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Relational memory, or the ability to form contextual associations among items encountered closely in time, is impaired in schizophrenia. The ability to bind items into a relational memory is dependent on the hippocampus, a region that is abnormal in schizophrenia. However, the hippocampus is also involved in exploratory behavior, leaving open the question whether relational memory deficits in schizophrenia are due to failure of relational binding or diminished visual exploration of individual items during encoding. We studied visual exploration patterns during the encoding of face-scene pairs in 66 healthy control subjects and 69 early psychosis patients, to test the hypothesis that differences in visual exploration during the encoding phase can explain task accuracy differences between the two groups. Psychosis patients had lower explicit test accuracy and were less likely to transition from mouth to eyes during encoding. The visual exploration pattern differences between groups did not mediate the relationship between group and explicit test accuracy. We conclude that early psychosis patients have an abnormal pattern of binding items together during encoding that warrants further research.
Copyright © 2020 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
BACKGROUND - Humans constantly take in vast amounts of information, which must be filtered, flexibly manipulated, and integrated into cohesive relational memories in order to choose relevant behaviors. Relational memory is impaired in chronic schizophrenia, which has been linked to hippocampal dysfunction. It is unclear whether relational memory is impaired in the early stage of psychosis.
METHODS - We studied eye movements during a face-scene pairs task as an indirect measure of relational memory in 89 patients in the early stage of psychosis and 84 healthy control participants. During testing, scenes were overlaid with three equally-familiar faces and participants were asked to recall the matching (i.e. previously-paired) face. During Match trials, one face had been previously paired with the scene. During Non-Match trials, no faces matched the scene. Forced-choice explicit recognition was recorded as a direct measure of relational memory.
RESULTS - Healthy control subjects rapidly (within 250-500 ms) showed preferential viewing of the matching face during Match trials. In contrast, preferential viewing was delayed in patients in the early stage of psychosis. Explicit recognition of the matching face was also impaired in the patient group.
CONCLUSIONS - This study provides novel evidence for a relational memory deficit in the early stage of psychosis. Patients showed deficits in both explicit recognition as well as abnormal eye-movement patterns during memory recall. Eye movements provide a promising avenue for the study of relational memory in psychosis, as they allow for the assessment of rapid, nonverbal memory processes.
Copyright © 2019 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Frontal eye field (FEF) in macaque monkeys contributes to visual attention, visual-motor transformations and production of eye movements. Traditionally, neurons in FEF have been classified by the magnitude of increased discharge rates following visual stimulus presentation, during a waiting period, and associated with eye movement production. However, considerable heterogeneity remains within the traditional visual, visuomovement, and movement categories. Cluster analysis is a data-driven method of identifying self-segregating groups within a dataset. Because many cluster analysis techniques exist and outcomes vary with analysis assumptions, consensus clustering aggregates over multiple analyses, identifying robust groups. To describe more comprehensively the neuronal composition of FEF, we applied a consensus clustering technique for unsupervised categorization of patterns of spike rate modulation measured during a memory-guided saccade task. We report 10 functional categories, expanding on the traditional 3 categories. Categories were distinguished by latency, magnitude, and sign of visual response; the presence of sustained activity; and the dynamics, magnitude and sign of saccade-related modulation. Consensus clustering can include other metrics and can be applied to datasets from other brain regions to provide better information guiding microcircuit models of cortical function.
Sensory processing differences, including responses to auditory, visual, and tactile stimuli, are ideal targets for early detection of neurodevelopmental risks, such as autism spectrum disorder. However, most existing studies focus on the audiovisual paradigm and ignore the sense of touch. In this paper, we present a multisensory delivery system that can deliver audio, visual, and tactile stimuli in a controlled manner and capture peripheral physiological, eye gaze, and electroencephalographic response data. The novelty of the system is the ability to provide affective touch. In particular, we have developed a tactile stimulation device that delivers tactile stimuli to infants with precisely controlled brush stroking speed and force on the skin. A usability study of 10 3-20 month-old infants was conducted to investigate the tolerability and feasibility of the system. Results have shown that the system is well tolerated by infants and all the data were collected robustly. This paper paves the way for future studies charting the sensory response trajectories in infancy.
Purpose - The eye and its accessory structures, the optic nerve and the extraocular muscles, form a complex dynamic system. In vivo magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of this system in motion can have substantial benefits in understanding oculomotor functioning in health and disease, but has been restricted to date to imaging of static gazes only. The purpose of this work was to develop a technique to image the eye and its accessory visual structures in motion.
Methods - Dynamic imaging of the eye was developed on a 3-Tesla MRI scanner, based on a golden angle radial sequence that allows freely selectable frame-rate and temporal-span image reconstructions from the same acquired data set. Retrospective image reconstructions at a chosen frame rate of 57 ms per image yielded high-quality in vivo movies of various eye motion tasks performed in the scanner. Motion analysis was performed for a left-right version task where motion paths, lengths, and strains/globe angle of the medial and lateral extraocular muscles and the optic nerves were estimated.
Results - Offline image reconstructions resulted in dynamic images of bilateral visual structures of healthy adults in only ∼15-s imaging time. Qualitative and quantitative analyses of the motion enabled estimation of trajectories, lengths, and strains on the optic nerves and extraocular muscles at very high frame rates of ∼18 frames/s.
Conclusions - This work presents an MRI technique that enables high-frame-rate dynamic imaging of the eyes and orbital structures. The presented sequence has the potential to be used in furthering the understanding of oculomotor mechanics in vivo, both in health and disease.
The newly evolved circuits in layer III of primate dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) generate the neural representations that subserve working memory. These circuits are weakened by increased cAMP-K+ channel signaling, and are a focus of pathology in schizophrenia, aging, and Alzheimer's disease. Cognitive deficits in these disorders are increasingly associated with insults to mGluR3 metabotropic glutamate receptors, while reductions in mGluR2 appear protective. This has been perplexing, as mGluR3 has been considered glial receptors, and mGluR2 and mGluR3 have been thought to have similar functions, reducing glutamate transmission. We have discovered that, in addition to their astrocytic expression, mGluR3 is concentrated postsynaptically in spine synapses of layer III dlPFC, positioned to strengthen connectivity by inhibiting postsynaptic cAMP-K+ channel actions. In contrast, mGluR2 is principally presynaptic as expected, with only a minor postsynaptic component. Functionally, increase in the endogenous mGluR3 agonist, N-acetylaspartylglutamate, markedly enhanced dlPFC Delay cell firing during a working memory task via inhibition of cAMP signaling, while the mGluR2 positive allosteric modulator, BINA, produced an inverted-U dose-response on dlPFC Delay cell firing and working memory performance. These data illuminate why insults to mGluR3 would erode cognitive abilities, and support mGluR3 as a novel therapeutic target for higher cognitive disorders.
© The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: email@example.com.
The interlaminar connections in the primate primary visual cortex (V1) are well described, as is the presence of ongoing alpha-range (7-14 Hz) fluctuations in this area. Less well understood is how these interlaminar connections and ongoing fluctuations contribute to the regulation of visual spiking responses. Here, we investigate the relationship between alpha fluctuations and spiking responses to visual stimuli across cortical layers. Using laminar probes in macaque V1, we show that neural firing couples with the phase of alpha fluctuations, and that magnitude of this coupling is particularly pronounced during visual stimulation. The strongest modulation of spiking activity was observed in layers 2/3. Alpha-spike coupling and current source density analysis pointed to an infragranular origin of the alpha fluctuations. Taken together, these results indicate that ongoing infragranular alpha-range fluctuations in V1 play a role in regulating columnar visual activity.
© The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Response inhibition in stop signal tasks has been explained as the outcome of a race between GO and STOP processes (e.g., Logan, 1981). Response choice in two-alternative perceptual categorization tasks has been explained as the outcome of an accumulation of evidence for the alternative responses. To begin unifying these two powerful investigation frameworks, we obtained data from humans and macaque monkeys performing a stop signal task with responses guided by perceptual categorization and variable degrees of difficulty, ranging from low to high accuracy. Comparable results across species reinforced the validity of this animal model. Response times and errors increased with categorization difficulty. The probability of failing to inhibit responses on stop signal trials increased with stop signal delay, and the response times for failed stop signal trials were shorter than those for trials with no stop signal. Thus, the Logan race model could be applied to estimate the duration of the stopping process. We found that the duration of the STOP process did not vary across a wide range of discrimination accuracies. This is consistent with the functional, and possibly mechanistic, independence of choice and inhibition mechanisms.
Neurons in cortical ventral-stream area V4 are thought to contribute to important aspects of visual processing by integrating information from primary visual cortex (V1). However, how V4 neurons respond to visual stimulation after V1 injury remains unclear: While electrophysiological investigation of V4 neurons during reversible V1 inactivation suggests that virtually all responses are eliminated (Girard et al., 1991), fMRI in humans and monkeys with permanent lesions shows reliable V1-independent activity (Baseler et al., 1999; Goebel et al., 2001; Schmid et al., 2010). To resolve this apparent discrepancy, we longitudinally assessed neuronal functions of macaque area V4 using chronically implanted electrode arrays before and after creating a permanent aspiration lesion in V1. During the month after lesioning, we observed weak yet significant spiking activity in response to stimuli presented to the lesion-affected part of the visual field. These V1-independent responses showed sensitivity for motion and likely reflect the effect of V1-bypassing geniculate input into extrastriate areas.
Self-generated body movements have reliable visual consequences. This predictive association between vision and action likely underlies modulatory effects of action on visual processing. However, it is unknown whether actions can have generative effects on visual perception. We asked whether, in total darkness, self-generated body movements are sufficient to evoke normally concomitant visual perceptions. Using a deceptive experimental design, we discovered that waving one's own hand in front of one's covered eyes can cause visual sensations of motion. Conjecturing that these visual sensations arise from multisensory connectivity, we showed that grapheme-color synesthetes experience substantially stronger kinesthesis-induced visual sensations than nonsynesthetes do. Finally, we found that the perceived vividness of kinesthesis-induced visual sensations predicted participants' ability to smoothly track self-generated hand movements with their eyes in darkness, which indicates that these sensations function like typical retinally driven visual sensations. Evidently, even in the complete absence of external visual input, the brain predicts visual consequences of actions.