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Frontiers in Neural Circuits

Jeff Hawkins, Subutai Ahmad, Yuwei Cui
Neocortical regions are organized into columns and layers. Connections between layers run mostly perpendicular to the surface suggesting a columnar functional organization. Some layers have long-range excitatory lateral connections suggesting interactions between columns. Similar patterns of connectivity exist in all regions but their exact role remain a mystery. In this paper, we propose a network model composed of columns and layers that performs robust object learning and recognition. Each column integrates its changing input over time to learn complete predictive models of observed objects...
2017: Frontiers in Neural Circuits
Ana L G Mestre, Pedro M C Inácio, Youssef Elamine, Sanaz Asgarifar, Ana S Lourenço, Maria L S Cristiano, Paulo Aguiar, Maria C R Medeiros, Inês M Araújo, João Ventura, Henrique L Gomes
Astrocytes are neuroglial cells that exhibit functional electrical properties sensitive to neuronal activity and capable of modulating neurotransmission. Thus, electrophysiological recordings of astroglial activity are very attractive to study the dynamics of glial signaling. This contribution reports on the use of ultra-sensitive planar electrodes combined with low noise and low frequency amplifiers that enable the detection of extracellular signals produced by primary cultures of astrocytes isolated from mouse cerebral cortex...
2017: Frontiers in Neural Circuits
Laurent Seugnet, Stephane Dissel, Matthew Thimgan, Lijuan Cao, Paul J Shaw
Although patients with primary insomnia experience sleep disruption, they are able to maintain normal performance on a variety of cognitive tasks. This observation suggests that insomnia may be a condition where predisposing factors simultaneously increase the risk for insomnia and also mitigate against the deleterious consequences of waking. To gain insight into processes that might regulate sleep and buffer neuronal circuits during sleep loss, we manipulated three genes, fat facet (faf), highwire (hiw) and the GABA receptor Resistance to dieldrin (Rdl), that were differentially modulated in a Drosophila model of insomnia...
2017: Frontiers in Neural Circuits
Andi Wang, Junbao Wang, Ying Liu, Yan Zhou
The mechanisms underlying development processes and functional dynamics of neural circuits are far from understood. Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) have emerged as essential players in defining identities of neural cells, and in modulating neural activities. In this review, we summarized latest advances concerning roles and mechanisms of lncRNAs in assembly, maintenance and plasticity of neural circuitry, as well as lncRNAs' implications in neurological disorders. We also discussed technical advances and challenges in studying functions and mechanisms of lncRNAs in neural circuitry...
2017: Frontiers in Neural Circuits
Roger D Traub, Miles A Whittington, Stephen P Hall
Rhythmic motor patterns in invertebrates are often driven by specialized "central pattern generators" (CPGs), containing small numbers of neurons, which are likely to be "identifiable" in one individual compared with another. The dynamics of any particular CPG lies under the control of modulatory substances, amines, or peptides, entering the CPG from outside it, or released by internal constituent neurons; consequently, a particular CPG can generate a given rhythm at different frequencies and amplitudes, and perhaps even generate a repertoire of distinctive patterns...
2017: Frontiers in Neural Circuits
Ruili Xie, Paul B Manis
Radiate and planar neurons are the two major types of multipolar neurons in the ventral cochlear nucleus (VCN). Both cell types receive monosynaptic excitatory synaptic inputs from the auditory nerve, but have different responses to sound and project to different target regions and cells. Although the intrinsic physiology and synaptic inputs to planar neurons have been previously characterized, the radiate neurons are less common and have not been as well studied. We studied both types of multipolar neurons and characterized their properties including intrinsic excitability, synaptic dynamics of their auditory nerve inputs, as well as their neural firing properties to auditory nerve stimulation...
2017: Frontiers in Neural Circuits
Andrea R Marti, Sudarshan Patil, Jelena Mrdalj, Peter Meerlo, Silje Skrede, Ståle Pallesen, Torhild T Pedersen, Clive R Bramham, Janne Grønli
Millions of people worldwide work during the night, resulting in disturbed circadian rhythms and sleep loss. This may cause deficits in cognitive functions, impaired alertness and increased risk of errors and accidents. Disturbed circadian rhythmicity resulting from night shift work could impair brain function and cognition through disrupted synthesis of proteins involved in synaptic plasticity and neuronal function. Recently, the circadian transcription factor brain-and-muscle arnt-like protein 1 (BMAL1) has been identified as a promoter of mRNA translation initiation, the most highly regulated step in protein synthesis, through binding to the mRNA "cap"...
2017: Frontiers in Neural Circuits
Cristina Navarro-Sanchis, Olivier Brock, Raphaelle Winsky-Sommerer, Sandrine Thuret
The process of neurogenesis has been demonstrated to occur throughout life in the subgranular zone (SGZ) of the hippocampal dentate gyrus of several mammals, including humans. The basal rate of adult hippocampal neurogenesis can be altered by lifestyle and environmental factors. In this perspective review, the evidence for sleep as a modulator of adult hippocampal neurogenesis is first summarized. Following this, the impacts of sleep and sleep disturbances on hippocampal-dependent functions, including learning and memory, and depression are critically evaluated...
2017: Frontiers in Neural Circuits
Rebecca Diez, Magnus J E Richardson, Mark J Wall
Neural circuit activity increases the release of the purine neuromodulator adenosine into the extracellular space leading to A1 receptor activation and negative feedback via membrane hyperpolarization and inhibition of transmitter release. Adenosine can be released by a number of different mechanisms that include Ca(2+) dependent processes such as the exocytosis of ATP. During sustained pathological network activity, ischemia and hypoxia the extracellular concentration of calcium ions (Ca(2+)) markedly falls, inhibiting exocytosis and potentially reducing adenosine release...
2017: Frontiers in Neural Circuits
Rachel B Kay, Jason W Triplett
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...
2017: Frontiers in Neural Circuits
Clément Vitrac, Marianne Benoit-Marand
Elaboration of appropriate responses to behavioral situations rests on the ability of selecting appropriate motor outcomes in accordance to specific environmental inputs. To this end, the primary motor cortex (M1) is a key structure for the control of voluntary movements and motor skills learning. Subcortical loops regulate the activity of the motor cortex and thus contribute to the selection of appropriate motor plans. Monoamines are key mediators of arousal, attention and motivation. Their firing pattern enables a direct encoding of different states thus promoting or repressing the selection of actions adapted to the behavioral context...
2017: Frontiers in Neural Circuits
Xuezhu Li, Zifang Zhao, Jun Ma, Shuang Cui, Ming Yi, Huailian Guo, You Wan
Previous studies have shown that multiple brain regions are involved in pain perception and pain-related neural processes by forming a functionally connected pain network. It is still unclear how these pain-related brain areas actively work together to generate the experience of pain. To get a better insight into the pain network, we implanted electrodes in four pain-related areas of rats including the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), primary somatosensory cortex (S1) and periaqueductal gray (PAG)...
2017: Frontiers in Neural Circuits
Daniel R Bronson, Thomas Preuss
Predator pressure and olfactory cues (alarm substance) have been shown to modulate Mauthner cell (M-cell) initiated startle escape responses (C-starts) in teleost fish. The regulation of such adaptive responses to potential threats is thought to involve the release of steroid hormones such as cortisol. However, the mechanism by which cortisol may regulate M-cell excitability is not known. Here, we used intrasomatic, in vivo recordings to elucidate the acute effects of cortisol on M-cell membrane properties and sound evoked post-synaptic potentials (PSPs)...
2017: Frontiers in Neural Circuits
Diana Casas-Torremocha, Francisco Clascá, Ángel Núñez
Rodents move rhythmically their facial whiskers and compute differences between signals predicted and those resulting from the movement to infer information about objects near their head. These computations are carried out by a large network of forebrain structures that includes the thalamus and the primary somatosensory (S1BF) and motor (M1wk) cortices. Spatially and temporally precise mechanorreceptive whisker information reaches the S1BF cortex via the ventroposterior medial thalamic nucleus (VPM). Other whisker-related information may reach both M1wk and S1BF via the axons from the posterior thalamic nucleus (Po)...
2017: Frontiers in Neural Circuits
Ying Cao, Yu Liu, Dieter Jaeger, Detlef H Heck
Cerebellar Purkinje cells (PC) fire action potentials at high, sustained rates. Changes in spike rate that last a few tens of milliseconds encode sensory and behavioral events. Here we investigated spontaneous fluctuations of PC simple spike rate at a slow time scale of the order of 1 s. Simultaneous recordings from pairs of PCs that were aligned either along the sagittal or transversal axis of the cerebellar cortex revealed that simple spike rate fluctuations at the 1 s time scale were highly correlated. Each pair of PCs had either a predominantly positive or negative slow-rate correlation, with negative correlations observed only in PC pairs aligned along the transversal axis...
2017: Frontiers in Neural Circuits
Yun-Fei Lü, Yan Yang, Chun-Li Li, Yan Wang, Zhen Li, Jun Chen
Empathy for pain (vicariously felt pain), an ability to feel, recognize, understand and share the painful emotions of others, has been gradually accepted to be a common identity in both humans and rodents, however, the underlying neural and molecular mechanisms are largely unknown. Recently, we have developed a rat model of empathy for pain in which pain can be transferred from a cagemate demonstrator (CD) in pain to a naïve cagemate observer (CO) after 30 min dyadic priming social interaction. The naïve CO rats display both mechanical pain hypersensitivity (hyperalgesia) and enhanced spinal nociception...
2017: Frontiers in Neural Circuits
Niels Niethard, Andrea Burgalossi, Jan Born
Sleep is thought to be involved in the regulation of synaptic plasticity in two ways: by enhancing local plastic processes underlying the consolidation of specific memories and by supporting global synaptic homeostasis. Here, we briefly summarize recent structural and functional studies examining sleep-associated changes in synaptic morphology and neural excitability. These studies point to a global down-scaling of synaptic strength across sleep while a subset of synapses increases in strength. Similarly, neuronal excitability on average decreases across sleep, whereas subsets of neurons increase firing rates across sleep...
2017: Frontiers in Neural Circuits
Josue G Yague, Tomomi Tsunematsu, Shuzo Sakata
The basal forebrain (BF) has long been implicated in attention, learning and memory, and recent studies have established a causal relationship between artificial BF activation and arousal. However, neural ensemble dynamics in the BF still remains unclear. Here, recording neural population activity in the BF and comparing it with simultaneously recorded cortical population under both anesthetized and unanesthetized conditions, we investigate the difference in the structure of spontaneous population activity between the BF and the auditory cortex (AC) in mice...
2017: Frontiers in Neural Circuits
Subimal Datta, Michael D Oliver
Homeostatic regulation of REM sleep drive, as measured by an increase in the number of REM sleep transitions, plays a key role in neuronal and behavioral plasticity (i.e., learning and memory). Deficits in REM sleep homeostatic drive (RSHD) are implicated in the development of many neuropsychiatric disorders. Yet, the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying this RSHD remain to be incomplete. To further our understanding of this mechanism, the current study was performed on freely moving rats to test a hypothesis that a positive interaction between extracellular-signal-regulated kinase 1 and 2 (ERK1/2) activity and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) signaling in the pedunculopontine tegmentum (PPT) is a causal factor for the development of RSHD...
2017: Frontiers in Neural Circuits
Ming Ruan, Calvin K Young, Neil McNaughton
Hippocampal (HPC) theta oscillations have long been linked to various functions of the brain. Many cortical and subcortical areas that also exhibit theta oscillations have been linked to functional circuits with the hippocampus on the basis of coupled activities at theta frequencies. We examine, in freely moving rats, the characteristics of diencephalic theta local field potentials (LFPs) recorded in the supramammillary/mammillary (SuM/MM) areas that are bi-directionally connected to the HPC through the septal complex...
2017: Frontiers in Neural Circuits
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