Papers for the month of February 2017


Venkatesh, Praveen

"An Information Theoretic View of EEG Sensing"
Proceedings of the IEEE, 105:367-384

Mouse over here for a brief summary or click to open article in a new tab.Through establishing the first fundamental limits on EEGs accuracy of source localization, we discuss why earlier theory has been misinterpreted to suggest the lack of utility of high density EEG systems. A more nuanced discussion is needed, including new algorithms and new experiments, to fully understand EEGs limitations.


Sharma, Vinod

"Differentiating the effects of familial risk for alcohol dependence and prenatal exposure to alcohol on offspring brain morphology"
Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 41:312-322

Mouse over here for a brief summary or click to open article in a new tab.Significant familial risk group differences were seen with high risk males showing reduced volume of the left inferior temporal, left fusiform, and left and right insula regions relative to low risk control males, controlling for prenatal exposure to alcohol drugs and cigarettes. High risk females showed a reduction in the right fusiform but also showed a reduction in volume in portions of the cerebellum. Prenatal alcohol exposure effects, assessed within the familial high risk group, was associated with reduced right middle cingulum and left middle temporal volume. Even low exposure resulting from mothers drinking in amounts less than the median of those who drank showed a reduction in volume in the right anterior cingulum and in the left cerebellum. Familial risk for AD and prenatal exposure to alcohol and other drugs show independent effects on brain morphology.


Larsen, B., Hallquist, MN., Foran, Will., Calabro, F., Luna, B.

"Development of White Matter Microstructure and Intrinsic Functional Connectivity Between the Amygdala and Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex: Associations with Anxiety and Depression"
Biological Psychiatry, n/a:n/a

Mouse over here for a brief summary or click to open article in a new tab.Connectivity between the amygdala and ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) is compromised in multiple psychiatric disorders, many of which emerge during adolescence. To identify what extent the deviations in amygdala-vmPFC maturation contribute to the onset of psychiatric disorders, it is essential to characterize amygdala-vmPFC connectivity changes during typical development.


Rattray I, Smith EJ, Crum WR, Walker TA, Gale R, Bates GP, Modo M.

"Correlations of Behavioral Deficits with Brain Pathology Assessed through Longitudinal MRI and Histopathology in the HdhQ150/Q150 Mouse Model of Huntington s Disease."
PLOS One, 12:e0168556

Mouse over here for a brief summary or click to open article in a new tab.A variety of mouse models have been developed that express mutant huntingtin (mHTT) leading to aggregates and inclusions that model the molecular pathology observed in Huntington’s disease. Here we show that although homozygous HdhQ150 knock-in mice developed motor impairments (rotarod, locomotor activity, grip strength) by 36 weeks of age, cognitive dysfunction (swimming T maze, fear conditioning, odor discrimination, social interaction) was not evident by 94 weeks. Concomitant to behavioral assessments, T2-weighted MRI volume measurements indicated a slower striatal growth with a significant difference between wild type (WT) and HdhQ150 mice being present even at 15 weeks. Indeed, MRI indicated significant volumetric changes prior to the emergence of the “clinical horizon” of motor impairments at 36 weeks of age. A striatal decrease of 27% was observed over 94 weeks with cortex (12%) and hippocampus (21%) also indicating significant atrophy. A hypothesis-free analysis using tensor-based morphometry highlighted further regions undergoing atrophy by contrasting brain growth and regional neurodegeneration. Histology revealed the widespread presence of mHTT aggregates and cellular inclusions. However, there was little evidence of correlations between these outcome measures, potentially indicating that other factors are important in the causal cascade linking the molecular pathology to the emergence of behavioral impairments. In conclusion, the HdhQ150 mouse model replicates many aspects of the human condition, including an extended pre-manifest period prior to the emergence of motor impairments.


García-Hernández S., Abe M., Sakimura K.

"Impaired auditory processing and altered structure of the endbulb of Held synapse in mice lacking the GluA3 subunit of AMPA receptors."
Hearing Research, 344:284

Mouse over here for a brief summary or click to open article in a new tab.We assessed how the lack of GluA3 subunits of AMPA receptors affects the ability of the auditory brainstem to adapt to changes in sensory experience. We inserted one ear plug into WT and GluA3-KO mice, and evaluated the recovery of auditory brainstem response (ABR) thresholds and peak amplitudes for 60 days after ear plug removal. Our study demonstrates that GluA3-containing AMPARs are necessary for normal auditory processing, for maintaining the structural integrity of postsynaptic densities in the AN-BC synapse and for adaptive plastic changes after transient sound reduction.


Sombric C.J, Harker H.M, Sparto P.J.

"Explicit Action Switching Interferes with the Context-Specificity of Motor Memories in Older Adults"
Frontiers in Aiging Neuroscience, N/A:N/A

Mouse over here for a brief summary or click to open article in a new tab.This paper addressed the relation between cognitive and motor mechanisms for motor learning in young and old populations. We specifically characterized the ability of older adults to switch between motor memories, and how cognition contributes or interferes with this motor capacity. Our findings show that cognitive and motor domains interfere with each other during context-specific action selection in older adults. This finding is significant because it provides insights into the behavioral consequences of well-known age-related changes in the basal ganglia and cerebellum mediating motor switching. This information could be used to develop more effective treatments for age-related mobility impairments.


Gardner-McCune, Christina; Aggarwal, Ashish

"Semantic Reasoning in Young Programmers"
Proceedings of the 2017 ACM SIGCSE Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education, 0:585

Mouse over here for a brief summary or click to open article in a new tab.Children can be helped to reason about computer programs by teaching them to recognize common structure (idioms), and by formally instructing them in the semantics of the language. This worked used a rule-based language called Kodu Game Lab.

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