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Andreas Vetter, Simone Ferrari, Patrik Rath, Rasoul Alaee, Oliver Kahl, Vadim Kovalyuk, Silvia Diewald, Gregory N Goltsman, Alexander Korneev, Carsten Rockstuhl, Wolfram Hp Pernice
Ultrafast single-photon detectors with high efficiency are of utmost importance for many applications in the context of integrated quantum photonic circuits. Detectors based on superconductor nanowires attached to optical waveguides are particularly appealing for this purpose. However, their speed is limited because the required high absorption efficiency necessitates long nanowires deposited on top of the waveguide. This enhances the kinetic inductance and makes the detectors slow. Here, we solve this problem by aligning the nanowire, contrary to usual choice, perpendicular to the waveguide to realize devices with a length below 1 µm...
October 19, 2016: Nano Letters
Simon A Moss, Melanie Irons, Martin Boland
BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Lecturers often present entertaining videos, or organize a variety of amusing demonstrations, to foster student engagement or to encourage critical analysis. Magic tricks, in particular, have been shown to activate neural circuits that underpin motivation or problem-solving and, therefore, could be beneficial during lectures. Nevertheless, we hypothesize that, unless the method that underpins these tricks is revealed, students may ruminate over possible explanations, distracting attention from the lecture material...
October 18, 2016: British Journal of Educational Psychology
Guangtao Xu, Ruibing Su, Junyao Lv, Xiaoping Lai, Xianxian Li, Jiayan Wu, Bo Hu, Long Xu, Ruilin Shen, Jiang Gu, Xiaojun Yu
Specific morphological changes may be absent in some cases of electrocution shocked by the voltage of 220 V or lower. In this study, we attempted to demonstrate that the anterior wrist and medial malleolus were the optimal sites with promising and significant changes in electric death through the hand-to-foot circuit pathway. We established an electric shock rat model and observed histopathologic changes in the anterior wrist and medial malleolus. The results showed that the current intensities in the left anterior wrist and right medial malleolus were remarkably higher than those in the other sites, and the nuclei long/short (L/S) axis ratios of the arterial endotheliocyte and the skeletal muscle cell in these two areas were significantly higher than those in other parts of the body...
October 17, 2016: International Journal of Legal Medicine
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
Inga Newie, Rolf Søkilde, Helena Persson, Thiago Jacomasso, Andrej Gorbatenko, Åke Borg, Michiel de Hoon, Stine F Pedersen, Carlos Rovira
We previously reported that the human HER2 gene encodes the intronic microRNA mir-4728, which is overexpressed together with its oncogenic host gene and may act independently of the HER2 receptor. More recently, we also reported that the oncogenic miR-21-5p is regulated by 3' tailing and trimming by the non-canonical poly(A) polymerase PAPD5 and the ribonuclease PARN. Here we demonstrate a dual function for the HER2 locus in upregulation of miR-21-5p; while HER2 signalling activates transcription of mir-21, miR-4728-3p specifically stabilises miR-21-5p through inhibition of PAPD5...
October 18, 2016: Scientific Reports
J E LeDoux, J Moscarello, R Sears, V Campese
Research on avoidance conditioning began in the late 1930s as a way to use laboratory experiments to better understand uncontrollable fear and anxiety. Avoidance was initially conceived of as a two-factor learning process in which fear is first acquired through Pavlovian aversive conditioning (so-called fear conditioning), and then behaviors that reduce the fear aroused by the Pavlovian conditioned stimulus are reinforced through instrumental conditioning. Over the years, criticisms of both the avoidance paradigm and the two-factor fear theory arose...
October 18, 2016: Molecular Psychiatry
David J Anderson
Goal-directed social behaviours such as mating and fighting are associated with scalable and persistent internal states of emotion, motivation, arousal or drive. How those internal states are encoded and coupled to behavioural decision making and action selection is not clear. Recent studies in Drosophila melanogaster and mice have identified circuit nodes that have causal roles in the control of innate social behaviours. Remarkably, in both species, these relatively small groups of neurons can influence both aggression and mating, and also play a part in the encoding of internal states that promote these social behaviours...
October 18, 2016: Nature Reviews. Neuroscience
Neil C Ford, Mark L Baccei
Spinal lamina I projection neurons serve as a major conduit by which noxious stimuli detected in the periphery are transmitted to nociceptive circuits in the brain, including the parabrachial nucleus (PB) and the periaqueductal gray (PAG). While neonatal spino-PB neurons are more than twice as likely to exhibit spontaneous activity compared to spino-PAG neurons, the underlying mechanisms remain unclear since nothing is known about the voltage-independent (i.e. 'leak') ion channels expressed by these distinct populations during early life...
October 14, 2016: Neuroscience
Anthony G Hudetz, Jeannette A Vizuete, Siveshigan Pillay, George A Mashour
Consciousness has been linked to the repertoire of brain states at various spatiotemporal scales. Anesthesia is thought to modify consciousness by altering information integration in cortical and thalamocortical circuits. At a mesoscopic scale, neuronal populations in the cortex form synchronized ensembles whose characteristics are presumably state-dependent but this has not been rigorously tested. In this study, spontaneous neuronal activity was recorded with 64-contact microelectrode arrays in primary visual cortex of chronically instrumented, unrestrained rats under stepwise decreasing levels of desflurane anesthesia (8%, 6%, 4%, and 2% inhaled concentrations) and wakefulness (0% concentration)...
October 14, 2016: Neuroscience
Christopher S Medina, Octavian Biris, Tomas L Falzone, Xiaowei Zhang, Amber J Zimmerman, Elaine L Bearer
Microtubule-based motors carry cargo back and forth between the synaptic region and the cell body. Defects in axonal transport result in peripheral neuropathies, some of which are caused by mutations in KIF5A, a gene encoding one of the heavy chain isoforms of conventional kinesin-1. Some mutations in KIF5A also cause severe central nervous system defects in humans. While transport dynamics in the peripheral nervous system have been well characterized experimentally, transport in the central nervous system is less experimentally accessible and until now not well described...
October 14, 2016: NeuroImage
Virginia Mela, Sara Jimenez, Alejandra Freire-Regatillo, Vicente Barrios, Eva-María Marco, Ana-Belén Lopez-Rodriguez, Jesús Argente, María-Paz Viveros, Julie A Chowen
The neonatal leptin surge, occurring from postnatal day (PND) 5 to 13 and peaking at PND9 in rodents, is important for the development of neuroendocrine circuits involved in metabolic control and reproductive function. We previously demonstrated that treatment with a leptin antagonist from PND 5 to 9, coincident with peak leptin levels in the neonatal surge, modified trophic factors and markers of cell turnover and neuronal maturation in the hypothalamus of peri-pubertal rats. The kisspeptin system and metabolic neuropeptide and hormone levels were also modified...
October 14, 2016: Peptides
E Mark Mahone, Deana Crocetti, Laura Tochen, Tina Kline, Stewart H Mostofsky, Harvey S Singer
BACKGROUND: Complex motor stereotypies in children are repetitive rhythmic movements that have a predictable pattern and location, seem purposeful, but serve no obvious function, tend to be prolonged, and stop with distraction, e.g., arm or hand flapping, waving. They occur in both "primary" (otherwise typically developing) and secondary conditions. These movements are best defined as habitual behaviors and therefore pathophysiologically hypothesized to reside in premotor to posterior putamen circuits...
September 8, 2016: Pediatric Neurology
Qishui Zhong, Fuli Zhong, Jun Cheng, Hui Li, Shouming Zhong
This paper presents a state of charge (SOC) estimation method based on fractional order sliding mode observer (SMO) for lithium-ion batteries. A fractional order RC equivalent circuit model (FORCECM) is firstly constructed to describe the charging and discharging dynamic characteristics of the battery. Then, based on the differential equations of the FORCECM, fractional order SMOs for SOC, polarization voltage and terminal voltage estimation are designed. After that, convergence of the proposed observers is analyzed by Lyapunov's stability theory method...
October 14, 2016: ISA Transactions
Chunyang Zhou, Dali Liu, Changtong Wu, Shaojun Dong, Erkang Wang
In this work, we have successfully realized the multi-valued logic circuits including ternary INHIBIT and ternary OR logic gates in an enzyme-free condition by integration of graphene oxide and DNA for the first time. Compared to the binary logic gate with two states of "0" and "1", the multi-valued logic gate contains three different states of "0" and "1" and "2", which can increase the information content in a system and further improve the ability of information processing. Such type of multi-valued logic operations provides a wilder field of vision towards DNA-based algebra logical operations to make the applications more accurate with complexity reduction and accelerate the development of advanced logic gates...
October 18, 2016: ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
Ana G Pereira, Marta A Moita
Avoiding or escaping a predator is arguably one of the most important functions of a prey's brain, hence of most animals' brains. Studies on fear conditioning have greatly advanced our understanding of the circuits that regulate learned defensive behaviours. However, animals possess a multitude of threat detection mechanisms, from hardwired circuits that ensure innate responses to predator cues, to the use of social information. Surprisingly, only more recently have these circuits captured the attention of a wider range of researchers working on different species and behavioural paradigms...
October 14, 2016: Current Opinion in Neurobiology
Quan Xu, Xiaoqiang Su, Chunmei Ouyang, Ningning Xu, Wei Cao, Yuping Zhang, Quan Li, Cong Hu, Jianqiang Gu, Zhen Tian, Abul K Azad, Jiaguang Han, Weili Zhang
Recently reported active metamaterial analogues of electromagnetically induced transparency (EIT) are promising in developing novel optical components, such as active slow light devices. However, most of the previous works have focused on manipulating the EIT resonance strength at a fixed characteristic frequency and, therefore, realized on-to-off switching responses. To further extend the functionalities of the EIT effect, here we present a frequency tunable EIT analogue in the terahertz regime by integrating photoactive silicon into the metamaterial unit cell...
October 1, 2016: Optics Letters
K M Naga Srinivas Nadella, Hana Roš, Chiara Baragli, Victoria A Griffiths, George Konstantinou, Theo Koimtzis, Geoffrey J Evans, Paul A Kirkby, R Angus Silver
Understanding how neural circuits process information requires rapid measurements of activity from identified neurons distributed in 3D space. Here we describe an acousto-optic lens two-photon microscope that performs high-speed focusing and line scanning within a volume spanning hundreds of micrometers. We demonstrate its random-access functionality by selectively imaging cerebellar interneurons sparsely distributed in 3D space and by simultaneously recording from the soma, proximal and distal dendrites of neocortical pyramidal cells in awake behaving mice...
October 17, 2016: Nature Methods
Anthony Holtmaat, Pico Caroni
Learning and memory are associated with the formation and modification of neuronal assemblies: populations of neurons that encode what has been learned and mediate memory retrieval upon recall. Functional studies of neuronal assemblies have progressed dramatically thanks to recent technological advances. Here we discuss how a focus on assembly formation and consolidation has provided a powerful conceptual framework to relate mechanistic studies of synaptic and circuit plasticity to behaviorally relevant aspects of learning and memory...
October 17, 2016: Nature Neuroscience
Siyu Zhang, Min Xu, Wei-Cheng Chang, Chenyan Ma, Johnny Phong Hoang Do, Daniel Jeong, Tiffany Lei, Jiang Lan Fan, Yang Dan
Long-range projections from the frontal cortex are known to modulate sensory processing in multiple modalities. Although the mouse has become an increasingly important animal model for studying the circuit basis of behavior, the functional organization of its frontal cortical long-range connectivity remains poorly characterized. Here we used virus-assisted circuit mapping to identify the brain networks for top-down modulation of visual, somatosensory and auditory processing. The visual cortex is reciprocally connected to the anterior cingulate area, whereas the somatosensory and auditory cortices are connected to the primary and secondary motor cortices...
October 17, 2016: Nature Neuroscience
Joshua Kim, Michele Pignatelli, Sangyu Xu, Shigeyoshi Itohara, Susumu Tonegawa
The basolateral amygdala (BLA) is a site of convergence of negative and positive stimuli and is critical for emotional behaviors and associations. However, the neural substrate for negative and positive behaviors and relationship between negative and positive representations in the basolateral amygdala are unknown. Here we identify two genetically distinct, spatially segregated populations of excitatory neurons in the mouse BLA that participate in valence-specific behaviors and are connected through mutual inhibition...
October 17, 2016: Nature Neuroscience
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