2012 LATEST:

World Association Of Neurotechnology

(Previously World Congress of Neurotechnology)

President: Prof M Trimble (UK)
Chairman: Prof T Herdegen (DE)

In association with

Most Recent Articles Published on Neurotechnology

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Optimizing the regularization for image reconstruction of cerebral diffuse optical tomography.

J Biomed Opt. 2014 Sep 1;19(9):96006

Authors: Habermehl C, Steinbrink J, Müller KR, Haufe S

PMID: 25208243 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Related Articles

SPoC: a novel framework for relating the amplitude of neuronal oscillations to behaviorally relevant parameters.

Neuroimage. 2014 Feb 1;86:111-22

Authors: Dähne S, Meinecke FC, Haufe S, Höhne J, Tangermann M, Müller KR, Nikulin VV

Previously, modulations in power of neuronal oscillations have been functionally linked to sensory, motor and cognitive operations. Such links are commonly established by relating the power modulations to specific target variables such as reaction times or task ratings. Consequently, the resulting spatio-spectral representation is subjected to neurophysiological interpretation. As an alternative, independent component analysis (ICA) or alternative decomposition methods can be applied and the power of the components may be related to the target variable. In this paper we show that these standard approaches are suboptimal as the first does not take into account the superposition of many sources due to volume conduction, while the second is unable to exploit available information about the target variable. To improve upon these approaches we introduce a novel (supervised) source separation framework called Source Power Comodulation (SPoC). SPoC makes use of the target variable in the decomposition process in order to give preference to components whose power comodulates with the target variable. We present two algorithms that implement the SPoC approach. Using simulations with a realistic head model, we show that the SPoC algorithms are able extract neuronal components exhibiting high correlation of power with the target variable. In this task, the SPoC algorithms outperform other commonly used techniques that are based on the sensor data or ICA approaches. Furthermore, using real electroencephalography (EEG) recordings during an auditory steady state paradigm, we demonstrate the utility of the SPoC algorithms by extracting neuronal components exhibiting high correlation of power with the intensity of the auditory input. Taking into account the results of the simulations and real EEG recordings, we conclude that SPoC represents an adequate approach for the optimal extraction of neuronal components showing coupling of power with continuously changing behaviorally relevant parameters.

PMID: 23954727 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Reconfigurable task-dependent functional coupling modes cluster around a core functional architecture.

Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2014 Oct 5;369(1653)

Authors: Krienen FM, Yeo BT, Buckner RL

Functional coupling across distributed brain regions varies across task contexts, yet there are stable features. To better understand the range and central tendencies of network configurations, coupling patterns were explored using functional MRI (fMRI) across 14 distinct continuously performed task states ranging from passive fixation to increasingly demanding classification tasks. Mean global correlation profiles across the cortex ranged from 0.69 to 0.82 between task states. Network configurations from both passive fixation and classification tasks similarly predicted task coactivation patterns estimated from meta-analysis of the literature. Thus, even across markedly different task states, central tendencies dominate the coupling configurations. Beyond these shared components, distinct task states displayed significant differences in coupling patterns in response to their varied demands. One possibility is that anatomical connectivity provides constraints that act as attractors pulling network configurations towards a limited number of robust states. Reconfigurable coupling modes emerge as significant modifications to a core functional architecture.

PMID: 25180304 [PubMed - in process]

Recording human cortical population spikes non-invasively - an EEG tutorial.

J Neurosci Methods. 2014 Aug 26;

Authors: Waterstraat G, Fedele T, Burghoff M, Scheer HJ, Curio G

BACKGROUND: Non-invasively recorded somatosensory high-frequency oscillations (sHFOs) evoked by electric nerve stimulation are markers of human cortical population spikes. Previously, their analysis was based on massive averaging of EEG responses. Advanced neurotechnology and optimized off-line analysis can enhance the signal-to-noise ratio of sHFOs, eventually enabling single-trial analysis.
METHODS: The rationale for developing dedicated low-noise EEG technology for sHFOs is unfolded. Detailed recording procedures and tailored analysis principles are explained step-by-step. Source codes in Matlab and Python are provided as supplementary material online.
RESULTS: Combining synergistic hardware and analysis improvements, evoked sHFOs at around 600 Hz ('?-bursts') can be studied in single-trials. Additionally, spatial filters obtained by Canonical Correlation Average regression (CCAr) increase the signal-to-noise ratio of components at about 1 kHz ('?-bursts') enabling their detection in non-invasive surface EEG.
CONCLUSIONS: sHFOs offer a unique possibility to record evoked human cortical population spikes non-invasively. The experimental approaches and algorithms presented here enable also non-specialized EEG laboratories to combine measurements of conventional low-frequency EEG with the analysis of concomitant cortical population spike responses.

PMID: 25172805 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Motor Imagery for Severely Motor-Impaired Patients: Evidence for Brain-Computer Interfacing as Superior Control Solution.

PLoS One. 2014;9(8):e104854

Authors: Höhne J, Holz E, Staiger-Sälzer P, Müller KR, Kübler A, Tangermann M

Brain-Computer Interfaces (BCIs) strive to decode brain signals into control commands for severely handicapped people with no means of muscular control. These potential users of noninvasive BCIs display a large range of physical and mental conditions. Prior studies have shown the general applicability of BCI with patients, with the conflict of either using many training sessions or studying only moderately restricted patients. We present a BCI system designed to establish external control for severely motor-impaired patients within a very short time. Within only six experimental sessions, three out of four patients were able to gain significant control over the BCI, which was based on motor imagery or attempted execution. For the most affected patient, we found evidence that the BCI could outperform the best assistive technology (AT) of the patient in terms of control accuracy, reaction time and information transfer rate. We credit this success to the applied user-centered design approach and to a highly flexible technical setup. State-of-the art machine learning methods allowed the exploitation and combination of multiple relevant features contained in the EEG, which rapidly enabled the patients to gain substantial BCI control. Thus, we could show the feasibility of a flexible and tailorable BCI application in severely disabled users. This can be considered a significant success for two reasons: Firstly, the results were obtained within a short period of time, matching the tight clinical requirements. Secondly, the participating patients showed, compared to most other studies, very severe communication deficits. They were dependent on everyday use of AT and two patients were in a locked-in state. For the most affected patient a reliable communication was rarely possible with existing AT.

PMID: 25162231 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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Ethical Issues in Neuromarketing: "I Consume, Therefore I am!"

Sci Eng Ethics. 2014 Aug 24;

Authors: Ulman YI, Cakar T, Yildiz G

Neuromarketing is a recent interdisciplinary field which crosses traditional boundaries between neuroscience, neuroeconomics and marketing research. Since this nascent field is primarily concerned with improving marketing strategies and promoting sales, there has been an increasing public aversion and protest against it. These protests can be exemplified by the reactions observed lately in Baylor School of Medicine and Emory University in the United States. The most recent attempt to stop ongoing neuromarketing research in France is also remarkable. The pertaining ethical issues have been continuously attracting much attention, especially since the number of neuromarketing companies has exceeded 300 world-wide. This paper begins with a brief introduction to the field of neurotechnology by presenting its current capabilities and limitations. Then, it will focus on the ethical issues and debates most related with the recent applications of this technology. The French Parliament's revision of rules on bioethics in 2004 has an exemplary role in our discussion. The proposal by Murphy et al. (2008) has attracted attention to the necessity of ethical codes structuring this field. A code has recently been declared by the Neuromarketing Science and Business Association. In this paper, it is argued that these technologies should be sufficiently discussed in public spheres and its use on humans should be fully carried out according to the ethical principles and legal regulations designed in line with human rights and human dignity. There is an urgent need in the interdisciplinary scientific bodies like ethics committees monitoring the research regarding the scientific and ethical values of nonmaleficence, beneficence, autonomy, confidentiality, right to privacy and protection of vulnerable groups.

PMID: 25150848 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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Externalization of Consciousness. Scientific Possibilities and Clinical Implications.

Curr Top Behav Neurosci. 2014 Aug 22;

Authors: Farisco M, Laureys S, Evers K

The paper starts by analyzing recent advancements in neurotechnological assessment of residual consciousnessConsciousness in patients with disorders of consciousnessDisorders of consciousness and in neurotechnology-mediated communication with them. Ethical issues arising from these developments are described, with particular focus on informed consent. Against this background, we argue for the necessity of further scientific efforts and ethical reflection in neurotechnological assessment of consciousness and 'cerebral communication' with verbally non-communicative patients.

PMID: 25146416 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Related Articles

Visuo-motor coordination ability predicts performance with brain-computer interfaces controlled by modulation of sensorimotor rhythms (SMR).

Front Hum Neurosci. 2014;8:574

Authors: Hammer EM, Kaufmann T, Kleih SC, Blankertz B, Kübler A

Modulation of sensorimotor rhythms (SMR) was suggested as a control signal for brain-computer interfaces (BCI). Yet, there is a population of users estimated between 10 to 50% not able to achieve reliable control and only about 20% of users achieve high (80-100%) performance. Predicting performance prior to BCI use would facilitate selection of the most feasible system for an individual, thus constitute a practical benefit for the user, and increase our knowledge about the correlates of BCI control. In a recent study, we predicted SMR-BCI performance from psychological variables that were assessed prior to the BCI sessions and BCI control was supported with machine-learning techniques. We described two significant psychological predictors, namely the visuo-motor coordination ability and the ability to concentrate on the task. The purpose of the current study was to replicate these results thereby validating these predictors within a neurofeedback based SMR-BCI that involved no machine learning.Thirty-three healthy BCI novices participated in a calibration session and three further neurofeedback training sessions. Two variables were related with mean SMR-BCI performance: (1) a measure for the accuracy of fine motor skills, i.e., a trade for a person's visuo-motor control ability; and (2) subject's "attentional impulsivity". In a linear regression they accounted for almost 20% in variance of SMR-BCI performance, but predictor (1) failed significance. Nevertheless, on the basis of our prior regression model for sensorimotor control ability we could predict current SMR-BCI performance with an average prediction error of M = 12.07%. In more than 50% of the participants, the prediction error was smaller than 10%. Hence, psychological variables played a moderate role in predicting SMR-BCI performance in a neurofeedback approach that involved no machine learning. Future studies are needed to further consolidate (or reject) the present predictors.

PMID: 25147518 [PubMed]

A continuous-flow C. elegans sorting system with integrated optical fiber detection and laminar flow switching.

Lab Chip. 2014 Aug 20;

Authors: Yan Y, Ng LF, Ng LT, Choi KB, Gruber J, Bettiol AA, Thakor NV

We present a high-throughput continuous-flow C. elegans sorting device that works based on integrated optical fiber detection and laminar flow switching. Two types of genetically engineered nematodes are allowed to flow into the device and their genotypes are detected based on their fluorescence, without the need for immobilization, by integrated optical fibers. A novel dynamic fluidic switch sorts the nematodes to desired outlets. By changing input pressures of the control inlets, the laminar flow path is altered to steer the nematodes to appropriate outlets. Compared to previously reported microfluidic C. elegans sorting devices, sorting in this system is conducted in a continuous flow environment without any immobilization technique or need for multilayer mechanical valves to open and close the outlets. The continuous flow sorter not only increases the throughput but also avoids any kind of invasive or possibly damaging mechanical or chemical stimulus. We have characterized both the detection and the switching accuracy of the sorting device at different flow rates, and efficiencies approaching 100% can be achieved with a high throughput of about one nematode per second. To confirm that there was no significant damage to C. elegans following sorting, we recovered the sorted worms, finding no deaths and no differences in behavior and propagation compared to control.

PMID: 25140819 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

A bihemispheric autonomic model for traumatic stress effects on health and behavior.

Front Psychol. 2014;5:843

Authors: Lee SW, Gerdes L, Tegeler CL, Shaltout HA, Tegeler CH

A bihemispheric autonomic model (BHAM) may support advanced understanding of traumatic stress effects on physiology and behavior. The model builds on established data showing hemispheric lateralization in management of the autonomic nervous system, and proposes that traumatic stress can produce dominant asymmetry in activity of bilateral homologous brain regions responsible for autonomic management. Rightward and leftward dominant asymmetries are associated with sympathetic high arousal or parasympathetic freeze tendencies, respectively, and return to relative symmetry is associated with improved autonomic regulation. Autonomic auto-calibration for recovery (inverse of Jacksonian dissolution proposed by polyvagal theory) has implications for risk behaviors associated with traumatic life stress. Trauma-induced high arousal may be associated with risk for maladaptive behaviors to attenuate arousal (including abuse of alcohol or sedative-hypnotics). Trauma-induced freeze mode (including callous-unemotional trait) may be associated with low resting heart rate and risk for conduct disorders. The model may explain higher prevalence of leftward hemispheric abnormalities reported in studies of violence. Implications of the BHAM are illustrated through case examples of a military special operations officer with history of traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder, and a university student with persisting post-concussion symptoms. Both undertook use of a noninvasive closed-loop neurotechnology - high-resolution, relational, resonance-based, electroencephalic mirroring - with ensuing decrease in hemispheric asymmetry, improvement in heart rate variability, and symptom reduction. Finally, the BHAM aligns with calls for researchers to use brain-behavioral constructs (research domain criteria or RDoC, proposed by the National Institutes of Mental Health) as building blocks for assessment and intervention in mental health science.

PMID: 25136325 [PubMed]

Related Articles

Selective lesioning of nucleus incertus with corticotropin releasing factor-saporin conjugate.

Brain Res. 2014 Jan 16;1543:179-90

Authors: Lee LC, Rajkumar R, Dawe GS

The nucleus incertus (NI), a brainstem nucleus found in the pontine periventricular grey, is the primary source of the neuropeptide relaxin-3 in the mammalian brain. The NI neurons have also been previously reported to express several receptors and neurotransmitters, including corticotropin releasing hormone receptor 1 (CRF?) and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). The NI projects widely to putative neural correlates of stress, anxiety, depression, feeding behaviour, arousal and cognition leading to speculation that it might be involved in several neuropsychiatric conditions. On the premise that relaxin-3 expressing neurons in the NI predominantly co-express CRF? receptors, a novel method for selective ablation of the rat brain NI neurons using corticotropin releasing factor (CRF)-saporin conjugate is described. In addition to a behavioural deficit in the fear conditioning paradigm, reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), western blotting (WB) and immunofluorescence labelling (IF) techniques were used to confirm the NI lesion. We observed a selective and significant loss of CRF? expressing cells, together with a consistent decrease in relaxin-3 and GAD65 expression. The significant ablation of relaxin-3 positive neurons of the NI achieved by this lesioning approach is a promising model to explore the neuropsychopharmacological implications of NI/relaxin-3 in behavioural neuroscience.

PMID: 24287211 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Non-causal spike filtering improves decoding of movement intention for intracortical BCIs.

J Neurosci Methods. 2014 Aug 12;

Authors: Masse NY, Jarosiewicz B, Simeral JD, Bacher D, Stavisky SD, Cash SS, Oakley EM, Berhanu E, Eskandar E, Friehs G, Hochberg LR, Donoghue JP

BACKGROUND: Multiple types of neural signals are available for controlling assistive devices through brain-computer interfaces (BCIs). Intracortically-recorded spiking neural signals are attractive for BCIs because they can in principle provide greater fidelity of encoded information compared to electrocorticographic (ECoG) signals and electroencephalograms (EEGs). Recent reports show that the information content of these spiking neural signals can be reliably extracted simply by causally band-pass filtering the recorded extracellular voltage signals and then applying a spike detection threshold, without relying on "sorting" action potentials.
NEW METHOD: We show that replacing the causal filter with an equivalent non-causal filter increases the information content extracted from the extracellular spiking signal and improves decoding of intended movement direction. This method can be used for real-time BCI applications by using a 4ms lag between recording and filtering neural signals.
RESULTS: Across 18 sessions from two people with tetraplegia enrolled in the BrainGate2 pilot clinical trial, we found that threshold crossing events extracted using this non-causal filtering method were significantly more informative of each participant's intended cursor kinematics compared to threshold crossing events derived from causally filtered signals. This new method decreased the mean angular error between the intended and decoded cursor direction by 9.7° for participant S3, who was implanted 5.4 years prior to this study, and by 3.5° for participant T2, who was implanted 3 months prior to this study.
CONCLUSIONS: Non-causally filtering neural signals prior to extracting threshold crossing events may be a simple yet effective way to condition intracortically recorded neural activity for direct control of external devices through BCIs.

PMID: 25128256 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Computational and control methods in rehabilitation medicine.

Comput Math Methods Med. 2014;2014:707208

Authors: Cikajlo I, Watanabe T, Dosen S

PMID: 25126109 [PubMed - in process]

Related Articles

Lower-limb kinematics of single-leg squat performance in young adults.

Physiother Can. 2014;66(3):228-33

Authors: Horan SA, Watson SL, Carty CP, Sartori M, Weeks BK

PURPOSE: To determine the kinematic parameters that characterize good and poor single-leg squat (SLS) performance.
METHODS: A total of 22 healthy young adults free from musculoskeletal impairment were recruited for testing. For each SLS, both two-dimensional video and three-dimensional motion analysis data were collected. Pelvis, hip, and knee angles were calculated using a reliable and validated lower-limb (LL) biomechanical model. Two-dimensional video clips of SLSs were blindly assessed in random order by eight musculoskeletal physiotherapists using a 10-point ordinal scale. To facilitate between-group comparisons, SLS performances were stratified by tertiles corresponding to poor, intermediate, and good SLS performance.
RESULTS: Mean ratings of SLS performance assessed by physiotherapists were 8.3 (SD 0.5), 6.8 (SD 0.7), and 4.0 (SD 0.8) for good, intermediate, and poor squats, respectively. Three-dimensional analysis revealed that people whose SLS performance was assessed as poor exhibited increased hip adduction, reduced knee flexion, and increased medio-lateral displacement of the knee joint centre compared to those whose SLS performance was assessed as good (p?0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: Overall, poor SLS performance is characterized by inadequate knee flexion and excessive frontal plane motion of the knee and hip. Future investigations of SLS performance should consider standardizing knee flexion angle to illuminate other influential kinematic parameters.

PMID: 25125775 [PubMed]

Electrophysiology-based detection of emergency braking intention in real-world driving.

J Neural Eng. 2014 Aug 11;11(5):056011

Authors: Haufe S, Kim JW, Kim IH, Sonnleitner A, Schrauf M, Curio G, Blankertz B

Objective. The fact that all human action is preceded by brain processes partially observable through neuroimaging devices such as electroencephalography (EEG) is currently being explored in a number of applications. A recent study by Haufe et al (2011 J. Neural Eng. 8 056001) demonstrates the possibility of performing fast detection of forced emergency brakings during driving based on EEG and electromyography, and discusses the use of such neurotechnology for braking assistance systems. Since the study was conducted in a driving simulator, its significance regarding real-world applicability needs to be assessed. Approach. Here, we replicate that experimental paradigm in a real car on a non-public test track. Main results. Our results resemble those of the simulator study, both qualitatively (in terms of the neurophysiological phenomena observed and utilized) and quantitatively (in terms of the predictive improvement achievable using electrophysiology in addition to behavioral measures). Moreover, our findings are robust with respect to a temporary secondary auditory task mimicking verbal input from a fellow passenger. Significance. Our study serves as a real-world verification of the feasibility of electrophysiology-based detection of emergency braking intention as proposed in Haufe et al (2011 J. Neural Eng. 8 056001).

PMID: 25111850 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Near-Infrared Light Responsive Multi-Compartmental Hydrogel Particles Synthesized Through Droplets Assembly Induced by Superhydrophobic Surface.

Small. 2014 Jul 24;

Authors: Luo R, Cao Y, Shi P, Chen CH

Light-responsive hydrogel particles with multi-compartmental structure are useful for applications in microreactors, drug delivery and tissue engineering because of their remotely-triggerable releasing ability and combinational functionalities. The current methods of synthesizing multi-compartmental hydrogel particles typically involve multi-step interrupted gelation of polysaccharides or complicated microfluidic procedures with limited throughput. In this study, a two-step sequential gelation process is developed to produce agarose/alginate double network multi-compartmental hydrogel particles using droplets assemblies induced by superhydrophobic surface as templates. The agarose/alginate double network multi-compartmental hydrogel particles can be formed with diverse hierarchical structures showing combinational functionalities. The synthesized hydrogel particles, when loaded with polypyrrole (PPy) nanoparticles that act as photothermal nanotransducers, are demonstrated to function as near-infrared (NIR) light triggerable and deformation-free hydrogel materials. Periodic NIR laser switching is applied to stimulate these hydrogel particles, and pulsatile release profiles are collected. Compared with massive reagents released from single-compartmental hydrogel particles, more regulated release profiles of the multi-compartmental hydrogel particles are observed.

PMID: 25059988 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Neuronal Ensemble Synchrony during Human Focal Seizures.

J Neurosci. 2014 Jul 23;34(30):9927-44

Authors: Truccolo W, Ahmed OJ, Harrison MT, Eskandar EN, Cosgrove GR, Madsen JR, Blum AS, Potter NS, Hochberg LR, Cash SS

Seizures are classically characterized as the expression of hypersynchronous neural activity, yet the true degree of synchrony in neuronal spiking (action potentials) during human seizures remains a fundamental question. We quantified the temporal precision of spike synchrony in ensembles of neocortical neurons during seizures in people with pharmacologically intractable epilepsy. Two seizure types were analyzed: those characterized by sustained gamma (?40-60 Hz) local field potential (LFP) oscillations or by spike-wave complexes (SWCs; ?3 Hz). Fine (<10 ms) temporal synchrony was rarely present during gamma-band seizures, where neuronal spiking remained highly irregular and asynchronous. In SWC seizures, phase locking of neuronal spiking to the SWC spike phase induced synchrony at a coarse 50-100 ms level. In addition, transient fine synchrony occurred primarily during the initial ?20 ms period of the SWC spike phase and varied across subjects and seizures. Sporadic coherence events between neuronal population spike counts and LFPs were observed during SWC seizures in high (?80 Hz) gamma-band and during high-frequency oscillations (?130 Hz). Maximum entropy models of the joint neuronal spiking probability, constrained only on single neurons' nonstationary coarse spiking rates and local network activation, explained most of the fine synchrony in both seizure types. Our findings indicate that fine neuronal ensemble synchrony occurs mostly during SWC, not gamma-band, seizures, and primarily during the initial phase of SWC spikes. Furthermore, these fine synchrony events result mostly from transient increases in overall neuronal network spiking rates, rather than changes in precise spiking correlations between specific pairs of neurons.

PMID: 25057195 [PubMed - in process]

Dysfunctional Cortical Inhibition in Adult ADHD: Neural Correlates in Auditory Event-Related Potentials.

J Neurosci Methods. 2014 Jul 14;

Authors: Schubert JK, Gonzalez-Trejo E, Retz W, Rösler M, Corona-Strauss FI, Steidl G, Teuber T, Strauss DJ

In recent times, the relevance of an accurate diagnosis of attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in adults has been the focus of several studies. No longer considered a pathology exclusive to children and adolescents, and taking into account its social implications, developing enhanced support tools for the current diagnostic procedure becomes a priority. Here we present a method for the objective assessment of ADHD in adults using chirp-evoked, paired auditory late responses (ALRs) combined with a two-dimensional ALR denoising scheme to extract correlates of intracortical inhibition. Our method allows for an effective single-sweep denoising, thus requiring less trials to obtain recognizable physiological features, useful as pointers of cortical impairment. Results allow an optimized diagnosis, reduction of data loss and acquisition time; moreover, they do not account exclusively for critical elements within clinical evaluations, but also allow studying the pathophysiology of the condition by providing objective information regarding impaired cortical functions.

PMID: 25033725 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Decoding Vigilance with NIRS.

PLoS One. 2014;9(7):e101729

Authors: Bogler C, Mehnert J, Steinbrink J, Haynes JD

Sustained, long-term cognitive workload is associated with variations and decrements in performance. Such fluctuations in vigilance can be a risk factor especially during dangerous attention demanding activities. Functional MRI studies have shown that attentional performance is correlated with BOLD-signals, especially in parietal and prefrontal cortical regions. An interesting question is whether these BOLD-signals could be measured in real-world scenarios, say to warn in a dangerous workplace whenever a subjects' vigilance is low. Because fMRI lacks the mobility needed for such applications, we tested whether the monitoring of vigilance might be possible using Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS). NIRS is a highly mobile technique that measures hemodynamics in the surface of the brain. We demonstrate that non-invasive NIRS signals correlate with vigilance. These signals carry enough information to decode subjects' reaction times at a single trial level.

PMID: 25032963 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Related Articles

Brain representations for acquiring and recalling visual-motor adaptations.

Neuroimage. 2014 Jul 11;

Authors: Bédard P, Sanes JN

Humans readily learn and remember new motor skills, a process that likely underlies adaptation to changing environments. During adaptation, the brain develops new sensory-motor relationships, and if consolidation occurs, a memory of the adaptation can be retained for extended periods. Considerable evidence exists that multiple brain circuits participate in acquiring new sensory-motor memories, though the networks engaged in recalling these and whether the same brain circuits participate in their formation and recall has less clarity. To address these issues, we assessed brain activation with functional MRI while young healthy adults learned and recalled new sensory-motor skills by adapting to world-view rotations of visual feedback that guided hand movements. We found cerebellar activation related to adaptation rate, likely reflecting changes related to overall adjustments to the visual rotation. A set of parietal and frontal regions, including inferior and superior parietal lobules, premotor area, supplementary motor area and primary somatosensory cortex, exhibited non-linear learning-related activation that peaked in the middle of the adaptation phase. Activation in some of these areas, including the inferior parietal lobule, intra-parietal sulcus and somatosensory cortex, likely reflected actual learning, since the activation correlated with learning after-effects. Lastly, we identified several structures having recall-related activation, including the anterior cingulate and the posterior putamen, since the activation correlated with recall efficacy. These findings demonstrate dynamic aspects of brain activation patterns related to formation and recall of a sensory-motor skill, such that non-overlapping brain regions participate in distinctive behavioral events.

PMID: 25019676 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Related Articles

The Effects of Local and General Hypothermia on Temperature Profiles of the Central Nervous System Following Spinal Cord Injury in Rats.

Ther Hypothermia Temp Manag. 2014 Jul 14;

Authors: Bazley FA, Pashai N, Kerr CL, All AH

Local and general hypothermia are used to treat spinal cord injury (SCI), as well as other neurological traumas. While hypothermia is known to provide significant therapeutic benefits due to its neuroprotective nature, it is unclear how the treatment may affect healthy tissues or whether it may cause undesired temperature changes in areas of the body that are not the targets of treatment. We performed 2-hour moderate general hypothermia (32°C core) or local hypothermia (30°C spinal cord) on rats that had received either a moderate contusive SCI or laminectomy (control) while monitoring temperatures at three sites: the core, spinal cord, and cortex. First, we identified that injured rats that received general hypothermia exhibited larger temperature drops at the spinal cord (-3.65°C, 95% confidence intervals [CIs] -3.72, -3.58) and cortex (-3.64°C, CIs -3.73, -3.55) than uninjured rats (spinal cord: -3.17°C, CIs -3.24, -3.10; cortex: -3.26°C, CIs -3.34, -3.17). This was found due to elevated baseline temperatures in the injured group, which could be due to inflammation. Second, both general hypothermia and local hypothermia caused a significant reduction in the cortical temperature (-3.64°C and -1.18°C, respectively), although local hypothermia caused a significantly lower drop in cortical temperature than general hypothermia (p<0.001). Lastly, the rates of rewarming of the cord were not significantly different among the methods or injury groups that were tested; the mean rate of rewarming was 0.13±0.1°C/min. In conclusion, local hypothermia may be more suitable for longer durations of hypothermia treatment for SCI to reduce temperature changes in healthy tissues, including the cortex.

PMID: 25019643 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Dimensionality reduction for the analysis of brain oscillations.

Neuroimage. 2014 Jul 5;

Authors: Haufe S, Dähne S, Nikulin VV

Neuronal oscillations were shown to be associated with perceptual, motor and cognitive brain operations. While complex spatio-temporal dynamics are a hallmark of neuronal oscillations, they also represent a formidable challenge for a proper extraction and quantifications of oscillatory activity with non-invasive recording techniques such as EEG and MEG. In order to facilitate the study of neuronal oscillations we present a general purpose pre-processing approach, which can be applied for a wide range of analyses including but not restricted to inverse modeling and multivariate single-trial classification. The idea is to use dimensionality reduction with spatio-spectral decomposition (SSD) instead of the commonly and almost exclusively used principal component analysis (PCA). The key advantage of SSD lies in selecting components explaining oscillations-related variance instead of just any variance as in the case of PCA. For the validation of SSD pre-processing we performed extensive simulations with different inverse modeling algorithms and signal-to-noise ratios. In all these simulations SSD invariably outperformed PCA often by a large margin. Moreover, using a database of multichannel EEG recordings from 80 subjects we show that pre-processing with SSD significantly increases the performance of single-trial classification of imagined movements, compared to the classification with PCA pre-processing or without any dimensionality reduction. Our simulations and analysis of real EEG experiments show that, while not being supervised, the SSD algorithm is capable of extracting components primarily relating to the signal of interest often using as little as 20 % of the data variance, instead of > 90 % variance as in case of PCA. Given its ease of use, absence of supervision, and capability to efficiently reduce the dimensionality of multivariate EEG/MEG data, we advocate the application of SSD pre-processing for the analysis of spontaneous and induced neuronal oscillations in normal subjects and patients.

PMID: 25003816 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Related Articles

Manipulation of isolated brain nerve terminals by an external magnetic field using D-mannose-coated ?-Fe2O3 nano-sized particles and assessment of their effects on glutamate transport.

Beilstein J Nanotechnol. 2014;5:778-88

Authors: Borisova T, Krisanova N, Bor?sov A, Sivko R, Ostapchenko L, Babic M, Horak D

The manipulation of brain nerve terminals by an external magnetic field promises breakthroughs in nano-neurotechnology. D-Mannose-coated superparamagnetic nanoparticles were synthesized by coprecipitation of Fe(II) and Fe(III) salts followed by oxidation with sodium hypochlorite and addition of D-mannose. Effects of D-mannose-coated superparamagnetic maghemite (?-Fe2O3) nanoparticles on key characteristics of the glutamatergic neurotransmission were analysed. Using radiolabeled L-[(14)C]glutamate, it was shown that D-mannose-coated ?-Fe2O3 nanoparticles did not affect high-affinity Na(+)-dependent uptake, tonic release and the extracellular level of L-[(14)C]glutamate in isolated rat brain nerve terminals (synaptosomes). Also, the membrane potential of synaptosomes and acidification of synaptic vesicles was not changed as a result of the application of D-mannose-coated ?-Fe2O3 nanoparticles. This was demonstrated with the potential-sensitive fluorescent dye rhodamine 6G and the pH-sensitive dye acridine orange. The study also focused on the analysis of the potential use of these nanoparticles for manipulation of nerve terminals by an external magnetic field. It was shown that more than 84.3 ± 5.0% of L-[(14)C]glutamate-loaded synaptosomes (1 mg of protein/mL) incubated for 5 min with D-mannose-coated ?-Fe2O3 nanoparticles (250 µg/mL) moved to an area, in which the magnet (250 mT, gradient 5.5 ?/m) was applied compared to 33.5 ± 3.0% of the control and 48.6 ± 3.0% of samples that were treated with uncoated nanoparticles. Therefore, isolated brain nerve terminals can be easily manipulated by an external magnetic field using D-mannose-coated ?-Fe2O3 nanoparticles, while the key characteristics of glutamatergic neurotransmission are not affected. In other words, functionally active synaptosomes labeled with D-mannose-coated ?-Fe2O3 nanoparticles were obtained.

PMID: 24991515 [PubMed]

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Imaging of temperature dependent hemodynamics in the rat sciatic nerve by functional photoacoustic microscopy.

Biomed Eng Online. 2013;12:120

Authors: Liao LD, Orellana J, Liu YH, Lin YR, Vipin A, Thakor NV, Shen K, Wilder-Smith E

BACKGROUND: Vascular hemodynamics is central to the regulation of neuro-metabolism and plays important roles in peripheral nerves diseases and their prevention. However, at present there are only a few techniques capable of directly measuring peripheral nerve vascular hemodynamics.
METHOD: Here, we investigate the use of dark-field functional photoacoustic microscopy (fPAM) for intrinsic visualizing of the relative hemodynamics of the rat sciatic nerve in response to localized temperature modulation (i.e., cooling and rewarming).
RESULTS AND CONCLUSION: Our main results show that the relative functional total hemoglobin concentration (HbT) is more significantly correlated with localized temperature changes than the hemoglobin oxygen saturation (SO2) changes in the sciatic nerve. Our study also indicates that the relative HbT changes are better markers of neuronal activation than SO2 during nerve temperature changes. Our results show that fPAM is a promising candidate for in vivo imaging of peripheral nerve hemodynamics without the use of contrast agents. Additionally, this technique may shed light on the neuroprotective effect of hypothermia on peripheral nerves by visualizing their intrinsic hemodynamics.

PMID: 24245952 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Discriminative Analysis of Brain Functional Connectivity Patterns for Mental Fatigue Classification.

Ann Biomed Eng. 2014 Jun 25;

Authors: Sun Y, Lim J, Meng J, Kwok K, Thakor N, Bezerianos A

Mental fatigue is a commonly experienced state that can be induced by placing heavy demands on cognitive systems. This often leads to lowered productivity and increased safety risks. In this study, we developed a functional-connectivity based mental fatigue monitoring method. Twenty-six subjects underwent a 20-min mentally demanding test of sustained attention with high-resolution EEG monitoring. Functional connectivity patterns were obtained on the cortical surface via source localization of cortical activities in the first and last 5-min quartiles of the experiment. Multivariate pattern analysis was then adopted to extract the highly discriminative functional connectivity information. The algorithm used in the present study demonstrated an overall accuracy of 81.5% (p < 0.0001) for fatigue classification through leave-one-out cross validation. Moreover, we found that the most discriminative connectivity features were located in or across middle frontal gyrus and several motor areas, in agreement with the important role that these cortical regions play in the maintenance of sustained attention. This work therefore demonstrates the feasibility of a functional-connectivity-based mental fatigue assessment method, opening up a new avenue for modeling natural brain dynamics under different mental states. Our method has potential applications in several domains, including traffic and industrial safety.

PMID: 24962984 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

The Analytic Bilinear Discrimination of Single-Trial EEG Signals in Rapid Image Triage.

PLoS One. 2014;9(6):e100097

Authors: Yu K, Ai-Nashash H, Thakor N, Li X

The linear discriminant analysis (LDA) method is a classical and commonly utilized technique for dimensionality reduction and classification in brain-computer interface (BCI) systems. Being a first-order discriminator, LDA is usually preceded by the feature extraction of electroencephalogram (EEG) signals, as multi-density EEG data are of second order. In this study, an analytic bilinear classification method which inherits and extends LDA is proposed. This method considers 2-dimentional EEG signals as the feature input and performs classification using the optimized complex-valued bilinear projections. Without being transformed into frequency domain, the complex-valued bilinear projections essentially spatially and temporally modulate the phases and magnitudes of slow event-related potentials (ERPs) elicited by distinct brain states in the sense that they become more separable. The results show that the proposed method has demonstrated its discriminating capability in the development of a rapid image triage (RIT) system, which is a challenging variant of BCIs due to the fast presentation speed and consequently overlapping of ERPs.

PMID: 24933017 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Chronic Treatment with Mood-Stabilizers Attenuates Abnormal Hyperlocomotion of GluA1-Subunit Deficient Mice.

PLoS One. 2014;9(6):e100188

Authors: Maksimovic M, Vekovischeva OY, Aitta-Aho T, Korpi ER

Abnormal excitatory glutamate neurotransmission and plasticity have been implicated in schizophrenia and affective disorders. Gria1-/- mice lacking GluA1 subunit (encoded by Gria1 gene) of AMPA-type glutamate receptor show robust novelty-induced hyperactivity, social deficits and heightened approach features, suggesting that they could be used to test for anti-manic activity of drugs. Here, we tested the efficacy of chronic treatment with established anti-manic drugs on behavioural properties of the Gria1-/- mice. The mice received standard mood stabilizers (lithium and valproate) and novel ones (topiramate and lamotrigine, used more as anticonvulsants) as supplements in rodent chow for at least 4 weeks. All drugs attenuated novelty-induced locomotor hyperactivity of the Gria1-/- mice, especially by promoting the habituation, while none of them attenuated 2-mg/kg amphetamine-induced hyperactivity as compared to control diet. Treatment with lithium and valproate reversed the elevated exploratory activity of Gria1-/- mice. Valproate treatment also reduced struggling behaviour in tail suspension test and restored reciprocally-initiated social contacts of Gria1-/- mice to the level shown by the wild-type Gria1+/+ mice. Gria1-/- mice consumed slightly more sucrose during intermittent sucrose exposure than the wild-types, but ran similar distances on running wheels. These behaviours were not consistently affected by lithium and valproate in the Gria1-/- mice. The efficacy of various anti-manic drug treatments on novelty-induced hyperactivity suggests that the Gria1-/- mouse line can be utilized in screening for new therapeutics.

PMID: 24932798 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Single cell kinase signaling assay using pinched flow coupled droplet microfluidics.

Biomicrofluidics. 2014 May;8(3):034104

Authors: Ramji R, Wang M, Bhagat AA, Tan Shao Weng D, Thakor NV, Teck Lim C, Chen CH

Droplet-based microfluidics has shown potential in high throughput single cell assays by encapsulating individual cells in water-in-oil emulsions. Ordering cells in a micro-channel is necessary to encapsulate individual cells into droplets further enhancing the assay efficiency. This is typically limited due to the difficulty of preparing high-density cell solutions and maintaining them without cell aggregation in long channels (>5?cm). In this study, we developed a short pinched flow channel (5?mm) to separate cell aggregates and to form a uniform cell distribution in a droplet-generating platform that encapsulated single cells with >55% encapsulation efficiency beating Poisson encapsulation statistics. Using this platform and commercially available Sox substrates (8-hydroxy-5-(N,N-dimethylsulfonamido)-2-methylquinoline), we have demonstrated a high throughput dynamic single cell signaling assay to measure the activity of receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) in lung cancer cells triggered by cell surface ligand binding. The phosphorylation of the substrates resulted in fluorescent emission, showing a sigmoidal increase over a 12?h period. The result exhibited a heterogeneous signaling rate in individual cells and showed various levels of drug resistance when treated with the tyrosine kinase inhibitor, gefitinib.

PMID: 24926389 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Reliability of directional information in unsorted spikes and local field potentials recorded in human motor cortex.

J Neural Eng. 2014 Jun 12;11(4):046007

Authors: Perge JA, Zhang S, Malik WQ, Homer ML, Cash S, Friehs G, Eskandar EN, Donoghue JP, Hochberg LR

Objective. Action potentials and local field potentials (LFPs) recorded in primary motor cortex contain information about the direction of movement. LFPs are assumed to be more robust to signal instabilities than action potentials, which makes LFPs, along with action potentials, a promising signal source for brain-computer interface applications. Still, relatively little research has directly compared the utility of LFPs to action potentials in decoding movement direction in human motor cortex. Approach. We conducted intracortical multi-electrode recordings in motor cortex of two persons (T2 and [S3]) as they performed a motor imagery task. We then compared the offline decoding performance of LFPs and spiking extracted from the same data recorded across a one-year period in each participant. Main results. We obtained offline prediction accuracy of movement direction and endpoint velocity in multiple LFP bands, with the best performance in the highest (200-400 Hz) LFP frequency band, presumably also containing low-pass filtered action potentials. Cross-frequency correlations of preferred directions and directional modulation index showed high similarity of directional information between action potential firing rates (spiking) and high frequency LFPs (70-400 Hz), and increasing disparity with lower frequency bands (0-7, 10-40 and 50-65 Hz). Spikes predicted the direction of intended movement more accurately than any individual LFP band, however combined decoding of all LFPs was statistically indistinguishable from spike-based performance. As the quality of spiking signals (i.e. signal amplitude) and the number of significantly modulated spiking units decreased, the offline decoding performance decreased 3.6[5.65]%/month (for T2 and [S3] respectively). The decrease in the number of significantly modulated LFP signals and their decoding accuracy followed a similar trend (2.4[2.85]%/month, ANCOVA, p = 0.27[0.03]). Significance. Field potentials provided comparable offline decoding performance to unsorted spikes. Thus, LFPs may provide useful external device control using current human intracortical recording technology. (Clinical trial registration number: NCT00912041.).

PMID: 24921388 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

A brain-computer interface for single-trial detection of gait initiation from movement related cortical potentials.

Clin Neurophysiol. 2014 May 20;

Authors: Jiang N, Gizzi L, Mrachacz-Kersting N, Dremstrup K, Farina D

OBJECTIVE: Applications of brain-computer interfacing (BCI) in neurorehabilitation have received increasing attention. The intention to perform a motor task can be detected from scalp EEG and used to control rehabilitation devices, resulting in a patient-driven rehabilitation paradigm. In this study, we present and validate a BCI system for detection of gait initiation using movement related cortical potentials (MRCP).
METHODS: The templates of MRCP were extracted from 9-channel scalp EEG during gait initiation in 9 healthy subjects. Independent component analysis (ICA) was used to remove artifacts, and the Laplacian spatial filter was applied to enhance the signal-to-noise ratio of MRCP. Following these pre-processing steps, a matched filter was used to perform single-trial detection of gait initiation.
RESULTS: ICA preprocessing was shown to significantly improve the detection performance. With ICA preprocessing, across all subjects, the true positive rate (TPR) of the detection was 76.9±8.97%, and the false positive rate was 2.93±1.09 per minute.
CONCLUSION: The results demonstrate the feasibility of detecting the intention of gait initiation from EEG signals, on a single trial basis.
SIGNIFICANCE: The results are important for the development of new gait rehabilitation strategies, either for recovery/replacement of function or for neuromodulation.

PMID: 24910150 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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