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Ocular Motor and Vestibular Function in Neurometabolic, Neurogenetic, and Neurodegenerative Disorders

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889455638 Year: Pages: 247 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88945-563-8 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Medicine (General) --- Neurology
Added to DOAB on : 2019-01-23 14:53:43
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Eye movements provide rich source of information about brain functioning for neurologists and neuroscientists. They provide diagnostic clues, define, and localize motor and cognitive disorders. Objective eye movement assessments associated with clinical observation and genetic testing in neurodegenerative, neurometabolic, and neurogenetic diseases provide insight into their pathophysiology and disease mechanism. Finally the eye movements may be used for testing and following the response to therapies. The concrete value of studying eye movement stems from a number of advantages compared to the study of movements of axial or limb muscles.

The eye movements are accessible to clinical inspection, they can be measured precisely, their interpretation is clear and therefore ocular motility examination has high localization value. There are several standardized tasks to study of each subclass of eye movements that are recognized for motor or cognitive behavior. Indeed the studies of eye movement had allowed test of motor and cognitive functions of the brain in a vast range of neurological disease. Both cortical and subcortical dysfunctions may be detected with the analysis of subclasses of eye movements and interpreted in association with other clinical, laboratory and neuroimaging features.

The goal of this topic-focused volume of Frontiers in Neurology is to gather seminal studies, from well-known scientists and laboratories from across the world, delineating the features of eye movements and vestibular system in neurogenetic, neurometabolic, and neurodegenerative disorders. Such collection of articles, to our knowledge, is unique and never done in the past. The topics and the compilation will be of interest to broad groups of neuroscientists and neurologists for the reasons as follows:

1) Neurodegenerative diseases represent a large portion of neurological diseases encountered in neurological clinical practice. Eye movement changes may occur early in their course and may be specific, thus orienting the diagnosis.

2) Neurometabolic and neurogenetic conditions, although rare, show specific and characteristic eye movements that represent the hallmark of the disease. Such disorders often represent a pathologic model that helps to understand the normal functioning of specific brain regions and networks.

Basal ganglia: physiological, behavioral, and computational studies

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889193882 Year: Pages: 494 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-388-2 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2015-12-03 13:02:24
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The basal ganglia has received much attention over the last two decades, as it has been implicated in many neurological and psychiatric disorders. Most of this research - in both animals and humans - attempt to understand the neural and biochemical substrates of basic motor and learning processes, and how these are affected in human patients as well as animal models of brain disorders. The current volume contains research articles and reviews describing basic, pre-clinical and clinical neuroscience research of the basal ganglia written by attendees of the 11th Triennial Meeting of the International Basal Ganglia Society (IBAGS) that was held March 3-7th, 2013 at the Princess Hotel, Eilat, Israel and by researchers of the basal ganglia. Specifically, articles in this volume include research reports on the biochemistry, computational theory, anatomy and physiology of single neurons and functional circuitry of the basal ganglia networks as well as the latest data on animal models of basal ganglia dysfunction and clinical studies in human patients.

Value and Reward Based Learning in Neurobots

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889194315 Year: Pages: 158 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-431-5 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Neurology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2016-01-19 14:05:46
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Organisms are equipped with value systems that signal the salience of environmental cues to their nervous system, causing a change in the nervous system that results in modification of their behavior. These systems are necessary for an organism to adapt its behavior when an important environmental event occurs. A value system constitutes a basic assumption of what is good and bad for an agent. These value systems have been effectively used in robotic systems to shape behavior. For example, many robots have used models of the dopaminergic system to reinforce behavior that leads to rewards. Other modulatory systems that shape behavior are acetylcholine’s effect on attention, norepinephrine’s effect on vigilance, and serotonin’s effect on impulsiveness, mood, and risk. Moreover, hormonal systems such as oxytocin and its effect on trust constitute as a value system. This book presents current research involving neurobiologically inspired robots whose behavior is: 1) Shaped by value and reward learning, 2) adapted through interaction with the environment, and 3) shaped by extracting value from the environment.

Neural Circuits: Japan

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889194377 Year: Pages: 220 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-437-7 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Neurology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2016-01-19 14:05:46
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This Frontiers Research Topic on ‘Neural Circuits: Japan’ explores the diversity of neural circuit research occurring across Japan by innovative researchers using cutting-edge approaches. This issue has brought together papers revealing the development, structure, and physiology of neuronal circuits involved in sensory perception, sleep and wakefulness, behavioral selection, and motor command generation in a range of species from the nematode to the primate. Like the USA and Europe, Japan is now making a strong effort to elucidate neural circuit function in diverse organisms by taking advantages of optogenetics and innovative approaches for gene manipulation, traditional physiological and anatomical approaches, and neural pathway-selective inactivation techniques that have recently been developed in Japan.

Neuromodulation of Executive Circuits

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889197071 Year: Pages: 257 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-707-1 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Neurology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2016-04-07 11:22:02
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High-order executive tasks involve the interplay between frontal cortex and other cortical and subcortical brain regions. In particular, the frontal cortex, striatum and thalamus interact via parallel fronto-striatal "loops" that are crucial for the executive control of behavior. In all of these brain regions, neuromodulatory inputs (e.g. serotonergic, dopaminergic, cholinergic, adrenergic, and peptidergic afferents) regulate neuronal activity and synaptic transmission to optimize circuit performance for specific cognitive demands. Indeed, dysregulation of neuromodulatory input to fronto-striatal circuits is implicated in a number of neuropsychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia, depression, and Parkinson's disease. However, despite decades of intense investigation, how neuromodulators influence the activity of fronto-striatal circuits to generate the precise activity patterns required for sophisticated cognitive tasks remains unknown. In part, this reflects the complexity of the cellular microcircuits in these brain regions (i.e. heterogeneity of neuron subtypes and connectivity), cell-type specific expression patterns for the numerous receptor subtypes mediating neuromodulatory signals, and the potential interaction of multiple signaling cascades in individual neurons. This Research Topic includes 10 original research articles and seven review articles addressing the role of neuromodulation in executive function at multiple levels of analysis, ranging from the activity of single voltage-dependent ion channels to computational models of network interactions in cortex-striatum-thalamus systems.

Habits: Plasticity, learning and freedom

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889196739 Year: Pages: 148 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-673-9 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Science (General) --- Neurology
Added to DOAB on : 2016-08-16 10:34:25
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In present times, certain fields of science are becoming aware of the necessity to go beyond a restrictive specialization, and establish an open dialogue with other disciplines. Such is the case of the approach that neuroscience and philosophy are performing in the last decade. However, this increasing interest in a multidisciplinary perspective should not be understood, in our opinion, as a new phenomenon, but rather as a return to a classical standpoint: a proper understanding of human features –organic, cognitive, volitional, motor or behavioral, for example– requires a context that includes the global dimension of the human being. We believe that grand neuroscientific conclusions about the mind should take into account what philosophical reflection has said about it; likewise, philosophers should consider the organic constitution of the brain to draw inferences about the mind. Thus, both neuroscience and philosophy would benefit from each other’s achievements through a fruitful dialogue. One of the main problems a multidisciplinary group encounters is terminology: the same term has a different scope in various fields, sometimes even contradictory. Such is the case of habits: from a neuroscientific perspective, a habit is a mere automation of an action. It is, therefore, linked to rigidity and limitation. However, from a classical philosophical account, a habit is an enabling capacity acquired through practice, which facilitates, improves and reinforces the performance of certain kind of actions. From neuroscience, habit acquisition restricts a subject’s action to the learnt habit; from philosophy, habit acquisition allows the subject to set a distance from the simple motor performance to cognitively enrich the action. For example, playing piano is a technical habit; considering the neuroscientific account, a pianist would just play those sequences of keystrokes that had been repeatedly practiced in the past. However, according to the philosophical perspective, it would allow the pianist to improvise and, moreover, go beyond the movements of their hands to concentrate in other features of musical interpretation. In other words, a holistic view of habits focuses on the subject’s disposition when facing both known and novel situations. We believe neuroscience could contribute to achieve a deeper understanding of the neural bases of habits, whose complexity could be deciphered by a philosophical reflection. Thus, we propose this Research Topic to increase our understanding on habits from a wide point of view. This collection of new experimental research, empirical and theoretical reviews, general commentaries and opinion articles covers the following subjects: habit learning; implicit memory; computational and complex dynamical accounts of habit formation; practical, cognitive, perceptual and motor habits; early learning; intentionality; consciousness in habits performance; neurological and psychiatric disorders related to habits, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder, stereotypies or addiction; habits as enabling or limiting capacities for the agent.

Pathophysiology of the Basal Ganglia and Movement Disorders: Gaining New Insights from Modeling and Experimentation to Influence the Clinic

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889453177 Year: Pages: 220 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88945-317-7 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Science (General) --- Neurology
Added to DOAB on : 2018-02-27 16:16:45
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The basal ganglia constitute a group of subcortical structures, highly interconnected among themselves, as well as with the cerebral cortex, thalamus and other brain areas. These nuclei play a central role in the control of voluntary movement, and their specific pathology comprises the group of diseases known as movement disorders, including Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, dystonia and Gilles de la Tourette syndrome, among others. Additionally, the presence of a number of circuits within the basal ganglia related to non-motor functions has been acknowledged. Currently, the basal ganglia are thought to participate in cognitive, limbic and learning functions. Moreover, disorders related to the basal ganglia are known to involve a number of complex, non-motor symptoms and syndromes (e.g. compulsive and addictive behavior). In the light of this evidence, it is becoming clear that our knowledge about the basal ganglia needs to be revised, and that new pathophysiological models of movement disorders are needed. In this context, the study of the pathophysiology of the basal ganglia and the treatment of their pathology is becoming increasingly interdisciplinary. Nowadays, an appropriate approach to the study of these problems must necessarily involve the use of complex mathematical modeling, computer simulations, basic research (ranging from biomolecular studies to animal experimentation), and clinical research. This research topic aims to bring together the most recent advances related to the pathophysiology of the basal ganglia and movement disorders.

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