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Brain Sci., Volume 5, Issue 4 (December 2015) – 9 articles , Pages 387-567

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Review
Pedunculopontine Gamma Band Activity and Development
Brain Sci. 2015, 5(4), 546-567; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci5040546 - 03 Dec 2015
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2927
Abstract
This review highlights the most important discovery in the reticular activating system in the last 10 years, the manifestation of gamma band activity in cells of the reticular activating system (RAS), especially in the pedunculopontine nucleus, which is in charge of waking and [...] Read more.
This review highlights the most important discovery in the reticular activating system in the last 10 years, the manifestation of gamma band activity in cells of the reticular activating system (RAS), especially in the pedunculopontine nucleus, which is in charge of waking and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. The identification of different cell groups manifesting P/Q-type Ca2+ channels that control waking vs. those that manifest N-type channels that control REM sleep provides novel avenues for the differential control of waking vs. REM sleep. Recent discoveries on the development of this system can help explain the developmental decrease in REM sleep and the basic rest-activity cycle. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sleep and Brain Development)
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Review
Objectifying “Pain” in the Modern Neurosciences: A Historical Account of the Visualization Technologies Used in the Development of an “Algesiogenic Pathology”, 1850 to 2000
Brain Sci. 2015, 5(4), 521-545; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci5040521 - 17 Nov 2015
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2634
Abstract
Particularly with the fundamental works of the Leipzig school of experimental psychophysiology (between the 1850s and 1880s), the modern neurosciences witnessed an increasing interest in attempts to objectify “pain” as a bodily signal and physiological value. This development has led to refined psychological [...] Read more.
Particularly with the fundamental works of the Leipzig school of experimental psychophysiology (between the 1850s and 1880s), the modern neurosciences witnessed an increasing interest in attempts to objectify “pain” as a bodily signal and physiological value. This development has led to refined psychological test repertoires and new clinical measurement techniques, which became progressively paired with imaging approaches and sophisticated theories about neuropathological pain etiology. With the advent of electroencephalography since the middle of the 20th century, and through the use of brain stimulation technologies and modern neuroimaging, the chosen scientific route towards an ever more refined “objectification” of pain phenomena took firm root in Western medicine. This article provides a broad overview of landmark events and key imaging technologies, which represent the long developmental path of a field that could be called “algesiogenic pathology.” Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Neuroimaging of Pain)
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Review
Emotional Meta-Memories: A Review
Brain Sci. 2015, 5(4), 509-520; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci5040509 - 09 Nov 2015
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 3415
Abstract
Emotional meta-memory can be defined as the knowledge people have about the strategies and monitoring processes that they can use to remember their emotionally charged memories. Although meta-memory per se has been studied in many cognitive laboratories for many years, fewer studies have [...] Read more.
Emotional meta-memory can be defined as the knowledge people have about the strategies and monitoring processes that they can use to remember their emotionally charged memories. Although meta-memory per se has been studied in many cognitive laboratories for many years, fewer studies have explicitly focused on meta-memory for emotionally charged or valenced information. In this brief review, we analyzed a series of behavioral and neuroimaging studies that used different meta-memory tasks with valenced information in order to foster new research in this direction, especially in terms of commonalities/peculiarities of the emotion and meta-memory interaction. In addition, results further support meta-cognitive models that take emotional factors into account when defining meta-memory per se. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emotion, Cognition and Behavior)
Article
Topography of Slow Sigma Power during Sleep is Associated with Processing Speed in Preschool Children
Brain Sci. 2015, 5(4), 494-508; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci5040494 - 04 Nov 2015
Cited by 22 | Viewed by 3414
Abstract
Cognitive development is influenced by maturational changes in processing speed, a construct reflecting the rapidity of executing cognitive operations. Although cognitive ability and processing speed are linked to spindles and sigma power in the sleep electroencephalogram (EEG), little is known about such associations [...] Read more.
Cognitive development is influenced by maturational changes in processing speed, a construct reflecting the rapidity of executing cognitive operations. Although cognitive ability and processing speed are linked to spindles and sigma power in the sleep electroencephalogram (EEG), little is known about such associations in early childhood, a time of major neuronal refinement. We calculated EEG power for slow (10–13 Hz) and fast (13.25–17 Hz) sigma power from all-night high-density electroencephalography (EEG) in a cross-sectional sample of healthy preschool children (n = 10, 4.3 ± 1.0 years). Processing speed was assessed as simple reaction time. On average, reaction time was 1409 ± 251 ms; slow sigma power was 4.0 ± 1.5 μV2; and fast sigma power was 0.9 ± 0.2 μV2. Both slow and fast sigma power predominated over central areas. Only slow sigma power was correlated with processing speed in a large parietal electrode cluster (p < 0.05, r ranging from −0.6 to −0.8), such that greater power predicted faster reaction time. Our findings indicate regional correlates between sigma power and processing speed that are specific to early childhood and provide novel insights into the neurobiological features of the EEG that may underlie developing cognitive abilities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sleep and Brain Development)
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Review
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder: Potential Role of Endocannabinoids Signaling
Brain Sci. 2015, 5(4), 456-493; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci5040456 - 29 Oct 2015
Cited by 26 | Viewed by 4204
Abstract
One of the unique features of prenatal alcohol exposure in humans is impaired cognitive and behavioral function resulting from damage to the central nervous system (CNS), which leads to a spectrum of impairments referred to as fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD). Human FASD [...] Read more.
One of the unique features of prenatal alcohol exposure in humans is impaired cognitive and behavioral function resulting from damage to the central nervous system (CNS), which leads to a spectrum of impairments referred to as fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD). Human FASD phenotypes can be reproduced in the rodent CNS following prenatal ethanol exposure. Several mechanisms are expected to contribute to the detrimental effects of prenatal alcohol exposure on the developing fetus, particularly in the developing CNS. These mechanisms may act simultaneously or consecutively and differ among a variety of cell types at specific developmental stages in particular brain regions. Studies have identified numerous potential mechanisms through which alcohol can act on the fetus. Among these mechanisms are increased oxidative stress, mitochondrial damage, interference with the activity of growth factors, glia cells, cell adhesion molecules, gene expression during CNS development and impaired function of signaling molecules involved in neuronal communication and circuit formation. These alcohol-induced deficits result in long-lasting abnormalities in neuronal plasticity and learning and memory and can explain many of the neurobehavioral abnormalities found in FASD. In this review, the author discusses the mechanisms that are associated with FASD and provides a current status on the endocannabinoid system in the development of FASD. Full article
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Article
Caffeine Consuming Children and Adolescents Show Altered Sleep Behavior and Deep Sleep
Brain Sci. 2015, 5(4), 441-455; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci5040441 - 15 Oct 2015
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 9284
Abstract
Caffeine is the most commonly ingested psychoactive drug worldwide with increasing consumption rates among young individuals. While caffeine leads to decreased sleep quality in adults, studies investigating how caffeine consumption affects children’s and adolescents’ sleep remain scarce. We explored the effects of regular [...] Read more.
Caffeine is the most commonly ingested psychoactive drug worldwide with increasing consumption rates among young individuals. While caffeine leads to decreased sleep quality in adults, studies investigating how caffeine consumption affects children’s and adolescents’ sleep remain scarce. We explored the effects of regular caffeine consumption on sleep behavior and the sleep electroencephalogram (EEG) in children and adolescents (10–16 years). While later habitual bedtimes (Caffeine 23:14 ± 11.4, Controls 22:17 ± 15.4) and less time in bed were found in caffeine consumers compared to the control group (Caffeine 08:10 ± 13.3, Controls 09:03 ± 16.1), morning tiredness was unaffected. Furthermore, caffeine consumers exhibited reduced sleep EEG slow-wave activity (SWA, 1–4.5 Hz) at the beginning of the night compared to controls (20% ± 9% average reduction across all electrodes and subjects). Comparable reductions were found for alpha activity (8.25–9.75 Hz). These effects, however, disappeared in the morning hours. Our findings suggest that caffeine consumption in adolescents may lead to later bedtimes and reduced SWA, a well-established marker of sleep depth. Because deep sleep is involved in recovery processes during sleep, further research is needed to understand whether a caffeine-induced loss of sleep depth interacts with neuronal network refinement processes that occur during the sensitive period of adolescent development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sleep and Brain Development)
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Article
A Real-Time Magnetoencephalography Brain-Computer Interface Using Interactive 3D Visualization and the Hadoop Ecosystem
Brain Sci. 2015, 5(4), 419-440; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci5040419 - 30 Sep 2015
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 4783
Abstract
Ecumenically, the fastest growing segment of Big Data is human biology-related data and the annual data creation is on the order of zetabytes. The implications are global across industries, of which the treatment of brain related illnesses and trauma could see the most [...] Read more.
Ecumenically, the fastest growing segment of Big Data is human biology-related data and the annual data creation is on the order of zetabytes. The implications are global across industries, of which the treatment of brain related illnesses and trauma could see the most significant and immediate effects. The next generation of health care IT and sensory devices are acquiring and storing massive amounts of patient related data. An innovative Brain-Computer Interface (BCI) for interactive 3D visualization is presented utilizing the Hadoop Ecosystem for data analysis and storage. The BCI is an implementation of Bayesian factor analysis algorithms that can distinguish distinct thought actions using magneto encephalographic (MEG) brain signals. We have collected data on five subjects yielding 90% positive performance in MEG mid- and post-movement activity. We describe a driver that substitutes the actions of the BCI as mouse button presses for real-time use in visual simulations. This process has been added into a flight visualization demonstration. By thinking left or right, the user experiences the aircraft turning in the chosen direction. The driver components of the BCI can be compiled into any software and substitute a user’s intent for specific keyboard strikes or mouse button presses. The BCI’s data analytics OPEN ACCESS Brain. Sci. 2015, 5 420 of a subject’s MEG brainwaves and flight visualization performance are stored and analyzed using the Hadoop Ecosystem as a quick retrieval data warehouse. Full article
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Article
Hemodynamic and Light-Scattering Changes of Rat Spinal Cord and Primary Somatosensory Cortex in Response to Innocuous and Noxious Stimuli
Brain Sci. 2015, 5(4), 400-418; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci5040400 - 29 Sep 2015
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 3093
Abstract
Neuroimaging technologies with an exceptional spatial resolution and noninvasiveness have become a powerful tool for assessing neural activity in both animals and humans. However, the effectiveness of neuroimaging for pain remains unclear partly because the neurovascular coupling during pain processing is not completely [...] Read more.
Neuroimaging technologies with an exceptional spatial resolution and noninvasiveness have become a powerful tool for assessing neural activity in both animals and humans. However, the effectiveness of neuroimaging for pain remains unclear partly because the neurovascular coupling during pain processing is not completely characterized. Our current work aims to unravel patterns of neurovascular parameters in pain processing. A novel fiber-optic method was used to acquire absolute values of regional oxy- (HbO) and deoxy-hemoglobin concentrations, oxygen saturation rates (SO2), and the light-scattering coefficients from the spinal cord and primary somatosensory cortex (SI) in 10 rats. Brief mechanical and electrical stimuli (ranging from innocuous to noxious intensities) as well as a long-lasting noxious stimulus (formalin injection) were applied to the hindlimb under pentobarbital anesthesia. Interhemispheric comparisons in the spinal cord and SI were used to confirm functional activation during sensory processing. We found that all neurovascular parameters showed stimulation-induced changes; however, patterns of changes varied with regions and stimuli. Particularly, transient increases in HbO and SO2 were more reliably attributed to brief stimuli, whereas a sustained decrease in SO2 was more reliably attributed to formalin. Only the ipsilateral SI showed delayed responses to brief stimuli. In conclusion, innocuous and noxious stimuli induced significant neurovascular responses at critical centers (e.g., the spinal cord and SI) along the somatosensory pathway; however, there was no single response pattern (as measured by amplitude, duration, lateralization, decrease or increase) that was able to consistently differentiate noxious stimuli. Our results strongly suggested that the neurovascular response patterns differ between brief and long-lasting noxious stimuli, and can also differ between the spinal cord and SI. Therefore, a use of multiple-parameter strategy tailored by stimulus modality (brief or long-lasting) as well as region-dependent characteristics may be more effective in detecting pain using neuroimaging technologies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Neuroimaging of Pain)
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Article
The Scalp Confounds Near-Infrared Signal from Rat Brain Following Innocuous and Noxious Stimulation
Brain Sci. 2015, 5(4), 387-399; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci5040387 - 29 Sep 2015
Viewed by 2804
Abstract
Functional near-infrared imaging (fNIRI) is a non-invasive, low-cost and highly portable technique for assessing brain activity and functions. Both clinical and experimental evidence suggest that fNIRI is able to assess brain activity at associated regions during pain processing, indicating a strong possibility of [...] Read more.
Functional near-infrared imaging (fNIRI) is a non-invasive, low-cost and highly portable technique for assessing brain activity and functions. Both clinical and experimental evidence suggest that fNIRI is able to assess brain activity at associated regions during pain processing, indicating a strong possibility of using fNIRI-derived brain activity pattern as a biomarker for pain. However, it remains unclear how, especially in small animals, the scalp influences fNIRI signal in pain processing. Previously, we have shown that the use of a multi-channel system improves the spatial resolution of fNIRI in rats (without the scalp) during pain processing. Our current work is to investigate a scalp effect by comparing with new data from rats with the scalp during innocuous or noxious stimulation (n = 6). Results showed remarkable stimulus-dependent differences between the no-scalp and intact-scalp groups. In conclusion, the scalp confounded the fNIRI signal in pain processing likely via an autonomic mechanism; the scalp effect should be a critical factor in image reconstruction and data interpretation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Neuroimaging of Pain)
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