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Neural circuitry

Tom A Hummer, K Luan Phan, David W Kern, Martha K McClintock
Evidence suggests the putative human pheromone Δ4,16-androstadien-3-one (androstadienone), a natural component of human sweat, increases attention to emotional information when passively inhaled, even in minute amounts. However, the neural mechanisms underlying androstadienone's impact on the perception of emotional stimuli have not been clarified. To characterize how the compound modifies neural circuitry while attending to emotional information, 22 subjects (11 women) underwent two fMRI scanning sessions, one with an androstadienone solution and one with a carrier control solution alone on their upper lip...
September 29, 2016: Psychoneuroendocrinology
Yun Kyoung Ryu, Reilley P Mathena, Sanghee Lim, Minhye Kwak, Michael Xu, Cyrus D Mintz
BACKGROUND: Early postnatal exposure to general anesthetic agents causes a lasting impairment in learning and memory in animal models. One hypothesis to explain this finding is that exposure to anesthetic agents during critical points in neural development disrupts the formation of brain circuitry. Here, we explore the effects of sevoflurane on the neuronal growth cone, a specialization at the growing end of axons and dendrites that is responsible for the targeted growth that underlies connectivity between neurons...
October 2016: Journal of Neurosurgical Anesthesiology
Clarissa J Whitmire, Garrett B Stanley
Adaptation is fundamental to life. All organisms adapt over timescales that span from evolution to generations and lifetimes to moment-by-moment interactions. The nervous system is particularly adept at rapidly adapting to change, and this in fact may be one of its fundamental principles of organization and function. Rapid forms of sensory adaptation have been well documented across all sensory modalities in a wide range of organisms, yet we do not have a comprehensive understanding of the adaptive cellular mechanisms that ultimately give rise to the corresponding percepts, due in part to the complexity of the circuitry...
October 19, 2016: Neuron
Caroline M Hostetler, Katherine Hinde, Nicole Maninger, Sally P Mendoza, William A Mason, Douglas J Rowland, Guobao B Wang, David Kukis, Simon R Cherry, Karen L Bales
Pair bonding leads to increases in dopamine D1 receptor (D1R) binding in the nucleus accumbens of monogamous prairie voles. In the current study, we hypothesized that there is similar up-regulation of D1R in a monogamous primate, the titi monkey (Callicebus cupreus). Receptor binding of the D1R antagonist [(11) C]-SCH23390 was measured in male titi monkeys using PET scans before and after pairing with a female. We found that within-subject analyses of pairing show significant increases in D1R binding in the lateral septum, but not the nucleus accumbens, caudate, putamen, or ventral pallidum...
October 18, 2016: American Journal of Primatology
Benedetta Vai, Chiara Bulgarelli, Beata R Godlewska, Philip J Cowen, Francesco Benedetti, Catherine J Harmer
The timely selection of the optimal treatment for depressed patients is critical to improve remission rates. The detection of pre-treatment variables able to predict differential treatment response may provide novel approaches for treatment selection. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) modulate the fronto-limbic functional response and connectivity, an effect preceding the overt clinical antidepressant effects. Here we investigated whether the cortico-limbic connectivity associated with emotional bias measured before SSRI administration predicts the efficacy of antidepressant treatment in MDD patients...
October 15, 2016: European Neuropsychopharmacology: the Journal of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology
Maryam Farahmandfar, Mehdi Kadivar, Sareh Rastipisheh
Behavioral abnormalities associated with opiate addiction include memory and learning deficits, which are the result of some alterations in the neuromodulatory systems. Recently, orexin has shown to influence drug addiction neural circuitry, specifically in mediating reward-related perception and memory. To explore the possible interaction of orexinergic and opioidergic system on modulation of learning and memory, we have investigated the effects of intra-dorsal hippocampal (intra-CA1) administration of orexin-1 receptor agonist and the competitive orexin-1 antagonist, SB-334867, on morphine-induced memory impairment by using step-down passive avoidance task in mice...
October 11, 2016: Neuropeptides
Antoine Wystrach, Konstantinos Lagogiannis, Barbara Webb
Taxis behaviour in Drosophila larva is thought to consist of distinct control mechanisms triggering specific actions. Here we support a simpler hypothesis: that taxis results from direct sensory modulation of continuous lateral oscillations of the anterior body, sparing the need for 'action selection'. Our analysis of larvae motion reveals a rhythmic, continuous lateral oscillation of the anterior body, encompassing all head-sweeps, small or large, without breaking the oscillatory rhythm. Further, we show that an agent-model that embeds this hypothesis reproduces a surprising number of taxis signatures observed in larvae...
October 18, 2016: ELife
Matthew D Sacchet, M Catalina Camacho, Emily E Livermore, Ewart A C Thomas, Ian H Gotlib
BACKGROUND: Growing evidence indicates that major depressive disorder (MDD) is characterized by accelerated biological aging, including greater age-related changes in physiological functioning. The disorder is also associated with abnormal neural reward circuitry, particularly in the basal ganglia (BG). Here we assessed age-related changes in BG volume in both patients with MDD and healthy control participants. METHODS: We obtained whole-brain T1-weighted images from patients with MDD and healthy controls...
January 1, 2017: Journal of Psychiatry & Neuroscience: JPN
Monica Perkins, Marien de Bruyne, Melita J Giummarra
There is growing evidence that enhanced sensitivity to painful clinical procedures and chronic pain are related to greater sensitivity to other sensory inputs, such as bitter taste. We examined cross-modal sensitivities in two studies. Study 1 assessed associations between bitter taste sensitivity, pain tolerance, and fear of pain in 48 healthy young adults. Participants were classified as non-tasters, tasters and super-tasters using a bitter taste test (6-n-propythiouracil; PROP). The latter group had significantly higher fear of pain (Fear of Pain Questionnaire) than tasters (p=...
October 14, 2016: Attention, Perception & Psychophysics
Allison N Macdonald, Katrina B Goines, Derek M Novacek, Elaine F Walker
Accumulating behavioral and genetic research suggests that most forms of psychopathology share common genetic and neural vulnerabilities and are manifestations of a relatively few core underlying processes. These findings support the view that comorbidity mostly arises, not from true co-occurrence of distinct disorders, but from the behavioral expression of shared vulnerability processes across the life span. The purpose of this review is to examine the role of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) in the shared vulnerability mechanisms underlying the clinical phenomena of comorbidity from a transdiagnostic and ontogenic perspective...
November 2016: Development and Psychopathology
Jeff Walker, Jason MacLean, Nicholas G Hatsopoulos
The common marmoset has recently gained interest as an animal model for systems and behavioral neuroscience. This is due in part to the advent of transgenic marmosets, which affords the possibility of combining genetic manipulations with physiological recording and behavioral monitoring to study neural systems. In this review, we will argue that the marmoset provides a unique opportunity to study the neural basis of voluntary motor control from an integrative perspective. First, as an intermediate animal model, the marmoset represents an important bridge in motor system function between other primates, including humans, and rodents...
October 14, 2016: Developmental Neurobiology
Zheng Zheng, Simeng Gu, Yu Lei, Shanshan Lu, Wei Wang, Yang Li, Fushun Wang
"Safety first," we say these words almost every day, but we all take this for granted for what Maslow proposed in his famous theory of Hierarchy of Needs: safety needs come second to physiological needs. Here we propose that safety needs come before physiological needs. Safety needs are personal security, financial security, and health and well-being, which are more fundamental than physiological needs. Safety worrying is the major reason for mental disorders, such as anxiety, phobia, depression, and PTSD. The neural basis for safety is amygdala, LC/NE system, and corticotrophin-releasing hormone system, which can be regarded as a "safety circuitry," whose major behavior function is "fight or flight" and "fear and anger" emotions...
2016: Neural Plasticity
A-M D'Cruz, M W Mosconi, M E Ragozzino, E H Cook, J A Sweeney
Restricted and repetitive behaviors, and a pronounced preference for behavioral and environmental consistency, are distinctive characteristics of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Alterations in frontostriatal circuitry that supports flexible behavior might underlie this behavioral impairment. In an functional magnetic resonance imaging study of 17 individuals with ASD, and 23 age-, gender- and IQ-matched typically developing control participants, reversal learning tasks were used to assess behavioral flexibility as participants switched from one learned response choice to a different response choice when task contingencies changed...
October 11, 2016: Translational Psychiatry
Ulrike Halsband, Thomas Gerhard Wolf
Visiting the dentist is often accompanied by apprehension or anxiety. People, who suffer from specific dental phobia, a disproportional fear of dental procedures show psychological and physiological symptoms which make dental treatments difficult or impossible. For such purposes, hypnosis is often used in dental practice as an alternative for a number of treatments adjuvant or instead of sedation or general anesthetic, as medication is often associated with risks and side effects. This is the first study to address the effects of a brief dental hypnosis on the fear processing structures of the brain in dental phobics using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)...
October 6, 2016: Journal of Physiology, Paris
Alexey Ostroumov, Alyse M Thomas, Blake A Kimmey, Jordan S Karsch, William M Doyon, John A Dani
Stress is a well-known risk factor for subsequent alcohol abuse, but the neural mechanisms underlying interactions between stress and alcohol remain largely unknown. Addictive drug reinforcement and stress signaling involve common neural circuitry, including the mesolimbic dopamine system. We demonstrate in rodents that pre-exposure to stress attenuates alcohol-induced dopamine responses and increases alcohol self-administration. The blunted dopamine signaling resulted from ethanol-induced excitation of GABA neurons in the ventral tegmental area...
October 4, 2016: Neuron
Angelina Paolozza, Douglas P Munoz, Donald Brien, James N Reynolds
BACKGROUND: Saccades are rapid eye movements that bring an image of interest onto the retina. Previous research has found that in healthy individuals performing eye movement tasks, the location of a previous visual target can influence performance of the saccade on the next trial. This rapid behavioral adaptation represents a form of immediate neural plasticity within the saccadic circuitry. Our studies have shown that children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) are impaired on multiple saccade measures...
September 22, 2016: Alcoholism, Clinical and Experimental Research
Vivian Y Poon, Minxia Gu, Fang Ji, Antonius M VanDongen, Marc Fivaz
BACKGROUND: MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are short non-coding RNAs that are emerging as important post-transcriptional regulators of neuronal and synaptic development. The precise impact of miRNAs on presynaptic function and neurotransmission remains, however, poorly understood. RESULTS: Here, we identify miR-27b-an abundant neuronal miRNA implicated in neurological disorders-as a global regulator of the presynaptic transcriptome. miR-27b influences the expression of three quarters of genes associated with presynaptic function in cortical neurons...
October 4, 2016: BMC Genomics
Emilio Salazar-Gatzimas, Juyue Chen, Matthew S Creamer, Omer Mano, Holly B Mandel, Catherine A Matulis, Joseph Pottackal, Damon A Clark
Animals estimate visual motion by integrating light intensity information over time and space. The integration requires nonlinear processing, which makes motion estimation circuitry sensitive to specific spatiotemporal correlations that signify visual motion. Classical models of motion estimation weight these correlations to produce direction-selective signals. However, the correlational algorithms they describe have not been directly measured in elementary motion-detecting neurons (EMDs). Here, we employed stimuli to directly measure responses to pairwise correlations in Drosophila's EMD neurons, T4 and T5...
October 5, 2016: Neuron
Israel Liberzon, James L Abelson
Progress in clinical and affective neuroscience is redefining psychiatric illness as symptomatic expression of cellular/molecular dysfunctions in specific brain circuits. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has been an exemplar of this progress, with improved understanding of neurobiological systems subserving fear learning, salience detection, and emotion regulation explaining much of its phenomenology and neurobiology. However, many features remain unexplained and a parsimonious model that more fully accounts for symptoms and the core neurobiology remains elusive...
October 5, 2016: Neuron
Devesh Mishra, Jose Ignacio Pena-Bravo, Kah-Chung Leong, Antonieta Lavin, Carmela M Reichel
World-wide methamphetamine (meth) use is increasing at a rapid rate; therefore, it has become increasingly important to understand the synaptic changes and neural mechanisms affected by drug exposure. In rodents, 6-h access to contingent meth results in an escalation of drug intake and impaired cognitive sequelae typically associated with changes within the corticostriatal circuitry. There is a dearth of knowledge regarding the underlying physiological changes within this circuit following meth self-administration...
October 5, 2016: Brain Structure & Function
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