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Computational neurobiology

Marc A Dämgen, Philip C Biggin
Many proteins that are central to key aspects of neurobiology undergo conformational changes as part of their function, usually in response to a stimulus. Often, these proteins are embedded within a membrane, which creates particular experimental challenges to surmount. This has resulted in computational methods providing a valuable complementary tool for some time now, especially in the development of working models at atomic resolution. Indeed, molecular dynamics MD) simulations are now routinely applied to new structures, either as part of the initial analysis or as part of an automated pipeline...
March 5, 2018: Neuroscience Letters
Jessica A Cooper, Amanda R Arulpragasam, Michael T Treadway
Anhedonia is a severe condition that describes a near-complete absence of enjoyment, motivation, and interest. A core feature of depression, clinical manifestations of anhedonia can include deficits in experiencing pleasure, approach-related motivated behavior, and learning how to match expectations to the environment. To date, the precise neurobiological mechanisms of anhedonia in major depression are still poorly understood. We have previously argued that contradictory findings and the inability to identify specific neurobiological substrates for anhedonic symptoms may result from sample heterogeneity, suboptimal methods of assessment, and the challenge of dissociating between different components of anhedonia...
August 2018: Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences
Madhavi Tripathi, Atin Kumar, Chandrasekhar Bal
Neuroimaging (NI) in Parkinson's disease (PD) includes functional techniques like positron emission tomography (PET) and single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), and morphological imaging using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and transcranial sonography to probe different aspects of the neurobiology of PD. Changes in neurotransmitters in various regions of the brain and their influence on brain networks is the basis for the motor symptoms of PD which are interrogated by NI. The recent Movement Disorders Society Clinical Diagnostic Criteria for PD (MDS-PD) have included the results of a few of these neuroimaging techniques to serve as single supportive criteria or absolute exclusion criteria for the diagnosis of PD...
March 2018: Neurology India
Clifford J Sussman, James M Harper, Jessica L Stahl, Paul Weigle
In the past 2 decades, there has been substantial increase in availability and use of digital technologies, including the Internet, computer games, smart phones, and social media. Behavioral addiction to use of technologies spawned a body of related research. The recent inclusion of Internet gaming disorder as a condition for further study in the DSM-V invigorated a new wave of researchers, thereby expanding our understanding of these conditions. This article reviews current research, theory, and practice regarding the diagnosis, epidemiology, and neurobiology of Internet and video game addictions...
April 2018: Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics of North America
Kai-Christian Sonntag, Tsung-Ung W Woo
Laser microdissection in combination with gene expression profiling using postmortem human brain tissue provides a powerful approach to interrogating cell type-specific pathologies within neural circuits that are known to be dysfunctional in neuropsychiatric disorders. The success of these experiments critically depends on a number of factors, such as the cellular purity of the sample, the quality of the RNA, the methodologies of data normalization and computational data analysis, and how data are interpreted...
2018: Handbook of Clinical Neurology
James E Clark, Stuart Watson, Karl J Friston
The neurobiological understanding of mood, and by extension mood disorders, remains elusive despite decades of research implicating several neuromodulator systems. This review considers a new approach based on existing theories of functional brain organisation. The free energy principle (a.k.a. active inference), and its instantiation in the Bayesian brain, offers a complete and simple formulation of mood. It has been proposed that emotions reflect the precision of - or certainty about - the predicted sensorimotor/interoceptive consequences of action...
February 26, 2018: Psychological Medicine
Brooke Donnelly, Stephen Touyz, Phillipa Hay, Amy Burton, Janice Russell, Ian Caterson
Objective: In recent decades there has been growing interest in the use of neuroimaging techniques to explore the structural and functional brain changes that take place in those with eating disorders. However, to date, the majority of research has focused on patients with anorexia nervosa. This systematic review addresses a gap in the literature by providing an examination of the published literature on the neurobiology of individuals who binge eat; specifically, individuals with bulimia nervosa (BN) and binge eating disorder (BED)...
2018: Journal of Eating Disorders
Mirre Stallen, Filippo Rossi, Amber Heijne, Ale Smidts, Carsten K W De Dreu, Alan G Sanfey
People are particularly sensitive to injustice. Accordingly, deeper knowledge regarding the processes that underlie the perception of injustice, and the subsequent decisions to either punish transgressors or compensate victims, is of important social value. By combining a novel decision-making paradigm with functional neuroimaging, we identified specific brain networks that are involved with both the perception of, and response to, social injustice, with reward-related regions preferentially involved in punishment compared to compensation...
February 19, 2018: Journal of Neuroscience: the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience
Gustav Markkula, Erwin Boer, Richard Romano, Natasha Merat
A conceptual and computational framework is proposed for modelling of human sensorimotor control and is exemplified for the sensorimotor task of steering a car. The framework emphasises control intermittency and extends on existing models by suggesting that the nervous system implements intermittent control using a combination of (1) motor primitives, (2) prediction of sensory outcomes of motor actions, and (3) evidence accumulation of prediction errors. It is shown that approximate but useful sensory predictions in the intermittent control context can be constructed without detailed forward models, as a superposition of simple prediction primitives, resembling neurobiologically observed corollary discharges...
February 16, 2018: Biological Cybernetics
Zachariah R Cross, Mark J Kohler, Matthias Schlesewsky, M G Gaskell, Ina Bornkessel-Schlesewsky
We hypothesize a beneficial influence of sleep on the consolidation of the combinatorial mechanisms underlying incremental sentence comprehension. These predictions are grounded in recent work examining the effect of sleep on the consolidation of linguistic information, which demonstrate that sleep-dependent neurophysiological activity consolidates the meaning of novel words and simple grammatical rules. However, the sleep-dependent consolidation of sentence-level combinatorics has not been studied to date...
2018: Frontiers in Human Neuroscience
Athena Akrami, Charles D Kopec, Mathew E Diamond, Carlos D Brody
Many models of cognition and of neural computations posit the use and estimation of prior stimulus statistics: it has long been known that working memory and perception are strongly impacted by previous sensory experience, even when that sensory history is not relevant to the current task at hand. Nevertheless, the neural mechanisms and regions of the brain that are necessary for computing and using such prior experience are unknown. Here we report that the posterior parietal cortex (PPC) is a critical locus for the representation and use of prior stimulus information...
February 7, 2018: Nature
Steven E Hyman
An epochal opportunity to elucidate the pathogenic mechanisms of psychiatric disorders has emerged from advances in genomic technology, new computational tools and the growth of international consortia committed to data sharing. The resulting large-scale, unbiased genetic studies have begun to yield new biological insights and with them the hope that a half century of stasis in psychiatric therapeutics will come to an end. Yet a sobering picture is coming into view; it reveals daunting genetic and phenotypic complexity portending enormous challenges for neurobiology...
March 19, 2018: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences
Avinash C Tripathi, Savita Upadhyay, Sarvesh Paliwal, Shailendra K Saraf
This review aims to be a comprehensive, authoritative, critical, and readable review of general interest to the medicinal chemistry community because it focuses on the pharmacological, chemical, structural and computational aspects of diverse chemical categories as monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). Monoamine oxidases (MAOs), namely MAO-A and MAO-B represent an enormously valuable class of neuronal enzymes embodying neurobiological origin and functions, serving as potential therapeutic target in neuronal pharmacotherapy, and hence we have coined the term "Neurozymes" which is being introduced for the first time ever...
January 4, 2018: European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry
Henriette Edemann-Callesen, Bettina Habelt, Franziska Wieske, Mark Jackson, Niranjan Khadka, Daniele Mattei, Nadine Bernhardt, Andreas Heinz, David Liebetanz, Marom Bikson, Frank Padberg, Ravit Hadar, Michael A Nitsche, Christine Winter
Involuntary movements as seen in repetitive disorders such as Tourette Syndrome (TS) results from cortical hyperexcitability that arise due to striato-thalamo-cortical circuit (STC) imbalance. Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is a stimulation procedure that changes cortical excitability, yet its relevance in repetitive disorders such as TS remains largely unexplored. Here, we employed the dopamine transporter-overexpressing (DAT-tg) rat model to investigate behavioral and neurobiological effects of frontal tDCS...
January 10, 2018: Translational Psychiatry
Uri Hertz, Stefano Palminteri, Silvia Brunetti, Cecilie Olesen, Chris D Frith, Bahador Bahrami
Research on social influence has focused mainly on the target of influence (e.g., consumer and voter); thus, the cognitive and neurobiological underpinnings of the source of the influence (e.g., politicians and salesmen) remain unknown. Here, in a three-sided advice-giving game, two advisers competed to influence a client by modulating their own confidence in their advice about which lottery the client should choose. We report that advisers' strategy depends on their level of influence on the client and their merit relative to one another...
December 19, 2017: Nature Communications
Florian Bolenz, Andrea M F Reiter, Ben Eppinger
Our ability to learn from the outcomes of our actions and to adapt our decisions accordingly changes over the course of the human lifespan. In recent years, there has been an increasing interest in using computational models to understand developmental changes in learning and decision-making. Moreover, extensions of these models are currently applied to study socio-emotional influences on learning in different age groups, a topic that is of great relevance for applications in education and health psychology...
2017: Frontiers in Psychology
A L van der Straten, D Denys, G A van Wingen
Neurobiological models of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) posit that its clinical symptoms such as repetitive thoughts and behaviors are related to hyperactivity in the cortico-striato-thalamo-cortical (CSTC) circuit. Small scale neuroimaging studies have shown that treatment of OCD is associated with reduced activity across different brain structures within this circuitry. We performed the first meta-analysis of positron emission tomography (PET) and single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) studies that investigated cerebral blood flow or glucose metabolism in patients with OCD before and after pharmacological or psychological treatment...
December 12, 2017: Scientific Reports
Matthias Guggenmos, Katharina Schmack, Maria Sekutowicz, Maria Garbusow, Miriam Sebold, Christian Sommer, Michael N Smolka, Hans-Ulrich Wittchen, Ulrich S Zimmermann, Andreas Heinz, Philipp Sterzer
The premature aging hypothesis of alcohol dependence proposes that the neurobiological and behavioural deficits in individuals with alcohol dependence are analogous to those of chronological aging. However, to date no systematic neurobiological evidence for this hypothesis has been provided. To test the hypothesis, 119 alcohol-dependent subjects and 97 age- and gender-matched healthy control subjects underwent structural MRI. Whole-brain grey matter volume maps were computed from structural MRI scans using voxel-based morphometry and parcelled into a comprehensive set of anatomical brain regions...
December 11, 2017: Translational Psychiatry
Benjamin Naumann, Lennart Olsson
Xenopus laevis is one of the most widely used model organism in neurobiology. It is therefore surprising, that no detailed and complete description of the cranial nerves exists for this species. Using classical histological sectioning in combination with fluorescent whole mount antibody staining and micro-computed tomography we prepared a detailed innervation map and a freely-rotatable three-dimensional (3D) model of the cranial nerves and anterior-most spinal nerves of early X. laevis tadpoles. Our results confirm earlier descriptions of the pre-otic cranial nerves and present the first detailed description of the post-otic cranial nerves...
April 1, 2018: Journal of Comparative Neurology
Morris Freedman, Malcolm Binns, Fuqiang Gao, Melissa Holmes, Austyn Roseborough, Stephen Strother, Antonino Vallesi, Stanley Jeffers, Claude Alain, Peter Whitehouse, Jennifer D Ryan, Robert Chen, Michael D Cusimano, Sandra E Black
CONTEXT: Despite a large literature on psi, which encompasses a range of experiences including putative telepathy (mind-mind connections), clairvoyance (perceiving distant objects or events), precognition (perceiving future events), and mind-matter interactions, there has been insufficient focus on the brain in relation to this controversial phenomenon. In contrast, our research is based on a novel neurobiological model suggesting that frontal brain systems act as a filter to inhibit psi and that the inhibitory mechanisms may relate to self-awareness...
January 2018: Explore: the Journal of Science and Healing
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