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Amanda R Tarullo, Joseph R Isler, Carmen Condon, Kimon Violaris, Peter D Balsam, William P Fifer
Using an eyelid conditioning paradigm modeled after that developed by Little, Lipsitt, and Rovee-Collier (1984), Fifer et al. (2010) demonstrated that newborn infants learn during sleep. This study examined the role of sleep state in neonatal learning. We recorded electroencephalogram (EEG), respiratory, and cardiovascular activity from sleeping full term newborn infants during delay eyelid conditioning. In the experimental group (n = 21), a tone was paired with an air puff to the eye. Consistent with Fifer et al...
November 2016: Developmental Psychobiology
Amy S Joh
This study examined sex difference in spatial reasoning, a type of spatial cognition necessary for everyday activities. An aggregated data set was composed of data from 273 3- to 4-year olds who participated in 12 different studies using variants of the same spatial reasoning task. This data set was used to investigate whether and how sex difference is related to learning opportunities through training. The results showed that boys outperform girls in general, but this sex difference was influenced by training...
November 2016: Developmental Psychobiology
Yanan Cao, Xiangyi Cao, Zhenzhu Yue, Ling Wang
Behavioral and recent neuroimaging findings have shown reversal of interference effects due to manipulating proportion congruency (PC), which suggests that task-irrelevant stimulus-response (S-R) associations are strengthened and applied to predict responses. However, it is unclear how the strengthened S-R associations are represented and applied in the brain. We investigated with a between-subjects PC paradigm of the Hedge and Marsh task using electroencephalography (EEG). The behavioral results showed the reversal of the conflict effects, suggesting that task-irrelevant S-R associations were strengthened and used to prepare responses...
October 17, 2016: Cognitive, Affective & Behavioral Neuroscience
Yiye Shao, Yonghao Feng, Yangmei Xie, Qiong Luo, Long Chen, Bing Li, Yinghui Chen
Inflammation plays a pivotal role in status epilepticus (SE). Thymoquinone (TQ) is a bioactive monomer extracted from black seed (Nigella sativa) oil, which has anti-inflammatory properties in the context of various diseases. This study explored the protective effects of TQ in SE and used a lithium-pilocarpine model of SE to investigate the underlying mechanism, which was related to inflammation mediated by the NF-κB signaling pathway. In the present study, latency to SE increased in the TQ-pretreated group compared with the SE group, and the incidence of SE was significantly reduced...
October 18, 2016: Neurochemical Research
Farzaneh Karimi-Alavijeh, Saeed Jalili, Masoumeh Sadeghi
BACKGROUND: Metabolic syndrome which underlies the increased prevalence of cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes is considered as a group of metabolic abnormalities including central obesity, hypertriglyceridemia, glucose intolerance, hypertension, and dyslipidemia. Recently, artificial intelligence based health-care systems are highly regarded because of its success in diagnosis, prediction, and choice of treatment. This study employs machine learning technics for predict the metabolic syndrome...
May 2016: ARYA Atherosclerosis
Quynh C Nguyen, Dapeng Li, Hsien-Wen Meng, Suraj Kath, Elaine Nsoesie, Feifei Li, Ming Wen
BACKGROUND: Studies suggest that where people live, play, and work can influence health and well-being. However, the dearth of neighborhood data, especially data that is timely and consistent across geographies, hinders understanding of the effects of neighborhoods on health. Social media data represents a possible new data resource for neighborhood research. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to build, from geotagged Twitter data, a national neighborhood database with area-level indicators of well-being and health behaviors...
October 17, 2016: JMIR Public Health and Surveillance
Claudia Balducci, Angelisa Frasca, Margherita Zotti, Pietro La Vitola, Emanuela Mhillaj, Emanuele Grigoli, Martina Iacobellis, Federica Grandi, Massimo Messa, Laura Colombo, Monica Molteni, Luigia Trabace, Carlo Rossetti, Mario Salmona, Gianluigi Forloni
[Background] Amyloid-β oligomers (AβO) are species mainly involved in the synaptic and cognitive dysfunction in Alzheimer's disease. Although their action has been described mainly at neuronal level, it is now clear that glial cells govern synaptic activity in their resting state, contributing to new learning and memory establishment. In contrast, when activated, they may lead to synaptic and cognitive dysfunction. Using a reliable acute AβO-mediated mouse model of AD, we explored whether the memory alteration AβOs induce relies on the activation of glial cells, and if Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4), pivotal in the initiation of an immune response, is involved...
October 14, 2016: Brain, Behavior, and Immunity
Giacomo Vivanti, Heather J Nuskec
We explore three challenges that Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) poses to our understanding of the processes underlying early attachment. First, while caregiver-infant attachment and later social-affiliative behavior share common biobehavioral mechanisms, individuals with ASD are able to form secure attachment relationships, despite reduced social-emotional reciprocity and motivation for social interaction. Therefore, disruptions in social affiliation mechanisms can co-exist with secure caregiver-infant bonding...
October 14, 2016: Behavioural Brain Research
David Mathar, Leonora Wilkinson, Anna K Holl, Jane Neumann, Lorenz Deserno, Arno Villringer, Marjan Jahanshahi, Annette Horstmann
Incidental learning of appropriate stimulus-response associations is crucial for optimal functioning within our complex environment. Positive and negative prediction errors (PEs) serve as neural teaching signals within distinct ('direct'/'indirect') dopaminergic pathways to update associations and optimize subsequent behavior. Using a computational reinforcement learning model, we assessed learning from positive and negative PEs on a probabilistic task (Weather Prediction Task - WPT) in three populations that allow different inferences on the role of dopamine (DA) signals: (1) Healthy volunteers that repeatedly underwent [(11)C]raclopride Positron Emission Tomography (PET), allowing for assessment of striatal DA release during learning, (2) Parkinson's disease (PD) patients tested both on and off L-DOPA medication, (3) early Huntington's disease (HD) patients, a disease that is associated with hyper-activation of the 'direct' pathway...
September 19, 2016: Cortex; a Journal Devoted to the Study of the Nervous System and Behavior
Daniel R L Forrest, Marius Mather, Justin A Harris
Repeated presentation of a to-be-conditioned stimulus (CS) on its own results in an impairment in learning to respond to that CS when it is later paired with an unconditioned stimulus (US). Evidence for this latent inhibition (LI) effect in humans is said to require a so-called masking task which diverts attention from the CS during preexposure. We present three experiments investigating whether LI can be demonstrated in humans without masking. In a computer-based task, subjects responded as quickly as possible to an imperative cue (the US) presented within a continuous stimulus stream...
October 18, 2016: Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology: QJEP
Bhim Mani Adhikari, Martin Norgaard, Kristen M Quinn, Jenine Ampudia, Justin Squirek, Mukesh Dhamala
Musical improvisation offers an excellent experimental paradigm for the study of real-time human creativity. It involves moment-to-moment decision-making, monitoring of one's performance, and utilizing external feedback to spontaneously create new melodies or variations on a melody. Recent neuroimaging studies have begun to study the brain activity during musical improvisation, aiming to unlock the mystery of human creativity. What brain resources come together and how these are utilized during musical improvisation is not well understood...
October 18, 2016: Brain Connectivity
Natalia A Stefanova, Natalia A Muraleva, Kseniya Yi Maksimova, Ekaterina A Rudnitskaya, Elena Kiseleva, Darya V Telegina, Nataliya G Kolosova
Mitochondrial aberrations are observed in human Alzheimer's disease (AD) and in medical conditions that increase the risk of this disorder, suggesting that mitochondrial dysfunction may contribute to pathophysiology of AD. Here, using OXYS rats that simulate key characteristics of sporadic AD, we set out to determine the role of mitochondria in the pathophysiology of this disorder. OXYS rats were treated with a mitochondria-targeted antioxidant SkQ1 from age 12 to 18 months, that is, during active progression of AD-like pathology in these animals...
October 6, 2016: Aging
Xiao-Juan Wang, Yin-Ping Gao, Nan-Nan Lu, Wei-Shuo Li, Ji-Fang Xu, Xiao-Ying Ying, Gang Wu, Mei-Hua Liao, Chao Tan, Ling-Xiao Shao, Ying-Mei Lu, Chen Zhang, Kohji Fukunaga, Feng Han, Yong-Zhong Du
Clinical treatment for vascular dementia still remains a challenge mainly due to Blood-Brain Barrier (BBB). Here, a micelle based on polysialic acid (PSA) which is a hydrophilic and endogenous carbohydrate polymer, was designed to deliver calmodulin antagonist for therapy of vascular dementia. PSA was firstly chemically conjugated with octadecylamine (ODA), and the obtained PSA-ODA copolymer could self-assemble into micelle in aqueous solution with a 120.0 μg/mL critical micelle concentration. The calmodulin antagonist loaded PSA-ODA micelle, featuring sustained drug release behaviour over a period of 72 h with 3...
October 17, 2016: ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
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
Peter Sadowski, David R Fooshee, Niranjan Subrahmanya, Pierre Baldi
We demonstrate how machine learning (ML) and quantum mechanical (QM) methods can be used in two-way synergy to build chemical reaction expert systems. The proposed ML approach to reaction prediction identifies electron sources and sinks among the reactants, and then ranks all source-sink pairs. This is used to address a major bottleneck of QM calculations by providing a prioritized list of mechanistic reaction steps. QM modeling can then be used to compute the transition states and activation energies of the top-ranked reactions, providing additional or improved examples of ranked source-sink pairs...
October 17, 2016: Journal of Chemical Information and Modeling
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
Renee E Shimizu, Allan D Wu, Barbara J Knowlton
Effective learning results not only in improved performance on a practiced task, but also in the ability to transfer the acquired knowledge to novel, similar tasks. Using a modified serial reaction time (RT) task, the authors examined the ability to transfer to novel sequences after practicing sequences in a repetitive order versus a nonrepeating interleaved order. Interleaved practice resulted in better performance on new sequences than repetitive practice. In a second study, participants practiced interleaved sequences in a functional MRI (fMRI) scanner and received a transfer test of novel sequences...
October 17, 2016: Behavioral Neuroscience
Gordon D Logan, Jana E Ulrich, Dakota R B Lindsey
Fine motor skills like typing involve a mapping problem that trades Fitts' law against Hick's law. Eight fingers have to be mapped onto 26 keys. Movement time increases with distance, so Fitts' law is optimized by recruiting more fingers. Choice difficulty increases with the number of alternatives, so Hick's law is optimized by recruiting fewer fingers. The effect of the number of alternatives decreases with consistent practice, so skilled typists achieve a balance between Fitts' law and Hick's law through learning...
October 17, 2016: Journal of Experimental Psychology. Human Perception and Performance
Nicolas Fraize, Julien Carponcy, Mickaël Antoine Joseph, Jean-Christophe Comte, Pierre-Hervé Luppi, Paul-Antoine Libourel, Paul-Antoine Salin, Gaël Malleret, Régis Parmentier
STUDY OBJECTIVES: It is commonly accepted that sleep is beneficial to memory processes, but it is still unclear if this benefit originates from improved memory consolidation or enhanced information processing. It has thus been proposed that sleep may also promote forgetting of undesirable and non-essential memories, a process required for optimization of cognitive resources. We tested the hypothesis that non-rapid eye movement sleep (NREMS) promotes forgetting of irrelevant information, more specifically when processing information in working memory (WM), while REM sleep (REMS) facilitates the consolidation of important information...
October 10, 2016: Sleep
Katharina Zinke, Ines Wilhelm, Müge Bayramoglu, Susanne Klein, Jan Born
Sleep is considered to support the formation of skill memory. In juvenile but not adult song birds learning a tutor's song, a stronger initial deterioration of song performance over night-sleep predicts better song performance in the long run. This and similar observations have stimulated the view of sleep supporting skill formation during development in an unsupervised off-line learning process that, in the absence of external feedback, can initially also enhance inaccuracies in skill performance. Here we explored whether in children learning a motor sequence task, as in song-learning juvenile birds, changes across sleep after initial practice predict performance levels achieved in the long run...
October 16, 2016: Developmental Science
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