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What we learn and when we learn it: sensitive periods in development

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889193271 Year: Pages: 166 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-327-1 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Neurology --- Psychology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2016-03-10 08:14:32
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The impact of training or experience is not the same at all points in development. Children who receive music lessons, or learn a second language before age 7-8 are more proficient as adults. Early exposure to drugs or trauma makes people more likely to become addicted or depressed later life. Rat pups exposed to specific frequencies from 9-13 days post-partum show expanded cortical representations of these frequencies. Young birds must hear and copy their native song within 1-2 months of birth or they may never learn it at all. These are examples of sensitive periods: developmental windows where maturation and specific experience interact to produce differential long-term effects on the brain and behavior. While still controversial, evidence for the existence of sensitive periods has grown, as has our understanding of the underlying mechanisms of brain plasticity. Behavioral evidence from studies of language, psychopathology or vision in humans has been complemented by evidence elucidating molecular, gene and hormonal mechanisms in animals. It has been proposed that sensitive periods can be both opened and closed by specific experience, and that there are multiple, overlapping sensitive periods that occur through-out development as functions come on line. It is also likely that experience-dependent behavioral or brain plasticity accrued during one sensitive period can serve as a scaffold on which later experience and plasticity can build. Based on current knowledge, there are a number of broad questions and challenges to be addressed in this domain, these include: generating new information about the neurobiological mediators of structural and functional changes; proposing models of brain development that will better predict when sensitive periods should occur and what functions are implicated; investigation of the interaction between experience during a sensitive period and pre-existing individual differences; and the relationship between experience during a sensitive period and on-going experience. The goal of this Research Topic is to bring together scientists in different fields whose work addresses these issues, including animal and human developmental neuroscience, language and cognitive development, education, developmental psychopathology and sensory neuroscience.

Soft Tissue and Bone Sarcoma

ISBN: 9783906980461 9783906980584 Year: Pages: 156 Language: English
Publisher: MDPI - Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute
Added to DOAB on : 2015-01-12 11:17:42
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Soft tissue and bone sarcomas disproportionately affect children, adolescents, and young adults. Although considered a rare disease, sarcomas continue to have a devastating effect on these patients and their loved ones, and their impact on our society far exceed their relatively low prevalence. Because of its rarity and heterogeneity, clinical decision making on management of sarcomas are often individualized and without a consensus treatment strategy. Furthermore, research to improve clinical outcomes are particularly challenging as sizeable studies are hard to produce. By improving our knowledge about the molecular biology of sarcomas, we hope to identify new treatment strategies and targets for further drug development. [...]

Emerging immune functions of non-hematopoietic stromal cells

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889193622 Year: Pages: 161 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-362-2 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Allergy and Immunology --- Medicine (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2015-11-19 16:29:12
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The development and function of the immune system is dependent on interactions between haematopoietic cells and non-hematopoietic stromal cells. The non-hematopoietic stromal cells create the microenvironment in which the immune system operates, providing an architectural landscape for hematopoietic cell-cell interactions and molecular cues governing haematopoietic cell positioning, growth and survival. Not surprisingly, therefore, aberrant stromal cell function has recently been shown to play a key role in the development of disease pathologies associated with immune dysfunction. For example, remodelling of lymphoid tissue stroma and the development of ectopic tertiary lymphoid tissues are characteristic of many infectious and inflammatory diseases and stromal cells have a recognised role in lymphoma and tumour development and resistance to therapy. An increased understanding of the molecular basis of stromal cell differentiation and function in these varied contexts will provide new tools to promote research on stromal cell biology and immune dysfunction, and potential new targets for therapeutic intervention in diseases with a major impact on public health. The importance of stromal cells and the molecular mechanisms of stromal cell function in the regulation of immune responses have only recently been appreciated and thus represent an exciting new area in immunology.

Mind the gap! Gap junction channels and their importance in pathogenesis

Authors: --- ---
Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889192380 Year: Pages: 252 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-238-0 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Neurology --- Medicine (General) --- Therapeutics --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2015-11-16 15:44:59
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"Cells live together, but die singly", this sentence wrote the German physiologist Theodor Engelmann in 1875 and although he had no particular knowledge of gap junction channels (their structure was discovered around 100 years later) he described their functions very well: gap junction channels are essential for intercellular communication and crucial for the development of tissue and organs. But besides providing an opportunity for cells to communicate gap junction channels might also prevent intercellular communication by channel closure thereby preserving the surrounding healthy tissue in case of cellular necrosis. According to today’s understanding gap junction channels play an important role during embryonic development, during growth, wound healing and cell differentiation and are also involved in the process of learning. In the past decades most intensive research was done not only to unravel the physiological role of gap junction channels but also to extend our knowledge of the contribution of these channels in pathogenesis. A new frontier emerges in the field "pharmacology of gap junctions" with the aim to control growth, differentiation, or electrical coupling via targeting gap junction channels pharmacologically. As we know today disturbances in gap junction synthesis, assembly and cellular distribution may account for various organic disorders from most different medical fields, such as the Charcot-Marie-Tooth neuropathy, epilepsy, Chagas-disease, Naxos-syndrome, congenital cardiac malformations, arrhythmias, cancer and as a very common disease in industrial countries atherosclerosis. Point mutations in gap junction channels have been found to cause hereditary diseases like the congenital deafness or the Charcot-Marie-Tooth neuropathy but the exact molecular mechanisms of gap junction malfunction from most of the mentioned illnesses are not fully understood. Moreover, in the last few years research has expanded on the role and function of connexin hemichannels and on a relatively new field the pannexins. The purpose of this volume is to give a comprehensive overview of the involvement of gap junction channels, hemichannels and pannexins on pathogenesis of inborn and acquired diseases and on emerging pharmacological strategies to target these channels. We welcome our colleagues to contribute their findings on the influence of gap junctions on pathogenesis and to unravel the secrets of intercellular communication. Take the lid off!

Time and Causality

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889192526 Year: Pages: 118 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-252-6 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Psychology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2015-11-16 15:44:59
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The problem of how humans and other intelligent systems construct causal representations from non-causal perceptual evidence has occupied scholars in cognitive science for many decades. Most contemporary approaches agree with David Hume that patterns of covariation between two events of interest are the critical input to the causal induction engine, irrespective of whether this induction is believed to be grounded in the formation of associations (Shanks & Dickinson, 1987), rule-based evaluation (White, 2004), appraisal of causal powers (Cheng, 1997), or construction of Bayesian Causal Networks (Pearl, 2000). Recent research, however, has repeatedly demonstrated that an exclusive focus on covariation while neglecting contiguity (another of Hume's cues) results in ecologically invalid models of causal inference. Temporal spacing, order, variability, predictability, and patterning all have profound influence on the type of causal representation that is constructed. The influence of time upon causal representations could be seen as a bottom-up constraint (though current bottom-up models cannot account for the full spectrum of effects). However, causal representations in turn also constrain the perception of time: Put simply, two causally related events appear closer in subjective time than two (equidistant) unrelated events. This reversal of Hume's conjecture, referred to as Causal Binding (Buehner & Humphreys, 2009) is a top-down constraint, and suggests that our representations of time and causality are mutually influencing one another. At present, the theoretical implications of this phenomenon are not yet fully understood. Some accounts link it exclusively to human motor planning (appealing to mechanisms of cross-modal temporal adaptation, or forward learning models of motor control). However, recent demonstrations of causal binding in the absence of human action, and analogous binding effects in the visual spatial domain, challenge such accounts in favour of Bayesian Evidence Integration. This Research Topic reviews and further explores the nature of the mutual influence between time and causality, how causal knowledge is constructed in the context of time, and how it in turn shapes and alters our perception of time. We draw together literatures from the perception and cognitive science, as well as experimental and theoretical papers. Contributions investigate the neural bases of binding and causal learning/perception, methodological advances, and functional implications of causal learning and perception in real time.

Multiculturalism and Conflict Reconciliation in the Asia-Pacific

Authors: ---
ISBN: 9781137464620 9781137403605 Year: Pages: 256 DOI: 10.1057/9781137403605 Language: English
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
Subject: Sociology --- Political Science
Added to DOAB on : 2015-12-18 11:57:01
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This book is open access under a CC BY license. Japan has recently promoted a number of initiatives that can be termed an opening to the world and the Asia-Pacific in particular. These have origins in Japan's globalization generally and multicultural policies more specifically. The chapters in this book are grouped in three parts—theories, language, and migration—and they explicate details of multiculturalism in the Asia-Pacific, largely focused on Japan, but including cases that extend beyond Japan as well. Alternative understandings based on analyzing conflicts and moving towards reconciliation underscore the urgency of viewing multiculturalism in Japan and the Asia-Pacific from perspectives that are firmly based in the region. Themes such as immigration, identity, foreign language education, politics and language, English language policies, dual citizenship, foreign labor policies and movements, and higher education are all addressed in the individual chapters. This book will be of interest to scholars of multiculturalism in a wide variety of fields.

Drug-Diagnostics Co-Development in Oncology

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889193325 Year: Pages: 111 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-332-5 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Oncology --- Medicine (General) --- Therapeutics --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2016-03-10 08:14:32
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The idea of combining drugs and diagnostics in oncology is not new. When the selective estrogen receptor modulator tamoxifen was developed in the 1970’s for the treatment of breast cancer a positive correlation between receptor status and treatment outcome was found. As a result of this research, it was suggested to use the estrogen-receptor assay as a diagnostic test for selection of patients for tamoxifen treatment. Despite this suggestion was put forward nearly 40 years ago the adaptation of the drug-diagnostic co-development model has been relatively slow and it is only within the last decade that it has gained more widespread acceptance. The parallel development of the monoclonal antibody trastuzumab (Herceptin®, Roche/Genentech) and the immunohistochemistry assay for HER2 protein overexpression (HercepTest™, Dako) seems to have served as an inspiration to a number of stakeholders such as pharma and diagnostic companies, regulatory agencies, and academia. In recent years we have seen an increasing number of oncology drug development projects that have taken advantage of the drug-diagnostic co-development model, as outline below. Most of the new targeted anti-cancer drugs that have been introduced in recent years, such as BRAF-, ALK-, EGFR- and HER2-inhibitors, are more or less all a product of the drugdiagnostic co-development model. These drugs have shown remarkable high response rates in selected groups of patients within cancer diseases with great unmet medical needs. This Research Topic on Drug-Diagnostic Co-Development in Oncology aims to provide you with an insight into some of the diverse activities that constitute this new research area.

The Past in the Present

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ISBN: 9781909188273 9781909188280 9781909188297 Year: Pages: 180 DOI: 10.5334/bak Language: English
Publisher: Ubiquity Press
Subject: Social Sciences --- History
Added to DOAB on : 2014-08-12 18:25:41
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The Past in the Present deals with the complexities in the operation and management of living heritage sites. It presents a new interpretation of such sites based on the concept of continuity, and its evolution to the present. It is demonstrated that the current theoretical framework and practice of conservation, as best epitomised in a values-based approach and the World Heritage concept, is based on discontinuity created between the monuments (considered to belong to the past) and the people of the present, thus seemingly unable to embrace living heritage sites. From this position, the study suggests an innovative approach that views communities and sites as an inseparable entity: a Living Heritage Approach. This approach brings a new insight into key concepts such as authenticity and sustainable development. Through the use of the monastic site of Meteora, Greece, as a case study, the discussion generated aims to shift the focus of conservation from ‘preservation’ towards a continual process of ‘creation’ in an ongoing present, attempting to change the way heritage is perceived, protected and, more importantly, further created.&#xD;&#xD;“The Past in the Present is an important and much-needed contribution to the debate about living heritage – and it is particularly significant in the context of the heritage of the past in the modern world. Anyone concerned with how the past is, or should be, integrated within modern lives and identities will need to read this book.” – Leslie Brubaker, Director, Centre for Byzantine, Ottoman and Modern Greek Studies, University of Birmingham, UK.&#xD;&#xD;“This interesting and thoroughly researched book by Ioannis Poulios is a useful tool in promoting the Living Heritage Approach, and provides a sound theoretical basis for future work. Living Heritage Approach is a paradigm shift that suggests a new way of addressing conservation for our heritage. ICCROM is proud to have introduced this approach, also with the contribution of Ioannis.” – Gamini Wijesuriya, Project Manager, ICCROM.&#xD;(DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5334/bak)

Audiovisual Speech Recognition: Correspondence between Brain and Behavior

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889192519 Year: Pages: 101 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-251-9 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Psychology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2015-11-16 15:44:59
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Perceptual processes mediating recognition, including the recognition of objects and spoken words, is inherently multisensory. This is true in spite of the fact that sensory inputs are segregated in early stages of neuro-sensory encoding. In face-to-face communication, for example, auditory information is processed in the cochlea, encoded in auditory sensory nerve, and processed in lower cortical areas. Eventually, these "sounds" are processed in higher cortical pathways such as the auditory cortex where it is perceived as speech. Likewise, visual information obtained from observing a talker’s articulators is encoded in lower visual pathways. Subsequently, this information undergoes processing in the visual cortex prior to the extraction of articulatory gestures in higher cortical areas associated with speech and language. As language perception unfolds, information garnered from visual articulators interacts with language processing in multiple brain regions. This occurs via visual projections to auditory, language, and multisensory brain regions. The association of auditory and visual speech signals makes the speech signal a highly "configural" percept. An important direction for the field is thus to provide ways to measure the extent to which visual speech information influences auditory processing, and likewise, assess how the unisensory components of the signal combine to form a configural/integrated percept. Numerous behavioral measures such as accuracy (e.g., percent correct, susceptibility to the “McGurk Effect”) and reaction time (RT) have been employed to assess multisensory integration ability in speech perception. On the other hand, neural based measures such as fMRI, EEG and MEG have been employed to examine the locus and or time-course of integration. The purpose of this Research Topic is to find converging behavioral and neural based assessments of audiovisual integration in speech perception. A further aim is to investigate speech recognition ability in normal hearing, hearing-impaired, and aging populations. As such, the purpose is to obtain neural measures from EEG as well as fMRI that shed light on the neural bases of multisensory processes, while connecting them to model based measures of reaction time and accuracy in the behavioral domain. In doing so, we endeavor to gain a more thorough description of the neural bases and mechanisms underlying integration in higher order processes such as speech and language recognition.

Cortico-cortical Communication Dynamics

Authors: --- ---
Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889192885 Year: Pages: 133 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-288-5 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Neurology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2015-12-10 11:59:07
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Neurons communicate by sending action potentials down their axons and release neurotransmitter at the synapses with target neurons in nearby or remote regions. Although we know the approximate connectivity of cortico-cortical axons in several species, this does not enable us to predict the communication dynamics. The cortico-cortical communication dynamics specify how the communication evolves in real time and cortical space ms by ms. Currently we are only beginning to appreciate this space-time dynamics from multielectrode recordings, imaging of Ca2+ transients and membrane voltage simultaneously over several areas during brain tasks, perception or preparation for behavior. The results from such experiments indeed challenge traditional ideas of cortico-cortical communications. The communication dynamics in these conditions differ somewhat from that present in steady states that are characterized as fix points or as oscillatory states (limit cycles). There are, however, realistic computational models of communications between several areas or the whole cortex, which have been able to express communication dynamics mimicking the experimentally obtained results during brain tasks, such as perception and decision making. This Research Topic issue will welcome communications in any form, experimental, theoretical, conceptual, and even better combinations of these, on real time cortico-cortical communication dynamics. The introductions must include sections of review character – helping readers outside the field to understand the context in which the contribution is placed.

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