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Computational neurobiology

Alexey Petrushin, Lorenzo Ferrara, Axel Blau
OBJECTIVE: In light of recent progress in mapping neural function to behavior, we briefly and selectively review past and present endeavors to reveal and reconstruct nervous system function in Caenorhabditis elegans through simulation. APPROACH: Rather than presenting an all-encompassing review on the mathematical modeling of C. elegans, this contribution collects snapshots of pathfinding key works and emerging technologies that recent single- and multi-center simulation initiatives are building on...
October 14, 2016: Journal of Neural Engineering
Denise M Werchan, Anne G E Collins, Michael J Frank, Dima Amso
: Recent research indicates that adults and infants spontaneously create and generalize hierarchical rule sets during incidental learning. Computational models and empirical data suggest that, in adults, this process is supported by circuits linking prefrontal cortex (PFC) with striatum and their modulation by dopamine, but the neural circuits supporting this form of learning in infants are largely unknown. We used near-infrared spectroscopy to record PFC activity in 8-month-old human infants during a simple audiovisual hierarchical-rule-learning task...
October 5, 2016: Journal of Neuroscience: the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience
Cihan Bilge Kayasandik, Demetrio Labate
BACKGROUND: Automated detection and segmentation of somas in fluorescent images of neurons is a major goal in quantitative studies of neuronal networks, including applications of high-content-screenings where it is required to quantify multiple morphological properties of neurons. Despite recent advances in image processing targeted to neurobiological applications, existing algorithms of soma detection are often unreliable, especially when processing fluorescence image stacks of neuronal cultures...
September 26, 2016: Journal of Neuroscience Methods
Andrew A Nicholson, Daniela Rabellino, Maria Densmore, Paul A Frewen, Christian Paret, Rosemarie Kluetsch, Christian Schmahl, Jean Théberge, Richard W J Neufeld, Margaret C McKinnon, Jim Reiss, Rakesh Jetly, Ruth A Lanius
Amygdala dysregulation has been shown to be central to the pathophysiology of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) representing a critical treatment target. Here, amygdala downregulation was targeted using real-time fMRI neurofeedback (rt-fMRI-nf) in patients with PTSD, allowing us to examine further the regulation of emotional states during symptom provocation. Patients (n = 10) completed three sessions of rt-fMRI-nf with the instruction to downregulate activation in the amygdala, while viewing personalized trauma words...
September 20, 2016: Human Brain Mapping
Connor Lane, Shipra Kanjlia, Hilary Richardson, Anne Fulton, Akira Omaki, Marina Bedny
Language processing depends on a left-lateralized network of frontotemporal cortical regions. This network is remarkably consistent across individuals and cultures. However, there is also evidence that developmental factors, such as delayed exposure to language, can modify this network. Recently, it has been found that, in congenitally blind individuals, the typical frontotemporal language network expands to include parts of "visual" cortices. Here, we report that blindness is also associated with reduced left lateralization in frontotemporal language areas...
September 20, 2016: Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience
Sigurd Ziegler, Mads L Pedersen, Athanasia M Mowinckel, Guido Biele
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is characterized by altered Decision-making (DM) and reinforcement learning (RL), for which competing theories propose alternative explanations. Computational modelling contributes to understanding DM and RL by integrating behavioural and neurobiological findings, and could elucidate pathogenic mechanisms behind ADHD. This review of neurobiological theories of ADHD describes predictions for the effect of ADHD on DM and RL as described by the Drift-Diffusion Model of DM (DDM) and a basic RL model...
September 5, 2016: Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews
Jose V Oron Semper, Jose I Murillo, Javier Bernacer
In this article we introduce the hypothesis that neuropsychological adolescent maturation, and in particular emotional management, may have opposing explanations depending on the interpretation of the assumed brain architecture, that is, whether a componential computational account (CCA) or a dynamic systems perspective (DSP) is used. According to CCA, cognitive functions are associated with the action of restricted brain regions, and this association is temporally stable; by contrast, DSP argues that cognitive functions are better explained by interactions between several brain areas, whose engagement in specific functions is temporal and context-dependent and based on neural reuse...
2016: Frontiers in Psychology
Joyce Keifer, Cliff H Summers
Current trends in neuroscience research have moved toward a reliance on rodent animal models to study most aspects of brain function. Such laboratory-reared animals are highly inbred, have been disengaged from their natural environments for generations and appear to be of limited predictive value for successful clinical outcomes. In this Perspective article, we argue that research on a rich diversity of animal model systems is fundamental to new discoveries in evolutionarily conserved core physiological and molecular mechanisms that are the foundation of human brain function...
2016: Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience
Chun-Chieh Lin, Olena Riabinina, Christopher J Potter
A key challenge in neurobiology is to understand how neural circuits function to guide appropriate animal behaviors. Drosophila melanogaster is an excellent model system for such investigations due to its complex behaviors, powerful genetic techniques, and compact nervous system. Laboratory behavioral assays have long been used with Drosophila to simulate properties of the natural environment and study the neural mechanisms underlying the corresponding behaviors (e.g. phototaxis, chemotaxis, sensory learning and memory)(1-3)...
2016: Journal of Visualized Experiments: JoVE
Anna Höflich, Andreas Hahn, Martin Küblböck, Georg S Kranz, Thomas Vanicek, Sebastian Ganger, Marie Spies, Christian Windischberger, Siegfried Kasper, Dietmar Winkler, Rupert Lanzenberger
Over the last years, a number of studies have been conducted to clarify the neurobiological correlates of ketamine application. However, comprehensive information regarding the influence of ketamine on cortical activity is still lacking. Using resting-state functional MRI and integrating pharmacokinetic information, a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, crossover study was performed to determine the effects of ketamine on neuronal activation. During a 55 min resting-state fMRI scan, esketamine (Ketanest S(®)) was administered intravenously to 35 healthy volunteers...
August 30, 2016: Brain Structure & Function
Christoph Teufel, Paul C Fletcher
Computational models have become an integral part of basic neuroscience and have facilitated some of the major advances in the field. More recently, such models have also been applied to the understanding of disruptions in brain function. In this review, using examples and a simple analogy, we discuss the potential for computational models to inform our understanding of brain function and dysfunction. We argue that they may provide, in unprecedented detail, an understanding of the neurobiological and mental basis of brain disorders and that such insights will be key to progress in diagnosis and treatment...
October 2016: Brain: a Journal of Neurology
Steve Furber
Neuromorphic computing covers a diverse range of approaches to information processing all of which demonstrate some degree of neurobiological inspiration that differentiates them from mainstream conventional computing systems. The philosophy behind neuromorphic computing has its origins in the seminal work carried out by Carver Mead at Caltech in the late 1980s. This early work influenced others to carry developments forward, and advances in VLSI technology supported steady growth in the scale and capability of neuromorphic devices...
October 2016: Journal of Neural Engineering
Athanasios Vourvopoulos, Sergi Bermúdez I Badia
BACKGROUND: The use of Brain-Computer Interface (BCI) technology in neurorehabilitation provides new strategies to overcome stroke-related motor limitations. Recent studies demonstrated the brain's capacity for functional and structural plasticity through BCI. However, it is not fully clear how we can take full advantage of the neurobiological mechanisms underlying recovery and how to maximize restoration through BCI. In this study we investigate the role of multimodal virtual reality (VR) simulations and motor priming (MP) in an upper limb motor-imagery BCI task in order to maximize the engagement of sensory-motor networks in a broad range of patients who can benefit from virtual rehabilitation training...
2016: Journal of Neuroengineering and Rehabilitation
A Cantisani, K Stegmayer, T Bracht, A Federspiel, R Wiest, H Horn, T J Müller, C Schneider, O Höfle, W Strik, S Walther
OBJECTIVE: Psychomotor abnormalities characterize both unipolar (UP) depression and bipolar (BP) depression. We aimed to assess their neurobiological correlates in terms of motor activity (AL) and resting-state cerebral blood flow (rCBF) and investigate their association in BP, UP, and healthy controls (HC). METHOD: We enrolled 42 depressed patients (22 BP, 20 UP) and 19 HC matched for age, gender, education, income. AL and rCBF were objectively assessed with the use of wrist actigraphy and arterial spin labeling...
October 2016: Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica
Priyanka Vijay, Alexa B R McIntyre, Christopher E Mason, Jeffrey P Greenfield, Sheng Li
Next-generation sequencing (NGS) approaches are highly applicable to clinical studies. We review recent advances in sequencing technologies, as well as their benefits and tradeoffs, to provide an overview of clinical genomics from study design to computational analysis. Sequencing technologies enable genomic, transcriptomic, and epigenomic evaluations. Studies that use a combination of whole genome, exome, mRNA, and bisulfite sequencing are now feasible due to decreasing sequencing costs. Single-molecule sequencing increases read length, with the MinIONTM nanopore sequencer, which offers a uniquely portable option at a lower cost...
2016: Critical Reviews in Eukaryotic Gene Expression
Andreas Heinz, Lorenz Deserno, Ulrich S Zimmermann, Michael N Smolka, Anne Beck, Florian Schlagenhauf
Alcohol use disorder (AUD) and addiction in general is characterized by failures of choice resulting in repeated drug intake despite severe negative consequences. Behavioral change is hard to accomplish and relapse after detoxification is common and can be promoted by consumption of small amounts of alcohol as well as exposure to alcohol-associated cues or stress. While those environmental factors contributing to relapse have long been identified, the underlying psychological and neurobiological mechanism on which those factors act are to date incompletely understood...
July 29, 2016: NeuroImage
E Zaccarella, A D Friederici
The review focuses on the neurobiological literature concerning the specific human ability to process linguistic hierarchies. First, we will discuss current ethological studies dedicated to the comparison between human and non-human animals for the processing of different grammar types. We will inspect the functional neuroanatomical structures of human and non-human primates more closely, including human developmental data, thereby suggesting interesting phylogenetic and ontogenetic differences. We then examine the neural reality of the Merge computation, being the most fundamental mechanism regulating natural language syntax, and offer new evidence for a possible localization of Merge in the most ventral anterior portion of BA 44...
July 29, 2016: Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews
Liuba Papeo, Jean-Rémy Hochmann, Lorella Battelli
Negation is a fundamental component of human reasoning and language. Yet, current neurocognitive models, conceived to account for the cortical representation of meanings (e.g., writing), hardly accommodate the representation of negated meanings (not writing). One main hypothesis, known as the two-step model, proposes that, for negated meanings, the corresponding positive representation is first fully activated and then modified to reflect negation. Recast in neurobiological terms, this model predicts that, in the initial stage of semantic processing, the neural representation of a stimulus' meaning is indistinguishable from the neural representation of that meaning following negation...
July 26, 2016: Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience
Byeongsu Park, Doug Hyun Han, Sungwon Roh
In the last ten years, numerous neurobiological studies have been conducted on Internet addiction or Internet use disorder. Various neurobiological research methods-such as magnetic resonance imaging; nuclear imaging modalities, including positron emission tomography and single photon emission computed tomography; molecular genetics; and neurophysiologic methods-have made it possible to discover structural or functional impairments in the brains of individuals with Internet use disorder. Specifically, Internet use disorder is associated with structural or functional impairment in the orbitofrontal cortex, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, anterior cingulate cortex, and posterior cingulate cortex...
July 23, 2016: Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences
Karl Friston, Harriet R Brown, Jakob Siemerkus, Klaas E Stephan
Twenty years have passed since the dysconnection hypothesis was first proposed (Friston and Frith, 1995; Weinberger, 1993). In that time, neuroscience has witnessed tremendous advances: we now live in a world of non-invasive neuroanatomy, computational neuroimaging and the Bayesian brain. The genomics era has come and gone. Connectomics and large-scale neuroinformatics initiatives are emerging everywhere. So where is the dysconnection hypothesis now? This article considers how the notion of schizophrenia as a dysconnection syndrome has developed - and how it has been enriched by recent advances in clinical neuroscience...
October 2016: Schizophrenia Research
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