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Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience

Tiago F Santos-Ferreira, Oliver Borsch, Marius Ader
Vision represents one of the main senses for humans to interact with their environment. Our sight relies on the presence of fully functional light sensitive cells - rod and cone photoreceptors - allowing us to see under dim (rods) and bright (cones) light conditions. Photoreceptor degeneration is one of the major causes for vision impairment in industrialized countries and it is highly predominant in the population above the age of 50. Thus, with the continuous increase in life expectancy it will make retinal degeneration reach an epidemic proportion...
2016: Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience
Marcello Maniglia, Benoit R Cottereau, Vincent Soler, Yves Trotter
Age related macular degeneration (AMD) is a visual disease that affects elderly population. It entails a progressive loss of central vision whose consequences are dramatic for the patient's quality of life. Current rehabilitation programs are restricted to technical aids based on visual devices. They only temporarily improve specific visual functions such as reading skills. Considering the rapid increase of the aging population worldwide, it is crucial to intensify clinical research on AMD in order to develop simple and efficient methods that improve the patient's visual performances in many different contexts...
2016: Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience
Justin R Brooks, Javier O Garcia, Scott E Kerick, Jean M Vettel
Driving a motor vehicle is an inherently complex task that requires robust control to avoid catastrophic accidents. Drivers must maintain their vehicle in the middle of the travel lane to avoid high speed collisions with other traffic. Interestingly, while a vehicle's lane deviation (LD) is critical, studies have demonstrated that heading error (HE) is one of the primary variables drivers use to determine a steering response, which directly controls the position of the vehicle in the lane. In this study, we examined how the brain represents the dichotomy between control/response parameters (heading, reaction time (RT), and steering wheel corrections) and task-critical parameters (LD)...
2016: Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience
Sarah K Peters, Katharine Dunlop, Jonathan Downar
The salience network (SN) plays a central role in cognitive control by integrating sensory input to guide attention, attend to motivationally salient stimuli and recruit appropriate functional brain-behavior networks to modulate behavior. Mounting evidence suggests that disturbances in SN function underlie abnormalities in cognitive control and may be a common etiology underlying many psychiatric disorders. Such functional and anatomical abnormalities have been recently apparent in studies and meta-analyses of psychiatric illness using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and voxel-based morphometry (VBM)...
2016: Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience
Nathalie van Meer, Anne C Houtman, Peter Van Schuerbeek, Tim Vanderhasselt, Chantal Milleret, Marcel P Ten Tusscher
Aim: In humans, images in the median plane of the head either fall on both nasal hemi-retinas or on both temporal hemi-retinas. Interhemispheric connections allow cortical cells to have receptive fields on opposite sides. The major interhemispheric connection, the corpus callosum, is implicated in central stereopsis and disparity detection in front of the fixation plane. Yet individuals with agenesis of the corpus callosum may show normal stereopsis and disparity vergence. We set out to study a possible interhemispheric connection between primary visual cortical areas via the anterior commissure to explain this inconsistency because of the major role of these cortical areas in elaborating 3D visual perception...
2016: Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience
Carsten M Klingner, Stefan Brodoehl, Ralph Huonker, Otto W Witte
The question regarding whether somatosensory inputs are processed in parallel or in series has not been clearly answered. Several studies that have applied dynamic causal modeling (DCM) to fMRI data have arrived at seemingly divergent conclusions. However, these divergent results could be explained by the hypothesis that the processing route of somatosensory information changes with time. Specifically, we suggest that somatosensory stimuli are processed in parallel only during the early stage, whereas the processing is later dominated by serial processing...
2016: Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience
Asami Tanimura, Sean Austin O Lim, Jose de Jesus Aceves Buendia, Joshua A Goldberg, D James Surmeier
Huntington's disease (HD) is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by deficits in movement control that are widely viewed as stemming from pathophysiological changes in the striatum. Giant, aspiny cholinergic interneurons (ChIs) are key elements in the striatal circuitry controlling movement, but whether their physiological properties are intact in the HD brain is unclear. To address this issue, the synaptic properties of ChIs were examined using optogenetic approaches in the Q175 mouse model of HD. In ex vivo brain slices, synaptic facilitation at thalamostriatal synapses onto ChIs was reduced in Q175 mice...
2016: Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience
Han-Chiao I Chen, John F Burke, Akiva S Cohen
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
2016: Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience
Ken-Ichiro Tsutsui, Kei Oyama, Shinya Nakamura, Toshio Iijima
Neural mechanisms of working memory, particularly its visuospatial aspect, have long been studied in non-human primates. On the other hand, rodents are becoming more important in systems neuroscience, as many of the innovative research methods have become available for them. There has been a question on whether primates and rodents have similar neural backgrounds for working memory. In this article, we carried out a comparative overview of the neural mechanisms of visuospatial working memory in monkeys and rats...
2016: Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience
Yan M Yufik, Karl Friston
This article is motivated by a formulation of biotic self-organization in Friston (2013), where the emergence of "life" in coupled material entities (e.g., macromolecules) was predicated on bounded subsets that maintain a degree of statistical independence from the rest of the network. Boundary elements in such systems constitute a Markov blanket; separating the internal states of a system from its surrounding states. In this article, we ask whether Markov blankets operate in the nervous system and underlie the development of intelligence, enabling a progression from the ability to sense the environment to the ability to understand it...
2016: Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience
Paul J Werbos, Joshua J J Davis
This paper addresses two fundamental questions: (1) Is it possible to develop mathematical neural network models which can explain and replicate the way in which higher-order capabilities like intelligence, consciousness, optimization, and prediction emerge from the process of learning (Werbos, 1994, 2016a; National Science Foundation, 2008)? and (2) How can we use and test such models in a practical way, to track, to analyze and to model high-frequency (≥ 500 hz) many-channel data from recording the brain, just as econometrics sometimes uses models grounded in the theory of efficient markets to track real-world time-series data (Werbos, 1990)? This paper first reviews some of the prior work addressing question (1), and then reports new work performed in MATLAB analyzing spike-sorted and burst-sorted data on the prefrontal cortex from the Buzsaki lab (Fujisawa et al...
2016: Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience
Ben D Lawson, Angus H Rupert, Braden J McGrath
Astronauts and vestibular patients face analogous challenges to orientation function due to adaptive exogenous (weightlessness-induced) or endogenous (pathology-induced) alterations in the processing of acceleration stimuli. Given some neurovestibular similarities between these challenges, both affected groups may benefit from shared research approaches and adaptation measurement/improvement strategies. This article reviews various past strategies and introduces two plausible ground-based approaches, the first of which is a method for eliciting and assessing vestibular adaptation-induced imbalance...
2016: Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience
Patrick C Trettenbrein
Synaptic plasticity is widely considered to be the neurobiological basis of learning and memory by neuroscientists and researchers in adjacent fields, though diverging opinions are increasingly being recognized. From the perspective of what we might call "classical cognitive science" it has always been understood that the mind/brain is to be considered a computational-representational system. Proponents of the information-processing approach to cognitive science have long been critical of connectionist or network approaches to (neuro-)cognitive architecture, pointing to the shortcomings of the associative psychology that underlies Hebbian learning as well as to the fact that synapses are practically unfit to implement symbols...
2016: Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience
M Justin Kim, Annemarie C Brown, Alison M Mattek, Samantha J Chavez, James M Taylor, Amy L Palmer, Yu-Chien Wu, Paul J Whalen
Anxiety impacts the quality of everyday life and may facilitate the development of affective disorders, possibly through concurrent alterations in neural circuitry. Findings from multimodal neuroimaging studies suggest that trait-anxious individuals may have a reduced capacity for efficient communication between the amygdala and the ventral prefrontal cortex (vPFC). A diffusion-weighted imaging protocol with 61 directions was used to identify lateral and medial amygdala-vPFC white matter pathways. The structural integrity of both pathways was inversely correlated with self-reported levels of trait anxiety...
2016: Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience
Kun Xie, Grace E Fox, Jun Liu, Cheng Lyu, Jason C Lee, Hui Kuang, Stephanie Jacobs, Meng Li, Tianming Liu, Sen Song, Joe Z Tsien
There is considerable scientific interest in understanding how cell assemblies-the long-presumed computational motif-are organized so that the brain can generate intelligent cognition and flexible behavior. The Theory of Connectivity proposes that the origin of intelligence is rooted in a power-of-two-based permutation logic (N = 2 (i) -1), producing specific-to-general cell-assembly architecture capable of generating specific perceptions and memories, as well as generalized knowledge and flexible actions. We show that this power-of-two-based permutation logic is widely used in cortical and subcortical circuits across animal species and is conserved for the processing of a variety of cognitive modalities including appetitive, emotional and social information...
2016: Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience
Miguel J Rangel, Marcus V C Baldo, Newton S Canteras, Joel D Hahn
Our understanding of the extrinsic connections of the lateral hypothalamic area (LHA) has deepened in recent years. In particular, a series of studies using neural pathway-tracing methods to investigate the macroconnections of histologically differentiated LHA regions, have revealed that the neural connections of these regions are substantially distinct, and have robust connections with neural circuits controlling survival behaviors. To begin testing functional associations suggested by the distinct LHA region neural connections, the present study has investigated the role of the LHA juxtadorsomedial region (LHAjd) in the control of social defeat (a socially-relevant defensive behavior)...
2016: Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience
Sterling Street
This article reviews thermodynamic relationships in the brain in an attempt to consolidate current research in systems neuroscience. The present synthesis supports proposals that thermodynamic information in the brain can be quantified to an appreciable degree of objectivity, that many qualitative properties of information in systems of the brain can be inferred by observing changes in thermodynamic quantities, and that many features of the brain's anatomy and architecture illustrate relatively simple information-energy relationships...
2016: Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience
Laura Restani, Matteo Caleo
Vision is a very important sensory modality in humans. Visual disorders are numerous and arising from diverse and complex causes. Deficits in visual function are highly disabling from a social point of view and in addition cause a considerable economic burden. For all these reasons there is an intense effort by the scientific community to gather knowledge on visual deficit mechanisms and to find possible new strategies for recovery and treatment. In this review, we focus on an important and sometimes neglected player of the visual function, the corpus callosum (CC)...
2016: Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience
Leonid I Perlovsky
Is it possible to turn psychology into "hard science"? Physics of the mind follows the fundamental methodology of physics in all areas where physics have been developed. What is common among Newtonian mechanics, statistical physics, quantum physics, thermodynamics, theory of relativity, astrophysics… and a theory of superstrings? The common among all areas of physics is a methodology of physics discussed in the first few lines of the paper. Is physics of the mind possible? Is it possible to describe the mind based on the few first principles as physics does? The mind with its variabilities and uncertainties, the mind from perception and elementary cognition to emotions and abstract ideas, to high cognition...
2016: Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience
K Zoe Tsagaris, Douglas R Labar, Dylan J Edwards
Upon its inception, repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) was delivered at rest, without regard to the potential impact of activity occurring during or around the time of stimulation. rTMS was considered an experimental intervention imposed on the brain; therefore, the myriad features that might suppress or enhance its desired effects had not yet been explored. The field of rTMS has since grown substantially and therapeutic benefits have been reported, albeit with modest and inconsistent improvements...
2016: Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience
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