Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 26

Search results for: prefrontal cortex

26 Biologically Inspired Artificial Neural Cortex Architecture and its Formalism

Authors: Alexei M. Mikhailov

Abstract:

The paper attempts to elucidate the columnar structure of the cortex by answering the following questions. (1) Why the cortical neurons with similar interests tend to be vertically arrayed forming what is known as cortical columns? (2) How to describe the cortex as a whole in concise mathematical terms? (3) How to design efficient digital models of the cortex?

Keywords: Cortex, pattern recognition, artificial neural cortex, computational biology, brain and neural engineering.

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25 A Self Organized Map Method to Classify Auditory-Color Synesthesia from Frontal Lobe Brain Blood Volume

Authors: Takashi Kaburagi, Takamasa Komura, Yosuke Kurihara

Abstract:

Absolute pitch is the ability to identify a musical note without a reference tone. Training for absolute pitch often occurs in preschool education. It is necessary to clarify how well the trainee can make use of synesthesia in order to evaluate the effect of the training. To the best of our knowledge, there are no existing methods for objectively confirming whether the subject is using synesthesia. Therefore, in this study, we present a method to distinguish the use of color-auditory synesthesia from the separate use of color and audition during absolute pitch training. This method measures blood volume in the prefrontal cortex using functional Near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) and assumes that the cognitive step has two parts, a non-linear step and a linear step. For the linear step, we assume a second order ordinary differential equation. For the non-linear part, it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to create an inverse filter of such a complex system as the brain. Therefore, we apply a method based on a self-organizing map (SOM) and are guided by the available data. The presented method was tested using 15 subjects, and the estimation accuracy is reported.

Keywords: Absolute pitch, functional near-infrared spectroscopy, prefrontal cortex, synesthesia.

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24 Analysis of Event-related Response in Human Visual Cortex with fMRI

Authors: Ayesha Zaman, Tanvir Atahary, Shahida Rafiq

Abstract:

Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging(fMRI) is a noninvasive imaging technique that measures the hemodynamic response related to neural activity in the human brain. Event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (efMRI) is a form of functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) in which a series of fMRI images are time-locked to a stimulus presentation and averaged together over many trials. Again an event related potential (ERP) is a measured brain response that is directly the result of a thought or perception. Here the neuronal response of human visual cortex in normal healthy patients have been studied. The patients were asked to perform a visual three choice reaction task; from the relative response of each patient corresponding neuronal activity in visual cortex was imaged. The average number of neurons in the adult human primary visual cortex, in each hemisphere has been estimated at around 140 million. Statistical analysis of this experiment was done with SPM5(Statistical Parametric Mapping version 5) software. The result shows a robust design of imaging the neuronal activity of human visual cortex.

Keywords: Echo Planner Imaging, Event related Response, General Linear Model, Visual Neuronal Response.

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23 Correlated Neural Activity in Cortex and Thalamus Following Brain Injury

Authors: Young-Seok Choi

Abstract:

It has been known that a characteristic Burst-Suppression (BS) pattern appears in EEG during the early recovery period following Cardiac Arrest (CA). Here, to explore the relationship between cortical and subcortical neural activities underlying BS, extracellular activity in the parietal cortex and the centromedian nucleus of the thalamus and extradural EEG were recorded in a rodent CA model. During the BS, the cortical firing rate is extraordinarily high, and that bursts in EEG correlate to dense spikes in cortical neurons. Newly observed phenomena are that 1) thalamic activity reemerges earlier than cortical activity following CA, and 2) the correlation coefficient of cortical and thalamic activities rises during BS period. These results would help elucidate the underlying mechanism of brain recovery after CA injury.

Keywords: Cortex, thalamus, cardiac arrest, burst-suppression.

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22 A Novel NIRS Index to Evaluate Brain Activity in Prefrontal Regions While Listening to First and Second Languages for Long Time Periods

Authors: Kensho Takahashi, Ko Watanabe, Takashi Kaburagi, Hiroshi Tanaka, Kajiro Watanabe, Yosuke Kurihara

Abstract:

Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) has been widely used as a non-invasive method to measure brain activity, but it is corrupted by baseline drift noise. Here we present a method to measure regional cerebral blood flow as a derivative of NIRS output. We investigate whether, when listening to languages, blood flow can reasonably localize and represent regional brain activity or not. The prefrontal blood flow distribution pattern when advanced second-language listeners listened to a second language (L2) was most similar to that when listening to their first language (L1) among the patterns of mean and standard deviation. In experiments with 25 healthy subjects, the maximum blood flow was localized to the left BA46 of advanced listeners. The blood flow presented is robust to baseline drift and stably localizes regional brain activity.

Keywords: NIRS, oxy-hemoglobin, baseline drift, blood flow, working memory, BA46, first language, second language.

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21 Chaotic Properties of Hemodynamic Responsein Functional Near Infrared Spectroscopic Measurement of Brain Activity

Authors: Ni Ni Soe , Masahiro Nakagawa

Abstract:

Functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) is a practical non-invasive optical technique to detect characteristic of hemoglobin density dynamics response during functional activation of the cerebral cortex. In this paper, fNIRS measurements were made in the area of motor cortex from C4 position according to international 10-20 system. Three subjects, aged 23 - 30 years, were participated in the experiment. The aim of this paper was to evaluate the effects of different motor activation tasks of the hemoglobin density dynamics of fNIRS signal. The chaotic concept based on deterministic dynamics is an important feature in biological signal analysis. This paper employs the chaotic properties which is a novel method of nonlinear analysis, to analyze and to quantify the chaotic property in the time series of the hemoglobin dynamics of the various motor imagery tasks of fNIRS signal. Usually, hemoglobin density in the human brain cortex is found to change slowly in time. An inevitable noise caused by various factors is to be included in a signal. So, principle component analysis method (PCA) is utilized to remove high frequency component. The phase pace is reconstructed and evaluated the Lyapunov spectrum, and Lyapunov dimensions. From the experimental results, it can be conclude that the signals measured by fNIRS are chaotic.

Keywords: Chaos, hemoglobin, Lyapunov spectrum, motorimagery, near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS), principal componentanalysis (PCA).

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20 Electroencephalography Activity during Sensory Organization Balance Test

Authors: Tariq Ali Gujar, Anita Hökelmann

Abstract:

Postural balance plays essential role throughout life in daily activities. Somatosensory, visual and vestibular inputs play the fundamental role in maintaining body equilibrium to balance the posture. The aim of this study was to find out electroencephalography (EEG) responses during balance activity of young people during Sensory Organization Balance Test. The outcome of this study will help to create the fitness and neurorehabilitation plan. 25 young people (25 ± 3.1 years) have been analyzed on Balance Master NeuroCom® with the coupling of Brain Vision 32 electrode wireless EEG system during the Sensory Organization Test. From the results it has been found that the balance score of samples is significantly higher under the influence of somatosensory input as compared to visual and vestibular input (p < 0.05). The EEG between somatosensory and visual input to balance the posture showed significantly higher (p < 0.05) alpha and beta activities during somatosensory input in somatosensory, attention and visual functions of the cortex whereas executive and motor functions of the cerebral cortex showed significantly higher (p < 0.05) alpha EEG activity during the visual input. The results suggest that somatosensory and attention function of the cerebral cortex has alpha and beta activity, respectively high during somatosensory and vestibular input in maintaining balance. In patients with balance impairments both physical and cognitive training, including neurofeedback will be helpful to improve balance abilities.

Keywords: Balance, electroencephalography activity, somatosensory, visual, vestibular.

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19 The Nature of the Complicated Fabric Textures: How to Represent in Primary Visual Cortex

Authors: J. L. Liu, L. Wang, B. Zhu, J. Zhou, W. D. Gao

Abstract:

Fabric textures are very common in our daily life. However, the representation of fabric textures has never been explored from neuroscience view. Theoretical studies suggest that primary visual cortex (V1) uses a sparse code to efficiently represent natural images. However, how the simple cells in V1 encode the artificial textures is still a mystery. So, here we will take fabric texture as stimulus to study the response of independent component analysis that is established to model the receptive field of simple cells in V1. We choose 140 types of fabrics to get the classical fabric textures as materials. Experiment results indicate that the receptive fields of simple cells have obvious selectivity in orientation, frequency and phase when drifting gratings are used to determine their tuning properties. Additionally, the distribution of optimal orientation and frequency shows that the patch size selected from each original fabric image has a significant effect on the frequency selectivity.

Keywords: Fabric Texture, Receptive Filed, Simple Cell, Spare Coding.

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18 Mechanism of Alcohol Related Disruption of the Error Monitoring and Processing System

Authors: M. O. Welcome, Y. E. Razvodovsky, E. V. Pereverzeva, V. A. Pereverzev

Abstract:

The error monitoring and processing system, EMPS is the system located in the substantia nigra of the midbrain, basal ganglia and cortex of the forebrain, and plays a leading role in error detection and correction. The main components of EMPS are the dopaminergic system and anterior cingulate cortex. Although, recent studies show that alcohol disrupts the EMPS, the ways in which alcohol affects this system are poorly understood. Based on current literature data, here we suggest a hypothesis of alcohol-related glucose-dependent system of error monitoring and processing, which holds that the disruption of the EMPS is related to the competency of glucose homeostasis regulation, which in turn may determine the dopamine level as a major component of EMPS. Alcohol may indirectly disrupt the EMPS by affecting dopamine level through disorders in blood glucose homeostasis regulation.

Keywords: Alcohol related disruption, Error monitoring andprocessing system, Mechanism.

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17 Study of EEGs from Somatosensory Cortex and Alzheimer's Disease Sources

Authors: Md R. Bashar, Yan Li, Peng Wen

Abstract:

This study is to investigate the electroencephalogram (EEG) differences generated from a normal and Alzheimer-s disease (AD) sources. We also investigate the effects of brain tissue distortions due to AD on EEG. We develop a realistic head model from T1 weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) using finite element method (FEM) for normal source (somatosensory cortex (SC) in parietal lobe) and AD sources (right amygdala (RA) and left amygdala (LA) in medial temporal lobe). Then, we compare the AD sourced EEGs to the SC sourced EEG for studying the nature of potential changes due to sources and 5% to 20% brain tissue distortions. We find an average of 0.15 magnification errors produced by AD sourced EEGs. Different brain tissue distortion models also generate the maximum 0.07 magnification. EEGs obtained from AD sources and different brain tissue distortion levels vary scalp potentials from normal source, and the electrodes residing in parietal and temporal lobes are more sensitive than other electrodes for AD sourced EEG.

Keywords: Alzheimer's disease (AD), brain tissue distortion, electroencephalogram, finite element method.

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16 Inverse Sets-based Recognition of Video Clips

Authors: Alexei M. Mikhailov

Abstract:

The paper discusses the mathematics of pattern indexing and its applications to recognition of visual patterns that are found in video clips. It is shown that (a) pattern indexes can be represented by collections of inverted patterns, (b) solutions to pattern classification problems can be found as intersections and histograms of inverted patterns and, thus, matching of original patterns avoided.

Keywords: Artificial neural cortex, computational biology, data mining, pattern recognition.

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15 Action Potential of Lateral Geniculate Neurons at Low Threshold Currents: Simulation Study

Authors: Faris Tarlochan, Siva Mahesh Tangutooru

Abstract:

Lateral Geniculate Nucleus (LGN) is the relay center in the visual pathway as it receives most of the input information from retinal ganglion cells (RGC) and sends to visual cortex. Low threshold calcium currents (IT) at the membrane are the unique indicator to characterize this firing functionality of the LGN neurons gained by the RGC input. According to the LGN functional requirements such as functional mapping of RGC to LGN, the morphologies of the LGN neurons were developed. During the neurological disorders like glaucoma, the mapping between RGC and LGN is disconnected and hence stimulating LGN electrically using deep brain electrodes can restore the functionalities of LGN. A computational model was developed for simulating the LGN neurons with three predominant morphologies each representing different functional mapping of RGC to LGN. The firings of action potentials at LGN neuron due to IT were characterized by varying the stimulation parameters, morphological parameters and orientation. A wide range of stimulation parameters (stimulus amplitude, duration and frequency) represents the various strengths of the electrical stimulation with different morphological parameters (soma size, dendrites size and structure). The orientation (0-1800) of LGN neuron with respect to the stimulating electrode represents the angle at which the extracellular deep brain stimulation towards LGN neuron is performed. A reduced dendrite structure was used in the model using Bush–Sejnowski algorithm to decrease the computational time while conserving its input resistance and total surface area. The major finding is that an input potential of 0.4 V is required to produce the action potential in the LGN neuron which is placed at 100 μm distance from the electrode. From this study, it can be concluded that the neuroprostheses under design would need to consider the capability of inducing at least 0.4V to produce action potentials in LGN.

Keywords: Lateral geniculate nucleus, visual cortex, finite element, glaucoma, neuroprostheses.

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14 Cellular Components of the Hemal Node of Egyptian Cattle

Authors: Amira E. Derbalah, Doaa M. Zaghloul

Abstract:

10 clinically healthy hemal nodes were collected from male bulls aged 2-3 years. Light microscopy revealed a capsule of connective tissue consisted mainly of collagen fiber surrounding hemal node, numerous erythrocytes were found in wide subcapsular sinus under the capsule. The parenchyma of the hemal node was divided into cortex and medulla. Diffused lymphocytes, and lymphoid follicles, having germinal centers were the main components of the cortex, while in the medulla there was wide medullary sinus, diffused lymphocytes and few lymphoid nodules. The area occupied with lymph nodules was larger than that occupied with non-nodular structure of lymphoid cords and blood sinusoids. Electron microscopy revealed the cellular components of hemal node including elements of circulating erythrocytes intermingled with lymphocytes, plasma cells, mast cells, reticular cells, macrophages, megakaryocytes and endothelial cells lining the blood sinuses. The lymphocytes were somewhat triangular in shape with cytoplasmic processes extending between adjacent erythrocytes. Nuclei were triangular to oval in shape, lightly stained with clear nuclear membrane indentation and clear nucleoli. The reticular cells were elongated in shape with cytoplasmic processes extending between adjacent lymphocytes, rough endoplasmic reticulum, ribosomes and few lysosomes were seen in their cytoplasm. Nucleus was elongated in shape with less condensed chromatin. Plasma cells were oval to irregular in shape with numerous dilated rough endoplasmic reticulum containing electron lucent material occupying the whole cytoplasm and few mitochondria were found. Nuclei were centrally located and oval in shape with heterochromatin emarginated and often clumped near the nuclear membrane. Occasionally megakaryocytes and mast cells were seen among lymphocytes. Megakaryocytes had multilobulated nucleus and free ribosomes often appearing as small aggregates in their cytoplasm, while mast cell had their characteristic electron dense granule in the cytoplasm, few electron lucent granules were found also, we conclude that, the main function of the hemal node of cattle is proliferation of lymphocytes. No role for plasma cell in erythrophagocytosis could be suggested.

Keywords: Cattle, Electron microscopy, Hemal node, Histology, Immune system.

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13 Radio Frequency Identification Encryption via Modified Two Dimensional Logistic Map

Authors: Hongmin Deng, Qionghua Wang

Abstract:

A modified two dimensional (2D) logistic map based on cross feedback control is proposed. This 2D map exhibits more random chaotic dynamical properties than the classic one dimensional (1D) logistic map in the statistical characteristics analysis. So it is utilized as the pseudo-random (PN) sequence generator, where the obtained real-valued PN sequence is quantized at first, then applied to radio frequency identification (RFID) communication system in this paper. This system is experimentally validated on a cortex-M0 development board, which shows the effectiveness in key generation, the size of key space and security. At last, further cryptanalysis is studied through the test suite in the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

Keywords: Chaos encryption, logistic map, pseudo-random sequence, RFID.

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12 A Case Study of Limited Dynamic Voltage Frequency Scaling in Low-Power Processors

Authors: Hwan Su Jung, Ahn Jun Gil, Jong Tae Kim

Abstract:

Power management techniques are necessary to save power in the microprocessor. By changing the frequency and/or operating voltage of processor, DVFS can control power consumption. In this paper, we perform a case study to find optimal power state transition for DVFS. We propose the equation to find the optimal ratio between executions of states while taking into account the deadline of processing time and the power state transition delay overhead. The experiment is performed on the Cortex-M4 processor, and average 6.5% power saving is observed when DVFS is applied under the deadline condition.

Keywords: Deadline, Dynamic Voltage Frequency Scaling, Power State Transition.

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11 Assessing Complexity of Neuronal Multiunit Activity by Information Theoretic Measure

Authors: Young-Seok Choi

Abstract:

This paper provides a quantitative measure of the time-varying multiunit neuronal spiking activity using an entropy based approach. To verify the status embedded in the neuronal activity of a population of neurons, the discrete wavelet transform (DWT) is used to isolate the inherent spiking activity of MUA. Due to the de-correlating property of DWT, the spiking activity would be preserved while reducing the non-spiking component. By evaluating the entropy of the wavelet coefficients of the de-noised MUA, a multiresolution Shannon entropy (MRSE) of the MUA signal is developed. The proposed entropy was tested in the analysis of both simulated noisy MUA and actual MUA recorded from cortex in rodent model. Simulation and experimental results demonstrate that the dynamics of a population can be quantified by using the proposed entropy.

Keywords: Discrete wavelet transform, Entropy, Multiresolution, Multiunit activity.

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10 A Neural Model of Object Naming

Authors: Alessio Plebe

Abstract:

One astonishing capability of humans is to recognize thousands of different objects visually, and to learn the semantic association between those objects and words referring to them. This work is an attempt to build a computational model of such capacity,simulating the process by which infants learn how to recognize objects and words through exposure to visual stimuli and vocal sounds.One of the main fact shaping the brain of a newborn is that lights and colors come from entities of the world. Gradually the visual system learn which light sensations belong to same entities, despite large changes in appearance. This experience is common between humans and several other mammals, like non-human primates. But humans only can recognize a huge variety of objects, most manufactured by himself, and make use of sounds to identify and categorize them. The aim of this model is to reproduce these processes in a biologically plausible way, by reconstructing the essential hierarchy of cortical circuits on the visual and auditory neural paths.

Keywords: Auditory cortex, object recognition, self-organizingmaps

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9 Electroencephalography Based Brain-Computer Interface for Cerebellum Impaired Patients

Authors: Young-Seok Choi

Abstract:

In healthy humans, the cortical brain rhythm shows specific mu (~6-14 Hz) and beta (~18-24 Hz) band patterns in the cases of both real and imaginary motor movements. As cerebellar ataxia is associated with impairment of precise motor movement control as well as motor imagery, ataxia is an ideal model system in which to study the role of the cerebellocortical circuit in rhythm control. We hypothesize that the EEG characteristics of ataxic patients differ from those of controls during the performance of a Brain-Computer Interface (BCI) task. Ataxia and control subjects showed a similar distribution of mu power during cued relaxation. During cued motor imagery, however, the ataxia group showed significant spatial distribution of the response, while the control group showed the expected decrease in mu-band power (localized to the motor cortex).

Keywords: Brain-computer interface, EEG, modulation, ataxia.

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8 An EEG Case Study of Arithmetical Reasoning by Four Individuals Varying in Imagery and Mathematical Ability: Implications for Mathematics Education

Authors: Mark Rousell, Di Catherwood, Graham Edgar

Abstract:

The main issue of interest here is whether individuals who differ in arithmetical reasoning ability and levels of imagery ability display different brain activity during the conduct of mental arithmetical reasoning tasks. This was a case study of four participants who represented four extreme combinations of Maths –Imagery abilities: ie., low-low, high-high, high-low, low-high respectively. As the Ps performed a series of 60 arithmetical reasoning tasks, 128-channel EEG recordings were taken and the pre-response interval subsequently analysed using EGI GeosourceTM software. The P who was high in both imagery and maths ability showed peak activity prior to response in BA7 (superior parietal cortex) but other Ps did not show peak activity in this region. The results are considered in terms of the diverse routes that may be employed by individuals during the conduct of arithmetical reasoning tasks and the possible implications of this for mathematics education.

Keywords: Arithmetic, imagery, EEG, education.

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7 An Investigation of the Effects of Emotional Experience Induction on Mirror Neurons System Activity with Regard to Spectrum of Depressive Symptoms

Authors: Elyas Akbari, Jafar Hasani, Newsha Dehestani, Mohammad Khaleghi, Alireza Moradi

Abstract:

The aim of the present study was to assess the effect of emotional experience induction in the mirror neurons systems (MNS) activity with regard to the spectrum of depressive symptoms. For this purpose, at first stage, 449 students of Kharazmi University of Tehran were selected randomly and completed the second version of the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-II). Then, 36 students with standard Z-score equal or above +1.5 and equal or equal or below -1.5 were selected to construct two groups of high and low spectrum of depressive symptoms. In the next stage, the basic activity of MNS was recorded (mu wave) before presenting the positive and negative emotional video clips by Electroencephalography (EEG) technique. The findings related to emotion induction (neutral, negative and positive emotion) demonstrated that the activity of recorded mirror neuron areas had a significant difference between the depressive and non-depressive groups. These findings suggest that probably processing of negative emotions in depressive individuals is due to the idea that the mirror neurons in motor cortex matched up the activity of cognitive regions with the person’s schema. Considering the results of the present study, it could be said that the MNS provides a substrate where emotional disorders can be studied and evaluated.

Keywords: Emotional experiences, mirror neurons, depressive symptoms.

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6 Clinical Utility of Salivary Cytokines for Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Authors: Masaki Yamaguchi, Daimei Sasayama, Shinsuke Washizuka

Abstract:

The goal of this study was to examine the possibility of salivary cytokines for the screening of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children. We carried out a case-control study, including 19 children with ADHD and 17 healthy children (controls). A multiplex bead array immunoassay was used to conduct a multi-analysis of 27 different salivary cytokines. Six salivary cytokines (interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-8, IL12p70, granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF), interferon gamma (IFN-γ), and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)) were significantly associated with the presence of ADHD (p < 0.05). An informative salivary cytokine panel was developed using VEGF by logistic regression analysis (odds ratio: 0.251). Receiver operating characteristic analysis revealed that assessment of a panel using VEGF showed “good” capability for discriminating between ADHD patients and controls (area under the curve: 0.778). ADHD has been hypothesized to be associated with reduced cerebral blood flow in the frontal cortex, due to reduced VEGF levels. Our study highlights the possibility of utilizing differential salivary cytokine levels for point-of-care testing (POCT) of biomarkers in children with ADHD.

Keywords: Cytokine, saliva, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, child, biomarker.

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5 Real-Time Recognition of Dynamic Hand Postures on a Neuromorphic System

Authors: Qian Liu, Steve Furber

Abstract:

To explore how the brain may recognise objects in its general,accurate and energy-efficient manner, this paper proposes the use of a neuromorphic hardware system formed from a Dynamic Video Sensor (DVS) silicon retina in concert with the SpiNNaker real-time Spiking Neural Network (SNN) simulator. As a first step in the exploration on this platform a recognition system for dynamic hand postures is developed, enabling the study of the methods used in the visual pathways of the brain. Inspired by the behaviours of the primary visual cortex, Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) are modelled using both linear perceptrons and spiking Leaky Integrate-and-Fire (LIF) neurons. In this study’s largest configuration using these approaches, a network of 74,210 neurons and 15,216,512 synapses is created and operated in real-time using 290 SpiNNaker processor cores in parallel and with 93.0% accuracy. A smaller network using only 1/10th of the resources is also created, again operating in real-time, and it is able to recognise the postures with an accuracy of around 86.4% - only 6.6% lower than the much larger system. The recognition rate of the smaller network developed on this neuromorphic system is sufficient for a successful hand posture recognition system, and demonstrates a much improved cost to performance trade-off in its approach.

Keywords: Spiking neural network (SNN), convolutional neural network (CNN), posture recognition, neuromorphic system.

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4 Growth and Anatomical Responses of Lycopersicon esculentum (Tomatoes) under Microgravity and Normal Gravity Conditions

Authors: Gbenga F. Akomolafe, Joseph Omojola, Ezekiel S. Joshua, Seyi C. Adediwura, Elijah T. Adesuji, Michael O. Odey, Oyinade A. Dedeke, Ayo H. Labulo

Abstract:

Microgravity is known to be a major abiotic stress in space which affects plants depending on the duration of exposure. In this work, tomatoes seeds were exposed to long hours of simulated microgravity condition using a one-axis clinostat. The seeds were sown on a 1.5% combination of plant nutrient and agar-agar solidified medium in three Petri dishes. One of the Petri dishes was mounted on the clinostat and allowed to rotate at the speed of 20 rpm for 72 hours, while the others were subjected to the normal gravity vector. The anatomical sections of both clinorotated and normal gravity plants were made after 72 hours and observed using a Phase-contrast digital microscope. The percentage germination, as well as the growth rate of the normal gravity seeds, was higher than the clinorotated ones. The germinated clinorotated roots followed different directions unlike the normal gravity ones which grew towards the direction of gravity vector. The clinostat was able to switch off gravistimulation. Distinct cellular arrangement was observed for tomatoes under normal gravity condition, unlike those of clinorotated ones. The root epidermis and cortex of normal gravity are thicker than the clinorotated ones. This implied that under long-term microgravity influence, plants do alter their anatomical features as a way of adapting to the stress condition.

Keywords: Anatomy, Clinostat, Germination, Microgravity, Lycopersicon esculentum.

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3 A Neuroscience-Based Learning Technique: Framework and Application to STEM

Authors: Dante J. Dorantes-González, Aldrin Balsa-Yepes

Abstract:

Existing learning techniques such as problem-based learning, project-based learning, or case study learning are learning techniques that focus mainly on technical details, but give no specific guidelines on learner’s experience and emotional learning aspects such as arousal salience and valence, being emotional states important factors affecting engagement and retention. Some approaches involving emotion in educational settings, such as social and emotional learning, lack neuroscientific rigorousness and use of specific neurobiological mechanisms. On the other hand, neurobiology approaches lack educational applicability. And educational approaches mainly focus on cognitive aspects and disregard conditioning learning. First, authors start explaining the reasons why it is hard to learn thoughtfully, then they use the method of neurobiological mapping to track the main limbic system functions, such as the reward circuit, and its relations with perception, memories, motivations, sympathetic and parasympathetic reactions, and sensations, as well as the brain cortex. The authors conclude explaining the major finding: The mechanisms of nonconscious learning and the triggers that guarantee long-term memory potentiation. Afterward, the educational framework for practical application and the instructors’ guidelines are established. An implementation example in engineering education is given, namely, the study of tuned-mass dampers for earthquake oscillations attenuation in skyscrapers. This work represents an original learning technique based on nonconscious learning mechanisms to enhance long-term memories that complement existing cognitive learning methods.

Keywords: Emotion, emotion-enhanced memory, learning technique, STEM.

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2 Toxicological and Histopathological Studies on the Effect of Tartrazine in Male Albino Rats

Authors: F. Alaa Ali, S. A. Sherein Abdelgayed, S. Osama. EL-Tawil, M. Adel Bakeer

Abstract:

Tartrazine is an organic azo dyes food additive widely used in foods, drugs, and cosmetics. The present study aimed to investigate the toxic effects of tartrazine on kidneys and liver biomarkers in addition to the investigation of oxidative stress and change of histopathological structure of liver and kidneys in 30 male rats. Tartrazine was orally administrated daily at dose 200 mg/ kg bw (1/ 10 LD50) for sixty days. Serum and tissue samples were collected at the end of the experiment to investigate the underlying mechanism of tartrazine through assessment oxidative stress (Glutathione (GSH), Superoxide dismutase (SOD) and malondialdehyde (MDA) and biochemical markers (alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), Total protein and Urea). Liver and kidneys tissue were collected and preserved in 10% formalin for histopathological examination. The obtained values were statistically analyzed by one way analysis of variance (ANOVA) followed by multiple comparison test. Biochemical analysis revealed that tartrazine induced significant increase in serum ALT, AST, total protein, urea level compared to control group. Tartrazine showed significant decrease in liver GSH and SOD where their values when compared to control group. Tartrazine induced increase in liver MDA compared to control group. Histopathology of the liver showed diffuse vacuolar degeneration in hepatic parenchyma, the portal area showed sever changes sever in hepatoportal blood vessels and in the bile ducts. The kidneys showed degenerated tubules at the cortex together with mononuclear leucocytes inflammatory cells infiltration. There is perivascular edema with inflammatory cell infiltration surrounding the congested and hyalinized vascular wall of blood vessel. The present study indicates that the subchronic effects of tartrazine have a toxic effect on the liver and kidneys together with induction of oxidative stress by formation of free radicals. Therefore, people should avoid the hazards of consuming tartrazine.

Keywords: Albino rats, tartrazine, toxicity, pathology

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1 Monte Carlo and Biophysics Analysis in a Criminal Trial

Authors: Luca Indovina, Carmela Coppola, Carlo Altucci, Riccardo Barberi, Rocco Romano

Abstract:

In this paper a real court case, held in Italy at the Court of Nola, in which a correct physical description, conducted with both a Monte Carlo and biophysical analysis, would have been sufficient to arrive at conclusions confirmed by documentary evidence, is considered. This will be an example of how forensic physics can be useful in confirming documentary evidence in order to reach hardly questionable conclusions. This was a libel trial in which the defendant, Mr. DS (Defendant for Slander), had falsely accused one of his neighbors, Mr. OP (Offended Person), of having caused him some damages. The damages would have been caused by an external plaster piece that would have detached from the neighbor’s property and would have hit Mr DS while he was in his garden, much more than a meter far away from the facade of the building from which the plaster piece would have detached. In the trial, Mr. DS claimed to have suffered a scratch on his forehead, but he never showed the plaster that had hit him, nor was able to tell from where the plaster would have arrived. Furthermore, Mr. DS presented a medical certificate with a diagnosis of contusion of the cerebral cortex. On the contrary, the images of Mr. OP’s security cameras do not show any movement in the garden of Mr. DS in a long interval of time (about 2 hours) around the time of the alleged accident, nor do they show any people entering or coming out from the house of Mr. DS in the same interval of time. Biophysical analysis shows that both the diagnosis of the medical certificate and the wound declared by the defendant, already in conflict with each other, are not compatible with the fall of external plaster pieces too small to be found. The wind was at a level 1 of the Beaufort scale, that is, unable to raise even dust (level 4 of the Beaufort scale). Therefore, the motion of the plaster pieces can be described as a projectile motion, whereas collisions with the building cornice can be treated using Newtons law of coefficients of restitution. Numerous numerical Monte Carlo simulations show that the pieces of plaster would not have been able to reach even the garden of Mr. DS, let alone a distance over 1.30 meters. Results agree with the documentary evidence (images of Mr. OP’s security cameras) that Mr. DS could not have been hit by plaster pieces coming from Mr. OP’s property.

Keywords: Biophysical analysis, Monte Carlo simulations, Newton’s law of restitution, projectile motion.

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