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Neural plasticity

Meng Liao, Haoxing Zhao, Longqian Liu, Qian Li, Yun Dai, Yudong Zhang, Yifeng Zhou
Perceptual learning is considered a potential treatment for amblyopia even in adult patients who have progressed beyond the critical period of visual development because adult amblyopes retain sufficient visual plasticity. When perceptual learning is performed with the correction of high-order aberrations (HOAs), a greater degree of neural plasticity is present in normal adults and those with highly aberrated keratoconic eyes. Because amblyopic eyes show more severe HOAs than normal eyes, it is interesting to study the effects of HOA-corrected visual perceptual learning in amblyopia...
October 18, 2016: Scientific Reports
Eamonn B Mallon, Harindra E Amarasinghe, Swidbert R Ott
Desert locusts (Schistocerca gregaria) show a dramatic form of socially induced phenotypic plasticity known as phase polyphenism. In the absence of conspecifics, locusts occur in a shy and cryptic solitarious phase. Crowding with conspecifics drives a behavioural transformation towards gregariousness that occurs within hours and is followed by changes in physiology, colouration and morphology, resulting in the full gregarious phase syndrome. We analysed methylation-sensitive amplified fragment length polymorphisms (MS-AFLP) to compare the effect of acute and chronic crowding on DNA methylation in the central nervous system...
October 18, 2016: Scientific Reports
M S Patton, D J Lodge, D A Morilak, M Girotti
Deficits in cognitive flexibility are prominent in stress-related psychiatric disorders, including depression. Ketamine has rapid antidepressant efficacy, but it is unknown if ketamine improves cognitive symptoms. In rats, 2 weeks chronic intermittent cold (CIC) stress impairs reversal learning, a form of cognitive flexibility mediated by the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) that we have used previously to model cognitive dysfunction in depression. We have shown that activating JAK2/STAT3 signaling in the OFC rescued the CIC stress-induced reversal learning deficit...
October 17, 2016: Neuropsychopharmacology: Official Publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology
Yi Yang, Juan Wen, Liqiang Guo, Xiang Wan, Peifu Du, Ping Feng, Yi Shi, Qing Wan
Emulating neural behaviors at the synaptic level is of great significance for building neuromorphic computational systems and realizing artificial intelligence. Here, oxide-based electric-double-layer (EDL) thin-film transistors were fabricated by using 3-triethoxysilylpropylamine modified graphene oxide (KH550-GO) electrolyte as the gate dielectrics. Resulting from the EDL effect and electrochemical doping between mobile protons and the indium-zinc-oxide channel layer, long-term synaptic plasticity was emulated in our devices...
October 17, 2016: ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
Rachel A Johnston, Kristina L Paxton, Frank R Moore, Robert K Wayne, Thomas B Smith
The annual migration of a bird can involve thousands of kilometers of non-stop flight, requiring accurately timed seasonal changes in physiology and behavior. Understanding the molecular mechanisms controlling this endogenous programme can provide functional and evolutionary insights into the circannual biological clock and the potential of migratory species to adapt to changing environments. Under naturally-timed photoperiod conditions, we maintained captive Swainson's thrushes (Catharus ustulatus) and performed RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq) of the ventral hypothalamus and optic chiasma to evaluate transcriptome-wide gene expression changes of individuals in migratory condition...
October 16, 2016: Molecular Ecology
Steven W Barger
Ask any neuroscientist to name the most profound discoveries in the field in the past 60 years, and at or near the top of the list will be a phenomenon or technique related to genes and their expression. Indeed, our understanding of genetics and gene regulation has ushered in whole new systems of knowledge and new empirical approaches, many of which could not have even been imagined prior to the molecular biology boon of recent decades. Neurochemistry, in the classic sense, intersects with these concepts in the manifestation of neuropeptides, obviously dependent upon the central dogma (the established rules by which DNA sequence is eventually converted into protein primary structure) not only for their conformation but also for their levels and locales of expression...
October 17, 2016: Journal of Neurochemistry
Xiao-Li Yao, Zhao-Hui Yao, Li Li, Li Nie, Shao-Feng Zhang
Chronic cerebral hypoperfusion (CCH) induces cognitive deficits. Although CCH can be improved, cognitive impairment is not improved accordingly. To date, many studies have focused on investigating the pathophysiological mechanisms of CCH; however, the treatment of the induced cognitive impairment remains ineffective. Thus, the mechanisms underlying cognitive impairment after CCH and potential agents for treating this impairment need to be explored further. Oxiracetam is a nootropic drug that improves clinical outcomes for some central nervous system (CNS) disorders...
October 4, 2016: Psychiatry Research
Simin Soleimanifar, Zahra Jafari, Masoud Motasaddi Zarandy, Houman Asadi, Hamid Haghani
INTRODUCTION: Children with cochlear implants (CIs) may experience few opportunities for positive musical experiences, and musical perception is therefore often not sufficiently developed. This paper investigates and discusses the relationship between intelligence quotient (IQ) and musical ability in children with CIs compared with children with normal hearing. MATERIALS AND METHODS: This was a comparative analytical study conducted in 48 children with unilateral CI and 48 normal-hearing children, 6-8 years of age, with 'normal' IQ and no formal music training...
September 2016: Iranian Journal of Otorhinolaryngology
Marco Bacigaluppi, Gianluca Luigi Russo, Luca Peruzzotti-Jametti, Silvia Rossi, Stefano Sandrone, Erica Butti, Roberta De Ceglia, Andrea Bergamaschi, Caterina Motta, Mattia Gallizioli, Valeria Studer, Emanuela Colombo, Cinthia Farina, Giancarlo Comi, Letterio Salvatore Politi, Luca Muzio, Claudia Villani, Roberto William Invernizzi, Dirk Matthias Hermann, Diego Centonze, Gianvito Martino
: Ischemic stroke is the leading cause of disability, but effective therapies are currently widely lacking. Recovery from stroke is very much dependent on the possibility to develop treatments able to both halt the neurodegenerative process as well as to foster adaptive tissue plasticity. Here we show that ischemic mice treated with neural precursor cell (NPC) transplantation had on neurophysiological analysis, early after treatment, reduced presynaptic release of glutamate within the ipsilesional corticospinal tract (CST), and an enhanced NMDA-mediated excitatory transmission in the contralesional CST...
October 12, 2016: Journal of Neuroscience: the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience
Ying Wang, Wen-Yuan Li, Zhi-Gang Li, Li-Xin Guan, Ling-Xiao Deng
Injury to the nervous system induces localized damage in neural structures and neuronal death through the primary insult, as well as delayed atrophy and impaired plasticity of the delicate dendritic fields necessary for interneuronal communication. Excitotoxicity and other secondary biochemical events contribute to morphological changes in neurons following injury. Evidence suggests that various transcription factors are involved in the dendritic response to injury and potential therapies. Transcription factors play critical roles in the intracellular regulation of neuronal morphological plasticity and dendritic growth and patterning...
October 11, 2016: Neuroscience Bulletin
Alison Mary, Vincent Wens, Marc Op de Beeck, Rachel Leproult, Xavier De Tiège, Philippe Peigneux
Decreased neural plasticity is observed with healthy ageing in the primary sensorimotor (SM1) cortex thought to participate in motor learning and memory consolidation processes. In the present magnetoencephalography study, the post-training reorganization of resting-state functional connectivity (rsFC) and its relation with motor learning and early consolidation in 14 young (19-30 years) and 14 old (66-70 years) healthy participants were investigated. At the behavioral level, participants were trained on a motor sequence learning task then retested 20-30 min later for transient offline gains in performance...
October 11, 2016: Human Brain Mapping
Chiaki Itami, Fumitaka Kimura
Spike timing-dependent plasticity (STDP) has been demonstrated in a variety of neural circuits. Recent studies reveal that it plays a fundamental role in the formation and remodeling of neuronal circuits. We show here an interaction of two distinct forms of STDP in the mouse barrel cortex causing concurrent, plastic changes, potentially a novel mechanism underlying network remodeling. We previously demonstrated that during the second postnatal week, when layer four (L4) cells are forming synapses onto L2/3 cells, L4-L2/3 synapses exhibit STDP with only long-term potentiation (t-LTP)...
October 11, 2016: European Journal of Neuroscience
Atif S Khan, Susan K Patrick, Francois D Roy, Monica A Gorassini, Jaynie F Yang
The neural plasticity of spinal reflexes after two contrasting forms of walking training was determined in individuals with chronic, motor-incomplete spinal cord injury (SCI). Endurance Training involved treadmill walking for as long as possible, and Precision Training involved walking precisely over obstacles and onto targets overground. Twenty participants started either Endurance or Precision Training for 2 months and then crossed over after a 2-month rest period to the other form of training for 2 months...
2016: Neural Plasticity
A Hasan, T Wobrock, B Guse, B Langguth, M Landgrebe, P Eichhammer, E Frank, J Cordes, W Wölwer, F Musso, G Winterer, W Gaebel, G Hajak, C Ohmann, P E Verde, M Rietschel, R Ahmed, W G Honer, P Dechent, B Malchow, M F U Castro, D Dwyer, C Cabral, P M Kreuzer, T B Poeppl, T Schneider-Axmann, P Falkai, N Koutsouleris
Impaired neural plasticity may be a core pathophysiological process underlying the symptomatology of schizophrenia. Plasticity-enhancing interventions, including repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS), may improve difficult-to-treat symptoms; however, efficacy in large clinical trials appears limited. The high variability of rTMS-related treatment response may be related to a comparably large variation in the ability to generate plastic neural changes. The aim of the present study was to determine whether negative symptom improvement in schizophrenia patients receiving rTMS to the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) was related to rTMS-related brain volume changes...
October 11, 2016: Molecular Psychiatry
Elise B Barbeau, Xiaoqian J Chai, Jen-Kai Chen, Jennika Soles, Jonathan Berken, Shari Baum, Kate E Watkins, Denise Klein
Research to date suggests that second language acquisition results in functional and structural changes in the bilingual brain, however, in what way and how quickly these changes occur remains unclear. To address these questions, we studied fourteen English-speaking monolingual adults enrolled in a twelve-week intensive French language-training program in Montreal. Using functional MRI, we investigated the neural changes associated with new language acquisition. The participants were scanned before the start of the immersion program and at the end of the 12 weeks...
October 7, 2016: Neuropsychologia
Sandra M Garraway, J Russell Huie
Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a member of the neurotrophic factor family of signaling molecules. Since its discovery over three decades ago, BDNF has been identified as an important regulator of neuronal development, synaptic transmission, and cellular and synaptic plasticity and has been shown to function in the formation and maintenance of certain forms of memory. Neural plasticity that underlies learning and memory in the hippocampus shares distinct characteristics with spinal cord nociceptive plasticity...
2016: Neural Plasticity
Miguel Aguilera, Manuel G Bedia, Xabier E Barandiaran
The hypothesis that brain organization is based on mechanisms of metastable synchronization in neural assemblies has been popularized during the last decades of neuroscientific research. Nevertheless, the role of body and environment for understanding the functioning of metastable assemblies is frequently dismissed. The main goal of this paper is to investigate the contribution of sensorimotor coupling to neural and behavioral metastability using a minimal computational model of plastic neural ensembles embedded in a robotic agent in a behavioral preference task...
2016: Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience
Carlo Ng Giachello, Richard A Baines
Stability of neural circuits is reliant on homeostatic mechanisms that return neuron activity towards pre-determined and physiologically appropriate levels. Without these mechanisms, changes due to synaptic plasticity, ageing and disease may push neural circuits towards instability. Whilst widely documented, understanding of how and when neurons determine an appropriate activity level, the so-called set-point, remains unknown. Genetically tractable model systems have greatly contributed to our understanding of neuronal homeostasis and continue to offer attractive models to explore these additional questions...
October 6, 2016: Current Opinion in Neurobiology
Catarina Luís, Nazzareno Cannella, Rainer Spanagel, Georg Köhr
High rates of relapse after prolonged abstinence are often triggered by exposure to drug-associated cues that induce drug craving. Incubation of drug craving is a phenomenon that consists of time-dependent increases in cue-induced drug craving during withdrawal. Plasticity mechanisms in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) underlie drug-seeking responses and involve changes in excitatory synaptic transmission's efficacy. In particular, the prefrontal cortex (PFC) glutamatergic input to the NAc core has been well characterized regarding cocaine-evoked plasticity following non-contingent versus contingent exposure to cocaine or alternatively after protracted abstinence...
October 5, 2016: Neurobiology of Learning and Memory
Jun Yamada, Shozo Jinno
Subsets of GABAergic neurons are surrounded by perineuronal nets (PNNs), which play a critical role in regulation of neural plasticity and neuroprotection. Although the plant lectin Wisteria floribunda agglutinin (WFA) has been commonly used to label PNNs, WFA just detects N-acetyl-D -galactosamine on aggrecan, a member of the lectican family. In this study, we used WFA and the antibody against the core protein of aggrecan (ACAN) to investigate the molecular heterogeneity of aggrecan-based PNNs around five subclasses of parvalbumin-positive (PV+) GABAergic neurons in the CA1 and CA3 regions of the mouse hippocampus...
October 7, 2016: Journal of Comparative Neurology
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