ISSN / EISSN : 1047-3211 / 1460-2199
Published by: Oxford University Press (OUP) (10.1093)
Total articles ≅ 7,072
Latest articles in this journal
Cerebral Cortex; doi:10.1093/cercor/bhab198
Mathematics and science are highly integrated disciplines, but the brain association between mathematics and science remains unclear. The current study used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scans of 34 undergraduates (17 males, mean age = 20.3±1.64 years old) while they completed mathematical, physical and chemical principles, arithmetic computation, and sentence comprehension. We examined neural activation level, neural activation pattern, and neural connectivity to investigate the neural associations between mathematics and science (including physics and chemistry). The results showed that mathematical, physical, and chemical principles elicited similar neural activation level and neural activation pattern in the visuospatial network (mainly in the middle frontal gyrus and inferior parietal lobule), which were different from those elicited by sentence comprehension; those three principles also elicited similar neural activation level and neural activation pattern in the semantic network (mainly in the middle temporal gyrus, angular gyrus, inferior frontal gyrus, and dorsomedial prefrontal cortex), in contrast to that elicited by arithmetic computation. Effective connectivity analyses showed stronger connectivity between the middle temporal gyrus and inferior parietal lobule for mathematical, physical, and chemical principles than for sentence comprehension. The results suggest that visuospatial and semantic networks were critical for processing both mathematics and science.
Cerebral Cortex; doi:10.1093/cercor/bhab209
The study of states of arousal is key to understand the principles of consciousness. Yet, how different brain states emerge from the collective activity of brain regions remains unknown. Here, we studied the fMRI brain activity of monkeys during wakefulness and anesthesia-induced loss of consciousness. We showed that the coupling between each brain region and the rest of the cortex provides an efficient statistic to classify the two brain states. Based on this and other statistics, we estimated maximum entropy models to derive collective, macroscopic properties that quantify the system’s capabilities to produce work, to contain information, and to transmit it, which were all maximized in the awake state. The differences in these properties were consistent with a phase transition from critical dynamics in the awake state to supercritical dynamics in the anesthetized state. Moreover, information-theoretic measures identified those parameters that impacted the most the network dynamics. We found that changes in the state of consciousness primarily depended on changes in network couplings of insular, cingulate, and parietal cortices. Our findings suggest that the brain state transition underlying the loss of consciousness is predominantly driven by the uncoupling of specific brain regions from the rest of the network.
Cerebral Cortex; doi:10.1093/cercor/bhab213
Genetic influences on cortical thickness (CT) and surface area (SA) are known to vary across the life span. Little is known about the extent to which genetic factors influence CT and SA in infancy and toddlerhood. We performed the first longitudinal assessment of genetic influences on variation in CT and SA in 501 twins who were aged 0–2 years. We observed substantial additive genetic influences on both average CT (0.48 in neonates, 0.37 in 1-year-olds, and 0.44 in 2-year-olds) and total SA (0.59 in neonates, 0.74 in 1-year-olds, and 0.73 in 2-year-olds). In addition, we found strong heritability of the change in average CT (0.49) from neonates to 1-year-olds, but not from 1- to 2–year-olds. Moreover, we found strong genetic correlations for average CT (rG = 0.92) between 1- and 2-year-olds and strong genetic correlations for total SA across all timepoints (rG = 0.96 between neonates and 1-year-olds, rG = 1 between 1- and 2-year-olds). In addition, we found CT and SA are strongly genetic correlated at birth, but weaken over time. Overall, results suggest a dynamic genetic relationship between CT and SA during first 2 years of life and provide novel insights into how genetic influences shape the cortical structure during early brain development.
Cerebral Cortex; doi:10.1093/cercor/bhab205
People often learn from the outcomes of their actions, even when these outcomes do not involve material rewards or punishments. How does our brain provide this flexibility? We combined behavior, computational modeling, and functional neuroimaging to probe whether learning from abstract novel outcomes harnesses the same circuitry that supports learning from familiar secondary reinforcers. Behavior and neuroimaging revealed that novel images can act as a substitute for rewards during instrumental learning, producing reliable reward-like signals in dopaminergic circuits. Moreover, we found evidence that prefrontal correlates of executive control may play a role in shaping flexible responses in reward circuits. These results suggest that learning from novel outcomes is supported by an interplay between high-level representations in prefrontal cortex and low-level responses in subcortical reward circuits. This interaction may allow for human reinforcement learning over arbitrarily abstract reward functions.
Cerebral Cortex; doi:10.1093/cercor/bhab176
Children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have previously shown a decreased magnitude of event-related desynchronization (ERD) during a finger-tapping task, with a large between-group effect. Because the neurobiology underlying several transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) measures have been studied in multiple contexts, we compared ERD and 3 TMS measures (resting motor threshold [RMT], short-interval cortical inhibition [SICI], and task-related up-modulation [TRUM]) within 14 participants with ADHD (ages 8–12 years) and 17 control children. The typically developing (TD) group showed a correlation between greater RMT and greater magnitude of alpha (10–13 Hz, here) ERD, and there was no diagnostic interaction effect, consistent with a rudimentary model of greater needed energy input to stimulate movement. Similarly, inhibition measured by SICI was also greater in the TD group when the magnitude of movement-related ERD was higher; there was a miniscule diagnostic interaction effect. Finally, TRUM during a response-inhibition task showed an unanticipated pattern: in TD children, the greater TMS task modulation (TRUM) was associated with a smaller magnitude of ERD during finger-tapping. The ADHD group showed the opposite direction of association: Greater TRUM was associated with larger magnitude of ERD. Prior EEG results have demonstrated specific alterations of task-related modulation of cortical physiology, and the current results provide a fulcrum for multimodal study.
Cerebral Cortex; doi:10.1093/cercor/bhab214
In animal experiments, the indirect corticospinal tract (CST) system via cervical interneurons has been shown to mediate motor commands for online adjustment of visuomotor behaviors, such as target-reaching. However, it is still unclear whether the similar CST system functions to perform similar motor behaviors in humans. To clarify this, we investigated changes in motor-evoked potentials (MEPs) in the elbow muscles following transcranial magnetic stimulation, transcranial electrical stimulation, or cervicomedullary stimulation while participants executed target-reaching and switching movements. We found that the MEP, whether elicited cortically or subcortically, was modulated depending on the direction of the switching movements. MEP facilitation began around the onset of the switching activities in an agonist muscle. Furthermore, ulnar nerve-induced MEP facilitation, which could be mediated by presumed cervical interneuronal systems, also increased at the onset of MEP facilitation. In a patient with cortical hemianopsia who showed switching movements in the scotoma, the MEPs were facilitated just before the switching activities. Our findings suggested that CST excitation was flexibly tuned with the switching movement initiation, which could partly take place in the subcortical networks, including the presumed cervical interneuronal systems.
Cerebral Cortex; doi:10.1093/cercor/bhab153
Association projections from cortical pyramidal neurons connect disparate intrahemispheric cortical areas, which are implicated in higher cortical functions. The underlying developmental processes of these association projections, especially the initial phase before reaching the target areas, remain unknown. To visualize developing axons of individual neurons with association projections in the mouse neocortex, we devised a sparse labeling method that combined in utero electroporation and confocal imaging of flattened and optically cleared cortices. Using the promoter of an established callosal neuron marker gene that was expressed in over 80% of L2/3 neurons in the primary somatosensory cortex (S1) that project to the primary motor cortex (M1), we found that an association projection of a single neuron was the longest among the interstitial collaterals that branched out in L5 from the earlier-extended callosal projection. Collaterals to M1 elongated primarily within the cortical gray matter with little branching before reaching the target. Our results suggest that dual-projection neurons in S1 make a significant fraction of the association projections to M1, supporting the directed guidance mechanism in long-range corticocortical circuit formation over random projections followed by specific pruning.
Cerebral Cortex; doi:10.1093/cercor/bhab152
Cortical interneurons (GABAergic cells) arise during embryogenesis primarily from the medial and caudal ganglionic eminences (MGE and CGE, respectively) with a small population generated from the preoptic area (POA). Progenitors from the lateral ganglionic eminence (LGE) are thought to only generate GABAergic medium spiny neurons that populate the striatum and project to the globus pallidus. Here, we report evidence that neuronal precursors that express the LGE-specific transcription factor Islet1 (Isl1) can give rise to a small population of cortical interneurons. Lineage tracing and homozygous deletion of Nkx2.1 in Isl1 fate-mapped mice showed that neighboring MGE/POA-specific Nkx2.1 cells and LGE-specific Isl1 cells make both common and distinct lineal contributions towards cortical interneuron fate. Although the majority of cells had overlapping transcriptional domains between Nkx2.1 and Isl1, a population of Isl1-only derived cells also contributed to the adult cerebral cortex. The data indicate that Isl1-derived cells may originate from both the LGE and the adjacent LGE/MGE boundary regions to generate diverse neuronal progeny. Thus, a small population of neocortical interneurons appear to originate from Isl-1-positive precursors.
Cerebral Cortex; doi:10.1093/cercor/bhab208
Folic acid (FA) has been reported to inhibit astrocyte apoptosis and improve aging-induced disorders; however, its role in telomere attrition remains unclear. In present study, 4-month-old senescence-accelerated mouse prone 8 (SAMP8) mice were assigned to four treatment groups for the in vivo experiment: FA-deficient diet (FA-D) group, FA-normal diet (FA-N) group, low FA-supplemented diet (FA-L) group, and high FA-supplemented diet (FA-H) group. These mice were euthanized when 10 months old. There was also a young SAMP8 (4 months old) control group (Con-Y) fed with FA-normal diet. In in vitro study, primary cultures of astrocytes from hippocampus and cerebral cortex were incubated for five generations with various concentrations of FA (0–40 μM) and were assigned to five groups: FA 0 μM (generation 5), FA 10 μM (generation 5), FA 20 μM (generation 5), FA 40 μM (generation 5), and FA 10 μM (generation 1). The results showed that FA supplementation inhibited aging-induced astrocytosis, astrocyte apoptosis, neurodegeneration, and prevented telomere attrition in hippocampus and cortex of SAMP8 mice. FA supplementation also decreased apoptosis and telomere attrition, and increased telomerase activity, in primary cultures of astrocytes. These results showed that it may be one of the mechanisms that FA inhibiting aging-induced apoptosis of astrocyte by alleviating telomere attrition.
Cerebral Cortex; doi:10.1093/cercor/bhab207
Response inhibition plays an essential role in preventing anticipated and unpredictable events in our daily lives. It is divided into proactive inhibition, where subjects postpone responses to an upcoming signal, and reactive inhibition, where subjects stop an impending movement based on the presentation of a signal. Different types of sensory input are involved in both inhibitions; however, differences in proactive and reactive inhibition with differences in sensory modalities remain unclear. This study compared proactive and reactive inhibitions induced by visual, auditory, and somatosensory signals using the choice reaction task (CRT) and stop-signal task (SST). The experiments showed that proactive inhibitions were significantly higher in the auditory and somatosensory modalities than in the visual modality, whereas reactive inhibitions were not. Examining the proactive inhibition-associated neural processing, the auditory and somatosensory modalities showed significant decreases in P3 amplitudes in Go signal-locked event-related potentials (ERPs) in SST relative to those in CRT; this might reflect a decreasing attentional resource on response execution in SST in both modalities. In contrast, we did not find significant differences in the reactive inhibition-associated ERPs. These results suggest that proactive inhibition varies with different sensory modalities, whereas reactive inhibition does not.