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Brain Structure & Function

Yi-Wen Chen, Hannah Actor-Engel, Ang Doma Sherpa, Lauren Klingensmith, Tara G Chowdhury, Chiye Aoki
Hunger evokes foraging. This innate response can be quantified as voluntary wheel running following food restriction (FR). Paradoxically, imposing severe FR evokes voluntary FR, as some animals choose to run rather than eat, even during limited periods of food availability. This phenomenon, called activity-based anorexia (ABA), has been used to identify brain changes associated with FR and excessive exercise (EX), two core symptoms of anorexia nervosa (AN), and to explore neurobiological bases of AN vulnerability...
December 3, 2016: Brain Structure & Function
Vaheshta Sethna, Inês Pote, Siying Wang, Maria Gudbrandsen, Anna Blasi, Caroline McCusker, Eileen Daly, Emily Perry, Kerrie P H Adams, Maria Kuklisova-Murgasova, Paula Busuulwa, Sarah Lloyd-Fox, Lynne Murray, Mark H Johnson, Steven C R Williams, Declan G M Murphy, Michael C Craig, Grainne M McAlonan
It is generally agreed that the human brain is responsive to environmental influences, and that the male brain may be particularly sensitive to early adversity. However, this is largely based on retrospective studies of older children and adolescents exposed to extreme environments in childhood. Less is understood about how normative variations in parent-child interactions are associated with the development of the infant brain in typical settings. To address this, we used magnetic resonance imaging to investigate the relationship between observational measures of mother-infant interactions and regional brain volumes in a community sample of 3- to 6-month-old infants (N = 39)...
December 3, 2016: Brain Structure & Function
Ahmed Mahfouz, Sjoerd M H Huisman, Boudewijn P F Lelieveldt, Marcel J T Reinders
The immense complexity of the mammalian brain is largely reflected in the underlying molecular signatures of its billions of cells. Brain transcriptome atlases provide valuable insights into gene expression patterns across different brain areas throughout the course of development. Such atlases allow researchers to probe the molecular mechanisms which define neuronal identities, neuroanatomy, and patterns of connectivity. Despite the immense effort put into generating such atlases, to answer fundamental questions in neuroscience, an even greater effort is needed to develop methods to probe the resulting high-dimensional multivariate data...
December 1, 2016: Brain Structure & Function
Ayman Alzu'bi, Susan Lindsay, Janet Kerwin, Shi Jie Looi, Fareha Khalil, Gavin J Clowry
The extent of similarities and differences between cortical GABAergic interneuron generation in rodent and primate telencephalon remains contentious. We examined expression of three interneuron precursor transcription factors, alongside other markers, using immunohistochemistry on 8-12 post-conceptional weeks (PCW) human telencephalon sections. NKX2.1, OLIG2, and COUP-TFII expression occupied distinct (although overlapping) neurogenic domains which extended into the cortex and revealed three CGE compartments: lateral, medial, and ventral...
November 30, 2016: Brain Structure & Function
Sang-Hun Lee, Barna Dudok, Vipan K Parihar, Kwang-Mook Jung, Miklós Zöldi, Young-Jin Kang, Mattia Maroso, Allyson L Alexander, Gregory A Nelson, Daniele Piomelli, István Katona, Charles L Limoli, Ivan Soltesz
In the not too distant future, humankind will embark on one of its greatest adventures, the travel to distant planets. However, deep space travel is associated with an inevitable exposure to radiation fields. Space-relevant doses of protons elicit persistent disruptions in cognition and neuronal structure. However, whether space-relevant irradiation alters neurotransmission is unknown. Within the hippocampus, a brain region crucial for cognition, perisomatic inhibitory control of pyramidal cells (PCs) is supplied by two distinct cell types, the cannabinoid type 1 receptor (CB1)-expressing basket cells (CB1BCs) and parvalbumin (PV)-expressing interneurons (PVINs)...
November 30, 2016: Brain Structure & Function
Giovanni Battistella, Elena Najdenovska, Philippe Maeder, Naghmeh Ghazaleh, Alessandro Daducci, Jean-Philippe Thiran, Sébastien Jacquemont, Constantin Tuleasca, Marc Levivier, Meritxell Bach Cuadra, Eleonora Fornari
The thalamus is an essential relay station in the cortical-subcortical connections. It is characterized by a complex anatomical architecture composed of numerous small nuclei, which mediate the involvement of the thalamus in a wide range of neurological functions. We present a novel framework for segmenting the thalamic nuclei, which explores the orientation distribution functions (ODFs) from diffusion magnetic resonance images at 3 T. The differentiation of the complex intra-thalamic microstructure is improved by using the spherical harmonic (SH) representation of the ODFs, which provides full angular characterization of the diffusion process in each voxel...
November 25, 2016: Brain Structure & Function
Vanessa Kyriakopoulou, Deniz Vatansever, Alice Davidson, Prachi Patkee, Samia Elkommos, Andrew Chew, Miriam Martinez-Biarge, Bibbi Hagberg, Mellisa Damodaram, Joanna Allsop, Matt Fox, Joseph V Hajnal, Mary A Rutherford
The fetal brain shows accelerated growth in the latter half of gestation, and these changes can be captured by 2D and 3D biometry measurements. The aim of this study was to quantify brain growth in normal fetuses using Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and to produce reference biometry data and a freely available centile calculator ( ). A total of 127 MRI examinations (1.5 T) of fetuses with a normal brain appearance (21-38 gestational weeks) were included in this study...
November 24, 2016: Brain Structure & Function
James Fraser, Alexandra Essebier, Richard M Gronostajski, Mikael Boden, Brandon J Wainwright, Tracey J Harvey, Michael Piper
Transcription factors from the nuclear factor one (NFI) family have been shown to play a central role in regulating neural progenitor cell differentiation within the embryonic and post-natal brain. NFIA and NFIB, for instance, promote the differentiation and functional maturation of granule neurons within the cerebellum. Mice lacking Nfix exhibit delays in the development of neuronal and glial lineages within the cerebellum, but the cell-type-specific expression of this transcription factor remains undefined...
November 23, 2016: Brain Structure & Function
Nishad R Damle, Toshikazu Ikuta, Majnu John, Bart D Peters, Pamela DeRosse, Anil K Malhotra, Philip R Szeszko
The interthalamic adhesion (ITA) is an understudied neuroanatomical structure that forms a bridge of tissue connecting the thalamus of each hemisphere across the midline whose functional significance remains largely unknown. The likelihood of ITA absence has been reported in some studies to be increased in males, but findings have been inconsistent. We used magnetic resonance imaging to investigate the size and absence of the ITA and their relationship to thalamic volume, putative indices of white matter integrity (fractional anisotropy and mean diffusivity) within the anterior thalamic radiation and neuropsychological functions in 233 (129 M/104 F) healthy volunteers (age range 8-68)...
November 19, 2016: Brain Structure & Function
Katharina Sophia Goerlich, Mikhail Votinov, Sarah E Lammertz, Lina Winkler, Katja N Spreckelmeyer, Ute Habel, Gerhard Gründer, Anna Gossen
Empathy has been found to affect the neural processing of social and monetary rewards. Alexithymia, a subclinical condition showing a close inverse relationship with empathy is linked to dysfunctions of socio-emotional processing in the brain. Whether alexithymia alters the neural processing of rewards, which is currently unknown. Here, we investigated the influence of both alexithymia and empathy on reward processing using a social incentive delay (SID) task and a monetary incentive delay (MID) task in 45 healthy men undergoing functional magnetic resonance imaging...
November 19, 2016: Brain Structure & Function
Jorge A Colombo
An account of work performed at the UNA laboratories since 1992 on the detection and description of interlaminar glial processes, is presented. The incidental observation (serendipity) of longer than expected glial processes in the superficial layers of the cerebral cortex in hemiparkinsonian Cebus apella monkeys, was expanded afterwards to cover the largest possible sampling of representatives of mammalian orders and species, as well as in experimental and pathological conditions, in human and non-human primates...
November 18, 2016: Brain Structure & Function
William D Andrews, Melissa Barber, Marion Nemitz, Fani Memi, John G Parnavelas
Cortical interneurons are generated predominantly in the medial ganglionic eminence of the ventral telencephalon and migrate to the cortex during embryonic development. These cells express neuropilin (Nrp1 and Nrp2) receptors which mediate their response to the chemorepulsive class 3 semaphorin (Sema) ligands. We show here that semaphorins Sema3A and Sema3F are expressed in layers adjacent to cortical interneuron migratory streams as well as in the striatum, suggesting they may have a role in guiding these cells throughout their journey...
November 17, 2016: Brain Structure & Function
Julio Plata-Bello, Cristián Modroño, Estefanía Hernández-Martín, Yaiza Pérez-Martín, Helga Fariña, Abril Castañón-Pérez, Francisco Marcano, José Luis González-Mora
The mirror neuron system (MNS) is a brain network that has been associated with the understanding of the actions performed by others. The main areas of the brain that are considered as belonging to the MNS are the rostral part of the inferior parietal lobe (IPL) and the inferior frontal gyrus (IFG). Many studies have tried to focus on the relationship between the regions belonging to the MNS, but a little consideration has been given to the study of the MNS in resting conditions. In the present experiment, the MNS has been studied by two fMRI modalities (task-based fMRI and resting-fMRI) and three analytical procedures [task-block comparison, functional connectivity (FC), and independent component analysis (ICA)]...
November 12, 2016: Brain Structure & Function
Sabine Oligschläger, Julia M Huntenburg, Johannes Golchert, Mark E Lauckner, Tyler Bonnen, Daniel S Margulies
Connectivity between distant cortical areas is a valuable, yet costly feature of cortical organization and is predominantly found between regions of heteromodal association cortex. The recently proposed 'tethering hypothesis' describes the emergence of long-distance connections in association cortex as a function of their spatial separation from primary cortical regions. Here, we investigate this possibility by characterizing the distance between functionally connected areas along the cortical surface. We found a systematic relationship between an area's characteristic connectivity distance and its distance from primary cortical areas...
November 2, 2016: Brain Structure & Function
Hans-Otto Karnath, Johannes Rennig
Modern voxel-based lesion-symptom mapping (VLSM) analyses techniques provide powerful tools to examine the relationship between structure and function of the healthy human brain. However, there is still uncertainty on the type of and the appropriate time point of imaging and of behavioral testing for such analyses. Here we tested the validity of the three most common combinations of structural imaging data and behavioral scores used in VLSM analyses. Given the established knowledge about the neural substrate of the primary motor system in humans, we asked the mundane question of where the motor system is represented in the normal human brain, analyzing individual arm motor function of 60 unselected stroke patients...
November 2, 2016: Brain Structure & Function
Carlo Cottone, Camillo Porcaro, Andrea Cancelli, Elzbieta Olejarczyk, Carlo Salustri, Franca Tecchio
Brodmann's pioneering work resulted in the classification of cortical areas based on their cytoarchitecture and topology. Here, we aim at documenting that diverse cortical areas also display different neuronal electric activities. We investigated this notion in the hand-controlling sections of the primary somatosensory (S1) and motor (M1) areas, in both hemispheres. We identified S1 and M1 in 20 healthy volunteers by applying functional source separation (FSS) to their recorded electroencephalograms (EEG). Our results show that S1 and M1 can be clearly differentiated by their neuroelectric activities in both hemispheres and independently of the subject's state (i...
November 1, 2016: Brain Structure & Function
Xiao Li, Hanbo Chen, Tuo Zhang, Xiang Yu, Xi Jiang, Kaiming Li, Longchuan Li, Mir Jalil Razavi, Xianqiao Wang, Xintao Hu, Junwei Han, Lei Guo, Xiaoping Hu, Tianming Liu
Cortical folding pattern analysis is very important to understand brain organization and development. Since previous studies mostly focus on human brain cortex, the regularity and variability of cortical folding patterns across primate brains (macaques, chimpanzees and human) remain largely unknown. This paper presents a novel computational framework to identify common or unique gyral folding patterns in macaque, chimpanzee and human brains using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data. We quantitatively characterize gyral folding patterns via hinge numbers with cortical surfaces constructed from MRI data, and identify 6 common three-hinge gyral folds that exhibit consistent anatomical locations across these three species as well as 2 unique three hinges in macaque, 6 ones in chimpanzee and 14 ones in human...
October 31, 2016: Brain Structure & Function
Anita Balázs, Zoltán Mészár, Krisztina Hegedűs, Annamária Kenyeres, Zoltán Hegyi, Klaudia Dócs, Miklós Antal
The superficial spinal dorsal horn is the first relay station of pain processing. It is also widely accepted that spinal synaptic processing to control the modality and intensity of pain signals transmitted to higher brain centers is primarily defined by inhibitory neurons in the superficial spinal dorsal horn. Earlier studies suggest that the construction of pain processing spinal neural circuits including the GABAergic components should be completed by birth, although major chemical refinements may occur postnatally...
October 25, 2016: Brain Structure & Function
Sheila Cardeña-Núñez, Luis Óscar Sánchez-Guardado, Rubén Corral-San-Miguel, Lucía Rodríguez-Gallardo, Faustino Marín, Luis Puelles, Pilar Aroca, Matías Hidalgo-Sánchez
The vertebrate inner ear is a complex three-dimensional sensorial structure with auditory and vestibular functions. The molecular patterning of the developing otic epithelium creates various positional identities, consequently leading to the stereotyped specification of each neurosensory and non-sensory element of the membranous labyrinth. The Iroquois (Iro/Irx) genes, clustered in two groups (A: Irx1, Irx2, and Irx4; and B: Irx3, Irx5, and Irx6), encode for transcriptional factors involved directly in numerous patterning processes of embryonic tissues in many phyla...
October 25, 2016: Brain Structure & Function
Andrew J D Nelson, Seralynne D Vann
Despite being historically one of the first brain regions linked to memory loss, there remains controversy over the core features of diencephalic amnesia as well as the critical site for amnesia to occur. The mammillary bodies and thalamus appear to be the primary locus of pathology in the cases of diencephalic amnesia, but the picture is complicated by the lack of patients with circumscribed damage. Impaired temporal memory is a consistent neuropsychological finding in Korsakoff syndrome patients, but again, it is unclear whether this deficit is attributable to pathology within the diencephalon or concomitant frontal lobe dysfunction...
October 25, 2016: Brain Structure & Function
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