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Regulatory RNAs in the Nervous System

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889194834 Year: Pages: 344 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-483-4 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Science (General) --- Neurology
Added to DOAB on : 2015-11-16 15:44:59
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Until about a decade ago, the non-coding part of the genome was considered without function. RNA sequencing studies have shown, however, that a considerable part of the non-coding genome is transcribed and that these non-coding RNAs (nc-RNAs) can regulate gene expression. Almost on weekly basis, new findings reveal the regulatory role of nc-RNAs exert in many biological processes. Overall, these studies are making increasingly clear that, both in model organisms and in humans, complexity is not a function of the number of protein-coding genes, but results from the possibility of using combinations of genetic programs and controlling their spatial and temporal regulation during development, senescence and in disease by regulatory RNAs. This has generated a novel picture of gene regulatory networks where regulatory nc-RNAs represent novel layers of regulation. Particularly well-characterized is the role of microRNAs (miRNAs), small nc-RNAs, that bind to mRNAs and regulate gene expression after transcritpion. This message is particularly clear in the nervous system, where miRNAs have been involved in regulating cellular pathways controlling fundamental functions during development, synaptic plasticity and in neurodegenerative disease. It has also been shown that neuronal miRNAs are tightly regulated by electrical activity at the level of transcription, biogenesis, stability and specifically targeted to dendrites and synapsis. Deregulation of expression of miRNAs is proposed not only as potential disease biomarker, but it has been implicated directly in the pathogenesis of complex neurodegenerative disease. This so-called RNA revolution also lead to the exploitation of RNA interference and the development of related tools as potential treatment of a vast array of CNS disease that could benefit from regulation of disease-associated genes. In spite of these advancements, the relatively young age of this field together with the inherent high molecular complexity of RNA regulation of biological processes have somewhat hindered its communication to the whole of the neuroscience community. This Research Topic aims at improving this aspect by putting around the same virtual table scientists covering aspects ranging from basic molecular mechanisms of regulatory RNAs in the nervous system to the analysis of the role of specific regulatory RNAs in neurobiological processes of development, plasticity and aging. Furthermore, we will welcome papers analyzing the role of regulatory RNAs in disease models from neuromuscular to higher cognitive functions, and we will also encourage submission of more technically oriented papers dealing with new methodologies to study regulatory RNA biology and its translational potential.

Effects of Game and Game-like Training on Neurocognitive Plasticity

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889198405 Year: Pages: 103 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-840-5 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Neurology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2016-01-19 14:05:46
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Cognitive training is not always effective. This is also the case for the form of cognitive training that this Research Topic focuses on: prolonged performance on game-like cognitive tasks. The ultimate goal of this cognitive training is to improve ecologically-valid target functions. For example, cognitive training should help children with ADHD to stay focused at school, or help older adults to manage the complexity of daily life. However, so far this goal has proven too ambitious. Transfer from trained to non-trained tasks is not even guaranteed in a laboratory, so there is a strong need for understanding how, when and for how long cognitive training has effect. Which cognitive functions are amenable to game training, for whom, and how? Are there mediating factors for success, such as motivation, attention, or age? Are the improvements real, or can they be attributed to nonspecific factors, such as outcome expectancy or demand characteristics? Are there better strategies to improve cognitive functions through game training? This Research Topic of Frontiers in Human Neuroscience charts current insights in the determinants of success of game training.

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.

Regulatory RNAs in the Nervous System, 2nd Edition

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889456574 Year: Pages: 346 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88945-657-4 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Science (General) --- Neurology
Added to DOAB on : 2019-01-23 14:53:43
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Until about a decade ago, the non-coding part of the genome was considered without function. RNA sequencing studies have shown, however, that a considerable part of the non-coding genome is transcribed and that these non-coding RNAs (nc-RNAs) can regulate gene expression. Almost on weekly basis, new findings reveal the regulatory role of nc-RNAs exert in many biological processes. Overall, these studies are making increasingly clear that, both in model organisms and in humans, complexity is not a function of the number of protein-coding genes, but results from the possibility of using combinations of genetic programs and controlling their spatial and temporal regulation during development, senescence and in disease by regulatory RNAs. This has generated a novel picture of gene regulatory networks where regulatory nc-RNAs represent novel layers of regulation. Particularly well-characterized is the role of microRNAs (miRNAs), small nc-RNAs, that bind to mRNAs and regulate gene expression after transcritpion. This message is particularly clear in the nervous system, where miRNAs have been involved in regulating cellular pathways controlling fundamental functions during development, synaptic plasticity and in neurodegenerative disease. It has also been shown that neuronal miRNAs are tightly regulated by electrical activity at the level of transcription, biogenesis, stability and specifically targeted to dendrites and synapses. Deregulation of expression of miRNAs is proposed not only as potential disease biomarker, but it has been implicated directly in the pathogenesis of complex neurodegenerative disease. This so-called RNA revolution also lead to the exploitation of RNA interference and the development of related tools as potential treatment of a vast array of CNS disease that could benefit from regulation of disease-associated genes. In spite of these advancements, the relatively young age of this field together with the inherent high molecular complexity of RNA regulation of biological processes have somewhat hindered its communication to the whole of the neuroscience community. This Research Topic aims at improving this aspect by putting around the same virtual table scientists covering aspects ranging from basic molecular mechanisms of regulatory RNAs in the nervous system to the analysis of the role of specific regulatory RNAs in neurobiological processes of development, plasticity and aging. Furthermore, we included papers analyzing the role of regulatory RNAs in disease models from neuromuscular to higher cognitive functions, and more technically oriented papers dealing with new methodologies to study regulatory RNA biology and its translational potential.

Autism Spectrum Disorders: From genotypes to phenotypes

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889196807 Year: Pages: 93 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-680-7 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Neurology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2016-04-07 11:22:02
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This Research Topic covers the pathogenetic processes in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) that underpin the translation of genetic vulnerability to clinically significant symptoms. Available research data in ASD suggests that it is a neural connectivity disorder and that the social communication and related neurobehavioural symptoms result from reduced synchronization between key "social brain" regions. These interconnected neural systems can be understood through the relationship between functionally relevant anatomic areas and neurochemical pathways, the programming of which are genetically modulated during neurodevelopment and mediated through a range of epigenetic and environmental modulators. Elucidating the underlying molecular mechanisms can provide an invaluable window for understanding the neural wiring that regulates higher brain functions and consequent clinical phenotypes. In keeping with the multi modal and diverse origins of ASD, this Research Topic explores the genetic underpinnings and environmental modulation in the aetiology; neural substrates, biomarkers and endophenotypes that underlie clinical characteristics; as well as neurochemical pathways and pathophysiological mechanisms that pave the way for therapeutic interventions. Furthermore, since genetically mediated deficits and consequent functional impairments involve activity-dependent synapse development that depends on postnatal learning and experience, the trajectory towards the final clinical expression could be modulated by early interventions that exploit the neuronal maturation and brain plasticity. However, identifying these diverse pathogenetic processes and tailoring interventions would require subtyping ASD into homogeneous subgroups. In this regard, this topic covers the current state of evidence in the literature through topic reviews as well as ongoing original work that provides tangible hypotheses and directions for future research.

Neuro-Education and Neuro-Rehabilitation

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889450060 Year: Pages: 176 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88945-006-0 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Science (General) --- Psychology
Added to DOAB on : 2018-02-27 16:16:44
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In the last decade, important discoveries have been made in cognitive neuroscience regarding brain plasticity and learning such as the mirror neurons system and the anatomo-functional organization of perceptual, cognitive and motor abilities.... Time has come to consider the societal impact of these findings. The aim of this Research Topic of Frontiers in Psychology is to concentrate on two domains: neuro-education and neuro-rehabilitation. At the interface between neuroscience, psychology and education, neuro-education is a new inter-disciplinary emerging field that aims at developing new education programs based on results from cognitive neuroscience and psychology. For instance, brain-based learning methods are flourishing but few have been rigorously tested using well-controlled procedures. Authors of this Research Topic will present their latest findings in this domain using rigorously controlled experiments. Neuro-rehabilitation aims at developing new rehabilitation methods for children and adults with learning disorders. Neuro-rehabilitation programs can be based upon a relatively low number of patients and controls or on large clinical trials to test for the efficiency of new treatments. These projects may also aim at testing the efficiency of video-games and of new methods such as Trans Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) for therapeutic interventions in children or adolescents with learning disabilities. This Research Topic will bring together neuroscientists interested in brain plasticity and the effects of training, psychologists working with adults as well as with normally developing children and children with learning disabilities as well as education researchers directly confronted with the efficiency of education programs. The goal for each author is to describe the state of the art in his/her specific research domain and to illustrate how her/his research findings can impact education in the classroom or rehabilitation of children and adolescents with learning disorders.

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