State-Dependent Effects of Transcranial Oscillatory Currents on the Motor System during Action Observation
We applied transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS) to the primary motor cortex (M1) at different frequencies during an index-thumb pinch-grip observation task. To estimate changes in the corticospinal output, we used the size of motor evoked potentials (MEPs) obtained by transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) of M1 using an online MRI-guided simultaneous TMS-tACS approach. The results of the beta-tACS confirm a non-selective increase in corticospinal excitability in subjects at rest; an increase was observed for both of the tested hand muscles, the first dorsal interosseous (FDI) and the abductor digiti minimi (ADM). However, during action observation of the pinch-grip movement, the increase of corticospinal excitability was only observed for the prime mover FDI muscle and took place during alpha-tACS, while gamma-tACS affected both the FDI and control muscle (ADM) responses. These phenomena likely reflect the hypothesis that the mu and gamma rhythms specifically index the downstream modulation of primary sensorimotor areas by engaging mirror neuron activity. The current neuromodulation approach confirms that tACS can be used to induce neurophysiologically detectable state-dependent enhancement effects, even in complex motor-cognitive tasks
The digit span is one of the most widely used memory tests in clinical and experimental neuropsychology for reliably measuring short-term memory capacity. In the forward version, sequences of digits of increasing length have to be reproduced in the order in which they are presented, whereas in the backward version items must be reproduced in the reversed order. Here, we assessed whether transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS) increases the memory span for digits of young and midlife adults. Imperceptibly weak electrical currents in the alpha (10 Hz), beta (20 Hz), theta (5 Hz) and gamma (40 Hz) range, as well as a sham stimulation, were delivered over the left posterior parietal cortex, a cortical region thought to sustain maintenance processes in short-term memory through oscillatory brain activity in the beta range. We showed a frequency-specific effect of beta-tACS that robustly increased the forward memory span of young, but not middle-aged, healthy individuals. The effect correlated with age: the younger the subjects, the greater the benefit arising from parietal beta stimulation. Our results provide evidence of a short-term memory capacity improvement in young adults by online frequency-specific tACS application.
Despite extensive research on face recognition, only a few studies have examined the integration of perceptual features with semantic, biographical, and episodic information. In order to address this issue, we used repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) to target the left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) and the left occipital face area (OFA) during a face recognition task. rTMS was delivered during the encoding of "context" faces (i.e., linked to an occupation, e.g., "lawyer") and "no-context" faces (i.e., linked to a nonword pattern, e.g., "xxxx"). Subjects were then asked to perform a recognition memory task. Accuracy at retrieval showed a mild decrease after left OFA stimulation, whereas rTMS over the left IFG drastically compromised memory performance selectively for no-context faces. On the other hand, absence of rTMS interference on context faces might be due either to the fact that pairing an occupation to a face makes the memory trace stronger, therefore less susceptible to rTMS interference, or to a different functional specificity of the left IFG subregions.
This training manual contains information about the features of the use of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) in the main mental and neuropsychiatric disorders. The manual discusses in detail the main mechanisms of action of TMS, legal, organizational and sanitary norms of this procedure, indications and contraindications for its implementation, the peculiarities of combining TMS with psychopharmacotherapy and psychotherapy. In separate sections, the features of the use of TMS for affective diseases, anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, schizophrenia, chronic pain, neuropsychiatric diseases, and addictions are highlighted. The textbook "Application of transcranial magnetic stimulation in psychiatric and neuropsychiatric practice" was prepared in the discipline "Psychiatry" in accordance with the Federal State Educational Standard of Higher Professional Education for students of postgraduate and additional professional education of doctors studying in the specialty "Psychiatry" (14.01.06)
The neural mechanisms underlying perceptual learning are still under investigation. Eureka effect is a form of rapid, long-lasting perceptual learning by which a degraded image, which appears meaningless when first seen, becomes recognizable after a single exposure to its undegraded version. We used online interference by focal 10-Hz repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) to evaluate whether the parietal cortex (PC) is involved in Eureka effect, as suggested by neuroimaging data. RTMS of the PC did not affect recognition of degraded pictures when displayed 2s after the presentation of their undegraded version (learning phase). However, rTMS delivered over either right or left intraparietal sulcus simultaneously to the undegraded image presentation, disrupted identification of the degraded version of the same pictures when displayed 30 min after the learning phase. In contrast, recognition of degraded images was unaffected by rTMS over the vertex or by sham rTMS, or when rTMS of either PC was delivered 2s after the presentation of the undegraded image. Findings strongly support the hypothesis that both PC at the level of the intraparietal sulcus play a pivotal role in the Eureka effect particularly in consolidation processes, and contribute to elucidate the neural network underlying rapid perceptual learning
One of the key advances in genome assembly that has led to a significant improvement in contig lengths has been improved algorithms for utilization of paired reads (mate-pairs). While in most assemblers, mate-pair information is used in a post-processing step, the recently proposed Paired de Bruijn Graph (PDBG) approach incorporates the mate-pair information directly in the assembly graph structure. However, the PDBG approach faces difficulties when the variation in the insert sizes is high. To address this problem, we first transform mate-pairs into edge-pair histograms that allow one to better estimate the distance between edges in the assembly graph that represent regions linked by multiple mate-pairs. Further, we combine the ideas of mate-pair transformation and PDBGs to construct new data structures for genome assembly: pathsets and pathset graphs.
Many environmental stimuli present a quasi-rhythmic structure at different timescales that the brain needs to decompose and integrate. Cortical oscillations have been proposed as instruments of sensory de-multiplexing, i.e., the parallel processing of different frequency streams in sensory signals. Yet their causal role in such a process has never been demonstrated. Here, we used a neural microcircuit model to address whether coupled theta–gamma oscillations, as observed in human auditory cortex, could underpin the multiscale sensory analysis of speech. We show that, in continuous speech, theta oscillations can flexibly track the syllabic rhythm and temporally organize the phoneme-level response of gamma neurons into a code that enables syllable identification. The tracking of slow speech fluctuations by theta oscillations, and its coupling to gamma-spiking activity both appeared as critical features for accurate speech encoding. These results demonstrate that cortical oscillations can be a key instrument of speech de-multiplexing, parsing, and encoding.
Neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (NNRs) of the α7 subtype have been shown to contribute to the release of dopamine in the nucleus accumbens. The site of action and the underlying mechanism, however, are unclear. Here we applied a circuit modeling approach, supported by electrochemical in vivo recordings, to clarify this issue. Modeling revealed two potential mechanisms for the drop in accumbal dopamine efflux evoked by the selective α7 partial agonist TC-7020. TC-7020 could desensitize α7 NNRs located predominantly on dopamine neurons or glutamatergic afferents to them or, alternatively, activate α7 NNRs located on the glutamatergic afferents to GABAergic interneurons in the ventral tegmental area. Only the model based on desensitization, however, was able to explain the neutralizing effect of coapplied PNU-120596, a positive allosteric modulator. According to our results, the most likely sites of action are the preterminal α7 NNRs controlling glutamate release from cortical afferents to the nucleus accumbens. These findings offer a rationale for the further investigation of α7 NNR agonists as therapy for diseases associated with enhanced mesolimbic dopaminergic tone, such as schizophrenia and addiction