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  • Neuroinformatics

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  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Boutin, Hervé; Crossman, David; Smigova, Alison; Drake, Caroline; Allan, Stuart M.; Francis, Sheila; Gerhard, Alexander; Jones, Matthew S.; Hinz, Rainer; Kassiou, Michael; +16 more
    Country: Canada

    Chronic systemic inflammatory conditions, such as atherosclerosis, diabetes and obesity are associated with increased risk of stroke, which suggests that systemic inflammation may contribute to the development of stroke in humans. The hypothesis that systemic inflammation may induce brain pathology can be tested in animals, and this was the key objective of the present study. First, we assessed inflammatory changes in the brain in rodent models of chronic, systemic inflammation. PET imaging revealed increased microglia activation in the brain of JCR-LA (corpulent) rats, which develop atherosclerosis and obesity, compared to the control lean strain. Immunostaining against Iba1 confirmed reactive microgliosis in these animals. An atherogenic diet in apolipoprotein E knock-out (ApoE−/−) mice induced microglial activation in the brain parenchyma within 8 weeks and increased expression of vascular adhesion molecules. Focal lipid deposition and neuroinflammation in periventricular and cortical areas and profound recruitment of activated myeloid phagocytes, T cells and granulocytes into the choroid plexus were also observed. In a small, preliminary study, patients at risk of stroke (multiple risk factors for stroke, with chronically elevated C-reactive protein, but negative MRI for brain pathology) exhibited increased inflammation in the brain, as indicated by PET imaging. These findings show that brain inflammation occurs in animals, and tentatively in humans, harbouring risk factors for stroke associated with elevated systemic inflammation. Thus a “primed” inflammatory environment in the brain may exist in individuals at risk of stroke and this can be adequately recapitulated in appropriate co-morbid animal models.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Pauline Usuanlele; Dr Allen Chan; Landon Fuhr; Ryan Zahacy;
    Country: Canada
  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Aparajita Rahman; Eden Redman; Avary Kostiw; Jacqueline Cummine;
    Country: Canada

    Koalacademy is a language learning tool predicated on the subsequent memory effect (SME), which differentiates the brain activity between the successful or unsuccessful encoding of a studied word to memory, relaying this information back to the user in real- time. We take advantage of the SME in confirming or denying the encoding of words during the process of studying them, allowing for selective repetition of poorly studied words, thus improving the success-rate of learning. The present study is focussed on validating the underlying framework of Koalacademy, a scalable Brain Computer Interface (BCI) platform that is able to present stimuli and stream brain data in a timely fashion comparable to other traditionally validated means of obtaining electroencephalography (EEG) data from BCI headsets. The present study utilizes a comparison oddball task. We have two conditions, including a control condition using a single board computer—which brain data is streamed to and is triggered via a light sensor at the onset of stimulus on the Koalacademy platform—, and an experimental condition consisting of brain data streaming and triggered through Koalacademy. The present study is the first of two, while the latter aims to validate whether a cloud trained machine learning model based on data collected through Koalacademy is able to successfully predict subsequent recall in real-time.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Ma, Liya;
    Country: Canada
  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Daniels, J.K.; Coupland, N.J.; Rowe, B.; Lanius, R.; Hegadoren, K.M.;
    Country: Canada

    Background. Current theories of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) place considerable emphasis on the role cognitive distortions such as self-blame, hopelessness or preoccupation with danger play in the etiology and maintenance of the disorder. Previous studies have shown that cognitive distortions in the early aftermath of traumatic events can predict future PTSD severity but, to date, no studies have investigated the neural correlates of this association. Method. We conducted a prospective study with 106 acutely traumatized subjects, assessing symptom severity at three time points within the first 3 months post-trauma. A subsample of 20 subjects additionally underwent a functional 4-T magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan at 2 to 4 months post-trauma. Results. Cognitive distortions proved to be a significant predictor of concurrent symptom severity in addition to diagnostic status, but did not predict future symptom severity or diagnostic status over and above the initial symptom severity. Cognitive distortions were correlated with blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) signal strength in brain regions previously implicated in visual processing, imagery and autobiographic memory recall. Intrusion characteristics accounted for most of these correlations. Conclusions. This investigation revealed significant predictive value of cognitive distortions concerning concurrent PTSD severity and also established a significant relationship between cognitive distortions and neural activations during trauma recall in an acutely traumatized sample. These data indicate a direct link between the extent of cognitive distortions and the intrusive nature of trauma memories.

  • Other research product . 2015
    Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Ezekpo,Ashley;
    Country: Canada

    This paper serves to understand if there can be a difference in the brain activity of a professional dancer and an unprofessional dancer. First, a general comparison is made between music and dance to show how they are related and why dance is associated with music often. Secondly, the relationship between brain activity and music will be discussed, and then the relationship between Dance and brain activity are broken down into three subtopics: timing, rhythm, and spatial organization in order to explain why people dance and how dance can be a sequentially planned series of movement. To conclude the research, music, dance, and brain activity are related altogether to different brain regions to understand why dance occurs and how its subsequent movements occur. Listening to music requires at least three basic motor control functions: timing, sequencing, and spatial organisation of movement. These functions mediate complex behaviors controlled and interpreted by several cortical regions, subcortical regions, motor areas, and most importantly, mirror neurons by converting incoming sensory information into motor instructions and actions.

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