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The Claustrum: charting a way forward for the brain's most mysterious nucleus

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889195428 Year: Pages: 141 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-542-8 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Neurology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2016-01-19 14:05:46
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The claustrum is a long, band-like grey matter structure situated in the ventrolateral telencephalon of most, if not all, mammalian brains. Due to its shape and close proximity to white matter structures and insular cortex, the anatomy and behavioral relevance of the claustrum have proven difficult to study. As a result, disagreements in the literature exist over ontogeny, phylogeny, anatomical boundaries, and connectivity. Despite this, it is generally regarded that the claustrum contains excitatory projection neurons that reciprocally connect to most regions of the cerebral cortex, a feature that has fostered varying hypotheses as to its function. These hypotheses propose multisensory integration, coordination of cortical activity for the generation of conscious percepts, or saliency filtration. The articles of this e-book consider the historical and recent highlights in claustrum structure, hodology, and function and seek to provide a compelling way forward for this “hidden” nucleus.

Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) in functional research of prefrontal cortex

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889199440 Year: Pages: 193 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-944-0 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Science (General) --- Neurology
Added to DOAB on : 2016-01-19 14:05:46
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This e-book includes the latest outcomes produced by a broad range of fNIRS research with activation of prefrontal cortex, from methodological one to clinical one, providing a forum for scientists planning functional studies of prefrontal brain activation. Reading this book, one will find the possibility that fNIRS could replace fMRI in the near future, and realize that even our aesthetic feeling is measurable. This will serve as a reference repository of knowledge from these fields as well as a conduit of information from leading researchers. In addition it offers an extensive cross-referencing system that will facilitate search and retrieval of information about NIRS measurements in activation studies. Researchers interested in fNIRS would benefit from an overview about its potential utilities for future research directions.

Advances in the Prevention and Treatment of Inflammation-Associated Preterm Birth

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889199686 Year: Pages: 101 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-968-6 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Science (General) --- Neurology
Added to DOAB on : 2016-01-19 14:05:46
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After decades of intensive research and over 10,000 publications, preterm birth remains a major global obstetric healthcare problem. Each year, early birth is responsible for the deaths of more than one million infants worldwide and is a major cause of life-long disability. Preterm birth places an enormous financial burden on our healthcare systems, resulting in long-term adverse health outcomes and lost productivity for many people. Preterm birth is a syndrome, associated with several different aetiologies; hence, potential treatment strategies need to be matched to pathophysiology in order to be effective. There is now unequivocal evidence that inflammation is causally involved in a majority of spontaneous preterm deliveries. However, the triggers of inflammation, and the strategies by which it can be safely and effectively prevented and treated, remain the subject of ongoing investigation and debate. While intraamniotic infection is an important cause of inflammation-associated preterm birth, particularly in very preterm deliveries, ‘sterile’ inflammation is actually a more common finding associated with preterm birth. It is likely that the nature, localisation, timing and extent of the inflammatory insult all determine the obstetric outcome and degree of risk to the fetus. These factors will also influence the success of approaches that might be employed to achieve better pregnancy outcomes. Despite our increased understanding of the causes and significance of intrauterine inflammation, we have yet to translate this knowledge into effective therapeutic strategies for preventing prematurity and mitigating its consequences for the neonate. In this Research Topic we review recent progress in treating and preventing inflammation-associated preterm birth, approaching the topic from both the causal and therapeutic perspectives. With global attention increasingly focused on the need to translate knowledge discovery into clinical translation, we hope this EBook will provide a stimulating and timely discussion that will focus research and lead to improved healthcare outcomes for women and children.

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.

Using Stress-Based Animal Models to Understand the Mechanisms Underlying Psychiatric and Somatic Disorders

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889450848 Year: Pages: 129 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88945-084-8 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Psychiatry --- Medicine (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2017-07-06 13:27:36
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Chronic or repeated stress, particularly psychosocial stress, is an acknowledged risk factor for numerous affective and somatic disorders in modern societies. Thus, there is substantial evidence showing that chronic stress can increase the likelihood of major depressive disorder and anxiety disorders, as well as cardiovascular diseases, irritable bowel syndrome and pain syndromes, to name but a few, in vulnerable individuals. Although a number of pharmacological agents are available to treat such stress-related disorders, many patients do not respond to them, and those who do often report a number of side effects. Therefore, a major emphasis in modern basic research is to uncover the underlying aetiology of these disorders, and to develop novel efficacious treatment strategies. This has led to a resurgence in developing, and using, appropriate animal models to study a wide variety of stress-related disorders. Thus, the aim of this research topic “Using stress-based animal models to understand the mechanisms underlying psychiatric and somatic disorders” was to bring together novel research articles and comprehensive review articles from prominent stress researchers. In addition to describing the insights such models have provided relating to the aetiology of psychiatric and somatic disorders, these articles also encompass mechanisms that are believed to underlie stress resilience and stress-protection. Finally, given the current prominence on the role of the brain-gut axis in health and disease, the research topic covers the emerging evidence showing how the gut, particularly the microbiota, influences affective behaviour and physiology.

The Cognitive Neuroscience of Visual Working Memory

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889451685 Year: Pages: 182 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88945-168-5 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Neurology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2017-08-28 14:01:09
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Visual working memory allows us to temporarily maintain and manipulate visual information in order to solve a task. The study of the brain mechanisms underlying this function began more than half a century ago, with Scoville and Milner’s (1957) seminal discoveries with amnesic patients. This timely collection of papers brings together diverse perspectives on the cognitive neuroscience of visual working memory from multiple fields that have traditionally been fairly disjointed: human neuroimaging, electrophysiological, behavioural and animal lesion studies, investigating both the developing and the adult brain.

Long-Term Consequences of Adolescent Drug Use: Evidence from Pre-Clinical and Clinical Models

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889455300 Year: Pages: 201 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88945-530-0 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Psychiatry --- Medicine (General) --- Therapeutics --- Neurology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2019-01-23 14:53:42
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The purpose of this collection is to provide a forum to integrate pre-clinical and clinical investigations regarding the long-term consequences of adolescent exposure to drugs of abuse. Adolescence is characterized by numerous behavioral and biological changes, including substantial neurodevelopment. Behaviorally, adolescents are more likely to engage in risky activities and make impulsive decisions. As such, the majority of substance use begins in adolescence, and an earlier age of onset of use (<15 yr) is strongly associated with the risk for developing a substance use disorder later in life. Furthermore, adolescent drug use may negatively impact ongoing neurological development, which could lead to long-term cognitive and emotional deficits. A large number of clinical studies have investigated both the acute and long-term effects of adolescent drug use on functional outcomes. However, the clinical literature contains many conflicting findings, and is often hampered by the inability to know if functional differences existed prior to drug use. Moreover, in human populations it is often very difficult to control for the numerous types of drugs, doses, and combinations used, not to mention the many other environmental factors that may influence adult behavior. Therefore, an increase in the number of carefully controlled studies using relevant animal models has the potential to clarify which adolescent experiences, particularly what drugs used when, have long-term negative consequences. Despite the advantages of animal model systems in clarifying these issues, the majority of pre-clinical addiction research over the past 50+ years has been conducted in adult animals. Moreover, few addiction-related studies have investigated the long-term neurocognitive consequences of drug exposure at any age. In the past 10 years of so, however, the field of adolescent drug abuse research has burgeoned. To date, the majority of this research has focused on adolescent alcohol exposure using a variety of animal models. The results have given the field important insight into why adolescents are more likely to drink alcohol to excess relative to adults, and the danger of adolescent alcohol use (e.g., in leading to a persistence of excessive drinking in adulthood). More recently, research regarding the effects of adolescent exposure to other drugs of abuse, including nicotine, cocaine, and cannabinoids has expanded. Therefore, we are at unique point in time, when emerging results from carefully controlled pre-clinical studies can inform the sometimes confusing clinical literature. In addition, we expect an influx of prospective clinical studies in response to a cross-institute initiative at NIH, known as the ABCD grant. Several institutes are enrolling children prior to adolescence (and the initiation of drug use), in order to control for pre-existing neurobiological and neurobehavioral differences and to monitor the age of initiation and amount of drug used more carefully than is possible using retrospective designs.

The Multi-Dimensional Contributions of Prefrontal Circuits to Emotion Regulation during Adulthood and Critical Stages of Development

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ISBN: 9783039217021 / 9783039217038 Year: Pages: 188 DOI: 10.3390/books978-3-03921-703-8 Language: eng
Publisher: MDPI - Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute
Subject: Medicine (General) --- Neurology
Added to DOAB on : 2019-12-09 11:49:16
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The prefrontal cortex (PFC) plays a pivotal role in regulating our emotions. The importance of ventromedial regions in emotion regulation, including the ventral sector of the medial PFC, the medial sector of the orbital cortex and subgenual cingulate cortex, have been recognized for a long time. However, it is increasingly apparent that lateral and dorsal regions of the PFC, as well as neighbouring dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, also play a role. Defining the underlying psychological mechanisms by which these functionally distinct regions modulate emotions and the nature and extent of their interactions is a critical step towards better stratification of the symptoms of mood and anxiety disorders. It is also important to extend our understanding of these prefrontal circuits in development. Specifically, it is important to determine whether they exhibit differential sensitivity to perturbations by known risk factors such as stress and inflammation at distinct developmental epochs. This Special Issue brings together the most recent research in humans and other animals that addresses these important issues, and in doing so, highlights the value of the translational approach.

Deciphering serotonin's role in neurodevelopment

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889192762 Year: Pages: 131 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-276-2 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Neurology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2015-12-03 13:02:24
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One of the most challenging questions in neurobiology to tackle is how the serotonergic system steers neurodevelopment. With the increase in serotonergic anxiolytic and antidepressant drugs, serotonin was thought to signal adversity or to serve as an emotional signal. However, a vast amount of literature is accumulating showing that serotonin rather mediates neuroplasticity and plays a key role in early developmental processes. For instance, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), serving as antidepressants, increase neurogenesis and trigger autism-related brain and behavioural changes during embryonic and perinatal exposure. Moreover, serotonin transporter gene variation is associated with alterations in corticolimbic neuroplasticity, autism-related neuroanatomical changes, as well alterations in social behaviour. Hence, the view is emerging that early life changes in serotonin levels influence the developmental course of socio-emotional brain circuits that are relevant for autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders. It is particularly exciting that the effects of embryonic and perinatal SSRI exposure and serotonin transporter gene variation on neurodevelopment seem to overlap to a large extent, at the cellular as well as the behavioural level. Yet, the precise mechanisms by which serotonin mediates neurodevelopment in the normal and ´autistic´ brain is unclear. Whereas serotonin has a placental origin during early gestation, serotonergic neurons develop during midgestation under the control of a cascade of transcription factors determining the fate of mid-hindbrain neurons that together for the Raphe nuclei. These neurons are among the earliest neurons to be generated, and because serotonin is released before any conventional synapses are formed, serotonin is suspected to influence crucial neurodevelopmental processes such as proliferation,migration and network formation. During late gestation they target their final destinations in, for instance, the cortex, where they affect the secretion of reelin. Reelin is a secreted extracellular matrix glycoprotein that helps to regulate processes of neuronal migration and positioning in the developing cortex by controlling cell–cell interactions. During the late prenatal and early postnatal phase (in rodents) serotonin further shapes the outgrowth of projecting neurons, synaptic connectivity, and the morphology of white fiber tracts. This is under the influence of transient serotonin transporter expression in (thalamo)cortical projections, sensory and prefrontal cortices and the hippocampus, as well as the local expression patterns of 5-HT1A, 5-HT1B and 5-HT3A receptors that each exert their specific roles in neuronal migration, remodeling of axons, and controlling dendritic complexity. There is also evidence that serotonin influences neural activity in locus ceroeleus neurons. Hence, serotonin appears to influence the development of both short- and long-distance connections in the brain. This Research Topic is devoted to studies pinpointing the neurodevelopmental effects of serotonin in relation to prenatal SSRI exposure, serotonin transporter gene variation, and autism/neurodevelopmental disorders, using a wide-variety of cellular and molecular neurobiological techniques like, (epi)genetics, knockout, knockdown, neuroanatomy, physiology, MRI and behaviour in rodents and humans. We especially encouraged attempts to cross-link the neurodevelopmental processes across the fields of prenatal SSRI exposure, serotonin transporter gene variation, and autism/neurodevelopmental disorders, as well as new views on the positive or beneficial effects on serotonin-mediated neurodevelopmental changes.

The Cognitive Thalamus

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889195411 Year: Pages: 125 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-541-1 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Neurology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2016-01-19 14:05:46
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Cognitive processing is commonly conceptualized as being restricted to the cerebral cortex. Accordingly, electrophysiology, neuroimaging and lesion studies involving human and animal subjects have almost exclusively focused on defining roles for cerebral cortical areas in cognition. Roles for the thalamus in cognition have been largely ignored despite the fact that the extensive connectivity between the thalamus and cerebral cortex gives rise to a closely coupled thalamo-cortical system. However, in recent years, growing interest in the thalamus as much more than a passive sensory structure, as well as methodological advances such as high-resolution functional magnetic resonance imaging of the thalamus and improved electrode targeting to subregions of thalamic nuclei using electrical stimulation and diffusion tensor imaging, have fostered research into thalamic contributions to cognition.Evidence suggests that behavioral context modulates processing in primary sensory, or first-order, thalamic nuclei (for example, the lateral geniculate and ventral posterior nuclei), allowing attentional filtering of incoming sensory information at an early stage of brain processing. Behavioral context appears to more strongly influence higher-order thalamic nuclei (for example, the pulvinar and mediodorsal nucleus), which receive major input from the cortex rather than the sensory periphery. Such higher-order thalamic nuclei have been shown to regulate information transmission in frontal and higher-order sensory cortex according to cognitive demands. This Research Topic aims to bring together neuroscientists who study different parts of the thalamus, particularly thalamic nuclei other than the primary sensory relays, and highlight the thalamic contributions to attention, memory, reward processing, decision-making, and language. By doing so, an emphasis is also placed on neural mechanisms common to many, if not all, of these cognitive operations, such as thalamo-cortical interactions and modulatory influences from sources in the brainstem and basal ganglia. The overall view that emerges is that the thalamus is a vital node in brain networks supporting cognition.

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