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Cognitive learning

Wolfgang Enard
Humans are a remarkable species, especially because of the remarkable properties of their brain. Since the split from the chimpanzee lineage, the human brain has increased three-fold in size and has acquired abilities for vocal learning, language and intense cooperation. To better understand the molecular basis of these changes is of great biological and biomedical interest. However, all the about 16 million fixed genetic changes that occurred during human evolution are fully correlated with all molecular, cellular, anatomical and behavioral changes that occurred during this time...
October 24, 2016: Current Biology: CB
Meghan M McConnell, Sandra Monteiro, Molly M Pottruff, Alan Neville, Geoff R Norman, Kevin W Eva, Kulamakan Kulasegaram
PURPOSE: Training to become a physician is an emotionally laden experience. Research in cognitive psychology indicates that emotions can influence learning and performance, but the materials used in such research (e.g., word lists) rarely reflect the complexity of material presented in medical school. The present study examined whether emotions influence learning of basic science principles. METHOD: Fifty-five undergraduate psychology students were randomly assigned to write about positive, negative, or neutral life events for nine minutes...
November 2016: Academic Medicine: Journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges
Kathleen Vancleef, Raf Meesen, Stephan P Swinnen, Hakuei Fujiyama
Previously, transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) over the primary motor cortex (M1) has resulted in improved performance in simple motor tasks. For a complex bimanual movement, studies using functional magnetic resonance imaging and transcranial magnetic stimulation indicated the involvement of the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) as well as left M1. Here we investigated the relative effect of up-regulating the cortical function in left DLPFC and left M1 with tDCS. Participants practised a complex bimanual task over four days while receiving either of five stimulation protocols: anodal tDCS applied over M1, anodal tDCS over DLPFC, sham tDCS over M1, sham tDCS over DLPFC, or no stimulation...
October 25, 2016: Scientific Reports
Benoît Silvestre de Ferron, Catherine Vilpoux, Myriam Kervern, Alexandre Robert, Johan Antol, Mickael Naassila, Olivier Pierrefiche
Low to moderate perinatal ethanol exposure (PEE) may have disastrous consequences for the central nervous system resulting notably in permanent cognitive deficits. Learning and memory are mediated in the hippocampus by long-term potentiation (LTP) and long term depression (LTD), two forms of synaptic plasticity. PEE decreases LTP but also abnormally facilitates LTD (Kervern et al. ) through a presently unknown mechanism. We studied in rat hippocampus slice, the involvement of the chloride co-transporters NKCC1 and KCC2, in the role of GABAA inhibitions in facilitated LTD after moderate PEE...
October 25, 2016: Addiction Biology
Ira G Federspiel, Alexis Garland, David Guez, Thomas Bugynar, Susan D Healy, Onur Güntürkün, Andrea S Griffin
Establishment in urbanized environments is associated with changes in physiology, behaviour, and problem-solving. We compared the speed of learning in urban and rural female common mynas, Acridotheres tristis, using a standard visual discrimination task followed by a reversal learning phase. We also examined how quickly each bird progressed through different stages of learning, including sampling and acquisition within both initial and reversal learning, and persistence following reversal. Based on their reliance on very different food resources, we expected urban mynas to learn and reversal learn more quickly but to sample new contingencies for proportionately longer before learning them...
October 24, 2016: Animal Cognition
A Mateus-Pinheiro, N D Alves, P Patrício, A R Machado-Santos, E Loureiro-Campos, J M Silva, V M Sardinha, J Reis, H Schorle, J F Oliveira, J Ninkovic, N Sousa, L Pinto
Hippocampal neurogenesis has been proposed to participate in a myriad of behavioral responses, both in basal states and in the context of neuropsychiatric disorders. Here, we identify activating protein 2γ (AP2γ, also known as Tcfap2c), originally described to regulate the generation of neurons in the developing cortex, as a modulator of adult hippocampal glutamatergic neurogenesis in mice. Specifically, AP2γ is present in a sub-population of hippocampal transient amplifying progenitors. There, it is found to act as a positive regulator of the cell fate determinants Tbr2 and NeuroD, promoting proliferation and differentiation of new glutamatergic granular neurons...
October 25, 2016: Molecular Psychiatry
Satomi Miwa, Rafal Czapiewski, Tengfei Wan, Amy Bell, Kirsten N Hill, Thomas von Zglinicki, Gabriele Saretzki
Telomerase in its canonical function maintains telomeres in dividing cells. In addition, the telomerase protein TERT has non-telomeric functions such as shuttling to mitochondria resulting in a decreased oxidative stress, DNA damage and apoptosis. TERT protein persists in adult neurons and can co-localise to mitochondria under various stress conditions. We show here that TERT expression decreased in mouse brain during aging while release of reactive oxygen species (ROS) from the mitochondrial electron transport chain increased...
October 22, 2016: Aging
Zhao-Guang Tan, Wei-Hong Gao, Xiang-Sheng Cai, Fang Wang, Hong-Xiang Hui
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the effect of glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) on cognitive dysfunction in diabetic rats. METHODS: Male SD rats were randomly divided into normal control group, diabetes mellitus (DM) group, and GLP-1 treatment group. Rat models of type 2 diabetes were established by high-sugar and high-fat feeding and streptozotocin (STZ) injection, and 25 days after the onset of diabetes, GLP-1 was infused in GLP-1 treatment group at the rate of 30 pmol·kg(-1)·min(-1) via a subcutaneous osmotic pump for 7 days...
October 20, 2016: Nan Fang Yi Ke da Xue Xue Bao, Journal of Southern Medical University
Siamak Ahshin-Majd, Samira Zamani, Taktom Kiamari, Zahra Kiasalari, Tourandokht Baluchnejadmojarad, Mehrdad Roghani
Diabetic patients are at increased risk to develop cognitive deficit and senile dementia. This study was planned to assess the benefits of chronic carnosine administration on prevention of learning and memory deterioration in streptozotocin (STZ)-diabetic rats and to explore some of the involved mechanisms. Rats were divided into 5 groups: i.e., control, carnosine100-treated control, diabetic, and carnosine-treated diabetics (50 and 100mg/kg). Carnosine was injected i.p. at doses of 50 or 100mg/kg for 7 weeks, started 1 week after induction of diabetes using streptozotocin...
October 21, 2016: Peptides
Nadja Affenzeller, Rupert Palme, Helen Zulch
Situations that are emotional and arousing have an effect on cognitive performance. It is thought that beta adrenergic activation and the release of stress hormones enhance memory consolidation and lead to an increase in memorability of emotional events. This beneficial effect has been shown in humans, non-human primates and rodents. Techniques which could enhance memory for learning specific tasks would be highly valuable, especially in dogs, which are extensively trained to aid humans. A pseudo-randomized, counterbalanced, between subject study designs was utilised and 16 Labrador Retrievers ranging from 1 to 9years of age were trained in a 2-choice discrimination paradigm...
October 21, 2016: Physiology & Behavior
V S Kokhan, M I Matveeva, A S Bazyan, V S Kudrin, A Mukhametov, A S Shtemberg
Space flight factors (SFF) significantly affect the operating activity of astronauts during deep space missions. In contrast to an orbital flight, leaving the Earth's magnetic field is fraught with the dangers of exposure to ionizing radiation and more specifically, the high-energy nuclei component of galactic cosmic rays. Microgravity, just another critical non-radiation factor, significantly affects the normal functioning of the CNS. Some morphological structures of the brain, such as the prefrontal cortex and the hippocampus, that are rich in monoaminergic and acetylcholinergic neurones, are the most sensitive to the effects of ionizing radiation and non-radiation spaceflight factors (SFF)...
October 21, 2016: Behavioural Brain Research
Cutter A Lindbergh, Catherine M Mewborn, Billy R Hammond, Lisa M Renzi-Hammond, Joanne M Curran-Celentano, L Stephen Miller
OBJECTIVES: It is well known that the carotenoids lutein (L) and zeaxanthin (Z) improve eye health and an accumulating evidence base suggests cognitive benefits as well. The present study investigated underlying neural mechanisms using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). It was hypothesized that lower L and Z concentrations would be associated with neurobiological inefficiency (i.e., increased activation) during cognitive performance. METHODS: Forty-three community-dwelling older adults (mean age=72 years; 58% female; 100% Caucasian) were asked to learn and recall pairs of unrelated words in an fMRI-adapted paradigm...
October 25, 2016: Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society: JINS
Manel Ben Aissa, Sue H Lee, Brian M Bennett, Gregory R J Thatcher
cAMP-response element-binding protein (CREB) plays a central role in various aspects of central nervous system (CNS) function, ranging from the developmental stages to neuronal plasticity and survival in adult brain. Activation of CREB plays a crucial role in learning and memory and is at the convergence of multiple intracellular signaling cascades including CAMKII and MAPK. This review focuses on the important functions of nitric oxide (NO) in activating CREB via the NO receptor, soluble guanylyl cyclase (sGC), and production of the second messenger, cGMP...
2016: Current Medicinal Chemistry
Laila Khedher, Ignacio A Illán, Juan M Górriz, Javier Ramírez, Abdelbasset Brahim, Anke Meyer-Baese
Computer-aided diagnosis (CAD) systems constitute a powerful tool for early diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease (AD), but limitations on interpretability and performance exist. In this work, a fully automatic CAD system based on supervised learning methods is proposed to be applied on segmented brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) from Alzheimer's disease neuroimaging initiative (ADNI) participants for automatic classification. The proposed CAD system possesses two relevant characteristics: optimal performance and visual support for decision making...
July 22, 2016: International Journal of Neural Systems
Paulina R Davis, Ginevra Giannini, Karin Rudolph, Nathaniel Calloway, Christopher M Royer, Tina L Beckett, M Paul Murphy, Frederick Bresch, Dieter Pagani, Thomas Platt, Xiaohong Wang, Amy Skinner Donovan, Tiffany L Sudduth, Wenjie Lou, Erin Abner, Richard Kryscio, Donna M Wilcock, Edward G Barrett, Elizabeth Head
Beta-amyloid (Aβ) immunotherapy is a promising intervention to slow Alzheimer's disease. Aging dogs naturally accumulate Aβ and show cognitive decline. An active vaccine against fibrillar Aβ 1-42 (VAC) in aged beagles resulted in maintenance but not improvement of cognition along with reduced brain Aβ. Behavioral enrichment (ENR) led to cognitive benefits but no reduction in Aβ. We hypothesized cognitive outcomes could be improved by combining VAC with ENR in aged dogs. Aged dogs (11-12 years) were placed into 4 groups: (1) control/control (C/C); (2) control/VAC (C/V); (3) ENR/control (E/C); and (4) ENR/VAC (E/V) and treated for 20 months...
September 26, 2016: Neurobiology of Aging
Cathy Joanna Jensen, Frauke Demol, Romy Bauwens, Ron Kooijman, Ann Massie, Agnès Villers, Laurence Ris, Jacques De Keyser
In vitro and in vivo studies suggest that the astrocytic adrenergic signalling enhances glycogenolysis which provides energy to be transported to nearby cells and in the form of lactate. This energy source is important for motor and cognitive functioning. While it is suspected that the β2-adrenergic receptor on astrocytes might contribute to this energy balance, it has not yet been shown conclusively in vivo. Inducible astrocyte specific β2-adrenergic receptor knock-out mice were generated by crossing homozygous β2-adrenergic receptor floxed mice (Adrb2flox) and mice with heterozygous tamoxifen-inducible Cre recombinase-expression driven by the astrocyte specific L-glutamate/L-aspartate transporter promoter (GLAST-CreERT2)...
2016: PloS One
Laura Campbell-Sills, Peter P Roy-Byrne, Michelle G Craske, Alexander Bystritsky, Greer Sullivan, Murray B Stein
BACKGROUND: Many patients with anxiety disorders remain symptomatic after receiving evidence-based treatment, yet research on treatment-resistant anxiety is limited. We evaluated effects of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) on outcomes of patients with medication-resistant anxiety disorders using data from the Coordinated Anxiety Learning and Management (CALM) trial. METHODS: Primary care patients who met study entry criteria (including DSM-IV diagnosis of generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, or social anxiety disorder) despite ongoing pharmacotherapy of appropriate type, dose, and duration were classified as medication resistant (n = 227)...
October 24, 2016: Depression and Anxiety
Erin Hawkins, Susan Gathercole, Duncan Astle, The Calm Team, Joni Holmes
Symptoms of inattention and hyperactivity frequently co-occur with language difficulties in both clinical and community samples. We explore the specificity and strength of these associations in a heterogeneous sample of 254 children aged 5 to 15 years identified by education and health professionals as having problems with attention, learning and/or memory. Parents/carers rated pragmatic and structural communication skills and behaviour, and children completed standardised assessments of reading, spelling, vocabulary, and phonological awareness...
October 21, 2016: Brain Sciences
Sherie Ma, Craig M Smith, Anna Blasiak, Andrew L Gundlach
Relaxin-3 is a member of a superfamily of structurally-related peptides that includes relaxin and insulin-like peptide hormones. Soon after the discovery of the relaxin-3 gene, relaxin-3 was identified as an abundant neuropeptide in brain with a distinctive topographical distribution within a small number of GABA neuron populations that is well conserved across species. Relaxin-3 is thought to exert its biological actions through a single class-A GPCR - relaxin-family peptide receptor 3 (RXFP3). Class-A comprises GPCRs for relaxin-3 and insulin-like peptide-5 and other peptides such as orexin and the monoamine transmitters...
October 23, 2016: British Journal of Pharmacology
Berna van Wendel de Joode, Ana M Mora, Christian H Lindh, David Hernández-Bonilla, Leonel Córdoba, Catharina Wesseling, Jane A Hoppin, Donna Mergler
Certain pesticides may affect children's neurodevelopment. We assessed whether pesticide exposure was associated with impaired neurobehavioral outcomes in children aged 6-9 years. We conducted a cross-sectional study in 140 children living near banana plantations and plantain farms in the Talamanca County, Costa Rica and assessed their neurobehavioral performance. Exposure was determined by analyzing urinary metabolites of chlorpyrifos (3,5,6-trichloro-2-pyridinol, TCPy), mancozeb (ethylenethiourea, ETU), and pyrethroids (3-phenoxybenzoic acid, 3-PBA)...
September 15, 2016: Cortex; a Journal Devoted to the Study of the Nervous System and Behavior
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