakes in non-threat-displaying postures with no significant difference in response latencies. A multidimensional scaling analysis of the 78 visually responsive neurons indicated that threat-displaying and non-threat-displaying snakes were separated into two different clusters in the first epoch of 50 ms after stimulus onset, suggesting bottom-up visual information processing. These results indicate that pulvinar neurons in primates discriminate between poised to strike from those in non-threat-displaying postures. This neuronal ability likely facilitates behavioral discrimination and has clear adaptive value. Our results are thus consistent with the Snake Detection Theory, which posits that snakes were instrumental in the evolution of primate visual systems.

  8. A transcranial magnetic stimulation study of the effect of visual orientation on the putative human mirror neuron system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burgess, Jed D.; Arnold, Sara L.; Fitzgibbon, Bernadette M.; Fitzgerald, Paul B.; Enticott, Peter G.

    2013-01-01

    Mirror neurons are a class of motor neuron that are active during both the performance and observation of behavior, and have been implicated in interpersonal understanding. There is evidence to suggest that the mirror response is modulated by the perspective from which an action is presented (e.g., egocentric or allocentric). Most human research, however, has only examined this when presenting intransitive actions. Twenty-three healthy adult participants completed a transcranial magnetic stimulation experiment that assessed corticospinal excitability whilst viewing transitive hand gestures from both egocentric (i.e., self) and allocentric (i.e., other) viewpoints. Although action observation was associated with increases in corticospinal excitability (reflecting putative human mirror neuron activity), there was no effect of visual perspective. These findings are discussed in the context of contemporary theories of mirror neuron ontogeny, including models concerning associative learning and evolutionary adaptation. PMID:24137125

  9. A transcranial magnetic stimulation study of the effect of visual orientation on the putative human mirror neuron system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burgess, Jed D; Arnold, Sara L; Fitzgibbon, Bernadette M; Fitzgerald, Paul B; Enticott, Peter G

    2013-01-01

    Mirror neurons are a class of motor neuron that are active during both the performance and observation of behavior, and have been implicated in interpersonal understanding. There is evidence to suggest that the mirror response is modulated by the perspective from which an action is presented (e.g., egocentric or allocentric). Most human research, however, has only examined this when presenting intransitive actions. Twenty-three healthy adult participants completed a transcranial magnetic stimulation experiment that assessed corticospinal excitability whilst viewing transitive hand gestures from both egocentric (i.e., self) and allocentric (i.e., other) viewpoints. Although action observation was associated with increases in corticospinal excitability (reflecting putative human mirror neuron activity), there was no effect of visual perspective. These findings are discussed in the context of contemporary theories of mirror neuron ontogeny, including models concerning associative learning and evolutionary adaptation.

  10. Consistent phosphenes generated by electrical microstimulation of the visual thalamus. An experimental approach for thalamic visual neuroprostheses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fivos ePanetsos

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Most work on visual prostheses has centred on developing retinal or cortical devices. However, when retinal implants are not feasible, neuroprostheses could be implanted in the lateral geniculate nucleus of the thalamus (LGN, the intermediate relay station of visual information from the retina to the visual cortex (V1. The objective of the present study was to determine the types of artificial stimuli that when delivered to the visual thalamus can generate reliable responses of the cortical neurons similar to those obtained when the eye perceives a visual image. Visual stimuli {Si} were presented to one eye of an experimental animal and both, the thalamic {RThi} and cortical responses {RV1i} to such stimuli were recorded. Electrical patterns {RThi*} resembling {RThi} were then injected into the visual thalamus to obtain cortical responses {RV1i*} similar to {RV1i}. Visually- and electrically-generated V1 responses were compared.Results: During the course of this work we: (i characterised the response of V1 neurons to visual stimuli according to response magnitude, duration, spiking rate and the distribution of interspike intervals; (ii experimentally tested the dependence of V1 responses on stimulation parameters such as intensity, frequency, duration, etc. and determined the ranges of these parameters generating the desired cortical activity; (iii identified similarities between responses of V1 useful to compare the naturally and artificially generated neuronal activity of V1; and (iv by modifying the stimulation parameters, we generated artificial V1 responses similar to those elicited by visual stimuli.Generation of predictable and consistent phosphenes by means of artificial stimulation of the LGN is important for the feasibility of visual prostheses. Here we proved that electrical stimuli to the LGN can generate V1 neural responses that resemble those elicited by natural visual stimuli.

  11. Divisive normalization and neuronal oscillations in a single hierarchical framework of selective visual attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montijn, Jorrit Steven; Klink, P Christaan; van Wezel, Richard J A

    2012-01-01

    Divisive normalization models of covert attention commonly use spike rate modulations as indicators of the effect of top-down attention. In addition, an increasing number of studies have shown that top-down attention increases the synchronization of neuronal oscillations as well, particularly in gamma-band frequencies (25-100 Hz). Although modulations of spike rate and synchronous oscillations are not mutually exclusive as mechanisms of attention, there has thus far been little effort to integrate these concepts into a single framework of attention. Here, we aim to provide such a unified framework by expanding the normalization model of attention with a multi-level hierarchical structure and a time dimension; allowing the simulation of a recently reported backward progression of attentional effects along the visual cortical hierarchy. A simple cascade of normalization models simulating different cortical areas is shown to cause signal degradation and a loss of stimulus discriminability over time. To negate this degradation and ensure stable neuronal stimulus representations, we incorporate a kind of oscillatory phase entrainment into our model that has previously been proposed as the "communication-through-coherence" (CTC) hypothesis. Our analysis shows that divisive normalization and oscillation models can complement each other in a unified account of the neural mechanisms of selective visual attention. The resulting hierarchical normalization and oscillation (HNO) model reproduces several additional spatial and temporal aspects of attentional modulation and predicts a latency effect on neuronal responses as a result of cued attention.

  12. Auditory stimuli elicit hippocampal neuronal responses during sleep

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    Ekaterina eVinnik

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available To investigate how hippocampal neurons code behaviorally salient stimuli, we recorded from neurons in the CA1 region of hippocampus in rats while they learned to associate the presence of sound with water reward. Rats learned to alternate between two reward ports at which, in 50 percent of the trials, sound stimuli were presented followed by water reward after a 3-second delay. Sound at the water port predicted subsequent reward delivery in 100 percent of the trials and the absence of sound predicted reward omission. During this task, 40% of recorded neurons fired differently according to which of the 2 reward ports the rat was visiting. A smaller fraction of neurons demonstrated onset response to sound/nosepoke (19% and reward delivery (24%. When the sounds were played during passive wakefulness, 8% of neurons responded with short latency onset responses; 25% of neurons responded to sounds when they were played during sleep. Based on the current findings and the results of previous experiments we propose the existence of two types of hippocampal neuronal responses to sounds: sound-onset responses with very short latency and longer-lasting sound-specific responses that are likely to be present when the animal is actively engaged in the task. During sleep the short-latency responses in hippocampus are intermingled with sustained activity which in the current experiment was detected for 1-2 seconds.

  13. Single-neuron correlates of subjective vision in the human medial temporal lobe

    OpenAIRE

    Kreiman, Gabriel; Fried, Itzhak; Koch, Christof

    2002-01-01

    Visual information from the environment is transformed into perceptual sensations through several stages of neuronal processing. Flash suppression constitutes a striking example in which the same retinal input can give rise to two different conscious visual percepts. We directly recorded the responses of individual neurons during flash suppression in the human amygdala, entorhinal cortex, hippocampus, and parahippocampal gyrus, allowing us to explore the neuronal responses in untrained subjec...

  14. Response sensitivity of barrel neuron subpopulations to simulated thalamic input.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pesavento, Michael J; Rittenhouse, Cynthia D; Pinto, David J

    2010-06-01

    Our goal is to examine the relationship between neuron- and network-level processing in the context of a well-studied cortical function, the processing of thalamic input by whisker-barrel circuits in rodent neocortex. Here we focus on neuron-level processing and investigate the responses of excitatory and inhibitory barrel neurons to simulated thalamic inputs applied using the dynamic clamp method in brain slices. Simulated inputs are modeled after real thalamic inputs recorded in vivo in response to brief whisker deflections. Our results suggest that inhibitory neurons require more input to reach firing threshold, but then fire earlier, with less variability, and respond to a broader range of inputs than do excitatory neurons. Differences in the responses of barrel neuron subtypes depend on their intrinsic membrane properties. Neurons with a low input resistance require more input to reach threshold but then fire earlier than neurons with a higher input resistance, regardless of the neuron's classification. Our results also suggest that the response properties of excitatory versus inhibitory barrel neurons are consistent with the response sensitivities of the ensemble barrel network. The short response latency of inhibitory neurons may serve to suppress ensemble barrel responses to asynchronous thalamic input. Correspondingly, whereas neurons acting as part of the barrel circuit in vivo are highly selective for temporally correlated thalamic input, excitatory barrel neurons acting alone in vitro are less so. These data suggest that network-level processing of thalamic input in barrel cortex depends on neuron-level processing of the same input by excitatory and inhibitory barrel neurons.

  15. Neurochemical responses to chromatic and achromatic stimuli in the human visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bednařík, Petr; Tkáč, Ivan; Giove, Federico; Eberly, Lynn E; Deelchand, Dinesh K; Barreto, Felipe R; Mangia, Silvia

    2018-02-01

    In the present study, we aimed at determining the metabolic responses of the human visual cortex during the presentation of chromatic and achromatic stimuli, known to preferentially activate two separate clusters of neuronal populations (called "blobs" and "interblobs") with distinct sensitivity to color or luminance features. Since blobs and interblobs have different cytochrome-oxidase (COX) content and micro-vascularization level (i.e., different capacities for glucose oxidation), different functional metabolic responses during chromatic vs. achromatic stimuli may be expected. The stimuli were optimized to evoke a similar load of neuronal activation as measured by the bold oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) contrast. Metabolic responses were assessed using functional 1 H MRS at 7 T in 12 subjects. During both chromatic and achromatic stimuli, we observed the typical increases in glutamate and lactate concentration, and decreases in aspartate and glucose concentration, that are indicative of increased glucose oxidation. However, within the detection sensitivity limits, we did not observe any difference between metabolic responses elicited by chromatic and achromatic stimuli. We conclude that the higher energy demands of activated blobs and interblobs are supported by similar increases in oxidative metabolism despite the different capacities of these neuronal populations.

  16. Impact of stride-coupled gaze shifts of walking blowflies on the neuronal representation of visual targets

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    Daniel eKress

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available During locomotion animals rely heavily on visual cues gained from the environment to guide their behavior. Examples are basic behaviors like collision avoidance or the approach to a goal. The saccadic gaze strategy of flying flies, which separates translational from rotational phases of locomotion, has been suggested to facilitate the extraction of environmental information, because only image flow evoked by translational self-motion contains relevant distance information about the surrounding world. In contrast to the translational phases of flight during which gaze direction is kept largely constant, walking flies experience continuous rotational image flow that is coupled to their stride-cycle. The consequences of these self-produced image shifts for the extraction of environmental information are still unclear. To assess the impact of stride-coupled image shifts on visual information processing, we performed electrophysiological recordings from the HSE cell, a motion sensitive wide-field neuron in the blowfly visual system. This cell has been concluded to play a key role in mediating optomotor behavior, self-motion estimation and spatial information processing. We used visual stimuli that were based on the visual input experienced by walking blowflies while approaching a black vertical bar. The response of HSE to these stimuli was dominated by periodic membrane potential fluctuations evoked by stride-coupled image shifts. Nevertheless, during the approach the cell’s response contained information about the bar and its background. The response components evoked by the bar were larger than the responses to its background, especially during the last phase of the approach. However, as revealed by targeted modifications of the visual input during walking, the extraction of distance information on the basis of HSE responses is much impaired by stride-coupled retinal image shifts. Possible mechanisms that may cope with these stride

  17. A transcranial magnetic stimulation study of the effect of visual orientation on the putative human mirror neuron system

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    Jed Donald Burgess

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Mirror neurons are a class of motor neuron that are active during both the performance and observation of behavior, and have been implicated in interpersonal understanding There is evidence to suggest that the mirror response is modulated by the perspective from which an action is presented (e.g., egocentric or allocentric. Most human research, however, has only examined this when presenting intransitive actions. Twenty-three healthy adult participants completed a transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS experiment that assessed corticospinal excitability whilst viewing transitive hand gestures from both egocentric (i.e., self and allocentric (i.e., other viewpoints. Although action observation was associated with increases in corticospinal excitability (reflecting putative human mirror neuron activity, there was no effect of visual perspective. These findings are discussed in the context of contemporary theories of mirror neuron ontogeny, including models concerning associative learning and evolutionary adaptation.

  18. P1-5: Effect of Luminance Contrast on the Color Selective Responses in the Inferior Temporal Cortex Neurons of the Macaque Monkey

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    Tomoyuki Namima

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Although the relationship between color signal and luminance signal is an important problem in visual perception, relatively little is known about how the luminance contrast affects the responses of color selective neurons in the visual cortex. In this study, we examined this problem in the inferior temporal (IT of the awake monkey performing a visual fixation task. Single neuron activities were recorded from the anterior and posterior color selective regions in IT cortex (AITC and PITC identified in previous studies where color selective neurons are accumulated. Color stimuli consisted of 28 stimuli that evenly distribute across the gamut of the CRT display defined on the CIE- xychromaticity diagram at two different luminance levels (5 cd/m 2or 20 cd/m 2 and 2 stimuli at white points. The background was maintained at 10 cd/m 2gray. We found that the effect of luminance contrast on the color selectivity was markedly different between AITC and PITC. When we examined the correlation between the responses to the bright stimuli and those to the dark stimuli with the same chromaticity coordinates, most AITC neurons exhibited high correlation whereas many PITC neurons showed no correlation or only weak correlation. In PITC, the effect was specifically large for neutral colors (white, gray, black and for colors with low saturation. These results indicate that the effect of luminance contrast on the color selective responses differs across different areas and suggest that the separation between color signal and luminance signal involves a higher stage of the cortical color processing.

  19. Attention Increases Spike Count Correlations between Visual Cortical Areas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, Marlene R.

    2016-01-01

    Visual attention, which improves perception of attended locations or objects, has long been known to affect many aspects of the responses of neuronal populations in visual cortex. There are two nonmutually exclusive hypotheses concerning the neuronal mechanisms that underlie these perceptual improvements. The first hypothesis, that attention improves the information encoded by a population of neurons in a particular cortical area, has considerable physiological support. The second hypothesis is that attention improves perception by selectively communicating relevant visual information. This idea has been tested primarily by measuring interactions between neurons on very short timescales, which are mathematically nearly independent of neuronal interactions on longer timescales. We tested the hypothesis that attention changes the way visual information is communicated between cortical areas on longer timescales by recording simultaneously from neurons in primary visual cortex (V1) and the middle temporal area (MT) in rhesus monkeys. We used two independent and complementary approaches. Our correlative experiment showed that attention increases the trial-to-trial response variability that is shared between the two areas. In our causal experiment, we electrically microstimulated V1 and found that attention increased the effect of stimulation on MT responses. Together, our results suggest that attention affects both the way visual stimuli are encoded within a cortical area and the extent to which visual information is communicated between areas on behaviorally relevant timescales. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Visual attention dramatically improves the perception of attended stimuli. Attention has long been thought to act by selecting relevant visual information for further processing. It has been hypothesized that this selection is accomplished by increasing communication between neurons that encode attended information in different cortical areas. We recorded simultaneously

  20. Attention Increases Spike Count Correlations between Visual Cortical Areas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruff, Douglas A; Cohen, Marlene R

    2016-07-13

    Visual attention, which improves perception of attended locations or objects, has long been known to affect many aspects of the responses of neuronal populations in visual cortex. There are two nonmutually exclusive hypotheses concerning the neuronal mechanisms that underlie these perceptual improvements. The first hypothesis, that attention improves the information encoded by a population of neurons in a particular cortical area, has considerable physiological support. The second hypothesis is that attention improves perception by selectively communicating relevant visual information. This idea has been tested primarily by measuring interactions between neurons on very short timescales, which are mathematically nearly independent of neuronal interactions on longer timescales. We tested the hypothesis that attention changes the way visual information is communicated between cortical areas on longer timescales by recording simultaneously from neurons in primary visual cortex (V1) and the middle temporal area (MT) in rhesus monkeys. We used two independent and complementary approaches. Our correlative experiment showed that attention increases the trial-to-trial response variability that is shared between the two areas. In our causal experiment, we electrically microstimulated V1 and found that attention increased the effect of stimulation on MT responses. Together, our results suggest that attention affects both the way visual stimuli are encoded within a cortical area and the extent to which visual information is communicated between areas on behaviorally relevant timescales. Visual attention dramatically improves the perception of attended stimuli. Attention has long been thought to act by selecting relevant visual information for further processing. It has been hypothesized that this selection is accomplished by increasing communication between neurons that encode attended information in different cortical areas. We recorded simultaneously from neurons in primary

  1. Three Types of Cortical L5 Neurons that Differ in Brain-Wide Connectivity and Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Euiseok J.; Juavinett, Ashley L.; Kyubwa, Espoir M.; Jacobs, Matthew W.; Callaway, Edward M.

    2015-01-01

    SUMMARY Cortical layer 5 (L5) pyramidal neurons integrate inputs from many sources and distribute outputs to cortical and subcortical structures. Previous studies demonstrate two L5 pyramid types: cortico-cortical (CC) and cortico-subcortical (CS). We characterize connectivity and function of these cell types in mouse primary visual cortex and reveal a new subtype. Unlike previously described L5 CC and CS neurons, this new subtype does not project to striatum [cortico-cortical, non-striatal (CC-NS)] and has distinct morphology, physiology and visual responses. Monosynaptic rabies tracing reveals that CC neurons preferentially receive input from higher visual areas, while CS neurons receive more input from structures implicated in top-down modulation of brain states. CS neurons are also more direction-selective and prefer faster stimuli than CC neurons. These differences suggest distinct roles as specialized output channels, with CS neurons integrating information and generating responses more relevant to movement control and CC neurons being more important in visual perception. PMID:26671462

  2. Model System for Live Imaging of Neuronal Responses to Injury and Repair

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mathieu Gravel

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Although it has been well established that induction of growth-associated protein-43 (GAP-43 during development coincides with axonal outgrowth and early synapse formation, the existence of neuronal plasticity and neurite outgrowth in the adult central nervous system after injuries is more controversial. To visualize the processes of neuronal injury and repair in living animals, we generated reporter mice for bioluminescence and fluorescence imaging bearing the luc (luciferase and gfp (green fluorescent protein reporter genes under the control of the murine GAP-43 promoter. Reporter functionality was first observed during the development of transgenic embryos. Using in vivo bioluminescence and fluorescence imaging, we visualized induction of the GAP-43 signals from live embryos starting at E10.5, as well as neuronal responses to brain and peripheral nerve injuries (the signals peaked at 14 days postinjury. Moreover, three-dimensional analysis of the GAP-43 bioluminescent signal confirmed that it originated from brain structures affected by ischemic injury. The analysis of fluorescence signal at cellular level revealed colocalization between endogenous protein and the GAP-43-driven gfp transgene. Taken together, our results suggest that the GAP-43-luc/gfp reporter mouse represents a valid model system for real-time analysis of neurite outgrowth and the capacity of the adult nervous system to regenerate after injuries.

  3. NAA and NAAG variation in neuronal activation during visual stimulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castellano, G; Dias, C S B; Foerster, B; Li, L M; Covolan, R J M

    2012-11-01

    N-acetyl-aspartyl-glutamate (NAAG) and its hydrolysis product N-acetyl-L-aspartate (NAA) are among the most important brain metabolites. NAA is a marker of neuron integrity and viability, while NAAG modulates glutamate release and may have a role in neuroprotection and synaptic plasticity. Investigating on a quantitative basis the role of these metabolites in brain metabolism in vivo by magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) is a major challenge since the main signals of NAA and NAAG largely overlap. This is a preliminary study in which we evaluated NAA and NAAG changes during a visual stimulation experiment using functional MRS. The paradigm used consisted of a rest period (5 min and 20 s), followed by a stimulation period (10 min and 40 s) and another rest period (10 min and 40 s). MRS from 17 healthy subjects were acquired at 3T with TR/TE = 2000/288 ms. Spectra were averaged over subjects and quantified with LCModel. The main outcomes were that NAA concentration decreased by about 20% with the stimulus, while the concentration of NAAG concomitantly increased by about 200%. Such variations fall into models for the energy metabolism underlying neuronal activation that point to NAAG as being responsible for the hyperemic vascular response that causes the BOLD signal. They also agree with the fact that NAAG and NAA are present in the brain at a ratio of about 1:10, and with the fact that the only known metabolic pathway for NAAG synthesis is from NAA and glutamate.

  4. NAA and NAAG variation in neuronal activation during visual stimulation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Castellano, G.; Dias, C.S.B.; Foerster, B.; Li, L.M.; Covolan, R.J.M.

    2012-01-01

    N-acetyl-aspartyl-glutamate (NAAG) and its hydrolysis product N-acetyl-aspartate (NAA) are among the most important brain metabolites. NAA is a marker of neuron integrity and viability, while NAAG modulates glutamate release and may have a role in neuroprotection and synaptic plasticity. Investigating on a quantitative basis the role of these metabolites in brain metabolism in vivo by magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) is a major challenge since the main signals of NAA and NAAG largely overlap. This is a preliminary study in which we evaluated NAA and NAAG changes during a visual stimulation experiment using functional MRS. The paradigm used consisted of a rest period (5 min and 20 s), followed by a stimulation period (10 min and 40 s) and another rest period (10 min and 40 s). MRS from 17 healthy subjects were acquired at 3T with TR/TE = 2000/288 ms. Spectra were averaged over subjects and quantified with LCModel. The main outcomes were that NAA concentration decreased by about 20% with the stimulus, while the concentration of NAAG concomitantly increased by about 200%. Such variations fall into models for the energy metabolism underlying neuronal activation that point to NAAG as being responsible for the hyperemic vascular response that causes the BOLD signal. They also agree with the fact that NAAG and NAA are present in the brain at a ratio of about 1:10, and with the fact that the only known metabolic pathway for NAAG synthesis is from NAA and glutamate

  5. NAA and NAAG variation in neuronal activation during visual stimulation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Castellano, G.; Dias, C.S.B. [Grupo de Neurofísica, Departamento de Raios Cósmicos e Cronologia, Instituto de Física Gleb Wataghin, Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Campinas, SP (Brazil); Programa de Cooperação Interinstitucional de Apoio à Pesquisa sobre o Cérebro (CInAPCe), SP (Brazil); Foerster, B. [Philips Medical Systems, São Paulo, SP (Brazil); Programa de Cooperação Interinstitucional de Apoio à Pesquisa sobre o Cérebro (CInAPCe), SP (Brazil); Li, L.M. [Departamento de Neurologia, Faculdade de Ciências Médicas, Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Campinas, SP (Brazil); Programa de Cooperação Interinstitucional de Apoio à Pesquisa sobre o Cérebro (CInAPCe), SP (Brazil); Covolan, R.J.M. [Grupo de Neurofísica, Departamento de Raios Cósmicos e Cronologia, Instituto de Física Gleb Wataghin, Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Campinas, SP (Brazil); Programa de Cooperação Interinstitucional de Apoio à Pesquisa sobre o Cérebro (CInAPCe), SP (Brazil)

    2012-08-17

    N-acetyl-aspartyl-glutamate (NAAG) and its hydrolysis product N-acetyl-aspartate (NAA) are among the most important brain metabolites. NAA is a marker of neuron integrity and viability, while NAAG modulates glutamate release and may have a role in neuroprotection and synaptic plasticity. Investigating on a quantitative basis the role of these metabolites in brain metabolism in vivo by magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) is a major challenge since the main signals of NAA and NAAG largely overlap. This is a preliminary study in which we evaluated NAA and NAAG changes during a visual stimulation experiment using functional MRS. The paradigm used consisted of a rest period (5 min and 20 s), followed by a stimulation period (10 min and 40 s) and another rest period (10 min and 40 s). MRS from 17 healthy subjects were acquired at 3T with TR/TE = 2000/288 ms. Spectra were averaged over subjects and quantified with LCModel. The main outcomes were that NAA concentration decreased by about 20% with the stimulus, while the concentration of NAAG concomitantly increased by about 200%. Such variations fall into models for the energy metabolism underlying neuronal activation that point to NAAG as being responsible for the hyperemic vascular response that causes the BOLD signal. They also agree with the fact that NAAG and NAA are present in the brain at a ratio of about 1:10, and with the fact that the only known metabolic pathway for NAAG synthesis is from NAA and glutamate.

  6. NAA and NAAG variation in neuronal activation during visual stimulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. Castellano

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available N-acetyl-aspartyl-glutamate (NAAG and its hydrolysis product N-acetyl-L-aspartate (NAA are among the most important brain metabolites. NAA is a marker of neuron integrity and viability, while NAAG modulates glutamate release and may have a role in neuroprotection and synaptic plasticity. Investigating on a quantitative basis the role of these metabolites in brain metabolism in vivo by magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS is a major challenge since the main signals of NAA and NAAG largely overlap. This is a preliminary study in which we evaluated NAA and NAAG changes during a visual stimulation experiment using functional MRS. The paradigm used consisted of a rest period (5 min and 20 s, followed by a stimulation period (10 min and 40 s and another rest period (10 min and 40 s. MRS from 17 healthy subjects were acquired at 3T with TR/TE = 2000/288 ms. Spectra were averaged over subjects and quantified with LCModel. The main outcomes were that NAA concentration decreased by about 20% with the stimulus, while the concentration of NAAG concomitantly increased by about 200%. Such variations fall into models for the energy metabolism underlying neuronal activation that point to NAAG as being responsible for the hyperemic vascular response that causes the BOLD signal. They also agree with the fact that NAAG and NAA are present in the brain at a ratio of about 1:10, and with the fact that the only known metabolic pathway for NAAG synthesis is from NAA and glutamate.

  7. Reduction in spontaneous firing of mouse excitatory layer 4 cortical neurons following visual classical conditioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bekisz, Marek; Shendye, Ninad; Raciborska, Ida; Wróbel, Andrzej; Waleszczyk, Wioletta J.

    2017-08-01

    The process of learning induces plastic changes in neuronal network of the brain. Our earlier studies on mice showed that classical conditioning in which monocular visual stimulation was paired with an electric shock to the tail enhanced GABA immunoreactivity within layer 4 of the monocular part of the primary visual cortex (V1), contralaterally to the stimulated eye. In the present experiment we investigated whether the same classical conditioning paradigm induces changes of neuronal excitability in this cortical area. Two experimental groups were used: mice that underwent 7-day visual classical conditioning and controls. Patch-clamp whole-cell recordings were performed from ex vivo slices of mouse V1. The slices were perfused with the modified artificial cerebrospinal fluid, the composition of which better mimics the brain interstitial fluid in situ and induces spontaneous activity. The neuronal excitability was characterized by measuring the frequency of spontaneous action potentials. We found that layer 4 star pyramidal cells located in the monocular representation of the "trained" eye in V1 had lower frequency of spontaneous activity in comparison with neurons from the same cortical region of control animals. Weaker spontaneous firing indicates decreased general excitability of star pyramidal neurons within layer 4 of the monocular representation of the "trained" eye in V1. Such effect could result from enhanced inhibitory processes accompanying learning in this cortical area.

  8. Neuronal representations of stimulus associations develop in the temporal lobe during learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Messinger, A; Squire, L R; Zola, S M; Albright, T D

    2001-10-09

    Visual stimuli that are frequently seen together become associated in long-term memory, such that the sight of one stimulus readily brings to mind the thought or image of the other. It has been hypothesized that acquisition of such long-term associative memories proceeds via the strengthening of connections between neurons representing the associated stimuli, such that a neuron initially responding only to one stimulus of an associated pair eventually comes to respond to both. Consistent with this hypothesis, studies have demonstrated that individual neurons in the primate inferior temporal cortex tend to exhibit similar responses to pairs of visual stimuli that have become behaviorally associated. In the present study, we investigated the role of these areas in the formation of conditional visual associations by monitoring the responses of individual neurons during the learning of new stimulus pairs. We found that many neurons in both area TE and perirhinal cortex came to elicit more similar neuronal responses to paired stimuli as learning proceeded. Moreover, these neuronal response changes were learning-dependent and proceeded with an average time course that paralleled learning. This experience-dependent plasticity of sensory representations in the cerebral cortex may underlie the learning of associations between objects.

  9. Dendritic development of Drosophila high order visual system neurons is independent of sensory experience

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Reuter John E

    2003-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The complex and characteristic structures of dendrites are a crucial part of the neuronal architecture that underlies brain function, and as such, their development has been a focal point of recent research. It is generally believed that dendritic development is controlled by a combination of endogenous genetic mechanisms and activity-dependent mechanisms. Therefore, it is of interest to test the relative contributions of these two types of mechanisms towards the construction of specific dendritic trees. In this study, we make use of the highly complex Vertical System (VS of motion sensing neurons in the lobula plate of the Drosophila visual system to gauge the importance of visual input and synaptic activity to dendritic development. Results We find that the dendrites of VS1 neurons are unchanged in dark-reared flies as compared to control flies raised on a 12 hour light, 12 hour dark cycle. The dendrites of these flies show no differences from control in dendrite complexity, spine number, spine density, or axon complexity. Flies with genetically ablated eyes show a slight but significant reduction in the complexity and overall length of VS1 dendrites, although this effect may be due to a reduction in the overall size of the dendritic field in these flies. Conclusions Overall, our results indicate no role for visual experience in the development of VS dendrites, while spontaneous activity from photoreceptors may play at most a subtle role in the formation of fully complex dendrites in these high-order visual processing neurons.

  10. Category-specific visual responses: an intracranial study comparing gamma, beta, alpha and ERP response selectivity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan R Vidal

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available The specificity of neural responses to visual objects is a major topic in visual neuroscience. In humans, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI studies have identified several regions of the occipital and temporal lobe that appear specific to faces, letter-strings, scenes, or tools. Direct electrophysiological recordings in the visual cortical areas of epileptic patients have largely confirmed this modular organization, using either single-neuron peri-stimulus time-histogram or intracerebral event-related potentials (iERP. In parallel, a new research stream has emerged using high-frequency gamma-band activity (50-150 Hz (GBR and low-frequency alpha/beta activity (8-24 Hz (ABR to map functional networks in humans. An obvious question is now whether the functional organization of the visual cortex revealed by fMRI, ERP, GBR, and ABR coincide. We used direct intracerebral recordings in 18 epileptic patients to directly compare GBR, ABR, and ERP elicited by the presentation of seven major visual object categories (faces, scenes, houses, consonants, pseudowords, tools, and animals, in relation to previous fMRI studies. Remarkably both GBR and iERP showed strong category-specificity that was in many cases sufficient to infer stimulus object category from the neural response at single-trial level. However, we also found a strong discrepancy between the selectivity of GBR, ABR, and ERP with less than 10% of spatial overlap between sites eliciting the same category-specificity. Overall, we found that selective neural responses to visual objects were broadly distributed in the brain with a prominent spatial cluster located in the posterior temporal cortex. Moreover, the different neural markers (GBR, ABR, and iERP that elicit selectivity towards specific visual object categories present little spatial overlap suggesting that the information content of each marker can uniquely characterize high-level visual information in the brain.

  11. Three Types of Cortical Layer 5 Neurons That Differ in Brain-wide Connectivity and Function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Euiseok J; Juavinett, Ashley L; Kyubwa, Espoir M; Jacobs, Matthew W; Callaway, Edward M

    2015-12-16

    Cortical layer 5 (L5) pyramidal neurons integrate inputs from many sources and distribute outputs to cortical and subcortical structures. Previous studies demonstrate two L5 pyramid types: cortico-cortical (CC) and cortico-subcortical (CS). We characterize connectivity and function of these cell types in mouse primary visual cortex and reveal a new subtype. Unlike previously described L5 CC and CS neurons, this new subtype does not project to striatum [cortico-cortical, non-striatal (CC-NS)] and has distinct morphology, physiology, and visual responses. Monosynaptic rabies tracing reveals that CC neurons preferentially receive input from higher visual areas, while CS neurons receive more input from structures implicated in top-down modulation of brain states. CS neurons are also more direction-selective and prefer faster stimuli than CC neurons. These differences suggest distinct roles as specialized output channels, with CS neurons integrating information and generating responses more relevant to movement control and CC neurons being more important in visual perception. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Visualization of migration of human cortical neurons generated from induced pluripotent stem cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bamba, Yohei; Kanemura, Yonehiro; Okano, Hideyuki; Yamasaki, Mami

    2017-09-01

    Neuronal migration is considered a key process in human brain development. However, direct observation of migrating human cortical neurons in the fetal brain is accompanied by ethical concerns and is a major obstacle in investigating human cortical neuronal migration. We established a novel system that enables direct visualization of migrating cortical neurons generated from human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs). We observed the migration of cortical neurons generated from hiPSCs derived from a control and from a patient with lissencephaly. Our system needs no viable brain tissue, which is usually used in slice culture. Migratory behavior of human cortical neuron can be observed more easily and more vividly by its fluorescence and glial scaffold than that by earlier methods. Our in vitro experimental system provides a new platform for investigating development of the human central nervous system and brain malformation. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Selectivity of neuronal [3H]GABA accumulation in the visual cortex as revealed by Golgi staining of the labeled neurons

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Somogyi, P.; Freund, T.F.; Kisvarday, Z.F.; Halasz, N.

    1981-01-01

    [ 3 H]GABA was injected into the visual cortex of rats in vivo. The labeled amino acid was demonstrated by autoradiography using semithin sections of Golgi material. Selective accumulation was seen in the perikarya of Golgi-stained, gold-toned, aspinous stellate neurons. Spine-laden pyramidal-like cells did not show labeling. This method gives direct information about the dendritic arborization of a neuron, and its putative transmitter, and allows the identification of its synaptic connections. (Auth.)

  14. Role of temporal processing stages by inferior temporal neurons in facial recognition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yasuko eSugase-Miyamoto

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available In this review, we focus on the role of temporal stages of encoded facial information in the visual system, which might enable the efficient determination of species, identity, and expression. Facial recognition is an important function of our brain and is known to be processed in the ventral visual pathway, where visual signals are processed through areas V1, V2, V4, and the inferior temporal (IT cortex. In the IT cortex, neurons show selective responses to complex visual images such as faces, and at each stage along the pathway the stimulus selectivity of the neural responses becomes sharper, particularly in the later portion of the responses.In the IT cortex of the monkey, facial information is represented by different temporal stages of neural responses, as shown in our previous study: the initial transient response of face-responsive neurons represents information about global categories, i.e., human vs. monkey vs. simple shapes, whilst the later portion of these responses represents information about detailed facial categories, i.e., expression and/or identity. This suggests that the temporal stages of the neuronal firing pattern play an important role in the coding of visual stimuli, including faces. This type of coding may be a plausible mechanism underlying the temporal dynamics of recognition, including the process of detection/categorization followed by the identification of objects. Recent single-unit studies in monkeys have also provided evidence consistent with the important role of the temporal stages of encoded facial information. For example, view-invariant facial identity information is represented in the response at a later period within a region of face-selective neurons. Consistent with these findings, temporally modulated neural activity has also been observed in human studies. These results suggest a close correlation between the temporal processing stages of facial information by IT neurons and the temporal dynamics of

  15. Intrinsic response of thoracic propriospinal neurons to axotomy

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    Stelzner Dennis J

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Central nervous system axons lack a robust regenerative response following spinal cord injury (SCI and regeneration is usually abortive. Supraspinal pathways, which are the most commonly studied for their regenerative potential, demonstrate a limited regenerative ability. On the other hand, propriospinal (PS neurons, with axons intrinsic to the spinal cord, have shown a greater regenerative response than their supraspinal counterparts, but remain relatively understudied in regards to spinal cord injury. Results Utilizing laser microdissection, gene-microarray, qRT-PCR, and immunohistochemistry, we focused on the intrinsic post-axotomy response of specifically labelled thoracic propriospinal neurons at periods from 3-days to 1-month following T9 spinal cord injury. We found a strong and early (3-days post injury, p.i upregulation in the expression of genes involved in the immune/inflammatory response that returned towards normal by 1-week p.i. In addition, several regeneration associated and cell survival/neuroprotective genes were significantly up-regulated at the earliest p.i. period studied. Significant upregulation of several growth factor receptor genes (GFRa1, Ret, Lifr also occurred only during the initial period examined. The expression of a number of pro-apoptotic genes up-regulated at 3-days p.i. suggest that changes in gene expression after this period may have resulted from analyzing surviving TPS neurons after the cell death of the remainder of the axotomized TPS neuronal population. Conclusions Taken collectively these data demonstrate that thoracic propriospinal (TPS neurons mount a very dynamic response following low thoracic axotomy that includes a strong regenerative response, but also results in the cell death of many axotomized TPS neurons in the first week after spinal cord injury. These data also suggest that the immune/inflammatory response may have an important role in mediating the early strong

  16. Diversity and wiring variability of visual local neurons in the Drosophila medulla M6 stratum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chin, An-Lun; Lin, Chih-Yung; Fu, Tsai-Feng; Dickson, Barry J; Chiang, Ann-Shyn

    2014-12-01

    Local neurons in the vertebrate retina are instrumental in transforming visual inputs to extract contrast, motion, and color information and in shaping bipolar-to-ganglion cell transmission to the brain. In Drosophila, UV vision is represented by R7 inner photoreceptor neurons that project to the medulla M6 stratum, with relatively little known of this downstream substrate. Here, using R7 terminals as references, we generated a 3D volume model of the M6 stratum, which revealed a retinotopic map for UV representations. Using this volume model as a common 3D framework, we compiled and analyzed the spatial distributions of more than 200 single M6-specific local neurons (M6-LNs). Based on the segregation of putative dendrites and axons, these local neurons were classified into two families, directional and nondirectional. Neurotransmitter immunostaining suggested a signal routing model in which some visual information is relayed by directional M6-LNs from the anterior to the posterior M6 and all visual information is inhibited by a diverse population of nondirectional M6-LNs covering the entire M6 stratum. Our findings suggest that the Drosophila medulla M6 stratum contains diverse LNs that form repeating functional modules similar to those found in the vertebrate inner plexiform layer. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  17. Long descending cervical propriospinal neurons differ from thoracic propriospinal neurons in response to low thoracic spinal injury

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stelzner Dennis J

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Propriospinal neurons, with axonal projections intrinsic to the spinal cord, have shown a greater regenerative response than supraspinal neurons after axotomy due to spinal cord injury (SCI. Our previous work focused on the response of axotomized short thoracic propriospinal (TPS neurons following a low thoracic SCI (T9 spinal transection or moderate spinal contusion injury in the rat. The present investigation analyzes the intrinsic response of cervical propriospinal neurons having long descending axons which project into the lumbosacral enlargement, long descending propriospinal tract (LDPT axons. These neurons also were axotomized by T9 spinal injury in the same animals used in our previous study. Results Utilizing laser microdissection (LMD, qRT-PCR, and immunohistochemistry, we studied LDPT neurons (located in the C5-C6 spinal segments between 3-days, and 1-month following a low thoracic (T9 spinal cord injury. We examined the response of 89 genes related to growth factors, cell surface receptors, apoptosis, axonal regeneration, and neuroprotection/cell survival. We found a strong and significant down-regulation of ~25% of the genes analyzed early after injury (3-days post-injury with a sustained down-regulation in most instances. In the few genes that were up-regulated (Actb, Atf3, Frs2, Hspb1, Nrap, Stat1 post-axotomy, the expression for all but one was down-regulated by 2-weeks post-injury. We also compared the uninjured TPS control neurons to the uninjured LDPT neurons used in this experiment for phenotypic differences between these two subpopulations of propriospinal neurons. We found significant differences in expression in 37 of the 84 genes examined between these two subpopulations of propriospinal neurons with LDPT neurons exhibiting a significantly higher base line expression for all but 3 of these genes compared to TPS neurons. Conclusions Taken collectively these data indicate a broad overall down

  18. Shaping of neuronal activity through a Brain Computer Interface

    OpenAIRE

    Valero-Aguayo, Luis; Silva-Sauer, Leandro; Velasco-Alvarez, Ricardo; Ron-Angevin, Ricardo

    2014-01-01

    Neuronal responses are human actions which can be measured by an EEG, and which imply changes in waves when neurons are synchronized. This activity could be changed by principles of behaviour analysis. This research tests the efficacy of the behaviour shaping procedure to progressively change neuronal activity, so that those brain responses are adapted according to the differential reinforcement of visual feedback. The Brain Computer Interface (BCI) enables us to record the EEG in real ti...

  19. Effect of feature-selective attention on neuronal responses in macaque area MT

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, X.; Hoffmann, K.-P.; Albright, T. D.

    2012-01-01

    Attention influences visual processing in striate and extrastriate cortex, which has been extensively studied for spatial-, object-, and feature-based attention. Most studies exploring neural signatures of feature-based attention have trained animals to attend to an object identified by a certain feature and ignore objects/displays identified by a different feature. Little is known about the effects of feature-selective attention, where subjects attend to one stimulus feature domain (e.g., color) of an object while features from different domains (e.g., direction of motion) of the same object are ignored. To study this type of feature-selective attention in area MT in the middle temporal sulcus, we trained macaque monkeys to either attend to and report the direction of motion of a moving sine wave grating (a feature for which MT neurons display strong selectivity) or attend to and report its color (a feature for which MT neurons have very limited selectivity). We hypothesized that neurons would upregulate their firing rate during attend-direction conditions compared with attend-color conditions. We found that feature-selective attention significantly affected 22% of MT neurons. Contrary to our hypothesis, these neurons did not necessarily increase firing rate when animals attended to direction of motion but fell into one of two classes. In one class, attention to color increased the gain of stimulus-induced responses compared with attend-direction conditions. The other class displayed the opposite effects. Feature-selective activity modulations occurred earlier in neurons modulated by attention to color compared with neurons modulated by attention to motion direction. Thus feature-selective attention influences neuronal processing in macaque area MT but often exhibited a mismatch between the preferred stimulus dimension (direction of motion) and the preferred attention dimension (attention to color). PMID:22170961

  20. Temporal characteristics of gustatory responses in rat parabrachial neurons vary by stimulus and chemosensitive neuron type.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geran, Laura; Travers, Susan

    2013-01-01

    It has been demonstrated that temporal features of spike trains can increase the amount of information available for gustatory processing. However, the nature of these temporal characteristics and their relationship to different taste qualities and neuron types are not well-defined. The present study analyzed the time course of taste responses from parabrachial (PBN) neurons elicited by multiple applications of "sweet" (sucrose), "salty" (NaCl), "sour" (citric acid), and "bitter" (quinine and cycloheximide) stimuli in an acute preparation. Time course varied significantly by taste stimulus and best-stimulus classification. Across neurons, the ensemble code for the three electrolytes was similar initially but quinine diverged from NaCl and acid during the second 500 ms of stimulation and all four qualities became distinct just after 1s. This temporal evolution was reflected in significantly broader tuning during the initial response. Metric space analyses of quality discrimination by individual neurons showed that increases in information (H) afforded by temporal factors was usually explained by differences in rate envelope, which had a greater impact during the initial 2s (22.5% increase in H) compared to the later response (9.5%). Moreover, timing had a differential impact according to cell type, with between-quality discrimination in neurons activated maximally by NaCl or citric acid most affected. Timing was also found to dramatically improve within-quality discrimination (80% increase in H) in neurons that responded optimally to bitter stimuli (B-best). Spikes from B-best neurons were also more likely to occur in bursts. These findings suggest that among PBN taste neurons, time-dependent increases in mutual information can arise from stimulus- and neuron-specific differences in response envelope during the initial dynamic period. A stable rate code predominates in later epochs.

  1. Using neuronal populations to study the mechanisms underlying spatial and feature attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, Marlene R.; Maunsell, John H.R.

    2012-01-01

    Summary Visual attention affects both perception and neuronal responses. Whether the same neuronal mechanisms mediate spatial attention, which improves perception of attended locations, and non-spatial forms of attention has been a subject of considerable debate. Spatial and feature attention have similar effects on individual neurons. Because visual cortex is retinotopically organized, however, spatial attention can co-modulate local neuronal populations, while feature attention generally requires more selective modulation. We compared the effects of feature and spatial attention on local and spatially separated populations by recording simultaneously from dozens of neurons in both hemispheres of V4. Feature and spatial attention affect the activity of local populations similarly, modulating both firing rates and correlations between pairs of nearby neurons. However, while spatial attention appears to act on local populations, feature attention is coordinated across hemispheres. Our results are consistent with a unified attentional mechanism that can modulate the responses of arbitrary subgroups of neurons. PMID:21689604

  2. The mirror-neuron system and observational learning: Implications for the effectiveness of dynamic visualizations.

    OpenAIRE

    Van Gog, Tamara; Paas, Fred; Marcus, Nadine; Ayres, Paul; Sweller, John

    2009-01-01

    Van Gog, T., Paas, F., Marcus, N., Ayres, P., & Sweller, J. (2009). The mirror-neuron system and observational learning: Implications for the effectiveness of dynamic visualizations. Educational Psychology Review, 21, 21-30.

  3. Cortical neurons and networks are dormant but fully responsive during isoelectric brain state.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Altwegg-Boussac, Tristan; Schramm, Adrien E; Ballestero, Jimena; Grosselin, Fanny; Chavez, Mario; Lecas, Sarah; Baulac, Michel; Naccache, Lionel; Demeret, Sophie; Navarro, Vincent; Mahon, Séverine; Charpier, Stéphane

    2017-09-01

    A continuous isoelectric electroencephalogram reflects an interruption of endogenously-generated activity in cortical networks and systematically results in a complete dissolution of conscious processes. This electro-cerebral inactivity occurs during various brain disorders, including hypothermia, drug intoxication, long-lasting anoxia and brain trauma. It can also be induced in a therapeutic context, following the administration of high doses of barbiturate-derived compounds, to interrupt a hyper-refractory status epilepticus. Although altered sensory responses can be occasionally observed on an isoelectric electroencephalogram, the electrical membrane properties and synaptic responses of individual neurons during this cerebral state remain largely unknown. The aim of the present study was to characterize the intracellular correlates of a barbiturate-induced isoelectric electroencephalogram and to analyse the sensory-evoked synaptic responses that can emerge from a brain deprived of spontaneous electrical activity. We first examined the sensory responsiveness from patients suffering from intractable status epilepticus and treated by administration of thiopental. Multimodal sensory responses could be evoked on the flat electroencephalogram, including visually-evoked potentials that were significantly amplified and delayed, with a high trial-to-trial reproducibility compared to awake healthy subjects. Using an analogous pharmacological procedure to induce prolonged electro-cerebral inactivity in the rat, we could describe its cortical and subcortical intracellular counterparts. Neocortical, hippocampal and thalamo-cortical neurons were all silent during the isoelectric state and displayed a flat membrane potential significantly hyperpolarized compared with spontaneously active control states. Nonetheless, all recorded neurons could fire action potentials in response to intracellularly injected depolarizing current pulses and their specific intrinsic

  4. Neuronal Ceroid-lipofuscinosis with prominent chorea and without visual manifestations: a case report

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luciano de Souza Queiroz

    1979-03-01

    Full Text Available A case of neuronal ceroid-lipofuscinosis (NCL is reported in a 11-year-old girl, whose main symptoms were progressive dementia since the age of 4 years and choreic movements since age 10. Seizures, myoclonus and visual deterioration were absent and optic fundi were normal. A cerebral biopsy disclosed two basic types of stored substance in the cytoplasm of neurons: a severely balloned nerve cells in cortical layers HI and V contained a non-autofluorescent material, which stained with PAS and Sudan Black B in frozen, but not in paraffin sections; ultrastructurally, these neurons showed abundant corpuscles similar to the membranous cytoplasmic bodies of Tay-Sachs disease and, in smaller amounts, also zebra bodies; b slightly distended or non-distended neurons in all layers contained lipopigment granules, which were autofluorescent, PAS-positive and sudanophil in both frozen and paraffin sections; their ultrastructure was closely comparable to that of lipofuscin. Similar bodies were found in the swollen segments of axons and in a few astrocytes and endothelial cells. The histochemical and ultrastructural demonstration of large amounts of lipopigments allows a presumptive classification of the case as NCL. However, the presence of involuntary movements, the absence of visual disturbances and the unusual ultrastructural features place the patient into a small heterogeneous group within the NCL. A better classification of such unique instances of the disease must await elucidation of the basic enzymatic defects.

  5. Integration of auditory and visual communication information in the primate ventrolateral prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sugihara, Tadashi; Diltz, Mark D; Averbeck, Bruno B; Romanski, Lizabeth M

    2006-10-25

    The integration of auditory and visual stimuli is crucial for recognizing objects, communicating effectively, and navigating through our complex world. Although the frontal lobes are involved in memory, communication, and language, there has been no evidence that the integration of communication information occurs at the single-cell level in the frontal lobes. Here, we show that neurons in the macaque ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC) integrate audiovisual communication stimuli. The multisensory interactions included both enhancement and suppression of a predominantly auditory or a predominantly visual response, although multisensory suppression was the more common mode of response. The multisensory neurons were distributed across the VLPFC and within previously identified unimodal auditory and visual regions (O'Scalaidhe et al., 1997; Romanski and Goldman-Rakic, 2002). Thus, our study demonstrates, for the first time, that single prefrontal neurons integrate communication information from the auditory and visual domains, suggesting that these neurons are an important node in the cortical network responsible for communication.

  6. Network-state modulation of power-law frequency-scaling in visual cortical neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    El Boustani, Sami; Marre, Olivier; Béhuret, Sébastien; Baudot, Pierre; Yger, Pierre; Bal, Thierry; Destexhe, Alain; Frégnac, Yves

    2009-09-01

    Various types of neural-based signals, such as EEG, local field potentials and intracellular synaptic potentials, integrate multiple sources of activity distributed across large assemblies. They have in common a power-law frequency-scaling structure at high frequencies, but it is still unclear whether this scaling property is dominated by intrinsic neuronal properties or by network activity. The latter case is particularly interesting because if frequency-scaling reflects the network state it could be used to characterize the functional impact of the connectivity. In intracellularly recorded neurons of cat primary visual cortex in vivo, the power spectral density of V(m) activity displays a power-law structure at high frequencies with a fractional scaling exponent. We show that this exponent is not constant, but depends on the visual statistics used to drive the network. To investigate the determinants of this frequency-scaling, we considered a generic recurrent model of cortex receiving a retinotopically organized external input. Similarly to the in vivo case, our in computo simulations show that the scaling exponent reflects the correlation level imposed in the input. This systematic dependence was also replicated at the single cell level, by controlling independently, in a parametric way, the strength and the temporal decay of the pairwise correlation between presynaptic inputs. This last model was implemented in vitro by imposing the correlation control in artificial presynaptic spike trains through dynamic-clamp techniques. These in vitro manipulations induced a modulation of the scaling exponent, similar to that observed in vivo and predicted in computo. We conclude that the frequency-scaling exponent of the V(m) reflects stimulus-driven correlations in the cortical network activity. Therefore, we propose that the scaling exponent could be used to read-out the "effective" connectivity responsible for the dynamical signature of the population signals measured

  7. The iso-response method: measuring neuronal stimulus integration with closed-loop experiments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gollisch, Tim; Herz, Andreas V. M.

    2012-01-01

    Throughout the nervous system, neurons integrate high-dimensional input streams and transform them into an output of their own. This integration of incoming signals involves filtering processes and complex non-linear operations. The shapes of these filters and non-linearities determine the computational features of single neurons and their functional roles within larger networks. A detailed characterization of signal integration is thus a central ingredient to understanding information processing in neural circuits. Conventional methods for measuring single-neuron response properties, such as reverse correlation, however, are often limited by the implicit assumption that stimulus integration occurs in a linear fashion. Here, we review a conceptual and experimental alternative that is based on exploring the space of those sensory stimuli that result in the same neural output. As demonstrated by recent results in the auditory and visual system, such iso-response stimuli can be used to identify the non-linearities relevant for stimulus integration, disentangle consecutive neural processing steps, and determine their characteristics with unprecedented precision. Automated closed-loop experiments are crucial for this advance, allowing rapid search strategies for identifying iso-response stimuli during experiments. Prime targets for the method are feed-forward neural signaling chains in sensory systems, but the method has also been successfully applied to feedback systems. Depending on the specific question, “iso-response” may refer to a predefined firing rate, single-spike probability, first-spike latency, or other output measures. Examples from different studies show that substantial progress in understanding neural dynamics and coding can be achieved once rapid online data analysis and stimulus generation, adaptive sampling, and computational modeling are tightly integrated into experiments. PMID:23267315

  8. Attending to and remembering tactile stimuli: a review of brain imaging data and single-neuron responses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burton, H; Sinclair, R J

    2000-11-01

    Clinical and neuroimaging observations of the cortical network implicated in tactile attention have identified foci in parietal somatosensory, posterior parietal, and superior frontal locations. Tasks involving intentional hand-arm movements activate similar or nearby parietal and frontal foci. Visual spatial attention tasks and deliberate visuomotor behavior also activate overlapping posterior parietal and frontal foci. Studies in the visual and somatosensory systems thus support a proposal that attention to the spatial location of an object engages cortical regions responsible for the same coordinate referents used for guiding purposeful motor behavior. Tactile attention also biases processing in the somatosensory cortex through amplification of responses to relevant features of selected stimuli. Psychophysical studies demonstrate retention gradients for tactile stimuli like those reported for visual and auditory stimuli, and suggest analogous neural mechanisms for working memory across modalities. Neuroimaging studies in humans using memory tasks, and anatomic studies in monkeys support the idea that tactile information relayed from the somatosensory cortex is directed ventrally through the insula to the frontal cortex for short-term retention and to structures of the medial temporal lobe for long-term encoding. At the level of single neurons, tactile (such as visual and auditory) short-term memory appears as a persistent response during delay intervals between sampled stimuli.

  9. Cumulative latency advance underlies fast visual processing in desynchronized brain state.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xu-dong; Chen, Cheng; Zhang, Dinghong; Yao, Haishan

    2014-01-07

    Fast sensory processing is vital for the animal to efficiently respond to the changing environment. This is usually achieved when the animal is vigilant, as reflected by cortical desynchronization. However, the neural substrate for such fast processing remains unclear. Here, we report that neurons in rat primary visual cortex (V1) exhibited shorter response latency in the desynchronized state than in the synchronized state. In vivo whole-cell recording from the same V1 neurons undergoing the two states showed that both the resting and visually evoked conductances were higher in the desynchronized state. Such conductance increases of single V1 neurons shorten the response latency by elevating the membrane potential closer to the firing threshold and reducing the membrane time constant, but the effects only account for a small fraction of the observed latency advance. Simultaneous recordings in lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN) and V1 revealed that LGN neurons also exhibited latency advance, with a degree smaller than that of V1 neurons. Furthermore, latency advance in V1 increased across successive cortical layers. Thus, latency advance accumulates along various stages of the visual pathway, likely due to a global increase of membrane conductance in the desynchronized state. This cumulative effect may lead to a dramatic shortening of response latency for neurons in higher visual cortex and play a critical role in fast processing for vigilant animals.

  10. Serotonin Decreases the Gain of Visual Responses in Awake Macaque V1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seillier, Lenka; Lorenz, Corinna; Kawaguchi, Katsuhisa; Ott, Torben; Nieder, Andreas; Pourriahi, Paria; Nienborg, Hendrikje

    2017-11-22

    Serotonin, an important neuromodulator in the brain, is implicated in affective and cognitive functions. However, its role even for basic cortical processes is controversial. For example, in the mammalian primary visual cortex (V1), heterogenous serotonergic modulation has been observed in anesthetized animals. Here, we combined extracellular single-unit recordings with iontophoresis in awake animals. We examined the role of serotonin on well-defined tuning properties (orientation, spatial frequency, contrast, and size) in V1 of two male macaque monkeys. We find that in the awake macaque the modulatory effect of serotonin is surprisingly uniform: it causes a mainly multiplicative decrease of the visual responses and a slight increase in the stimulus-selective response latency. Moreover, serotonin neither systematically changes the selectivity or variability of the response, nor the interneuronal correlation unexplained by the stimulus ("noise-correlation"). The modulation by serotonin has qualitative similarities with that for a decrease in stimulus contrast, but differs quantitatively from decreasing contrast. It can be captured by a simple additive change to a threshold-linear spiking nonlinearity. Together, our results show that serotonin is well suited to control the response gain of neurons in V1 depending on the animal's behavioral or motivational context, complementing other known state-dependent gain-control mechanisms. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Serotonin is an important neuromodulator in the brain and a major target for drugs used to treat psychiatric disorders. Nonetheless, surprisingly little is known about how it shapes information processing in sensory areas. Here we examined the serotonergic modulation of visual processing in the primary visual cortex of awake behaving macaque monkeys. We found that serotonin mainly decreased the gain of the visual responses, without systematically changing their selectivity, variability, or covariability. This

  11. Working memory and decision processes in visual area v4.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayden, Benjamin Y; Gallant, Jack L

    2013-01-01

    Recognizing and responding to a remembered stimulus requires the coordination of perception, working memory, and decision-making. To investigate the role of visual cortex in these processes, we recorded responses of single V4 neurons during performance of a delayed match-to-sample task that incorporates rapid serial visual presentation of natural images. We found that neuronal activity during the delay period after the cue but before the images depends on the identity of the remembered image and that this change persists while distractors appear. This persistent response modulation has been identified as a diagnostic criterion for putative working memory signals; our data thus suggest that working memory may involve reactivation of sensory neurons. When the remembered image reappears in the neuron's receptive field, visually evoked responses are enhanced; this match enhancement is a diagnostic criterion for decision. One model that predicts these data is the matched filter hypothesis, which holds that during search V4 neurons change their tuning so as to match the remembered cue, and thus become detectors for that image. More generally, these results suggest that V4 neurons participate in the perceptual, working memory, and decision processes that are needed to perform memory-guided decision-making.

  12. Thalamocortical Projection Neuron and Interneuron Numbers in the Visual Thalamic Nuclei of the Adult C57BL/6 Mouse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evangelio, Marian; García-Amado, María; Clascá, Francisco

    2018-01-01

    A key parameter to constrain predictive, bottom-up circuit models of a given brain domain is the number and position of the neuronal populations involved. These include not only the neurons whose bodies reside within the domain, but also the neurons in distant regions that innervate the domain. The mouse visual cortex receives its main subcortical input from the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus (dLGN) and the lateral posterior (LP) complex of the thalamus. The latter consists of three different nuclei: lateral posterior lateral (LPL), lateral posterior medial rostral (LPMR), and lateral posterior medial caudal (LPMC), each exhibiting specific patterns of connections with the various visual cortical areas. Here, we have determined the number of thalamocortical projection neurons and interneurons in the LP complex and dLGN of the adult C57BL/6 male mouse. We combined Nissl staining and histochemical and immunolabeling methods for consistently delineating nuclei borders, and applied unbiased stereological cell counting methods. Thalamic interneurons were identified using GABA immunolabeling. The C57BL/6 dLGN contains ∼21,200 neurons, while LP complex contains ∼31,000 total neurons. The dLGN and LP are the only nuclei of the mouse dorsal thalamus containing substantial numbers GABA-immunoreactive interneurons. These interneurons, however, are scarcer than previously estimated; they are 5.6% of dLGN neurons and just 1.9% of the LP neurons. It can be thus inferred that the dLGN contains ∼20,000 and the LP complex ∼30,400 thalamocortical projection neurons (∼12,000 in LPL, 15,200 in LPMR, and 4,200 in LPMC). The present dataset is relevant for constraining models of mouse visual thalamocortical circuits, as well as for quantitative comparisons between genetically modified mouse strains, or across species.

  13. Early visual analysis tool using magnetoencephalography for treatment and recovery of neuronal dysfunction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rasheed, Waqas; Neoh, Yee Yik; Bin Hamid, Nor Hisham; Reza, Faruque; Idris, Zamzuri; Tang, Tong Boon

    2017-10-01

    Functional neuroimaging modalities play an important role in deciding the diagnosis and course of treatment of neuronal dysfunction and degeneration. This article presents an analytical tool with visualization by exploiting the strengths of the MEG (magnetoencephalographic) neuroimaging technique. The tool automates MEG data import (in tSSS format), channel information extraction, time/frequency decomposition, and circular graph visualization (connectogram) for simple result inspection. For advanced users, the tool also provides magnitude squared coherence (MSC) values allowing personalized threshold levels, and the computation of default model from MEG data of control population. Default model obtained from healthy population data serves as a useful benchmark to diagnose and monitor neuronal recovery during treatment. The proposed tool further provides optional labels with international 10-10 system nomenclature in order to facilitate comparison studies with EEG (electroencephalography) sensor space. Potential applications in epilepsy and traumatic brain injury studies are also discussed. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Response of spiking neurons to correlated inputs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Moreno, Ruben; Rocha, Jaime de la; Renart, Alfonso; Parga, Nestor

    2002-01-01

    The effect of a temporally correlated afferent current on the firing rate of a leaky integrate-and-fire neuron is studied. This current is characterized in terms of rates, autocorrelations, and cross correlations, and correlation time scale τ c of excitatory and inhibitory inputs. The output rate ν out is calculated in the Fokker-Planck formalism in the limit of both small and large τ c compared to the membrane time constant τ of the neuron. By simulations we check the analytical results, provide an interpolation valid for all τ c , and study the neuron's response to rapid changes in the correlation magnitude

  15. Modulation of visual cortical excitability by working memory: effect of luminance contrast of mental imagery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zaira eCattaneo

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Although much is known about the impact of stimulus properties such as luminance contrast, spatial frequency and orientation on visually evoked neural activity, much less is known about how they modulate neural activity when they are properties of a mental image held in working memory (WM. Here we addressed this question by investigating how a parametric manipulation of an imagined stimulus attribute affects neuronal excitability in the early visual cortex. We manipulated luminance contrast, a stimulus property known to strongly affect the magnitude of neuronal responses in early visual areas. Luminance contrast modulated neuronal excitability, as assessed by the frequency of phosphenes induced by transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS with the exact nature of this modulation depending on TMS intensity. These results point to a strong overlap in the neuronal processes underlying visual perception and mental imagery: not only does WM maintenance selectively engage neurons which are tuned to the maintained attribute (as has previously been shown, but the extent to which those neurons are activated depends on the luminance contrast (as is the case with visually-evoked responses. From a methodological viewpoint, these results suggest that assessment of visual cortical excitability using TMS is affected by the TMS intensity used to probe the neuronal population.

  16. Context-dependent representation of response-outcome in monkey prefrontal neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsujimoto, Satoshi; Sawaguchi, Toshiyuki

    2005-07-01

    For behaviour to be purposeful, it is important to monitor the preceding behavioural context, particularly for factors regarding stimulus, response and outcome. The dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) appears to play a major role in such a context-dependent, flexible behavioural control system, and this area is likely to have a neuronal mechanism for such retrospective coding, which associates response-outcome with the information and/or neural systems that guided the response. To address this hypothesis, we recorded neuronal activity from the DLPFC of monkeys performing memory- and sensory-guided saccade tasks, each of which had two conditions with reward contingencies. We found that post-response activity of a subset of DLPFC neurons was modulated by three factors relating to earlier events: the direction of the immediately preceding response, its outcome (reward or non-reward) and the information type (memory or sensory) that guided the response. Such neuronal coding should play a role in associating response-outcome with information and/or neural systems used to guide behaviour - that is, 'retrospective monitoring' of behavioural context and/or neural systems used for guiding behaviour - thereby contributing to context-dependent, flexible control of behaviours.

  17. Origin and Function of Tuning Diversity in Macaque Visual Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goris, Robbe L T; Simoncelli, Eero P; Movshon, J Anthony

    2015-11-18

    Neurons in visual cortex vary in their orientation selectivity. We measured responses of V1 and V2 cells to orientation mixtures and fit them with a model whose stimulus selectivity arises from the combined effects of filtering, suppression, and response nonlinearity. The model explains the diversity of orientation selectivity with neuron-to-neuron variability in all three mechanisms, of which variability in the orientation bandwidth of linear filtering is the most important. The model also accounts for the cells' diversity of spatial frequency selectivity. Tuning diversity is matched to the needs of visual encoding. The orientation content found in natural scenes is diverse, and neurons with different selectivities are adapted to different stimulus configurations. Single orientations are better encoded by highly selective neurons, while orientation mixtures are better encoded by less selective neurons. A diverse population of neurons therefore provides better overall discrimination capabilities for natural images than any homogeneous population. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Population coding in mouse visual cortex: response reliability and dissociability of stimulus tuning and noise correlation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jorrit S. Montijn

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The primary visual cortex is an excellent model system for investigating how neuronal populations encode information, because of well-documented relationships between stimulus characteristics and neuronal activation patterns. We used two-photon calcium imaging data to relate the performance of different methods for studying population coding (population vectors, template matching, and Bayesian decoding algorithms to their underlying assumptions. We show that the variability of neuronal responses may hamper the decoding of population activity, and that a normalization to correct for this variability may be of critical importance for correct decoding of population activity. Second, by comparing noise correlations and stimulus tuning we find that these properties have dissociated anatomical correlates, even though noise correlations have been previously hypothesized to reflect common synaptic input. We hypothesize that noise correlations arise from large non-specific increases in spiking activity acting on many weak synapses simultaneously, while neuronal stimulus response properties are dependent on more reliable connections. Finally, this paper provides practical guidelines for further research on population coding and shows that population coding cannot be approximated by a simple summation of inputs, but is heavily influenced by factors such as input reliability and noise correlation structure.

  19. A Simple Network Architecture Accounts for Diverse Reward Time Responses in Primary Visual Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huertas, Marco A; Hussain Shuler, Marshall G; Shouval, Harel Z

    2015-09-16

    Many actions performed by animals and humans depend on an ability to learn, estimate, and produce temporal intervals of behavioral relevance. Exemplifying such learning of cued expectancies is the observation of reward-timing activity in the primary visual cortex (V1) of rodents, wherein neural responses to visual cues come to predict the time of future reward as behaviorally experienced in the past. These reward-timing responses exhibit significant heterogeneity in at least three qualitatively distinct classes: sustained increase or sustained decrease in firing rate until the time of expected reward, and a class of cells that reach a peak in firing at the expected delay. We elaborate upon our existing model by including inhibitory and excitatory units while imposing simple connectivity rules to demonstrate what role these inhibitory elements and the simple architectures play in sculpting the response dynamics of the network. We find that simply adding inhibition is not sufficient for obtaining the different distinct response classes, and that a broad distribution of inhibitory projections is necessary for obtaining peak-type responses. Furthermore, although changes in connection strength that modulate the effects of inhibition onto excitatory units have a strong impact on the firing rate profile of these peaked responses, the network exhibits robustness in its overall ability to predict the expected time of reward. Finally, we demonstrate how the magnitude of expected reward can be encoded at the expected delay in the network and how peaked responses express this reward expectancy. Heterogeneity in single-neuron responses is a common feature of neuronal systems, although sometimes, in theoretical approaches, it is treated as a nuisance and seldom considered as conveying a different aspect of a signal. In this study, we focus on the heterogeneous responses in the primary visual cortex of rodents trained with a predictable delayed reward time. We describe under what

  20. Orientation selectivity in inhibition-dominated networks of spiking neurons: effect of single neuron properties and network dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sadeh, Sadra; Rotter, Stefan

    2015-01-01

    The neuronal mechanisms underlying the emergence of orientation selectivity in the primary visual cortex of mammals are still elusive. In rodents, visual neurons show highly selective responses to oriented stimuli, but neighboring neurons do not necessarily have similar preferences. Instead of a smooth map, one observes a salt-and-pepper organization of orientation selectivity. Modeling studies have recently confirmed that balanced random networks are indeed capable of amplifying weakly tuned inputs and generating highly selective output responses, even in absence of feature-selective recurrent connectivity. Here we seek to elucidate the neuronal mechanisms underlying this phenomenon by resorting to networks of integrate-and-fire neurons, which are amenable to analytic treatment. Specifically, in networks of perfect integrate-and-fire neurons, we observe that highly selective and contrast invariant output responses emerge, very similar to networks of leaky integrate-and-fire neurons. We then demonstrate that a theory based on mean firing rates and the detailed network topology predicts the output responses, and explains the mechanisms underlying the suppression of the common-mode, amplification of modulation, and contrast invariance. Increasing inhibition dominance in our networks makes the rectifying nonlinearity more prominent, which in turn adds some distortions to the otherwise essentially linear prediction. An extension of the linear theory can account for all the distortions, enabling us to compute the exact shape of every individual tuning curve in our networks. We show that this simple form of nonlinearity adds two important properties to orientation selectivity in the network, namely sharpening of tuning curves and extra suppression of the modulation. The theory can be further extended to account for the nonlinearity of the leaky model by replacing the rectifier by the appropriate smooth input-output transfer function. These results are robust and do not

  1. Orientation selectivity in inhibition-dominated networks of spiking neurons: effect of single neuron properties and network dynamics.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sadra Sadeh

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The neuronal mechanisms underlying the emergence of orientation selectivity in the primary visual cortex of mammals are still elusive. In rodents, visual neurons show highly selective responses to oriented stimuli, but neighboring neurons do not necessarily have similar preferences. Instead of a smooth map, one observes a salt-and-pepper organization of orientation selectivity. Modeling studies have recently confirmed that balanced random networks are indeed capable of amplifying weakly tuned inputs and generating highly selective output responses, even in absence of feature-selective recurrent connectivity. Here we seek to elucidate the neuronal mechanisms underlying this phenomenon by resorting to networks of integrate-and-fire neurons, which are amenable to analytic treatment. Specifically, in networks of perfect integrate-and-fire neurons, we observe that highly selective and contrast invariant output responses emerge, very similar to networks of leaky integrate-and-fire neurons. We then demonstrate that a theory based on mean firing rates and the detailed network topology predicts the output responses, and explains the mechanisms underlying the suppression of the common-mode, amplification of modulation, and contrast invariance. Increasing inhibition dominance in our networks makes the rectifying nonlinearity more prominent, which in turn adds some distortions to the otherwise essentially linear prediction. An extension of the linear theory can account for all the distortions, enabling us to compute the exact shape of every individual tuning curve in our networks. We show that this simple form of nonlinearity adds two important properties to orientation selectivity in the network, namely sharpening of tuning curves and extra suppression of the modulation. The theory can be further extended to account for the nonlinearity of the leaky model by replacing the rectifier by the appropriate smooth input-output transfer function. These results are

  2. Existence of multiple receptors in single neurons: responses of single bullfrog olfactory neurons to many cAMP-dependent and independent odorants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kashiwayanagi, M; Shimano, K; Kurihara, K

    1996-11-04

    The responses of single bullfrog olfactory neurons to various odorants were measured with the whole-cell patch clamp which offers direct information on cellular events and with the ciliary recording technique to obtain stable quantitative data from many neurons. A large portion of single olfactory neurons (about 64% and 79% in the whole-cell recording and in the ciliary recording, respectively) responded to many odorants with quite diverse molecular structures, including both odorants previously indicated to be cAMP-dependent (increasing) and independent odorants. One odorant elicited a response in many cells; e.g. hedione and citralva elicited the response in 100% and 92% of total neurons examined with the ciliary recording technique. To confirm that a single neuron carries different receptors or transduction pathways, the cross-adaptation technique was applied to single neurons. Application of hedione to a single neuron after desensitization of the current in response to lyral or citralva induced an inward current with a similar magnitude to that applied alone. It was suggested that most single olfactory neurons carry multiple receptors and at least dual transduction pathways.

  3. Novel mathematical neural models for visual attention

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Li, Kang

    for the visual attention theories and spiking neuron models for single spike trains. Statistical inference and model selection are performed and various numerical methods are explored. The designed methods also give a framework for neural coding under visual attention theories. We conduct both analysis on real......Visual attention has been extensively studied in psychology, but some fundamental questions remain controversial. We focus on two questions in this study. First, we investigate how a neuron in visual cortex responds to multiple stimuli inside the receptive eld, described by either a response...... system, supported by simulation study. Finally, we present the decoding of multiple temporal stimuli under these visual attention theories, also in a realistic biophysical situation with simulations....

  4. Visual Working Memory Enhances the Neural Response to Matching Visual Input.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gayet, Surya; Guggenmos, Matthias; Christophel, Thomas B; Haynes, John-Dylan; Paffen, Chris L E; Van der Stigchel, Stefan; Sterzer, Philipp

    2017-07-12

    Visual working memory (VWM) is used to maintain visual information available for subsequent goal-directed behavior. The content of VWM has been shown to affect the behavioral response to concurrent visual input, suggesting that visual representations originating from VWM and from sensory input draw upon a shared neural substrate (i.e., a sensory recruitment stance on VWM storage). Here, we hypothesized that visual information maintained in VWM would enhance the neural response to concurrent visual input that matches the content of VWM. To test this hypothesis, we measured fMRI BOLD responses to task-irrelevant stimuli acquired from 15 human participants (three males) performing a concurrent delayed match-to-sample task. In this task, observers were sequentially presented with two shape stimuli and a retro-cue indicating which of the two shapes should be memorized for subsequent recognition. During the retention interval, a task-irrelevant shape (the probe) was briefly presented in the peripheral visual field, which could either match or mismatch the shape category of the memorized stimulus. We show that this probe stimulus elicited a stronger BOLD response, and allowed for increased shape-classification performance, when it matched rather than mismatched the concurrently memorized content, despite identical visual stimulation. Our results demonstrate that VWM enhances the neural response to concurrent visual input in a content-specific way. This finding is consistent with the view that neural populations involved in sensory processing are recruited for VWM storage, and it provides a common explanation for a plethora of behavioral studies in which VWM-matching visual input elicits a stronger behavioral and perceptual response. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Humans heavily rely on visual information to interact with their environment and frequently must memorize such information for later use. Visual working memory allows for maintaining such visual information in the mind

  5. Multiplexing Visual Signals in the Suprachiasmatic Nuclei

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adam R. Stinchcombe

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available The suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN, the site of the mammalian circadian (daily pacemaker, contains thousands of interconnected neurons, some of which receive direct retinal input. Here, we study the fast (<1 s responses of SCN neurons to visual stimuli with a large-scale mathematical model tracking the ionic currents and voltage of all SCN neurons. We reconstruct the SCN network connectivity and reject 99.99% of theoretically possible SCN networks by requiring that the model reproduces experimentally determined receptive fields of SCN neurons. The model shows how the SCN neuronal network can enhance circadian entrainment by sensitizing a population of neurons in the ventral SCN to irradiance. This SCN network also increases the spatial acuity of neurons and increases the accuracy of a simulated subconscious spatial visual task. We hypothesize that much of the fast electrical activity within the SCN is related to the processing of spatial information.

  6. High-alpha band synchronization across frontal, parietal and visual cortex mediates behavioral and neuronal effects of visuospatial attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lobier, Muriel; Palva, J Matias; Palva, Satu

    2018-01-15

    Visuospatial attention prioritizes processing of attended visual stimuli. It is characterized by lateralized alpha-band (8-14 Hz) amplitude suppression in visual cortex and increased neuronal activity in a network of frontal and parietal areas. It has remained unknown what mechanisms coordinate neuronal processing among frontoparietal network and visual cortices and implement the attention-related modulations of alpha-band amplitudes and behavior. We investigated whether large-scale network synchronization could be such a mechanism. We recorded human cortical activity with magnetoencephalography (MEG) during a visuospatial attention task. We then identified the frequencies and anatomical networks of inter-areal phase synchronization from source localized MEG data. We found that visuospatial attention is associated with robust and sustained long-range synchronization of cortical oscillations exclusively in the high-alpha (10-14 Hz) frequency band. This synchronization connected frontal, parietal and visual regions and was observed concurrently with amplitude suppression of low-alpha (6-9 Hz) band oscillations in visual cortex. Furthermore, stronger high-alpha phase synchronization was associated with decreased reaction times to attended stimuli and larger suppression of alpha-band amplitudes. These results thus show that high-alpha band phase synchronization is functionally significant and could coordinate the neuronal communication underlying the implementation of visuospatial attention. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Motor-Auditory-Visual Integration: The Role of the Human Mirror Neuron System in Communication and Communication Disorders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Bel, Ronald M.; Pineda, Jaime A.; Sharma, Anu

    2009-01-01

    The mirror neuron system (MNS) is a trimodal system composed of neuronal populations that respond to motor, visual, and auditory stimulation, such as when an action is performed, observed, heard or read about. In humans, the MNS has been identified using neuroimaging techniques (such as fMRI and mu suppression in the EEG). It reflects an…

  8. A morphological basis for orientation tuning in primary visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mooser, François; Bosking, William H; Fitzpatrick, David

    2004-08-01

    Feedforward connections are thought to be important in the generation of orientation-selective responses in visual cortex by establishing a bias in the sampling of information from regions of visual space that lie along a neuron's axis of preferred orientation. It remains unclear, however, which structural elements-dendrites or axons-are ultimately responsible for conveying this sampling bias. To explore this question, we have examined the spatial arrangement of feedforward axonal connections that link non-oriented neurons in layer 4 and orientation-selective neurons in layer 2/3 of visual cortex in the tree shrew. Target sites of labeled boutons in layer 2/3 resulting from focal injections of biocytin in layer 4 show an orientation-specific axial bias that is sufficient to confer orientation tuning to layer 2/3 neurons. We conclude that the anisotropic arrangement of axon terminals is the principal source of the orientation bias contributed by feedforward connections.

  9. Differential radioautographic visualization of central catecholaminergic neurons following intracisternal or intraventricular injection of tritiated norepinephrine

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nowaczyk, T.; Pujol, J.F.; Valatx, J.L.; Bobillier, P.

    1978-01-01

    The differential [ 3 H]NE labeling of CA groups following cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) injection procedures seems to be accounted by the dynamics of CSF formation and circulation, which is similar in the rat to that known in man. Following intraventricular injection there was a lack of labeling of CA neurons located at a distance from the cerebrospinal cavities. Labeled neurons were also visualized outside known CA groups, questioning the nature and functional significance of these cells. (C.F.)

  10. Changes of the Prefrontal EEG (Electroencephalogram) Activities According to the Repetition of Audio-Visual Learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Yong-Jin; Chang, Nam-Kee

    2001-01-01

    Investigates the changes of neuronal response according to a four time repetition of audio-visual learning. Obtains EEG data from the prefrontal (Fp1, Fp2) lobe from 20 subjects at the 8th grade level. Concludes that the habituation of neuronal response shows up in repetitive audio-visual learning and brain hemisphericity can be changed by…

  11. Working memory and decision processes in visual area V4

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benjamin eHayden

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Recognizing and responding to a remembered stimulus requires the coordination of perception, working memory and decision-making. To investigate the role of visual cortex in these processes, we recorded responses of single V4 neurons during performance of a delayed match-to-sample task that incorporates rapid serial visual presentation of natural images. We found that neuronal activity during the delay period after the cue but before the images depends on the identity of the remembered image and that this change persists while distractors appear. This persistent response modulation has been identified as a diagnostic criterion for putative working memory signals; our data thus suggest that working memory may involve reactivation of sensory neurons. When the remembered image reappears in the neuron’s receptive field, visually evoked responses are enhanced; this match enhancement is a diagnostic criterion for decision. One model that predicts these data is the matched filter hypothesis, which holds that during search V4 neurons change their tuning so as to match the remembered cue, and thus become detectors for that image. More generally, these results suggest that V4 neurons participate in the perceptual, working memory and decision processes that are needed to perform memory-guided decision-making.

  12. Direct effects of endogenous pyrogen on medullary temperature-responsive neurons in rabbits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sakata, Y; Morimoto, A; Takase, Y; Murakami, N

    1981-01-01

    The effect of endogenous pyrogen (E.P.) injected directly into the tissue near the recording site were examined on the activities of the medullary temperature-responsive (TR) neurons in rabbits anesthetized with urethane. Endogenous pyrogen prepared from rabbit's whole blood was administered by a fine glass cannula (100-200 micrometer in diameter) in a fluid volume of 1 to 4 microliter. The cannula was fixed to the manipulator in parallel with a microelectrode and their tips were less than 0.05 mm apart. In rabbits with the intact preoptic/anterior hypothalamic (PO/AH) region, 4 warm-responsive neurons out of 7 were inhibited and 6 cold-responsive neuron out of 7 were excited by the direct administration of the E.P. In rabbits with lesions of the PO/AH, 5 warm-responsive neurons out of 9 were inhibited and 6 cold-responsive neurons out of 8 were facilitated by E.P. Antipyretics administered locally after the E.P. antagonized the pyretic effect, causing a return of the discharge of TR neuron to the control rate within 2.4 +/- 1.2 (mean +/- S.D.) min. The medullary TR neuron itself has the ability to respond to the E.P. and contributes to the development of fever.

  13. Presence of strong harmonics during visual entrainment: a magnetoencephalography study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heinrichs-Graham, Elizabeth; Wilson, Tony W

    2012-09-01

    Visual neurons are known to synchronize their firing with stimuli that flicker at a constant rate (e.g. 12Hz). These so-called visual steady-state responses (VSSR) are a well-studied phenomenon, yet the underlying mechanisms are widely disagreed upon. Furthermore, there is limited evidence that visual neurons may simultaneously synchronize at harmonics of the stimulation frequency. We utilized magnetoencephalography (MEG) to examine synchronization at harmonics of the visual stimulation frequency (18Hz). MEG data were analyzed for event-related-synchronization (ERS) at the fundamental frequency, 36, 54, and 72Hz. We found strong ERS in all bands. Only 31% of participants showed maximum entrainment at the fundamental; others showed stronger entrainment at either 36 or 54Hz. The cortical foci of these responses indicated that the harmonics involved cortices that were partially distinct from the fundamental. These findings suggest that spatially-overlapping subpopulations of neurons are simultaneously entrained at different harmonics of the stimulus frequency. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Peripheral visual response time and visual display layout

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haines, R. F.

    1974-01-01

    Experiments were performed on a group of 42 subjects in a study of their peripheral visual response time to visual signals under positive acceleration, during prolonged bedrest, at passive 70 deg headup body lift, under exposures to high air temperatures and high luminance levels, and under normal stress-free laboratory conditions. Diagrams are plotted for mean response times to white, red, yellow, green, and blue stimuli under different conditions.

  15. Multiplexing Visual Signals in the Suprachiasmatic Nuclei.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stinchcombe, Adam R; Mouland, Joshua W; Wong, Kwoon Y; Lucas, Robert J; Forger, Daniel B

    2017-11-07

    The suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN), the site of the mammalian circadian (daily) pacemaker, contains thousands of interconnected neurons, some of which receive direct retinal input. Here, we study the fast (<1 s) responses of SCN neurons to visual stimuli with a large-scale mathematical model tracking the ionic currents and voltage of all SCN neurons. We reconstruct the SCN network connectivity and reject 99.99% of theoretically possible SCN networks by requiring that the model reproduces experimentally determined receptive fields of SCN neurons. The model shows how the SCN neuronal network can enhance circadian entrainment by sensitizing a population of neurons in the ventral SCN to irradiance. This SCN network also increases the spatial acuity of neurons and increases the accuracy of a simulated subconscious spatial visual task. We hypothesize that much of the fast electrical activity within the SCN is related to the processing of spatial information. Copyright © 2017 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Spatial Attention and Temporal Expectation Under Timed Uncertainty Predictably Modulate Neuronal Responses in Monkey V1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharma, Jitendra; Sugihara, Hiroki; Katz, Yarden; Schummers, James; Tenenbaum, Joshua; Sur, Mriganka

    2015-01-01

    The brain uses attention and expectation as flexible devices for optimizing behavioral responses associated with expected but unpredictably timed events. The neural bases of attention and expectation are thought to engage higher cognitive loci; however, their influence at the level of primary visual cortex (V1) remains unknown. Here, we asked whether single-neuron responses in monkey V1 were influenced by an attention task of unpredictable duration. Monkeys covertly attended to a spot that remained unchanged for a fixed period and then abruptly disappeared at variable times, prompting a lever release for reward. We show that monkeys responded progressively faster and performed better as the trial duration increased. Neural responses also followed monkey's task engagement—there was an early, but short duration, response facilitation, followed by a late but sustained increase during the time monkeys expected the attention spot to disappear. This late attentional modulation was significantly and negatively correlated with the reaction time and was well explained by a modified hazard function. Such bimodal, time-dependent changes were, however, absent in a task that did not require explicit attentional engagement. Thus, V1 neurons carry reliable signals of attention and temporal expectation that correlate with predictable influences on monkeys' behavioral responses. PMID:24836689

  17. Eye position effects on the remapped memory trace of visual motion in cortical area MST.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Inaba, Naoko; Kawano, Kenji

    2016-02-23

    After a saccade, most MST neurons respond to moving visual stimuli that had existed in their post-saccadic receptive fields and turned off before the saccade ("trans-saccadic memory remapping"). Neuronal responses in higher visual processing areas are known to be modulated in relation to gaze angle to represent image location in spatiotopic coordinates. In the present study, we investigated the eye position effects after saccades and found that the gaze angle modulated the visual sensitivity of MST neurons after saccades both to the actually existing visual stimuli and to the visual memory traces remapped by the saccades. We suggest that two mechanisms, trans-saccadic memory remapping and gaze modulation, work cooperatively in individual MST neurons to represent a continuous visual world.

  18. The primary visual cortex in the neural circuit for visual orienting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhaoping, Li

    The primary visual cortex (V1) is traditionally viewed as remote from influencing brain's motor outputs. However, V1 provides the most abundant cortical inputs directly to the sensory layers of superior colliculus (SC), a midbrain structure to command visual orienting such as shifting gaze and turning heads. I will show physiological, anatomical, and behavioral data suggesting that V1 transforms visual input into a saliency map to guide a class of visual orienting that is reflexive or involuntary. In particular, V1 receives a retinotopic map of visual features, such as orientation, color, and motion direction of local visual inputs; local interactions between V1 neurons perform a local-to-global computation to arrive at a saliency map that highlights conspicuous visual locations by higher V1 responses. The conspicuous location are usually, but not always, where visual input statistics changes. The population V1 outputs to SC, which is also retinotopic, enables SC to locate, by lateral inhibition between SC neurons, the most salient location as the saccadic target. Experimental tests of this hypothesis will be shown. Variations of the neural circuit for visual orienting across animal species, with more or less V1 involvement, will be discussed. Supported by the Gatsby Charitable Foundation.

  19. Network-state modulation of power-law frequency-scaling in visual cortical neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sami El Boustani

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Various types of neural-based signals, such as EEG, local field potentials and intracellular synaptic potentials, integrate multiple sources of activity distributed across large assemblies. They have in common a power-law frequency-scaling structure at high frequencies, but it is still unclear whether this scaling property is dominated by intrinsic neuronal properties or by network activity. The latter case is particularly interesting because if frequency-scaling reflects the network state it could be used to characterize the functional impact of the connectivity. In intracellularly recorded neurons of cat primary visual cortex in vivo, the power spectral density of V(m activity displays a power-law structure at high frequencies with a fractional scaling exponent. We show that this exponent is not constant, but depends on the visual statistics used to drive the network. To investigate the determinants of this frequency-scaling, we considered a generic recurrent model of cortex receiving a retinotopically organized external input. Similarly to the in vivo case, our in computo simulations show that the scaling exponent reflects the correlation level imposed in the input. This systematic dependence was also replicated at the single cell level, by controlling independently, in a parametric way, the strength and the temporal decay of the pairwise correlation between presynaptic inputs. This last model was implemented in vitro by imposing the correlation control in artificial presynaptic spike trains through dynamic-clamp techniques. These in vitro manipulations induced a modulation of the scaling exponent, similar to that observed in vivo and predicted in computo. We conclude that the frequency-scaling exponent of the V(m reflects stimulus-driven correlations in the cortical network activity. Therefore, we propose that the scaling exponent could be used to read-out the "effective" connectivity responsible for the dynamical signature of the population

  20. Visual patch clamp recording of neurons in thick portions of the adult spinal cord

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Munch, Anders Sonne; Smith, Morten; Moldovan, Mihai

    2010-01-01

    The study of visually identified neurons in slice preparations from the central nervous system offers considerable advantages over in vivo preparations including high mechanical stability in the absence of anaesthesia and full control of the extracellular medium. However, because of their relative...... remain alive and capable of generating action potentials. By stimulating the lateral funiculus we can evoke intense synaptic activity associated with large increases in conductance of the recorded neurons. The conductance increases substantially more in neurons recorded in thick slices suggesting...... that the size of the network recruited with the stimulation increases with the thickness of the slices. We also find that that the number of spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) is higher in thick slices compared with thin slices while the number of spontaneous inhibitory postsynaptic currents...

  1. Reference frames for spatial frequency in face representation differ in the temporal visual cortex and amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Inagaki, Mikio; Fujita, Ichiro

    2011-07-13

    Social communication in nonhuman primates and humans is strongly affected by facial information from other individuals. Many cortical and subcortical brain areas are known to be involved in processing facial information. However, how the neural representation of faces differs across different brain areas remains unclear. Here, we demonstrate that the reference frame for spatial frequency (SF) tuning of face-responsive neurons differs in the temporal visual cortex and amygdala in monkeys. Consistent with psychophysical properties for face recognition, temporal cortex neurons were tuned to image-based SFs (cycles/image) and showed viewing distance-invariant representation of face patterns. On the other hand, many amygdala neurons were influenced by retina-based SFs (cycles/degree), a characteristic that is useful for social distance computation. The two brain areas also differed in the luminance contrast sensitivity of face-responsive neurons; amygdala neurons sharply reduced their responses to low luminance contrast images, while temporal cortex neurons maintained the level of their responses. From these results, we conclude that different types of visual processing in the temporal visual cortex and the amygdala contribute to the construction of the neural representations of faces.

  2. [Responses of bat cochlear nucleus neurons to ultrasonic stimuli].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vasil'ev, A G; Grigor'eva, T I

    1977-01-01

    The responses of cochlear nuclei single units in Vespertilionidae and Rhinolophidae were studied by means of ultrasound stimuli of different frequencies. Most neurons were found to have one or two complementary response areas with best frequencies equal to 1/2 and 1/3 of the highest one (which we regard as the basic best frequency). In Vespertilionidae which emit frequency-modulated signals some neurons have complementary areas with upper thresholds. The latency of responses do not correlate with the stimulus frequency. This suggests that there is no correlative reception of echosignals at this level of auditory system in bats.

  3. Stress Sensitive Healthy Females Show Less Left Amygdala Activation in Response to Withdrawal-Related Visual Stimuli under Passive Viewing Conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baeken, Chris; Van Schuerbeek, Peter; De Raedt, Rudi; Vanderhasselt, Marie-Anne; De Mey, Johan; Bossuyt, Axel; Luypaert, Robert

    2012-01-01

    The amygdalae are key players in the processing of a variety of emotional stimuli. Especially aversive visual stimuli have been reported to attract attention and activate the amygdalae. However, as it has been argued that passively viewing withdrawal-related images could attenuate instead of activate amygdalae neuronal responses, its role under…

  4. Mapping and characterization of positive and negative BOLD responses to visual stimulation in multiple brain regions at 7T.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jorge, João; Figueiredo, Patrícia; Gruetter, Rolf; van der Zwaag, Wietske

    2018-02-20

    External stimuli and tasks often elicit negative BOLD responses in various brain regions, and growing experimental evidence supports that these phenomena are functionally meaningful. In this work, the high sensitivity available at 7T was explored to map and characterize both positive (PBRs) and negative BOLD responses (NBRs) to visual checkerboard stimulation, occurring in various brain regions within and beyond the visual cortex. Recently-proposed accelerated fMRI techniques were employed for data acquisition, and procedures for exclusion of large draining vein contributions, together with ICA-assisted denoising, were included in the analysis to improve response estimation. Besides the visual cortex, significant PBRs were found in the lateral geniculate nucleus and superior colliculus, as well as the pre-central sulcus; in these regions, response durations increased monotonically with stimulus duration, in tight covariation with the visual PBR duration. Significant NBRs were found in the visual cortex, auditory cortex, default-mode network (DMN) and superior parietal lobule; NBR durations also tended to increase with stimulus duration, but were significantly less sustained than the visual PBR, especially for the DMN and superior parietal lobule. Responses in visual and auditory cortex were further studied for checkerboard contrast dependence, and their amplitudes were found to increase monotonically with contrast, linearly correlated with the visual PBR amplitude. Overall, these findings suggest the presence of dynamic neuronal interactions across multiple brain regions, sensitive to stimulus intensity and duration, and demonstrate the richness of information obtainable when jointly mapping positive and negative BOLD responses at a whole-brain scale, with ultra-high field fMRI. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  5. Antioxidant responses of cortex neurons to iron loading

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    PABLA AGUIRRE

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available Brain cells have a highly active oxidative metabolism, yet they contain only low to moderate superoxide dismutase and catalase activities. Thus, their antioxidant defenses rely mainly on cellular reduced glutathione levels. In this work, in cortical neurons we characterized viability and changes in reduced and oxidized glutathione levels in response to a protocol of iron accumulation. We found that massive death occurred after 2 days in culture with 10 mM Fe. Surviving cells developed an adaptative response that included increased synthesis of GSH and the maintenance of a glutathione-based reduction potential. These results highlight the fundamental role of glutathione homeostasis in the antioxidant response and provide novel insights into the adaptative mechanisms of neurons subjected to progressive iron loads.

  6. Propensity to obesity impacts the neuronal response to energy imbalance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marc-Andre eCornier

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available The mechanisms responsible for the propensity to gain weight or remain normal weight are poorly understood. The objective of this study was to study the neuronal response to visual food cues during short-term energy imbalance in healthy adults recruited as obesity-resistant (OR or obesity-prone (OP based on self-identification, BMI, and personal/family weight history. 25 OR and 28 OP subjects were studied in underfed (UF and overfed (OF as compared to eucaloric (EU conditions in a randomized crossover design. Each study phase included a 3 day run-in diet, 1 day of controlled feeding (basal energy needs for EU, 40% above/below basal energy needs for OF/UF, and a test day. On the test day fMRI was performed in the acute fed stated (30 minutes after a test meal while subjects viewed images of foods of high hedonic value and neutral non-food objects. Measures of appetite and hormones were also performed before and every 30 minutes after the test meal. UF was associated with significantly increased activation of insula, somatosensory cortex, inferior and medial prefrontal cortex, parahippocampus, precuneus, cingulate and visual cortex in OR. However, UF had no impact in OP. As a result, UF was associated with significantly greater activation, specifically in the insula, inferior prefrontal cortex, and somatosensory cortex in OR as compared to OP. While OF was overall associated with reduced activation of inferior visual cortex, no group interaction was observed with OF. In summary, these findings suggest that individuals resistant to weight gain and obesity are more sensitive to short-term energy imbalance, particularly with UF, than those prone to weight gain. The inability to sense or adapt to changes in energy balance may represent an important mechanism contributing to excess energy intake and risk for obesity.

  7. Propensity to obesity impacts the neuronal response to energy imbalance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cornier, Marc-Andre; McFadden, Kristina L; Thomas, Elizabeth A; Bechtell, Jamie L; Bessesen, Daniel H; Tregellas, Jason R

    2015-01-01

    The mechanisms responsible for the propensity to gain weight or remain normal weight are poorly understood. The objective of this study was to study the neuronal response to visual food cues during short-term energy imbalance in healthy adults recruited as obesity-resistant (OR) or obesity-prone (OP) based on self-identification, body mass index, and personal/family weight history. Twenty-five OR and 28 OP subjects were studied in underfed (UF) and overfed (OF) as compared to eucaloric (EU) conditions in a randomized crossover design. Each study phase included a 3-day run-in diet, 1 day of controlled feeding (basal energy needs for EU, 40% above/below basal energy needs for OF/UF), and a test day. On the test day, fMRI was performed in the acute fed stated (30 min after a test meal) while subjects viewed images of foods of high hedonic value and neutral non-food objects. Measures of appetite and hormones were also performed before and every 30 min after the test meal. UF was associated with significantly increased activation of insula, somatosensory cortex, inferior and medial prefrontal cortex (PFC), parahippocampus, precuneus, cingulate, and visual cortex in OR. However, UF had no impact in OP. As a result, UF was associated with significantly greater activation, specifically in the insula, inferior PFC, and somatosensory cortex in OR as compared to OP. While OF was overall associated with reduced activation of inferior visual cortex, no group interaction was observed with OF. In summary, these findings suggest that individuals resistant to weight gain and obesity are more sensitive to short-term energy imbalance, particularly with UF, than those prone to weight gain. The inability to sense or adapt to changes in energy balance may represent an important mechanism contributing to excess energy intake and risk for obesity.

  8. Inferring eye position from populations of lateral intraparietal neurons.

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    Graf, Arnulf Ba; Andersen, Richard A

    2014-05-20

    Understanding how the brain computes eye position is essential to unraveling high-level visual functions such as eye movement planning, coordinate transformations and stability of spatial awareness. The lateral intraparietal area (LIP) is essential for this process. However, despite decades of research, its contribution to the eye position signal remains controversial. LIP neurons have recently been reported to inaccurately represent eye position during a saccadic eye movement, and to be too slow to support a role in high-level visual functions. We addressed this issue by predicting eye position and saccade direction from the responses of populations of LIP neurons. We found that both signals were accurately predicted before, during and after a saccade. Also, the dynamics of these signals support their contribution to visual functions. These findings provide a principled understanding of the coding of information in populations of neurons within an important node of the cortical network for visual-motor behaviors.DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.02813.001. Copyright © 2014, Graf and Andersen.

  9. Different Stimuli, Different Spatial Codes: A Visual Map and an Auditory Rate Code for Oculomotor Space in the Primate Superior Colliculus

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    Lee, Jungah; Groh, Jennifer M.

    2014-01-01

    Maps are a mainstay of visual, somatosensory, and motor coding in many species. However, auditory maps of space have not been reported in the primate brain. Instead, recent studies have suggested that sound location may be encoded via broadly responsive neurons whose firing rates vary roughly proportionately with sound azimuth. Within frontal space, maps and such rate codes involve different response patterns at the level of individual neurons. Maps consist of neurons exhibiting circumscribed receptive fields, whereas rate codes involve open-ended response patterns that peak in the periphery. This coding format discrepancy therefore poses a potential problem for brain regions responsible for representing both visual and auditory information. Here, we investigated the coding of auditory space in the primate superior colliculus(SC), a structure known to contain visual and oculomotor maps for guiding saccades. We report that, for visual stimuli, neurons showed circumscribed receptive fields consistent with a map, but for auditory stimuli, they had open-ended response patterns consistent with a rate or level-of-activity code for location. The discrepant response patterns were not segregated into different neural populations but occurred in the same neurons. We show that a read-out algorithm in which the site and level of SC activity both contribute to the computation of stimulus location is successful at evaluating the discrepant visual and auditory codes, and can account for subtle but systematic differences in the accuracy of auditory compared to visual saccades. This suggests that a given population of neurons can use different codes to support appropriate multimodal behavior. PMID:24454779

  10. NPY/AgRP neurons are not essential for feeding responses to glucoprivation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luquet, Serge; Phillips, Colin T; Palmiter, Richard D

    2007-02-01

    Animals respond to hypoglycemia by eating and by stimulating gluconeogenesis. These responses to glucose deprivation are initiated by glucose-sensing neurons in the brain, but the neural circuits that control feeding behavior are not well established. Neurons in the arcuate region of the hypothalamus that express neuropeptide Y (NPY) and agouti-related protein (AgRP) have been implicated in mediating the feeding response to glucoprivation. We devised a method to selectively ablate these neurons in neonatal mice and then tested adult mice for their feeding responses to fasting, mild hypoglycemia, 2-deoxy-d-glucose and a ghrelin receptor agonist. Whereas the feeding response to the ghrelin receptor agonist was completely abrogated, the feeding response to glucoprivation was normal. The feeding response after a fast was attenuated when standard chow was available but normal with more palatable solid or liquid diet. We conclude that NPY/AgRP neurons are not necessary for generating or mediating the orexigenic response to glucose deficiency, but they are essential for the feeding response to ghrelin and refeeding on standard chow after a fast.

  11. The Effects of Context and Attention on Spiking Activity in Human Early Visual Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Self, Matthew W; Peters, Judith C; Possel, Jessy K; Reithler, Joel; Goebel, Rainer; Ris, Peterjan; Jeurissen, Danique; Reddy, Leila; Claus, Steven; Baayen, Johannes C; Roelfsema, Pieter R

    2016-03-01

    Here we report the first quantitative analysis of spiking activity in human early visual cortex. We recorded multi-unit activity from two electrodes in area V2/V3 of a human patient implanted with depth electrodes as part of her treatment for epilepsy. We observed well-localized multi-unit receptive fields with tunings for contrast, orientation, spatial frequency, and size, similar to those reported in the macaque. We also observed pronounced gamma oscillations in the local-field potential that could be used to estimate the underlying spiking response properties. Spiking responses were modulated by visual context and attention. We observed orientation-tuned surround suppression: responses were suppressed by image regions with a uniform orientation and enhanced by orientation contrast. Additionally, responses were enhanced on regions that perceptually segregated from the background, indicating that neurons in the human visual cortex are sensitive to figure-ground structure. Spiking responses were also modulated by object-based attention. When the patient mentally traced a curve through the neurons' receptive fields, the accompanying shift of attention enhanced neuronal activity. These results demonstrate that the tuning properties of cells in the human early visual cortex are similar to those in the macaque and that responses can be modulated by both contextual factors and behavioral relevance. Our results, therefore, imply that the macaque visual system is an excellent model for the human visual cortex.

  12. The Effects of Context and Attention on Spiking Activity in Human Early Visual Cortex.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew W Self

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Here we report the first quantitative analysis of spiking activity in human early visual cortex. We recorded multi-unit activity from two electrodes in area V2/V3 of a human patient implanted with depth electrodes as part of her treatment for epilepsy. We observed well-localized multi-unit receptive fields with tunings for contrast, orientation, spatial frequency, and size, similar to those reported in the macaque. We also observed pronounced gamma oscillations in the local-field potential that could be used to estimate the underlying spiking response properties. Spiking responses were modulated by visual context and attention. We observed orientation-tuned surround suppression: responses were suppressed by image regions with a uniform orientation and enhanced by orientation contrast. Additionally, responses were enhanced on regions that perceptually segregated from the background, indicating that neurons in the human visual cortex are sensitive to figure-ground structure. Spiking responses were also modulated by object-based attention. When the patient mentally traced a curve through the neurons' receptive fields, the accompanying shift of attention enhanced neuronal activity. These results demonstrate that the tuning properties of cells in the human early visual cortex are similar to those in the macaque and that responses can be modulated by both contextual factors and behavioral relevance. Our results, therefore, imply that the macaque visual system is an excellent model for the human visual cortex.

  13. Is Fourier analysis performed by the visual system or by the visual investigator.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ochs, A L

    1979-01-01

    A numerical Fourier transform was made of the pincushion grid illusion and the spectral components orthogonal to the illusory lines were isolated. Their inverse transform creates a picture of the illusion. The spatial-frequency response of cortical, simple receptive field neurons similarly filters the grid. A complete set of these neurons thus approximates a two-dimensional Fourier analyzer. One cannot conclude, however, that the brain actually uses frequency-domain information to interpret visual images.

  14. Electrosensory Midbrain Neurons Display Feature Invariant Responses to Natural Communication Stimuli.

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    Tristan Aumentado-Armstrong

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Neurons that respond selectively but in an invariant manner to a given feature of natural stimuli have been observed across species and systems. Such responses emerge in higher brain areas, thereby suggesting that they occur by integrating afferent input. However, the mechanisms by which such integration occurs are poorly understood. Here we show that midbrain electrosensory neurons can respond selectively and in an invariant manner to heterogeneity in behaviorally relevant stimulus waveforms. Such invariant responses were not seen in hindbrain electrosensory neurons providing afferent input to these midbrain neurons, suggesting that response invariance results from nonlinear integration of such input. To test this hypothesis, we built a model based on the Hodgkin-Huxley formalism that received realistic afferent input. We found that multiple combinations of parameter values could give rise to invariant responses matching those seen experimentally. Our model thus shows that there are multiple solutions towards achieving invariant responses and reveals how subthreshold membrane conductances help promote robust and invariant firing in response to heterogeneous stimulus waveforms associated with behaviorally relevant stimuli. We discuss the implications of our findings for the electrosensory and other systems.

  15. Electrosensory Midbrain Neurons Display Feature Invariant Responses to Natural Communication Stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aumentado-Armstrong, Tristan; Metzen, Michael G; Sproule, Michael K J; Chacron, Maurice J

    2015-10-01

    Neurons that respond selectively but in an invariant manner to a given feature of natural stimuli have been observed across species and systems. Such responses emerge in higher brain areas, thereby suggesting that they occur by integrating afferent input. However, the mechanisms by which such integration occurs are poorly understood. Here we show that midbrain electrosensory neurons can respond selectively and in an invariant manner to heterogeneity in behaviorally relevant stimulus waveforms. Such invariant responses were not seen in hindbrain electrosensory neurons providing afferent input to these midbrain neurons, suggesting that response invariance results from nonlinear integration of such input. To test this hypothesis, we built a model based on the Hodgkin-Huxley formalism that received realistic afferent input. We found that multiple combinations of parameter values could give rise to invariant responses matching those seen experimentally. Our model thus shows that there are multiple solutions towards achieving invariant responses and reveals how subthreshold membrane conductances help promote robust and invariant firing in response to heterogeneous stimulus waveforms associated with behaviorally relevant stimuli. We discuss the implications of our findings for the electrosensory and other systems.

  16. Responses of primate frontal cortex neurons during natural vocal communication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Cory T; Thomas, A Wren; Nummela, Samuel U; de la Mothe, Lisa A

    2015-08-01

    The role of primate frontal cortex in vocal communication and its significance in language evolution have a controversial history. While evidence indicates that vocalization processing occurs in ventrolateral prefrontal cortex neurons, vocal-motor activity has been conjectured to be primarily subcortical and suggestive of a distinctly different neural architecture from humans. Direct evidence of neural activity during natural vocal communication is limited, as previous studies were performed in chair-restrained animals. Here we recorded the activity of single neurons across multiple regions of prefrontal and premotor cortex while freely moving marmosets engaged in a natural vocal behavior known as antiphonal calling. Our aim was to test whether neurons in marmoset frontal cortex exhibited responses during vocal-signal processing and/or vocal-motor production in the context of active, natural communication. We observed motor-related changes in single neuron activity during vocal production, but relatively weak sensory responses for vocalization processing during this natural behavior. Vocal-motor responses occurred both prior to and during call production and were typically coupled to the timing of each vocalization pulse. Despite the relatively weak sensory responses a population classifier was able to distinguish between neural activity that occurred during presentations of vocalization stimuli that elicited an antiphonal response and those that did not. These findings are suggestive of the role that nonhuman primate frontal cortex neurons play in natural communication and provide an important foundation for more explicit tests of the functional contributions of these neocortical areas during vocal behaviors. Copyright © 2015 the American Physiological Society.

  17. Predicting the response of olfactory sensory neurons to odor mixtures from single odor response

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    Marasco, Addolorata; de Paris, Alessandro; Migliore, Michele

    2016-04-01

    The response of olfactory receptor neurons to odor mixtures is not well understood. Here, using experimental constraints, we investigate the mathematical structure of the odor response space and its consequences. The analysis suggests that the odor response space is 3-dimensional, and predicts that the dose-response curve of an odor receptor can be obtained, in most cases, from three primary components with specific properties. This opens the way to an objective procedure to obtain specific olfactory receptor responses by manipulating mixtures in a mathematically predictable manner. This result is general and applies, independently of the number of odor components, to any olfactory sensory neuron type with a response curve that can be represented as a sigmoidal function of the odor concentration.

  18. A Model of Self-Organizing Head-Centered Visual Responses in Primate Parietal Areas

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    Mender, Bedeho M. W.; Stringer, Simon M.

    2013-01-01

    We present a hypothesis for how head-centered visual representations in primate parietal areas could self-organize through visually-guided learning, and test this hypothesis using a neural network model. The model consists of a competitive output layer of neurons that receives afferent synaptic connections from a population of input neurons with eye position gain modulated retinal receptive fields. The synaptic connections in the model are trained with an associative trace learning rule which has the effect of encouraging output neurons to learn to respond to subsets of input patterns that tend to occur close together in time. This network architecture and synaptic learning rule is hypothesized to promote the development of head-centered output neurons during periods of time when the head remains fixed while the eyes move. This hypothesis is demonstrated to be feasible, and each of the core model components described is tested and found to be individually necessary for successful self-organization. PMID:24349064

  19. Exon silencing by UAGG motifs in response to neuronal excitation.

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    Ping An

    2007-02-01

    Full Text Available Alternative pre-mRNA splicing plays fundamental roles in neurons by generating functional diversity in proteins associated with the communication and connectivity of the synapse. The CI cassette of the NMDA R1 receptor is one of a variety of exons that show an increase in exon skipping in response to cell excitation, but the molecular nature of this splicing responsiveness is not yet understood. Here we investigate the molecular basis for the induced changes in splicing of the CI cassette exon in primary rat cortical cultures in response to KCl-induced depolarization using an expression assay with a tight neuron-specific readout. In this system, exon silencing in response to neuronal excitation was mediated by multiple UAGG-type silencing motifs, and transfer of the motifs to a constitutive exon conferred a similar responsiveness by gain of function. Biochemical analysis of protein binding to UAGG motifs in extracts prepared from treated and mock-treated cortical cultures showed an increase in nuclear hnRNP A1-RNA binding activity in parallel with excitation. Evidence for the role of the NMDA receptor and calcium signaling in the induced splicing response was shown by the use of specific antagonists, as well as cell-permeable inhibitors of signaling pathways. Finally, a wider role for exon-skipping responsiveness is shown to involve additional exons with UAGG-related silencing motifs, and transcripts involved in synaptic functions. These results suggest that, at the post-transcriptional level, excitable exons such as the CI cassette may be involved in strategies by which neurons mount adaptive responses to hyperstimulation.

  20. 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.

  1. Comparison of visual receptive fields in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and ventral intraparietal area in macaques.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Viswanathan, Pooja; Nieder, Andreas

    2017-12-01

    The concept of receptive field (RF) describes the responsiveness of neurons to sensory space. Neurons in the primate association cortices have long been known to be spatially selective but a detailed characterisation and direct comparison of RFs between frontal and parietal association cortices are missing. We sampled the RFs of a large number of neurons from two interconnected areas of the frontal and parietal lobes, the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) and ventral intraparietal area (VIP), of rhesus monkeys by systematically presenting a moving bar during passive fixation. We found that more than half of neurons in both areas showed spatial selectivity. Single neurons in both areas could be assigned to five classes according to the spatial response patterns: few non-uniform RFs with multiple discrete response maxima could be dissociated from the vast majority of uniform RFs showing a single maximum; the latter were further classified into full-field and confined foveal, contralateral and ipsilateral RFs. Neurons in dlPFC showed a preference for the contralateral visual space and collectively encoded the contralateral visual hemi-field. In contrast, VIP neurons preferred central locations, predominantly covering the foveal visual space. Putative pyramidal cells with broad-spiking waveforms in PFC had smaller RFs than putative interneurons showing narrow-spiking waveforms, but distributed similarly across the visual field. In VIP, however, both putative pyramidal cells and interneurons had similar RFs at similar eccentricities. We provide a first, thorough characterisation of visual RFs in two reciprocally connected areas of a fronto-parietal cortical network. © 2017 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  2. Audiovisual Modulation in Mouse Primary Visual Cortex Depends on Cross-Modal Stimulus Configuration and Congruency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meijer, Guido T; Montijn, Jorrit S; Pennartz, Cyriel M A; Lansink, Carien S

    2017-09-06

    The sensory neocortex is a highly connected associative network that integrates information from multiple senses, even at the level of the primary sensory areas. Although a growing body of empirical evidence supports this view, the neural mechanisms of cross-modal integration in primary sensory areas, such as the primary visual cortex (V1), are still largely unknown. Using two-photon calcium imaging in awake mice, we show that the encoding of audiovisual stimuli in V1 neuronal populations is highly dependent on the features of the stimulus constituents. When the visual and auditory stimulus features were modulated at the same rate (i.e., temporally congruent), neurons responded with either an enhancement or suppression compared with unisensory visual stimuli, and their prevalence was balanced. Temporally incongruent tones or white-noise bursts included in audiovisual stimulus pairs resulted in predominant response suppression across the neuronal population. Visual contrast did not influence multisensory processing when the audiovisual stimulus pairs were congruent; however, when white-noise bursts were used, neurons generally showed response suppression when the visual stimulus contrast was high whereas this effect was absent when the visual contrast was low. Furthermore, a small fraction of V1 neurons, predominantly those located near the lateral border of V1, responded to sound alone. These results show that V1 is involved in the encoding of cross-modal interactions in a more versatile way than previously thought. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT The neural substrate of cross-modal integration is not limited to specialized cortical association areas but extends to primary sensory areas. Using two-photon imaging of large groups of neurons, we show that multisensory modulation of V1 populations is strongly determined by the individual and shared features of cross-modal stimulus constituents, such as contrast, frequency, congruency, and temporal structure. Congruent

  3. Segregation of Visual Response Properties in the Mouse Superior Colliculus and Their Modulation during Locomotion

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-01-01

    The superior colliculus (SC) receives direct input from the retina and integrates it with information about sound, touch, and state of the animal that is relayed from other parts of the brain to initiate specific behavioral outcomes. The superficial SC layers (sSC) contain cells that respond to visual stimuli, whereas the deep SC layers (dSC) contain cells that also respond to auditory and somatosensory stimuli. Here, we used a large-scale silicon probe recording system to examine the visual response properties of SC cells of head-fixed and alert male mice. We found cells with diverse response properties including: (1) orientation/direction-selective (OS/DS) cells with a firing rate that is suppressed by drifting sinusoidal gratings (negative OS/DS cells); (2) suppressed-by-contrast cells; (3) cells with complex-like spatial summation nonlinearity; and (4) cells with Y-like spatial summation nonlinearity. We also found specific response properties that are enriched in different depths of the SC. The sSC is enriched with cells with small RFs, high evoked firing rates (FRs), and sustained temporal responses, whereas the dSC is enriched with the negative OS/DS cells and with cells with large RFs, low evoked FRs, and transient temporal responses. Locomotion modulates the activity of the SC cells both additively and multiplicatively and changes the preferred spatial frequency of some SC cells. These results provide the first description of the negative OS/DS cells and demonstrate that the SC segregates cells with different response properties and that the behavioral state of a mouse affects SC activity. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT The superior colliculus (SC) receives visual input from the retina in its superficial layers (sSC) and induces eye/head-orientating movements and innate defensive responses in its deeper layers (dSC). Despite their importance, very little is known about the visual response properties of dSC neurons. Using high-density electrode recordings and novel

  4. Modeling of Auditory Neuron Response Thresholds with Cochlear Implants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frederic Venail

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The quality of the prosthetic-neural interface is a critical point for cochlear implant efficiency. It depends not only on technical and anatomical factors such as electrode position into the cochlea (depth and scalar placement, electrode impedance, and distance between the electrode and the stimulated auditory neurons, but also on the number of functional auditory neurons. The efficiency of electrical stimulation can be assessed by the measurement of e-CAP in cochlear implant users. In the present study, we modeled the activation of auditory neurons in cochlear implant recipients (nucleus device. The electrical response, measured using auto-NRT (neural responses telemetry algorithm, has been analyzed using multivariate regression with cubic splines in order to take into account the variations of insertion depth of electrodes amongst subjects as well as the other technical and anatomical factors listed above. NRT thresholds depend on the electrode squared impedance (β = −0.11 ± 0.02, P<0.01, the scalar placement of the electrodes (β = −8.50 ± 1.97, P<0.01, and the depth of insertion calculated as the characteristic frequency of auditory neurons (CNF. Distribution of NRT residues according to CNF could provide a proxy of auditory neurons functioning in implanted cochleas.

  5. 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

  6. FEFsem neuronal response during combined volitional and reflexive pursuit.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bakst, Leah; Fleuriet, Jérome; Mustari, Michael J

    2017-05-01

    Although much is known about volitional and reflexive smooth eye movements individually, much less is known about how they are coordinated. It is hypothesized that separate cortico-ponto-cerebellar loops subserve these different types of smooth eye movements. Specifically, the MT-MST-DLPN pathway is thought to be critical for ocular following eye movements, whereas the FEF-NRTP pathway is understood to be vital for volitional smooth pursuit. However, the role that these loops play in combined volitional and reflexive behavior is unknown. We used a large, textured background moving in conjunction with a small target spot to investigate the eye movements evoked by a combined volitional and reflexive pursuit task. We also assessed the activity of neurons in the smooth eye movement subregion of the frontal eye field (FEFsem). We hypothesized that the pursuit system would show less contribution from the volitional pathway in this task, owing to the increased involvement of the reflexive pathway. In accordance with this hypothesis, a majority of FEFsem neurons (63%) were less active during pursuit maintenance in a combined volitional and reflexive pursuit task than during purely volitional pursuit. Interestingly and surprisingly, the neuronal response to the addition of the large-field motion was highly correlated with the neuronal response to a target blink. This suggests that FEFsem neuronal responses to these different perturbations-whether the addition or subtraction of retinal input-may be related. We conjecture that these findings are due to changing weights of both the volitional and reflexive pathways, as well as retinal and extraretinal signals.

  7. Chronic hypoxia suppresses the CO2 response of solitary complex (SC) neurons from rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nichols, Nicole L; Wilkinson, Katherine A; Powell, Frank L; Dean, Jay B; Putnam, Robert W

    2009-09-30

    We studied the effect of chronic hypobaric hypoxia (CHx; 10-11% O(2)) on the response to hypercapnia (15% CO(2)) of individual solitary complex (SC) neurons from adult rats. We simultaneously measured the intracellular pH and firing rate responses to hypercapnia of SC neurons in superfused medullary slices from control and CHx-adapted adult rats using the blind whole cell patch clamp technique and fluorescence imaging microscopy. We found that CHx caused the percentage of SC neurons inhibited by hypercapnia to significantly increase from about 10% up to about 30%, but did not significantly alter the percentage of SC neurons activated by hypercapnia (50% in control vs. 35% in CHx). Further, the magnitudes of the responses of SC neurons from control rats (chemosensitivity index for activated neurons of 166+/-11% and for inhibited neurons of 45+/-15%) were the same in SC neurons from CHx-adapted rats. This plasticity induced in chemosensitive SC neurons by CHx appears to involve intrinsic changes in neuronal properties since they were the same in synaptic blockade medium.

  8. All-optical recording and stimulation of retinal neurons in vivo in retinal degeneration mice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strazzeri, Jennifer M.; Williams, David R.; Merigan, William H.

    2018-01-01

    Here we demonstrate the application of a method that could accelerate the development of novel therapies by allowing direct and repeatable visualization of cellular function in the living eye, to study loss of vision in animal models of retinal disease, as well as evaluate the time course of retinal function following therapeutic intervention. We use high-resolution adaptive optics scanning light ophthalmoscopy to image fluorescence from the calcium sensor GCaMP6s. In mice with photoreceptor degeneration (rd10), we measured restored visual responses in ganglion cell layer neurons expressing the red-shifted channelrhodopsin ChrimsonR over a six-week period following significant loss of visual responses. Combining a fluorescent calcium sensor, a channelrhodopsin, and adaptive optics enables all-optical stimulation and recording of retinal neurons in the living eye. Because the retina is an accessible portal to the central nervous system, our method also provides a novel non-invasive method of dissecting neuronal processing in the brain. PMID:29596518

  9. Astrocyte-to-neuron signaling in response to photostimulation with a femtosecond laser

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Yuan; Liu, Xiuli; Zhou, Wei; Zeng, Shaoqun

    2010-08-01

    Conventional stimulation techniques used in studies of astrocyte-to-neuron signaling are invasive or dependent on additional electrical devices or chemicals. Here, we applied photostimulation with a femtosecond laser to selectively stimulate astrocytes in the hippocampal neural network, and the neuronal responses were examined. The results showed that, after photostimulation, cell-specific astrocyte-to-neuron signaling was triggered; sometimes the neuronal responses were even synchronous. Since photostimulation with a femtosecond laser is noninvasive, agent-free, and highly precise, this method has been proved to be efficient in activating astrocytes for investigations of astrocytic functions in neural networks.

  10. Mushroom body efferent neurons responsible for aversive olfactory memory retrieval in Drosophila.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Séjourné, Julien; Plaçais, Pierre-Yves; Aso, Yoshinori; Siwanowicz, Igor; Trannoy, Séverine; Thoma, Vladimiros; Tedjakumala, Stevanus R; Rubin, Gerald M; Tchénio, Paul; Ito, Kei; Isabel, Guillaume; Tanimoto, Hiromu; Preat, Thomas

    2011-06-19

    Aversive olfactory memory is formed in the mushroom bodies in Drosophila melanogaster. Memory retrieval requires mushroom body output, but the manner in which a memory trace in the mushroom body drives conditioned avoidance of a learned odor remains unknown. To identify neurons that are involved in olfactory memory retrieval, we performed an anatomical and functional screen of defined sets of mushroom body output neurons. We found that MB-V2 neurons were essential for retrieval of both short- and long-lasting memory, but not for memory formation or memory consolidation. MB-V2 neurons are cholinergic efferent neurons that project from the mushroom body vertical lobes to the middle superiormedial protocerebrum and the lateral horn. Notably, the odor response of MB-V2 neurons was modified after conditioning. As the lateral horn has been implicated in innate responses to repellent odorants, we propose that MB-V2 neurons recruit the olfactory pathway involved in innate odor avoidance during memory retrieval.

  11. Cholinergic pairing with visual activation results in long-term enhancement of visual evoked potentials.

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    Jun Il Kang

    Full Text Available Acetylcholine (ACh contributes to learning processes by modulating cortical plasticity in terms of intensity of neuronal activity and selectivity properties of cortical neurons. However, it is not known if ACh induces long term effects within the primary visual cortex (V1 that could sustain visual learning mechanisms. In the present study we analyzed visual evoked potentials (VEPs in V1 of rats during a 4-8 h period after coupling visual stimulation to an intracortical injection of ACh analog carbachol or stimulation of basal forebrain. To clarify the action of ACh on VEP activity in V1, we individually pre-injected muscarinic (scopolamine, nicotinic (mecamylamine, alpha7 (methyllycaconitine, and NMDA (CPP receptor antagonists before carbachol infusion. Stimulation of the cholinergic system paired with visual stimulation significantly increased VEP amplitude (56% during a 6 h period. Pre-treatment with scopolamine, mecamylamine and CPP completely abolished this long-term enhancement, while alpha7 inhibition induced an instant increase of VEP amplitude. This suggests a role of ACh in facilitating visual stimuli responsiveness through mechanisms comparable to LTP which involve nicotinic and muscarinic receptors with an interaction of NMDA transmission in the visual cortex.

  12. Visual working memory enhances the neural response to matching visual input

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gayet, Surya; Guggenmos, Matthias; Christophel, Thomas B; Haynes, John-Dylan; Paffen, Chris L E; Van der Stigchel, Stefan; Sterzer, Philipp

    2017-01-01

    Visual working memory (VWM) is used to maintain visual information available for subsequent goal-directed behavior. The content of VWM has been shown to affect the behavioral response to concurrent visual input, suggesting that visual representations originating from VWM and from sensory input draw

  13. Figure-ground segregation at contours: a neural mechanism in the visual cortex of the alert monkey.

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    Baumann, R; van der Zwan, R; Peterhans, E

    1997-06-01

    An important task of vision is the segregation of figure and ground in situations of spatial occlusion. Psychophysical evidence suggests that the depth order at contours is defined early in visual processing. We have analysed this process in the visual cortex of the alert monkey. The animals were trained on a visual fixation task which reinforced foveal viewing. During periods of active visual fixation, we recorded the responses of single neurons in striate and prestriate cortex (areas V1, V2, and V3/V3A). The stimuli mimicked situations of spatial occlusion, usually a uniform light (or dark) rectangle overlaying a grating texture of opposite contrast. The direction of figure and ground at the borders of these rectangles was defined by the direction of the terminating grating lines (occlusion cues). Neuronal responses were analysed with respect to figure-ground direction and contrast polarity at such contours. Striate neurons often failed to respond to such stimuli, or were selective for contrast polarity; others were non-selective. Some neurons preferred a certain combination of figure-ground direction and contrast polarity. These neurons were rare both in striate and prestriate cortex. The majority of neurons signalled figure-ground direction independent of contrast polarity. These neurons were only found in prestriate cortex. We explain these responses in terms of a model which also explains neuronal signals of illusory contours. These results suggest that occlusion cues are used at an early level of processing to segregate figure and ground at contours.

  14. Neural coding in the visual system of Drosophila melanogaster: How do small neural populations support visually guided behaviours?

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    Dewar, Alex D M; Wystrach, Antoine; Philippides, Andrew; Graham, Paul

    2017-10-01

    All organisms wishing to survive and reproduce must be able to respond adaptively to a complex, changing world. Yet the computational power available is constrained by biology and evolution, favouring mechanisms that are parsimonious yet robust. Here we investigate the information carried in small populations of visually responsive neurons in Drosophila melanogaster. These so-called 'ring neurons', projecting to the ellipsoid body of the central complex, are reported to be necessary for complex visual tasks such as pattern recognition and visual navigation. Recently the receptive fields of these neurons have been mapped, allowing us to investigate how well they can support such behaviours. For instance, in a simulation of classic pattern discrimination experiments, we show that the pattern of output from the ring neurons matches observed fly behaviour. However, performance of the neurons (as with flies) is not perfect and can be easily improved with the addition of extra neurons, suggesting the neurons' receptive fields are not optimised for recognising abstract shapes, a conclusion which casts doubt on cognitive explanations of fly behaviour in pattern recognition assays. Using artificial neural networks, we then assess how easy it is to decode more general information about stimulus shape from the ring neuron population codes. We show that these neurons are well suited for encoding information about size, position and orientation, which are more relevant behavioural parameters for a fly than abstract pattern properties. This leads us to suggest that in order to understand the properties of neural systems, one must consider how perceptual circuits put information at the service of behaviour.

  15. Inactivation of the infragranular striate cortex broadens orientation tuning of supragranular visual neurons in the cat.

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    Allison, J D; Bonds, A B

    1994-01-01

    Intracortical inhibition is believed to enhance the orientation tuning of striate cortical neurons, but the origin of this inhibition is unclear. To examine the possible influence of ascending inhibitory projections from the infragranular layers of striate cortex on the orientation selectivity of neurons in the supragranular layers, we measured the spatiotemporal response properties of 32 supragranular neurons in the cat before, during, and after neural activity in the infragranular layers beneath the recorded cells was inactivated by iontophoretic administration of GABA. During GABA iontophoresis, the orientation tuning bandwidth of 15 (46.9%) supragranular neurons broadened as a result of increases in response amplitude to stimuli oriented about +/- 20 degrees away from the preferred stimulus angle. The mean (+/- SD) baseline orientation tuning bandwidth (half width at half height) of these neurons was 13.08 +/- 2.3 degrees. Their mean tuning bandwidth during inactivation of the infragranular layers increased to 19.59 +/- 2.54 degrees, an increase of 49.7%. The mean percentage increase in orientation tuning bandwidth of the individual neurons was 47.4%. Four neurons exhibited symmetrical changes in their orientation tuning functions, while 11 neurons displayed asymmetrical changes. The change in form of the orientation tuning functions appeared to depend on the relative vertical alignment of the recorded neuron and the infragranular region of inactivation. Neurons located in close vertical register with the inactivated infragranular tissue exhibited symmetric changes in their orientation tuning functions. The neurons exhibiting asymmetric changes in their orientation tuning functions were located just outside the vertical register. Eight of these 11 neurons also demonstrated a mean shift of 6.67 +/- 5.77 degrees in their preferred stimulus orientation. The magnitude of change in the orientation tuning functions increased as the delivery of GABA was prolonged

  16. Learning to see the difference specifically alters the most informative V4 neurons.

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    Raiguel, Steven; Vogels, Rufin; Mysore, Santosh G; Orban, Guy A

    2006-06-14

    Perceptual learning is an instance of adult plasticity whereby training in a sensory (e.g., a visual task) results in neuronal changes leading to an improved ability to perform the task. Yet studies in primary visual cortex have found that changes in neuronal response properties were relatively modest. The present study examines the effects of training in an orientation discrimination task on the response properties of V4 neurons in awake rhesus monkeys. Results indicate that the changes induced in V4 are indeed larger than those in V1. Nonspecific effects of training included a decrease in response variance, and an increase in overall orientation selectivity in V4. The orientation-specific changes involved a local steepening in the orientation tuning curve around the trained orientation that selectively improved orientation discriminability at the trained orientation. Moreover, these changes were largely confined to the population of neurons whose orientation tuning was optimal for signaling small differences in orientation at the trained orientation. Finally, the modifications were restricted to the part of the tuning curve close to the trained orientation. Thus, we conclude that it is the most informative V4 neurons, those most directly involved in the discrimination, that are specifically modified by perceptual learning.

  17. Visual language recognition with a feed-forward network of spiking neurons

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    Rasmussen, Craig E [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Garrett, Kenyan [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Sottile, Matthew [GALOIS; Shreyas, Ns [INDIANA UNIV.

    2010-01-01

    An analogy is made and exploited between the recognition of visual objects and language parsing. A subset of regular languages is used to define a one-dimensional 'visual' language, in which the words are translational and scale invariant. This allows an exploration of the viewpoint invariant languages that can be solved by a network of concurrent, hierarchically connected processors. A language family is defined that is hierarchically tiling system recognizable (HREC). As inspired by nature, an algorithm is presented that constructs a cellular automaton that recognizes strings from a language in the HREC family. It is demonstrated how a language recognizer can be implemented from the cellular automaton using a feed-forward network of spiking neurons. This parser recognizes fixed-length strings from the language in parallel and as the computation is pipelined, a new string can be parsed in each new interval of time. The analogy with formal language theory allows inferences to be drawn regarding what class of objects can be recognized by visual cortex operating in purely feed-forward fashion and what class of objects requires a more complicated network architecture.

  18. Distinct kinetics of inhibitory currents in thalamocortical neurons that arise from dendritic or axonal origin.

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    Sunggu Yang

    Full Text Available Thalamocortical neurons in the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus (dLGN transfer visual information from retina to primary visual cortex. This information is modulated by inhibitory input arising from local interneurons and thalamic reticular nucleus (TRN neurons, leading to alterations of receptive field properties of thalamocortical neurons. Local GABAergic interneurons provide two distinct synaptic outputs: axonal (F1 terminals and dendritic (F2 terminals onto dLGN thalamocortical neurons. By contrast, TRN neurons provide only axonal output (F1 terminals onto dLGN thalamocortical neurons. It is unclear if GABAA receptor-mediated currents originating from F1 and F2 terminals have different characteristics. In the present study, we examined multiple characteristics (rise time, slope, halfwidth and decay τ of GABAA receptor-mediated miniature inhibitory postsynaptic synaptic currents (mIPSCs originating from F1 and F2 terminals. The mIPSCs arising from F2 terminals showed slower kinetics relative to those from F1 terminals. Such differential kinetics of GABAAR-mediated responses could be an important role in temporal coding of visual signals.

  19. A Neural Circuit for Auditory Dominance over Visual Perception.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, You-Hyang; Kim, Jae-Hyun; Jeong, Hye-Won; Choi, Ilsong; Jeong, Daun; Kim, Kwansoo; Lee, Seung-Hee

    2017-02-22

    When conflicts occur during integration of visual and auditory information, one modality often dominates the other, but the underlying neural circuit mechanism remains unclear. Using auditory-visual discrimination tasks for head-fixed mice, we found that audition dominates vision in a process mediated by interaction between inputs from the primary visual (VC) and auditory (AC) cortices in the posterior parietal cortex (PTLp). Co-activation of the VC and AC suppresses VC-induced PTLp responses, leaving AC-induced responses. Furthermore, parvalbumin-positive (PV+) interneurons in the PTLp mainly receive AC inputs, and muscimol inactivation of the PTLp or optogenetic inhibition of its PV+ neurons abolishes auditory dominance in the resolution of cross-modal sensory conflicts without affecting either sensory perception. Conversely, optogenetic activation of PV+ neurons in the PTLp enhances the auditory dominance. Thus, our results demonstrate that AC input-specific feedforward inhibition of VC inputs in the PTLp is responsible for the auditory dominance during cross-modal integration. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Area PEc Neurons Use a Multiphasic Pattern of Activity to Signal the Spatial Properties of Optic Flow

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    Milena Raffi

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The cortical representation of visual perception requires the integration of several-signal processing distributed across many cortical areas, but the neural substrates of such perception are largely unknown. The type of firing pattern exhibited by single neurons is an important indicator of dynamic circuitry within or across cortical areas. Neurons in area PEc are involved in the spatial mapping of the visual field; thus, we sought to analyze the firing pattern of activity of PEc optic flow neurons to shed some light on the cortical processing of visual signals. We quantified the firing activity of 152 optic flow neurons using a spline interpolation function, which allowed determining onset, end, and latency of each neuronal response. We found that many PEc neurons showed multiphasic activity, which is strictly related to the position of the eye and to the position of the focus of expansion (FOE of the flow field. PEc neurons showed a multiphasic activity comprised of excitatory phases interspersed with inhibitory pauses. This phasic pattern seems to be a very efficient way to signal the spatial location of visual stimuli, given that the same neuron sends different firing patterns according to a specific combination of FOE/eye position.

  1. Natural asynchronies in audiovisual communication signals regulate neuronal multisensory interactions in voice-sensitive cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perrodin, Catherine; Kayser, Christoph; Logothetis, Nikos K; Petkov, Christopher I

    2015-01-06

    When social animals communicate, the onset of informative content in one modality varies considerably relative to the other, such as when visual orofacial movements precede a vocalization. These naturally occurring asynchronies do not disrupt intelligibility or perceptual coherence. However, they occur on time scales where they likely affect integrative neuronal activity in ways that have remained unclear, especially for hierarchically downstream regions in which neurons exhibit temporally imprecise but highly selective responses to communication signals. To address this, we exploited naturally occurring face- and voice-onset asynchronies in primate vocalizations. Using these as stimuli we recorded cortical oscillations and neuronal spiking responses from functional MRI (fMRI)-localized voice-sensitive cortex in the anterior temporal lobe of macaques. We show that the onset of the visual face stimulus resets the phase of low-frequency oscillations, and that the face-voice asynchrony affects the prominence of two key types of neuronal multisensory responses: enhancement or suppression. Our findings show a three-way association between temporal delays in audiovisual communication signals, phase-resetting of ongoing oscillations, and the sign of multisensory responses. The results reveal how natural onset asynchronies in cross-sensory inputs regulate network oscillations and neuronal excitability in the voice-sensitive cortex of macaques, a suggested animal model for human voice areas. These findings also advance predictions on the impact of multisensory input on neuronal processes in face areas and other brain regions.

  2. Specific responses of human hippocampal neurons are associated with better memory.

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    Suthana, Nanthia A; Parikshak, Neelroop N; Ekstrom, Arne D; Ison, Matias J; Knowlton, Barbara J; Bookheimer, Susan Y; Fried, Itzhak

    2015-08-18

    A population of human hippocampal neurons has shown responses to individual concepts (e.g., Jennifer Aniston) that generalize to different instances of the concept. However, recordings from the rodent hippocampus suggest an important function of these neurons is their ability to discriminate overlapping representations, or pattern separate, a process that may facilitate discrimination of similar events for successful memory. In the current study, we explored whether human hippocampal neurons can also demonstrate the ability to discriminate between overlapping representations and whether this selectivity could be directly related to memory performance. We show that among medial temporal lobe (MTL) neurons, certain populations of neurons are selective for a previously studied (target) image in that they show a significant decrease in firing rate to very similar (lure) images. We found that a greater proportion of these neurons can be found in the hippocampus compared with other MTL regions, and that memory for individual items is correlated to the degree of selectivity of hippocampal neurons responsive to those items. Moreover, a greater proportion of hippocampal neurons showed selective firing for target images in good compared with poor performers, with overall memory performance correlated with hippocampal selectivity. In contrast, selectivity in other MTL regions was not associated with memory performance. These findings show that a substantial proportion of human hippocampal neurons encode specific memories that support the discrimination of overlapping representations. These results also provide previously unidentified evidence consistent with a unique role of the human hippocampus in orthogonalization of representations in declarative memory.

  3. Spike synchrony reveals emergence of proto-objects in visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Anne B; von der Heydt, Rüdiger

    2015-04-29

    Neurons at early stages of the visual cortex signal elemental features, such as pieces of contour, but how these signals are organized into perceptual objects is unclear. Theories have proposed that spiking synchrony between these neurons encodes how features are grouped (binding-by-synchrony), but recent studies did not find the predicted increase in synchrony with binding. Here we propose that features are grouped to "proto-objects" by intrinsic feedback circuits that enhance the responses of the participating feature neurons. This hypothesis predicts synchrony exclusively between feature neurons that receive feedback from the same grouping circuit. We recorded from neurons in macaque visual cortex and used border-ownership selectivity, an intrinsic property of the neurons, to infer whether or not two neurons are part of the same grouping circuit. We found that binding produced synchrony between same-circuit neurons, but not between other pairs of neurons, as predicted by the grouping hypothesis. In a selective attention task, synchrony emerged with ignored as well as attended objects, and higher synchrony was associated with faster behavioral responses, as would be expected from early grouping mechanisms that provide the structure for object-based processing. Thus, synchrony could be produced by automatic activation of intrinsic grouping circuits. However, the binding-related elevation of synchrony was weak compared with its random fluctuations, arguing against synchrony as a code for binding. In contrast, feedback grouping circuits encode binding by modulating the response strength of related feature neurons. Thus, our results suggest a novel coding mechanism that might underlie the proto-objects of perception. Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/356860-11$15.00/0.

  4. Interferon-γ increases neuronal death in response to amyloid-β1-42

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    Williams Alun

    2006-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Alzheimer's disease is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by a progressive cognitive impairment, the consequence of neuronal dysfunction and ultimately the death of neurons. The amyloid hypothesis proposes that neuronal damage results from the accumulation of insoluble, hydrophobic, fibrillar peptides such as amyloid-β1-42. These peptides activate enzymes resulting in a cascade of second messengers including prostaglandins and platelet-activating factor. Apoptosis of neurons is thought to follow as a consequence of the uncontrolled release of second messengers. Biochemical, histopathological and genetic studies suggest that pro-inflammatory cytokines play a role in neurodegeneration during Alzheimer's disease. In the current study we examined the effects of interferon (IFN-γ, tumour necrosis factor (TNFα, interleukin (IL-1β and IL-6 on neurons. Methods Primary murine cortical or cerebellar neurons, or human SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells, were grown in vitro. Neurons were treated with cytokines prior to incubation with different neuronal insults. Cell survival, caspase-3 activity (a measure of apoptosis and prostaglandin production were measured. Immunoblots were used to determine the effects of cytokines on the levels of cytoplasmic phospholipase A2 or phospholipase C γ-1. Results While none of the cytokines tested were directly neurotoxic, pre-treatment with IFN-γ sensitised neurons to the toxic effects of amyloid-β1-42 or HuPrP82-146 (a neurotoxic peptide found in prion diseases. The effects of IFN-γ were seen on cortical and cerebellar neurons, and on SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells. However, pre-treatment with IFN-γ did not affect the sensitivity to neurons treated with staurosporine or hydrogen peroxide. Pre-treatment with IFN-γ increased the levels of cytoplasmic phospholipase A2 in SH-SY5Y cells and increased prostaglandin E2 production in response to amyloid-β1-42. Conclusion Treatment of neuronal cells

  5. Neurons derived from patients with bipolar disorder divide into intrinsically different sub-populations of neurons, predicting the patients' responsiveness to lithium.

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    Stern, S; Santos, R; Marchetto, M C; Mendes, A P D; Rouleau, G A; Biesmans, S; Wang, Q-W; Yao, J; Charnay, P; Bang, A G; Alda, M; Gage, F H

    2017-02-28

    Bipolar disorder (BD) is a progressive psychiatric disorder with more than 3% prevalence worldwide. Affected individuals experience recurrent episodes of depression and mania, disrupting normal life and increasing the risk of suicide greatly. The complexity and genetic heterogeneity of psychiatric disorders have challenged the development of animal and cellular models. We recently reported that hippocampal dentate gyrus (DG) neurons differentiated from induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived fibroblasts of BD patients are electrophysiologically hyperexcitable. Here we used iPSCs derived from Epstein-Barr virus-immortalized B-lymphocytes to verify that the hyperexcitability of DG-like neurons is reproduced in this different cohort of patients and cells. Lymphocytes are readily available for research with a large number of banked lines with associated patient clinical description. We used whole-cell patch-clamp recordings of over 460 neurons to characterize neurons derived from control individuals and BD patients. Extensive functional analysis showed that intrinsic cell parameters are very different between the two groups of BD neurons, those derived from lithium (Li)-responsive (LR) patients and those derived from Li-non-responsive (NR) patients, which led us to partition our BD neurons into two sub-populations of cells and suggested two different subdisorders. Training a Naïve Bayes classifier with the electrophysiological features of patients whose responses to Li are known allows for accurate classification with more than 92% success rate for a new patient whose response to Li is unknown. Despite their very different functional profiles, both populations of neurons share a large, fast after-hyperpolarization (AHP). We therefore suggest that the large, fast AHP is a key feature of BD and a main contributor to the fast, sustained spiking abilities of BD neurons. Confirming our previous report with fibroblast-derived DG neurons, chronic Li treatment reduced

  6. Human neuronal cell protein responses to Nipah virus infection

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    Hassan Sharifah

    2007-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Nipah virus (NiV, a recently discovered zoonotic virus infects and replicates in several human cell types. Its replication in human neuronal cells, however, is less efficient in comparison to other fully susceptible cells. In the present study, the SK-N-MC human neuronal cell protein response to NiV infection is examined using proteomic approaches. Results Method for separation of the NiV-infected human neuronal cell proteins using two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (2D-PAGE was established. At least 800 protein spots were resolved of which seven were unique, six were significantly up-regulated and eight were significantly down-regulated. Six of these altered proteins were identified using mass spectrometry (MS and confirmed using MS/MS. The heterogenous nuclear ribonucleoprotein (hnRNP F, guanine nucleotide binding protein (G protein, voltage-dependent anion channel 2 (VDAC2 and cytochrome bc1 were present in abundance in the NiV-infected SK-N-MC cells in contrast to hnRNPs H and H2 that were significantly down-regulated. Conclusion Several human neuronal cell proteins that are differentially expressed following NiV infection are identified. The proteins are associated with various cellular functions and their abundance reflects their significance in the cytopathologic responses to the infection and the regulation of NiV replication. The potential importance of the ratio of hnRNP F, and hnRNPs H and H2 in regulation of NiV replication, the association of the mitochondrial protein with the cytopathologic responses to the infection and induction of apoptosis are highlighted.

  7. Higher order visual input to the mushroom bodies in the bee, Bombus impatiens.

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    Paulk, Angelique C; Gronenberg, Wulfila

    2008-11-01

    To produce appropriate behaviors based on biologically relevant associations, sensory pathways conveying different modalities are integrated by higher-order central brain structures, such as insect mushroom bodies. To address this function of sensory integration, we characterized the structure and response of optic lobe (OL) neurons projecting to the calyces of the mushroom bodies in bees. Bees are well known for their visual learning and memory capabilities and their brains possess major direct visual input from the optic lobes to the mushroom bodies. To functionally characterize these visual inputs to the mushroom bodies, we recorded intracellularly from neurons in bumblebees (Apidae: Bombus impatiens) and a single neuron in a honeybee (Apidae: Apis mellifera) while presenting color and motion stimuli. All of the mushroom body input neurons were color sensitive while a subset was motion sensitive. Additionally, most of the mushroom body input neurons would respond to the first, but not to subsequent, presentations of repeated stimuli. In general, the medulla or lobula neurons projecting to the calyx signaled specific chromatic, temporal, and motion features of the visual world to the mushroom bodies, which included sensory information required for the biologically relevant associations bees form during foraging tasks.

  8. Complementary neural correlates of motivation in dopaminergic and noradrenergic neurons of monkeys.

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    Sebastien eBouret

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Rewards have many influences on learning, decision-making and performance. All seem to rely on complementary actions of two closely related catecholaminergic neuromodulators, dopamine and noradrenaline. We compared single unit activity of dopaminergic neurons of the substantia nigra pars compacta and noradrenergic neurons of the locus coeruleus in monkeys performing a reward schedule task. Their motivation, indexed using operant performance, increased as they progressed through schedules ending in reward delivery. The responses of dopaminergic and noradrenergic neurons around the time of major task events, visual cues predicting trial outcome and operant action to complete a trial, were similar, in that they occurred at the same time. They were also similar in that they both responded most strongly to the first cues in schedules, which are the most informative cues. The neuronal responses around the time of the monkeys’ actions were different, in that the response intensity profiles changed in opposite directions. Dopaminergic responses were stronger around predictably rewarded correct actions whereas noradrenergic responses were greater around predictably unrewarded correct actions. The complementary response profiles related to the monkeys operant actions suggest that dopamine neurons might relate to the value of the current action whereas the noradrenergic neurons relate to the psychological cost of that action.

  9. Measurement of neuronal activity in a macaque monkey in response to animate images using near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS

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    Masumi Wakita

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS has been used extensively for functional neuroimaging over the past decade, in part because it is considered a powerful tool for investigating brain function in human infants and young children, for whom other neuroimaging techniques are not suitable. In particular, several studies have measured hemodynamic responses in the occipital region in infants upon exposure to visual stimuli. In the present study, we used a multi-channel NIRS to measure neuronal activity in a macaque monkey who was trained to watch videos showing various circus animals performing acrobatic activities without fixing the head position of the monkey. Cortical activity from the occipital region was measured first by placing a probe comprising a 3x5 array of emitters and detectors (2 x 4 cm on the area (area 17, and the robustness and stability of the results were confirmed across sessions. Cortical responses were then measured from the dorsofrontal region. The oxygenated hemoglobin signals increased in area 9 and decreased in area 8b in response to viewing the videos. The results suggest that these regions are involved in cognitive processing of visually presented stimuli. The monkey showed positive responsiveness to the stimuli from the affective standpoint, but its attentional response to them was an inhibitory one.

  10. Synchronisation hubs in the visual cortex may arise from strong rhythmic inhibition during gamma oscillations.

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    Folias, Stefanos E; Yu, Shan; Snyder, Abigail; Nikolić, Danko; Rubin, Jonathan E

    2013-09-01

    Neurons in the visual cortex exhibit heterogeneity in feature selectivity and the tendency to generate action potentials synchronously with other nearby neurons. By examining visual responses from cat area 17 we found that, during gamma oscillations, there was a positive correlation between each unit's sharpness of orientation tuning, strength of oscillations, and propensity towards synchronisation with other units. Using a computational model, we demonstrated that heterogeneity in the strength of rhythmic inhibitory inputs can account for the correlations between these three properties. Neurons subject to strong inhibition tend to oscillate strongly in response to both optimal and suboptimal stimuli and synchronise promiscuously with other neurons, even if they have different orientation preferences. Moreover, these strongly inhibited neurons can exhibit sharp orientation selectivity provided that the inhibition they receive is broadly tuned relative to their excitatory inputs. These results predict that the strength and orientation tuning of synaptic inhibition are heterogeneous across area 17 neurons, which could have important implications for these neurons' sensory processing capabilities. Furthermore, although our experimental recordings were conducted in the visual cortex, our model and simulation results can apply more generally to any brain region with analogous neuron types in which heterogeneity in the strength of rhythmic inhibition can arise during gamma oscillations. © 2013 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  11. A Computational Analysis of the Function of Three Inhibitory Cell Types in Contextual Visual Processing

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    Jung H. Lee

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Most cortical inhibitory cell types exclusively express one of three genes, parvalbumin, somatostatin and 5HT3a. We conjecture that these three inhibitory neuron types possess distinct roles in visual contextual processing based on two observations. First, they have distinctive synaptic sources and targets over different spatial extents and from different areas. Second, the visual responses of cortical neurons are affected not only by local cues, but also by visual context. We use modeling to relate structural information to function in primary visual cortex (V1 of the mouse, and investigate their role in contextual visual processing. Our findings are three-fold. First, the inhibition mediated by parvalbumin positive (PV cells mediates local processing and could underlie their role in boundary detection. Second, the inhibition mediated by somatostatin-positive (SST cells facilitates longer range spatial competition among receptive fields. Third, non-specific top-down modulation to interneurons expressing vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP, a subclass of 5HT3a neurons, can selectively enhance V1 responses.

  12. Simultaneous EEG/fMRI analysis of the resonance phenomena in steady-state visual evoked responses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bayram, Ali; Bayraktaroglu, Zubeyir; Karahan, Esin; Erdogan, Basri; Bilgic, Basar; Ozker, Muge; Kasikci, Itir; Duru, Adil D; Ademoglu, Ahmet; Oztürk, Cengizhan; Arikan, Kemal; Tarhan, Nevzat; Demiralp, Tamer

    2011-04-01

    The stability of the steady-state visual evoked potentials (SSVEPs) across trials and subjects makes them a suitable tool for the investigation of the visual system. The reproducible pattern of the frequency characteristics of SSVEPs shows a global amplitude maximum around 10 Hz and additional local maxima around 20 and 40 Hz, which have been argued to represent resonant behavior of damped neuronal oscillators. Simultaneous electroencephalogram/functional magnetic resonance imaging (EEG/fMRI) measurement allows testing of the resonance hypothesis about the frequency-selective increases in SSVEP amplitudes in human subjects, because the total synaptic activity that is represented in the fMRI-Blood Oxygen Level Dependent (fMRI-BOLD) response would not increase but get synchronized at the resonance frequency. For this purpose, 40 healthy volunteers were visually stimulated with flickering light at systematically varying frequencies between 6 and 46 Hz, and the correlations between SSVEP amplitudes and the BOLD responses were computed. The SSVEP frequency characteristics of all subjects showed 3 frequency ranges with an amplitude maximum in each of them, which roughly correspond to alpha, beta and gamma bands of the EEG. The correlation maps between BOLD responses and SSVEP amplitude changes across the different stimulation frequencies within each frequency band showed no significant correlation in the alpha range, while significant correlations were obtained in the primary visual area for the beta and gamma bands. This non-linear relationship between the surface recorded SSVEP amplitudes and the BOLD responses of the visual cortex at stimulation frequencies around the alpha band supports the view that a resonance at the tuning frequency of the thalamo-cortical alpha oscillator in the visual system is responsible for the global amplitude maximum of the SSVEP around 10 Hz. Information gained from the SSVEP/fMRI analyses in the present study might be extrapolated to the

  13. A normalization model suggests that attention changes the weighting of inputs between visual areas.

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    Ruff, Douglas A; Cohen, Marlene R

    2017-05-16

    Models of divisive normalization can explain the trial-averaged responses of neurons in sensory, association, and motor areas under a wide range of conditions, including how visual attention changes the gains of neurons in visual cortex. Attention, like other modulatory processes, is also associated with changes in the extent to which pairs of neurons share trial-to-trial variability. We showed recently that in addition to decreasing correlations between similarly tuned neurons within the same visual area, attention increases correlations between neurons in primary visual cortex (V1) and the middle temporal area (MT) and that an extension of a classic normalization model can account for this correlation increase. One of the benefits of having a descriptive model that can account for many physiological observations is that it can be used to probe the mechanisms underlying processes such as attention. Here, we use electrical microstimulation in V1 paired with recording in MT to provide causal evidence that the relationship between V1 and MT activity is nonlinear and is well described by divisive normalization. We then use the normalization model and recording and microstimulation experiments to show that the attention dependence of V1-MT correlations is better explained by a mechanism in which attention changes the weights of connections between V1 and MT than by a mechanism that modulates responses in either area. Our study shows that normalization can explain interactions between neurons in different areas and provides a framework for using multiarea recording and stimulation to probe the neural mechanisms underlying neuronal computations.

  14. Visual cells remember earlier applied target: plasticity of orientation selectivity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Narcis Ghisovan

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: A canonical proposition states that, in mature brain, neurons responsive to sensory stimuli are tuned to specific properties installed shortly after birth. It is amply demonstrated that that neurons in adult visual cortex of cats are orientation-selective that is they respond with the highest firing rates to preferred oriented stimuli. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In anesthetized cats, prepared in a conventional fashion for single cell recordings, the present investigation shows that presenting a stimulus uninterruptedly at a non-preferred orientation for twelve minutes induces changes in orientation preference. Across all conditions orientation tuning curves were investigated using a trial by trial method. Contrary to what has been previously reported with shorter adaptation duration, twelve minutes of adaptation induces mostly attractive shifts, i.e. toward the adapter. After a recovery period allowing neurons to restore their original orientation tuning curves, we carried out a second adaptation which produced three major results: (1 more frequent attractive shifts, (2 an increase of their magnitude, and (3 an additional enhancement of responses at the new or acquired preferred orientation. Additionally, we also show that the direction of shifts depends on the duration of the adaptation: shorter adaptation in most cases produces repulsive shifts, whereas adaptation exceeding nine minutes results in attractive shifts, in the same unit. Consequently, shifts in preferred orientation depend on the duration of adaptation. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: The supplementary response improvements indicate that neurons in area 17 keep a memory trace of the previous stimulus properties, thereby upgrading cellular performance. It also highlights the dynamic nature of basic neuronal properties in adult cortex since repeated adaptations modified both the orientation tuning selectivity and the response strength to the preferred orientation. These

  15. The effects of stimulus novelty and familiarity on neuronal activity in the amygdala of monkeys performing recognition memory tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, F A; Rolls, E T

    1993-01-01

    The function of the amygdala in behavioural responses to novel stimuli and its possible function in recognition memory were investigated by recording the responses of 659 amygdaloid neurons in monkeys performing recognition memory and visual discrimination tasks. The aim was to determine the contribution of the amygdala in the encoding of familiarity and therefore its role in supporting memory-related neuronal mechanisms in the basal forebrain. The responses of three groups of neurons reflected different forms of memory. One group (n = 10) responded maximally to novel stimuli and significantly less so to the same stimuli when they were familiar. The calculated memory spans of these neurons were in the range of 2-10 intervening trials, and this short-term retention of information may reflect the operation of a neural mechanism encoding memory for the recency of stimulus presentation. Two other groups responded to the sight of particular categories of familiar stimuli: to foods (n = 6) or to faces (n = 10). The responses of some of these stimulus-selective neurons declined with repeated presentations of foods (3/4 tests) and faces (2/6 tests). The activity of these latter two groups of neurons may be involved in behavioural responses to familiar visual stimuli, particularly when such stimuli have affective or motivational significance. We conclude that the neurophysiological data provide evidence of amygdaloid mechanisms for the recognition of recently seen visual stimuli. However, these amygdaloid mechanisms do not appear to be sufficient to support the performance of long-term recognition memory tasks without additional and complementary functions carried out by other ventromedial temporal, prefrontal and diencephalic structures which also project to the basal forebrain.

  16. Cerebral haemodynamic response or excitability is not affected by sildenafil

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kruuse, Christina; Hansen, Adam E; Larsson, Henrik B W

    2009-01-01

    Sildenafil (Viagra), a cyclic guanosine monophosphate-degrading phosphodiesterase 5 inhibitor, induces headache and migraine. Such headache induction may be caused by an increased neuronal excitability, as no concurrent effect on cerebral arteries is found. In 13 healthy females (23+/-3 years, 70...... amplitude or latency (P100). The fMRI response to visual stimulation or hypercapnia was unchanged by sildenafil. In conclusion, sildenafil induces mild headache without potentiating a neuronal or local cerebrovascular visual response or a global cerebrovascular hypercapnic response. The implication...

  17. Temporal Response Properties of Accessory Olfactory Bulb Neurons: Limitations and Opportunities for Decoding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoles-Frenkel, Michal; Kahan, Anat; Ben-Shaul, Yoram

    2018-05-23

    The vomeronasal system (VNS) is a major vertebrate chemosensory system that functions in parallel to the main olfactory system (MOS). Despite many similarities, the two systems dramatically differ in the temporal domain. While MOS responses are governed by breathing and follow a subsecond temporal scale, VNS responses are uncoupled from breathing and evolve over seconds. This suggests that the contribution of response dynamics to stimulus information will differ between these systems. While temporal dynamics in the MOS are widely investigated, similar analyses in the accessory olfactory bulb (AOB) are lacking. Here, we have addressed this issue using controlled stimulus delivery to the vomeronasal organ of male and female mice. We first analyzed the temporal properties of AOB projection neurons and demonstrated that neurons display prolonged, variable, and neuron-specific characteristics. We then analyzed various decoding schemes using AOB population responses. We showed that compared with the simplest scheme (i.e., integration of spike counts over the entire response period), the division of this period into smaller temporal bins actually yields poorer decoding accuracy. However, optimal classification accuracy can be achieved well before the end of the response period by integrating spike counts within temporally defined windows. Since VNS stimulus uptake is variable, we analyzed decoding using limited information about stimulus uptake time, and showed that with enough neurons, such time-invariant decoding is feasible. Finally, we conducted simulations that demonstrated that, unlike the main olfactory bulb, the temporal features of AOB neurons disfavor decoding with high temporal accuracy, and, rather, support decoding without precise knowledge of stimulus uptake time. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT A key goal in sensory system research is to identify which metrics of neuronal activity are relevant for decoding stimulus features. Here, we describe the first systematic

  18. Stimulus-response functions of single avian olfactory bulb neurones.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKeegan, Dorothy E F; Demmers, Theodorus G M; Wathes, Christopher M; Jones, R Bryan; Gentle, Michael J

    2002-10-25

    This study investigated olfactory processing in a functional context by examining the responses of single avian olfactory bulb neurones to two biologically important gases over relevant concentration ranges. Recordings of extracellular spike activity were made from 80 single units in the left olfactory bulb of 11 anaesthetised, freely breathing adult hens (Gallus domesticus). The units were spontaneously active, exhibiting widely variable firing rates (0.07-47.28 spikes/s) and variable temporal firing patterns. Single units were tested for their response to an ascending concentration series of either ammonia (2.5-100 ppm) or hydrogen sulphide (1-50 ppm), delivered directly to the olfactory epithelium. Stimulation with a calibrated gas delivery system resulted in modification of spontaneous activity causing either inhibition (47% of units) or excitation (53%) of firing. For ammonia, 20 of the 35 units tested exhibited a response, while for hydrogen sulphide, 25 of the 45 units tested were responsive. Approximate response thresholds for ammonia (median threshold 3.75 ppm (range 2.5-60 ppm, n=20)) and hydrogen sulphide (median threshold 1 ppm (range 1-10 ppm, n=25)) were determined with most units exhibiting thresholds near the lower end of these ranges. Stimulus response curves were constructed for 23 units; 16 (the most complete) were subjected to a linear regression analysis to determine whether they were best fitted by a linear, log or power function. No single function provided the best fit for all the curves (seven were linear, eight were log, one was power). These findings show that avian units respond to changes in stimulus concentration in a manner generally consistent with reported responses in mammalian olfactory bulb neurones. However, this study illustrates a level of fine-tuning to small step changes in concentration (<5 ppm) not previously demonstrated in vertebrate single olfactory bulb neurones.

  19. An organization of visual and auditory fear conditioning in the lateral amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bergstrom, Hadley C; Johnson, Luke R

    2014-12-01

    Pavlovian fear conditioning is an evolutionary conserved and extensively studied form of associative learning and memory. In mammals, the lateral amygdala (LA) is an essential locus for Pavlovian fear learning and memory. Despite significant progress unraveling the cellular mechanisms responsible for fear conditioning, very little is known about the anatomical organization of neurons encoding fear conditioning in the LA. One key question is how fear conditioning to different sensory stimuli is organized in LA neuronal ensembles. Here we show that Pavlovian fear conditioning, formed through either the auditory or visual sensory modality, activates a similar density of LA neurons expressing a learning-induced phosphorylated extracellular signal-regulated kinase (p-ERK1/2). While the size of the neuron population specific to either memory was similar, the anatomical distribution differed. Several discrete sites in the LA contained a small but significant number of p-ERK1/2-expressing neurons specific to either sensory modality. The sites were anatomically localized to different levels of the longitudinal plane and were independent of both memory strength and the relative size of the activated neuronal population, suggesting some portion of the memory trace for auditory and visually cued fear conditioning is allocated differently in the LA. Presenting the visual stimulus by itself did not activate the same p-ERK1/2 neuron density or pattern, confirming the novelty of light alone cannot account for the specific pattern of activated neurons after visual fear conditioning. Together, these findings reveal an anatomical distribution of visual and auditory fear conditioning at the level of neuronal ensembles in the LA. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  20. Changes in responsiveness to serotonin on rat ventromedial hypothalamic neurons after food deprivation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nishimura, F; Nishihara, M; Torii, K; Takahashi, M

    1996-07-01

    The effects of food deprivation on responsiveness of neurons in the ventromedial nucleus of the hypothalamus (VMH) to serotonin (5-HT), norepinephrine (NE), gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), and neuropeptide Y (NPY) were investigated using brain slices in vitro along with behavioral changes in vivo during fasting. Adult male rats were fasted for 48 h starting at the beginning of the dark phase (lights on: 0700-1900 h). The animals showed a significant loss of body weight on the second day of fasting and an increase in food consumption on the first day of refeeding. During fasting, voluntary locomotor activity was significantly increased in the light phase but not during the dark phase. Plasma catecholamine levels were not affected by fasting. In vitro electrophysiological study showed that, in normally fed rats, 5-HT and NE induced both excitatory and inhibitory responses, while GABA and NPY intensively suppressed unit activity in the VMH. Food deprivation for 48 h significantly changed the responsiveness of VMH neurons to 5-HT, for instance, the ratio of neurons whose activity was facilitated by 5-HT was significantly decreased. The responsiveness of VMH neurons to NE, GABA, and NPY was not affected by food deprivation. These results suggest that food deprivation decreases the facilitatory response of VMH neurons to 5-HT, and that this change in responsiveness to 5-HT is at least partially involved in the increase in food intake motivation and locomotor activity during fasting.

  1. Neuron responses to substance P and enkephalin in rat dorso-lateral septum in vitro.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nayar, R; Sirett, N E; Hubbard, J I

    1987-10-01

    Using an in vitro brain slice technique the responses of spontaneously active neurons in the rat dorso-lateral septum to 10 nM substance P (SP) and enkephalin were determined. Fewer neurons responded to SP (41%) than to enkephalin (55%). The SP responses were 13 excitations, 14 inhibitions, the enkephalin responses were 13 excitations, 14 inhibitions and 11 responded to both, 6 of these were inhibited by both. Immunocytochemical techniques have shown there is a discrete localisation of SP and enkephalin axons and terminals in the rat septum. SP responsive neurons were associated with the SP terminal-rich region (p = 0.01) but no association was found for enkephalin responses in the enkephalin terminal-rich region (p = 0.7).

  2. Response characteristics of vibration-sensitive neurons in the midbrain of the grassfrog, Rana temporaria

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christensen-Dalsgaard, J; Jørgensen, M B

    1989-01-01

    European grassfrogs (Rana temporaria) were stimulated with pulsed sinusoidal, vertical vibrations (10-300 Hz) and the responses of 46 single midbrain neurons were recorded in awake, immobilized animals. Most units (40) had simple V-shaped excitatory vibrational tuning curves. The distribution of ...... stimuli probably play a role in communication and detection of predators and the vibration-sensitive midbrain neurons may be involved in the central processing of such behaviorally significant stimuli.......European grassfrogs (Rana temporaria) were stimulated with pulsed sinusoidal, vertical vibrations (10-300 Hz) and the responses of 46 single midbrain neurons were recorded in awake, immobilized animals. Most units (40) had simple V-shaped excitatory vibrational tuning curves. The distribution...... of best frequencies (BF's) was bimodal with peaks at 10 and 100 Hz and the thresholds ranged from 0.02 to 1.28 cm/s2 at the BF. Twenty-three neurons showed phasic-tonic and 11 neurons phasic responses. The dynamic range of seismic intensity for most neurons was 20-30 dB. In contrast to the sharp phase...

  3. A model of primate visual cortex based on category-specific redundancies in natural images

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malmir, Mohsen; Shiry Ghidary, S.

    2010-12-01

    Neurophysiological and computational studies have proposed that properties of natural images have a prominent role in shaping selectivity of neurons in the visual cortex. An important property of natural images that has been studied extensively is the inherent redundancy in these images. In this paper, the concept of category-specific redundancies is introduced to describe the complex pattern of dependencies between responses of linear filters to natural images. It is proposed that structural similarities between images of different object categories result in dependencies between responses of linear filters in different spatial scales. It is also proposed that the brain gradually removes these dependencies in different areas of the ventral visual hierarchy to provide a more efficient representation of its sensory input. The authors proposed a model to remove these redundancies and trained it with a set of natural images using general learning rules that are developed to remove dependencies between responses of neighbouring neurons. Results of experiments demonstrate the close resemblance of neuronal selectivity between different layers of the model and their corresponding visual areas.

  4. Temperature response of the neuronal cytoskeleton mapped via atomic force and fluorescence microscopy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Spedden, Elise; Staii, Cristian; Kaplan, David L

    2013-01-01

    Neuronal cells change their growth properties in response to external physical stimuli such as variations in external temperature, stiffness of the growth substrate, or topographical guidance cues. Detailed knowledge of the mechanisms that control these biomechanical responses is necessary for understanding the basic principles that underlie neuronal growth and regeneration. Here, we present elasticity maps of living cortical neurons (embryonic rat) as a function of temperature, and correlate these maps to the locations of internal structural components of the cytoskeleton. Neurons display a significant increase in the average elastic modulus upon a decrease in ambient temperature from 37 to 25 °C. We demonstrate that the dominant mechanism by which the elasticity of the neurons changes in response to temperature is the stiffening of the actin components of the cytoskeleton induced by myosin II. We also report a reversible shift in the location and composition of the high-stiffness areas of the neuron cytoskeleton with temperature. At 37 °C the areas of the cell displaying high elastic modulus overlap with the tubulin-dense regions, while at 25 °C these high-stiffness areas correspond to the actin-dense regions of the cytoskeleton. These results demonstrate the importance of considering temperature effects when investigating cytoskeletal dynamics in cells. (paper)

  5. Multineuronal vectorization is more efficient than time-segmental vectorization for information extraction from neuronal activities in the inferior temporal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaneko, Hidekazu; Tamura, Hiroshi; Tate, Shunta; Kawashima, Takahiro; Suzuki, Shinya S; Fujita, Ichiro

    2010-08-01

    In order for patients with disabilities to control assistive devices with their own neural activity, multineuronal spike trains must be efficiently decoded because only limited computational resources can be used to generate prosthetic control signals in portable real-time applications. In this study, we compare the abilities of two vectorizing procedures (multineuronal and time-segmental) to extract information from spike trains during the same total neuron-seconds. In the multineuronal vectorizing procedure, we defined a response vector whose components represented the spike counts of one to five neurons. In the time-segmental vectorizing procedure, a response vector consisted of components representing a neuron's spike counts for one to five time-segment(s) of a response period of 1 s. Spike trains were recorded from neurons in the inferior temporal cortex of monkeys presented with visual stimuli. We examined whether the amount of information of the visual stimuli carried by these neurons differed between the two vectorizing procedures. The amount of information calculated with the multineuronal vectorizing procedure, but not the time-segmental vectorizing procedure, significantly increased with the dimensions of the response vector. We conclude that the multineuronal vectorizing procedure is superior to the time-segmental vectorizing procedure in efficiently extracting information from neuronal signals. Copyright (c) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Species-specific flight styles of flies are reflected in the response dynamics of a homologue motion sensitive neuron

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bart eGeurten

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Hoverflies and blowflies have distinctly different flight styles. Yet, both species have been shown to structure their flight behaviour in a way that facilitates extraction of 3D information from the image flow on the retina (optic flow. Neuronal candidates to analyse the optic flow are the tangential cells in the third optical ganglion – the lobula complex. These neurons are directionally selective and integrate the optic flow over large parts of the visual field. Homologue tangential cells in hoverflies and blowflies have a similar morphology. Because blowflies and hoverflies have similar neuronal layout but distinctly different flight behaviours, they are an ideal substrate to pinpoint potential neuronal adaptations to the different flight styles.In this article we describe the relationship between locomotion behaviour and motion vision on three different levels:1.We compare the different flight styles based on the categorisation of flight behaviour into prototypical movements.2.We measure the species specific dynamics of the optic flow under naturalistic flight conditions. We found the translational optic flow of both species to be very different.3.We describe possible adaptations of a homologue motion sensitive neuron. We stimulate this cell in blowflies (Calliphora and hoverflies (Eristalis with naturalistic optic flow generated by both species during free flight. The characterized hoverfly tangential cell responds faster to transient changes in the optic flow than its blowfly homologue. It is discussed whether and how the different dynamical response properties aid optic flow analysis.

  7. Spinal sensory projection neuron responses to spinal cord stimulation are mediated by circuits beyond gate control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Tianhe C; Janik, John J; Peters, Ryan V; Chen, Gang; Ji, Ru-Rong; Grill, Warren M

    2015-07-01

    Spinal cord stimulation (SCS) is a therapy used to treat intractable pain with a putative mechanism of action based on the Gate Control Theory. We hypothesized that sensory projection neuron responses to SCS would follow a single stereotyped response curve as a function of SCS frequency, as predicted by the Gate Control circuit. We recorded the responses of antidromically identified sensory projection neurons in the lumbar spinal cord during 1- to 150-Hz SCS in both healthy rats and neuropathic rats following chronic constriction injury (CCI). The relationship between SCS frequency and projection neuron activity predicted by the Gate Control circuit accounted for a subset of neuronal responses to SCS but could not account for the full range of observed responses. Heterogeneous responses were classifiable into three additional groups and were reproduced using computational models of spinal microcircuits representing other interactions between nociceptive and nonnociceptive sensory inputs. Intrathecal administration of bicuculline, a GABAA receptor antagonist, increased spontaneous and evoked activity in projection neurons, enhanced excitatory responses to SCS, and reduced inhibitory responses to SCS, suggesting that GABAA neurotransmission plays a broad role in regulating projection neuron activity. These in vivo and computational results challenge the Gate Control Theory as the only mechanism underlying SCS and refine our understanding of the effects of SCS on spinal sensory neurons within the framework of contemporary understanding of dorsal horn circuitry. Copyright © 2015 the American Physiological Society.

  8. Visual training paired with electrical stimulation of the basal forebrain improves orientation-selective visual acuity in the rat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kang, Jun Il; Groleau, Marianne; Dotigny, Florence; Giguère, Hugo; Vaucher, Elvire

    2014-07-01

    The cholinergic afferents from the basal forebrain to the primary visual cortex play a key role in visual attention and cortical plasticity. These afferent fibers modulate acute and long-term responses of visual neurons to specific stimuli. The present study evaluates whether this cholinergic modulation of visual neurons results in cortical activity and visual perception changes. Awake adult rats were exposed repeatedly for 2 weeks to an orientation-specific grating with or without coupling this visual stimulation to an electrical stimulation of the basal forebrain. The visual acuity, as measured using a visual water maze before and after the exposure to the orientation-specific grating, was increased in the group of trained rats with simultaneous basal forebrain/visual stimulation. The increase in visual acuity was not observed when visual training or basal forebrain stimulation was performed separately or when cholinergic fibers were selectively lesioned prior to the visual stimulation. The visual evoked potentials show a long-lasting increase in cortical reactivity of the primary visual cortex after coupled visual/cholinergic stimulation, as well as c-Fos immunoreactivity of both pyramidal and GABAergic interneuron. These findings demonstrate that when coupled with visual training, the cholinergic system improves visual performance for the trained orientation probably through enhancement of attentional processes and cortical plasticity in V1 related to the ratio of excitatory/inhibitory inputs. This study opens the possibility of establishing efficient rehabilitation strategies for facilitating visual capacity.

  9. Neuronal spike-train responses in the presence of threshold noise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coombes, S; Thul, R; Laudanski, J; Palmer, A R; Sumner, C J

    2011-03-01

    The variability of neuronal firing has been an intense topic of study for many years. From a modelling perspective it has often been studied in conductance based spiking models with the use of additive or multiplicative noise terms to represent channel fluctuations or the stochastic nature of neurotransmitter release. Here we propose an alternative approach using a simple leaky integrate-and-fire model with a noisy threshold. Initially, we develop a mathematical treatment of the neuronal response to periodic forcing using tools from linear response theory and use this to highlight how a noisy threshold can enhance downstream signal reconstruction. We further develop a more general framework for understanding the responses to large amplitude forcing based on a calculation of first passage times. This is ideally suited to understanding stochastic mode-locking, for which we numerically determine the Arnol'd tongue structure. An examination of data from regularly firing stellate neurons within the ventral cochlear nucleus, responding to sinusoidally amplitude modulated pure tones, shows tongue structures consistent with these predictions and highlights that stochastic, as opposed to deterministic, mode-locking is utilised at the level of the single stellate cell to faithfully encode periodic stimuli.

  10. Astrocytic and neuronal oxidative metabolism are coupled to the rate of glutamate-glutamine cycle in the tree shrew visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sonnay, Sarah; Poirot, Jordan; Just, Nathalie; Clerc, Anne-Catherine; Gruetter, Rolf; Rainer, Gregor; Duarte, João M N

    2018-03-01

    Astrocytes play an important role in glutamatergic neurotransmission, namely by clearing synaptic glutamate and converting it into glutamine that is transferred back to neurons. The rate of this glutamate-glutamine cycle (V NT ) has been proposed to couple to that of glucose utilization and of neuronal tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that glutamatergic neurotransmission is also coupled to the TCA cycle rate in astrocytes. For that we investigated energy metabolism by means of magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) in the primary visual cortex of tree shrews (Tupaia belangeri) under light isoflurane anesthesia at rest and during continuous visual stimulation. After identifying the activated cortical volume by blood oxygenation level-dependent functional magnetic resonance imaging, 1 H MRS was performed to measure stimulation-induced variations in metabolite concentrations. Relative to baseline, stimulation of cortical activity for 20 min caused a reduction of glucose concentration by -0.34 ± 0.09 µmol/g (p glucose infusion was employed to measure fluxes of energy metabolism. Stimulation of glutamatergic activity, as indicated by a 20% increase of V NT , resulted in increased TCA cycle rates in neurons by 12% ( VTCAn, p glucose oxidation and to mitochondrial metabolism in both neurons and astrocytes. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  11. Modulation of visually evoked postural responses by contextual visual, haptic and auditory information: a 'virtual reality check'.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, Georg F; Shao, Fei; White, Mark D; Hopkins, Carl; Robotham, Antony J

    2013-01-01

    Externally generated visual motion signals can cause the illusion of self-motion in space (vection) and corresponding visually evoked postural responses (VEPR). These VEPRs are not simple responses to optokinetic stimulation, but are modulated by the configuration of the environment. The aim of this paper is to explore what factors modulate VEPRs in a high quality virtual reality (VR) environment where real and virtual foreground objects served as static visual, auditory and haptic reference points. Data from four experiments on visually evoked postural responses show that: 1) visually evoked postural sway in the lateral direction is modulated by the presence of static anchor points that can be haptic, visual and auditory reference signals; 2) real objects and their matching virtual reality representations as visual anchors have different effects on postural sway; 3) visual motion in the anterior-posterior plane induces robust postural responses that are not modulated by the presence of reference signals or the reality of objects that can serve as visual anchors in the scene. We conclude that automatic postural responses for laterally moving visual stimuli are strongly influenced by the configuration and interpretation of the environment and draw on multisensory representations. Different postural responses were observed for real and virtual visual reference objects. On the basis that automatic visually evoked postural responses in high fidelity virtual environments should mimic those seen in real situations we propose to use the observed effect as a robust objective test for presence and fidelity in VR.

  12. Spatial integration in mouse primary visual cortex

    OpenAIRE

    Vaiceliunaite, Agne; Erisken, Sinem; Franzen, Florian; Katzner, Steffen; Busse, Laura

    2013-01-01

    Responses of many neurons in primary visual cortex (V1) are suppressed by stimuli exceeding the classical receptive field (RF), an important property that might underlie the computation of visual saliency. Traditionally, it has proven difficult to disentangle the underlying neural circuits, including feedforward, horizontal intracortical, and feedback connectivity. Since circuit-level analysis is particularly feasible in the mouse, we asked whether neural signatures of spatial integration in ...

  13. A Unique "Angiotensin-Sensitive" Neuronal Population Coordinates Neuroendocrine, Cardiovascular, and Behavioral Responses to Stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Kloet, Annette D; Wang, Lei; Pitra, Soledad; Hiller, Helmut; Smith, Justin A; Tan, Yalun; Nguyen, Dani; Cahill, Karlena M; Sumners, Colin; Stern, Javier E; Krause, Eric G

    2017-03-29

    Stress elicits neuroendocrine, autonomic, and behavioral responses that mitigate homeostatic imbalance and ensure survival. However, chronic engagement of such responses promotes psychological, cardiovascular, and metabolic impairments. In recent years, the renin-angiotensin system has emerged as a key mediator of stress responding and its related pathologies, but the neuronal circuits that orchestrate these interactions are not known. These studies combine the use of the Cre-recombinase/loxP system in mice with optogenetics to structurally and functionally characterize angiotensin type-1a receptor-containing neurons of the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus, the goal being to determine the extent of their involvement in the regulation of stress responses. Initial studies use neuroanatomical techniques to reveal that angiotensin type-1a receptors are localized predominantly to the parvocellular neurosecretory neurons of the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus. These neurons are almost exclusively glutamatergic and send dense projections to the exterior portion of the median eminence. Furthermore, these neurons largely express corticotrophin-releasing hormone or thyrotropin-releasing hormone and do not express arginine vasopressin or oxytocin. Functionally, optogenetic stimulation of these neurons promotes the activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal and hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid axes, as well as a rise in systolic blood pressure. When these neurons are optogenetically inhibited, the activity of these neuroendocrine axes are suppressed and anxiety-like behavior in the elevated plus maze is dampened. Collectively, these studies implicate this neuronal population in the integration and coordination of the physiological responses to stress and may therefore serve as a potential target for therapeutic intervention for stress-related pathology. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Chronic stress leads to an array of physiological responses that ultimately

  14. The influence of visual perspective on the somatosensory steady-state response during pain observation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dora Linsey Canizales

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available The observation and evaluation of other's pain activate part of the neuronal network involved in the actual experience of pain, including those regions subserving the sensori-discriminative dimension of pain. This was largely interpreted as evidence showing that part of the painful experience can be shared vicariously. Here, we investigated the effect of the visual perspective from which other people’s pain is seen on the cortical response to continuous 25 Hz non-painful somatosensory stimulation (somatosensory steady-state response: SSSR. Based on the shared representation framework, we expected first-person visual perspective (1PP to yield more changes in cortical activity than third-person visual perspective (3PP during pain observation. Twenty healthy adults were instructed to rate a series of pseudo-dynamic pictures depicting hands in either painful or non-painful scenarios, presented either in 1PP (0°-45° angle or 3PP (180° angle, while changes in brain activity was measured with a 128-electode EEG system. The ratings demonstrated that the same scenarios were rated on average as more painful when observed from the 1PP than from the 3PP. As expected from previous works, the SSSR response was decreased after stimulus onset over the left caudal part of the parieto-central cortex, contralateral to the stimulation side. Moreover, the difference between the SSSR was of greater amplitude when the painful situations were presented from the 1PP compared to the 3PP. Together, these results suggest that a visuospatial congruence between the viewer and the observed scenarios is associated with both a higher subjective evaluation of pain and an increased modulation in the somatosensory representation of observed pain. These findings are discussed with regards to the potential role of visual perspective in pain communication and empathy.

  15. Responses of Rostral Fastigial Nucleus Neurons of Conscious Cats to Rotations in Vertical Planes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, D. M.; Cotter, L.A.; Gandhi, N. J.; Schor, R. H.; Huff, N. O.; Raj, S. G.; Shulman, J. A.; Yates, B. J.

    2008-01-01

    The rostral fastigial nucleus (RFN) of the cerebellum is thought to play an important role in postural control, and recent studies in conscious nonhuman primates suggest that this region also participates in the sensory processing required to compute body motion in space. The goal of the present study was to examine the dynamic and spatial responses to sinusoidal rotations in vertical planes of RFN neurons in conscious cats, and determine if they are similar to responses reported for monkeys. Approximately half of the RFN neurons examined were classified as graviceptive, since their firing was synchronized with stimulus position and the gain of their responses was relatively unaffected by the frequency of the tilts. The large majority (80%) of graviceptive RFN neurons were activated by pitch rotations. Most of the remaining RFN units exhibited responses to vertical oscillations that encoded stimulus velocity, and approximately 50% of these velocity units had a response vector orientation aligned near the plane of a single vertical semicircular canal. Unlike in primates, few feline RFN neurons had responses to vertical rotations that suggested integration of graviceptive (otolith) and velocity (vertical semicircular canal) signals. These data indicate that the physiological role of the RFN may differ between primates and lower mammals. The RFN in rats and cats in known to be involved in adjusting blood pressure and breathing during postural alterations in the transverse (pitch) plane. The relatively simple responses of many RFN neurons in cats are appropriate for triggering such compensatory autonomic responses. PMID:18571332

  16. A possible role of midbrain dopamine neurons in short- and long-term adaptation of saccades to position-reward mapping.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takikawa, Yoriko; Kawagoe, Reiko; Hikosaka, Okihide

    2004-10-01

    Dopamine (DA) neurons respond to sensory stimuli that predict reward. To understand how DA neurons acquire such ability, we trained monkeys on a one-direction-rewarded version of memory-guided saccade task (1DR) only when we recorded from single DA neurons. In 1DR, position-reward mapping was changed across blocks of trials. In the early stage of training of 1DR, DA neurons responded to reward delivery; in the later stages, they responded predominantly to the visual cue that predicted reward or no reward (reward predictor) differentially. We found that such a shift of activity from reward to reward predictor also occurred within a block of trials after position-reward mapping was altered. A main effect of long-term training was to accelerate the within-block reward-to-predictor shift of DA neuronal responses. The within-block shift appeared first in the intermediate stage, but was slow, and DA neurons often responded to the cue that indicated reward in the preceding block. In the advanced stage, the reward-to-predictor shift occurred quickly such that the DA neurons' responses to visual cues faithfully matched the current position-reward mapping. Changes in the DA neuronal responses co-varied with the reward-predictive differentiation of saccade latency both in short-term (within-block) and long-term adaptation. DA neurons' response to the fixation point also underwent long-term changes until it occurred predominantly in the first trial within a block. This might trigger a switch between the learned sets. These results suggest that midbrain DA neurons play an essential role in adapting oculomotor behavior to frequent switches in position-reward mapping.

  17. Contrast invariance of orientation tuning in the lateral geniculate nucleus of the feline visual system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Viswanathan, Sivaram; Jayakumar, Jaikishan; Vidyasagar, Trichur R

    2015-09-01

    Responses of most neurons in the primary visual cortex of mammals are markedly selective for stimulus orientation and their orientation tuning does not vary with changes in stimulus contrast. The basis of such contrast invariance of orientation tuning has been shown to be the higher variability in the response for low-contrast stimuli. Neurons in the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN), which provides the major visual input to the cortex, have also been shown to have higher variability in their response to low-contrast stimuli. Parallel studies have also long established mild degrees of orientation selectivity in LGN and retinal cells. In our study, we show that contrast invariance of orientation tuning is already present in the LGN. In addition, we show that the variability of spike responses of LGN neurons increases at lower stimulus contrasts, especially for non-preferred orientations. We suggest that such contrast- and orientation-sensitive variability not only explains the contrast invariance observed in the LGN but can also underlie the contrast-invariant orientation tuning seen at the level of the primary visual cortex. © 2015 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  18. Noisy Spiking in Visual Area V2 of Amblyopic Monkeys.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Ye; Zhang, Bin; Tao, Xiaofeng; Wensveen, Janice M; Smith, Earl L; Chino, Yuzo M

    2017-01-25

    Interocular decorrelation of input signals in developing visual cortex can cause impaired binocular vision and amblyopia. Although increased intrinsic noise is thought to be responsible for a range of perceptual deficits in amblyopic humans, the neural basis for the elevated perceptual noise in amblyopic primates is not known. Here, we tested the idea that perceptual noise is linked to the neuronal spiking noise (variability) resulting from developmental alterations in cortical circuitry. To assess spiking noise, we analyzed the contrast-dependent dynamics of spike counts and spiking irregularity by calculating the square of the coefficient of variation in interspike intervals (CV 2 ) and the trial-to-trial fluctuations in spiking, or mean matched Fano factor (m-FF) in visual area V2 of monkeys reared with chronic monocular defocus. In amblyopic neurons, the contrast versus response functions and the spike count dynamics exhibited significant deviations from comparable data for normal monkeys. The CV 2 was pronounced in amblyopic neurons for high-contrast stimuli and the m-FF was abnormally high in amblyopic neurons for low-contrast gratings. The spike count, CV 2 , and m-FF of spontaneous activity were also elevated in amblyopic neurons. These contrast-dependent spiking irregularities were correlated with the level of binocular suppression in these V2 neurons and with the severity of perceptual loss for individual monkeys. Our results suggest that the developmental alterations in normalization mechanisms resulting from early binocular suppression can explain much of these contrast-dependent spiking abnormalities in V2 neurons and the perceptual performance of our amblyopic monkeys. Amblyopia is a common developmental vision disorder in humans. Despite the extensive animal studies on how amblyopia emerges, we know surprisingly little about the neural basis of amblyopia in humans and nonhuman primates. Although the vision of amblyopic humans is often described as

  19. Modulation of visually evoked postural responses by contextual visual, haptic and auditory information: a 'virtual reality check'.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Georg F Meyer

    Full Text Available Externally generated visual motion signals can cause the illusion of self-motion in space (vection and corresponding visually evoked postural responses (VEPR. These VEPRs are not simple responses to optokinetic stimulation, but are modulated by the configuration of the environment. The aim of this paper is to explore what factors modulate VEPRs in a high quality virtual reality (VR environment where real and virtual foreground objects served as static visual, auditory and haptic reference points. Data from four experiments on visually evoked postural responses show that: 1 visually evoked postural sway in the lateral direction is modulated by the presence of static anchor points that can be haptic, visual and auditory reference signals; 2 real objects and their matching virtual reality representations as visual anchors have different effects on postural sway; 3 visual motion in the anterior-posterior plane induces robust postural responses that are not modulated by the presence of reference signals or the reality of objects that can serve as visual anchors in the scene. We conclude that automatic postural responses for laterally moving visual stimuli are strongly influenced by the configuration and interpretation of the environment and draw on multisensory representations. Different postural responses were observed for real and virtual visual reference objects. On the basis that automatic visually evoked postural responses in high fidelity virtual environments should mimic those seen in real situations we propose to use the observed effect as a robust objective test for presence and fidelity in VR.

  20. Divisive normalization and neuronal oscillations in a single hierarchical framework of selective visual attention

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jorrit Steven Montijn

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available In divisive normalization models of covert attention, spike rate modulations are commonly used as indicators of the effect of top-down attention. In addition, an increasing number of studies have shown that top-down attention increases the synchronization of neuronal oscillations as well, particularly those in gamma-band frequencies (25 to 100 Hz. Although modulations of spike rate and synchronous oscillations are not mutually exclusive as mechanisms of attention, there has thus far been little effort to integrate these concepts into a single framework of attention. Here, we aim to provide such a unified framework by expanding the normalization model of attention with a time dimension; allowing the simulation of a recently reported backward progression of attentional effects along the visual cortical hierarchy. A simple hierarchical cascade of normalization models simulating different cortical areas however leads to signal degradation and a loss of discriminability over time. To negate this degradation and ensure stable neuronal stimulus representations, we incorporate oscillatory phase entrainment into our model, a mechanism previously proposed as the communication-through-coherence (CTC hypothesis. Our analysis shows that divisive normalization and oscillation models can complement each other in a unified account of the neural mechanisms of selective visual attention. The resulting hierarchical normalization and oscillation (HNO model reproduces several additional spatial and temporal aspects of attentional modulation.

  1. Layer-specific excitation/inhibition balances during neuronal synchronization in the visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adesnik, Hillel

    2018-05-01

    Understanding the balance between synaptic excitation and inhibition in cortical circuits in the brain, and how this contributes to cortical rhythms, is fundamental to explaining information processing in the cortex. This study used cortical layer-specific optogenetic activation in mouse cortex to show that excitatory neurons in any cortical layer can drive powerful gamma rhythms, while inhibition balances excitation. The net impact of this is to keep activity within each layer in check, but simultaneously to promote the propagation of activity to downstream layers. The data show that rhythm-generating circuits exist in all principle layers of the cortex, and provide layer-specific balances of excitation and inhibition that affect the flow of information across the layers. Rhythmic activity can synchronize neural ensembles within and across cortical layers. While gamma band rhythmicity has been observed in all layers, the laminar sources and functional impacts of neuronal synchronization in the cortex remain incompletely understood. Here, layer-specific optogenetic stimulation demonstrates that populations of excitatory neurons in any cortical layer of the mouse's primary visual cortex are sufficient to powerfully entrain neuronal oscillations in the gamma band. Within each layer, inhibition balances excitation and keeps activity in check. Across layers, translaminar output overcomes inhibition and drives downstream firing. These data establish that rhythm-generating circuits exist in all principle layers of the cortex, but provide layer-specific balances of excitation and inhibition that may dynamically shape the flow of information through cortical circuits. These data might help explain how excitation/inhibition (E/I) balances across cortical layers shape information processing, and shed light on the diverse nature and functional impacts of cortical gamma rhythms. © 2018 The Authors. The Journal of Physiology © 2018 The Physiological Society.

  2. Network model of top-down influences on local gain and contextual interactions in visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piëch, Valentin; Li, Wu; Reeke, George N; Gilbert, Charles D

    2013-10-22

    The visual system uses continuity as a cue for grouping oriented line segments that define object boundaries in complex visual scenes. Many studies support the idea that long-range intrinsic horizontal connections in early visual cortex contribute to this grouping. Top-down influences in primary visual cortex (V1) play an important role in the processes of contour integration and perceptual saliency, with contour-related responses being task dependent. This suggests an interaction between recurrent inputs to V1 and intrinsic connections within V1 that enables V1 neurons to respond differently under different conditions. We created a network model that simulates parametrically the control of local gain by hypothetical top-down modification of local recurrence. These local gain changes, as a consequence of network dynamics in our model, enable modulation of contextual interactions in a task-dependent manner. Our model displays contour-related facilitation of neuronal responses and differential foreground vs. background responses over the neuronal ensemble, accounting for the perceptual pop-out of salient contours. It quantitatively reproduces the results of single-unit recording experiments in V1, highlighting salient contours and replicating the time course of contextual influences. We show by means of phase-plane analysis that the model operates stably even in the presence of large inputs. Our model shows how a simple form of top-down modulation of the effective connectivity of intrinsic cortical connections among biophysically realistic neurons can account for some of the response changes seen in perceptual learning and task switching.

  3. Recent Visual Experience Shapes Visual Processing in Rats through Stimulus-Specific Adaptation and Response Enhancement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vinken, Kasper; Vogels, Rufin; Op de Beeck, Hans

    2017-03-20

    From an ecological point of view, it is generally suggested that the main goal of vision in rats and mice is navigation and (aerial) predator evasion [1-3]. The latter requires fast and accurate detection of a change in the visual environment. An outstanding question is whether there are mechanisms in the rodent visual system that would support and facilitate visual change detection. An experimental protocol frequently used to investigate change detection in humans is the oddball paradigm, in which a rare, unexpected stimulus is presented in a train of stimulus repetitions [4]. A popular "predictive coding" theory of cortical responses states that neural responses should decrease for expected sensory input and increase for unexpected input [5, 6]. Despite evidence for response suppression and enhancement in noninvasive scalp recordings in humans with this paradigm [7, 8], it has proven challenging to observe both phenomena in invasive action potential recordings in other animals [9-11]. During a visual oddball experiment, we recorded multi-unit spiking activity in rat primary visual cortex (V1) and latero-intermediate area (LI), which is a higher area of the rodent ventral visual stream. In rat V1, there was only evidence for response suppression related to stimulus-specific adaptation, and not for response enhancement. However, higher up in area LI, spiking activity showed clear surprise-based response enhancement in addition to stimulus-specific adaptation. These results show that neural responses along the rat ventral visual stream become increasingly sensitive to changes in the visual environment, suggesting a system specialized in the detection of unexpected events. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Attention Determines Contextual Enhancement versus Suppression in Human Primary Visual Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flevaris, Anastasia V; Murray, Scott O

    2015-09-02

    Neural responses in primary visual cortex (V1) depend on stimulus context in seemingly complex ways. For example, responses to an oriented stimulus can be suppressed when it is flanked by iso-oriented versus orthogonally oriented stimuli but can also be enhanced when attention is directed to iso-oriented versus orthogonal flanking stimuli. Thus the exact same contextual stimulus arrangement can have completely opposite effects on neural responses-in some cases leading to orientation-tuned suppression and in other cases leading to orientation-tuned enhancement. Here we show that stimulus-based suppression and enhancement of fMRI responses in humans depends on small changes in the focus of attention and can be explained by a model that combines feature-based attention with response normalization. Neurons in the primary visual cortex (V1) respond to stimuli within a restricted portion of the visual field, termed their "receptive field." However, neuronal responses can also be influenced by stimuli that surround a receptive field, although the nature of these contextual interactions and underlying neural mechanisms are debated. Here we show that the response in V1 to a stimulus in the same context can either be suppressed or enhanced depending on the focus of attention. We are able to explain the results using a simple computational model that combines two well established properties of visual cortical responses: response normalization and feature-based enhancement. Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/3512273-08$15.00/0.

  5. Figure–ground organization and the emergence of proto-objects in the visual cortex

    OpenAIRE

    von der Heydt, Rüdiger

    2015-01-01

    A long history of studies of perception has shown that the visual system organizes the incoming information early on, interpreting the 2D image in terms of a 3D world and producing a structure that provides perceptual continuity and enables object-based attention. Recordings from monkey visual cortex show that many neurons, especially in area V2, are selective for border ownership. These neurons are edge selective and have ordinary classical receptive fields, but in addition their responses a...

  6. Responses of spinal dorsal horn neurons to foot movements in rats with a sprained ankle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Jae Hyo; Kim, Hee Young; Chung, Kyungsoon

    2011-01-01

    Acute ankle injuries are common problems and often lead to persistent pain. To investigate the underlying mechanism of ankle sprain pain, the response properties of spinal dorsal horn neurons were examined after ankle sprain. Acute ankle sprain was induced manually by overextending the ankle of a rat hindlimb in a direction of plantarflexion and inversion. The weight-bearing ratio (WBR) of the affected foot was used as an indicator of pain. Single unit activities of dorsal horn neurons in response to plantarflexion and inversion of the foot or ankle compression were recorded from the medial part of the deep dorsal horn, laminae IV-VI, in normal and ankle-sprained rats. One day after ankle sprain, rats showed significantly reduced WBRs on the affected foot, and this reduction was partially restored by systemic morphine. The majority of deep dorsal horn neurons responded to a single ankle stimulus modality. After ankle sprain, the mean evoked response rates were significantly increased, and afterdischarges were developed in recorded dorsal horn neurons. The ankle sprain-induced enhanced evoked responses were significantly reduced by morphine, which was reversed by naltrexone. The data indicate that movement-specific dorsal horn neuron responses were enhanced after ankle sprain in a morphine-dependent manner, thus suggesting that hyperactivity of dorsal horn neurons is an underlying mechanism of pain after ankle sprain. PMID:21389306

  7. A role for neuronal cAMP responsive-element binding (CREB)-1 in brain responses to calorie restriction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fusco, Salvatore; Ripoli, Cristian; Podda, Maria Vittoria; Ranieri, Sofia Chiatamone; Leone, Lucia; Toietta, Gabriele; McBurney, Michael W.; Schütz, Günther; Riccio, Antonella; Grassi, Claudio; Galeotti, Tommaso; Pani, Giovambattista

    2012-01-01

    Calorie restriction delays brain senescence and prevents neurodegeneration, but critical regulators of these beneficial responses other than the NAD+-dependent histone deacetylase Sirtuin-1 (Sirt-1) are unknown. We report that effects of calorie restriction on neuronal plasticity, memory and social behavior are abolished in mice lacking cAMP responsive-element binding (CREB)-1 in the forebrain. Moreover, CREB deficiency drastically reduces the expression of Sirt-1 and the induction of genes relevant to neuronal metabolism and survival in the cortex and hippocampus of dietary-restricted animals. Biochemical studies reveal a complex interplay between CREB and Sirt-1: CREB directly regulates the transcription of the sirtuin in neuronal cells by binding to Sirt-1 chromatin; Sirt-1, in turn, is recruited by CREB to DNA and promotes CREB-dependent expression of target gene peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ coactivator-1α and neuronal NO Synthase. Accordingly, expression of these CREB targets is markedly reduced in the brain of Sirt KO mice that are, like CREB-deficient mice, poorly responsive to calorie restriction. Thus, the above circuitry, modulated by nutrient availability, links energy metabolism with neurotrophin signaling, participates in brain adaptation to nutrient restriction, and is potentially relevant to accelerated brain aging by overnutrition and diabetes. PMID:22190495

  8. Predicting the response of olfactory sensory neurons to odor mixtures from single odor response

    OpenAIRE

    Marasco, Addolorata; De Paris, Alessandro; Migliore, Michele

    2016-01-01

    The response of olfactory receptor neurons to odor mixtures is not well understood. Here, using experimental constraints, we investigate the mathematical structure of the odor response space and its consequences. The analysis suggests that the odor response space is 3-dimensional, and predicts that the dose-response curve of an odor receptor can be obtained, in most cases, from three primary components with specific properties. This opens the way to an objective procedure to obtain specific o...

  9. Arc mRNA induction in striatal efferent neurons associated with response learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daberkow, D P; Riedy, M D; Kesner, R P; Keefe, K A

    2007-07-01

    The dorsal striatum is involved in motor-response learning, but the extent to which distinct populations of striatal efferent neurons are differentially involved in such learning is unknown. Activity-regulated, cytoskeleton-associated (Arc) protein is an effector immediate-early gene implicated in synaptic plasticity. We examined arc mRNA expression in striatopallidal vs. striatonigral efferent neurons in dorsomedial and dorsolateral striatum of rats engaged in reversal learning on a T-maze motor-response task. Male Sprague-Dawley rats learned to turn right or left for 3 days. Half of the rats then underwent reversal training. The remaining rats were yoked to rats undergoing reversal training, such that they ran the same number of trials but ran them as continued-acquisition trials. Brains were removed and processed using double-label fluorescent in situ hybridization for arc and preproenkephalin (PPE) mRNA. In the reversal, but not the continued-acquisition, group there was a significant relation between the overall arc mRNA signal in dorsomedial striatum and the number of trials run, with rats reaching criterion in fewer trials having higher levels of arc mRNA expression. A similar relation was seen between the numbers of PPE(+) and PPE(-) neurons in dorsomedial striatum with cytoplasmic arc mRNA expression. Interestingly, in behaviourally activated animals significantly more PPE(-) neurons had cytoplasmic arc mRNA expression. These data suggest that Arc in both striatonigral and striatopallidal efferent neurons is involved in striatal synaptic plasticity mediating motor-response learning in the T-maze and that there is differential processing of arc mRNA in distinct subpopulations of striatal efferent neurons.

  10. Deep Learning Predicts Correlation between a Functional Signature of Higher Visual Areas and Sparse Firing of Neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chengxu Zhuang

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Visual information in the visual cortex is processed in a hierarchical manner. Recent studies show that higher visual areas, such as V2, V3, and V4, respond more vigorously to images with naturalistic higher-order statistics than to images lacking them. This property is a functional signature of higher areas, as it is much weaker or even absent in the primary visual cortex (V1. However, the mechanism underlying this signature remains elusive. We studied this problem using computational models. In several typical hierarchical visual models including the AlexNet, VggNet, and SHMAX, this signature was found to be prominent in higher layers but much weaker in lower layers. By changing both the model structure and experimental settings, we found that the signature strongly correlated with sparse firing of units in higher layers but not with any other factors, including model structure, training algorithm (supervised or unsupervised, receptive field size, and property of training stimuli. The results suggest an important role of sparse neuronal activity underlying this special feature of higher visual areas.

  11. Deficient plasticity in the primary visual cortex of alpha-calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II mutant mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gordon, J A; Cioffi, D; Silva, A J; Stryker, M P

    1996-09-01

    The recent characterization of plasticity in the mouse visual cortex permits the use of mutant mice to investigate the cellular mechanisms underlying activity-dependent development. As calcium-dependent signaling pathways have been implicated in neuronal plasticity, we examined visual cortical plasticity in mice lacking the alpha-isoform of calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (alpha CaMKII). In wild-type mice, brief occlusion of vision in one eye during a critical period reduces responses in the visual cortex. In half of the alpha CaMKII-deficient mice, visual cortical responses developed normally, but visual cortical plasticity was greatly diminished. After intensive training, spatial learning in the Morris water maze was severely impaired in a similar fraction of mutant animals. These data indicate that loss of alpha CaMKII results in a severe but variable defect in neuronal plasticity.

  12. Metabolic communication between astrocytes and neurons via bicarbonate-responsive soluble adenylyl cyclase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, Hyun B; Gordon, Grant R J; Zhou, Ning; Tai, Chao; Rungta, Ravi L; Martinez, Jennifer; Milner, Teresa A; Ryu, Jae K; McLarnon, James G; Tresguerres, Martin; Levin, Lonny R; Buck, Jochen; MacVicar, Brian A

    2012-09-20

    Astrocytes are proposed to participate in brain energy metabolism by supplying substrates to neurons from their glycogen stores and from glycolysis. However, the molecules involved in metabolic sensing and the molecular pathways responsible for metabolic coupling between different cell types in the brain are not fully understood. Here we show that a recently cloned bicarbonate (HCO₃⁻) sensor, soluble adenylyl cyclase (sAC), is highly expressed in astrocytes and becomes activated in response to HCO₃⁻ entry via the electrogenic NaHCO₃ cotransporter (NBC). Activated sAC increases intracellular cAMP levels, causing glycogen breakdown, enhanced glycolysis, and the release of lactate into the extracellular space, which is subsequently taken up by neurons for use as an energy substrate. This process is recruited over a broad physiological range of [K⁺](ext) and also during aglycemic episodes, helping to maintain synaptic function. These data reveal a molecular pathway in astrocytes that is responsible for brain metabolic coupling to neurons. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Golgi Analysis of Neuron Morphology in the Presumptive Somatosensory Cortex and Visual Cortex of the Florida Manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reyes, Laura D; Harland, Tessa; Reep, Roger L; Sherwood, Chet C; Jacobs, Bob

    2016-01-01

    The current study investigates neuron morphology in presumptive primary somatosensory (S1) and primary visual (V1) cortices of the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) as revealed by Golgi impregnation. Sirenians, including manatees, have an aquatic lifestyle, a large body size, and a relatively large lissencephalic brain. The present study examines neuron morphology in 3 cortical areas: in S1, dorsolateral cortex area 1 (DL1) and cluster cortex area 2 (CL2) and in V1, dorsolateral cortex area 4 (DL4). Neurons exhibited a variety of morphological types, with pyramidal neurons being the most common. The large variety of neuron types present in the manatee cortex was comparable to that seen in other eutherian mammals, except for rodents and primates, where pyramid-shaped neurons predominate. A comparison between pyramidal neurons in S1 and V1 indicated relatively greater dendritic branching in S1. Across all 3 areas, the dendritic arborization pattern of pyramidal neurons was also similar to that observed previously in the afrotherian rock hyrax, cetartiodactyls, opossums, and echidnas but did not resemble the widely bifurcated dendrites seen in the large-brained African elephant. Despite adaptations for an aquatic environment, manatees did not share specific neuron types such as tritufted and star-like neurons that have been found in cetaceans. Manatees exhibit an evolutionarily primitive pattern of cortical neuron morphology shared with most other mammals and do not appear to have neuronal specializations for an aquatic niche. © 2016 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  14. Modulation of Visually Evoked Postural Responses by Contextual Visual, Haptic and Auditory Information: A ‘Virtual Reality Check’

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, Georg F.; Shao, Fei; White, Mark D.; Hopkins, Carl; Robotham, Antony J.

    2013-01-01

    Externally generated visual motion signals can cause the illusion of self-motion in space (vection) and corresponding visually evoked postural responses (VEPR). These VEPRs are not simple responses to optokinetic stimulation, but are modulated by the configuration of the environment. The aim of this paper is to explore what factors modulate VEPRs in a high quality virtual reality (VR) environment where real and virtual foreground objects served as static visual, auditory and haptic reference points. Data from four experiments on visually evoked postural responses show that: 1) visually evoked postural sway in the lateral direction is modulated by the presence of static anchor points that can be haptic, visual and auditory reference signals; 2) real objects and their matching virtual reality representations as visual anchors have different effects on postural sway; 3) visual motion in the anterior-posterior plane induces robust postural responses that are not modulated by the presence of reference signals or the reality of objects that can serve as visual anchors in the scene. We conclude that automatic postural responses for laterally moving visual stimuli are strongly influenced by the configuration and interpretation of the environment and draw on multisensory representations. Different postural responses were observed for real and virtual visual reference objects. On the basis that automatic visually evoked postural responses in high fidelity virtual environments should mimic those seen in real situations we propose to use the observed effect as a robust objective test for presence and fidelity in VR. PMID:23840760

  15. Responses of mirror neurons in area F5 to hand and tool grasping observation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rochat, Magali J.; Caruana, Fausto; Jezzini, Ahmad; Escola, Ludovic; Intskirveli, Irakli; Grammont, Franck; Gallese, Vittorio; Rizzolatti, Giacomo

    2010-01-01

    Mirror neurons are a distinct class of neurons that discharge both during the execution of a motor act and during observation of the same or similar motor act performed by another individual. However, the extent to which mirror neurons coding a motor act with a specific goal (e.g., grasping) might also respond to the observation of a motor act having the same goal, but achieved with artificial effectors, is not yet established. In the present study, we addressed this issue by recording mirror neurons from the ventral premotor cortex (area F5) of two monkeys trained to grasp objects with pliers. Neuron activity was recorded during the observation and execution of grasping performed with the hand, with pliers and during observation of an experimenter spearing food with a stick. The results showed that virtually all neurons responding to the observation of hand grasping also responded to the observation of grasping with pliers and, many of them to the observation of spearing with a stick. However, the intensity and pattern of the response differed among conditions. Hand grasping observation determined the earliest and the strongest discharge, while pliers grasping and spearing observation triggered weaker responses at longer latencies. We conclude that F5 grasping mirror neurons respond to the observation of a family of stimuli leading to the same goal. However, the response pattern depends upon the similarity between the observed motor act and the one executed by the hand, the natural motor template. PMID:20577726

  16. A mouse model of visual perceptual learning reveals alterations in neuronal coding and dendritic spine density in the visual cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yan eWang

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Visual perceptual learning (VPL can improve spatial vision in normally sighted and visually impaired individuals. Although previous studies of humans and large animals have explored the neural basis of VPL, elucidation of the underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms remains a challenge. Owing to the advantages of molecular genetic and optogenetic manipulations, the mouse is a promising model for providing a mechanistic understanding of VPL. Here, we thoroughly evaluated the effects and properties of VPL on spatial vision in C57BL/6J mice using a two-alternative, forced-choice visual water task. Briefly, the mice underwent prolonged training at near the individual threshold of contrast or spatial frequency (SF for pattern discrimination or visual detection for 35 consecutive days. Following training, the contrast-threshold trained mice showed an 87% improvement in contrast sensitivity (CS and a 55% gain in visual acuity (VA. Similarly, the SF-threshold trained mice exhibited comparable and long-lasting improvements in VA and significant gains in CS over a wide range of SFs. Furthermore, learning largely transferred across eyes and stimulus orientations. Interestingly, learning could transfer from a pattern discrimination task to a visual detection task, but not vice versa. We validated that this VPL fully restored VA in adult amblyopic mice and old mice. Taken together, these data indicate that mice, as a species, exhibit reliable VPL. Intrinsic signal optical imaging revealed that mice with perceptual training had higher cut-off SFs in primary visual cortex (V1 than those without perceptual training. Moreover, perceptual training induced an increase in the dendritic spine density in layer 2/3 pyramidal neurons of V1. These results indicated functional and structural alterations in V1 during VPL. Overall, our VPL mouse model will provide a platform for investigating the neurobiological basis of VPL.

  17. A Mouse Model of Visual Perceptual Learning Reveals Alterations in Neuronal Coding and Dendritic Spine Density in the Visual Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yan; Wu, Wei; Zhang, Xian; Hu, Xu; Li, Yue; Lou, Shihao; Ma, Xiao; An, Xu; Liu, Hui; Peng, Jing; Ma, Danyi; Zhou, Yifeng; Yang, Yupeng

    2016-01-01

    Visual perceptual learning (VPL) can improve spatial vision in normally sighted and visually impaired individuals. Although previous studies of humans and large animals have explored the neural basis of VPL, elucidation of the underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms remains a challenge. Owing to the advantages of molecular genetic and optogenetic manipulations, the mouse is a promising model for providing a mechanistic understanding of VPL. Here, we thoroughly evaluated the effects and properties of VPL on spatial vision in C57BL/6J mice using a two-alternative, forced-choice visual water task. Briefly, the mice underwent prolonged training at near the individual threshold of contrast or spatial frequency (SF) for pattern discrimination or visual detection for 35 consecutive days. Following training, the contrast-threshold trained mice showed an 87% improvement in contrast sensitivity (CS) and a 55% gain in visual acuity (VA). Similarly, the SF-threshold trained mice exhibited comparable and long-lasting improvements in VA and significant gains in CS over a wide range of SFs. Furthermore, learning largely transferred across eyes and stimulus orientations. Interestingly, learning could transfer from a pattern discrimination task to a visual detection task, but not vice versa. We validated that this VPL fully restored VA in adult amblyopic mice and old mice. Taken together, these data indicate that mice, as a species, exhibit reliable VPL. Intrinsic signal optical imaging revealed that mice with perceptual training had higher cut-off SFs in primary visual cortex (V1) than those without perceptual training. Moreover, perceptual training induced an increase in the dendritic spine density in layer 2/3 pyramidal neurons of V1. These results indicated functional and structural alterations in V1 during VPL. Overall, our VPL mouse model will provide a platform for investigating the neurobiological basis of VPL.

  18. Motor-auditory-visual integration: The role of the human mirror neuron system in communication and communication disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Bel, Ronald M; Pineda, Jaime A; Sharma, Anu

    2009-01-01

    The mirror neuron system (MNS) is a trimodal system composed of neuronal populations that respond to motor, visual, and auditory stimulation, such as when an action is performed, observed, heard or read about. In humans, the MNS has been identified using neuroimaging techniques (such as fMRI and mu suppression in the EEG). It reflects an integration of motor-auditory-visual information processing related to aspects of language learning including action understanding and recognition. Such integration may also form the basis for language-related constructs such as theory of mind. In this article, we review the MNS system as it relates to the cognitive development of language in typically developing children and in children at-risk for communication disorders, such as children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or hearing impairment. Studying MNS development in these children may help illuminate an important role of the MNS in children with communication disorders. Studies with deaf children are especially important because they offer potential insights into how the MNS is reorganized when one modality, such as audition, is deprived during early cognitive development, and this may have long-term consequences on language maturation and theory of mind abilities. Readers will be able to (1) understand the concept of mirror neurons, (2) identify cortical areas associated with the MNS in animal and human studies, (3) discuss the use of mu suppression in the EEG for measuring the MNS in humans, and (4) discuss MNS dysfunction in children with (ASD).

  19. Visualization of spatiotemporal energy dynamics of hippocampal neurons by mass spectrometry during a kainate-induced seizure.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuki Sugiura

    Full Text Available We report the use of matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI imaging mass spectrometry combined with capillary electrophoresis (CE mass spectrometry to visualize energy metabolism in the mouse hippocampus by imaging energy-related metabolites. We show the distribution patterns of ATP, ADP, and AMP in the hippocampus as well as changes in their amounts and distribution patterns in a murine model of limbic, kainate-induced seizure. As an acute response to kainate administration, we found massive and moderate reductions in ATP and ADP levels, respectively, but no significant changes in AMP levels--especially in cells of the CA3 layer. The results suggest the existence of CA3 neuron-selective energy metabolism at the anhydride bonds of ATP and ADP in the hippocampal neurons during seizure. In addition, metabolome analysis of energy synthesis pathways indicates accelerated glycolysis and possibly TCA cycle activity during seizure, presumably due to the depletion of ATP. Consistent with this result, the observed energy depletion significantly recovered up to 180 min after kainate administration. However, the recovery rate was remarkably low in part of the data-pixel population in the CA3 cell layer region, which likely reflects acute and CA3-selective neural death. Taken together, the present approach successfully revealed the spatiotemporal energy metabolism of the mouse hippocampus at a cellular resolution--both quantitatively and qualitatively. We aim to further elucidate various metabolic processes in the neural system.

  20. Neuron's eye view: Inferring features of complex stimuli from neural responses.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xin Chen

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Experiments that study neural encoding of stimuli at the level of individual neurons typically choose a small set of features present in the world-contrast and luminance for vision, pitch and intensity for sound-and assemble a stimulus set that systematically varies along these dimensions. Subsequent analysis of neural responses to these stimuli typically focuses on regression models, with experimenter-controlled features as predictors and spike counts or firing rates as responses. Unfortunately, this approach requires knowledge in advance about the relevant features coded by a given population of neurons. For domains as complex as social interaction or natural movement, however, the relevant feature space is poorly understood, and an arbitrary a priori choice of features may give rise to confirmation bias. Here, we present a Bayesian model for exploratory data analysis that is capable of automatically identifying the features present in unstructured stimuli based solely on neuronal responses. Our approach is unique within the class of latent state space models of neural activity in that it assumes that firing rates of neurons are sensitive to multiple discrete time-varying features tied to the stimulus, each of which has Markov (or semi-Markov dynamics. That is, we are modeling neural activity as driven by multiple simultaneous stimulus features rather than intrinsic neural dynamics. We derive a fast variational Bayesian inference algorithm and show that it correctly recovers hidden features in synthetic data, as well as ground-truth stimulus features in a prototypical neural dataset. To demonstrate the utility of the algorithm, we also apply it to cluster neural responses and demonstrate successful recovery of features corresponding to monkeys and faces in the image set.

  1. Blocking miRNA Biogenesis in Adult Forebrain Neurons Enhances Seizure Susceptibility, Fear Memory, and Food Intake by Increasing Neuronal Responsiveness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fiorenza, Anna; Lopez-Atalaya, Jose P; Rovira, Victor; Scandaglia, Marilyn; Geijo-Barrientos, Emilio; Barco, Angel

    2016-04-01

    The RNase Dicer is essential for the maturation of most microRNAs, a molecular system that plays an essential role in fine-tuning gene expression. To gain molecular insight into the role of Dicer and the microRNA system in brain function, we conducted 2 complementary RNA-seq screens in the hippocampus of inducible forebrain-restricted Dicer1 mutants aimed at identifying the microRNAs primarily affected by Dicer loss and their targets, respectively. Functional genomics analyses predicted the main biological processes and phenotypes associated with impaired microRNA maturation, including categories related to microRNA biology, signal transduction, seizures, and synaptic transmission and plasticity. Consistent with these predictions, we found that, soon after recombination, Dicer-deficient mice exhibited an exaggerated seizure response, enhanced induction of immediate early genes in response to different stimuli, stronger and more stable fear memory, hyperphagia, and increased excitability of CA1 pyramidal neurons. In the long term, we also observed slow and progressive excitotoxic neurodegeneration. Overall, our results indicate that interfering with microRNA biogenesis causes an increase in neuronal responsiveness and disrupts homeostatic mechanisms that protect the neuron against overactivation, which may explain both the initial and late phenotypes associated with the loss of Dicer in excitatory neurons. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  2. Three counting methods agree on cell and neuron number in chimpanzee primary visual cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel James Miller

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Determining the cellular composition of specific brain regions is crucial to our understanding of the function of neurobiological systems. It is therefore useful to identify the extent to which different methods agree when estimating the same properties of brain circuitry. In this study, we estimated the number of neuronal and non-neuronal cells in the primary visual cortex (area 17 or V1 of both hemispheres from a single chimpanzee. Specifically, we processed samples distributed across V1 of the right hemisphere after cortex was flattened into a sheet using two variations of the isotropic fractionator cell and neuron counting method. We processed the left hemisphere as serial brain slices for stereological investigation. The goal of this study was to evaluate the agreement between these methods in the most direct manner possible by comparing estimates of cell density across one brain region of interest in a single individual. In our hands, these methods produced similar estimates of the total cellular population (approximately 1 billion as well as the number of neurons (approximately 675 million in chimpanzee V1, providing evidence that both techniques estimate the same parameters of interest. In addition, our results indicate the strengths of each distinct tissue preparation procedure, highlighting the importance of attention to anatomical detail. In summary, we found that the isotropic fractionator and the stereological optical fractionator produced concordant estimates of the cellular composition of V1, and that this result supports the conclusion that chimpanzees conform to the primate pattern of exceptionally high packing density in V1. Ultimately, our data suggest that investigators can optimize their experimental approach by using any of these counting methods to obtain reliable cell and neuron counts.

  3. Validating a visual version of the metronome response task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laflamme, Patrick; Seli, Paul; Smilek, Daniel

    2018-02-12

    The metronome response task (MRT)-a sustained-attention task that requires participants to produce a response in synchrony with an audible metronome-was recently developed to index response variability in the context of studies on mind wandering. In the present studies, we report on the development and validation of a visual version of the MRT (the visual metronome response task; vMRT), which uses the rhythmic presentation of visual, rather than auditory, stimuli. Participants completed the vMRT (Studies 1 and 2) and the original (auditory-based) MRT (Study 2) while also responding to intermittent thought probes asking them to report the depth of their mind wandering. The results showed that (1) individual differences in response variability during the vMRT are highly reliable; (2) prior to thought probes, response variability increases with increasing depth of mind wandering; (3) response variability is highly consistent between the vMRT and the original MRT; and (4) both response variability and depth of mind wandering increase with increasing time on task. Our results indicate that the original MRT findings are consistent across the visual and auditory modalities, and that the response variability measured in both tasks indexes a non-modality-specific tendency toward behavioral variability. The vMRT will be useful in the place of the MRT in experimental contexts in which researchers' designs require a visual-based primary task.

  4. From rule to response: neuronal processes in the premotor and prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wallis, Jonathan D; Miller, Earl K

    2003-09-01

    The ability to use abstract rules or principles allows behavior to generalize from specific circumstances (e.g., rules learned in a specific restaurant can subsequently be applied to any dining experience). Neurons in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) encode such rules. However, to guide behavior, rules must be linked to motor responses. We investigated the neuronal mechanisms underlying this process by recording from the PFC and the premotor cortex (PMC) of monkeys trained to use two abstract rules: "same" or "different." The monkeys had to either hold or release a lever, depending on whether two successively presented pictures were the same or different, and depending on which rule was in effect. The abstract rules were represented in both regions, although they were more prevalent and were encoded earlier and more strongly in the PMC. There was a perceptual bias in the PFC, relative to the PMC, with more PFC neurons encoding the presented pictures. In contrast, neurons encoding the behavioral response were more prevalent in the PMC, and the selectivity was stronger and appeared earlier in the PMC than in the PFC.

  5. DIRECT VISUALIZATION OF THE DOPAMINE TRANSPORTER IN CULTURED NEWBORN RAT MIDBRAIN NEURONS USING THE FLUORESCENT COCAINE ANALOGUE JHC 1-64

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rasmussen, Søren; Vægter, Christian Bjerggaard; Cha, J

    In this study we have established methods for visualization and tracking of the dopamine transporter (DAT) in cultured dopaminergic neurons in real time using a fluorescent cocaine analogue JHC 1-64 and confocal fluorescence microscopy. The initial binding experiments in HEK 293 cells stably...... 1-64 was prevented by excess concentrations of dopamine, cocaine, mazindol, or RTI-55, whereas the norepinephrine and/or serotonin transporter specific inhibitors desmethylimipramine and citalopram did not affect fluorescent labeling of the neurons. This strongly supports that JHC 1-64 specifically...

  6. Endogenous sequential cortical activity evoked by visual stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carrillo-Reid, Luis; Miller, Jae-Eun Kang; Hamm, Jordan P; Jackson, Jesse; Yuste, Rafael

    2015-06-10

    Although the functional properties of individual neurons in primary visual cortex have been studied intensely, little is known about how neuronal groups could encode changing visual stimuli using temporal activity patterns. To explore this, we used in vivo two-photon calcium imaging to record the activity of neuronal populations in primary visual cortex of awake mice in the presence and absence of visual stimulation. Multidimensional analysis of the network activity allowed us to identify neuronal ensembles defined as groups of cells firing in synchrony. These synchronous groups of neurons were themselves activated in sequential temporal patterns, which repeated at much higher proportions than chance and were triggered by specific visual stimuli such as natural visual scenes. Interestingly, sequential patterns were also present in recordings of spontaneous activity without any sensory stimulation and were accompanied by precise firing sequences at the single-cell level. Moreover, intrinsic dynamics could be used to predict the occurrence of future neuronal ensembles. Our data demonstrate that visual stimuli recruit similar sequential patterns to the ones observed spontaneously, consistent with the hypothesis that already existing Hebbian cell assemblies firing in predefined temporal sequences could be the microcircuit substrate that encodes visual percepts changing in time. Copyright © 2015 Carrillo-Reid et al.

  7. Disinhibition outside receptive fields in the visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, Gary A; Ohzawa, Izumi; Freeman, Ralph D

    2002-07-01

    By definition, the region outside the classical receptive field (CRF) of a neuron in the visual cortex does not directly activate the cell. However, the response of a neuron can be influenced by stimulation of the surrounding area. In previous work, we showed that this influence is mainly suppressive and that it is generally limited to a local region outside the CRF. In the experiments reported here, we investigate the mechanisms of the suppressive effect. Our approach is to find the position of a grating patch that is most effective in suppressing the response of a cell. We then use a masking stimulus at different contrasts over the grating patch in an attempt to disinhibit the response. We find that suppressive effects may be partially or completely reversed by use of the masking stimulus. This disinhibition suggests that effects from outside the CRF may be local. Although they do not necessarily underlie the perceptual analysis of a figure-ground visual scene, they may provide a substrate for this process.

  8. Multiple distinct subtypes of GABAergic neurons in mouse visual cortex identified by triple immunostaining

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuri Gonchar

    2008-03-01

    Full Text Available The majority of cortical interneurons use GABA (gamma amino butyric acid as inhibitory neurotransmitter. GABAergic neurons are morphologically, connectionally, electrically and chemically heterogeneous. In rat cerebral cortex three distinct groups of GABAergic interneurons have been identifi ed by the expression of parvalbumin (PV, calretinin (CR and somatostatin (SOM. Recent studies in mouse cerebral cortex have revealed a different organization in which the CR and SOM populations are partially overlapping. Because CR and SOM neurons derive from different progenitors located in different embryonic structures, the coexpression of CR + SOM suggests that the chemical differentiation of interneurons is regulated postmitotically. Here, we have taken an important fi rst step towards understanding this process by triple immunostaining mouse visual cortex with a panel of antibodies, which has been used extensively for classifying developing interneurons. We have found at least 13 distinct groups of GABAergic neurons which include PV, CR, SOM, CCK (cholecystokinin, CR + SOM, CR + NPY (neuropeptide Y, CR + VIP (vasointestinal polypeptide, SOM + NPY, SOM + VIP, VIP + ChAT (choline acetyltransferase, CCK + NPY, CR + SOM + NPY and CR + SOM + VIP expressing cells. Triple immunostaining with PV, CR and SOM antibodies during postnatal development further showed that PV is never colocalized with CR and SOM. Importantly, expression of SOM and CR + SOM developed after the percentage of CR cells that do not express SOM has reached the mature level, suggesting that the chemical differentiation of SOM and CR + SOM neurons is a postnatal event, which may be controlled by transcriptional regulation.

  9. Polysensory response characteristics of dorsal root ganglion neurones that may serve sensory functions during myocardial ischaemia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, M H; Horackova, M; Negoescu, R M; Wolf, S; Armour, J A

    1996-09-01

    To determine the response characteristics of dorsal root ganglion neurones that may serve sensory functions during myocardial ischaemia. Extracellular recordings were made from 54 spontaneously active and 5 normally quiescent dorsal root ganglion neurones (T2-T5) in 22 anaesthetized open-chest dogs under control conditions and during epicardial mechanical or chemical stimulation and myocardial ischaemia. The activity of 78% of spontaneously active and all quiescent neurones with left ventricular sensory fields was modified by left ventricular ischaemia. Forty-six spontaneously active neurones (85%) were polysensory with respect to mechanical and chemical stimuli. The 5 quiescent neurones responded only to chemical stimuli. Spontaneously active neurones associated with left ventricular mechanosensory endings (37 neurones) generated four different activity patterns in response to similar mechanical stimuli (high or low pressure active, high-low pressure active, high-low pressure inactive). A fifth group generated activity which was not related to chamber dynamics. Adenosine, adenosine 5'-triphosphate, substance P and bradykinin modified 72, 61, 65 and 63% of the spontaneously active neurones, respectively. Maximum local mechanical or chemical stimuli enhanced activity to similar degrees, as did ischaemia. Each ischaemia-sensitive neurone displayed unique activity patterns in response to similar mechanical or chemical stimuli. Most myocardial ischemia-sensitive dorsal root ganglion neurones associated with epicardial neurites sense mechanical and multiple chemical stimuli, a small population sensing only mechanical or chemical stimuli. Activity patterns generated by these neurones depend on their primary sensory characteristics or those of other neurones that may converge on them, as well as the type and magnitude of the stimuli that impinge upon their sensory fields, both normally and during ischaemia.

  10. Cortical Double-Opponent Cells in Color Perception: Perceptual Scaling and Chromatic Visual Evoked Potentials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nunez, Valerie; Shapley, Robert M; Gordon, James

    2018-01-01

    In the early visual cortex V1, there are currently only two known neural substrates for color perception: single-opponent and double-opponent cells. Our aim was to explore the relative contributions of these neurons to color perception. We measured the perceptual scaling of color saturation for equiluminant color checkerboard patterns (designed to stimulate double-opponent neurons preferentially) and uniformly colored squares (designed to stimulate only single-opponent neurons) at several cone contrasts. The spatially integrative responses of single-opponent neurons would produce the same response magnitude for checkerboards as for uniform squares of the same space-averaged cone contrast. However, perceived saturation of color checkerboards was higher than for the corresponding squares. The perceptual results therefore imply that double-opponent cells are involved in color perception of patterns. We also measured the chromatic visual evoked potential (cVEP) produced by the same stimuli; checkerboard cVEPs were much larger than those for corresponding squares, implying that double-opponent cells also contribute to the cVEP response. The total Fourier power of the cVEP grew sublinearly with cone contrast. However, the 6-Hz Fourier component's power grew linearly with contrast-like saturation perception. This may also indicate that cortical coding of color depends on response dynamics.

  11. Visual sensation during pecking in pigeons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ostheim, J

    1997-10-01

    During the final down-thrust of a pigeon's head, the eyes are closed gradually, a response that was thought to block visual input. This phase of pecking was therefore assumed to be under feed-forward control exclusively. Analysis of high resolution video-recordings showed that visual information collected during the down-thrust of the head could be used for 'on-line' modulations of pecks in progress. We thus concluded that the final down-thrust of the head is not exclusively controlled by feed-forward mechanisms but also by visual feedback components. We could further establish that as a rule the eyes are never closed completely but instead the eyelids form a slit which leaves a part of the pupil uncovered. The width of the slit between the pigeon' eyelids is highly sensitive to both, ambient luminance and the visual background against which seeds are offered. It was concluded that eyelid slits increase the focal depth of retinal images at extreme near-field viewing-conditions. Applying pharmacological methods we could confirm that pupil size and eyelid slit width are controlled through conjoint neuronal mechanisms. This shared neuronal network is particularly sensitive to drugs that affect dopamine receptors.

  12. On the acoustic wave sensor response to immortalized hypothalamic neurons at the device-liquid interface

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shilin Cheung

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available The response of a thickness shear mode biosensor to immortalized murine hypothalamic neurons (mHypoE-38 and -46 cells under a variety of conditions and stimuli is discussed. Cellular studies which lead to the production of detectable neuronal responses include neuronal deposition, adhesion and proliferation, alteration in the extent of specific cell-surface interactions, actin filament and microtubule cytoskeletal disruptions, effects of cell depolarization, inhibition of the Na+-K+ pump via ouabain, effects of neuronal synchronization and the effects ligand-receptor interaction (glucagon. In the presence of cells, fs shifts are largely influenced by the damping of the TSM resonator. The formation of cell-surface interactions and hence the increase in coupling and acoustic energy dissipation can be modeled as an additional resistor in the BVD model. Further sensor and cellular changes can be obtained by negating the effects of damping from fs via the use of Rm and θmax. Keywords: Acoustic wave sensor, Hypothalamic neurons, Neuron cell-surface interaction

  13. Fast coding of orientation in primary visual cortex.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oren Shriki

    Full Text Available Understanding how populations of neurons encode sensory information is a major goal of systems neuroscience. Attempts to answer this question have focused on responses measured over several hundred milliseconds, a duration much longer than that frequently used by animals to make decisions about the environment. How reliably sensory information is encoded on briefer time scales, and how best to extract this information, is unknown. Although it has been proposed that neuronal response latency provides a major cue for fast decisions in the visual system, this hypothesis has not been tested systematically and in a quantitative manner. Here we use a simple 'race to threshold' readout mechanism to quantify the information content of spike time latency of primary visual (V1 cortical cells to stimulus orientation. We find that many V1 cells show pronounced tuning of their spike latency to stimulus orientation and that almost as much information can be extracted from spike latencies as from firing rates measured over much longer durations. To extract this information, stimulus onset must be estimated accurately. We show that the responses of cells with weak tuning of spike latency can provide a reliable onset detector. We find that spike latency information can be pooled from a large neuronal population, provided that the decision threshold is scaled linearly with the population size, yielding a processing time of the order of a few tens of milliseconds. Our results provide a novel mechanism for extracting information from neuronal populations over the very brief time scales in which behavioral judgments must sometimes be made.

  14. Neural input is critical for arcuate hypothalamic neurons to mount intracellular signaling responses to systemic insulin and deoxyglucose challenges in male rats: implications for communication within feeding and metabolic control networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khan, Arshad M; Walker, Ellen M; Dominguez, Nicole; Watts, Alan G

    2014-02-01

    The hypothalamic arcuate nucleus (ARH) controls rat feeding behavior in part through peptidergic neurons projecting to the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus (PVH). Hindbrain catecholaminergic (CA) neurons innervate both the PVH and ARH, and ablation of CA afferents to PVH neuroendocrine neurons prevents them from mounting cellular responses to systemic metabolic challenges such as insulin or 2-deoxy-d-glucose (2-DG). Here, we asked whether ablating CA afferents also limits their ARH responses to the same challenges or alters ARH connectivity with the PVH. We examined ARH neurons for three features: (1) CA afferents, visualized by dopamine-β-hydroxylase (DBH)- immunoreactivity; (2) activation by systemic metabolic challenge, as measured by increased numbers of neurons immunoreactive (ir) for phosphorylated ERK1/2 (pERK1/2); and (3) density of PVH-targeted axons immunoreactive for the feeding control peptides Agouti-related peptide and α-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (αMSH). Loss of PVH DBH immunoreactivity resulted in concomitant ARH reductions of DBH-ir and pERK1/2-ir neurons in the medial ARH, where AgRP neurons are enriched. In contrast, pERK1/2 immunoreactivity after systemic metabolic challenge was absent in αMSH-ir ARH neurons. Yet surprisingly, axonal αMSH immunoreactivity in the PVH was markedly increased in CA-ablated animals. These results indicate that (1) intrinsic ARH activity is insufficient to recruit pERK1/2-ir ARH neurons during systemic metabolic challenges (rather, hindbrain-originating CA neurons are required); and (2) rats may compensate for a loss of CA innervation to the ARH and PVH by increased expression of αMSH. These findings highlight the existence of a hierarchical dependence for ARH responses to neural and humoral signals that influence feeding behavior and metabolism.

  15. Sucralose Promotes Food Intake through NPY and a Neuronal Fasting Response.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Qiao-Ping; Lin, Yong Qi; Zhang, Lei; Wilson, Yana A; Oyston, Lisa J; Cotterell, James; Qi, Yue; Khuong, Thang M; Bakhshi, Noman; Planchenault, Yoann; Browman, Duncan T; Lau, Man Tat; Cole, Tiffany A; Wong, Adam C N; Simpson, Stephen J; Cole, Adam R; Penninger, Josef M; Herzog, Herbert; Neely, G Gregory

    2016-07-12

    Non-nutritive sweeteners like sucralose are consumed by billions of people. While animal and human studies have demonstrated a link between synthetic sweetener consumption and metabolic dysregulation, the mechanisms responsible remain unknown. Here we use a diet supplemented with sucralose to investigate the long-term effects of sweet/energy imbalance. In flies, chronic sweet/energy imbalance promoted hyperactivity, insomnia, glucose intolerance, enhanced sweet taste perception, and a sustained increase in food and calories consumed, effects that are reversed upon sucralose removal. Mechanistically, this response was mapped to the ancient insulin, catecholamine, and NPF/NPY systems and the energy sensor AMPK, which together comprise a novel neuronal starvation response pathway. Interestingly, chronic sweet/energy imbalance promoted increased food intake in mammals as well, and this also occurs through an NPY-dependent mechanism. Together, our data show that chronic consumption of a sweet/energy imbalanced diet triggers a conserved neuronal fasting response and increases the motivation to eat. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Hindbrain Catecholamine Neurons Activate Orexin Neurons During Systemic Glucoprivation in Male Rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Ai-Jun; Wang, Qing; Elsarelli, Megan M; Brown, R Lane; Ritter, Sue

    2015-08-01

    Hindbrain catecholamine neurons are required for elicitation of feeding responses to glucose deficit, but the forebrain circuitry required for these responses is incompletely understood. Here we examined interactions of catecholamine and orexin neurons in eliciting glucoprivic feeding. Orexin neurons, located in the perifornical lateral hypothalamus (PeFLH), are heavily innervated by hindbrain catecholamine neurons, stimulate food intake, and increase arousal and behavioral activation. Orexin neurons may therefore contribute importantly to appetitive responses, such as food seeking, during glucoprivation. Retrograde tracing results showed that nearly all innervation of the PeFLH from the hindbrain originated from catecholamine neurons and some raphe nuclei. Results also suggested that many catecholamine neurons project collaterally to the PeFLH and paraventricular hypothalamic nucleus. Systemic administration of the antiglycolytic agent, 2-deoxy-D-glucose, increased food intake and c-Fos expression in orexin neurons. Both responses were eliminated by a lesion of catecholamine neurons innervating orexin neurons using the retrogradely transported immunotoxin, anti-dopamine-β-hydroxylase saporin, which is specifically internalized by dopamine-β-hydroxylase-expressing catecholamine neurons. Using designer receptors exclusively activated by designer drugs in transgenic rats expressing Cre recombinase under the control of tyrosine hydroxylase promoter, catecholamine neurons in cell groups A1 and C1 of the ventrolateral medulla were activated selectively by peripheral injection of clozapine-N-oxide. Clozapine-N-oxide injection increased food intake and c-Fos expression in PeFLH orexin neurons as well as in paraventricular hypothalamic nucleus neurons. In summary, catecholamine neurons are required for the activation of orexin neurons during glucoprivation. Activation of orexin neurons may contribute to appetitive responses required for glucoprivic feeding.

  17. Dopamine Neurons Change the Type of Excitability in Response to Stimuli

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gutkin, Boris S.; Lapish, Christopher C.; Kuznetsov, Alexey

    2016-01-01

    The dynamics of neuronal excitability determine the neuron’s response to stimuli, its synchronization and resonance properties and, ultimately, the computations it performs in the brain. We investigated the dynamical mechanisms underlying the excitability type of dopamine (DA) neurons, using a conductance-based biophysical model, and its regulation by intrinsic and synaptic currents. Calibrating the model to reproduce low frequency tonic firing results in N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) excitation balanced by γ-Aminobutyric acid (GABA)-mediated inhibition and leads to type I excitable behavior characterized by a continuous decrease in firing frequency in response to hyperpolarizing currents. Furthermore, we analyzed how excitability type of the DA neuron model is influenced by changes in the intrinsic current composition. A subthreshold sodium current is necessary for a continuous frequency decrease during application of a negative current, and the low-frequency “balanced” state during simultaneous activation of NMDA and GABA receptors. Blocking this current switches the neuron to type II characterized by the abrupt onset of repetitive firing. Enhancing the anomalous rectifier Ih current also switches the excitability to type II. Key characteristics of synaptic conductances that may be observed in vivo also change the type of excitability: a depolarized γ-Aminobutyric acid receptor (GABAR) reversal potential or co-activation of α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptors (AMPARs) leads to an abrupt frequency drop to zero, which is typical for type II excitability. Coactivation of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors (NMDARs) together with AMPARs and GABARs shifts the type I/II boundary toward more hyperpolarized GABAR reversal potentials. To better understand how altering each of the aforementioned currents leads to changes in excitability profile of DA neuron, we provide a thorough dynamical analysis. Collectively, these results imply that type I

  18. Response of Electrical Activity in an Improved Neuron Model under Electromagnetic Radiation and Noise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhan, Feibiao; Liu, Shenquan

    2017-01-01

    Electrical activities are ubiquitous neuronal bioelectric phenomena, which have many different modes to encode the expression of biological information, and constitute the whole process of signal propagation between neurons. Therefore, we focus on the electrical activities of neurons, which is also causing widespread concern among neuroscientists. In this paper, we mainly investigate the electrical activities of the Morris-Lecar (M-L) model with electromagnetic radiation or Gaussian white noise, which can restore the authenticity of neurons in realistic neural network. First, we explore dynamical response of the whole system with electromagnetic induction (EMI) and Gaussian white noise. We find that there are slight differences in the discharge behaviors via comparing the response of original system with that of improved system, and electromagnetic induction can transform bursting or spiking state to quiescent state and vice versa. Furthermore, we research bursting transition mode and the corresponding periodic solution mechanism for the isolated neuron model with electromagnetic induction by using one-parameter and bi-parameters bifurcation analysis. Finally, we analyze the effects of Gaussian white noise on the original system and coupled system, which is conducive to understand the actual discharge properties of realistic neurons.

  19. Response of Electrical Activity in an Improved Neuron Model under Electromagnetic Radiation and Noise

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Feibiao Zhan

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Electrical activities are ubiquitous neuronal bioelectric phenomena, which have many different modes to encode the expression of biological information, and constitute the whole process of signal propagation between neurons. Therefore, we focus on the electrical activities of neurons, which is also causing widespread concern among neuroscientists. In this paper, we mainly investigate the electrical activities of the Morris-Lecar (M-L model with electromagnetic radiation or Gaussian white noise, which can restore the authenticity of neurons in realistic neural network. First, we explore dynamical response of the whole system with electromagnetic induction (EMI and Gaussian white noise. We find that there are slight differences in the discharge behaviors via comparing the response of original system with that of improved system, and electromagnetic induction can transform bursting or spiking state to quiescent state and vice versa. Furthermore, we research bursting transition mode and the corresponding periodic solution mechanism for the isolated neuron model with electromagnetic induction by using one-parameter and bi-parameters bifurcation analysis. Finally, we analyze the effects of Gaussian white noise on the original system and coupled system, which is conducive to understand the actual discharge properties of realistic neurons.

  20. Influenza Virus Induces Inflammatory Response in Mouse Primary Cortical Neurons with Limited Viral Replication

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    Gefei Wang

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Unlike stereotypical neurotropic viruses, influenza A viruses have been detected in the brain tissues of human and animal models. To investigate the interaction between neurons and influenza A viruses, mouse cortical neurons were isolated, infected with human H1N1 influenza virus, and then examined for the production of various inflammatory molecules involved in immune response. We found that replication of the influenza virus in neurons was limited, although early viral transcription was not affected. Virus-induced neuron viability decreased at 6 h postinfection (p.i. but increased at 24 h p.i. depending upon the viral strain. Virus-induced apoptosis and cytopathy in primary cortical neurons were not apparent at 24 h p.i. The mRNA levels of inflammatory cytokines, chemokines, and type I interferons were upregulated at 6 h and 24 h p.i. These results indicate that the influenza virus induces inflammatory response in mouse primary cortical neurons with limited viral replication. The cytokines released in viral infection-induced neuroinflammation might play critical roles in influenza encephalopathy, rather than in viral replication-induced cytopathy.

  1. Anatomy and physiology of the afferent visual system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prasad, Sashank; Galetta, Steven L

    2011-01-01

    The efficient organization of the human afferent visual system meets enormous computational challenges. Once visual information is received by the eye, the signal is relayed by the retina, optic nerve, chiasm, tracts, lateral geniculate nucleus, and optic radiations to the striate cortex and extrastriate association cortices for final visual processing. At each stage, the functional organization of these circuits is derived from their anatomical and structural relationships. In the retina, photoreceptors convert photons of light to an electrochemical signal that is relayed to retinal ganglion cells. Ganglion cell axons course through the optic nerve, and their partial decussation in the chiasm brings together corresponding inputs from each eye. Some inputs follow pathways to mediate pupil light reflexes and circadian rhythms. However, the majority of inputs arrive at the lateral geniculate nucleus, which relays visual information via second-order neurons that course through the optic radiations to arrive in striate cortex. Feedback mechanisms from higher cortical areas shape the neuronal responses in early visual areas, supporting coherent visual perception. Detailed knowledge of the anatomy of the afferent visual system, in combination with skilled examination, allows precise localization of neuropathological processes and guides effective diagnosis and management of neuro-ophthalmic disorders. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Discrimination of communication vocalizations by single neurons and groups of neurons in the auditory midbrain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneider, David M; Woolley, Sarah M N

    2010-06-01

    Many social animals including songbirds use communication vocalizations for individual recognition. The perception of vocalizations depends on the encoding of complex sounds by neurons in the ascending auditory system, each of which is tuned to a particular subset of acoustic features. Here, we examined how well the responses of single auditory neurons could be used to discriminate among bird songs and we compared discriminability to spectrotemporal tuning. We then used biologically realistic models of pooled neural responses to test whether the responses of groups of neurons discriminated among songs better than the responses of single neurons and whether discrimination by groups of neurons was related to spectrotemporal tuning and trial-to-trial response variability. The responses of single auditory midbrain neurons could be used to discriminate among vocalizations with a wide range of abilities, ranging from chance to 100%. The ability to discriminate among songs using single neuron responses was not correlated with spectrotemporal tuning. Pooling the responses of pairs of neurons generally led to better discrimination than the average of the two inputs and the most discriminating input. Pooling the responses of three to five single neurons continued to improve neural discrimination. The increase in discriminability was largest for groups of neurons with similar spectrotemporal tuning. Further, we found that groups of neurons with correlated spike trains achieved the largest gains in discriminability. We simulated neurons with varying levels of temporal precision and measured the discriminability of responses from single simulated neurons and groups of simulated neurons. Simulated neurons with biologically observed levels of temporal precision benefited more from pooling correlated inputs than did neurons with highly precise or imprecise spike trains. These findings suggest that pooling correlated neural responses with the levels of precision observed in the

  3. The Neuronal Ceroid-Lipofuscinoses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bennett, Michael J.; Rakheja, Dinesh

    2013-01-01

    The neuronal ceroid-lipofuscinoses (NCL's, Batten disease) represent a group of severe neurodegenerative diseases, which mostly present in childhood. The phenotypes are similar and include visual loss, seizures, loss of motor and cognitive function, and early death. At autopsy, there is massive neuronal loss with characteristic storage in…

  4. Cholinergic neuromodulation changes phase response curve shape and type in cortical pyramidal neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Klaus M Stiefel

    Full Text Available Spike generation in cortical neurons depends on the interplay between diverse intrinsic conductances. The phase response curve (PRC is a measure of the spike time shift caused by perturbations of the membrane potential as a function of the phase of the spike cycle of a neuron. Near the rheobase, purely positive (type I phase-response curves are associated with an onset of repetitive firing through a saddle-node bifurcation, whereas biphasic (type II phase-response curves point towards a transition based on a Hopf-Andronov bifurcation. In recordings from layer 2/3 pyramidal neurons in cortical slices, cholinergic action, consistent with down-regulation of slow voltage-dependent potassium currents such as the M-current, switched the PRC from type II to type I. This is the first report showing that cholinergic neuromodulation may cause a qualitative switch in the PRCs type implying a change in the fundamental dynamical mechanism of spike generation.

  5. Population receptive field (pRF) measurements of chromatic responses in human visual cortex using fMRI.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Welbourne, Lauren E; Morland, Antony B; Wade, Alex R

    2018-02-15

    The spatial sensitivity of the human visual system depends on stimulus color: achromatic gratings can be resolved at relatively high spatial frequencies while sensitivity to isoluminant color contrast tends to be more low-pass. Models of early spatial vision often assume that the receptive field size of pattern-sensitive neurons is correlated with their spatial frequency sensitivity - larger receptive fields are typically associated with lower optimal spatial frequency. A strong prediction of this model is that neurons coding isoluminant chromatic patterns should have, on average, a larger receptive field size than neurons sensitive to achromatic patterns. Here, we test this assumption using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). We show that while spatial frequency sensitivity depends on chromaticity in the manner predicted by behavioral measurements, population receptive field (pRF) size measurements show no such dependency. At any given eccentricity, the mean pRF size for neuronal populations driven by luminance, opponent red/green and S-cone isolating contrast, are identical. Changes in pRF size (for example, an increase with eccentricity and visual area hierarchy) are also identical across the three chromatic conditions. These results suggest that fMRI measurements of receptive field size and spatial resolution can be decoupled under some circumstances - potentially reflecting a fundamental dissociation between these parameters at the level of neuronal populations. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Contextual effects in the primary visual cortex of anesthetized cats

    OpenAIRE

    Biederlack, Julia

    2007-01-01

    Responses of visual cortical neurons in early processing stages can be modulated by stimuli presented outside the classical receptive field. The function of these context effects is still not completly understood, but its relevance for global image processing such as figure-ground segregation has been suggested. In the present study we investigate aspects of centre-surround interactions and the role of neural synchronisation in this context. Neuronal synchronization has been proposed to under...

  7. Automatic spread of attentional response modulation along Gestalt criteria in primary visual cortex

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wannig, Aurel; Stanisor, Liviu; Roelfsema, Pieter R.

    2011-01-01

    Visual attention can select spatial locations, features and objects. Theories of object-based attention claim that attention enhances the representation of all parts of an object, even parts that are not task relevant. We recorded neuronal activity in area V1 of macaque monkeys and observed an

  8. Feedforward, horizontal, and feedback processing in the visual cortex.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Spekreijse, H.; Lamme, V.A.F.

    1998-01-01

    The cortical visual system consists of many richly interconnected areas. Each area is characterized by more or less specific receptive field tuning properties. However, these tuning properties reflect only a subset of the interactions that occur within and between areas. Neuronal responses may be

  9. Sensory Prioritization in Rats: Behavioral Performance and Neuronal Correlates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Conrad C Y; Diamond, Mathew E; Arabzadeh, Ehsan

    2016-03-16

    Operating with some finite quantity of processing resources, an animal would benefit from prioritizing the sensory modality expected to provide key information in a particular context. The present study investigated whether rats dedicate attentional resources to the sensory modality in which a near-threshold event is more likely to occur. We manipulated attention by controlling the likelihood with which a stimulus was presented from one of two modalities. In a whisker session, 80% of trials contained a brief vibration stimulus applied to whiskers and the remaining 20% of trials contained a brief change of luminance. These likelihoods were reversed in a visual session. When a stimulus was presented in the high-likelihood context, detection performance increased and was faster compared with the same stimulus presented in the low-likelihood context. Sensory prioritization was also reflected in neuronal activity in the vibrissal area of primary somatosensory cortex: single units responded differentially to the whisker vibration stimulus when presented with higher probability compared with lower probability. Neuronal activity in the vibrissal cortex displayed signatures of multiplicative gain control and enhanced response to vibration stimuli during the whisker session. In conclusion, rats allocate priority to the more likely stimulus modality and the primary sensory cortex may participate in the redistribution of resources. Detection of low-amplitude events is critical to survival; for example, to warn prey of predators. To formulate a response, decision-making systems must extract minute neuronal signals from the sensory modality that provides key information. Here, we identify the behavioral and neuronal correlates of sensory prioritization in rats. Rats were trained to detect whisker vibrations or visual flickers. Stimuli were embedded in two contexts in which either visual or whisker modality was more likely to occur. When a stimulus was presented in the high

  10. Corazonin neurons function in sexually dimorphic circuitry that shape behavioral responses to stress in Drosophila.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yan Zhao

    Full Text Available All organisms are confronted with dynamic environmental changes that challenge homeostasis, which is the operational definition of stress. Stress produces adaptive behavioral and physiological responses, which, in the Metazoa, are mediated through the actions of various hormones. Based on its associated phenotypes and its expression profiles, a candidate stress hormone in Drosophila is the corazonin neuropeptide. We evaluated the potential roles of corazonin in mediating stress-related changes in target behaviors and physiologies through genetic alteration of corazonin neuronal excitability. Ablation of corazonin neurons confers resistance to metabolic, osmotic, and oxidative stress, as measured by survival. Silencing and activation of corazonin neurons lead to differential lifespan under stress, and these effects showed a strong dependence on sex. Additionally, altered corazonin neuron physiology leads to fundamental differences in locomotor activity, and these effects were also sex-dependent. The dynamics of altered locomotor behavior accompanying stress was likewise altered in flies with altered corazonin neuronal function. We report that corazonin transcript expression is altered under starvation and osmotic stress, and that triglyceride and dopamine levels are equally impacted in corazonin neuronal alterations and these phenotypes similarly show significant sexual dimorphisms. Notably, these sexual dimorphisms map to corazonin neurons. These results underscore the importance of central peptidergic processing within the context of stress and place corazonin signaling as a critical feature of neuroendocrine events that shape stress responses and may underlie the inherent sexual dimorphic differences in stress responses.

  11. Double sliding-window technique: a new method to calculate the neuronal response onset latency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berényi, Antal; Benedek, György; Nagy, Attila

    2007-10-31

    Neuronal response onset latency provides important data on the information processing within the central nervous system. In order to enhance the quality of the onset latency estimation, we have developed a 'double sliding-window' technique, which combines the advantages of mathematical methods with the reliability of standard statistical processes. This method is based on repetitive series of statistical probes between two virtual time windows. The layout of the significance curve reveals the starting points of changes in neuronal activity in the form of break-points between linear segments. A second-order difference function is applied to determine the position of maximum slope change, which corresponds to the onset of the response. In comparison with Poisson spike-train analysis, the cumulative sum technique and the method of Falzett et al., this 'double sliding-window, technique seems to be a more accurate automated procedure to calculate the response onset latency of a broad range of neuronal response characteristics.

  12. Visual perception and imagery: a new molecular hypothesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bókkon, I

    2009-05-01

    Here, we put forward a redox molecular hypothesis about the natural biophysical substrate of visual perception and visual imagery. This hypothesis is based on the redox and bioluminescent processes of neuronal cells in retinotopically organized cytochrome oxidase-rich visual areas. Our hypothesis is in line with the functional roles of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species in living cells that are not part of haphazard process, but rather a very strict mechanism used in signaling pathways. We point out that there is a direct relationship between neuronal activity and the biophoton emission process in the brain. Electrical and biochemical processes in the brain represent sensory information from the external world. During encoding or retrieval of information, electrical signals of neurons can be converted into synchronized biophoton signals by bioluminescent radical and non-radical processes. Therefore, information in the brain appears not only as an electrical (chemical) signal but also as a regulated biophoton (weak optical) signal inside neurons. During visual perception, the topological distribution of photon stimuli on the retina is represented by electrical neuronal activity in retinotopically organized visual areas. These retinotopic electrical signals in visual neurons can be converted into synchronized biophoton signals by radical and non-radical processes in retinotopically organized mitochondria-rich areas. As a result, regulated bioluminescent biophotons can create intrinsic pictures (depictive representation) in retinotopically organized cytochrome oxidase-rich visual areas during visual imagery and visual perception. The long-term visual memory is interpreted as epigenetic information regulated by free radicals and redox processes. This hypothesis does not claim to solve the secret of consciousness, but proposes that the evolution of higher levels of complexity made the intrinsic picture representation of the external visual world possible by regulated

  13. Macroglia-derived thrombospondin 2 regulates alterations of presynaptic proteins of retinal neurons following elevated hydrostatic pressure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Shuchao; Hu, Tu; Wang, Zhen; Li, Na; Zhou, Lihong; Liao, Lvshuang; Wang, Mi; Liao, Libin; Wang, Hui; Zeng, Leping; Fan, Chunling; Zhou, Hongkang; Xiong, Kun; Huang, Jufang; Chen, Dan

    2017-01-01

    Many studies on retinal injury and repair following elevated intraocular pressure suggest that the survival ratio of retinal neurons has been improved by various measures. However, the visual function recovery is far lower than expected. The homeostasis of retinal synapses in the visual signal pathway is the key structural basis for the delivery of visual signals. Our previous studies found that complicated changes in the synaptic structure between retinal neurons occurred much earlier than obvious degeneration of retinal ganglion cells in rat retinae. The lack of consideration of these earlier retinal synaptic changes in the rescue strategy may be partly responsible for the limited visual function recovery with the types of protective methods for retinal neurons used following elevated intraocular pressure. Thus, research on the modulatory mechanisms of the synaptic changes after elevated intraocular pressure injury may give new light to visual function rescue. In this study, we found that thrombospondin 2, an important regulator of synaptogenesis in central nervous system development, was distributed in retinal macroglia cells, and its receptor α2δ-1 was in retinal neurons. Cell cultures including mixed retinal macroglia cells/neuron cultures and retinal neuron cultures were exposed to elevated hydrostatic pressure for 2 h. The expression levels of glial fibrillary acidic protein (the marker of activated macroglia cells), thrombospondin 2, α2δ-1 and presynaptic proteins were increased following elevated hydrostatic pressure in mixed cultures, but the expression levels of postsynaptic proteins were not changed. SiRNA targeting thrombospondin 2 could decrease the upregulation of presynaptic proteins induced by the elevated hydrostatic pressure. However, in retinal neuron cultures, elevated hydrostatic pressure did not affect the expression of presynaptic or postsynaptic proteins. Rather, the retinal neuron cultures with added recombinant thrombospondin 2

  14. A review of the methods for neuronal response latency estimation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Levakovaa, Marie; Tamborrino, Massimiliano; Ditlevsen, Susanne

    2015-01-01

    Neuronal response latency is usually vaguely defined as the delay between the stimulus onset and the beginning of the response. It contains important information for the understanding of the temporal code. For this reason, the detection of the response latency has been extensively studied in the ...... by the stimulation using interspike intervals and spike times. The aim of this paper is to present a review of the main techniques proposed in both classes, highlighting their advantages and shortcomings....

  15. Visual-induced expectations modulate auditory cortical responses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Virginie evan Wassenhove

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Active sensing has important consequences on multisensory processing (Schroeder et al. 2010. Here, we asked whether in the absence of saccades, the position of the eyes and the timing of transient colour changes of visual stimuli could selectively affect the excitability of auditory cortex by predicting the where and the when of a sound, respectively. Human participants were recorded with magnetoencephalography (MEG while maintaining the position of their eyes on the left, right, or centre of the screen. Participants counted colour changes of the fixation cross while neglecting sounds which could be presented to the left, right or both ears. First, clear alpha power increases were observed in auditory cortices, consistent with participants’ attention directed to visual inputs. Second, colour changes elicited robust modulations of auditory cortex responses (when prediction seen as ramping activity, early alpha phase-locked responses, and enhanced high-gamma band responses in the contralateral side of sound presentation. Third, no modulations of auditory evoked or oscillatory activity were found to be specific to eye position. Altogether, our results suggest that visual transience can automatically elicit a prediction of when a sound will occur by changing the excitability of auditory cortices irrespective of the attended modality, eye position or spatial congruency of auditory and visual events. To the contrary, auditory cortical responses were not significantly affected by eye position suggesting that where predictions may require active sensing or saccadic reset to modulate auditory cortex responses, notably in the absence of spatial orientation to sounds.

  16. Multiplicative mixing of object identity and image attributes in single inferior temporal neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ratan Murty, N Apurva; Arun, S P

    2018-04-03

    Object recognition is challenging because the same object can produce vastly different images, mixing signals related to its identity with signals due to its image attributes, such as size, position, rotation, etc. Previous studies have shown that both signals are present in high-level visual areas, but precisely how they are combined has remained unclear. One possibility is that neurons might encode identity and attribute signals multiplicatively so that each can be efficiently decoded without interference from the other. Here, we show that, in high-level visual cortex, responses of single neurons can be explained better as a product rather than a sum of tuning for object identity and tuning for image attributes. This subtle effect in single neurons produced substantially better population decoding of object identity and image attributes in the neural population as a whole. This property was absent both in low-level vision models and in deep neural networks. It was also unique to invariances: when tested with two-part objects, neural responses were explained better as a sum than as a product of part tuning. Taken together, our results indicate that signals requiring separate decoding, such as object identity and image attributes, are combined multiplicatively in IT neurons, whereas signals that require integration (such as parts in an object) are combined additively. Copyright © 2018 the Author(s). Published by PNAS.

  17. Gravity and neuronal adaptation, in vitro and in vivo-from neuronal cells up to neuromuscular responses: a first model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohn, Florian P M; Ritzmann, Ramona

    2018-03-01

    For decades it has been shown that acute changes in gravity have an effect on neuronal systems of human and animals on different levels, from the molecular level to the whole nervous system. The functional properties and gravity-dependent adaptations of these system levels have been investigated with no or barely any interconnection. This review summarizes the gravity-dependent adaptation processes in human and animal organisms from the in vitro cellular level with its biophysical properties to the in vivo motor responses and underlying sensorimotor functions of human subjects. Subsequently, a first model for short-term adaptation of neuronal transmission is presented and discussed for the first time, which integrates the responses of the different levels of organization to changes in gravity.

  18. Response of Cultured Neuronal Network Activity After High-Intensity Power Frequency Magnetic Field Exposure

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Atsushi Saito

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available High-intensity and low frequency (1–100 kHz time-varying electromagnetic fields stimulate the human body through excitation of the nervous system. In power frequency range (50/60 Hz, a frequency-dependent threshold of the external electric field-induced neuronal modulation in cultured neuronal networks was used as one of the biological indicator in international guidelines; however, the threshold of the magnetic field-induced neuronal modulation has not been elucidated. In this study, we exposed rat brain-derived neuronal networks to a high-intensity power frequency magnetic field (hPF-MF, and evaluated the modulation of synchronized bursting activity using a multi-electrode array (MEA-based extracellular recording technique. As a result of short-term hPF-MF exposure (50–400 mT root-mean-square (rms, 50 Hz, sinusoidal wave, 6 s, the synchronized bursting activity was increased in the 400 mT-exposed group. On the other hand, no change was observed in the 50–200 mT-exposed groups. In order to clarify the mechanisms of the 400 mT hPF-MF exposure-induced neuronal response, we evaluated it after blocking inhibitory synapses using bicuculline methiodide (BMI; subsequently, increase in bursting activity was observed with BMI application, and the response of 400 mT hPF-MF exposure disappeared. Therefore, it was suggested that the response of hPF-MF exposure was involved in the inhibitory input. Next, we screened the inhibitory pacemaker-like neuronal activity which showed autonomous 4–10 Hz firing with CNQX and D-AP5 application, and it was confirmed that the activity was reduced after 400 mT hPF-MF exposure. Comparison of these experimental results with estimated values of the induced electric field (E-field in the culture medium revealed that the change in synchronized bursting activity occurred over 0.3 V/m, which was equivalent to the findings of a previous study that used the external electric fields. In addition, the results suggested that

  19. Response properties of neurons in the cat's putamen during auditory discrimination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Zhenling; Sato, Yu; Qin, Ling

    2015-10-01

    The striatum integrates diverse convergent input and plays a critical role in the goal-directed behaviors. To date, the auditory functions of striatum are less studied. Recently, it was demonstrated that auditory cortico-striatal projections influence behavioral performance during a frequency discrimination task. To reveal the functions of striatal neurons in auditory discrimination, we recorded the single-unit spike activities in the putamen (dorsal striatum) of free-moving cats while performing a Go/No-go task to discriminate the sounds with different modulation rates (12.5 Hz vs. 50 Hz) or envelopes (damped vs. ramped). We found that the putamen neurons can be broadly divided into four groups according to their contributions to sound discrimination. First, 40% of neurons showed vigorous responses synchronized to the sound envelope, and could precisely discriminate different sounds. Second, 18% of neurons showed a high preference of ramped to damped sounds, but no preference for modulation rate. They could only discriminate the change of sound envelope. Third, 27% of neurons rapidly adapted to the sound stimuli, had no ability of sound discrimination. Fourth, 15% of neurons discriminated the sounds dependent on the reward-prediction. Comparing to passively listening condition, the activities of putamen neurons were significantly enhanced by the engagement of the auditory tasks, but not modulated by the cat's behavioral choice. The coexistence of multiple types of neurons suggests that the putamen is involved in the transformation from auditory representation to stimulus-reward association. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Thermo-responsive polymeric nanoparticles for enhancing neuronal differentiation of human induced pluripotent stem cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seo, Hye In; Cho, Ann-Na; Jang, Jiho; Kim, Dong-Wook; Cho, Seung-Woo; Chung, Bong Geun

    2015-10-01

    We report thermo-responsive retinoic acid (RA)-loaded poly(N-isopropylacrylamide)-co-acrylamide (PNIPAM-co-Am) nanoparticles for directing human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC) fate. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and (1)H nuclear magnetic resonance analysis confirmed that RA was efficiently incorporated into PNIAPM-co-Am nanoparticles (PCANs). The size of PCANs dropped with increasing temperatures (300-400 nm at room temperature, 80-90 nm at 37°C) due to its phase transition from hydrophilic to hydrophobic. Due to particle shrinkage caused by this thermo-responsive property of PCANs, RA could be released from nanoparticles in the cells upon cellular uptake. Immunocytochemistry and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction analysis demonstrated that neuronal differentiation of hiPSC-derived neuronal precursors was enhanced after treatment with 1-2 μg/ml RA-loaded PCANs. Therefore, we propose that this PCAN could be a potentially powerful carrier for effective RA delivery to direct hiPSC fate to neuronal lineage. The use of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) has been at the forefront of research in the field of regenerative medicine, as these cells have the potential to differentiate into various terminal cell types. In this article, the authors utilized a thermo-responsive polymer, Poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAM), as a delivery platform for retinoic acid. It was shown that neuronal differentiation could be enhanced in hiPSC-derived neuronal precursor cells. This method may pave a way for future treatment of neuronal diseases. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Higher-order neural processing tunes motion neurons to visual ecology in three species of hawkmoths.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stöckl, A L; O'Carroll, D; Warrant, E J

    2017-06-28

    To sample information optimally, sensory systems must adapt to the ecological demands of each animal species. These adaptations can occur peripherally, in the anatomical structures of sensory organs and their receptors; and centrally, as higher-order neural processing in the brain. While a rich body of investigations has focused on peripheral adaptations, our understanding is sparse when it comes to central mechanisms. We quantified how peripheral adaptations in the eyes, and central adaptations in the wide-field motion vision system, set the trade-off between resolution and sensitivity in three species of hawkmoths active at very different light levels: nocturnal Deilephila elpenor, crepuscular Manduca sexta , and diurnal Macroglossum stellatarum. Using optical measurements and physiological recordings from the photoreceptors and wide-field motion neurons in the lobula complex, we demonstrate that all three species use spatial and temporal summation to improve visual performance in dim light. The diurnal Macroglossum relies least on summation, but can only see at brighter intensities. Manduca, with large sensitive eyes, relies less on neural summation than the smaller eyed Deilephila , but both species attain similar visual performance at nocturnal light levels. Our results reveal how the visual systems of these three hawkmoth species are intimately matched to their visual ecologies. © 2017 The Author(s).

  2. Development of visual cortical function in infant macaques: A BOLD fMRI study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tom J Van Grootel

    Full Text Available Functional brain development is not well understood. In the visual system, neurophysiological studies in nonhuman primates show quite mature neuronal properties near birth although visual function is itself quite immature and continues to develop over many months or years after birth. Our goal was to assess the relative development of two main visual processing streams, dorsal and ventral, using BOLD fMRI in an attempt to understand the global mechanisms that support the maturation of visual behavior. Seven infant macaque monkeys (Macaca mulatta were repeatedly scanned, while anesthetized, over an age range of 102 to 1431 days. Large rotating checkerboard stimuli induced BOLD activation in visual cortices at early ages. Additionally we used static and dynamic Glass pattern stimuli to probe BOLD responses in primary visual cortex and two extrastriate areas: V4 and MT-V5. The resulting activations were analyzed with standard GLM and multivoxel pattern analysis (MVPA approaches. We analyzed three contrasts: Glass pattern present/absent, static/dynamic Glass pattern presentation, and structured/random Glass pattern form. For both GLM and MVPA approaches, robust coherent BOLD activation appeared relatively late in comparison to the maturation of known neuronal properties and the development of behavioral sensitivity to Glass patterns. Robust differential activity to Glass pattern present/absent and dynamic/static stimulus presentation appeared first in V1, followed by V4 and MT-V5 at older ages; there was no reliable distinction between the two extrastriate areas. A similar pattern of results was obtained with the two analysis methods, although MVPA analysis showed reliable differential responses emerging at later ages than GLM. Although BOLD responses to large visual stimuli are detectable, our results with more refined stimuli indicate that global BOLD activity changes as behavioral performance matures. This reflects an hierarchical development of

  3. Auditory-visual integration in fields of the auditory cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kubota, Michinori; Sugimoto, Shunji; Hosokawa, Yutaka; Ojima, Hisayuki; Horikawa, Junsei

    2017-03-01

    While multimodal interactions have been known to exist in the early sensory cortices, the response properties and spatiotemporal organization of these interactions are poorly understood. To elucidate the characteristics of multimodal sensory interactions in the cerebral cortex, neuronal responses to visual stimuli with or without auditory stimuli were investigated in core and belt fields of guinea pig auditory cortex using real-time optical imaging with a voltage-sensitive dye. On average, visual responses consisted of short excitation followed by long inhibition. Although visual responses were observed in core and belt fields, there were regional and temporal differences in responses. The most salient visual responses were observed in the caudal belt fields, especially posterior (P) and dorsocaudal belt (DCB) fields. Visual responses emerged first in fields P and DCB and then spread rostroventrally to core and ventrocaudal belt (VCB) fields. Absolute values of positive and negative peak amplitudes of visual responses were both larger in fields P and DCB than in core and VCB fields. When combined visual and auditory stimuli were applied, fields P and DCB were more inhibited than core and VCB fields beginning approximately 110 ms after stimuli. Correspondingly, differences between responses to auditory stimuli alone and combined audiovisual stimuli became larger in fields P and DCB than in core and VCB fields after approximately 110 ms after stimuli. These data indicate that visual influences are most salient in fields P and DCB, which manifest mainly as inhibition, and that they enhance differences in auditory responses among fields. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Single-cell imaging of bioenergetic responses to neuronal excitotoxicity and oxygen and glucose deprivation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Connolly, Niamh M C; Düssmann, Heiko; Anilkumar, Ujval; Huber, Heinrich J; Prehn, Jochen H M

    2014-07-30

    Excitotoxicity is a condition occurring during cerebral ischemia, seizures, and chronic neurodegeneration. It is characterized by overactivation of glutamate receptors, leading to excessive Ca(2+)/Na(+) influx into neurons, energetic stress, and subsequent neuronal injury. We and others have previously investigated neuronal populations to study how bioenergetic parameters determine neuronal injury; however, such experiments are often confounded by population-based heterogeneity and the contribution of effects of non-neuronal cells. Hence, we here characterized bioenergetics during transient excitotoxicity in rat and mouse primary neurons at the single-cell level using fluorescent sensors for intracellular glucose, ATP, and activation of the energy sensor AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK). We identified ATP depletion and recovery to energetic homeostasis, along with AMPK activation, as surprisingly rapid and plastic responses in two excitotoxic injury paradigms. We observed rapid recovery of neuronal ATP levels also in the absence of extracellular glucose, or when glycolytic ATP production was inhibited, but found mitochondria to be critical for fast and complete energetic recovery. Using an injury model of oxygen and glucose deprivation, we identified a similarly rapid bioenergetics response, yet with incomplete ATP recovery and decreased AMPK activity. Interestingly, excitotoxicity also induced an accumulation of intracellular glucose, providing an additional source of energy during and after excitotoxicity-induced energy depletion. We identified this to originate from extracellular, AMPK-dependent glucose uptake and from intracellular glucose mobilization. Surprisingly, cells recovering their elevated glucose levels faster to baseline survived longer, indicating that the plasticity of neurons to adapt to bioenergetic challenges is a key indicator of neuronal viability. Copyright © 2014 the authors 0270-6474/14/3410192-14$15.00/0.

  5. Gender differences in human single neuron responses to male emotional faces.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newhoff, Morgan; Treiman, David M; Smith, Kris A; Steinmetz, Peter N

    2015-01-01

    Well-documented differences in the psychology and behavior of men and women have spurred extensive exploration of gender's role within the brain, particularly regarding emotional processing. While neuroanatomical studies clearly show differences between the sexes, the functional effects of these differences are less understood. Neuroimaging studies have shown inconsistent locations and magnitudes of gender differences in brain hemodynamic responses to emotion. To better understand the neurophysiology of these gender differences, we analyzed recordings of single neuron activity in the human brain as subjects of both genders viewed emotional expressions. This study included recordings of single-neuron activity of 14 (6 male) epileptic patients in four brain areas: amygdala (236 neurons), hippocampus (n = 270), anterior cingulate cortex (n = 256), and ventromedial prefrontal cortex (n = 174). Neural activity was recorded while participants viewed a series of avatar male faces portraying positive, negative or neutral expressions. Significant gender differences were found in the left amygdala, where 23% (n = 15∕66) of neurons in men were significantly affected by facial emotion, vs. 8% (n = 6∕76) of neurons in women. A Fisher's exact test comparing the two ratios found a highly significant difference between the two (p differences between genders at the single-neuron level in the human amygdala. These differences may reflect gender-based distinctions in evolved capacities for emotional processing and also demonstrate the importance of including subject gender as an independent factor in future studies of emotional processing by single neurons in the human amygdala.

  6. The TRP Channels Pkd2, NompC, and Trpm Act in Cold-Sensing Neurons to Mediate Unique Aversive Behaviors to Noxious Cold in Drosophila.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turner, Heather N; Armengol, Kevin; Patel, Atit A; Himmel, Nathaniel J; Sullivan, Luis; Iyer, Srividya Chandramouli; Bhattacharya, Surajit; Iyer, Eswar Prasad R; Landry, Christian; Galko, Michael J; Cox, Daniel N

    2016-12-05

    The basic mechanisms underlying noxious cold perception are not well understood. We developed Drosophila assays for noxious cold responses. Larvae respond to near-freezing temperatures via a mutually exclusive set of singular behaviors-in particular, a full-body contraction (CT). Class III (CIII) multidendritic sensory neurons are specifically activated by cold and optogenetic activation of these neurons elicits CT. Blocking synaptic transmission in CIII neurons inhibits CT. Genetically, the transient receptor potential (TRP) channels Trpm, NompC, and Polycystic kidney disease 2 (Pkd2) are expressed in CIII neurons, where each is required for CT. Misexpression of Pkd2 is sufficient to confer cold responsiveness. The optogenetic activation level of multimodal CIII neurons determines behavioral output, and visualization of neuronal activity supports this conclusion. Coactivation of cold- and heat-responsive sensory neurons suggests that the cold-evoked response circuitry is dominant. Our Drosophila model will enable a sophisticated molecular genetic dissection of cold nociceptive genes and circuits. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Neuronal responses to physiological stress

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kagias, Konstantinos; Nehammer, Camilla; Pocock, Roger David John

    2012-01-01

    damage during aging that results in decline and eventual death. Studies have shown that the nervous system plays a pivotal role in responding to stress. Neurons not only receive and process information from the environment but also actively respond to various stresses to promote survival. These responses......Physiological stress can be defined as any external or internal condition that challenges the homeostasis of a cell or an organism. It can be divided into three different aspects: environmental stress, intrinsic developmental stress, and aging. Throughout life all living organisms are challenged...... by changes in the environment. Fluctuations in oxygen levels, temperature, and redox state for example, trigger molecular events that enable an organism to adapt, survive, and reproduce. In addition to external stressors, organisms experience stress associated with morphogenesis and changes in inner...

  8. Repeated whisker stimulation evokes invariant neuronal responses in the dorsolateral striatum of anesthetized rats: a potential correlate of sensorimotor habits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mowery, Todd M; Harrold, Jon B; Alloway, Kevin D

    2011-05-01

    The dorsolateral striatum (DLS) receives extensive projections from primary somatosensory cortex (SI), but very few studies have used somesthetic stimulation to characterize the sensory coding properties of DLS neurons. In this study, we used computer-controlled whisker deflections to characterize the extracellular responses of DLS neurons in rats lightly anesthetized with isoflurane. When multiple whiskers were synchronously deflected by rapid back-and-forth movements, whisker-sensitive neurons in the DLS responded to both directions of movement. The latency and magnitude of these neuronal responses displayed very little variation with changes in the rate (2, 5, or 8 Hz) of whisker stimulation. Simultaneous recordings in SI barrel cortex and the DLS revealed important distinctions in the neuronal responses of these serially connected brain regions. In contrast to DLS neurons, SI neurons were activated by the initial deflection of the whiskers but did not respond when the whiskers moved back to their original position. As the rate of whisker stimulation increased, SI responsiveness declined, and the latencies of the responses increased. In fact, when whiskers were deflected at 5 or 8 Hz, many neurons in the DLS responded before the SI neurons. These results and earlier anatomic findings suggest that a component of the sensory-induced response in the DLS is mediated by inputs from the thalamus. Furthermore, the lack of sensory adaptation in the DLS may represent a critical part of the neural mechanism by which the DLS encodes stimulus-response associations that trigger motor habits and other stimulus-evoked behaviors that are not contingent on rewarded outcomes.

  9. Modification of surface/neuron interfaces for neural cell-type specific responses: a review

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chen, Cen; Kong, Xiangdong; Lee, In-Seop

    2016-01-01

    Surface/neuron interfaces have played an important role in neural repair including neural prostheses and tissue engineered scaffolds. This comprehensive literature review covers recent studies on the modification of surface/neuron interfaces. These interfaces are identified in cases both where the surfaces of substrates or scaffolds were in direct contact with cells and where the surfaces were modified to facilitate cell adhesion and controlling cell-type specific responses. Different sources of cells for neural repair are described, such as pheochromocytoma neuronal-like cell, neural stem cell (NSC), embryonic stem cell (ESC), mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) and induced pluripotent stem cell (iPS). Commonly modified methods are discussed including patterned surfaces at micro- or nano-scale, surface modification with conducting coatings, and functionalized surfaces with immobilized bioactive molecules. These approaches to control cell-type specific responses have enormous potential implications in neural repair. (paper)

  10. Contributions of the 12 neuron classes in the fly lamina to motion vision.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tuthill, John C; Nern, Aljoscha; Holtz, Stephen L; Rubin, Gerald M; Reiser, Michael B

    2013-07-10

    Motion detection is a fundamental neural computation performed by many sensory systems. In the fly, local motion computation is thought to occur within the first two layers of the visual system, the lamina and medulla. We constructed specific genetic driver lines for each of the 12 neuron classes in the lamina. We then depolarized and hyperpolarized each neuron type and quantified fly behavioral responses to a diverse set of motion stimuli. We found that only a small number of lamina output neurons are essential for motion detection, while most neurons serve to sculpt and enhance these feedforward pathways. Two classes of feedback neurons (C2 and C3), and lamina output neurons (L2 and L4), are required for normal detection of directional motion stimuli. Our results reveal a prominent role for feedback and lateral interactions in motion processing and demonstrate that motion-dependent behaviors rely on contributions from nearly all lamina neuron classes. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Responses of Nucleus Tractus Solitarius (NTS) early and late neurons to blood pressure changes in anesthetized F344 rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kolpakova, Jenya; Li, Liang; Hatcher, Jeffrey T; Gu, He; Zhang, Xueguo; Chen, Jin; Cheng, Zixi Jack

    2017-01-01

    Previously, many different types of NTS barosensitive neurons were identified. However, the time course of NTS barosensitive neuronal activity (NA) in response to arterial pressure (AP) changes, and the relationship of NA-AP changes, have not yet been fully quantified. In this study, we made extracellular recordings of single NTS neurons firing in response to AP elevation induced by occlusion of the descending aorta in anesthetized rats. Our findings were that: 1) Thirty-five neurons (from 46 neurons) increased firing, whereas others neurons either decreased firing upon AP elevation, or were biphasic: first decreased firing upon AP elevation and then increased firing during AP decrease. 2) Fourteen neurons with excitatory responses were activated and rapidly increased their firing during the early phase of AP increase (early neurons); whereas 21 neurons did not increase firing until the mean arterial pressure changes (ΔMAP) reached near/after the peak (late neurons). 3) The early neurons had a significantly higher firing rate than late neurons during AP elevation at a similar rate. 4) Early neuron NA-ΔMAP relationship could be well fitted and characterized by the sigmoid logistic function with the maximal gain of 29.3. 5) The increase of early NA correlated linearly with the initial heart rate (HR) reduction. 6) The late neurons did not contribute to the initial HR reduction. However, the late NA could be well correlated with HR reduction during the late phase. Altogether, our study demonstrated that the NTS excitatory neurons could be grouped into early and late neurons based on their firing patterns. The early neurons could be characterized by the sigmoid logistic function, and different neurons may differently contribute to HR regulation. Importantly, the grouping and quantitative methods used in this study may provide a useful tool for future assessment of functional changes of early and late neurons in disease models.

  12. Recruitment of local inhibitory networks by horizontal connections in layer 2/3 of ferret visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tucker, Thomas R; Katz, Lawrence C

    2003-01-01

    To investigate how neurons in cortical layer 2/3 integrate horizontal inputs arising from widely distributed sites, we combined intracellular recording and voltage-sensitive dye imaging to visualize the spatiotemporal dynamics of neuronal activity evoked by electrical stimulation of multiple sites in visual cortex. Individual stimuli evoked characteristic patterns of optical activity, while delivering stimuli at multiple sites generated interacting patterns in the regions of overlap. We observed that neurons in overlapping regions received convergent horizontal activation that generated nonlinear responses due to the emergence of large inhibitory potentials. The results indicate that co-activation of multiple sets of horizontal connections recruit strong inhibition from local inhibitory networks, causing marked deviations from simple linear integration.

  13. Abstractocyte: A Visual Tool for Exploring Nanoscale Astroglial Cells

    KAUST Repository

    Mohammed, Haneen; Al-Awami, Ali K.; Beyer, Johanna; Cali, Corrado; Magistretti, Pierre J.; Pfister, Hanspeter; Hadwiger, Markus

    2017-01-01

    This paper presents Abstractocyte, a system for the visual analysis of astrocytes and their relation to neurons, in nanoscale volumes of brain tissue. Astrocytes are glial cells, i.e., non-neuronal cells that support neurons and the nervous system. The study of astrocytes has immense potential for understanding brain function. However, their complex and widely-branching structure requires high-resolution electron microscopy imaging and makes visualization and analysis challenging. Furthermore, the structure and function of astrocytes is very different from neurons, and therefore requires the development of new visualization and analysis tools. With Abstractocyte, biologists can explore the morphology of astrocytes using various visual abstraction levels, while simultaneously analyzing neighboring neurons and their connectivity. We define a novel, conceptual 2D abstraction space for jointly visualizing astrocytes and neurons. Neuroscientists can choose a specific joint visualization as a point in this space. Interactively moving this point allows them to smoothly transition between different abstraction levels in an intuitive manner. In contrast to simply switching between different visualizations, this preserves the visual context and correlations throughout the transition. Users can smoothly navigate from concrete, highly-detailed 3D views to simplified and abstracted 2D views. In addition to investigating astrocytes, neurons, and their relationships, we enable the interactive analysis of the distribution of glycogen, which is of high importance to neuroscientists. We describe the design of Abstractocyte, and present three case studies in which neuroscientists have successfully used our system to assess astrocytic coverage of synapses, glycogen distribution in relation to synapses, and astrocytic-mitochondria coverage.

  14. Abstractocyte: A Visual Tool for Exploring Nanoscale Astroglial Cells

    KAUST Repository

    Mohammed, Haneen

    2017-08-28

    This paper presents Abstractocyte, a system for the visual analysis of astrocytes and their relation to neurons, in nanoscale volumes of brain tissue. Astrocytes are glial cells, i.e., non-neuronal cells that support neurons and the nervous system. The study of astrocytes has immense potential for understanding brain function. However, their complex and widely-branching structure requires high-resolution electron microscopy imaging and makes visualization and analysis challenging. Furthermore, the structure and function of astrocytes is very different from neurons, and therefore requires the development of new visualization and analysis tools. With Abstractocyte, biologists can explore the morphology of astrocytes using various visual abstraction levels, while simultaneously analyzing neighboring neurons and their connectivity. We define a novel, conceptual 2D abstraction space for jointly visualizing astrocytes and neurons. Neuroscientists can choose a specific joint visualization as a point in this space. Interactively moving this point allows them to smoothly transition between different abstraction levels in an intuitive manner. In contrast to simply switching between different visualizations, this preserves the visual context and correlations throughout the transition. Users can smoothly navigate from concrete, highly-detailed 3D views to simplified and abstracted 2D views. In addition to investigating astrocytes, neurons, and their relationships, we enable the interactive analysis of the distribution of glycogen, which is of high importance to neuroscientists. We describe the design of Abstractocyte, and present three case studies in which neuroscientists have successfully used our system to assess astrocytic coverage of synapses, glycogen distribution in relation to synapses, and astrocytic-mitochondria coverage.

  15. Inflammatory responses are not sufficient to cause delayed neuronal death in ATP-induced acute brain injury.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hey-Kyeong Jeong

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Brain inflammation is accompanied by brain injury. However, it is controversial whether inflammatory responses are harmful or beneficial to neurons. Because many studies have been performed using cultured microglia and neurons, it has not been possible to assess the influence of multiple cell types and diverse factors that dynamically and continuously change in vivo. Furthermore, behavior of microglia and other inflammatory cells could have been overlooked since most studies have focused on neuronal death. Therefore, it is essential to analyze the precise roles of microglia and brain inflammation in the injured brain, and determine their contribution to neuronal damage in vivo from the onset of injury. METHODS AND FINDINGS: Acute neuronal damage was induced by stereotaxic injection of ATP into the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc and the cortex of the rat brain. Inflammatory responses and their effects on neuronal damage were investigated by immunohistochemistry, electron microscopy, quantitative RT-PCR, and stereological counting, etc. ATP acutely caused death of microglia as well as neurons in a similar area within 3 h. We defined as the core region the area where both TH(+ and Iba-1(+ cells acutely died, and as the penumbra the area surrounding the core where Iba-1(+ cells showed activated morphology. In the penumbra region, morphologically activated microglia arranged around the injury sites. Monocytes filled the damaged core after neurons and microglia died. Interestingly, neither activated microglia nor monocytes expressed iNOS, a major neurotoxic inflammatory mediator. Monocytes rather expressed CD68, a marker of phagocytic activity. Importantly, the total number of dopaminergic neurons in the SNpc at 3 h (∼80% of that in the contralateral side did not decrease further at 7 d. Similarly, in the cortex, ATP-induced neuron-damage area detected at 3 h did not increase for up to 7 d. CONCLUSIONS: Different cellular

  16. Predicting Spike Occurrence and Neuronal Responsiveness from LFPs in Primary Somatosensory Cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Storchi, Riccardo; Zippo, Antonio G.; Caramenti, Gian Carlo; Valente, Maurizio; Biella, Gabriele E. M.

    2012-01-01

    Local Field Potentials (LFPs) integrate multiple neuronal events like synaptic inputs and intracellular potentials. LFP spatiotemporal features are particularly relevant in view of their applications both in research (e.g. for understanding brain rhythms, inter-areal neural communication and neronal coding) and in the clinics (e.g. for improving invasive Brain-Machine Interface devices). However the relation between LFPs and spikes is complex and not fully understood. As spikes represent the fundamental currency of neuronal communication this gap in knowledge strongly limits our comprehension of neuronal phenomena underlying LFPs. We investigated the LFP-spike relation during tactile stimulation in primary somatosensory (S-I) cortex in the rat. First we quantified how reliably LFPs and spikes code for a stimulus occurrence. Then we used the information obtained from our analyses to design a predictive model for spike occurrence based on LFP inputs. The model was endowed with a flexible meta-structure whose exact form, both in parameters and structure, was estimated by using a multi-objective optimization strategy. Our method provided a set of nonlinear simple equations that maximized the match between models and true neurons in terms of spike timings and Peri Stimulus Time Histograms. We found that both LFPs and spikes can code for stimulus occurrence with millisecond precision, showing, however, high variability. Spike patterns were predicted significantly above chance for 75% of the neurons analysed. Crucially, the level of prediction accuracy depended on the reliability in coding for the stimulus occurrence. The best predictions were obtained when both spikes and LFPs were highly responsive to the stimuli. Spike reliability is known to depend on neuron intrinsic properties (i.e. on channel noise) and on spontaneous local network fluctuations. Our results suggest that the latter, measured through the LFP response variability, play a dominant role. PMID:22586452

  17. Gender Differences in Human Single Neuron Responses to Male Emotional Faces

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Morgan eNewhoff

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Well-documented differences in the psychology and behavior of men and women have spurred extensive exploration of gender's role within the brain, particularly regarding emotional processing. While neuroanatomical studies clearly show differences between the sexes, the functional effects of these differences are less understood. Neuroimaging studies have shown inconsistent locations and magnitudes of gender differences in brain hemodynamic responses to emotion. To better understand the neurophysiology of these gender differences, we analyzed recordings of single neuron activity in the human brain as subjects of both genders viewed emotional expressions.This study included recordings of single-neuron activity of 14 (6 male epileptic patients in four brain areas: amygdala (236 neurons, hippocampus (n=270, anterior cingulate cortex (n=256, and ventromedial prefrontal cortex (n=174. Neural activity was recorded while participants viewed a series of avatar male faces portraying positive, negative or neutral expressions.Significant gender differences were found in the left amygdala, where 23% (n=15/66 of neurons in men were significantly affected by facial emotion, versus 8% (n=6/76 of neurons in women. A Fisher's exact test comparing the two ratios found a highly significant difference between the two (p<0.01. These results show specific differences between genders at the single-neuron level in the human amygdala. These differences may reflect gender-based distinctions in evolved capacities for emotional processing and also demonstrate the importance of including subject gender as an independent factor in future studies of emotional processing by single neurons in the human amygdala.

  18. Single-exposure visual memory judgments are reflected in inferotemporal cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, Travis

    2018-01-01

    Our visual memory percepts of whether we have encountered specific objects or scenes before are hypothesized to manifest as decrements in neural responses in inferotemporal cortex (IT) with stimulus repetition. To evaluate this proposal, we recorded IT neural responses as two monkeys performed a single-exposure visual memory task designed to measure the rates of forgetting with time. We found that a weighted linear read-out of IT was a better predictor of the monkeys’ forgetting rates and reaction time patterns than a strict instantiation of the repetition suppression hypothesis, expressed as a total spike count scheme. Behavioral predictions could be attributed to visual memory signals that were reflected as repetition suppression and were intermingled with visual selectivity, but only when combined across the most sensitive neurons. PMID:29517485

  19. The neurophysiology of figure^ground segregation in primary visual cortex

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lamme, V.A.F.

    1995-01-01

    Recorded neuronal activity in the monkey primary visual cortex while Ss were viewing full screen arrays of either oriented line segments or moving random dots. Almost every cell gave a significantly larger response for texture elements perceived as a figure (FI) than for background elements. Cell

  20. NeuroTessMesh: A Tool for the Generation and Visualization of Neuron Meshes and Adaptive On-the-Fly Refinement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan J. Garcia-Cantero

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Gaining a better understanding of the human brain continues to be one of the greatest challenges for science, largely because of the overwhelming complexity of the brain and the difficulty of analyzing the features and behavior of dense neural networks. Regarding analysis, 3D visualization has proven to be a useful tool for the evaluation of complex systems. However, the large number of neurons in non-trivial circuits, together with their intricate geometry, makes the visualization of a neuronal scenario an extremely challenging computational problem. Previous work in this area dealt with the generation of 3D polygonal meshes that approximated the cells’ overall anatomy but did not attempt to deal with the extremely high storage and computational cost required to manage a complex scene. This paper presents NeuroTessMesh, a tool specifically designed to cope with many of the problems associated with the visualization of neural circuits that are comprised of large numbers of cells. In addition, this method facilitates the recovery and visualization of the 3D geometry of cells included in databases, such as NeuroMorpho, and provides the tools needed to approximate missing information such as the soma’s morphology. This method takes as its only input the available compact, yet incomplete, morphological tracings of the cells as acquired by neuroscientists. It uses a multiresolution approach that combines an initial, coarse mesh generation with subsequent on-the-fly adaptive mesh refinement stages using tessellation shaders. For the coarse mesh generation, a novel approach, based on the Finite Element Method, allows approximation of the 3D shape of the soma from its incomplete description. Subsequently, the adaptive refinement process performed in the graphic card generates meshes that provide good visual quality geometries at a reasonable computational cost, both in terms of memory and rendering time. All the described techniques have been

  1. Asymmetric temporal integration of layer 4 and layer 2/3 inputs in visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hang, Giao B; Dan, Yang

    2011-01-01

    Neocortical neurons in vivo receive concurrent synaptic inputs from multiple sources, including feedforward, horizontal, and feedback pathways. Layer 2/3 of the visual cortex receives feedforward input from layer 4 and horizontal input from layer 2/3. Firing of the pyramidal neurons, which carries the output to higher cortical areas, depends critically on the interaction of these pathways. Here we examined synaptic integration of inputs from layer 4 and layer 2/3 in rat visual cortical slices. We found that the integration is sublinear and temporally asymmetric, with larger responses if layer 2/3 input preceded layer 4 input. The sublinearity depended on inhibition, and the asymmetry was largely attributable to the difference between the two inhibitory inputs. Interestingly, the asymmetric integration was specific to pyramidal neurons, and it strongly affected their spiking output. Thus via cortical inhibition, the temporal order of activation of layer 2/3 and layer 4 pathways can exert powerful control of cortical output during visual processing.

  2. Nerve Growth Factor Gene Therapy Activates Neuronal Responses in Alzheimer’s Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tuszynski, Mark H.; Yang, Jennifer H.; Barba, David; U, H S.; Bakay, Roy; Pay, Mary M.; Masliah, Eliezer; Conner, James M.; Kobalka, Peter; Roy, Subhojit; Nagahara, Alan H.

    2016-01-01

    IMPORTANCE Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common neurodegenerative disorder, and lacks effective disease modifying therapies. In 2001 we initiated a clinical trial of Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) gene therapy in AD, the first effort at gene delivery in an adult neurodegenerative disorder. This program aimed to determine whether a nervous system growth factor prevents or reduces cholinergic neuronal degeneration in AD patients. We present post-mortem findings in 10 subjects with survival times ranging from 1 to 10 years post-treatment. OBJECTIVE To determine whether degenerating neurons in AD retain an ability to respond to a nervous system growth factor delivered after disease onset. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS 10 patients with early AD underwent NGF gene therapy using either ex vivo or in vivo gene transfer. The brains of all eight patients in the first Phase 1 ex vivo trial and two patients in a subsequent Phase 1 in vivo trial were examined. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES Brains were immunolabeled to evaluate in vivo gene expression, cholinergic neuronal responses to NGF, and activation of NGF-related cell signaling. In two cases, NGF protein levels were measured by ELISA. RESULTS Degenerating neurons in the AD brain respond to NGF. All patients exhibited a trophic response to NGF, in the form of axonal sprouting toward the NGF source. Comparing treated and non-treated sides of the brain in three patients that underwent unilateral gene transfer, cholinergic neuronal hypertrophy occurred on the NGF-treated side (P>0.05). Activation of cellular signaling and functional markers were present in two patients that underwent AAV2-mediated NGF gene transfer. Neurons exhibiting tau pathology as well as neurons free of tau expressed NGF, indicating that degenerating cells can be infected with therapeutic genes with resulting activation of cell signaling. No adverse pathological effects related to NGF were observed. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE These findings indicate that

  3. Neural Circuit to Integrate Opposing Motions in the Visual Field.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mauss, Alex S; Pankova, Katarina; Arenz, Alexander; Nern, Aljoscha; Rubin, Gerald M; Borst, Alexander

    2015-07-16

    When navigating in their environment, animals use visual motion cues as feedback signals that are elicited by their own motion. Such signals are provided by wide-field neurons sampling motion directions at multiple image points as the animal maneuvers. Each one of these neurons responds selectively to a specific optic flow-field representing the spatial distribution of motion vectors on the retina. Here, we describe the discovery of a group of local, inhibitory interneurons in the fruit fly Drosophila key for filtering these cues. Using anatomy, molecular characterization, activity manipulation, and physiological recordings, we demonstrate that these interneurons convey direction-selective inhibition to wide-field neurons with opposite preferred direction and provide evidence for how their connectivity enables the computation required for integrating opposing motions. Our results indicate that, rather than sharpening directional selectivity per se, these circuit elements reduce noise by eliminating non-specific responses to complex visual information. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Speech-specific tuning of neurons in human superior temporal gyrus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chan, Alexander M; Dykstra, Andrew R; Jayaram, Vinay; Leonard, Matthew K; Travis, Katherine E; Gygi, Brian; Baker, Janet M; Eskandar, Emad; Hochberg, Leigh R; Halgren, Eric; Cash, Sydney S

    2014-10-01

    How the brain extracts words from auditory signals is an unanswered question. We recorded approximately 150 single and multi-units from the left anterior superior temporal gyrus of a patient during multiple auditory experiments. Against low background activity, 45% of units robustly fired to particular spoken words with little or no response to pure tones, noise-vocoded speech, or environmental sounds. Many units were tuned to complex but specific sets of phonemes, which were influenced by local context but invariant to speaker, and suppressed during self-produced speech. The firing of several units to specific visual letters was correlated with their response to the corresponding auditory phonemes, providing the first direct neural evidence for phonological recoding during reading. Maximal decoding of individual phonemes and words identities was attained using firing rates from approximately 5 neurons within 200 ms after word onset. Thus, neurons in human superior temporal gyrus use sparse spatially organized population encoding of complex acoustic-phonetic features to help recognize auditory and visual words. © The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  5. Sweet taste receptor serves to activate glucose- and leptin-responsive neurons in the hypothalamic arcuate nucleus and participates in glucose responsiveness.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daisuke Kohno

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available The hypothalamic feeding center plays an important role in energy homeostasis. In the feeding center, whole-body energy signals including hormones and nutrients are sensed, processed, and integrated. As a result, food intake and energy expenditure are regulated. Two types of glucose-sensing neurons exist in the hypothalamic arcuate nucleus (ARC: glucose-excited neurons and glucose-inhibited neurons. While some molecules are known to be related to glucose sensing in the hypothalamus, the mechanism underlying glucose sensing in the hypothalamus are not fully understood. The sweet taste receptor is a heterodimer of taste type 1 receptor 2 (T1R2 and taste type 1 receptor 3 (T1R3 and senses sweet tastes. T1R2 and T1R3 receptors are distributed in multiple organs including the tongue, pancreas, adipose tissue, and hypothalamus. However, the role of sweet taste receptors in the ARC remains to be clarified. To examine the role of sweet taste receptors in the ARC, cytosolic Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]i in isolated single ARC neurons were measured using Fura-2 fluorescent imaging. An artificial sweetener, sucralose at 10-5 M-10-2 M dose dependently increased [Ca2+]i in 12-16% of ARC neurons. The sucralose-induced [Ca2+]i increase was suppressed by a sweet taste receptor inhibitor, gurmarin. The sucralose-induced [Ca2+]i increase was inhibited under an extracellular Ca2+-free condition and in the presence of an L-type Ca2+ channel blocker, nitrendipine. Sucralose-responding neurons were activated by high-concentration of glucose. This response to glucose was markedly suppressed by gurmarin. More than half of sucralose-responding neurons were activated by leptin but not ghrelin. Percentage of proopiomelanocortin (POMC neurons among sucralose-responding neurons and sweet taste receptor expressing neurons were low, suggesting that majority of sucralose-responding neurons are non-POMC neurons. These data suggest that sweet taste receptor-mediated cellular

  6. Sweet Taste Receptor Serves to Activate Glucose- and Leptin-Responsive Neurons in the Hypothalamic Arcuate Nucleus and Participates in Glucose Responsiveness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohno, Daisuke; Koike, Miho; Ninomiya, Yuzo; Kojima, Itaru; Kitamura, Tadahiro; Yada, Toshihiko

    2016-01-01

    The hypothalamic feeding center plays an important role in energy homeostasis. In the feeding center, whole-body energy signals including hormones and nutrients are sensed, processed, and integrated. As a result, food intake and energy expenditure are regulated. Two types of glucose-sensing neurons exist in the hypothalamic arcuate nucleus (ARC): glucose-excited neurons and glucose-inhibited neurons. While some molecules are known to be related to glucose sensing in the hypothalamus, the mechanisms underlying glucose sensing in the hypothalamus are not fully understood. The sweet taste receptor is a heterodimer of taste type 1 receptor 2 (T1R2) and taste type 1 receptor 3 (T1R3) and senses sweet tastes. T1R2 and T1R3 are distributed in multiple organs including the tongue, pancreas, adipose tissue, and hypothalamus. However, the role of sweet taste receptors in the ARC remains to be clarified. To examine the role of sweet taste receptors in the ARC, cytosolic Ca 2+ concentration ([Ca 2+ ] i ) in isolated single ARC neurons were measured using Fura-2 fluorescent imaging. An artificial sweetener, sucralose at 10 -5 -10 -2 M dose dependently increased [Ca 2+ ] i in 12-16% of ARC neurons. The sucralose-induced [Ca 2+ ] i increase was suppressed by a sweet taste receptor inhibitor, gurmarin. The sucralose-induced [Ca 2+ ] i increase was inhibited under an extracellular Ca 2+ -free condition and in the presence of an L-type Ca 2+ channel blocker, nitrendipine. Sucralose-responding neurons were activated by high-concentration of glucose. This response to glucose was markedly suppressed by gurmarin. More than half of sucralose-responding neurons were activated by leptin but not ghrelin. Percentages of proopiomelanocortin (POMC) neurons among sucralose-responding neurons and sweet taste receptor expressing neurons were low, suggesting that majority of sucralose-responding neurons are non-POMC neurons. These data suggest that sweet taste receptor-mediated cellular activation

  7. Neuronal basis of amblyopia: A review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Grigg John

    1996-01-01

    Full Text Available Amblyopia is an acquired defect in vision due to an abnormal visual experience during a sensitive period of visual development. The neuronal basis of amblyopia is the study of the effects of "abnormal" environmental influences on the genetically programmed development of the visual processing system. Visual pathway development commences with ganglion cells forming the optic nerve. The process that guides these neurones initially to the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN and then onto the visual cortex is genetically programmed. Initially this process is influenced by spontaneously generated impulses and neurotrophic factors. Following birth, visual stimuli modify and refine the genetically programmed process. Exposure to the visual environment includes the risk of abnormal inputs. Abnormal stimuli disrupt the formation of patterned inputs allowing alteration of visual cortical wiring with reduction in ocular dominance columns driven by the abnormal eye. Correction of the abnormal visual input and penalisation of the "normal" input is the mainstay of therapy for amblyopia. Further understanding of the mechanisms involved in the development of a normal visual processing system will allow trialing therapies for amblyopia not responding to occlusion therapy. Levodopa is one agent providing insights into recovery of visual function for short periods in apparently mature visual systems.

  8. Ube3a loss increases excitability and blunts orientation tuning in the visual cortex of Angelman syndrome model mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wallace, Michael L; van Woerden, Geeske M; Elgersma, Ype; Smith, Spencer L; Philpot, Benjamin D

    2017-07-01

    Angelman syndrome (AS) is a neurodevelopmental disorder caused by loss of the maternally inherited allele of UBE3A Ube3a STOP/p+ mice recapitulate major features of AS in humans and allow conditional reinstatement of maternal Ube3a with the expression of Cre recombinase. We have recently shown that AS model mice exhibit reduced inhibitory drive onto layer (L)2/3 pyramidal neurons of visual cortex, which contributes to a synaptic excitatory/inhibitory imbalance. However, it remains unclear how this loss of inhibitory drive affects neural circuits in vivo. Here we examined visual cortical response properties in individual neurons to explore the consequences of Ube3a loss on intact cortical circuits and processing. Using in vivo patch-clamp electrophysiology, we measured the visually evoked responses to square-wave drifting gratings in L2/3 regular-spiking (RS) neurons in control mice, Ube3a -deficient mice, and mice in which Ube3a was conditionally reinstated in GABAergic neurons. We found that Ube3a -deficient mice exhibited enhanced pyramidal neuron excitability in vivo as well as weaker orientation tuning. These observations are the first to show alterations in cortical computation in an AS model, and they suggest a basis for cortical dysfunction in AS. NEW & NOTEWORTHY Angelman syndrome (AS) is a severe neurodevelopmental disorder caused by the loss of the gene UBE3A Using electrophysiological recording in vivo, we describe visual cortical dysfunctions in a mouse model of AS. Aberrant cellular properties in AS model mice could be improved by reinstating Ube3a in inhibitory neurons. These findings suggest that inhibitory neurons play a substantial role in the pathogenesis of AS. Copyright © 2017 the American Physiological Society.

  9. Magnetic source localization of early visual mismatch response

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Susac, A.; Heslenfeld, D.J.; Huonker, R.; Supek, S.

    2014-01-01

    Previous studies have reported a visual analogue of the auditory mismatch negativity (MMN) response that is based on sensory memory. The neural generators and attention dependence of the visual MMN (vMMN) still remain unclear. We used magnetoencephalography (MEG) and spatio-temporal source

  10. Transient cardio-respiratory responses to visually induced tilt illusions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, S. J.; Ramsdell, C. D.; Mullen, T. J.; Oman, C. M.; Harm, D. L.; Paloski, W. H.

    2000-01-01

    Although the orthostatic cardio-respiratory response is primarily mediated by the baroreflex, studies have shown that vestibular cues also contribute in both humans and animals. We have demonstrated a visually mediated response to illusory tilt in some human subjects. Blood pressure, heart and respiration rate, and lung volume were monitored in 16 supine human subjects during two types of visual stimulation, and compared with responses to real passive whole body tilt from supine to head 80 degrees upright. Visual tilt stimuli consisted of either a static scene from an overhead mirror or constant velocity scene motion along different body axes generated by an ultra-wide dome projection system. Visual vertical cues were initially aligned with the longitudinal body axis. Subjective tilt and self-motion were reported verbally. Although significant changes in cardio-respiratory parameters to illusory tilts could not be demonstrated for the entire group, several subjects showed significant transient decreases in mean blood pressure resembling their initial response to passive head-up tilt. Changes in pulse pressure and a slight elevation in heart rate were noted. These transient responses are consistent with the hypothesis that visual-vestibular input contributes to the initial cardiovascular adjustment to a change in posture in humans. On average the static scene elicited perceived tilt without rotation. Dome scene pitch and yaw elicited perceived tilt and rotation, and dome roll motion elicited perceived rotation without tilt. A significant correlation between the magnitude of physiological and subjective reports could not be demonstrated.

  11. Finite post synaptic potentials cause a fast neuronal response

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    Moritz eHelias

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available A generic property of the communication between neurons is the exchange of pulsesat discrete time points, the action potentials. However, the prevalenttheory of spiking neuronal networks of integrate-and-fire model neuronsrelies on two assumptions: the superposition of many afferent synapticimpulses is approximated by Gaussian white noise, equivalent to avanishing magnitude of the synaptic impulses, and the transfer oftime varying signals by neurons is assessable by linearization. Goingbeyond both approximations, we find that in the presence of synapticimpulses the response to transient inputs differs qualitatively fromprevious predictions. It is instantaneous rather than exhibiting low-passcharacteristics, depends non-linearly on the amplitude of the impulse,is asymmetric for excitation and inhibition and is promoted by a characteristiclevel of synaptic background noise. These findings resolve contradictionsbetween the earlier theory and experimental observations. Here wereview the recent theoretical progress that enabled these insights.We explain why the membrane potential near threshold is sensitiveto properties of the afferent noise and show how this shapes the neuralresponse. A further extension of the theory to time evolution in discretesteps quantifies simulation artifacts and yields improved methodsto cross check results.

  12. Impaired rRNA synthesis triggers homeostatic responses in hippocampal neurons

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    Anna eKiryk

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Decreased rRNA synthesis and nucleolar disruption, known as nucleolar stress, are primary signs of cellular stress associated with aging and neurodegenerative disorders. Silencing of rDNA occurs during early stages of Alzheimer´s disease (AD and may play a role in dementia. Moreover aberrant regulation of the protein synthesis machinery is present in the brain of suicide victims and implicates the epigenetic modulation of rRNA. Recently, we developed unique mouse models characterized by nucleolar stress in neurons. We inhibited RNA polymerase I by genetic ablation of the basal transcription factor TIF-IA in adult hippocampal neurons. Nucleolar stress resulted in progressive neurodegeneration, although with a differential vulnerability within the CA1, CA3 and dentate gyrus. Here, we investigate the consequences of nucleolar stress on learning and memory. The mutant mice show normal performance in the Morris water maze and in other behavioral tests, suggesting the activation of adaptive mechanisms. In fact, we observe a significantly enhanced learning and re-learning corresponding to the initial inhibition of rRNA transcription. This phenomenon is accompanied by aberrant synaptic plasticity. By the analysis of nucleolar function and integrity, we find that the synthesis of rRNA is later restored. Gene expression profiling shows that thirty-six transcripts are differentially expressed in comparison to the control group in absence of neurodegeneration. Additionally, we observe a significant enrichment of the putative serum response factor (SRF binding sites in the promoters of the genes with changed expression, indicating potential adaptive mechanisms mediated by the mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway. In the dentate gyrus a neurogenetic response might compensate the initial molecular deficits. These results underscore the role of nucleolar stress in neuronal homeostasis and open a new ground for therapeutic strategies aiming at preserving

  13. Changes in the Response Properties of Inferior Colliculus Neurons Relating to Tinnitus

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    Berger, Joel I.; Coomber, Ben; Wells, Tobias T.; Wallace, Mark N.; Palmer, Alan R.

    2014-01-01

    Tinnitus is often identified in animal models by using the gap prepulse inhibition of acoustic startle. Impaired gap detection following acoustic over-exposure (AOE) is thought to be caused by tinnitus “filling in” the gap, thus, reducing its salience. This presumably involves altered perception, and could conceivably be caused by changes at the level of the neocortex, i.e., cortical reorganization. Alternatively, reduced gap detection ability might reflect poorer temporal processing in the brainstem, caused by AOE; in which case, impaired gap detection would not be a reliable indicator of tinnitus. We tested the latter hypothesis by examining gap detection in inferior colliculus (IC) neurons following AOE. Seven of nine unilaterally noise-exposed guinea pigs exhibited behavioral evidence of tinnitus. In these tinnitus animals, neural gap detection thresholds (GDTs) in the IC significantly increased in response to broadband noise stimuli, but not to pure tones or narrow-band noise. In addition, when IC neurons were sub-divided according to temporal response profile (onset vs. sustained firing patterns), we found a significant increase in the proportion of onset-type responses after AOE. Importantly, however, GDTs were still considerably shorter than gap durations commonly used in objective behavioral tests for tinnitus. These data indicate that the neural changes observed in the IC are insufficient to explain deficits in behavioral gap detection that are commonly attributed to tinnitus. The subtle changes in IC neuron response profiles following AOE warrant further investigation. PMID:25346722

  14. Abolishment of Spontaneous Flight Turns in Visually Responsive Drosophila.

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    Ferris, Bennett Drew; Green, Jonathan; Maimon, Gaby

    2018-01-22

    Animals react rapidly to external stimuli, such as an approaching predator, but in other circumstances, they seem to act spontaneously, without any obvious external trigger. How do the neural processes mediating the execution of reflexive and spontaneous actions differ? We studied this question in tethered, flying Drosophila. We found that silencing a large but genetically defined set of non-motor neurons virtually eliminates spontaneous flight turns while preserving the tethered flies' ability to perform two types of visually evoked turns, demonstrating that, at least in flies, these two modes of action are almost completely dissociable. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Neurons with two sites of synaptic integration learn invariant representations.

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    Körding, K P; König, P

    2001-12-01

    Neurons in mammalian cerebral cortex combine specific responses with respect to some stimulus features with invariant responses to other stimulus features. For example, in primary visual cortex, complex cells code for orientation of a contour but ignore its position to a certain degree. In higher areas, such as the inferotemporal cortex, translation-invariant, rotation-invariant, and even view point-invariant responses can be observed. Such properties are of obvious interest to artificial systems performing tasks like pattern recognition. It remains to be resolved how such response properties develop in biological systems. Here we present an unsupervised learning rule that addresses this problem. It is based on a neuron model with two sites of synaptic integration, allowing qualitatively different effects of input to basal and apical dendritic trees, respectively. Without supervision, the system learns to extract invariance properties using temporal or spatial continuity of stimuli. Furthermore, top-down information can be smoothly integrated in the same framework. Thus, this model lends a physiological implementation to approaches of unsupervised learning of invariant-response properties.

  16. Post-spike hyperpolarization participates in the formation of auditory behavior-related response patterns of inferior collicular neurons in Hipposideros pratti.

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    Li, Y-L; Fu, Z-Y; Yang, M-J; Wang, J; Peng, K; Yang, L-J; Tang, J; Chen, Q-C

    2015-03-19

    To probe the mechanism underlying the auditory behavior-related response patterns of inferior collicular neurons to constant frequency-frequency modulation (CF-FM) stimulus in Hipposideros pratti, we studied the role of post-spike hyperpolarization (PSH) in the formation of response patterns. Neurons obtained by in vivo extracellular (N=145) and intracellular (N=171) recordings could be consistently classified into single-on (SO) and double-on (DO) neurons. Using intracellular recording, we found that both SO and DO neurons have a PSH with different durations. Statistical analysis showed that most SO neurons had a longer PSH duration than DO neurons (p<0.01). These data suggested that the PSH directly participated in the formation of SO and DO neurons, and the PSH elicited by the CF component was the main synaptic mechanism underlying the SO and DO response patterns. The possible biological significance of these findings relevant to bat echolocation is discussed. Copyright © 2015 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. A single-neuron tracing study of arkypallidal and prototypic neurons in healthy rats.

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    Fujiyama, Fumino; Nakano, Takashi; Matsuda, Wakoto; Furuta, Takahiro; Udagawa, Jun; Kaneko, Takeshi

    2016-12-01

    The external globus pallidus (GP) is known as a relay nucleus of the indirect pathway of the basal ganglia. Recent studies in dopamine-depleted and healthy rats indicate that the GP comprises two main types of pallidofugal neurons: the so-called "prototypic" and "arkypallidal" neurons. However, the reconstruction of complete arkypallidal neurons in healthy rats has not been reported. Here we visualized the entire axonal arborization of four single arkypallidal neurons and six single prototypic neurons in rat brain using labeling with a viral vector expressing membrane-targeted green fluorescent protein and examined the distribution of axon boutons in the target nuclei. Results revealed that not only the arkypallidal neurons but nearly all of the prototypic neurons projected to the striatum with numerous axon varicosities. Thus, the striatum is a major target nucleus for pallidal neurons. Arkypallidal and prototypic GP neurons located in the calbindin-positive and calbindin-negative regions mainly projected to the corresponding positive and negative regions in the striatum. Because the GP and striatum calbindin staining patterns reflect the topographic organization of the striatopallidal projection, the striatal neurons in the sensorimotor and associative regions constitute the reciprocal connection with the GP neurons in the corresponding regions.

  18. Responses of neurons to extreme osmomechanical stress.

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    Wan, X; Harris, J A; Morris, C E

    1995-05-01

    Neurons are often regarded as fragile cells, easily destroyed by mechanical and osmotic insult. The results presented here demonstrate that this perception needs revision. Using extreme osmotic swelling, we show that molluscan neurons are astonishingly robust. In distilled water, a heterogeneous population of Lymnaea stagnalis CNS neurons swelled to several times their initial volume, yet had a ST50 (survival time for 50% of cells) > 60 min. Cells that were initially bigger survived longer. On return to normal medium, survivors were able, over the next 24 hr, to rearborize. Reversible membrane capacitance changes corresponding to about 0.7 muF/cm2 of apparent surface area accompanied neuronal swelling and shrinking in hypo- and hyperosmotic solutions; reversible changes in cell surface area evidently contributed to the neurons' ability to accommodate hydrostatic pressures then recover. The reversible membrane area/capacitance changes were not dependent on extracellular Ca2+. Neurons were monitored for potassium currents during direct mechanical inflation and during osmotically driven inflation. The latter but not the former stimulus routinely elicited small potassium currents, suggesting that tension increases activate the currents only if additional disruption of the cortex has occurred. Under stress in distilled water, a third of the neurons displayed a quite unexpected behavior: prolonged writhing of peripheral regions of the soma. This suggested that a plasma membrane-linked contractile machinery (presumably actomyosin) might contribute to the neurons' mechano-osmotic robustness by restricting water influx. Consistent with this possibility, 1 mM N-ethyl-maleimide, which inhibits myosin ATPase, decreased the ST50 to 18 min, rendered the survival time independent of initial size, and abolished writhing activity. For neurons, active mechanical resistance of the submembranous cortex, along with the mechanical compliance supplied by insertion or eversion of membrane

  19. Adaptive behavior of neighboring neurons during adaptation-induced plasticity of orientation tuning in V1

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    Shumikhina Svetlana

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Sensory neurons display transient changes of their response properties following prolonged exposure to an appropriate stimulus (adaptation. In adult cat primary visual cortex, orientation-selective neurons shift their preferred orientation after being adapted to a non-preferred orientation. The direction of those shifts, towards (attractive or away (repulsive from the adapter depends mostly on adaptation duration. How the adaptive behavior of a neuron is related to that of its neighbors remains unclear. Results Here we show that in most cases (75%, cells shift their preferred orientation in the same direction as their neighbors. We also found that cells shifting preferred orientation differently from their neighbors (25% display three interesting properties: (i larger variance of absolute shift amplitude, (ii wider tuning bandwidth and (iii larger range of preferred orientations among the cluster of cells. Several response properties of V1 neurons depend on their location within the cortical orientation map. Our results suggest that recording sites with both attractive and repulsive shifts following adaptation may be located in close proximity to iso-orientation domain boundaries or pinwheel centers. Indeed, those regions have a more diverse orientation distribution of local inputs that could account for the three properties above. On the other hand, sites with all cells shifting their preferred orientation in the same direction could be located within iso-orientation domains. Conclusions Our results suggest that the direction and amplitude of orientation preference shifts in V1 depend on location within the orientation map. This anisotropy of adaptation-induced plasticity, comparable to that of the visual cortex itself, could have important implications for our understanding of visual adaptation at the psychophysical level.

  20. A codimension-2 bifurcation controlling endogenous bursting activity and pulse-triggered responses of a neuron model.

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    Barnett, William H; Cymbalyuk, Gennady S

    2014-01-01

    The dynamics of individual neurons are crucial for producing functional activity in neuronal networks. An open question is how temporal characteristics can be controlled in bursting activity and in transient neuronal responses to synaptic input. Bifurcation theory provides a framework to discover generic mechanisms addressing this question. We present a family of mechanisms organized around a global codimension-2 bifurcation. The cornerstone bifurcation is located at the intersection of the border between bursting and spiking and the border between bursting and silence. These borders correspond to the blue sky catastrophe bifurcation and the saddle-node bifurcation on an invariant circle (SNIC) curves, respectively. The cornerstone bifurcation satisfies the conditions for both the blue sky catastrophe and SNIC. The burst duration and interburst interval increase as the inverse of the square root of the difference between the corresponding bifurcation parameter and its bifurcation value. For a given set of burst duration and interburst interval, one can find the parameter values supporting these temporal characteristics. The cornerstone bifurcation also determines the responses of silent and spiking neurons. In a silent neuron with parameters close to the SNIC, a pulse of current triggers a single burst. In a spiking neuron with parameters close to the blue sky catastrophe, a pulse of current temporarily silences the neuron. These responses are stereotypical: the durations of the transient intervals-the duration of the burst and the duration of latency to spiking-are governed by the inverse-square-root laws. The mechanisms described here could be used to coordinate neuromuscular control in central pattern generators. As proof of principle, we construct small networks that control metachronal-wave motor pattern exhibited in locomotion. This pattern is determined by the phase relations of bursting neurons in a simple central pattern generator modeled by a chain of

  1. Retrograde Neuroanatomical Tracing of Phrenic Motor Neurons in Mice.

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    Vandeweerd, Jean-Michel; Hontoir, Fanny; De Knoop, Alexis; De Swert, Kathleen; Nicaise, Charles

    2018-02-22

    Phrenic motor neurons are cervical motor neurons originating from C3 to C6 levels in most mammalian species. Axonal projections converge into phrenic nerves innervating the respiratory diaphragm. In spinal cord slices, phrenic motor neurons cannot be identified from other motor neurons on morphological or biochemical criteria. We provide the description of procedures for visualizing phrenic motor neuron cell bodies in mice, following intrapleural injections of cholera toxin subunit beta (CTB) conjugated to a fluorophore. This fluorescent neuroanatomical tracer has the ability to be caught up at the diaphragm neuromuscular junction, be carried retrogradely along the phrenic axons and reach the phrenic cell bodies. Two methodological approaches of intrapleural CTB delivery are compared: transdiaphragmatic versus transthoracic injections. Both approaches are successful and result in similar number of CTB-labeled phrenic motor neurons. In conclusion, these techniques can be applied to visualize or quantify the phrenic motor neurons in various experimental studies such as those focused on the diaphragm-phrenic circuitry.

  2. Human brain functional MRI and DTI visualization with virtual reality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Bin; Moreland, John; Zhang, Jingyu

    2011-12-01

    Magnetic resonance diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and functional MRI (fMRI) are two active research areas in neuroimaging. DTI is sensitive to the anisotropic diffusion of water exerted by its macromolecular environment and has been shown useful in characterizing structures of ordered tissues such as the brain white matter, myocardium, and cartilage. The diffusion tensor provides two new types of information of water diffusion: the magnitude and the spatial orientation of water diffusivity inside the tissue. This information has been used for white matter fiber tracking to review physical neuronal pathways inside the brain. Functional MRI measures brain activations using the hemodynamic response. The statistically derived activation map corresponds to human brain functional activities caused by neuronal activities. The combination of these two methods provides a new way to understand human brain from the anatomical neuronal fiber connectivity to functional activities between different brain regions. In this study, virtual reality (VR) based MR DTI and fMRI visualization with high resolution anatomical image segmentation and registration, ROI definition and neuronal white matter fiber tractography visualization and fMRI activation map integration is proposed. Rationale and methods for producing and distributing stereoscopic videos are also discussed.

  3. Vertical binocular disparity is encoded implicitly within a model neuronal population tuned to horizontal disparity and orientation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jenny C A Read

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Primary visual cortex is often viewed as a "cyclopean retina", performing the initial encoding of binocular disparities between left and right images. Because the eyes are set apart horizontally in the head, binocular disparities are predominantly horizontal. Yet, especially in the visual periphery, a range of non-zero vertical disparities do occur and can influence perception. It has therefore been assumed that primary visual cortex must contain neurons tuned to a range of vertical disparities. Here, I show that this is not necessarily the case. Many disparity-selective neurons are most sensitive to changes in disparity orthogonal to their preferred orientation. That is, the disparity tuning surfaces, mapping their response to different two-dimensional (2D disparities, are elongated along the cell's preferred orientation. Because of this, even if a neuron's optimal 2D disparity has zero vertical component, the neuron will still respond best to a non-zero vertical disparity when probed with a sub-optimal horizontal disparity. This property can be used to decode 2D disparity, even allowing for realistic levels of neuronal noise. Even if all V1 neurons at a particular retinotopic location are tuned to the expected vertical disparity there (for example, zero at the fovea, the brain could still decode the magnitude and sign of departures from that expected value. This provides an intriguing counter-example to the common wisdom that, in order for a neuronal population to encode a quantity, its members must be tuned to a range of values of that quantity. It demonstrates that populations of disparity-selective neurons encode much richer information than previously appreciated. It suggests a possible strategy for the brain to extract rarely-occurring stimulus values, while concentrating neuronal resources on the most commonly-occurring situations.

  4. Social interaction with a tutor modulates responsiveness of specific auditory neurons in juvenile zebra finches.

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    Yanagihara, Shin; Yazaki-Sugiyama, Yoko

    2018-04-12

    Behavioral states of animals, such as observing the behavior of a conspecific, modify signal perception and/or sensations that influence state-dependent higher cognitive behavior, such as learning. Recent studies have shown that neuronal responsiveness to sensory signals is modified when animals are engaged in social interactions with others or in locomotor activities. However, how these changes produce state-dependent differences in higher cognitive function is still largely unknown. Zebra finches, which have served as the premier songbird model, learn to sing from early auditory experiences with tutors. They also learn from playback of recorded songs however, learning can be greatly improved when song models are provided through social communication with tutors (Eales, 1989; Chen et al., 2016). Recently we found a subset of neurons in the higher-level auditory cortex of juvenile zebra finches that exhibit highly selective auditory responses to the tutor song after song learning, suggesting an auditory memory trace of the tutor song (Yanagihara and Yazaki-Sugiyama, 2016). Here we show that auditory responses of these selective neurons became greater when juveniles were paired with their tutors, while responses of non-selective neurons did not change. These results suggest that social interaction modulates cortical activity and might function in state-dependent song learning. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Visual dot interaction with short-term memory.

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    Etindele Sosso, Faustin Armel

    2017-06-01

    Many neurodegenerative diseases have a memory component. Brain structures related to memory are affected by environmental stimuli, and it is difficult to dissociate effects of all behavior of neurons. Here, visual cortex of mice was stimulated with gratings and dot, and an observation of neuronal activity before and after was made. Bandwidth, firing rate and orientation selectivity index were evaluated. A primary communication between primary visual cortex and short-term memory appeared to show an interesting path to train cognitive circuitry and investigate the basics mechanisms of the neuronal learning. The findings also suggested the interplay between primary visual cortex and short-term plasticity. The properties inside a visual target shape the perception and affect the basic encoding. Using visual cortex, it may be possible to train the memory and improve the recovery of people with cognitive disabilities or memory deficit.

  6. Serotonergic Chemosensory Neurons Modify the C. elegans Immune Response by Regulating G-Protein Signaling in Epithelial Cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Alexandra; Laurenson-Schafer, Henry; Partridge, Frederick A.; Hodgkin, Jonathan; McMullan, Rachel

    2013-01-01

    The nervous and immune systems influence each other, allowing animals to rapidly protect themselves from changes in their internal and external environment. However, the complex nature of these systems in mammals makes it difficult to determine how neuronal signaling influences the immune response. Here we show that serotonin, synthesized in Caenorhabditis elegans chemosensory neurons, modulates the immune response. Serotonin released from these cells acts, directly or indirectly, to regulate G-protein signaling in epithelial cells. Signaling in these cells is required for the immune response to infection by the natural pathogen Microbacterium nematophilum. Here we show that serotonin signaling suppresses the innate immune response and limits the rate of pathogen clearance. We show that C. elegans uses classical neurotransmitters to alter the immune response. Serotonin released from sensory neurons may function to modify the immune system in response to changes in the animal's external environment such as the availability, or quality, of food. PMID:24348250

  7. Reward-modulated motor information in identified striatum neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isomura, Yoshikazu; Takekawa, Takashi; Harukuni, Rie; Handa, Takashi; Aizawa, Hidenori; Takada, Masahiko; Fukai, Tomoki

    2013-06-19

    It is widely accepted that dorsal striatum neurons participate in either the direct pathway (expressing dopamine D1 receptors) or the indirect pathway (expressing D2 receptors), controlling voluntary movements in an antagonistically balancing manner. The D1- and D2-expressing neurons are activated and inactivated, respectively, by dopamine released from substantia nigra neurons encoding reward expectation. However, little is known about the functional representation of motor information and its reward modulation in individual striatal neurons constituting the two pathways. In this study, we juxtacellularly recorded the spike activity of single neurons in the dorsolateral striatum of rats performing voluntary forelimb movement in a reward-predictable condition. Some of these neurons were identified morphologically by a combination of juxtacellular visualization and in situ hybridization for D1 mRNA. We found that the striatal neurons exhibited distinct functional activations before and during the forelimb movement, regardless of the expression of D1 mRNA. They were often positively, but rarely negatively, modulated by expecting a reward for the correct motor response. The positive reward modulation was independent of behavioral differences in motor performance. In contrast, regular-spiking and fast-spiking neurons in any layers of the motor cortex displayed only minor and unbiased reward modulation of their functional activation in relation to the execution of forelimb movement. Our results suggest that the direct and indirect pathway neurons cooperatively rather than antagonistically contribute to spatiotemporal control of voluntary movements, and that motor information is subcortically integrated with reward information through dopaminergic and other signals in the skeletomotor loop of the basal ganglia.

  8. Diverse coupling of neurons to populations in sensory cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okun, Michael; Steinmetz, Nicholas; Cossell, Lee; Iacaruso, M Florencia; Ko, Ho; Barthó, Péter; Moore, Tirin; Hofer, Sonja B; Mrsic-Flogel, Thomas D; Carandini, Matteo; Harris, Kenneth D

    2015-05-28

    A large population of neurons can, in principle, produce an astronomical number of distinct firing patterns. In cortex, however, these patterns lie in a space of lower dimension, as if individual neurons were "obedient members of a huge orchestra". Here we use recordings from the visual cortex of mouse (Mus musculus) and monkey (Macaca mulatta) to investigate the relationship between individual neurons and the population, and to establish the underlying circuit mechanisms. We show that neighbouring neurons can differ in their coupling to the overall firing of the population, ranging from strongly coupled 'choristers' to weakly coupled 'soloists'. Population coupling is largely independent of sensory preferences, and it is a fixed cellular attribute, invariant to stimulus conditions. Neurons with high population coupling are more strongly affected by non-sensory behavioural variables such as motor intention. Population coupling reflects a causal relationship, predicting the response of a neuron to optogenetically driven increases in local activity. Moreover, population coupling indicates synaptic connectivity; the population coupling of a neuron, measured in vivo, predicted subsequent in vitro estimates of the number of synapses received from its neighbours. Finally, population coupling provides a compact summary of population activity; knowledge of the population couplings of n neurons predicts a substantial portion of their n(2) pairwise correlations. Population coupling therefore represents a novel, simple measure that characterizes the relationship of each neuron to a larger population, explaining seemingly complex network firing patterns in terms of basic circuit variables.

  9. Nerve Growth Factor Gene Therapy: Activation of Neuronal Responses in Alzheimer Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tuszynski, Mark H; Yang, Jennifer H; Barba, David; U, Hoi-Sang; Bakay, Roy A E; Pay, Mary M; Masliah, Eliezer; Conner, James M; Kobalka, Peter; Roy, Subhojit; Nagahara, Alan H

    2015-10-01

    Alzheimer disease (AD) is the most common neurodegenerative disorder and lacks effective disease-modifying therapies. In 2001, we initiated a clinical trial of nerve growth factor (NGF) gene therapy in AD, the first effort at gene delivery in an adult neurodegenerative disorder. This program aimed to determine whether a nervous system growth factor prevents or reduces cholinergic neuronal degeneration in patients with AD. We present postmortem findings in 10 patients with survival times ranging from 1 to 10 years after treatment. To determine whether degenerating neurons in AD retain an ability to respond to a nervous system growth factor delivered after disease onset. Patients in this anatomicopathological study were enrolled in clinical trials from March 2001 to October 2012 at the University of California, San Diego, Medical Center in La Jolla. Ten patients with early AD underwent NGF gene therapy using ex vivo or in vivo gene transfer. The brains of all 8 patients in the first phase 1 ex vivo trial and of 2 patients in a subsequent phase 1 in vivo trial were examined. Brains were immunolabeled to evaluate in vivo gene expression, cholinergic neuronal responses to NGF, and activation of NGF-related cell signaling. In 2 patients, NGF protein levels were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Among 10 patients, degenerating neurons in the AD brain responded to NGF. All patients exhibited a trophic response to NGF in the form of axonal sprouting toward the NGF source. Comparing treated and nontreated sides of the brain in 3 patients who underwent unilateral gene transfer, cholinergic neuronal hypertrophy occurred on the NGF-treated side (P < .05). Activation of cellular signaling and functional markers was present in 2 patients who underwent adeno-associated viral vectors (serotype 2)-mediated NGF gene transfer. Neurons exhibiting tau pathology and neurons free of tau expressed NGF, indicating that degenerating cells can be infected with therapeutic

  10. Increased response to glutamate in small diameter dorsal root ganglion neurons after sciatic nerve injury.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kerui Gong

    Full Text Available Glutamate in the peripheral nervous system is involved in neuropathic pain, yet we know little how nerve injury alters responses to this neurotransmitter in primary sensory neurons. We recorded neuronal responses from the ex-vivo preparations of the dorsal root ganglia (DRG one week following a chronic constriction injury (CCI of the sciatic nerve in adult rats. We found that small diameter DRG neurons (30 µm were unaffected. Puff application of either glutamate, or the selective ionotropic glutamate receptor agonists alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA and kainic acid (KA, or the group I metabotropic receptor (mGluR agonist (S-3,5-dihydroxyphenylglycine (DHPG, induced larger inward currents in CCI DRGs compared to those from uninjured rats. N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA-induced currents were unchanged. In addition to larger inward currents following CCI, a greater number of neurons responded to glutamate, AMPA, NMDA, and DHPG, but not to KA. Western blot analysis of the DRGs revealed that CCI resulted in a 35% increase in GluA1 and a 60% decrease in GluA2, the AMPA receptor subunits, compared to uninjured controls. mGluR1 receptor expression increased by 60% in the membrane fraction, whereas mGluR5 receptor subunit expression remained unchanged after CCI. These results show that following nerve injury, small diameter DRG neurons, many of which are nociceptive, have increased excitability and an increased response to glutamate that is associated with changes in receptor expression at the neuronal membrane. Our findings provide further evidence that glutamatergic transmission in the periphery plays a role in nociception.

  11. Replicating receptive fields of simple and complex cells in primary visual cortex in a neuronal network model with temporal and population sparseness and reliability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanaka, Takuma; Aoyagi, Toshio; Kaneko, Takeshi

    2012-10-01

    We propose a new principle for replicating receptive field properties of neurons in the primary visual cortex. We derive a learning rule for a feedforward network, which maintains a low firing rate for the output neurons (resulting in temporal sparseness) and allows only a small subset of the neurons in the network to fire at any given time (resulting in population sparseness). Our learning rule also sets the firing rates of the output neurons at each time step to near-maximum or near-minimum levels, resulting in neuronal reliability. The learning rule is simple enough to be written in spatially and temporally local forms. After the learning stage is performed using input image patches of natural scenes, output neurons in the model network are found to exhibit simple-cell-like receptive field properties. When the output of these simple-cell-like neurons are input to another model layer using the same learning rule, the second-layer output neurons after learning become less sensitive to the phase of gratings than the simple-cell-like input neurons. In particular, some of the second-layer output neurons become completely phase invariant, owing to the convergence of the connections from first-layer neurons with similar orientation selectivity to second-layer neurons in the model network. We examine the parameter dependencies of the receptive field properties of the model neurons after learning and discuss their biological implications. We also show that the localized learning rule is consistent with experimental results concerning neuronal plasticity and can replicate the receptive fields of simple and complex cells.

  12. Response of pontomedullary reticulospinal neurons to vestibular stimuli in vertical planes. Role in vertical vestibulospinal reflexes of the decerebrate cat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bolton, P. S.; Goto, T.; Schor, R. H.; Wilson, V. J.; Yamagata, Y.; Yates, B. J.

    1992-01-01

    1. To investigate the neural substrate of vestibulospinal reflexes in decerebrate cats, we studied the responses of pontomedullary reticulospinal neurons to natural stimulation of the labyrinth in vertical planes. Our principal aim was to determine whether reticulospinal neurons that terminate in, or are likely to give off collaterals to, the upper cervical segments had properties similar to those of the vestibulocollic reflex (VCR). 2. Antidromic stimulation was used to determine whether the neurons projected to the neck, lower cervical, thoracic, or lumbar levels. Dynamics of the responses of spontaneously firing neurons were studied with sinusoidal stimuli delivered at 0.05-1 Hz and aligned to the plane of body rotation, that produced maximal modulation of the neuron (response vector orientation). Each neuron was assigned a vestibular input classification of otolith, vertical canal, otolith + canal, or spatial-temporal convergence (STC). 3. We found, in agreement with previous studies, that the largest fraction of pontomedullary reticulospinal neurons projected to the lumbar cord, and that only a small number ended in the neck segments. Neurons projecting to all levels of the spinal cord had similar responses to labyrinth stimulation. 4. Reticulospinal neurons that received only vertical canal inputs were rare (1 of 67 units). Most reticulospinal neurons (48%) received predominant otolith inputs, 18% received otolith + canal input, and only 9% had STC behavior. These data are in sharp contrast to the results of our previous studies of vestibulospinal neurons. A considerable portion of vestibulospinal neurons receives vertical canal input (38%), fewer receive predominantly otolith input (22%), whereas the proportion that have otolith + canal input or STC behavior is similar to our present reticulospinal data. 5. The response vector orientations of our reticulospinal neurons, particularly those with canal inputs (canal, otolith + canal, STC) were predominantly in

  13. Sensory modality specificity of neural activity related to memory in visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibson, J R; Maunsell, J H

    1997-09-01

    Previous studies have shown that when monkeys perform a delayed match-to-sample (DMS) task, some neurons in inferotemporal visual cortex are activated selectively during the delay period when the animal must remember particular visual stimuli. This selective delay activity may be involved in short-term memory. It does not depend on visual stimulation: both auditory and tactile stimuli can trigger selective delay activity in inferotemporal cortex when animals expect to respond to visual stimuli in a DMS task. We have examined the overall modality specificity of delay period activity using a variety of auditory/visual cross-modal and unimodal DMS tasks. The cross-modal DMS tasks involved making specific long-term memory associations between visual and auditory stimuli, whereas the unimodal DMS tasks were standard identity matching tasks. Delay activity existed in auditory/visual cross-modal DMS tasks whether the animal anticipated responding to visual or auditory stimuli. No evidence of selective delay period activation was seen in a purely auditory DMS task. Delay-selective cells were relatively common in one animal where they constituted up to 53% neurons tested with a given task. This was only the case for up to 9% of cells in a second animal. In the first animal, a specific long-term memory representation for learned cross-modal associations was observed in delay activity, indicating that this type of representation need not be purely visual. Furthermore, in this same animal, delay activity in one cross-modal task, an auditory-to-visual task, predicted correct and incorrect responses. These results suggest that neurons in inferotemporal cortex contribute to abstract memory representations that can be activated by input from other sensory modalities, but these representations are specific to visual behaviors.

  14. Vasculo-Neuronal Coupling: Retrograde Vascular Communication to Brain Neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Ki Jung; Ramiro Diaz, Juan; Iddings, Jennifer A; Filosa, Jessica A

    2016-12-14

    Continuous cerebral blood flow is essential for neuronal survival, but whether vascular tone influences resting neuronal function is not known. Using a multidisciplinary approach in both rat and mice brain slices, we determined whether flow/pressure-evoked increases or decreases in parenchymal arteriole vascular tone, which result in arteriole constriction and dilation, respectively, altered resting cortical pyramidal neuron activity. We present evidence for intercellular communication in the brain involving a flow of information from vessel to astrocyte to neuron, a direction opposite to that of classic neurovascular coupling and referred to here as vasculo-neuronal coupling (VNC). Flow/pressure increases within parenchymal arterioles increased vascular tone and simultaneously decreased resting pyramidal neuron firing activity. On the other hand, flow/pressure decreases evoke parenchymal arteriole dilation and increased resting pyramidal neuron firing activity. In GLAST-CreERT2; R26-lsl-GCaMP3 mice, we demonstrate that increased parenchymal arteriole tone significantly increased intracellular calcium in perivascular astrocyte processes, the onset of astrocyte calcium changes preceded the inhibition of cortical pyramidal neuronal firing activity. During increases in parenchymal arteriole tone, the pyramidal neuron response was unaffected by blockers of nitric oxide, GABA A , glutamate, or ecto-ATPase. However, VNC was abrogated by TRPV4 channel, GABA B , as well as an adenosine A 1 receptor blocker. Differently to pyramidal neuron responses, increases in flow/pressure within parenchymal arterioles increased the firing activity of a subtype of interneuron. Together, these data suggest that VNC is a complex constitutive active process that enables neurons to efficiently adjust their resting activity according to brain perfusion levels, thus safeguarding cellular homeostasis by preventing mismatches between energy supply and demand. We present evidence for vessel-to-neuron

  15. Monaural and binaural response properties of neurons in the inferior colliculus of the rabbit: effects of sodium pentobarbital.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuwada, S; Batra, R; Stanford, T R

    1989-02-01

    1. We studied the effects of sodium pentobarbital on 22 neurons in the inferior colliculus (IC) of the rabbit. We recorded changes in the sensitivity of these neurons to monaural stimulation and to ongoing interaural time differences (ITDs). Monaural stimuli were tone bursts at or near the neuron's best frequency. The ITD was varied by delivering tones that differed by 1 Hz to the two ears, resulting in a 1-Hz binaural beat. 2. We assessed a neuron's ITD sensitivity by calculating three measures from the responses to binaural beats: composite delay, characteristic delay (CD), and characteristic phase (CP). To obtain the composite delay, we first derived period histograms by averaging, showing the response at each stimulating frequency over one period of the beat frequency. Second, the period histograms were replotted as a function of their equivalent interaural delay and then averaged together to yield the composite delay curve. Last, we calculated the composite peak or trough delay by fitting a parabola to the peak or trough of this composite curve. The composite delay curve represents the average response to all frequencies within the neuron's responsive range, and the peak reflects the interaural delay that produces the maximum response. The CD and CP were estimated from a weighted fit of a regression line to the plot of the mean interaural phase of the response versus the stimulating frequency. The slope and phase intercept of this regression line yielded estimates of CD and CP, respectively. These two quantities are thought to reflect the mechanism of ITD sensitivity, which involves the convergence of phase-locked inputs on a binaural cell. The CD estimates the difference in the time required for the two inputs to travel from either ear to this cell, whereas the CP reflects the interaural phase difference of the inputs at this cell. 3. Injections of sodium pentobarbital at subsurgical dosages (less than 25 mg/kg) almost invariably altered the neuron's response

  16. More insight into the interplay of response selection and visual attention in dual-tasks: masked visual search and response selection are performed in parallel.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reimer, Christina B; Schubert, Torsten

    2017-09-15

    Both response selection and visual attention are limited in capacity. According to the central bottleneck model, the response selection processes of two tasks in a dual-task situation are performed sequentially. In conjunction search, visual attention is required to select the items and to bind their features (e.g., color and form), which results in a serial search process. Search time increases as items are added to the search display (i.e., set size effect). When the search display is masked, visual attention deployment is restricted to a brief period of time and target detection decreases as a function of set size. Here, we investigated whether response selection and visual attention (i.e., feature binding) rely on a common or on distinct capacity limitations. In four dual-task experiments, participants completed an auditory Task 1 and a conjunction search Task 2 that were presented with an experimentally modulated temporal interval between them (Stimulus Onset Asynchrony, SOA). In Experiment 1, Task 1 was a two-choice discrimination task and the conjunction search display was not masked. In Experiment 2, the response selection difficulty in Task 1 was increased to a four-choice discrimination and the search task was the same as in Experiment 1. We applied the locus-of-slack method in both experiments to analyze conjunction search time, that is, we compared the set size effects across SOAs. Similar set size effects across SOAs (i.e., additive effects of SOA and set size) would indicate sequential processing of response selection and visual attention. However, a significantly smaller set size effect at short SOA compared to long SOA (i.e., underadditive interaction of SOA and set size) would indicate parallel processing of response selection and visual attention. In both experiments, we found underadditive interactions of SOA and set size. In Experiments 3 and 4, the conjunction search display in Task 2 was masked. Task 1 was the same as in Experiments 1 and 2

  17. Abstractocyte: A Visual Tool for Exploring Nanoscale Astroglial Cells

    KAUST Repository

    Mohammed, Haneen

    2017-06-12

    This thesis presents the design and implementation of Abstractocyte, a system for the visual analysis of astrocytes, and their relation to neurons, in nanoscale volumes of brain tissue. Astrocytes are glial cells, i.e., non-neuronal cells that support neurons and the nervous system. Even though glial cells make up around 50 percent of all cells in the mammalian brain, so far they have been far less studied than neurons. Nevertheless, the study of astrocytes has immense potential for understanding brain function. However, the complex and widely-branching structure of astrocytes requires high-resolution electron microscopy imaging and makes visualization and analysis challenging. Using Abstractocyte, biologists can explore the morphology of astrocytes at various visual abstraction levels, while simultaneously analyzing neighboring neurons and their connectivity. We define a novel, conceptual 2D abstraction space for jointly visualizing astrocytes and neurons. Neuroscientists can choose a joint visualization as a specific point in that 2D abstraction space. Dragging this point allows them to smoothly transition between different abstraction levels in an intuitive manner. We describe the design of Abstractocyte, and present three case studies in which neuroscientists have successfully used our system to assess astrocytic coverage of synapses, glycogen distribution in relation to synapses, and astrocytic-mitochondria coverage.

  18. Predictive feedback can account for biphasic responses in the lateral geniculate nucleus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Janneke F M Jehee

    2009-05-01

    Full Text Available Biphasic neural response properties, where the optimal stimulus for driving a neural response changes from one stimulus pattern to the opposite stimulus pattern over short periods of time, have been described in several visual areas, including lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN, primary visual cortex (V1, and middle temporal area (MT. We describe a hierarchical model of predictive coding and simulations that capture these temporal variations in neuronal response properties. We focus on the LGN-V1 circuit and find that after training on natural images the model exhibits the brain's LGN-V1 connectivity structure, in which the structure of V1 receptive fields is linked to the spatial alignment and properties of center-surround cells in the LGN. In addition, the spatio-temporal response profile of LGN model neurons is biphasic in structure, resembling the biphasic response structure of neurons in cat LGN. Moreover, the model displays a specific pattern of influence of feedback, where LGN receptive fields that are aligned over a simple cell receptive field zone of the same polarity decrease their responses while neurons of opposite polarity increase their responses with feedback. This phase-reversed pattern of influence was recently observed in neurophysiology. These results corroborate the idea that predictive feedback is a general coding strategy in the brain.

  19. Cerebral haemodynamic response or excitability is not affected by sildenafil

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kruuse, Christina Rostrup; Hansen, Adam E; Larsson, Henrik B W

    2009-01-01

    Sildenafil (Viagra), a cyclic guanosine monophosphate-degrading phosphodiesterase 5 inhibitor, induces headache and migraine. Such headache induction may be caused by an increased neuronal excitability, as no concurrent effect on cerebral arteries is found. In 13 healthy females (23+/-3 years, 70......) were performed. The measurements were applied at baseline and at both 1 and 2 h after ingestion of 100 mg of sildenafil. Blood pressure, heart rate and side effects, including headache, were obtained. Headache was induced in all but one subject on both study days. Sildenafil did not affect VEP...... amplitude or latency (P100). The fMRI response to visual stimulation or hypercapnia was unchanged by sildenafil. In conclusion, sildenafil induces mild headache without potentiating a neuronal or local cerebrovascular visual response or a global cerebrovascular hypercapnic response. The implication...

  20. Hippocampal adaptive response following extensive neuronal loss in an inducible transgenic mouse model.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristoffer Myczek

    Full Text Available Neuronal loss is a common component of a variety of neurodegenerative disorders (including Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and Huntington's disease and brain traumas (stroke, epilepsy, and traumatic brain injury. One brain region that commonly exhibits neuronal loss in several neurodegenerative disorders is the hippocampus, an area of the brain critical for the formation and retrieval of memories. Long-lasting and sometimes unrecoverable deficits caused by neuronal loss present a unique challenge for clinicians and for researchers who attempt to model these traumas in animals. Can these deficits be recovered, and if so, is the brain capable of regeneration following neuronal loss? To address this significant question, we utilized the innovative CaM/Tet-DT(A mouse model that selectively induces neuronal ablation. We found that we are able to inflict a consistent and significant lesion to the hippocampus, resulting in hippocampally-dependent behavioral deficits and a long-lasting upregulation in neurogenesis, suggesting that this process might be a critical part of hippocampal recovery. In addition, we provide novel evidence of angiogenic and vasculature changes following hippocampal neuronal loss in CaM/Tet-DTA mice. We posit that angiogenesis may be an important factor that promotes neurogenic upregulation following hippocampal neuronal loss, and both factors, angiogenesis and neurogenesis, can contribute to the adaptive response of the brain for behavioral recovery.

  1. Cortical cell and neuron density estimates in one chimpanzee hemisphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collins, Christine E; Turner, Emily C; Sawyer, Eva Kille; Reed, Jamie L; Young, Nicole A; Flaherty, David K; Kaas, Jon H

    2016-01-19

    The density of cells and neurons in the neocortex of many mammals varies across cortical areas and regions. This variability is, perhaps, most pronounced in primates. Nonuniformity in the composition of cortex suggests regions of the cortex have different specializations. Specifically, regions with densely packed neurons contain smaller neurons that are activated by relatively few inputs, thereby preserving information, whereas regions that are less densely packed have larger neurons that have more integrative functions. Here we present the numbers of cells and neurons for 742 discrete locations across the neocortex in a chimpanzee. Using isotropic fractionation and flow fractionation methods for cell and neuron counts, we estimate that neocortex of one hemisphere contains 9.5 billion cells and 3.7 billion neurons. Primary visual cortex occupies 35 cm(2) of surface, 10% of the total, and contains 737 million densely packed neurons, 20% of the total neurons contained within the hemisphere. Other areas of high neuron packing include secondary visual areas, somatosensory cortex, and prefrontal granular cortex. Areas of low levels of neuron packing density include motor and premotor cortex. These values reflect those obtained from more limited samples of cortex in humans and other primates.

  2. The neurophysiology of figure-ground segregation in primary visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamme, V A

    1995-02-01

    The activity of neurons in the primary visual cortex of the awake macaque monkey was recorded while the animals were viewing full screen arrays of either oriented line segments or moving random dots. A square patch of the screen was made to perceptually pop out as a circumscribed figure by virtue of differences between the orientation or the direction of motion of the texture elements within that patch and the surround. The animals were trained to identify the figure patches by making saccadic eye movements towards their positions. Almost every cell gave a significantly larger response to elements belonging to the figure than to similar elements belonging to the background. The figure-ground response enhancement was present along the entire extent of the patch and was absent as soon as the receptive field was outside the patch. The strength of the effect had no relation with classical receptive field properties like orientation or direction selectivity or receptive field size. The response enhancement had a latency of 30-40 msec relative to the onset of the neuronal response itself. The results show that context modulation within primary visual cortex has a highly sophisticated nature, putting the image features the cells are responding to into their fully evaluated perceptual context.

  3. Saccade-synchronized rapid attention shifts in macaque visual cortical area MT.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yao, Tao; Treue, Stefan; Krishna, B Suresh

    2018-03-06

    While making saccadic eye-movements to scan a visual scene, humans and monkeys are able to keep track of relevant visual stimuli by maintaining spatial attention on them. This ability requires a shift of attentional modulation from the neuronal population representing the relevant stimulus pre-saccadically to the one representing it post-saccadically. For optimal performance, this trans-saccadic attention shift should be rapid and saccade-synchronized. Whether this is so is not known. We trained two rhesus monkeys to make saccades while maintaining covert attention at a fixed spatial location. We show that the trans-saccadic attention shift in cortical visual medial temporal (MT) area is well synchronized to saccades. Attentional modulation crosses over from the pre-saccadic to the post-saccadic neuronal representation by about 50 ms after a saccade. Taking response latency into account, the trans-saccadic attention shift is well timed to maintain spatial attention on relevant stimuli, so that they can be optimally tracked and processed across saccades.

  4. Differentiating Visual from Response Sequencing during Long-term Skill Learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lynch, Brighid; Beukema, Patrick; Verstynen, Timothy

    2017-01-01

    The dual-system model of sequence learning posits that during early learning there is an advantage for encoding sequences in sensory frames; however, it remains unclear whether this advantage extends to long-term consolidation. Using the serial RT task, we set out to distinguish the dynamics of learning sequential orders of visual cues from learning sequential responses. On each day, most participants learned a new mapping between a set of symbolic cues and responses made with one of four fingers, after which they were exposed to trial blocks of either randomly ordered cues or deterministic ordered cues (12-item sequence). Participants were randomly assigned to one of four groups (n = 15 per group): Visual sequences (same sequence of visual cues across training days), Response sequences (same order of key presses across training days), Combined (same serial order of cues and responses on all training days), and a Control group (a novel sequence each training day). Across 5 days of training, sequence-specific measures of response speed and accuracy improved faster in the Visual group than any of the other three groups, despite no group differences in explicit awareness of the sequence. The two groups that were exposed to the same visual sequence across days showed a marginal improvement in response binding that was not found in the other groups. These results indicate that there is an advantage, in terms of rate of consolidation across multiple days of training, for learning sequences of actions in a sensory representational space, rather than as motoric representations.

  5. Prostaglandin potentiates 5-HT responses in stomach and ileum innervating visceral afferent sensory neurons

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kim, Sojin; Jin, Zhenhua; Lee, Goeun [Department of Physiology, School of Medicine, Kyung Hee University, Seoul 130-701 (Korea, Republic of); Park, Yong Seek; Park, Cheung-Seog [Department of Microbiology, School of Medicine, Kyung Hee University, Seoul 130-701 (Korea, Republic of); Jin, Young-Ho, E-mail: jinyh@khu.ac.kr [Department of Physiology, School of Medicine, Kyung Hee University, Seoul 130-701 (Korea, Republic of)

    2015-01-02

    Highlights: • Prostaglandin E2 (PGE{sub 2}) effect was tested on visceral afferent neurons. • PGE{sub 2} did not evoke response but potentiated serotonin (5-HT) currents up to 167%. • PGE{sub 2}-induced potentiation was blocked by E-prostanoid type 4 receptors antagonist. • PGE{sub 2} effect on 5-HT response was also blocked by protein kinase A inhibitor KT5720. • Thus, PGE{sub 2} modulate visceral afferent neurons via synergistic signaling with 5-HT. - Abstract: Gastrointestinal disorder is a common symptom induced by diverse pathophysiological conditions that include food tolerance, chemotherapy, and irradiation for therapy. Prostaglandin E{sub 2} (PGE{sub 2}) level increase was often reported during gastrointestinal disorder and prostaglandin synthetase inhibitors has been used for ameliorate the symptoms. Exogenous administration of PGE{sub 2} induces gastrointestinal disorder, however, the mechanism of action is not known. Therefore, we tested PGE{sub 2} effect on visceral afferent sensory neurons of the rat. Interestingly, PGE{sub 2} itself did not evoked any response but enhanced serotonin (5-HT)-evoked currents up to 167% of the control level. The augmented 5-HT responses were completely inhibited by a 5-HT type 3 receptor antagonist, ondansetron. The PGE{sub 2}-induced potentiation were blocked by a selective E-prostanoid type4 (EP{sub 4}) receptors antagonist, L-161,982, but type1 and 2 receptor antagonist AH6809 has no effect. A membrane permeable protein kinase A (PKA) inhibitor, KT5720 also inhibited PGE{sub 2} effects. PGE{sub 2} induced 5-HT current augmentation was observed on 15% and 21% of the stomach and ileum projecting neurons, respectively. Current results suggest a synergistic signaling in visceral afferent neurons underlying gastrointestinal disorder involving PGE{sub 2} potentiation of 5-HT currents. Our findings may open a possibility for screen a new type drugs with lower side effects than currently using steroidal prostaglandin

  6. Membrane potential and response properties of populations of cortical neurons in the high conductance state

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Moreno-Bote, Ruben; Parga, Nestor

    2005-01-01

    Because of intense synaptic activity, cortical neurons are in a high conductance state. We show that this state has important consequences on the properties of a population of independent model neurons with conductance-based synapses. Using an adiabaticlike approximation we study both the membrane potential and the firing probability distributions across the population. We find that the latter is bimodal in such a way that at any particular moment some neurons are inactive while others are active. The population rate and the response variability are also characterized

  7. Modulation of orientation-selective neurons by motion: when additive, when multiplicative?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Torsten eLüdge

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The recurrent interaction among orientation-selective neurons in the primary visual cortex (V1 is suited to enhance contours in a noisy visual scene. Motion is known to have a strong pop-up effect in perceiving contours, but how motion-sensitive neurons in V1 support contour detection remains vastly elusive. Here we suggest how the various types of motion-sensitive neurons observed in V1 should be wired together in a micro-circuitry to optimally extract contours in the visual scene. Motion-sensitive neurons can be selective about the direction of motion occurring at some spot or respond equally to all directions (pandirectional. We show that, in the light of figure-ground segregation, direction-selective motion neurons should additively modulate the corresponding orientation-selective neurons with preferred orientation orthogonal to the motion direction. In turn, to maximally enhance contours, pandirectional motion neurons should multiplicatively modulate all orientation-selective neurons with co-localized receptive fields. This multiplicative modulation amplifies the local V1-circuitry among co-aligned orientation-selective neurons for detecting elongated contours. We suggest that the additive modulation by direction- specific motion neurons is achieved through synaptic projections to the somatic region, and the multiplicative modulation by pandirectional motion neurons through projections to the apical region of orientation-specific pyramidal neurons. For the purpose of contour detection, the V1- intrinsic integration of motion information is advantageous over a downstream integration as it exploits the recurrent V1-circuitry designed for that task.

  8. SINs and SOMs: Neural microcircuits for size tuning in the zebrafish and mouse visual pathway.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alison J. Barker

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available In many animals, a fast and reliable circuit for discriminating between predator-sized objects and edible (prey-sized objects is necessary for survival. How are receptive fields in visual brain areas organized to extract information about size? Recent studies from the zebrafish optic tectum and the mouse visual cortex suggest de novo shaping of receptive fields by subtypes of inhibitory neurons. Del Bene et al. (2010 describe a population of GABAergic neurons in the zebrafish optic tectum (Superficial Interneurons, SINs that are necessary for size filtering during prey capture. Adesnik et al. (2012 describe a somatostatin-expressing interneuron population (SOMs that confers surround suppression on layer II/III pyramidal cells in mouse V1. Strikingly both the SINs and the SOMs, display size-dependent response properties. Increasing visual stimulus size increases excitatory input to these neurons. Dampening SIN or SOM activity alters tuning of neighboring circuits such that they lose preference for small objects. Both results provide exciting evidence for mechanisms of size filtering in visual circuits. Here we review the roles of the SINs and the SOMs and speculate on the similarity of such spatial filters across species.

  9. Emotion processing fails to modulate putative mirror neuron response to trained visuomotor associations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fitzgibbon, Bernadette M; Kirkovski, Melissa; Fornito, Alex; Paton, Bryan; Fitzgerald, Paul B; Enticott, Peter G

    2016-04-01

    Recent neuroimaging studies have demonstrated that activation of the putative human mirror neuron system (MNS) can be elicited via visuomotor training. This is generally interpreted as supporting an associative learning account of the mirror neuron system (MNS) that argues against the ontogeny of the MNS to be an evolutionary adaptation for social cognition. The current study assessed whether a central component of social cognition, emotion processing, would influence the MNS activity to trained visuomotor associations, which could support a broader role of the MNS in social cognition. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we assessed repetition suppression to the presentation of stimulus pairs involving a simple hand action and a geometric shape that was either congruent or incongruent with earlier association training. Each pair was preceded by an image of positive, negative, or neutral emotionality. In support of an associative learning account of the MNS, repetition suppression was greater for trained pairs compared with untrained pairs in several regions, primarily supplementary motor area (SMA) and right inferior frontal gyrus (rIFG). This response, however, was not modulated by the valence of the emotional images. These findings argue against a fundamental role of emotion processing in the mirror neuron response, and are inconsistent with theoretical accounts linking mirror neurons to social cognition. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Optogenetic identification of hypothalamic orexin neuron projections to paraventricular spinally projecting neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dergacheva, Olga; Yamanaka, Akihiro; Schwartz, Alan R; Polotsky, Vsevolod Y; Mendelowitz, David

    2017-04-01

    Orexin neurons, and activation of orexin receptors, are generally thought to be sympathoexcitatory; however, the functional connectivity between orexin neurons and a likely sympathetic target, the hypothalamic spinally projecting neurons (SPNs) in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus (PVN) has not been established. To test the hypothesis that orexin neurons project directly to SPNs in the PVN, channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) was selectively expressed in orexin neurons to enable photoactivation of ChR2-expressing fibers while examining evoked postsynaptic currents in SPNs in rat hypothalamic slices. Selective photoactivation of orexin fibers elicited short-latency postsynaptic currents in all SPNs tested ( n = 34). These light-triggered responses were heterogeneous, with a majority being excitatory glutamatergic responses (59%) and a minority of inhibitory GABAergic (35%) and mixed glutamatergic and GABAergic currents (6%). Both glutamatergic and GABAergic responses were present in the presence of tetrodotoxin and 4-aminopyridine, suggesting a monosynaptic connection between orexin neurons and SPNs. In addition to generating postsynaptic responses, photostimulation facilitated action potential firing in SPNs (current clamp configuration). Glutamatergic, but not GABAergic, postsynaptic currents were diminished by application of the orexin receptor antagonist almorexant, indicating orexin release facilitates glutamatergic neurotransmission in this pathway. This work identifies a neuronal circuit by which orexin neurons likely exert sympathoexcitatory control of cardiovascular function. NEW & NOTEWORTHY This is the first study to establish, using innovative optogenetic approaches in a transgenic rat model, that there are robust heterogeneous projections from orexin neurons to paraventricular spinally projecting neurons, including excitatory glutamatergic and inhibitory GABAergic neurotransmission. Endogenous orexin release modulates glutamatergic, but not

  11. Spatial attention improves the quality of population codes in human visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saproo, Sameer; Serences, John T

    2010-08-01

    Selective attention enables sensory input from behaviorally relevant stimuli to be processed in greater detail, so that these stimuli can more accurately influence thoughts, actions, and future goals. Attention has been shown to modulate the spiking activity of single feature-selective neurons that encode basic stimulus properties (color, orientation, etc.). However, the combined output from many such neurons is required to form stable representations of relevant objects and little empirical work has formally investigated the relationship between attentional modulations on population responses and improvements in encoding precision. Here, we used functional MRI and voxel-based feature tuning functions to show that spatial attention induces a multiplicative scaling in orientation-selective population response profiles in early visual cortex. In turn, this multiplicative scaling correlates with an improvement in encoding precision, as evidenced by a concurrent increase in the mutual information between population responses and the orientation of attended stimuli. These data therefore demonstrate how multiplicative scaling of neural responses provides at least one mechanism by which spatial attention may improve the encoding precision of population codes. Increased encoding precision in early visual areas may then enhance the speed and accuracy of perceptual decisions computed by higher-order neural mechanisms.

  12. Computational Model of Primary Visual Cortex Combining Visual Attention for Action Recognition.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Na Shu

    Full Text Available Humans can easily understand other people's actions through visual systems, while computers cannot. Therefore, a new bio-inspired computational model is proposed in this paper aiming for automatic action recognition. The model focuses on dynamic properties of neurons and neural networks in the primary visual cortex (V1, and simulates the procedure of information processing in V1, which consists of visual perception, visual attention and representation of human action. In our model, a family of the three-dimensional spatial-temporal correlative Gabor filters is used to model the dynamic properties of the classical receptive field of V1 simple cell tuned to different speeds and orientations in time for detection of spatiotemporal information from video sequences. Based on the inhibitory effect of stimuli outside the classical receptive field caused by lateral connections of spiking neuron networks in V1, we propose surround suppressive operator to further process spatiotemporal information. Visual attention model based on perceptual grouping is integrated into our model to filter and group different regions. Moreover, in order to represent the human action, we consider the characteristic of the neural code: mean motion map based on analysis of spike trains generated by spiking neurons. The experimental evaluation on some publicly available action datasets and comparison with the state-of-the-art approaches demonstrate the superior performance of the proposed model.

  13. Trigeminal ganglion neurons of mice show intracellular chloride accumulation and chloride-dependent amplification of capsaicin-induced responses.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicole Schöbel

    Full Text Available Intracellular Cl(- concentrations ([Cl(-](i of sensory neurons regulate signal transmission and signal amplification. In dorsal root ganglion (DRG and olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs, Cl(- is accumulated by the Na(+-K(+-2Cl(- cotransporter 1 (NKCC1, resulting in a [Cl(-](i above electrochemical equilibrium and a depolarizing Cl(- efflux upon Cl(- channel opening. Here, we investigate the [Cl(-](i and function of Cl(- in primary sensory neurons of trigeminal ganglia (TG of wild type (WT and NKCC1(-/- mice using pharmacological and imaging approaches, patch-clamping, as well as behavioral testing. The [Cl(-](i of WT TG neurons indicated active NKCC1-dependent Cl(- accumulation. Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA(A receptor activation induced a reduction of [Cl(-](i as well as Ca(2+ transients in a corresponding fraction of TG neurons. Ca(2+ transients were sensitive to inhibition of NKCC1 and voltage-gated Ca(2+ channels (VGCCs. Ca(2+ responses induced by capsaicin, a prototypical stimulus of transient receptor potential vanilloid subfamily member-1 (TRPV1 were diminished in NKCC1(-/- TG neurons, but elevated under conditions of a lowered [Cl(-](o suggesting a Cl(--dependent amplification of capsaicin-induced responses. Using next generation sequencing (NGS, we found expression of different Ca(2+-activated Cl(- channels (CaCCs in TGs of mice. Pharmacological inhibition of CaCCs reduced the amplitude of capsaicin-induced responses of TG neurons in Ca(2+ imaging and electrophysiological recordings. In a behavioral paradigm, NKCC1(-/- mice showed less avoidance of the aversive stimulus capsaicin. In summary, our results strongly argue for a Ca(2+-activated Cl(--dependent signal amplification mechanism in TG neurons that requires intracellular Cl(- accumulation by NKCC1 and the activation of CaCCs.

  14. Pulvinar neurons reveal neurobiological evidence of past selection for rapid detection of snakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Le, Quan; Isbell, Lynne A; Matsumoto, Jumpei; Nguyen, Minh; Hori, Etsuro; Maior, Rafael S; Tomaz, Carlos; Tran, Anh Hai; Ono, Taketoshi; Nishijo, Hisao

    2013-11-19

    Snakes and their relationships with humans and other primates have attracted broad attention from multiple fields of study, but not, surprisingly, from neuroscience, despite the involvement of the visual system and strong behavioral and physiological evidence that humans and other primates can detect snakes faster than innocuous objects. Here, we report the existence of neurons in the primate medial and dorsolateral pulvinar that respond selectively to visual images of snakes. Compared with three other categories of stimuli (monkey faces, monkey hands, and geometrical shapes), snakes elicited the strongest, fastest responses, and the responses were not reduced by low spatial filtering. These findings integrate neuroscience with evolutionary biology, anthropology, psychology, herpetology, and primatology by identifying a neurobiological basis for primates' heightened visual sensitivity to snakes, and adding a crucial component to the growing evolutionary perspective that snakes have long shaped our primate lineage.

  15. Gold nanoparticle-mediated laser stimulation induces a complex stress response in neuronal cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johannsmeier, Sonja; Heeger, Patrick; Terakawa, Mitsuhiro; Kalies, Stefan; Heisterkamp, Alexander; Ripken, Tammo; Heinemann, Dag

    2018-04-25

    Stimulation of neuronal cells generally resorts to electric signals. Recent advances in laser-based stimulation methods could present an alternative with superior spatiotemporal resolution. The avoidance of electronic crosstalk makes these methods attractive for in vivo therapeutic application. In particular, nano-mediators, such as gold nanoparticles, can be used to transfer the energy from a laser pulse to the cell membrane and subsequently activate excitable cells. Although the underlying mechanisms of neuronal activation have been widely unraveled, the overall effect on the targeted cell is not understood. Little is known about the physiological and pathophysiological impact of a laser pulse targeted onto nanoabsorbers on the cell membrane. Here, we analyzed the reaction of the neuronal murine cell line Neuro-2A and murine primary cortical neurons to gold nanoparticle mediated laser stimulation. Our study reveals a severe, complex and cell-type independent stress response after laser irradiation, emphasizing the need for a thorough assessment of this approach's efficacy and safety.

  16. Glucose-responsive neurons in the subfornical organ of the rat--a novel site for direct CNS monitoring of circulating glucose.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Medeiros, N; Dai, L; Ferguson, A V

    2012-01-10

    Glucose-sensitive neurons have been identified in a number of CNS regions including metabolic control centers of the hypothalamus. The location of these regions behind the blood-brain barrier restricts them to sensing central, but not circulating glucose concentrations. In this study, we have used patch-clamp electrophysiology to examine whether neurons in a specialized region lacking the blood-brain barrier, the subfornical organ (SFO), are also glucose sensitive. In dissociated SFO neurons, altering the bath concentration of glucose (1 mM, 5 mM, 10 mM) influenced the excitability of 49% of neurons tested (n=67). Glucose-inhibited (GI) neurons depolarized in response to decreased glucose (n=10; mean, 4.6±1.0 mV) or hyperpolarized in response to increased glucose (n=8; mean,-4.4±0.8 mV). In contrast, glucose-excited (GE) neurons depolarized in response to increased glucose (n=9; mean, 6.4±0.4 mV) or hyperpolarized in response to decreased glucose (n=6; mean,-4.8±0.6 mV). Using voltage-clamp recordings, we also identified GI (outward current to increased glucose) and GE (inward current to increased glucose) SFO neurons. The mean glucose-induced inward current had a reversal potential of -24±12 mV (n=5), while GE responses were maintained during sodium-dependent glucose transporter inhibition, supporting the conclusion that GE properties result from the activation of a nonselective cation conductance (NSCC). The glucose-induced outward current had a mean reversal potential of -78±1.2 mV (n=5), while GI responses were not observed in the presence of glibenclamide, suggesting that these properties result from the modulation of K(ATP) channels. These data demonstrate that SFO neurons are glucose responsive, further emphasizing the potential roles of this circumventricular organ as an important sensor and integrator of circulating signals of energy status. Copyright © 2011 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Learning STEM Through Integrative Visual Representations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Virk, Satyugjit Singh

    Previous cognitive models of memory have not comprehensively taken into account the internal cognitive load of chunking isolated information and have emphasized the external cognitive load of visual presentation only. Under the Virk Long Term Working Memory Multimedia Model of cognitive load, drawing from the Cowan model, students presented with integrated animations of the key neural signal transmission subcomponents where the interrelationships between subcomponents are visually and verbally explicit, were hypothesized to perform significantly better on free response and diagram labeling questions, than students presented with isolated animations of these subcomponents. This is because the internal attentional cognitive load of chunking these concepts is greatly reduced and hence the overall cognitive load is less for the integrated visuals group than the isolated group, despite the higher external load for the integrated group of having the interrelationships between subcomponents presented explicitly. Experiment 1 demonstrated that integrating the subcomponents of the neuron significantly enhanced comprehension of the interconnections between cellular subcomponents and approached significance for enhancing comprehension of the layered molecular correlates of the cellular structures and their interconnections. Experiment 2 corrected time on task confounds from Experiment 1 and focused on the cellular subcomponents of the neuron only. Results from the free response essay subcomponent subscores did demonstrate significant differences in favor of the integrated group as well as some evidence from the diagram labeling section. Results from free response, short answer and What-If (problem solving), and diagram labeling detailed interrelationship subscores demonstrated the integrated group did indeed learn the extra material they were presented with. This data demonstrating the integrated group learned the extra material they were presented with provides some initial

  18. Tiger salamanders' (Ambystoma tigrinum) response learning and usage of visual cues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kundey, Shannon M A; Millar, Roberto; McPherson, Justin; Gonzalez, Maya; Fitz, Aleyna; Allen, Chadbourne

    2016-05-01

    We explored tiger salamanders' (Ambystoma tigrinum) learning to execute a response within a maze as proximal visual cue conditions varied. In Experiment 1, salamanders learned to turn consistently in a T-maze for reinforcement before the maze was rotated. All learned the initial task and executed the trained turn during test, suggesting that they learned to demonstrate the reinforced response during training and continued to perform it during test. In a second experiment utilizing a similar procedure, two visual cues were placed consistently at the maze junction. Salamanders were reinforced for turning towards one cue. Cue placement was reversed during test. All learned the initial task, but executed the trained turn rather than turning towards the visual cue during test, evidencing response learning. In Experiment 3, we investigated whether a compound visual cue could control salamanders' behaviour when it was the only cue predictive of reinforcement in a cross-maze by varying start position and cue placement. All learned to turn in the direction indicated by the compound visual cue, indicating that visual cues can come to control their behaviour. Following training, testing revealed that salamanders attended to stimuli foreground over background features. Overall, these results suggest that salamanders learn to execute responses over learning to use visual cues but can use visual cues if required. Our success with this paradigm offers the potential in future studies to explore salamanders' cognition further, as well as to shed light on how features of the tiger salamanders' life history (e.g. hibernation and metamorphosis) impact cognition.

  19. Postural response to predictable and nonpredictable visual flow in children and adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmuckler, Mark A

    2017-11-01

    Children's (3-5years) and adults' postural reactions to different conditions of visual flow information varying in its frequency content was examined using a moving room apparatus. Both groups experienced four conditions of visual input: low-frequency (0.20Hz) visual oscillations, high-frequency (0.60Hz) oscillations, multifrequency nonpredictable visual input, and no imposed visual information. Analyses of the frequency content of anterior-posterior (AP) sway revealed that postural reactions to the single-frequency conditions replicated previous findings; children were responsive to low- and high-frequency oscillations, whereas adults were responsive to low-frequency information. Extending previous work, AP sway in response to the nonpredictable condition revealed that both groups were responsive to the different components contained in the multifrequency visual information, although adults retained their frequency selectivity to low-frequency versus high-frequency content. These findings are discussed in relation to work examining feedback versus feedforward control of posture, and the reweighting of sensory inputs for postural control, as a function of development and task context. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. A noninvasive brain computer interface using visually-induced near-infrared spectroscopy responses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Cheng-Hsuan; Ho, Ming-Shan; Shyu, Kuo-Kai; Hsu, Kou-Cheng; Wang, Kuo-Wei; Lee, Po-Lei

    2014-09-19

    Visually-induced near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) response was utilized to design a brain computer interface (BCI) system. Four circular checkerboards driven by distinct flickering sequences were displayed on a LCD screen as visual stimuli to induce subjects' NIRS responses. Each flickering sequence was a concatenated sequence of alternative flickering segments and resting segments. The flickering segment was designed with fixed duration of 3s whereas the resting segment was chosen randomly within 15-20s to create the mutual independencies among different flickering sequences. Six subjects were recruited in this study and subjects were requested to gaze at the four visual stimuli one-after-one in a random order. Since visual responses in human brain are time-locked to the onsets of visual stimuli and the flicker sequences of distinct visual stimuli were designed mutually independent, the NIRS responses induced by user's gazed targets can be discerned from non-gazed targets by applying a simple averaging process. The accuracies for the six subjects were higher than 90% after 10 or more epochs being averaged. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Role of neuronal activity in regulating the structure and function of auditory neurons

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Born, D.E.

    1986-01-01

    The role of afferent activity in maintaining neuronal structure and function was investigated in second order auditory neurons in nucleus magnocellularis (NM) of the chicken. The cochlea provides the major excitatory input to NM neurons via the eighth nerve. Removal of the cochlea causes dramatic changes in NM neurons. To determine if the elimination of neuronal activity is responsible for the changes in NM seen after cochlea removal, tetrodotoxin was used block action potentials in the cochlear ganglion cells. Tetrodotoxin injections into the perilymph reliably blocked neuronal activity in the cochlear nerve and NM. Far field recordings of sound-evoked potentials revealed that responses returned within 6 hours. Changes in amino acid incorporation in NM neurons were measured by giving intracardiac injections of 3 H-leucine and preparing tissue for autoradiographic demonstration of incorporated amino acid. Grain counts over individual neurons revealed that a single injection of tetrodotoxin produced a 40% decrease in grain density in ipsilateral NM neurons. It is concluded that neuronal activity plays an important contribution to the maintenance of the normal properties of NM neurons

  2. The Touch and Zap method for in vivo whole-cell patch recording of intrinsic and visual responses of cortical neurons and glial cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schramm, Adrien E; Marinazzo, Daniele; Gener, Thomas; Graham, Lyle J

    2014-01-01

    Whole-cell patch recording is an essential tool for quantitatively establishing the biophysics of brain function, particularly in vivo. This method is of particular interest for studying the functional roles of cortical glial cells in the intact brain, which cannot be assessed with extracellular recordings. Nevertheless, a reasonable success rate remains a challenge because of stability, recording duration and electrical quality constraints, particularly for voltage clamp, dynamic clamp or conductance measurements. To address this, we describe "Touch and Zap", an alternative method for whole-cell patch clamp recordings, with the goal of being simpler, quicker and more gentle to brain tissue than previous approaches. Under current clamp mode with a continuous train of hyperpolarizing current pulses, seal formation is initiated immediately upon cell contact, thus the "Touch". By maintaining the current injection, whole-cell access is spontaneously achieved within seconds from the cell-attached configuration by a self-limited membrane electroporation, or "Zap", as seal resistance increases. We present examples of intrinsic and visual responses of neurons and putative glial cells obtained with the revised method from cat and rat cortices in vivo. Recording parameters and biophysical properties obtained with the Touch and Zap method compare favourably with those obtained with the traditional blind patch approach, demonstrating that the revised approach does not compromise the recorded cell. We find that the method is particularly well-suited for whole-cell patch recordings of cortical glial cells in vivo, targeting a wider population of this cell type than the standard method, with better access resistance. Overall, the gentler Touch and Zap method is promising for studying quantitative functional properties in the intact brain with minimal perturbation of the cell's intrinsic properties and local network. Because the Touch and Zap method is performed semi

  3. The Touch and Zap Method for In Vivo Whole-Cell Patch Recording of Intrinsic and Visual Responses of Cortical Neurons and Glial Cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schramm, Adrien E.; Marinazzo, Daniele; Gener, Thomas; Graham, Lyle J.

    2014-01-01

    Whole-cell patch recording is an essential tool for quantitatively establishing the biophysics of brain function, particularly in vivo. This method is of particular interest for studying the functional roles of cortical glial cells in the intact brain, which cannot be assessed with extracellular recordings. Nevertheless, a reasonable success rate remains a challenge because of stability, recording duration and electrical quality constraints, particularly for voltage clamp, dynamic clamp or conductance measurements. To address this, we describe “Touch and Zap”, an alternative method for whole-cell patch clamp recordings, with the goal of being simpler, quicker and more gentle to brain tissue than previous approaches. Under current clamp mode with a continuous train of hyperpolarizing current pulses, seal formation is initiated immediately upon cell contact, thus the “Touch”. By maintaining the current injection, whole-cell access is spontaneously achieved within seconds from the cell-attached configuration by a self-limited membrane electroporation, or “Zap”, as seal resistance increases. We present examples of intrinsic and visual responses of neurons and putative glial cells obtained with the revised method from cat and rat cortices in vivo. Recording parameters and biophysical properties obtained with the Touch and Zap method compare favourably with those obtained with the traditional blind patch approach, demonstrating that the revised approach does not compromise the recorded cell. We find that the method is particularly well-suited for whole-cell patch recordings of cortical glial cells in vivo, targeting a wider population of this cell type than the standard method, with better access resistance. Overall, the gentler Touch and Zap method is promising for studying quantitative functional properties in the intact brain with minimal perturbation of the cell's intrinsic properties and local network. Because the Touch and Zap method is performed semi

  4. A transcranial magnetic stimulation study of the effect of visual orientation on the putative human mirror neuron system

    OpenAIRE

    Burgess, Jed D.; Arnold, Sara L.; Fitzgibbon, Bernadette M.; Fitzgerald, Paul B.; Enticott, Peter G.

    2013-01-01

    Mirror neurons are a class of motor neuron that are active during both the performance and observation of behavior, and have been implicated in interpersonal understanding There is evidence to suggest that the mirror response is modulated by the perspective from which an action is presented (e.g., egocentric or allocentric). Most human research, however, has only examined this when presenting intransitive actions. Twenty-three healthy adult participants completed a transcranial magnetic stimu...

  5. Visual spatial attention enhances the amplitude of positive and negative fMRI responses to visual stimulation in an eccentricity-dependent manner

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bressler, David W.; Fortenbaugh, Francesca C.; Robertson, Lynn C.; Silver, Michael A.

    2013-01-01

    Endogenous visual spatial attention improves perception and enhances neural responses to visual stimuli at attended locations. Although many aspects of visual processing differ significantly between central and peripheral vision, little is known regarding the neural substrates of the eccentricity dependence of spatial attention effects. We measured amplitudes of positive and negative fMRI responses to visual stimuli as a function of eccentricity in a large number of topographically-organized cortical areas. Responses to each stimulus were obtained when the stimulus was attended and when spatial attention was directed to a stimulus in the opposite visual hemifield. Attending to the stimulus increased both positive and negative response amplitudes in all cortical areas we studied: V1, V2, V3, hV4, VO1, LO1, LO2, V3A/B, IPS0, TO1, and TO2. However, the eccentricity dependence of these effects differed considerably across cortical areas. In early visual, ventral, and lateral occipital cortex, attentional enhancement of positive responses was greater for central compared to peripheral eccentricities. The opposite pattern was observed in dorsal stream areas IPS0 and putative MT homolog TO1, where attentional enhancement of positive responses was greater in the periphery. Both the magnitude and the eccentricity dependence of attentional modulation of negative fMRI responses closely mirrored that of positive responses across cortical areas. PMID:23562388

  6. Distinct populations of neurons respond to emotional valence and arousal in the human subthalamic nucleus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sieger, Tomáš; Serranová, Tereza; Růžička, Filip; Vostatek, Pavel; Wild, Jiří; Štastná, Daniela; Bonnet, Cecilia; Novák, Daniel; Růžička, Evžen; Urgošík, Dušan; Jech, Robert

    2015-03-10

    Both animal studies and studies using deep brain stimulation in humans have demonstrated the involvement of the subthalamic nucleus (STN) in motivational and emotional processes; however, participation of this nucleus in processing human emotion has not been investigated directly at the single-neuron level. We analyzed the relationship between the neuronal firing from intraoperative microrecordings from the STN during affective picture presentation in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) and the affective ratings of emotional valence and arousal performed subsequently. We observed that 17% of neurons responded to emotional valence and arousal of visual stimuli according to individual ratings. The activity of some neurons was related to emotional valence, whereas different neurons responded to arousal. In addition, 14% of neurons responded to visual stimuli. Our results suggest the existence of neurons involved in processing or transmission of visual and emotional information in the human STN, and provide evidence of separate processing of the affective dimensions of valence and arousal at the level of single neurons as well.

  7. Equilibrium and response properties of the integrate-and-fire neuron in discrete time

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Moritz Helias

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available The integrate-and-fire neuron with exponential postsynaptic potentials is a frequently employed model to study neural networks. Simulations in discrete time still have highest performance at moderate numerical errors, which makes them first choice for long-term simulations of plastic networks. Here we extend the population density approach to investigate how the equilibrium and response properties of the leaky integrate-and-fire neuron are affected by time discretization. We present a novel analytical treatment of the boundary condition at threshold, taking both discretization of time and finite synaptic weights into account. We uncover an increased membrane potential density just below threshold as the decisive property that explains the deviations found between simulations and the classical diffusion approximation. Temporal discretization and finite synaptic weights both contribute to this effect. Our treatment improves the standard formula to calculate the neuron’s equilibrium firing rate. Direct solution of the Markov process describing the evolution of the membrane potential density confirms our analysis and yields a method to calculate the firing rate exactly. Knowing the shape of the membrane potential distribution near threshold enables us to devise the transient response properties of the neuron model to synaptic input. We find a pronounced non-linear fast response component that has not been described by the prevailing continuous time theory for Gaussian white noise input.

  8. Effects of dynamic synapses on noise-delayed response latency of a single neuron

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uzuntarla, M.; Ozer, M.; Ileri, U.; Calim, A.; Torres, J. J.

    2015-12-01

    The noise-delayed decay (NDD) phenomenon emerges when the first-spike latency of a periodically forced stochastic neuron exhibits a maximum for a particular range of noise intensity. Here, we investigate the latency response dynamics of a single Hodgkin-Huxley neuron that is subject to both a suprathreshold periodic stimulus and a background activity arriving through dynamic synapses. We study the first-spike latency response as a function of the presynaptic firing rate f . This constitutes a more realistic scenario than previous works, since f provides a suitable biophysically realistic parameter to control the level of activity in actual neural systems. We first report on the emergence of classical NDD behavior as a function of f for the limit of static synapses. Second, we show that when short-term depression and facilitation mechanisms are included at the synapses, different NDD features can be found due to their modulatory effect on synaptic current fluctuations. For example, an intriguing double NDD (DNDD) behavior occurs for different sets of relevant synaptic parameters. Moreover, depending on the balance between synaptic depression and synaptic facilitation, single NDD or DNDD can prevail, in such a way that synaptic facilitation favors the emergence of DNDD whereas synaptic depression favors the existence of single NDD. Here we report the existence of the DNDD effect in the response latency dynamics of a neuron.

  9. Quantitative immuno-electron microscopic analysis of depolarization-induced expression of PGC-1alpha in cultured rat visual cortical neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meng, Hui; Liang, Huan Ling; Wong-Riley, Margaret

    2007-10-17

    Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma coactivator 1alpha (PGC- 1alpha) is a coactivator of nuclear receptors and other transcription factors that regulate several metabolic processes, including mitochondrial biogenesis, energy homeostasis, respiration, and gluconeogenesis. PGC-1alpha plays a vital role in stimulating genes that are important to oxidative metabolism and other mitochondrial functions in brown adipose tissue and skeleton muscles, but the significance of PGC-1alpha in the brain remains elusive. The goal of our present study was to determine by means of quantitative immuno-electron microscopy the expression of PGC-1alpha in cultured rat visual cortical neurons under normal conditions as well as after depolarizing stimulation for varying periods of time. Our results showed that: (a) PGC-1alpha was normally located in both the nucleus and the cytoplasm. In the nucleus, PGC-1alpha was associated mainly with euchromatin rather than heterochromatin, consistent with active involvement in transcription. In the cytoplasm, it was associated mainly with free ribosomes. (b) Neuronal depolarization by KCl for 0.5 h induced a significant increase in PGC-1alpha labeling density in both the nucleus and the cytoplasm (Pneuronal activity by synthesizing more proteins in the cytoplasm and translocating them to the nucleus for gene activation. PGC-1alpha level in neurons is, therefore, tightly regulated by neuronal activity.

  10. Altered Balance of Receptive Field Excitation and Suppression in Visual Cortex of Amblyopic Macaque Monkeys.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hallum, Luke E; Shooner, Christopher; Kumbhani, Romesh D; Kelly, Jenna G; García-Marín, Virginia; Majaj, Najib J; Movshon, J Anthony; Kiorpes, Lynne

    2017-08-23

    In amblyopia, a visual disorder caused by abnormal visual experience during development, the amblyopic eye (AE) loses visual sensitivity whereas the fellow eye (FE) is largely unaffected. Binocular vision in amblyopes is often disrupted by interocular suppression. We used 96-electrode arrays to record neurons and neuronal groups in areas V1 and V2 of six female macaque monkeys ( Macaca nemestrina ) made amblyopic by artificial strabismus or anisometropia in early life, as well as two visually normal female controls. To measure suppressive binocular interactions directly, we recorded neuronal responses to dichoptic stimulation. We stimulated both eyes simultaneously with large sinusoidal gratings, controlling their contrast independently with raised-cosine modulators of different orientations and spatial frequencies. We modeled each eye's receptive field at each cortical site using a difference of Gaussian envelopes and derived estimates of the strength of central excitation and surround suppression. We used these estimates to calculate ocular dominance separately for excitation and suppression. Excitatory drive from the FE dominated amblyopic visual cortex, especially in more severe amblyopes, but suppression from both the FE and AEs was prevalent in all animals. This imbalance created strong interocular suppression in deep amblyopes: increasing contrast in the AE decreased responses at binocular cortical sites. These response patterns reveal mechanisms that likely contribute to the interocular suppression that disrupts vision in amblyopes. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Amblyopia is a developmental visual disorder that alters both monocular vision and binocular interaction. Using microelectrode arrays, we examined binocular interaction in primary visual cortex and V2 of six amblyopic macaque monkeys ( Macaca nemestrina ) and two visually normal controls. By stimulating the eyes dichoptically, we showed that, in amblyopic cortex, the binocular combination of signals is

  11. Figure-ground organization and the emergence of proto-objects in the visual cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rüdiger evon der Heydt

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available A long history of studies of perception has shown that the visual system organizes the incoming information early on, interpreting the 2D image in terms of a 3D world and producing a structure that provides perceptual continuity and enables object-based attention. Recordings from monkey visual cortex show that many neurons, especially in area V2, are selective for border ownership. These neurons are edge selective and have ordinary classical receptive fields, but in addition their responses are modulated (enhanced or suppressed depending on the location of a ‘figure’ relative to the edge in their receptive field. Each neuron has a fixed preference for location on one side or the other. This selectivity is derived from the image context far beyond the classical receptive field. This paper reviews evidence indicating that border ownership selectivity reflects the formation of early object representations (‘proto-objects’. The evidence includes experiments showing (1 reversal of border ownership signals with change of perceived object structure, (2 border ownership specific enhancement of responses in object-based selective attention, (3 persistence of border ownership signals in accordance with continuity of object perception, and (4 remapping of border ownership signals across saccades and object movements. Findings 1 and 2 can be explained by hypothetical grouping circuits that sum contour feature signals in search of objecthood, and, via recurrent projections, enhance the corresponding low-level feature signals. Findings 3 and 4 might be explained by assuming that the activity of grouping circuits persists and can be remapped. Grouping, persistence and remapping are fundamental operations of vision. Finding these operations manifest in low-level visual areas challenges traditional views of visual processing. New computational models need to be developed for a comprehensive understanding of the function of the visual cortex.

  12. Figure-ground organization and the emergence of proto-objects in the visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    von der Heydt, Rüdiger

    2015-01-01

    A long history of studies of perception has shown that the visual system organizes the incoming information early on, interpreting the 2D image in terms of a 3D world and producing a structure that provides perceptual continuity and enables object-based attention. Recordings from monkey visual cortex show that many neurons, especially in area V2, are selective for border ownership. These neurons are edge selective and have ordinary classical receptive fields (CRF), but in addition their responses are modulated (enhanced or suppressed) depending on the location of a 'figure' relative to the edge in their receptive field. Each neuron has a fixed preference for location on one side or the other. This selectivity is derived from the image context far beyond the CRF. This paper reviews evidence indicating that border ownership selectivity reflects the formation of early object representations ('proto-objects'). The evidence includes experiments showing (1) reversal of border ownership signals with change of perceived object structure, (2) border ownership specific enhancement of responses in object-based selective attention, (3) persistence of border ownership signals in accordance with continuity of object perception, and (4) remapping of border ownership signals across saccades and object movements. Findings 1 and 2 can be explained by hypothetical grouping circuits that sum contour feature signals in search of objectness, and, via recurrent projections, enhance the corresponding low-level feature signals. Findings 3 and 4 might be explained by assuming that the activity of grouping circuits persists and can be remapped. Grouping, persistence, and remapping are fundamental operations of vision. Finding these operations manifest in low-level visual areas challenges traditional views of visual processing. New computational models need to be developed for a comprehensive understanding of the function of the visual cortex.

  13. Figure–ground organization and the emergence of proto-objects in the visual cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    von der Heydt, Rüdiger

    2015-01-01

    A long history of studies of perception has shown that the visual system organizes the incoming information early on, interpreting the 2D image in terms of a 3D world and producing a structure that provides perceptual continuity and enables object-based attention. Recordings from monkey visual cortex show that many neurons, especially in area V2, are selective for border ownership. These neurons are edge selective and have ordinary classical receptive fields (CRF), but in addition their responses are modulated (enhanced or suppressed) depending on the location of a ‘figure’ relative to the edge in their receptive field. Each neuron has a fixed preference for location on one side or the other. This selectivity is derived from the image context far beyond the CRF. This paper reviews evidence indicating that border ownership selectivity reflects the formation of early object representations (‘proto-objects’). The evidence includes experiments showing (1) reversal of border ownership signals with change of perceived object structure, (2) border ownership specific enhancement of responses in object-based selective attention, (3) persistence of border ownership signals in accordance with continuity of object perception, and (4) remapping of border ownership signals across saccades and object movements. Findings 1 and 2 can be explained by hypothetical grouping circuits that sum contour feature signals in search of objectness, and, via recurrent projections, enhance the corresponding low-level feature signals. Findings 3 and 4 might be explained by assuming that the activity of grouping circuits persists and can be remapped. Grouping, persistence, and remapping are fundamental operations of vision. Finding these operations manifest in low-level visual areas challenges traditional views of visual processing. New computational models need to be developed for a comprehensive understanding of the function of the visual cortex. PMID:26579062

  14. Noradrenaline and acetylcholine responsiveness of glucose-monitoring and glucose-insensitive neurons in the mediodorsal prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagy, Bernadett; Szabó, István; Csetényi, Bettina; Hormay, Edina; Papp, Szilárd; Keresztes, Dóra; Karádi, Zoltán

    2014-01-16

    The mediodorsal prefrontal cortex (mdPFC), as part of the forebrain glucose-monitoring (GM) system, plays important role in several regulatory processes to control the internal state of the organism and to initiate behavioral outputs accordingly. Little is known, however, about the neurochemical sensitivity of neurons located in this area. Substantial evidence indicates that the locus ceruleus - noradrenaline (NA) projection system and the nucleus basalis magnocellularis - cholinergic projection system regulate behavioral state and state dependent processing of sensory information, various cognitive functions already associated with the mdPFC. The main goal of the present study was to examine noradrenergic and cholinergic responsiveness of glucose-monitoring and glucose-insensitive (GIS) neurons in the mediodorsal prefrontal cortex. One fifth of the neurons tested changed in firing rate to microelectrophoretically applied NA. Responsiveness of the GM cells to this catecholamine proved to be significantly higher than that of the GIS units. Microiontophoretic application of acetylcholine (Ach) resulted in activity changes (predominantly facilitation) of more than 40% of the mdPFC neurons. Proportion of Ach sensitive units among the GM and the GIS neurons was found to be similar. The glucose-monitoring neurons of the mdPFC and their distinct NA and remarkable Ach sensitivity are suggested to be of particular significance in prefrontal control of adaptive behaviors. © 2013 Published by Elsevier B.V.

  15. Selective serotonergic excitation of callosal projection neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel eAvesar

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Serotonin (5-HT acting as a neurotransmitter in the cerebral cortex is critical for cognitive function, yet how 5-HT regulates information processing in cortical circuits is not well understood. We tested the serotonergic responsiveness of layer 5 pyramidal neurons (L5PNs of the mouse medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC, and found 3 distinct response types: long-lasting 5-HT1A (1A receptor-dependent inhibitory responses (84% of L5PNs, 5-HT2A (2A receptor-dependent excitatory responses (9%, and biphasic responses in which 2A-dependent excitation followed brief inhibition (5%. Relative to 5-HT-inhibited neurons, those excited by 5-HT had physiological properties characteristic of callosal/commissural (COM neurons that project to the contralateral cortex. We tested whether serotonergic responses in cortical pyramidal neurons are correlated with their axonal projection pattern using retrograde fluorescent labeling of COM and corticopontine-projecting (CPn neurons. 5-HT generated excitatory or biphasic responses in all 5-HT-responsive layer 5 COM neurons. Conversely, CPn neurons were universally inhibited by 5-HT. Serotonergic excitation of COM neurons was blocked by the 2A antagonist MDL 11939, while serotonergic inhibition of CPn neurons was blocked by the 1A antagonist WAY 100635, confirming a role for these two receptor subtypes in regulating pyramidal neuron activity. Selective serotonergic excitation of COM neurons was not layer-specific, as COM neurons in layer 2/3 were also selectively excited by 5-HT relative to their non-labeled pyramidal neuron neighbors. Because neocortical 2A receptors are implicated in the etiology and pathophysiology of schizophrenia, we propose that COM neurons may represent a novel cellular target for intervention in psychiatric disease.

  16. Leptin Action on GABAergic Neurons Prevents Obesity and Reduces Inhibitory Tone to POMC Neurons

    OpenAIRE

    Vong, Linh; Ye, Chianping; Yang, Zongfang; Choi, Brian; Chua, Streamson; Lowell, Bradford B.

    2011-01-01

    Leptin acts in the brain to prevent obesity. The underlying neurocircuitry responsible for this is poorly understood, in part due to incomplete knowledge regarding first order, leptin-responsive neurons. To address this, we and others have been removing leptin receptors from candidate first order neurons. While functionally relevant neurons have been identified, the observed effects have been small suggesting that most first order neurons remain unidentified. Here we take an alternative appro...

  17. Roles of Fukutin, the Gene Responsible for Fukuyama-Type Congenital Muscular Dystrophy, in Neurons: Possible Involvement in Synaptic Function and Neuronal Migration

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hiroi, Atsuko; Yamamoto, Tomoko; Shibata, Noriyuki; Osawa, Makiko; Kobayashi, Makio

    2011-01-01

    Fukutin is a gene responsible for Fukuyama-type congenital muscular dystrophy (FCMD), accompanying ocular and brain malformations represented by cobblestone lissencephaly. Fukutin is related to basement membrane formation via the glycosylation of α-dystoglycan (α-DG), and astrocytes play a crucial role in the pathogenesis of the brain lesion. On the other hand, its precise function in neurons is unknown. In this experiment, the roles of fukutin in mature and immature neurons were examined using brains from control subjects and FCMD patients and cultured neuronal cell lines. In quantitative PCR, the expression level of fukutin looked different depending on the region of the brain examined. A similar tendency in DG expression appears to indicate a relation between fukutin and α-DG in mature neurons. An increase of DG mRNA and core α-DG in the FCMD cerebrum also supports the relation. In immunohistochemistry, dot-like positive reactions for VIA4-1, one of the antibodies detecting the glycosylated α-DG, in Purkinje cells suggest that fukutin is related to at least a post-synaptic function via the glycosylation of α-DG. As for immature neurons, VIA4-1 was predominantly positive in cells before and during migration with expression of fukutin, which suggest a participation of fukutin in neuronal migration via the glycosylation of α-DG. Moreover, fukutin may prevent neuronal differentiation, because its expression was significantly lower in the adult cerebrum and in differentiated cultured cells. A knockdown of fukutin was considered to induce differentiation in cultured cells. Fukutin seems to be necessary to keep migrating neurons immature during migration, and also to support migration via α-DG

  18. The influence of spontaneous activity on stimulus processing in primary visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schölvinck, M L; Friston, K J; Rees, G

    2012-02-01

    Spontaneous activity in the resting human brain has been studied extensively; however, how such activity affects the local processing of a sensory stimulus is relatively unknown. Here, we examined the impact of spontaneous activity in primary visual cortex on neuronal and behavioural responses to a simple visual stimulus, using functional MRI. Stimulus-evoked responses remained essentially unchanged by spontaneous fluctuations, combining with them in a largely linear fashion (i.e., with little evidence for an interaction). However, interactions between spontaneous fluctuations and stimulus-evoked responses were evident behaviourally; high levels of spontaneous activity tended to be associated with increased stimulus detection at perceptual threshold. Our results extend those found in studies of spontaneous fluctuations in motor cortex and higher order visual areas, and suggest a fundamental role for spontaneous activity in stimulus processing. Copyright © 2011. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  19. Hebbian learning of hand-centred representations in a hierarchical neural network model of the primate visual system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Born, Jannis; Stringer, Simon M.

    2017-01-01

    A subset of neurons in the posterior parietal and premotor areas of the primate brain respond to the locations of visual targets in a hand-centred frame of reference. Such hand-centred visual representations are thought to play an important role in visually-guided reaching to target locations in space. In this paper we show how a biologically plausible, Hebbian learning mechanism may account for the development of localized hand-centred representations in a hierarchical neural network model of the primate visual system, VisNet. The hand-centered neurons developed in the model use an invariance learning mechanism known as continuous transformation (CT) learning. In contrast to previous theoretical proposals for the development of hand-centered visual representations, CT learning does not need a memory trace of recent neuronal activity to be incorporated in the synaptic learning rule. Instead, CT learning relies solely on a Hebbian learning rule, which is able to exploit the spatial overlap that naturally occurs between successive images of a hand-object configuration as it is shifted across different retinal locations due to saccades. Our simulations show how individual neurons in the network model can learn to respond selectively to target objects in particular locations with respect to the hand, irrespective of where the hand-object configuration occurs on the retina. The response properties of these hand-centred neurons further generalise to localised receptive fields in the hand-centred space when tested on novel hand-object configurations that have not been explored during training. Indeed, even when the network is trained with target objects presented across a near continuum of locations around the hand during training, the model continues to develop hand-centred neurons with localised receptive fields in hand-centred space. With the help of principal component analysis, we provide the first theoretical framework that explains the behavior of Hebbian learning

  20. Hebbian learning of hand-centred representations in a hierarchical neural network model of the primate visual system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Born, Jannis; Galeazzi, Juan M; Stringer, Simon M

    2017-01-01

    A subset of neurons in the posterior parietal and premotor areas of the primate brain respond to the locations of visual targets in a hand-centred frame of reference. Such hand-centred visual representations are thought to play an important role in visually-guided reaching to target locations in space. In this paper we show how a biologically plausible, Hebbian learning mechanism may account for the development of localized hand-centred representations in a hierarchical neural network model of the primate visual system, VisNet. The hand-centered neurons developed in the model use an invariance learning mechanism known as continuous transformation (CT) learning. In contrast to previous theoretical proposals for the development of hand-centered visual representations, CT learning does not need a memory trace of recent neuronal activity to be incorporated in the synaptic learning rule. Instead, CT learning relies solely on a Hebbian learning rule, which is able to exploit the spatial overlap that naturally occurs between successive images of a hand-object configuration as it is shifted across different retinal locations due to saccades. Our simulations show how individual neurons in the network model can learn to respond selectively to target objects in particular locations with respect to the hand, irrespective of where the hand-object configuration occurs on the retina. The response properties of these hand-centred neurons further generalise to localised receptive fields in the hand-centred space when tested on novel hand-object configurations that have not been explored during training. Indeed, even when the network is trained with target objects presented across a near continuum of locations around the hand during training, the model continues to develop hand-centred neurons with localised receptive fields in hand-centred space. With the help of principal component analysis, we provide the first theoretical framework that explains the behavior of Hebbian learning

  1. Visual functions in amblyopia as determinants of response to treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Vinita; Agrawal, Siddharth

    2013-01-01

    To describe the visual functions in amblyopia as determinants of response to treatment. Sixty-nine patients with unilateral and bilateral amblyopia (114 amblyopic eyes) 3 to 15 years old (mean age: 8.80 ± 2.9 years), 40 males (58%) and 29 females (42%), were included in this study. All patients were treated by conventional occlusion 6 hours per day for mild to moderate amblyopia (visual acuity 0.70 or better) and full-time for 4 weeks followed by 6 hours per day for severe amblyopia (visual acuity 0.8 or worse). During occlusion, near activities requiring hand-eye coordination were advised. The follow-up examination was done at 3 and 6 months. Improvement in visual acuity was evaluated on the logMAR chart and correlated with the visual functions. Statistical analysis was done using Wilcoxon rank sum test (Mann-Whitney U test) and Kruskal-Wallis analysis. There was a statistically significant association of poor contrast sensitivity with the grade of amblyopia (P amblyopia (P amblyopia therapy. The grade of amblyopia (initial visual acuity) and accommodation are strong determinants of response to amblyopia therapy, whereas stereopsis and mesopic visual acuity have some value as determinants. Copyright 2013, SLACK Incorporated.

  2. Neural basis of feature-based contextual effects on visual search behavior

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kelly eShen

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Searching for a visual object is known to be adaptable to context, and it is thought to result from the selection of neural representations distributed on a visual salience map, wherein stimulus-driven and goal-directed signals are combined. Here we investigated the neural basis of this adaptability by recording superior colliculus (SC neurons while three female rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta searched with saccadic eye movements for a target presented in an array of visual stimuli whose feature composition varied from trial to trial. We found that sensory-motor activity associated with distracters was enhanced or suppressed depending on the search array composition and that it corresponded to the monkey's search strategy, as assessed by the distribution of the occasional errant saccades. This feature-related modulation occurred independently from the saccade goal and facilitated the process of saccade target selection. We also observed feature-related enhancement in the activity associated with distracters that had been the search target during the previous session. Consistent with recurrent processing, both feature-related neuronal modulations occurred more than 60 ms after the onset of the visually evoked responses, and their near coincidence with the time of saccade target selection suggests that they are integral to this process. These results suggest that SC neuronal activity is shaped by the visual context as dictated by both stimulus-driven and goal-directed signals. Given the close proximity of the SC to the motor circuit, our findings suggest a direct link between perception and action and no need for distinct salience and motor maps.

  3. Neuroserpin Protects Rat Neurons and Microglia-Mediated Inflammatory Response Against Oxygen-Glucose Deprivation- and Reoxygenation Treatments in an In Vitro Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xuelian Yang

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Background/Aims: Neuroserpin (NSP is known for its neuroprotective role in cerebral ischemic animal models and patients. Our laboratory conducted a series of investigations on the neuroprotection of NSP in different cells in the brain. In the present study, we further observe the effects of NSP on neurons and microglia-mediated inflammatory response following oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD, and explore possible mechanisms related to neuroprotection of OGD in the central nervous system (CNS. Methods: Neurons and microglia from neonatal rats were treated with OGD followed by reoxygenation (OGD/R. To confirm the effects of NSP, the neuronal survival, neuronal apoptosis, and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH release were measured in cultured neurons. Furthermore, the levels of IL-1β and nitric oxide (NO release were also detected in cultured microglia. The possible mechanisms for the neuroprotective effect of NSP were explored using Western blot analysis. Results: NSP administration can reverse abnormal variations in neurons and microglia-mediated inflammatory response induced by OGD/R processes. The neuronal survival rate, neuronal apoptosis rate, and LDH release were significantly improved by NSP administration in neurons. Simultaneously, the release of IL-1β and NO were significantly reduced by NSP in microglia. Western blot showed that the expression of ERK, P38, and JNK was upregulated in microglia by the OGD/R treatment, and these effects were significantly inhibited by NSP. Conclusion: These data verified the neuroprotective effects of NSP on neurons and microglia-mediated inflammatory response. Inhibition of the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK signaling pathways might play a potential role in NSP neuroprotection on microglia-mediated inflammatory response, which needs further verification.

  4. Dynamical responses to external stimuli for both cases of excitatory and inhibitory synchronization in a complex neuronal network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Sang-Yoon; Lim, Woochang

    2017-10-01

    For studying how dynamical responses to external stimuli depend on the synaptic-coupling type, we consider two types of excitatory and inhibitory synchronization (i.e., synchronization via synaptic excitation and inhibition) in complex small-world networks of excitatory regular spiking (RS) pyramidal neurons and inhibitory fast spiking (FS) interneurons. For both cases of excitatory and inhibitory synchronization, effects of synaptic couplings on dynamical responses to external time-periodic stimuli S ( t ) (applied to a fraction of neurons) are investigated by varying the driving amplitude A of S ( t ). Stimulated neurons are phase-locked to external stimuli for both cases of excitatory and inhibitory couplings. On the other hand, the stimulation effect on non-stimulated neurons depends on the type of synaptic coupling. The external stimulus S ( t ) makes a constructive effect on excitatory non-stimulated RS neurons (i.e., it causes external phase lockings in the non-stimulated sub-population), while S ( t ) makes a destructive effect on inhibitory non-stimulated FS interneurons (i.e., it breaks up original inhibitory synchronization in the non-stimulated sub-population). As results of these different effects of S ( t ), the type and degree of dynamical response (e.g., synchronization enhancement or suppression), characterized by the dynamical response factor [Formula: see text] (given by the ratio of synchronization degree in the presence and absence of stimulus), are found to vary in a distinctly different way, depending on the synaptic-coupling type. Furthermore, we also measure the matching degree between the dynamics of the two sub-populations of stimulated and non-stimulated neurons in terms of a "cross-correlation" measure [Formula: see text]. With increasing A , based on [Formula: see text], we discuss the cross-correlations between the two sub-populations, affecting the dynamical responses to S ( t ).

  5. Auto- and Crosscorrelograms for the Spike Response of Leaky Integrate-and-Fire Neurons with Slow Synapses

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Moreno-Bote, Ruben; Parga, Nestor

    2006-01-01

    An analytical description of the response properties of simple but realistic neuron models in the presence of noise is still lacking. We determine completely up to the second order the firing statistics of a single and a pair of leaky integrate-and-fire neurons receiving some common slowly filtered white noise. In particular, the auto- and cross-correlation functions of the output spike trains of pairs of cells are obtained from an improvement of the adiabatic approximation introduced previously by Moreno-Bote and Parga [Phys. Rev. Lett. 92, 028102 (2004)]. These two functions define the firing variability and firing synchronization between neurons, and are of much importance for understanding neuron communication

  6. Cortico-Cortical Receptive Field Estimates in Human Visual Cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Koen V Haak

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Human visual cortex comprises many visual areas that contain a map of the visual field (Wandell et al 2007, Neuron 56, 366–383. These visual field maps can be identified readily in individual subjects with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI during experimental sessions that last less than an hour (Wandell and Winawer 2011, Vis Res 718–737. Hence, visual field mapping with fMRI has been, and still is, a heavily used technique to examine the organisation of both normal and abnormal human visual cortex (Haak et al 2011, ACNR, 11(3, 20–21. However, visual field mapping cannot reveal every aspect of human visual cortex organisation. For example, the information processed within a visual field map arrives from somewhere and is sent to somewhere, and visual field mapping does not derive these input/output relationships. Here, we describe a new, model-based analysis for estimating the dependence between signals in distinct cortical regions using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI data. Just as a stimulus-referred receptive field predicts the neural response as a function of the stimulus contrast, the neural-referred receptive field predicts the neural response as a function of responses elsewhere in the nervous system. When applied to two cortical regions, this function can be called the cortico-cortical receptive field (CCRF. We model the CCRF as a Gaussian-weighted region on the cortical surface and apply the model to data from both stimulus-driven and resting-state experimental conditions in visual cortex.

  7. A Biophysical Neural Model To Describe Spatial Visual Attention

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hugues, Etienne; Jose, Jorge V.

    2008-01-01

    Visual scenes have enormous spatial and temporal information that are transduced into neural spike trains. Psychophysical experiments indicate that only a small portion of a spatial image is consciously accessible. Electrophysiological experiments in behaving monkeys have revealed a number of modulations of the neural activity in special visual area known as V4, when the animal is paying attention directly towards a particular stimulus location. The nature of the attentional input to V4, however, remains unknown as well as to the mechanisms responsible for these modulations. We use a biophysical neural network model of V4 to address these issues. We first constrain our model to reproduce the experimental results obtained for different external stimulus configurations and without paying attention. To reproduce the known neuronal response variability, we found that the neurons should receive about equal, or balanced, levels of excitatory and inhibitory inputs and whose levels are high as they are in in vivo conditions. Next we consider attentional inputs that can induce and reproduce the observed spiking modulations. We also elucidate the role played by the neural network to generate these modulations

  8. Autosomal dominant adult neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nijssen, Peter C.G.

    2011-01-01

    this thesis investigates a family with autosomal dominant neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis, with chapters on clinical neurology, neuropathology, neurogenetics, neurophysiology, auditory and visual aspects.

  9. Premotor neurons encode torsional eye velocity during smooth-pursuit eye movements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Angelaki, Dora E.; Dickman, J. David

    2003-01-01

    Responses to horizontal and vertical ocular pursuit and head and body rotation in multiple planes were recorded in eye movement-sensitive neurons in the rostral vestibular nuclei (VN) of two rhesus monkeys. When tested during pursuit through primary eye position, the majority of the cells preferred either horizontal or vertical target motion. During pursuit of targets that moved horizontally at different vertical eccentricities or vertically at different horizontal eccentricities, eye angular velocity has been shown to include a torsional component the amplitude of which is proportional to half the gaze angle ("half-angle rule" of Listing's law). Approximately half of the neurons, the majority of which were characterized as "vertical" during pursuit through primary position, exhibited significant changes in their response gain and/or phase as a function of gaze eccentricity during pursuit, as if they were also sensitive to torsional eye velocity. Multiple linear regression analysis revealed a significant contribution of torsional eye movement sensitivity to the responsiveness of the cells. These findings suggest that many VN neurons encode three-dimensional angular velocity, rather than the two-dimensional derivative of eye position, during smooth-pursuit eye movements. Although no clear clustering of pursuit preferred-direction vectors along the semicircular canal axes was observed, the sensitivity of VN neurons to torsional eye movements might reflect a preservation of similar premotor coding of visual and vestibular-driven slow eye movements for both lateral-eyed and foveate species.

  10. Binocular neurons in parastriate cortex: interocular 'matching' of receptive field properties, eye dominance and strength of silent suppression.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Phillip A Romo

    Full Text Available Spike-responses of single binocular neurons were recorded from a distinct part of primary visual cortex, the parastriate cortex (cytoarchitectonic area 18 of anaesthetized and immobilized domestic cats. Functional identification of neurons was based on the ratios of phase-variant (F1 component to the mean firing rate (F0 of their spike-responses to optimized (orientation, direction, spatial and temporal frequencies and size sine-wave-luminance-modulated drifting grating patches presented separately via each eye. In over 95% of neurons, the interocular differences in the phase-sensitivities (differences in F1/F0 spike-response ratios were small (≤ 0.3 and in over 80% of neurons, the interocular differences in preferred orientations were ≤ 10°. The interocular correlations of the direction selectivity indices and optimal spatial frequencies, like those of the phase sensitivies and optimal orientations, were also strong (coefficients of correlation r ≥ 0.7005. By contrast, the interocular correlations of the optimal temporal frequencies, the diameters of summation areas of the excitatory responses and suppression indices were weak (coefficients of correlation r ≤ 0.4585. In cells with high eye dominance indices (HEDI cells, the mean magnitudes of suppressions evoked by stimulation of silent, extra-classical receptive fields via the non-dominant eyes, were significantly greater than those when the stimuli were presented via the dominant eyes. We argue that the well documented 'eye-origin specific' segregation of the lateral geniculate inputs underpinning distinct eye dominance columns in primary visual cortices of mammals with frontally positioned eyes (distinct eye dominance columns, combined with significant interocular differences in the strength of silent suppressive fields, putatively contribute to binocular stereoscopic vision.

  11. Enrichment of conserved synaptic activity-responsive element in neuronal genes predicts a coordinated response of MEF2, CREB and SRF.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fernanda M Rodríguez-Tornos

    Full Text Available A unique synaptic activity-responsive element (SARE sequence, composed of the consensus binding sites for SRF, MEF2 and CREB, is necessary for control of transcriptional upregulation of the Arc gene in response to synaptic activity. We hypothesize that this sequence is a broad mechanism that regulates gene expression in response to synaptic activation and during plasticity; and that analysis of SARE-containing genes could identify molecular mechanisms involved in brain disorders. To search for conserved SARE sequences in the mammalian genome, we used the SynoR in silico tool, and found the SARE cluster predominantly in the regulatory regions of genes expressed specifically in the nervous system; most were related to neural development and homeostatic maintenance. Two of these SARE sequences were tested in luciferase assays and proved to promote transcription in response to neuronal activation. Supporting the predictive capacity of our candidate list, up-regulation of several SARE containing genes in response to neuronal activity was validated using external data and also experimentally using primary cortical neurons and quantitative real time RT-PCR. The list of SARE-containing genes includes several linked to mental retardation and cognitive disorders, and is significantly enriched in genes that encode mRNA targeted by FMRP (fragile X mental retardation protein. Our study thus supports the idea that SARE sequences are relevant transcriptional regulatory elements that participate in plasticity. In addition, it offers a comprehensive view of how activity-responsive transcription factors coordinate their actions and increase the selectivity of their targets. Our data suggest that analysis of SARE-containing genes will reveal yet-undescribed pathways of synaptic plasticity and additional candidate genes disrupted in mental disease.

  12. Sensitivity of neurons in the middle temporal area of marmoset monkeys to random dot motion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaplin, Tristan A; Allitt, Benjamin J; Hagan, Maureen A; Price, Nicholas S C; Rajan, Ramesh; Rosa, Marcello G P; Lui, Leo L

    2017-09-01

    Neurons in the middle temporal area (MT) of the primate cerebral cortex respond to moving visual stimuli. The sensitivity of MT neurons to motion signals can be characterized by using random-dot stimuli, in which the strength of the motion signal is manipulated by adding different levels of noise (elements that move in random directions). In macaques, this has allowed the calculation of "neurometric" thresholds. We characterized the responses of MT neurons in sufentanil/nitrous oxide-anesthetized marmoset monkeys, a species that has attracted considerable recent interest as an animal model for vision research. We found that MT neurons show a wide range of neurometric thresholds and that the responses of the most sensitive neurons could account for the behavioral performance of macaques and humans. We also investigated factors that contributed to the wide range of observed thresholds. The difference in firing rate between responses to motion in the preferred and null directions was the most effective predictor of neurometric threshold, whereas the direction tuning bandwidth had no correlation with the threshold. We also showed that it is possible to obtain reliable estimates of neurometric thresholds using stimuli that were not highly optimized for each neuron, as is often necessary when recording from large populations of neurons with different receptive field concurrently, as was the case in this study. These results demonstrate that marmoset MT shows an essential physiological similarity to macaque MT and suggest that its neurons are capable of representing motion signals that allow for comparable motion-in-noise judgments. NEW & NOTEWORTHY We report the activity of neurons in marmoset MT in response to random-dot motion stimuli of varying coherence. The information carried by individual MT neurons was comparable to that of the macaque, and the maximum firing rates were a strong predictor of sensitivity. Our study provides key information regarding the neural

  13. The visual development of hand-centered receptive fields in a neural network model of the primate visual system trained with experimentally recorded human gaze changes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galeazzi, Juan M; Navajas, Joaquín; Mender, Bedeho M W; Quian Quiroga, Rodrigo; Minini, Loredana; Stringer, Simon M

    2016-01-01

    Neurons have been found in the primate brain that respond to objects in specific locations in hand-centered coordinates. A key theoretical challenge is to explain how such hand-centered neuronal responses may develop through visual experience. In this paper we show how hand-centered visual receptive fields can develop using an artificial neural network model, VisNet, of the primate visual system when driven by gaze changes recorded from human test subjects as they completed a jigsaw. A camera mounted on the head captured images of the hand and jigsaw, while eye movements were recorded using an eye-tracking device. This combination of data allowed us to reconstruct the retinal images seen as humans undertook the jigsaw task. These retinal images were then fed into the neural network model during self-organization of its synaptic connectivity using a biologically plausible trace learning rule. A trace learning mechanism encourages neurons in the model to learn to respond to input images that tend to occur in close temporal proximity. In the data recorded from human subjects, we found that the participant's gaze often shifted through a sequence of locations around a fixed spatial configuration of the hand and one of the jigsaw pieces. In this case, trace learning should bind these retinal images together onto the same subset of output neurons. The simulation results consequently confirmed that some cells learned to respond selectively to the hand and a jigsaw piece in a fixed spatial configuration across different retinal views.

  14. Glycemic state regulates melanocortin, but not nesfatin-1, responsiveness of glucose-sensing neurons in the nucleus of the solitary tract.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mimee, Andrea; Ferguson, Alastair V

    2015-04-15

    The nucleus of the solitary tract (NTS) is a medullary integrative center with critical roles in the coordinated control of energy homeostasis. Here, we used whole cell current-clamp recordings on rat NTS neurons in slice preparation to identify the presence of physiologically relevant glucose-sensing neurons. The majority of NTS neurons (n = 81) were found to be glucose-responsive, with 35% exhibiting a glucose-excited (GE) phenotype (mean absolute change in membrane potential: 9.5 ± 1.1 mV), and 21% exhibiting a glucose-inhibited (GI) response (mean: 6.3 ± 0.7 mV). Furthermore, we found glucose-responsive cells are preferentially influenced by the anorexigenic peptide α-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (α-MSH), but not nesfatin-1. Accordingly, alterations in glycemic state have profound effects on the responsiveness of NTS neurons to α-MSH, but not to nesfatin-1. Indeed, NTS neurons showed increasing responsiveness to α-MSH as extracellular glucose concentrations were decreased, and in hypoglycemic conditions, all NTS neurons were depolarized by α-MSH (mean 10.6 ± 3.2 mV; n = 8). Finally, decreasing levels of extracellular glucose correlated with a significant hyperpolarization of the baseline membrane potential of NTS neurons, highlighting the modulatory effect of glucose on the baseline excitability of cells in this region. Our findings reveal individual NTS cells are capable of integrating multiple sources of metabolically relevant inputs, highlight the rapid capacity for plasticity in medullary melanocortin circuits, and emphasize the critical importance of physiological recording conditions for electrophysiological studies pertaining to the central control of energy homeostasis. Copyright © 2015 the American Physiological Society.

  15. Orientation-specific contextual modulation of the fMRI BOLD response to luminance and chromatic gratings in human visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDonald, J Scott; Seymour, Kiley J; Schira, Mark M; Spehar, Branka; Clifford, Colin W G

    2009-05-01

    The responses of orientation-selective neurons in primate visual cortex can be profoundly affected by the presence and orientation of stimuli falling outside the classical receptive field. Our perception of the orientation of a line or grating also depends upon the context in which it is presented. For example, the perceived orientation of a grating embedded in a surround tends to be repelled from the predominant orientation of the surround. Here, we used fMRI to investigate the basis of orientation-specific surround effects in five functionally-defined regions of visual cortex: V1, V2, V3, V3A/LO1 and hV4. Test stimuli were luminance-modulated and isoluminant gratings that produced responses similar in magnitude. Less BOLD activation was evident in response to gratings with parallel versus orthogonal surrounds across all the regions of visual cortex investigated. When an isoluminant test grating was surrounded by a luminance-modulated inducer, the degree of orientation-specific contextual modulation was no larger for extrastriate areas than for V1, suggesting that the observed effects might originate entirely in V1. However, more orientation-specific modulation was evident in extrastriate cortex when both test and inducer were luminance-modulated gratings than when the test was isoluminant; this difference was significant in area V3. We suggest that the pattern of results in extrastriate cortex may reflect a refinement of the orientation-selectivity of surround suppression specific to the colour of the surround or, alternatively, processes underlying the segmentation of test and inducer by spatial phase or orientation when no colour cue is available.

  16. A physiologically based nonhomogeneous Poisson counter model of visual identification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christensen, Jeppe H; Markussen, Bo; Bundesen, Claus; Kyllingsbæk, Søren

    2018-04-30

    A physiologically based nonhomogeneous Poisson counter model of visual identification is presented. The model was developed in the framework of a Theory of Visual Attention (Bundesen, 1990; Kyllingsbæk, Markussen, & Bundesen, 2012) and meant for modeling visual identification of objects that are mutually confusable and hard to see. The model assumes that the visual system's initial sensory response consists in tentative visual categorizations, which are accumulated by leaky integration of both transient and sustained components comparable with those found in spike density patterns of early sensory neurons. The sensory response (tentative categorizations) feeds independent Poisson counters, each of which accumulates tentative object categorizations of a particular type to guide overt identification performance. We tested the model's ability to predict the effect of stimulus duration on observed distributions of responses in a nonspeeded (pure accuracy) identification task with eight response alternatives. The time courses of correct and erroneous categorizations were well accounted for when the event-rates of competing Poisson counters were allowed to vary independently over time in a way that mimicked the dynamics of receptive field selectivity as found in neurophysiological studies. Furthermore, the initial sensory response yielded theoretical hazard rate functions that closely resembled empirically estimated ones. Finally, supplied with a Naka-Rushton type contrast gain control, the model provided an explanation for Bloch's law. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved).

  17. Orientation and direction-of-motion response in the middle temporal visual area (MT of New World owl monkeys as revealed by intrinsic-signal optical imaging

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter M Kaskan

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available Intrinsic-signal optical imaging was used to evaluate relationships of domains of neurons in visual area MT selective for stimulus orientation and direction of motion. Maps of activation were elicited in MT of owl monkeys by gratings drifting back-and-forth, flashed stationary gratings and unidirectionally drifting fields of random dots. Drifting gratings, typically used to reveal orientation preference domains, contain a motion component that may be represented in MT. Consequently, this stimulus could activate groups of cells responsive to the motion of the grating, its orientation or a combination of both. Domains elicited from either moving or static gratings were remarkably similar, indicating that these groups of cells are responding to orientation, although they may also encode information about motion. To assess the relationship between domains defined by drifting oriented gratings and those responsive to direction of motion, the response to drifting fields of random dots was measured within domains defined from thresholded maps of activation elicited by the drifting gratings. The optical response elicited by drifting fields of random dots was maximal in a direction orthogonal to the map of orientation preference. Thus, neurons in domains selective for stimulus orientation are also selective for motion orthogonal to the preferred stimulus orientation.

  18. Crossmodal plasticity in auditory, visual and multisensory cortical areas following noise-induced hearing loss in adulthood.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schormans, Ashley L; Typlt, Marei; Allman, Brian L

    2017-01-01

    Complete or partial hearing loss results in an increased responsiveness of neurons in the core auditory cortex of numerous species to visual and/or tactile stimuli (i.e., crossmodal plasticity). At present, however, it remains uncertain how adult-onset partial hearing loss affects higher-order cortical areas that normally integrate audiovisual information. To that end, extracellular electrophysiological recordings were performed under anesthesia in noise-exposed rats two weeks post-exposure (0.8-20 kHz at 120 dB SPL for 2 h) and age-matched controls to characterize the nature and extent of crossmodal plasticity in the dorsal auditory cortex (AuD), an area outside of the auditory core, as well as in the neighboring lateral extrastriate visual cortex (V2L), an area known to contribute to audiovisual processing. Computer-generated auditory (noise burst), visual (light flash) and combined audiovisual stimuli were delivered, and the associated spiking activity was used to determine the response profile of each neuron sampled (i.e., unisensory, subthreshold multisensory or bimodal). In both the AuD cortex and the multisensory zone of the V2L cortex, the maximum firing rates were unchanged following noise exposure, and there was a relative increase in the proportion of neurons responsive to visual stimuli, with a concomitant decrease in the number of neurons that were solely responsive to auditory stimuli despite adjusting the sound intensity to account for each rat's hearing threshold. These neighboring cortical areas differed, however, in how noise-induced hearing loss affected audiovisual processing; the total proportion of multisensory neurons significantly decreased in the V2L cortex (control 38.8 ± 3.3% vs. noise-exposed 27.1 ± 3.4%), and dramatically increased in the AuD cortex (control 23.9 ± 3.3% vs. noise-exposed 49.8 ± 6.1%). Thus, following noise exposure, the cortical area showing the greatest relative degree of multisensory convergence

  19. Cav1.3 channels control D2-autoreceptor responses via NCS-1 in substantia nigra dopamine neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dragicevic, Elena; Poetschke, Christina; Duda, Johanna; Schlaudraff, Falk; Lammel, Stephan; Schiemann, Julia; Fauler, Michael; Hetzel, Andrea; Watanabe, Masahiko; Lujan, Rafael; Malenka, Robert C.; Striessnig, Joerg

    2014-01-01

    Dopamine midbrain neurons within the substantia nigra are particularly prone to degeneration in Parkinson’s disease. Their selective loss causes the major motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, but the causes for the high vulnerability of SN DA neurons, compared to neighbouring, more resistant ventral tegmental area dopamine neurons, are still unclear. Consequently, there is still no cure available for Parkinson’s disease. Current therapies compensate the progressive loss of dopamine by administering its precursor l-DOPA and/or dopamine D2-receptor agonists. D2-autoreceptors and Cav1.3-containing L-type Ca2+ channels both contribute to Parkinson’s disease pathology. L-type Ca2+ channel blockers protect SN DA neurons from degeneration in Parkinson’s disease and its mouse models, and they are in clinical trials for neuroprotective Parkinson’s disease therapy. However, their physiological functions in SN DA neurons remain unclear. D2-autoreceptors tune firing rates and dopamine release of SN DA neurons in a negative feedback loop through activation of G-protein coupled potassium channels (GIRK2, or KCNJ6). Mature SN DA neurons display prominent, non-desensitizing somatodendritic D2-autoreceptor responses that show pronounced desensitization in PARK-gene Parkinson’s disease mouse models. We analysed surviving human SN DA neurons from patients with Parkinson’s disease and from controls, and detected elevated messenger RNA levels of D2-autoreceptors and GIRK2 in Parkinson’s disease. By electrophysiological analysis of postnatal juvenile and adult mouse SN DA neurons in in vitro brain-slices, we observed that D2-autoreceptor desensitization is reduced with postnatal maturation. Furthermore, a transient high-dopamine state in vivo, caused by one injection of either l-DOPA or cocaine, induced adult-like, non-desensitizing D2-autoreceptor responses, selectively in juvenile SN DA neurons, but not ventral tegmental area dopamine neurons. With pharmacological

  20. Inattentional Deafness: Visual Load Leads to Time-Specific Suppression of Auditory Evoked Responses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molloy, Katharine; Griffiths, Timothy D; Chait, Maria; Lavie, Nilli

    2015-12-09

    Due to capacity limits on perception, conditions of high perceptual load lead to reduced processing of unattended stimuli (Lavie et al., 2014). Accumulating work demonstrates the effects of visual perceptual load on visual cortex responses, but the effects on auditory processing remain poorly understood. Here we establish the neural mechanisms underlying "inattentional deafness"--the failure to perceive auditory stimuli under high visual perceptual load. Participants performed a visual search task of low (target dissimilar to nontarget items) or high (target similar to nontarget items) load. On a random subset (50%) of trials, irrelevant tones were presented concurrently with the visual stimuli. Brain activity was recorded with magnetoencephalography, and time-locked responses to the visual search array and to the incidental presence of unattended tones were assessed. High, compared to low, perceptual load led to increased early visual evoked responses (within 100 ms from onset). This was accompanied by reduced early (∼ 100 ms from tone onset) auditory evoked activity in superior temporal sulcus and posterior middle temporal gyrus. A later suppression of the P3 "awareness" response to the tones was also observed under high load. A behavioral experiment revealed reduced tone detection sensitivity under high visual load, indicating that the reduction in neural responses was indeed associated with reduced awareness of the sounds. These findings support a neural account of shared audiovisual resources, which, when depleted under load, leads to failures of sensory perception and awareness. The present work clarifies the neural underpinning of inattentional deafness under high visual load. The findings of near-simultaneous load effects on both visual and auditory evoked responses suggest shared audiovisual processing capacity. Temporary depletion of shared capacity in perceptually demanding visual tasks leads to a momentary reduction in sensory processing of auditory

  1. Correlating Anatomy and Function with Gene Expression in Individual Neurons by Combining in Vivo Labeling, Patch Clamp, and Single Cell RNA-seq

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carsten K. Pfeffer

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available The classification of neurons into distinct types is an ongoing effort aimed at revealing and understanding the diversity of the components of the nervous system. Recently available methods allow us to determine the gene expression pattern of individual neurons in the mammalian cerebral cortex to generate powerful categorization schemes. For a thorough understanding of neuronal diversity such genetic categorization schemes need to be combined with traditional classification parameters like position, axonal projection or response properties to sensory stimulation. Here we describe a method to link the gene expression of individual neurons with their position, axonal projection, or sensory response properties. Neurons are labeled in vivo based on their anatomical or functional properties and, using patch clamp pipettes, their RNA individually harvested in vitro for RNAseq. We validate the methodology using multiple established molecularly and anatomically distinct cell populations and explore molecular differences between uncharacterized neurons in mouse visual cortex. Gene expression patterns between L5 neurons projecting to frontal or contralateral cortex are distinct while L2 neurons differing in position, projection, or function are molecularly similar. With this method we can determine the genetic expression pattern of functionally and anatomically identified individual neurons.

  2. Laser nano-surgery for neuronal manipulation (Conference Presentation)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarker, Hori Pada; Chudal, Lalit; Mahapatra, Vasu; Kim, Young-tae; Mohanty, Samarendra K.

    2016-03-01

    Optical manipulation has enabled study of bio-chemical and bio-mechanical properties of the cells. Laser nanosurgery by ultrafast laser beam with appropriate laser parameters provides spatially-targeted manipulation of neurons in a minimal invasiveness manner with high efficiency. We utilized femto-second laser nano-surgery for both axotomy and sub-axotomy of rat cortical neurons. Degeneration and regeneration after axotomy was studied with and without external growth-factor(s) and biochemical(s). Further, axonal injury was studied as a function of pulse energy, exposure and site of injury. The ability to study the response of neurons to localized injury opens up opportunities for screening potential molecules for repair and regeneration after nerve injury. Sub-axotomy enabled transient opening of axonal membrane for optical delivery of impermeable molecules to the axoplasm. Fast resealing of the axonal membrane after sub-axotomy without significant long-term damage to axon (monitored by its growth) was observed. We will present these experimental results along with theoretical simulation of injury due to laser nano-surgery and delivery via the transient pore. Targeted delivery of proteins such as antibodies, genes encoding reporter proteins, ion-channels and voltage indicators will allow visualization, activation and detection of the neuronal structure and function.

  3. Metabolic Communication between Astrocytes and Neurons via Bicarbonate-Responsive Soluble Adenylyl Cyclase

    OpenAIRE

    Choi, Hyun B.; Gordon, Grant R.J.; Zhou, Ning; Tai, Chao; Rungta, Ravi L.; Martinez, Jennifer; Milner, Teresa A.; Ryu, Jae K.; McLarnon, James G.; Tresguerres, Martin; Levin, Lonny R.; Buck, Jochen; MacVicar, Brian A.

    2012-01-01

    Astrocytes are proposed to participate in brain energy metabolism by supplying substrates to neurons from their glycogen stores and from glycolysis. However, the molecules involved in metabolic sensing and the molecular pathways responsible for metabolic coupling between different cell types in the brain are not fully understood. Here we show that a recently cloned bicarbonate (HCO3−) sensor, soluble adenylyl cyclase (sAC), is highly expressed in astrocytes and becomes activated in response t...

  4. Prenatal exposure to urban air nanoparticles in mice causes altered neuronal differentiation and depression-like responses.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David A Davis

    Full Text Available Emerging evidence suggests that excessive exposure to traffic-derived air pollution during pregnancy may increase the vulnerability to neurodevelopmental alterations that underlie a broad array of neuropsychiatric disorders. We present a mouse model for prenatal exposure to urban freeway nanoparticulate matter (nPM. In prior studies, we developed a model for adult rodent exposure to re-aerosolized urban nPM which caused inflammatory brain responses with altered neuronal glutamatergic functions. nPMs are collected continuously for one month from a local freeway and stored as an aqueous suspension, prior to re-aerosolization for exposure of mice under controlled dose and duration. This paradigm was used for a pilot study of prenatal nPM impact on neonatal neurons and adult behaviors. Adult C57BL/6J female mice were exposed to re-aerosolized nPM (350 µg/m(3 or control filtered ambient air for 10 weeks (3×5 hour exposures per week, encompassing gestation and oocyte maturation prior to mating. Prenatal nPM did not alter litter size, pup weight, or postnatal growth. Neonatal cerebral cortex neurons at 24 hours in vitro showed impaired differentiation, with 50% reduction of stage 3 neurons with long neurites and correspondingly more undifferentiated neurons at Stages 0 and 1. Neuron number after 24 hours of culture was not altered by prenatal nPM exposure. Addition of exogenous nPM (2 µg/ml to the cultures impaired pyramidal neuron Stage 3 differentiation by 60%. Adult males showed increased depression-like responses in the tail-suspension test, but not anxiety-related behaviors. These pilot data suggest that prenatal exposure to nPM can alter neuronal differentiation with gender-specific behavioral sequelae that may be relevant to human prenatal exposure to urban vehicular aerosols.

  5. Neurons in the thalamic reticular nucleus are selective for diverse and complex visual features

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vishal eVaingankar

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available All visual signals the cortex receives are influenced by the perigeniculate sector of the thalamic reticular nucleus, which receives input from relay cells in the lateral geniculate and provides feedback inhibition in return. Relay cells have been studied in quantitative depth; they behave in a roughly linear fashion and have receptive fields with a stereotyped centre-surround structure. We know far less about reticular neurons. Qualitative studies indicate they simply pool ascending input to generate nonselective gain control. Yet the perigeniculate is complicated; local cells are densely interconnected and fire lengthy bursts. Thus, we employed quantitative methods to explore the perigeniculate, using relay cells as controls. By adapting methods of spike-triggered averaging and covariance analysis for bursts, we identified both first and second order features that build reticular receptive fields. The shapes of these spatiotemporal subunits varied widely; no stereotyped pattern emerged. Companion experiments showed that the shape of the first but not second order features could be explained by the overlap of On and Off inputs to a given cell. Moreover, we assessed the predictive power of the receptive field and how much information each component subunit conveyed. Linear-nonlinear models including multiple subunits performed better than those made with just one; further each subunit encoded different visual information. Model performance for reticular cells was always lesser than for relay cells, however, indicating that reticular cells process inputs nonlinearly. All told, our results suggest that the perigeniculate encodes diverse visual features to selectively modulate activity transmitted downstream

  6. Neurons in the thalamic reticular nucleus are selective for diverse and complex visual features

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vaingankar, Vishal; Soto-Sanchez, Cristina; Wang, Xin; Sommer, Friedrich T.; Hirsch, Judith A.

    2012-01-01

    All visual signals the cortex receives are influenced by the perigeniculate sector (PGN) of the thalamic reticular nucleus, which receives input from relay cells in the lateral geniculate and provides feedback inhibition in return. Relay cells have been studied in quantitative depth; they behave in a roughly linear fashion and have receptive fields with a stereotyped center-surround structure. We know far less about reticular neurons. Qualitative studies indicate they simply pool ascending input to generate non-selective gain control. Yet the perigeniculate is complicated; local cells are densely interconnected and fire lengthy bursts. Thus, we employed quantitative methods to explore the perigeniculate using relay cells as controls. By adapting methods of spike-triggered averaging and covariance analysis for bursts, we identified both first and second order features that build reticular receptive fields. The shapes of these spatiotemporal subunits varied widely; no stereotyped pattern emerged. Companion experiments showed that the shape of the first but not second order features could be explained by the overlap of On and Off inputs to a given cell. Moreover, we assessed the predictive power of the receptive field and how much information each component subunit conveyed. Linear-non-linear (LN) models including multiple subunits performed better than those made with just one; further each subunit encoded different visual information. Model performance for reticular cells was always lesser than for relay cells, however, indicating that reticular cells process inputs non-linearly. All told, our results suggest that the perigeniculate encodes diverse visual features to selectively modulate activity transmitted downstream. PMID:23269915

  7. Decoding color responses in human visual cortex

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kuriki, Ichiro; Matsumiya, Kazumichi; Shioiri, Satoshi; Nakamura, Shingo; Sun, Pei; Ueno, Kenichi; Tanaka, Keiji; Cheng, Kang

    2011-01-01

    Color percept is a subjective experience and, in general, it is impossible for other people to tell someone's color percept. The present study demonstrated that the simple image-classification analysis of brain activity obtained by a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) technique enables to tell which of four colors the subject is looking at. Our results also imply that color information is coded by the responses of hue-selective neurons in human brain, not by the combinations of red-green and blue-yellow hue components. (author)

  8. Cholecystokinin (CCK)-expressing neurons in the suprachiasmatic nucleus: innervation, light responsiveness and entrainment in CCK-deficient mice

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hannibal, Jens; Hundahl, Christian; Fahrenkrug, Jan

    2010-01-01

    FOS, and did not express the core clock protein PER1. Accordingly, CCK-deficient mice showed normal entrainment and had similar t, light-induced phase shift and negative masking behaviour as wild-type animals. In conclusion, CCK signalling seems not to be involved directly in light-induced resetting......, CCK-containing processes make synaptic contacts with both groups of neurons and some CCK cell bodies were innervated by VIPergic neurons. The CCK neurons received no direct input from the three major pathways to the SCN, and the CCK neurons were not light-responsive as evaluated by induction of c...

  9. Cholecystokinin (CCK)-expressing neurons in the suprachiasmatic nucleus: innervation, light responsiveness and entrainment in CCK-deficient mice

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hannibal, Jens; Hundahl, Christian; Fahrenkrug, Jan

    2010-01-01

    FOS, and did not express the core clock protein PER1. Accordingly, CCK-deficient mice showed normal entrainment and had similar τ, light-induced phase shift and negative masking behaviour as wild-type animals. In conclusion, CCK signalling seems not to be involved directly in light-induced resetting......, CCK-containing processes make synaptic contacts with both groups of neurons and some CCK cell bodies were innervated by VIPergic neurons. The CCK neurons received no direct input from the three major pathways to the SCN, and the CCK neurons were not light-responsive as evaluated by induction of c...

  10. Observing complex action sequences: The role of the fronto-parietal mirror neuron system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molnar-Szakacs, Istvan; Kaplan, Jonas; Greenfield, Patricia M; Iacoboni, Marco

    2006-11-15

    A fronto-parietal mirror neuron network in the human brain supports the ability to represent and understand observed actions allowing us to successfully interact with others and our environment. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we wanted to investigate the response of this network in adults during observation of hierarchically organized action sequences of varying complexity that emerge at different developmental stages. We hypothesized that fronto-parietal systems may play a role in coding the hierarchical structure of object-directed actions. The observation of all action sequences recruited a common bilateral network including the fronto-parietal mirror neuron system and occipito-temporal visual motion areas. Activity in mirror neuron areas varied according to the motoric complexity of the observed actions, but not according to the developmental sequence of action structures, possibly due to the fact that our subjects were all adults. These results suggest that the mirror neuron system provides a fairly accurate simulation process of observed actions, mimicking internally the level of motoric complexity. We also discuss the results in terms of the links between mirror neurons, language development and evolution.

  11. Pressor response to L-cysteine injected into the cisterna magna of conscious rats involves recruitment of hypothalamic vasopressinergic neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takemoto, Yumi

    2013-03-01

    The sulfur-containing non-essential amino acid L-cysteine injected into the cisterna magna of adult conscious rats produces an increase in blood pressure. The present study examined if the pressor response to L-cysteine is stereospecific and involves recruitment of hypothalamic vasopressinergic neurons and medullary noradrenergic A1 neurons. Intracisternally injected D-cysteine produced no cardiovascular changes, while L-cysteine produced hypertension and tachycardia in freely moving rats, indicating the stereospecific hemodynamic actions of L-cysteine via the brain. The double labeling immunohistochemistry combined with c-Fos detection as a marker of neuronal activation revealed significantly higher numbers of c-Fos-positive vasopressinergic neurons both in the supraoptic and paraventricular nuclei and tyrosine hydroxylase containing medullary A1 neurons, of L-cysteine-injected rats than those injected with D-cysteine as iso-osmotic control. The results indicate that the cardiovascular responses to intracisternal injection of L-cysteine in the conscious rat are stereospecific and include recruitment of hypothalamic vasopressinergic neurons both in the supraoptic and paraventricular nuclei, as well as of medullary A1 neurons. The findings may suggest a potential function of L-cysteine as an extracellular signal such as neuromodulators in central regulation of blood pressure.

  12. Encoding of complexity, shape and curvature by macaque infero-temporal neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Greet eKayaert

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available We recorded responses of macaque infero-temporal (IT neurons to a stimulus set of Fourier Boundary Descriptor shapes wherein complexity, general shape and curvature were systematically varied. We analyzed the response patterns of the neurons to the different stimuli using multi-dimensional scaling. The resulting neural shape space differed in important ways from the physical, image-based shape space. We found a particular sensitivity for the presence of curved versus straight contours that existed only for the simple but not for the medium and highly complex shapes. Also, IT neurons could linearly separate the simple and the complex shapes within a low-dimensional neural shape space, but no distinction was found between the medium and high levels of complexity. None of these effects could be derived from physical image metrics, either directly or by comparing the neural data with similarities yielded by two models of low-level visual processing (one using wavelet-based filters and one that models position and size invariant object selectivity through four hierarchically organized neural layers. This study highlights the relevance of complexity to IT neural encoding, both as a neurally independently represented shape property and through its influence on curvature detection.

  13. Neurons in the posterior insular cortex are responsive to gustatory stimulation of the pharyngolarynx, baroreceptor and chemoreceptor stimulation, and tail pinch in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanamori, T; Kunitake, T; Kato, K; Kannan, H

    1998-02-23

    Extracellular unit responses to gustatory stimulation of the pharyngolaryngeal region, baroreceptor and chemoreceptor stimulation, and tail pinch were recorded from the insular cortex of anesthetized and paralyzed rats. Of the 32 neurons identified, 28 responded to at least one of the nine stimuli used in the present study. Of the 32 neurons, 11 showed an excitatory response to tail pinch, 13 showed an inhibitory response, and the remaining eight had no response. Of the 32 neurons, eight responded to baroreceptor stimulation by an intravenous (i.v.) injection of methoxamine hydrochloride (Mex), four were excitatory and four were inhibitory. Thirteen neurons were excited and six neurons were inhibited by an arterial chemoreceptor stimulation by an i.v. injection of sodium cyanide (NaCN). Twenty-two neurons were responsive to at least one of the gustatory stimuli (deionized water, 1.0 M NaCl, 30 mM HCl, 30 mM quinine HCl, and 1.0 M sucrose); five to 11 excitatory neurons and three to seven inhibitory neurons for each stimulus. A large number of the neurons (25/32) received converging inputs from more than one stimulus among the nine stimuli used in the present study. Most neurons (23/32) received converging inputs from different modalities (gustatory, visceral, and tail pinch). The neurons responded were located in the insular cortex between 2.0 mm anterior and 0.2 mm posterior to the anterior edge of the joining of the anterior commissure (AC); the mean location was 1.2 mm (n=28) anterior to the AC. This indicates that most of the neurons identified in the present study seem to be located in the region posterior to the taste area and anterior to the visceral area in the insular cortex. These results indicate that the insular cortex neurons distributing between the taste area and the visceral area receive convergent inputs from gustatory, baroreceptor, chemoreceptor, and nociceptive organs. Copyright 1998 Elsevier Science B.V.

  14. Neurophysiology of visual aura in migraine

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shibata, Koichi

    2007-01-01

    Visual processing in migraine has been targeted because the visual symptoms that are commonly associated with attack, either in the form of aura or other more subtle symptoms, indicate that the visual pathways are involved in migrainous pathophysiology. The visual aura of the migraine attack has been explained by the cortical spreading depression (CSD) of Leao, neuroelectric event beginning in the occipital cortex and propagating into contiguous brain region. Clinical observations suggest that hyperexcitability occurs not only during the attack, typically in the form of photophobia, but also between attacks. Numerous human neuroimaging, neurophysiological and psychophysical studies have identified differences in cortical visual processing in migraine. The possibility of imaging the typical visual aura with BOLD functional MRI has revealed multiple neurovascular events in the occipital cortex within a single attack that closely resemble CSD. As transient synchronized neuronal excitation precedes CSD, changes in cortical excitability underlie the migraine attack. Independent evidence for altered neuronal excitability in migraineurs between attacks emerges from visual evoked potentials (VEPs) and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), recordings of cortical potentials and psychophysics. Recently, both TMS and psychophysical studies measuring visual performance in migraineurs have used measures which presumably measure primary visual (V1) and visual association cortex. Our VEP and blink reflex study showed that migraine patients exhibiting allodynia might show central sensitization of braistem trigeminal neuron and had contrast modulation dysfunction during the cortical visual processing of V1 and visual association cortex in-between attacks. In pathophysiology of migraine, these neurophysiological and psychophysical studies indicate that abnormal visual and trigeminal hyperexcitability might persist between migraine attacks. The influence of migraine on cortical

  15. A neural mechanism of dynamic gating of task-relevant information by top-down influence in primary visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamiyama, Akikazu; Fujita, Kazuhisa; Kashimori, Yoshiki

    2016-12-01

    Visual recognition involves bidirectional information flow, which consists of bottom-up information coding from retina and top-down information coding from higher visual areas. Recent studies have demonstrated the involvement of early visual areas such as primary visual area (V1) in recognition and memory formation. V1 neurons are not passive transformers of sensory inputs but work as adaptive processor, changing their function according to behavioral context. Top-down signals affect tuning property of V1 neurons and contribute to the gating of sensory information relevant to behavior. However, little is known about the neuronal mechanism underlying the gating of task-relevant information in V1. To address this issue, we focus on task-dependent tuning modulations of V1 neurons in two tasks of perceptual learning. We develop a model of the V1, which receives feedforward input from lateral geniculate nucleus and top-down input from a higher visual area. We show here that the change in a balance between excitation and inhibition in V1 connectivity is necessary for gating task-relevant information in V1. The balance change well accounts for the modulations of tuning characteristic and temporal properties of V1 neuronal responses. We also show that the balance change of V1 connectivity is shaped by top-down signals with temporal correlations reflecting the perceptual strategies of the two tasks. We propose a learning mechanism by which synaptic balance is modulated. To conclude, top-down signal changes the synaptic balance between excitation and inhibition in V1 connectivity, enabling early visual area such as V1 to gate context-dependent information under multiple task performances. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.