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Clayton P Mosher, Prisca E Zimmerman, Andrew J Fuglevand, Katalin M Gothard
The majority of neurophysiological studies that have explored the role of the primate amygdala in the evaluation of social signals have relied on visual stimuli such as images of facial expressions. Vision, however, is not the only sensory modality that carries social signals. Both humans and nonhuman primates exchange emotionally meaningful social signals through touch. Indeed, social grooming in nonhuman primates and caressing touch in humans is critical for building lasting and reassuring social bonds. To determine the role of the amygdala in processing touch, we recorded the responses of single neurons in the macaque amygdala while we applied tactile stimuli to the face...
September 2016: ENeuro
George S Vidal, Maja Djurisic, Kiana Brown, Richard W Sapp, Carla J Shatz
Synapse density on cortical pyramidal neurons is modulated by experience. This process is highest during developmental critical periods, when mechanisms of synaptic plasticity are fully engaged. In mouse visual cortex, the critical period for ocular dominance (OD) plasticity coincides with the developmental pruning of synapses. At this time, mice lacking paired Ig-like receptor B (PirB) have excess numbers of dendritic spines on L5 neurons; these spines persist and are thought to underlie the juvenile-like OD plasticity observed in adulthood...
September 2016: ENeuro
Michael P Saddoris
Repeated self-administration of cocaine is associated with impairments in motivated behaviors as well as alterations in both dopamine (DA) release and neural signaling within the nucleus accumbens (NAc). These impairments are present even after several weeks of abstinence from drug taking, suggesting that the self-administration experience induces long-lasting neuroplastic alterations in the mesolimbic DA circuit. To understand these changes at the terminal level, rats were allowed to self-administer either cocaine intravenously (∼1 mg/kg per infusion) or water to a receptacle (control) in 2-h sessions over 14 days, followed by 30 days of enforced abstinence...
September 2016: ENeuro
Andreas Spiegler, Enrique C A Hansen, Christophe Bernard, Anthony R McIntosh, Viktor K Jirsa
When the brain is stimulated, for example, by sensory inputs or goal-oriented tasks, the brain initially responds with activities in specific areas. The subsequent pattern formation of functional networks is constrained by the structural connectivity (SC) of the brain. The extent to which information is processed over short- or long-range SC is unclear. Whole-brain models based on long-range axonal connections, for example, can partly describe measured functional connectivity dynamics at rest. Here, we study the effect of SC on the network response to stimulation...
September 2016: ENeuro
Nadine Schweizer, Thomas Viereckel, Casey J A Smith-Anttila, Karin Nordenankar, Emma Arvidsson, Souha Mahmoudi, André Zampera, Hanna Wärner Jonsson, Jonas Bergquist, Daniel Lévesque, Åsa Konradsson-Geuken, Malin Andersson, Sylvie Dumas, Åsa Wallén-Mackenzie
The subthalamic nucleus (STN) plays a central role in motor, cognitive, and affective behavior. Deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the STN is the most common surgical intervention for advanced Parkinson's disease (PD), and STN has lately gained attention as target for DBS in neuropsychiatric disorders, including obsessive compulsive disorder, eating disorders, and addiction. Animal studies using STN-DBS, lesioning, or inactivation of STN neurons have been used extensively alongside clinical studies to unravel the structural organization, circuitry, and function of the STN...
September 2016: ENeuro
Ruiqi Wu, Langting Su, Pai-Feng Yang, Li Min Chen
Reactivation of deafferented cortex plays a key role in mediating the recovery of lost functions, although the precise mechanism is not fully understood. This study simultaneously characterized the dynamic spatiotemporal features of tactile responses in areas 3b and 1 before and 6-8 weeks after partial dorsal column lesion (DCL), and examined how the reactivation relates to the recovery of simple hand use in squirrel monkeys. A combination of high spatiotemporal resolution functional intrinsic optical imaging, microelectrode mapping, behavioral assessment, and tracer histology methods were used...
September 2016: ENeuro
Inbal Ayzenshtat, Jesse Jackson, Rafael Yuste
The response properties of neurons to sensory stimuli have been used to identify their receptive fields and to functionally map sensory systems. In primary visual cortex, most neurons are selective to a particular orientation and spatial frequency of the visual stimulus. Using two-photon calcium imaging of neuronal populations from the primary visual cortex of mice, we have characterized the response properties of neurons to various orientations and spatial frequencies. Surprisingly, we found that the orientation selectivity of neurons actually depends on the spatial frequency of the stimulus...
September 2016: ENeuro
Yumi Ueki, Grisela Ramirez, Ernesto Salcedo, Maureen E Stabio, Frances Lefcort
Familial dysautonomia (FD) is an autosomal recessive congenital neuropathy that is caused by a mutation in the gene for inhibitor of kappa B kinase complex-associated protein (IKBKAP). Although FD patients suffer from multiple neuropathies, a major debilitation that affects their quality of life is progressive blindness. To determine the requirement for Ikbkap in the developing and adult retina, we generated Ikbkap conditional knockout (CKO) mice using a TUBA1a promoter-Cre (Tα1-Cre). In the retina, Tα1-Cre expression is detected predominantly in retinal ganglion cells (RGCs)...
September 2016: ENeuro
Assaf Harel, Iris I A Groen, Dwight J Kravitz, Leon Y Deouell, Chris I Baker
Our remarkable ability to process complex visual scenes is supported by a network of scene-selective cortical regions. Despite growing knowledge about the scene representation in these regions, much less is known about the temporal dynamics with which these representations emerge. We conducted two experiments aimed at identifying and characterizing the earliest markers of scene-specific processing. In the first experiment, human participants viewed images of scenes, faces, and everyday objects while event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded...
September 2016: ENeuro
David Goyer, Stefanie Kurth, Charlène Gillet, Christian Keine, Rudolf Rübsamen, Thomas Kuenzel
Sensory processing in the lower auditory pathway is generally considered to be rigid and thus less subject to modulation than central processing. However, in addition to the powerful bottom-up excitation by auditory nerve fibers, the ventral cochlear nucleus also receives efferent cholinergic innervation from both auditory and nonauditory top-down sources. We thus tested the influence of cholinergic modulation on highly precise time-coding neurons in the cochlear nucleus of the Mongolian gerbil. By combining electrophysiological recordings with pharmacological application in vitro and in vivo, we found 55-72% of spherical bushy cells (SBCs) to be depolarized by carbachol on two time scales, ranging from hundreds of milliseconds to minutes...
September 2016: ENeuro
Cesar Echavarria, Shahin Nasr, Roger Tootell
In fMRI studies, human lateral occipital (LO) cortex is thought to respond selectively to images of objects, compared with nonobjects. However, it remains unresolved whether all objects evoke equivalent levels of activity in LO, and, if not, which image features produce stronger activation. Here, we used an unbiased parametric texture model to predict preferred versus nonpreferred stimuli in LO. Observation and psychophysical results showed that predicted preferred stimuli (both objects and nonobjects) had smooth (rather than textured) surfaces...
September 2016: ENeuro
Alexander Niklas Häusler, Sergio Oroz Artigas, Peter Trautner, Bernd Weber
People differ in the way they approach and handle choices with unsure outcomes. In this study, we demonstrate that individual differences in the neural processing of gains and losses relates to attentional differences in the way individuals search for information in gambles. Fifty subjects participated in two independent experiments. Participants first completed an fMRI experiment involving financial gains and losses. Subsequently, they performed an eye-tracking experiment on binary choices between risky gambles, each displaying monetary outcomes and their respective probabilities...
September 2016: ENeuro
Christophe Bernard
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
September 2016: ENeuro
E Paul Zehr
Many think that communicating science is a necessary and rewarding activity. Yet finding compelling, relevant, and timely points of linkage between challenging scientific concepts and the experiences and interests of the general public can be difficult. Since science continues to influence more and more aspects of daily life and knowledge, there is a parallel need for communication about science in our society. Here I discuss the "middle-ground hypothesis" using popular culture for science communication and applying the "FUNnel model," where popular culture is used as a lead-in and wrap-up when discussing science...
September 2016: ENeuro
Matthew T Kaufman, Jeffrey S Seely, David Sussillo, Stephen I Ryu, Krishna V Shenoy, Mark M Churchland
Neural activity in monkey motor cortex (M1) and dorsal premotor cortex (PMd) can reflect a chosen movement well before that movement begins. The pattern of neural activity then changes profoundly just before movement onset. We considered the prediction, derived from formal considerations, that the transition from preparation to movement might be accompanied by a large overall change in the neural state that reflects when movement is made rather than which movement is made. Specifically, we examined "components" of the population response: time-varying patterns of activity from which each neuron's response is approximately composed...
July 2016: ENeuro
Alexandre Guet-McCreight, Olivier Camiré, Lisa Topolnik, Frances K Skinner
Determining how intrinsic cellular properties govern and modulate neuronal input-output processing is a critical endeavor for understanding microcircuit functions in the brain. However, lack of cellular specifics and nonlinear interactions prevent experiments alone from achieving this. Building and using cellular models is essential in these efforts. We focus on uncovering the intrinsic properties of mus musculus hippocampal type 3 interneuron-specific (IS3) cells, a cell type that makes GABAergic synapses onto specific interneuron types, but not pyramidal cells...
July 2016: ENeuro
Helen Gray, Henri Bertrand, Claire Mindus, Paul Flecknell, Candy Rowe, Alexander Thiele
Rhesus macaques are an important model in behavioral neuroscience due to their advanced cognitive abilities. To motivate animals to engage in complex tasks, fluid rewards, in conjunction with fluid control protocols, are often used. The impact of these protocols on animal welfare is controversial. We compared two fluid control protocols against a protocol providing free access to water and evaluated the impacts on physiological states of hydration, behavioral measures of welfare, and scientific output. Blood physiology did not significantly differ between any of the protocols, and urine measures were indicative of well functioning, healthy kidneys...
July 2016: ENeuro
Elizabeth P Bless, Jane Yang, Kalpana D Acharya, Sabin A Nettles, Fair M Vassoler, Elizabeth M Byrnes, Marc J Tetel
Estrogens and leptins act in the hypothalamus to maintain reproduction and energy homeostasis. Neurogenesis in the adult mammalian hypothalamus has been implicated in the regulation of energy homeostasis. Recently, high-fat diet (HFD) and estradiol (E2) have been shown to alter cell proliferation and the number of newborn leptin-responsive neurons in the hypothalamus of adult female mice. The current study tested the hypothesis that new cells expressing estrogen receptor α (ERα) are generated in the arcuate nucleus (ARC) and the ventromedial nucleus of the hypothalamus (VMH) of the adult female mouse, hypothalamic regions that are critical in energy homeostasis...
July 2016: ENeuro
Kaoru Amano, Liang Qi, Yoshikazu Terada, Shin'ya Nishida
While sensory processing latency, inferred from the manual reaction time (RT), is substantially affected by diverse stimulus parameters, subjective temporal judgments are relatively accurate. The neural mechanisms underlying this timing perception remain obscure. Here, we measured human neural activity by magnetoencephalography while participants performed a simultaneity judgment task between the onset of random-dot coherent motion and a beep. In a separate session, participants performed an RT task for the same stimuli...
July 2016: ENeuro
Niels R Ntamati, Christian Lüscher
Both dopamine and nondopamine neurons from the ventral tegmental area (VTA) project to a variety of brain regions. Here we examine nondopaminergic neurons in the mouse VTA that send long-range projections to the hippocampus. Using a combination of retrograde tracers, optogenetic tools, and electrophysiological recordings, we show that VTA GABAergic axons make synaptic contacts in the granule cell layer of the dentate gyrus, where we can elicit small postsynaptic currents. Surprisingly, the currents displayed a partial sensitivity to both bicuculline and NBQX, suggesting that these mesohippocampal neurons corelease both GABA and glutamate...
July 2016: ENeuro
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