Papers for the month of March 2016


Downey J.E., Weiss J.M., Muelling K., Venkatraman A., Valois J.S., Hebert M., Bagnell J.A., Schwartz A.B., Collinger J.L.

"Blending of brain-machine interface and vision-guided autonomous robotics improves neuroprosthetic arm performance during grasping"
Jounal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation, 13:28

Mouse over here for a brief summary or click to open article in a new tab.By integrating brain-machine interface control of a robotic arm with vision-guided robotic grasping we showed improved performance on object transfer tasks by two subjects with implanted electrodes. This type of assistance can make BMI systems more attractive to potential users in the future.


Luna B.

"Altered Gesture and Speech Production in Autism Spectrum Disorders Detract from In-Person Communication Quality."
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 46:998-1012

Mouse over here for a brief summary or click to open article in a new tab.We examined speech and gesture abnormalities as it relates to social context and communicative quality in individuals with autism spectrum disorders. The primary finding was that poor interpersonal communication in high functioning individuals with autism spectrum disorders is substantially more related to social processing deficits than language processing abnormalities.


Ghuman H, Massensini AR, Donnelly J, Kim SM, Medberry CJ, Badylak SF

"ECM hydrogel for the treatment of stroke: Characterization of the host cell infiltrate."
Biomaterials, 91:166-181

Mouse over here for a brief summary or click to open article in a new tab.Brain tissue loss following stroke is irreversible with current treatment modalities. The use of an acellular extracellular matrix (ECM), formulated to produce a hydrogel in situ within the cavity formed by a stroke, was investigated as a method to replace necrotic debris and promote the infiltration of host brain cells. Based on magnetic resonance imaging measurements of lesion location and volume, different concentrations of ECM (0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 8 mg/mL) were injected at a volume equal to that of the cavity (14 days post-stroke). Retention of ECM within the cavity occurred at concentrations >3 mg/mL. A significant cell infiltration into the ECM material in the lesion cavity occurred with an average of ∼36,000 cells in the 8 mg/mL concentration within 24 h. An infiltration of cells with distances of >1500 μm into the ECM hydrogel was observed, but the majority of cells were at the tissue/hydrogel boundary. Cells were typically of a microglia, macrophage, or neural and oligodendrocyte progenitor phenotype. At the 8 mg/mL concentration, ∼60% of infiltrating cells were brain-derived phenotypes and 30% being infiltrating peripheral macrophages, polarizing toward an M2-like anti-inflammatory phenotype. These results suggest that an 8 mg/mL ECM concentration promotes a significant acute endogenous repair response that could potentially be exploited to treat stroke.


FeldmanHall O., Hunter L.E., Phelps E.A., Davachi L

"Episodic Memories Predict Adaptive Value-Based Decision-Making"
Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, E-pub Ahead of Print:NA

Mouse over here for a brief summary or click to open article in a new tab.In both social and non-social decision-making, individuals make adaptive choices only when they have episodic memories for the value of decision options. In the social domain, individuals have a bias in episodic memories for unfair versus fair offers.


Duanmu M., Whitaker N., Kevrekidis P., Vainchtein A.

"Traveling wave solutions in a chain of periodically forced coupled nonlinear oscillators"
Physica D, 325:25

Mouse over here for a brief summary or click to open article in a new tab.We study the induction of visual phosphenes computationally using a chain of coupled nonlinear oscillators to model stimulated retina cels. We explore existence and stability of traveling wave solutions in the model as well as how their behavior compares to phosphenes observed experimentally. DOI information: 10.1016/j.physd.2016.02.001


"Top-Down-Mediated Facilitation in the Visual Cortex Is Gated by Subcortical Neuromodulation"
The Journal of Neuroscience, 36(10):2904-14

Mouse over here for a brief summary or click to open article in a new tab.Reciprocal connectivity among brain regions is a prominent feature of all sensory cortices. Here, with cell-type-specific resolution, we addressed how corticocortical and subcortical pathways interact to regulate responsiveness of V1. Our results provide insight into the rules and conditions governing activity propagation in reciprocally connected networks.


Mayo JP, Morrison, RM

"A Probabilistic Approach to Receptive Field Mapping in the Frontal Eye Fields"
Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience, 10:25

Mouse over here for a brief summary or click to open article in a new tab.Studies of the neuronal mechanisms of perisaccadic vision often lack the resolution needed to determine important changes in receptive field structure. Here we describe a stochastic visual stimulus combined with a generalized linear model approach to understanding perisaccadic visual responses in frontal eye field neurons.


Ohbayashi, M., Picard, N.

"Inactivation of the Dorsal Premotor Area Disrupts Internally Generated, But Not Visually Guided, Sequential Movements."
The Journal of Neuroscience, 36:1971-1976

Mouse over here for a brief summary or click to open article in a new tab.The dorsal premotor cortex (PMd) is important for the internal generation of sequential movements, perhaps through maintaining arbitrary motor–motor associations.


Kyle Dunovan

"Believer-Skeptic meets Actor-Critic: Rethinking the role of basal ganglia pathways during decision-making and reinforcement learning."
Frontiers in Neuroscience, fnins.2016.00106:000

Mouse over here for a brief summary or click to open article in a new tab.We present a new theory, premised on recent discoveries in basal ganglia systems, to show how cortico-basal ganglia pathways dynamically encode action uncertainty through pathway competition.


Degani, T., Prior, A., Eddington, C. M., Arêas da Luz Fontes, A. B.

"Determinants of translation ambiguity: A within and cross-language comparison"
Linguistic Approaches to Bilingualism, 0:0

Mouse over here for a brief summary or click to open article in a new tab.Ambiguity in translation is highly prevalent, and has consequences for second-language learning and for bilingual lexical processing. To better understand this phenomenon, the current study compared the determinants of translation ambiguity across four sets of translation norms from English to Spanish, Dutch, German and Hebrew. The number of translations an English word received was correlated across these different languages, and was also correlated with the number of senses the word has in English, demonstrating that translation ambiguity is partially determined by within-language semantic ambiguity. For semantically-ambiguous English words, the probability of the different translations in Spanish and Hebrew was predicted by the meaning-dominance structure in English, beyond the influence of other lexical and semantic factors, for bilinguals translating from their L1, and translating from their L2. These findings are consistent with models postulating direct access to meaning from L2 words for moderately-proficient bilinguals.


Bracken, J., Degani, T., Eddington, C.

"Translation semantic variability: How semantic relatedness affects learning of translation-ambiguous words"
Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 0:0

Mouse over here for a brief summary or click to open article in a new tab.Translations often do not align directly across languages, and indirect mappings reduce the accuracy of language learning. To facilitate examination of this issue, we developed a new continuous measure for quantifying the semantic relatedness of words with more than one translation. Then, we determined how relatedness between translations affects translation-ambiguous word learning from German to English.

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