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Current Topics in Behavioral Neurosciences

Zahra Bahmani, Kelsey Clark, Yaser Merrikhi, Adrienne Mueller, Warren Pettine, M Isabel Vanegas, Tirin Moore, Behrad Noudoost
The processes of attention and working memory are conspicuously interlinked, suggesting that they may involve overlapping neural mechanisms. Working memory (WM) is the ability to maintain information in the absence of sensory input. Attention is the process by which a specific target is selected for further processing, and neural resources directed toward that target. The content of WM can be used to direct attention, and attention can in turn determine which information is encoded into WM. Here we discuss the similarities between attention and WM and the role prefrontal cortex (PFC) plays in each...
February 10, 2019: Current Topics in Behavioral Neurosciences
Daniele Mattei, Tina Notter
The hypothesis that the neuroimmune system plays a role in the pathogenesis of different psychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia, depression, and bipolar disease, has attained increasing interest over the past years. Previously thought to have the sole purpose of protecting the central nervous system (CNS) from harmful stimuli, it is now known that the central immune system is critically involved in regulating physiological processes including neurodevelopment, synaptic plasticity, and circuit maintenance...
February 10, 2019: Current Topics in Behavioral Neurosciences
David E Vance, Pariya L Fazeli, John Cheatwood, Chance Nicholson, Shannon Morrison, Linda D Moneyham
Approximately 50% of older adults with HIV meet the Frascati diagnostic criteria of HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND) which can interfere with everyday function such as medication adherence, employment, and driving ability, thus reducing quality of life. As the number of older adults with HIV continues to grow, many will become vulnerable to cognitive frailty, especially as they experience multimorbidities, polypharmacy, and geriatric syndromes. Healthcare professionals need strategies to prevent, remediate, and compensate for cognitive losses observed in memory, language, executive functioning, and speed of processing...
February 2, 2019: Current Topics in Behavioral Neurosciences
Nicole S Lee, Annaliese K Beery
All mammals begin life in social groups, but for some species, social relationships persist and develop throughout the course of an individual's life. Research in multiple rodent species provides evidence of relatively conserved circuitry underlying social behaviors and processes such as social recognition and memory, social reward, and social approach/avoidance. Species exhibiting different complex social behaviors and social systems (such as social monogamy or familiarity preferences) can be characterized in part by when and how they display specific social behaviors...
February 2, 2019: Current Topics in Behavioral Neurosciences
Jessica L Montoya, Brook Henry, David J Moore
Approximately 30-50% of persons living with HIV manifest some degree of neurocognitive impairment. Even mild-to-moderate forms of HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND) can result in difficulties with everyday functioning, such as suboptimal medication adherence and impaired driving. Despite the pervasive presence and consequences of HAND, there is a significant unmet need to develop effective behavioral strategies to reduce the incidence and consequences of HAND. Although there is an absence of evidence-based behavioral interventions specific to HAND, the literature reviewed in this chapter suggest the following modifiable lifestyle factors as intervention targets: physical activity, diet, sleep, and antiretroviral medication adherence...
January 30, 2019: Current Topics in Behavioral Neurosciences
Victoria M Kordovski, Savanna M Tierney, Steven Paul Woods
Combination antiretroviral therapy has reduced the rates of severe HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND), but the prevalence of milder forms of HAND that can affect everyday functioning remains high. As HIV-infected adults approach near-normal life expectancies, they may become increasingly susceptible to declines in everyday functioning secondary to a variety of physical and mental factors, including HAND. Although impairments in everyday functioning are a hallmark of HAND diagnoses and can adversely influence quality of life, there are no gold standard measures of this fundamentally important and complex construct...
January 5, 2019: Current Topics in Behavioral Neurosciences
Julie Bakker
Men and women differ, not only in their anatomy but also in their behavior. Research using animal models has convincingly shown that sex differences in the brain and behavior are induced by sex hormones during a specific, hormone-sensitive period during early development. Thus, male-typical psychosexual characteristics seem to develop under the influence of testosterone, mostly acting during early development. By contrast, female-typical psychosexual characteristics may actually be organized under the influence of estradiol during a specific prepubertal period...
January 1, 2019: Current Topics in Behavioral Neurosciences
Heinrich René Liesefeld, Anna M Liesefeld, Stefan Pollmann, Hermann J Müller
Objects that stand out from the environment tend to be of behavioral relevance, and the visual system is tuned to preferably process these salient objects by allocating focused attention. However, attention is not just passively (bottom-up) driven by stimulus features, but previous experiences and task goals exert strong biases toward attending or actively ignoring salient objects. The core and eponymous assumption of the dimension-weighting account (DWA) is that these top-down biases are not as flexible as one would like them to be; rather, they are subject to dimensional constraints...
December 27, 2018: Current Topics in Behavioral Neurosciences
Danlei Chen, J Benjamin Hutchinson
What controls our attention? It is historically thought that there are two primary factors that determine selective attention: the perceptual salience of the stimuli and the goals based on the task at hand. However, this distinction doesn't neatly capture the varied ways our past experience can influence our ongoing mental processing. In this chapter, we aim to describe how past experience can be systematically characterized by different types of memory, and we outline experimental evidence suggesting how attention can then be guided by each of these different memory types...
December 25, 2018: Current Topics in Behavioral Neurosciences
Daniel T Smith, Neil Archibald
Progressive supranuclear palsy is often considered a disease of the motor system and is characterised by a profound oculomotor impairment. The oculomotor system is also known to be fundamentally important in cognitive processes such as attention and working memory, but the way in which these functions are affected by PSP is not well understood. In this chapter we outline the pathology and typical presentation of PSP, with a focus on the oculomotor impairment, briefly outline the role of the oculomotor system in spatial cognition and discuss some key studies examining spatial attention and memory in PSP...
December 21, 2018: Current Topics in Behavioral Neurosciences
Emiliano Bruner, Annapaola Fedato, María Silva-Gago, Rodrigo Alonso-Alcalde, Marcos Terradillos-Bernal, María Ángeles Fernández-Durantes, Elena Martín-Guerra
Testing cognitive hypotheses in extinct species can be challenging, but it can be done through the integration of independent sources of information (e.g., anatomy, archaeology, neurobiology, psychology), and validated with quantitative and experimental approaches. The parietal cortex has undergone changes and specializations in humans, probably in regions involved in visuospatial integration. Visual imagery and hand-eye coordination are crucial for a species with a remarkable technological and symbolic capacity...
December 15, 2018: Current Topics in Behavioral Neurosciences
Emiliano Macaluso
One of the ultimate goals of cognitive neuroscience is to understand how the brain works in the real world. Functional imaging with naturalistic stimuli provides us with the opportunity to study the brain in situations similar to the everyday life. This includes the processing of complex stimuli that can trigger many types of signals related both to the physical characteristics of the external input and to the internal knowledge that we have about natural objects and environments. In this chapter, I will first outline different types of stimuli that have been used in naturalistic imaging studies...
December 15, 2018: Current Topics in Behavioral Neurosciences
David Aagten-Murphy, Paul M Bays
Several times per second, humans make rapid eye movements called saccades which redirect their gaze to sample new regions of external space. Saccades present unique challenges to both perceptual and motor systems. During the movement, the visual input is smeared across the retina and severely degraded. Once completed, the projection of the world onto the retina has undergone a large-scale spatial transformation. The vector of this transformation, and the new orientation of the eye in the external world, is uncertain...
December 7, 2018: Current Topics in Behavioral Neurosciences
Daniela Gomez, Christopher Power, Esther Fujiwara
HIV enters the central nervous system (CNS) early after infection. HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND) remain a serious complication of HIV infection despite available antiretroviral therapy (ART). Neurocognitive deficits observed in HAND are heterogeneous, suggesting a variability in individuals' susceptibility or resiliency to the detrimental CNS effects of HIV infection. This chapter reviews primary host genomic changes (immune-related genes, genes implicated in cognitive changes in primary neurodegenerative diseases), epigenetic mechanisms, and genetic interactions with ART implicated in HIV progression or HAND/neurocognitive complications of HIV...
December 7, 2018: Current Topics in Behavioral Neurosciences
Ana Gheorghe, Wansu Qiu, Liisa A M Galea
Adult hippocampal neurogenesis exists in all mammalian species, including humans, and although there has been considerable research investigating the function and regulation of neurogenesis, there remain many open questions surrounding the complexity of this phenomenon. This stems partially from the fact that neurogenesis is a multistage process that involves proliferation, differentiation, migration, survival, and eventual integration of new cells into the existing hippocampal circuitry, each of which can be independently influenced...
November 10, 2018: Current Topics in Behavioral Neurosciences
J E Hassell, K T Nguyen, C A Gates, C A Lowry
Anxiety disorders and trauma- and stressor-related disorders, such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), are common and are associated with significant economic and social burdens. Although trauma and stressor exposure are recognized as a risk factors for development of anxiety disorders and trauma or stressor exposure is recognized as essential for diagnosis of PTSD, the mechanisms through which trauma and stressor exposure lead to these disorders are not well characterized. An improved understanding of the mechanisms through which trauma or stressor exposure leads to development and persistence of anxiety disorders or PTSD may result in novel therapeutic approaches for the treatment of these disorders...
October 25, 2018: Current Topics in Behavioral Neurosciences
Eduard Maron, Chen-Chia Lan, David Nutt
This chapter was inadvertently published with Fig. 1 which do not belong to this chapter and hence Fig. 1 is deleted from this chapter later.
October 24, 2018: Current Topics in Behavioral Neurosciences
Nathan D Horrell, Peter W Hickmott, Wendy Saltzman
Across the animal kingdom, parents in many species devote extraordinary effort toward caring for offspring, often risking their lives and exhausting limited resources. Understanding how the brain orchestrates parental care, biasing effort over the many competing demands, is an important topic in social neuroscience. In mammals, maternal care is necessary for offspring survival and is largely mediated by changes in hormones and neuropeptides that fluctuate massively during pregnancy, parturition, and lactation (e...
September 12, 2018: Current Topics in Behavioral Neurosciences
Michael F Land
In animals with good eyesight most eye movements consist of saccades, which rapidly shift the direction of the eye's axis, and intervals between the saccades (fixations) in which gaze is kept stationary relative to the surroundings. This stability is needed to prevent motion blur, and it is achieved by reflexes which counter-rotate the eye when the head moves. This saccade-and-fixate strategy arose early in fish evolution, when the original function of saccades was to re-centre the eye as the fish turned. In primates, and other foveate vertebrates, saccades took on the new function of directing the fovea to objects of interest in the surroundings...
August 18, 2018: Current Topics in Behavioral Neurosciences
Thomas Parr, Karl J Friston
In this chapter, we provide an overview of the principles of active inference. We illustrate how different forms of short-term memory are expressed formally (mathematically) through appealing to beliefs about the causes of our sensations and about the actions we pursue. This is used to motivate an approach to active vision that depends upon inferences about the causes of 'what I have seen' and learning about 'what I would see if I were to look there'. The former could manifest as persistent 'delay-period' activity - of the sort associated with working memory, while the latter is better suited to changes in synaptic efficacy - of the sort that underlies short-term learning and adaptation...
August 18, 2018: Current Topics in Behavioral Neurosciences
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