Papers for the month of January 2015

Sadtler, P., Ryu, S., Tyler-Kabara, E.

"Brain-computer interface control along instructed paths"
Journal of Neural Engineering, 12:016015

Mouse over here for a brief summary or click to open article in a new tab.We have implemented an instructed path task for brain-computer interfaces, wherein the user must drive a cursor along a visible path. The instructed path task provides a versatile framework to increase the difficulty of the task and thereby push the limits of performance.

Gilaie-Dotan, S., Saygin, A. P., Lorenzi, L., Rees, G.

"Ventral visual pathway integrity is not critical for the perception of biological motion"
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Jan 27;112(4):E361-70. Epub 2015 Jan 12.:E361-70

Mouse over here for a brief summary or click to open article in a new tab.http://The question addressed is whether the activation of the ventral visual cortex during the perception of biological motion is epiphenomenal or is functionally relevant. To address this, we examined whether focal damage to regions of ventral visual cortex causing significant deficits in form perception adversely affects biological motion perception. Six patients with damage to ventral cortex were tested with sensitive point-light display paradigms. All patients were able to recognize unmasked point light displays and their perceptual thresholds were not significantly different from those of three different control groups, one of which comprised brain-damaged patients with spared ventral cortex (n>50). Importantly, these six patients performed significantly better than patients with damage to regions critical for biological motion perception. We also complement the behavioural findings with a fine-grained comparison between the lesion location and extent and cortical regions standardly implicated in biological motion processing. This analysis revealed that the ventral aspects of the form pathway (e.g. fusiform regions, ventral EBA) are not critical for biological motion perception. We hypothesize that the role of these ventral regions is to provide enhanced multi-view/posture representation of the moving person rather than to represent biological motion perception per se.

Hahamy, A., Malach, R.

"The idiosyncratic brain: distortion of spontaneous connectivity patterns in autism spectrum disorder"
Nature Neuroscience, Feb;18(2):302-9. doi: 10.1038/nn.3919. Epub 2015 Jan 19.:302-9

Mouse over here for a brief summary or click to open article in a new tab.Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) has been associated with a reduction in resting-state functional-connectivity, though this assertion has recently been challenged by reports of increased connectivity in ASD. To address these contradictory findings, we examined both inter- and intra-hemispheric functional-connectivity in several resting-state datasets acquired from adults with high-functioning ASD and matched control participants. Our results reveal both areas of increased and decreased connectivity in ASD groups compared to control groups. Importantly, we show that this heterogeneity stems from a novel ASD characteristic: idiosyncratic distortions of the functional-connectivity pattern relative to the typical "canonical" template. The magnitude of the individual pattern-distortion in homotopic inter-hemispheric connectivity was significantly correlated with behavioral symptoms of ASD. We propose that individualized alterations of the functional-connectivity organization is a core characteristic of high-functioning ASD. This result not only accounts for existing discrepant findings but offers a potential signature of altered functional brain organization in ASD.

Kozai, T.D.Y., Du, Z., Gugel, Z.V., Smith, M.A., Chase, S.M., Bodily, L.M., Caparosa, EM., Friedlander, R.M., Cui, X.T.

"Comprehensive chronic laminar single-unit, multi-unit, and local field potential recording performance with planar single shank electrode arrays"
Journal of Neuroscience Methods, 242:15-40

Mouse over here for a brief summary or click to open article in a new tab.Here, we optimize novel metrics for characterizing evoked MU and LFP electrophysiology recording quality & stability in mice visual cortex while maintaining brain layer information. These methods provide new ways for quantifying neural recordings in neuroscience studies as well as supplementing current approaches for BCI decoding.

Larsen, B

"In vivo evidence of neurophysiological maturation of the human adolescent striatum"
Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, 12:74-85

Mouse over here for a brief summary or click to open article in a new tab.We use multivariate pattern analysis of normalized T2*-weighted MRI to investigate the neurophysiological maturation of the human adolescent striatum in vivo. Our results provide evidence of protracted development of the striatum into adulthood. Ventral striatum, functionally involved in reward processing, showed the most pronounced change, possibly contributing to changes in reward processing and sensation seeking during this stage of development.

""Information Friction" and Its Implications on Minimum Energy Required for Communication"
IEEE Transactions on Information Theory, 61:895-907

Mouse over here for a brief summary or click to open article in a new tab.Motivated by energy expended in artificial and natural computing in moving information, this paper proposes a new model -- called "information friction" -- to capture this energy. Using this model, it is shown that total energy minimizing systems should NOT operate close to Shannon capacity (the classical fundamental limit that captures information-energy tradeoff in long-distance communication). The paper thus suggests that a great deal of care needs to be exercised in inferring the implications of the Efficient Coding Hypothesis using information theory. Simultaneously, it also provides strategies (and fundamental limits) to make brain-machine interfaces, and other short-distance communication systems, more energy efficient.


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