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Paul C Knox, Ian J C MacCormick, Emme Mbale, Macpherson Malewa, Gabriela Czanner, Simon P Harding
Paediatric cerebral malaria is the most serious complication of Plasmodium falciparum infection. While the majority recover, long-term cognitive impairment has been highlighted as a significant and neglected problem. Persistent or serious deficits in processes such as attention or behavioural inhibition should be manifest in changes to performance on oculomotor tasks. Therefore we investigated the impact of cerebral malaria on the development of reflexive pro-saccades and antisaccades. In a longitudinal study, 47 children previously admitted with retinopathy-confirmed cerebral malaria (mean age at admission 54 months), were compared with 37 local healthy controls (mean ages at first study visit 117 and 110 months respectively)...
2016: PloS One
Samuele Maramai, Sandra Gemma, Simone Brogi, Giuseppe Campiani, Stefania Butini, Holger Stark, Margherita Brindisi
D3 receptors represent a major focus of current drug design and development of therapeutics for dopamine-related pathological states. Their close homology with the D2 receptor subtype makes the development of D3 selective antagonists a challenging task. In this review, we explore the relevance and therapeutic utility of D3 antagonists or partial agonists endowed with multireceptor affinity profile in the field of central nervous system disorders such as schizophrenia and drug abuse. In fact, the peculiar distribution and low brain abundance of D3 receptors make them a valuable target for the development of drugs devoid of motor side effects classically elicited by D2 antagonists...
2016: Frontiers in Neuroscience
Patrícia Romano Opasso, Simone Dos Santos Barreto, Karin Zazo Ortiz
Objective: To establish normative parameters for the F-A-S form of the phonemic verbal fluency test, in a population of Brazilian Portuguese speaking adults with high-level literacy. Methods: The sample comprised 40 male and female volunteers aged 19 to 59 years, and at least 8 years of formal education. Volunteers were first submitted to the Mini-Mental State Examination and the Clock Drawing cognitive screening tests, then to the F-A-S Verbal Phonemic Fluency Test; in this test, examinees were given 60 seconds to generate as many words as possible beginning with each of the three test letters...
July 2016: Einstein
Rebecca M Stanley, Rachel A Jones, Dylan P Cliff, Stewart G Trost, Donna Berthelsen, Jo Salmon, Marijka Batterham, Simon Eckermann, John J Reilly, Ngiare Brown, Karen J Mickle, Steven J Howard, Trina Hinkley, Xanne Janssen, Paul Chandler, Penny Cross, Fay Gowers, Anthony D Okely
BACKGROUND: Participation in regular physical activity (PA) during the early years helps children achieve healthy body weight and can substantially improve motor development, bone health, psychosocial health and cognitive development. Despite common assumptions that young children are naturally active, evidence shows that they are insufficiently active for health and developmental benefits. Exploring strategies to increase physical activity in young children is a public health and research priority...
October 19, 2016: BMC Public Health
Xu Li, Zhi Li, Ke Li, Ya-Wei Zeng, Hai-Song Shi, Wen-Lan Xie, Zhuo-Ya Yang, Simon S Y Lui, Eric F C Cheung, Ada W S Leung, Raymond C K Chan
Anhedonia, the diminished ability to experience pleasure, is a challenging negative symptom in patients with schizophrenia and can be observed in at-risk individuals with schizotypy. Deficits in hedonic processing have been postulated to be related to decreased motivation to engage in potentially rewarding events. It remains unclear whether non-pharmacological interventions, such as cognitive training, could improve anhedonia. The present study aimed to examine the neural mechanism for alleviating hedonic deficits with working memory (WM) training in individuals with social anhedonia...
October 18, 2016: Scientific Reports
Michael V Lombardo, Meng-Chuan Lai, Bonnie Auyeung, Rosemary J Holt, Carrie Allison, Paula Smith, Bhismadev Chakrabarti, Amber N V Ruigrok, John Suckling, Edward T Bullmore, Christine Ecker, Michael C Craig, Declan G M Murphy, Francesca Happé, Simon Baron-Cohen
Individuals affected by autism spectrum conditions (ASC) are considerably heterogeneous. Novel approaches are needed to parse this heterogeneity to enhance precision in clinical and translational research. Applying a clustering approach taken from genomics and systems biology on two large independent cognitive datasets of adults with and without ASC (n = 694; n = 249), we find replicable evidence for 5 discrete ASC subgroups that are highly differentiated in item-level performance on an explicit mentalizing task tapping ability to read complex emotion and mental states from the eye region of the face (Reading the Mind in the Eyes Test; RMET)...
October 18, 2016: Scientific Reports
Jason C Siegler, Paul W M Marshall, David Bishop, Greg Shaw, Simon Green
A large proportion of empirical research and reviews investigating the ergogenic potential of sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3) supplementation have focused predominately on performance outcomes and only speculate about underlying mechanisms responsible for any benefit. The aim of this review was to critically evaluate the influence of NaHCO3 supplementation on mechanisms associated with skeletal muscle fatigue as it translates directly to exercise performance. Mechanistic links between skeletal muscle fatigue, proton accumulation (or metabolic acidosis) and NaHCO3 supplementation have been identified to provide a more targeted, evidence-based approach to direct future research, as well as provide practitioners with a contemporary perspective on the potential applications and limitations of this supplement...
December 2016: Sports Medicine—Open
Witold X Chmielewski, Christian Beste
In everyday life successful acting often requires to inhibit automatic responses that might not be appropriate in the current situation. These response inhibition processes have been shown to become aggravated with increasing automaticity of pre-potent response tendencies. Likewise, it has been shown that inhibitory processes are complicated by a concurrent engagement in additional cognitive control processes (e.g. conflicting monitoring). Therefore, opposing processes (i.e. automaticity and cognitive control) seem to strongly impact response inhibition...
October 11, 2016: NeuroImage
Youssef Shiban, Julia Dieme, Simone Brandl, Rebecca Zack, Andreas Mühlberger, Stefan Wüst
The Trier Social Stress Test (TSST) is considered a reliable paradigm for inducing psychosocial stress. Virtual reality (VR) has successfully been applied to ensure a greater degree of efficiency and standardization in the TSST. Studies using the TSST in VR (VR-TSST) have reported significant stress reactions, with subjective and peripheral physiological reactions comparable to those in response to the in vivo TSST and with lower cortisol reactions. The current study examined whether an additional virtual competitive factor triggers larger stress responses than a standard VR-TSST...
October 11, 2016: International Journal of Psychophysiology
Wolf Schwarz, Dennis Reike
We present two experiments in which participants classify stimuli having two potentially conflicting attributes, one of which is response-relevant whereas the other ("irrelevant") attribute is logically and statistically independent of the response. We introduce a novel design not used with filtering tasks before in which the main factor is the local (i.e., one-step) transition probability π (= 0.25, 0.50, 0.75) that the irrelevant attribute is repeated from one trial to the next. Experiment 1 involved a visual Simon task in which the color of the stimulus is relevant and its location is irrelevant...
October 13, 2016: Attention, Perception & Psychophysics
Brenna M Flannery, Donald A Bruun, Douglas J Rowland, Christopher N Banks, Adam T Austin, David L Kukis, Yonggang Li, Byron D Ford, Daniel J Tancredi, Jill L Silverman, Simon R Cherry, Pamela J Lein
BACKGROUND: Acute intoxication with organophosphorus (OP) cholinesterase inhibitors can trigger convulsions that progress to life-threatening status epilepticus. Survivors face long-term morbidity including mild-to-severe decline in memory. It is posited that neuroinflammation plays a key role in the pathogenesis of OP-induced neuropsychiatric deficits. Rigorous testing of this hypothesis requires preclinical models that recapitulate relevant phenotypic outcomes. Here, we describe a rat model of acute intoxication with the OP diisopropylfluorophosphate (DFP) that exhibits persistent neuroinflammation and cognitive impairment...
October 12, 2016: Journal of Neuroinflammation
Sergio A Recio, Adela F Iliescu, Simón P Mingorance, Germán D Bergés, Geoffrey Hall, Isabel de Brugada
Although modeled on procedures used with nonhuman animals, some recent studies of perceptual learning in humans, using complex visual stimuli, differ in that they usually instruct participants to look for differences between the to-be-discriminated stimuli. This could encourage the use of mechanisms not available to animal subjects. To investigate the role of instructions, in 2 experiments, participants were given preexposure to checkerboards that were similar except for the presence of a small distinctive feature on each...
October 2016: Journal of Experimental Psychology. Animal Learning and Cognition
Margaret E Webb, Daniel R Little, Simon J Cropper
The feeling of insight in problem solving is typically associated with the sudden realization of a solution that appears obviously correct (Kounios et al., 2006). Salvi et al. (2016) found that a solution accompanied with sudden insight is more likely to be correct than a problem solved through conscious and incremental steps. However, Metcalfe (1986) indicated that participants would often present an inelegant but plausible (wrong) answer as correct with a high feeling of warmth (a subjective measure of closeness to solution)...
2016: Frontiers in Psychology
Kenneth R Paap, Sawi Oliver
BACKGROUND: Studies testing for individual or group differences in executive functioning can be compromised by unknown test-retest reliability. NEW METHOD: Test-retest reliabilities across an interval of about one week were obtained from performance in the antisaccade, flanker, Simon, and color-shape switching tasks. There is a general trade-off between the greater reliability of single mean RT measures, and the greater process purity of measures based on contrasts between mean RTs in two conditions...
October 6, 2016: Journal of Neuroscience Methods
Jinyan Li, Simon Fong, Shirley Siu, Sabah Mohammed, Jinan Fiaidhi, Kelvin K L Wong
Drug design involves classification of protein binding which is usually done in a computer simulation prior to extensive actual tests. Accurate classification of protein binding is essential but it is obstructed with a very challenging task of feature selection (FS) because there are too many potential features. Dorothea as a case of virtual screening in drug design, has 100,000 features that inflate to a very huge (of size 2(100,000) possible candidate feature subsets to be selected) but very sparse search space...
September 30, 2016: Computerized Medical Imaging and Graphics: the Official Journal of the Computerized Medical Imaging Society
Jack DiGiovanna, Nadia Dominici, Lucia Friedli, Jacopo Rigosa, Simone Duis, Julie Kreider, Janine Beauparlant, Rubia van den Brand, Marco Schieppati, Silvestro Micera, Grégoire Courtine
: Contrary to cats and primates, cortical contribution to hindlimb locomotor movements is not critical in rats. However, the importance of the motor cortex to regain locomotion after neurological disorders in rats suggests that cortical engagement in hindlimb motor control may depend on the behavioral context. To investigate this possibility, we recorded whole-body kinematics, muscle synergies, and hindlimb motor cortex modulation in freely moving rats performing a range of natural locomotor procedures...
October 5, 2016: Journal of Neuroscience: the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience
Soleil García-Brito, Ignacio Morgado-Bernal, Neus Biosca-Simon, Pilar Segura-Torres
Intracranial self-Stimulation (ICSS) of the medial forebrain bundle is a treatment capable of consistently facilitating acquisition of learning and memory in a wide array of experimental paradigms in rats. However, the evidence supporting this effect on implicit memory comes mainly from classical conditioning and avoidance tasks. The present work aims to determine whether ICSS would also improve the performance of rats in another type of implicit task such as cued simultaneous visual discrimination in the Morris Water Maze...
October 1, 2016: Behavioural Brain Research
Emma Yhnell, Stephen B Dunnett, Simon P Brooks
Huntington's disease (HD) is characterised by motor symptoms which are often preceded by cognitive and behavioural changes, that can significantly contribute to disease burden for people living with HD. Numerous knock-in mouse models of HD are currently available for scientific research. However, before their use, they must be behaviourally characterised to determine their suitability in recapitulating the symptoms of the human condition. Thus, we sought to longitudinally characterise the nature, severity and time course of cognitive and behavioural changes observed in HdhQ111 heterozygous knock-in mice...
2016: PloS One
Simon J Hazenberg, Rob van Lier
In three experiments, we investigated the influence of object-specific sounds on haptic scene recognition without vision. Blindfolded participants had to recognize, through touch, spatial scenes comprising six objects that were placed on a round platform. Critically, in half of the trials, object-specific sounds were played when objects were touched (bimodal condition), while sounds were turned off in the other half of the trials (unimodal condition). After first exploring the scene, two objects were swapped and the task was to report, which of the objects swapped positions...
July 2016: I-Perception
Daniel J Simons, Walter R Boot, Neil Charness, Susan E Gathercole, Christopher F Chabris, David Z Hambrick, Elizabeth A L Stine-Morrow
In 2014, two groups of scientists published open letters on the efficacy of brain-training interventions, or "brain games," for improving cognition. The first letter, a consensus statement from an international group of more than 70 scientists, claimed that brain games do not provide a scientifically grounded way to improve cognitive functioning or to stave off cognitive decline. Several months later, an international group of 133 scientists and practitioners countered that the literature is replete with demonstrations of the benefits of brain training for a wide variety of cognitive and everyday activities...
October 2016: Psychological Science in the Public Interest: a Journal of the American Psychological Society
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