Papers for the month of June 2019


Audette NJ, Bernhard SM, Ray A, Stewart LT

"Rapid Plasticity of Higher-Order Thalamocortical Inputs during Sensory Learning"
Neuron, 00:00

Mouse over here for a brief summary or click to open article in a new tab.During a novel whisker-based training paradigm, it was discovered that different thalamocortical synapses undergo sequential rounds of plasticity. The higher-order posterior medial nucleus of the thalamus contributes to these rapid changes in somatosensory cortex and appears capable of encoding predictive and associative cues in the environment.


Oby E., Golub M., Hennig J., Degenhart A., Tyler-Kabara E.

"New neural activity patterns emerge with long-term learning"
PNAS, Epub ahead of print:doi: 10.1073/pnas.1820296116

Mouse over here for a brief summary or click to open article in a new tab.Learning has been associated with changes in the brain at every level of organization. However, it remains difficult to establish a causal link between specific changes in the brain and new behavioral abilities. We establish that new neural activity patterns emerge with learning. We demonstrate that these new neural activity patterns cause the new behavior. Thus, the formation of new patterns of neural population activity can underlie the learning of new skills.


Liu, T. T., Freud, E. and Patterson, M.

"Perceptual function and category-selective neural organization in children with resections of visual cortex."
Journal of Neuroscience, Jun 5.: pii: 3160-18

Mouse over here for a brief summary or click to open article in a new tab.One approach to reduce seizure activity in patients with pharmaco-resistant epilepsy involves the resection of the epileptogenic focus. The impact of these resections on the perceptual behaviors and organization of visual cortex remain largely unexplored. Here, we characterized the visuoperceptual and neural profiles of ventral visual cortex in a relatively large sample of post-resection pediatric patients. Two major findings emerged. First, most patients exhibited preserved visuoperceptual performance across a wide-range of visual behaviors. Second, normal topography, magnitude, and representational structure of category-selective organization was uncovered in the spared hemisphere. These comprehensive imaging and behavioral investigations uncovered novel evidence concerning the neural representations and visual functions in children who have undergone cortical resection, and have implications for cortical plasticity more generally.


Popov V., Zhang Q., Koch G., Calloway R.

"Semantic knowledge influences whether novel episodic associations are represented symmetrically or asymmetrically"
Memory & Cognition, 0:1-15

Mouse over here for a brief summary or click to open article in a new tab.In this work, we report behavioral evidence that pre-existing semantic knowledge affects how new episodic associations are formed in memory. Across two experiments (with the second experiment pre-registered), we found that learned pairings of items with a pre-existing semantic relationship (e.g., waiter - restaurant) formed unidirectional associations (A->B), whereas unrelated pairs formed a bidirectional association (A<->B). These results speak to current models of episodic memory and the influence of pre-existing semantic knowledge.


Martin A.

"Dynamic Neural Representations: An Inferential Challenge for fMRI."
Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 23:534-536

Mouse over here for a brief summary or click to open article in a new tab.Measures of brain activity with high temporal resolution have shown that the information represented in a single brain region undergoes dynamic changes on the scale of milliseconds. This dynamic process presents a unique inferential challenge to low temporal resolution neural measures, such as BOLD fMRI. This paper provides examples of conflicting fMRI results that are resolved by examining dynamic representations within regions. Developing appropriate neurocognitive models requires an understanding of fine-grained spatiotemporal neurodynamics.


Edelman B, Meng J, Suma D. etc.

"Noninvasive Neuroimaging Enhances Continuous Neural Tracking for Device Control"
Science Robotics, 4:eaaw6844

Mouse over here for a brief summary or click to open article in a new tab.A noninvasive EEG-based brain-computer interface (BCI) is developed and demonstrated to provide continuous control of a robotic arm in human subjects. The unique framework enhanced BCI learning by nearly 60% for traditional center-out tasks and by more than 500% in the more realistic continuous pursuit task.


Wen-Hao Zhang, He Wang, Aihua Chen, Yong Gu, Tai Sing Lee, KY Michael Wong, Si Wu

"Complementary congruent and opposite neurons achieve concurrent multisensory integration and segregation"
eLife, 8:e43753

Mouse over here for a brief summary or click to open article in a new tab.This paper presents a theoretical study how the neural circuit could solve the multisensory integration and segregation problem by using complementary congruent and opposite neurons found in multisensory areas.


Benjamin L. Chernoff, Max H. Sims, Susan O. Smith, Webster H. Pilcher & Bradford Z. Mahon

"Direct electrical stimulation of the left frontal aslant tract disrupts sentence planning without affecting articulation"
Cognitive Neuropsychology, 36:1

Mouse over here for a brief summary or click to open article in a new tab.We use direct electrical stimulation mapping of the human brain during awake neurosurgery to test mechanistic hypotheses about the role of the Frontal Aslant Tract (FAT) in speech production. We found that stimulation of the left FAT prolonged inter-word durations at the start of grammatical phrases, while inter-word durations internal to noun phrases were unaffected, and there was no effect on intra-word articulatory duration. These results indicate a role for the the Frontal Aslant Tract in organizing deep hierarchic structure for output by motor systems.


Mitsuhiro Fukuda, Bok-man Kang, Jae Hwan Kim, Minah Suh, Seong-Gi Kim

"Dominance of layer-specific microvessel dilation in contrast-enhanced high-resolution fMRI: Comparison between hemodynamic spread and vascular architecture with CLARITY"
NeuroImage, 197:657

Mouse over here for a brief summary or click to open article in a new tab.Compared layer-specific fMRI to vasoarchitecture using CLARITY in a single evoked layer of the rat olfactory bulb. We determined that the mean fMRI signal spread approximately the mean length of 1–2 microvessels (50–100 μm) in that layer.


Dunovan K, Vich C, Clapp M, Verstynen T

"Reward-driven changes in striatal pathway competition shape evidence evaluation in decision-making"
PLoS Computational Biology, 15:e1006998

Mouse over here for a brief summary or click to open article in a new tab.We simulate two-choice decision-making in a spiking cortico-basal ganglia-thalamic network model. We then fit simulated behavioral data with a drift diffusion model. This allows us to achieve a mapping from measures of neural activity to cognitive concepts related to decision-making, such as evidence accumulation rate, yielding predictions about the roles of specific aspects of striatal firing in this process.


Kennedy, Scott

"Stiffness as a control factor for object manipulation"
J Neurophysiol., 1234:123

Mouse over here for a brief summary or click to open article in a new tab.http://Subjects participated in an experiment designed to test the idea that arm stiffness could be set before movement onset to guide the limb to a desired target. This was found to be regulated by muscle co-contraction and for rapid, ballistic movements was an efficient strategy.


Martin, Katherine I

"The grammatical class effect is separable from the concreteness effect in language learning"
Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 0:0

Mouse over here for a brief summary or click to open article in a new tab.We examined the effects of grammatical class and concreteness simultaneously in foreign language vocabulary learning. We found that the grammatical class effect is separable from the concreteness effect, which challenges a strict concreteness-based source of noun/verb differences.


Gonzalez-Rubio, M., Velasquez, N.F.

"Explicit Control of Step Timing During Split-Belt Walking Reveals Interdependent Recalibration of Movements in Space and Time"
Frontiers in Human Neuroscience , 13:207

Mouse over here for a brief summary or click to open article in a new tab.The degree of interdependence between spatio-temporal gait features during locomotor adaptation was previously unclear. Restricting spatial or temporal locomotor adaptation with biofeedback revealed that the temporal domain influences the spatial domain, but the spatial domain does not influence the temporal domain.


Liao WW, Whitall J, Barton JE, McCombe Waller SM

"Not All Brain Regions Are Created Equal for Improving Bimanual Coordination in Individuals with Chronic Stroke"
Clinical Neurophysiology, 130:1218

Mouse over here for a brief summary or click to open article in a new tab.•Patients with greater arm/hand impairment improved bimanual coordination with facilitation of contralesional dorsal premotor cortex (cPMd). •Patients with fewer arm/hand impairment improved bimanual coordination with facilitation of ipsilesional primary motor cortex (iM1). •Wrist/hand function and the interhemispheric inhibition strength seem to affect responses to cPMd and iM1 facilitation.

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