Papers for the month of October 2014


Haigh, S. M., Heeger, D. J., Dinstein, I., Minshew, N.

"Cortical variability in the sensory-evoked response in autism"
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, online:1-15

Mouse over here for a brief summary or click to open article in a new tab.Individuals with autism show greater trial-to-trial variability in fMRI responses to visual, auditory and somatosensory stimuli compared to controls. We explored the robustness of this result in a new group of individuals with autism and also show that the greater trial-to-trial variability was stable over the experimental session and equivalent in both hemispheres.


Ruff, Douglas A

"Attention can either increase or decrease spike count correlations in visual cortex"
Nature Neuroscience, 17:1591–1597

Mouse over here for a brief summary or click to open article in a new tab.This recording study shows that attention can increase or decrease correlations between fluctuations in the responses of pairs of neurons, depending on task demands. These results suggest that attention can flexibly modulate such spike count correlations, independent of changes in firing rate and provide constraints on possible neuronal mechanisms.


Buchweitz, A., Mason, R., Meschyan, G., Keller, T.

"Modulation of cortical activity during comprehension of familiar and unfamiliar text topics in speed reading and speed listening"
Brain & Language, 139:49-57

Mouse over here for a brief summary or click to open article in a new tab.Speed reading and speed listening result in increased activation of a network of frontal areas associated with strategic and working-memory processes which maintain local coherence among briefly available passage segments. Passages on familiar topics differentially activate anterior temporal and medial frontal gyrus areas associated with text-level integration processes, reflecting integration of previous knowledge with the passage content.


Chou, C.H., Sinden, J.D., Couraud, P.-O.

"In vitro modelling of the neurovascular environment by coculturing adult human brain endothelial cells with human neural stem cells."
PLOS1, 9:e106346

Mouse over here for a brief summary or click to open article in a new tab. Brain and vascular cells form a functionally integrated signalling network that is known as the neurovascular unit (NVU). The signalling (autocrine, paracrine and juxtacrine) between different elements of this unit, especially in humans, is difficult to disentangle in vivo. Developing representative in vitro models is therefore essential to better understand the cellular interactions that govern the neurovascular environment. We here describe a novel approach to assay these cellular interactions by combining a human adult cerebral microvascular endothelial cell line (hCMEC/D3) with a fetal ganglionic eminence-derived neural stem cell (hNSC) line.


Molkov Y., Shevtsova N., Park C., Ben-Tal A., Smith J., Rybak I.

"A Closed-Loop Model of the Respiratory System: Focus on Hypercapnia and Active Expiration"
PLoS One, 9:e109894:1-15

Mouse over here for a brief summary or click to open article in a new tab.We developed a computational model of the closed-loop respiratory system that describes the brainstem respiratory network controlling the pulmonary subsystem representing lung biomechanics and gas (O2 and CO2) exchange and transport. The model suggests that the closed-loop respiratory control system switches to active expiration via a quantal acceleration of expiratory activity, when increases in breathing rate and phrenic amplitude no longer provide sufficient ventilation.


Kirschmann Erin K., Mauna Jocelyn C., Willis, Cory M., Foster, Rebecca L., Chipman, Amanda M.

"Appetitive cue-evoked ERK signaling in the nucleus accumbens requires NMDA and D1 dopamine receptor activation and regulates CREB phosphorylation"
Learning and Memory, 21:606-615

Mouse over here for a brief summary or click to open article in a new tab.We examined the mechanism that mediates conditioned-stimulus-driven ERK activation in the nucleus accumbens. We found that activation of the NMDAR-D1R/ERK/CREB signal transduction pathway plays a critical role in the control of reward-seeking behavior by reward-predictive cues.


Degani, T., Tseng, A. M., & Tokowicz, N.

"Together or apart? Learning of ambiguous words."
Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 17:749-765

Mouse over here for a brief summary or click to open article in a new tab.We examine the role of the mapping between words and meanings across languages in the ease with which words are learned and retained. We further explore a possible instructional method for remediating the general disadvantage we observed in learning words that map in a one-to-many fashion across languages.


"Against Division: Consciousness, Information and the Visual Streams"
Mind and Language, 29:383-406

Mouse over here for a brief summary or click to open article in a new tab.Milner and Goodale’s influential account of the primate cortical visual streams involves a division of consciousness between them, for it is the ventral stream that has the responsibility for visual consciousness. Hence, the dorsal visual stream is a ‘zombie’ stream. In this article, I argue that certain information carried by the dorsal stream likely plays a central role in the egocentric spatial content of experience, especially the experience of visual spatial constancy. Thus, the dorsal stream contributes to a pervasive feature of consciousness.