Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine


Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine


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Becker J.S.,Aeropharm GmbH | Pozebon D.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Matusch A.,Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine | Dressler V.L.,Federal University of Santa Maria | Becker J.S.,Jülich Research Center
International Journal of Mass Spectrometry | Year: 2011

Assessing the inventory of biological systems in respect to metal species is a growing area of life science research called metallomics. Slugs are of special interest as monitor organisms for environmental contaminations. Laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) was applied to map the distribution of total Zn in a section of a slug sample and to detect Zn-containing proteins after one-dimensional separation by gel electrophoresis (Blue Native PAGE). Interestingly, by far the largest fraction of protein bound Zn was explained by three sharp and prominent bands at 75, 100 and 150 kDa. Analysis of tryptic digests of selected bands using MALDI-TOF-MS and public databases failed to identify proteins within the Zn bands what may be due to coverage gaps concerning the species arion ater. Three non-Zn containing bands could be assigned to proteins known from other mollusc species. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.

Zimmermann E.,Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine | Bremmer F.,University of Marburg
Current Biology | Year: 2016

Our world appears stable, although our eyes constantly shift its image across the retina. What brain mechanisms allow for this perceptual stability? A recent study has brought us a step closer to answering this millennial question. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Schilbach L.,University of Cologne | Timmermans B.,University of Aberdeen | Reddy V.,University of Portsmouth | Costall A.,University of Portsmouth | And 4 more authors.
Behavioral and Brain Sciences | Year: 2013

In spite of the remarkable progress made in the burgeoning field of social neuroscience, the neural mechanisms that underlie social encounters are only beginning to be studied and could - paradoxically - be seen as representing the dark matter of social neuroscience. Recent conceptual and empirical developments consistently indicate the need for investigations that allow the study of real-time social encounters in a truly interactive manner. This suggestion is based on the premise that social cognition is fundamentally different when we are in interaction with others rather than merely observing them. In this article, we outline the theoretical conception of a second-person approach to other minds and review evidence from neuroimaging, psychophysiological studies, and related fields to argue for the development of a second-person neuroscience, which will help neuroscience to really go social; this may also be relevant for our understanding of psychiatric disorders construed as disorders of social cognition. Copyright © 2013 Cambridge University Press.

Zimmermann E.,Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine | Morrone M.C.,University of Pisa | Morrone M.C.,Scientific Institute Stella Maris IRCSS | Burr D.C.,University of Florence | Burr D.C.,CNR Institute of Neuroscience
Journal of Vision | Year: 2014

Visual objects presented around the time of saccadic eye movements are strongly mislocalized towards the saccadic target, a phenomenon known as ''saccadic compression.'' Here we show that perisaccadic compression is modulated by the presence of a visual saccadic target. When subjects saccaded to the center of the screen with no visible target, perisaccadic localization was more veridical than when tested with a target. Presenting a saccadic target sometime before saccade initiation was sufficient to induce mislocalization. When we systematically varied the onset of the saccade target, we found that it had to be presented around 100 ms before saccade execution to cause strong mislocalization: saccadic targets presented after this time caused progressively less mislocalization. When subjects made a saccade to screen center with a reference object placed at various positions, mislocalization was focused towards the position of the reference object. The results suggest that saccadic compression is a signature of a mechanism attempting to match objects seen before the saccade with those seen after. © 2014 ARVO.

Galldiks N.,University of Cologne | Galldiks N.,Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine | Langen K.-J.,Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine | Langen K.-J.,RWTH Aachen | Pope W.B.,University of California at Los Angeles
Neuro-Oncology | Year: 2015

The most common type of primary brain tumor is malignant glioma. Despite intensive therapeutic efforts, the majority of these neoplasms remain incurable. Imaging techniques are important for initial tumor detection and comprise indispensable tools for monitoring treatment. Structural imaging using contrast-enhanced MRI is the method of choice for brain tumor surveillance, but its capacity to differentiate tumor from nonspecific tissue changes can be limited, particularly with posttreatment gliomas. Metabolic imaging using positron-emission-tomography (PET) can provide relevant additional information, which may allow for better assessment of tumor burden in ambiguous cases. Specific PET tracers have addressed numerous molecular targets in the last decades, but only a few have achieved relevance in routine clinical practice. At present, PET studies using radiolabeled amino acids appear to improve clinical decision-making as these tracers can offer better delineation of tumor extent as well as improved targeting of biopsies, surgical interventions, and radiation therapy. Amino acid PET imaging also appears useful for distinguishing glioma recurrence or progression from postradiation treatment effects, particularly radiation necrosis and pseudoprogression, and provides information on histological grading and patient prognosis. In the last decade, the tracers O-(2-[18F]fluoroethyl)-L-tyrosine (FET) and 3,4-dihydroxy-6-[18F]-fluoro-L-phenylalanine (FDOPA) have been increasingly used for these indications. This review article focuses on these tracers and summarizes their recent applications for patients with brain tumors. Current uses of tracers other than FET and FDOPA are also discussed, and the most frequent practical questions regarding PET brain tumor imaging are reviewed. © 2015 The Author(s) 2015.

Chen D.T.,U.S. National Institutes of Health | Jiang X.,U.S. National Institutes of Health | Akula N.,U.S. National Institutes of Health | Shugart Y.Y.,U.S. National Institutes of Health | And 17 more authors.
Molecular Psychiatry | Year: 2013

Meta-analyses of bipolar disorder (BD) genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified several genome-wide significant signals in European-ancestry samples, but so far account for little of the inherited risk. We performed a meta-analysis of ∼750 000 high-quality genetic markers on a combined sample of ∼14 000 subjects of European and Asian-ancestry (phase I). The most significant findings were further tested in an extended sample of ∼17 700 cases and controls (phase II). The results suggest novel association findings near the genes TRANK1 (LBA1), LMAN2L and PTGFR. In phase I, the most significant single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), rs9834970 near TRANK1, was significant at the P=2.4 × 10 -11 level, with no heterogeneity. Supportive evidence for prior association findings near ANK3 and a locus on chromosome 3p21.1 was also observed. The phase II results were similar, although the heterogeneity test became significant for several SNPs. On the basis of these results and other established risk loci, we used the method developed by Park et al. to estimate the number, and the effect size distribution, of BD risk loci that could still be found by GWAS methods. We estimate that >63 000 case-control samples would be needed to identify the ∼105 BD risk loci discoverable by GWAS, and that these will together explain <6% of the inherited risk. These results support previous GWAS findings and identify three new candidate genes for BD. Further studies are needed to replicate these findings and may potentially lead to identification of functional variants. Sample size will remain a limiting factor in the discovery of common alleles associated with BD. © 2013 Macmillan Publishers Limited.

Zimmermann E.,University of Munster | Zimmermann E.,Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine | Ostendorf F.,Charité - Medical University of Berlin | Ostendorf F.,Humboldt University of Berlin | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Neurophysiology | Year: 2015

The frequent jumps of the eyeballs- called saccades-imply the need for a constant correction of motor errors. If systematic errors are detected in saccade landing, the saccade amplitude adapts to compensate for the error. In the laboratory, saccade adaptation can be studied by displacing the saccade target. Functional selectivity of adaptation for different saccade types suggests that adaptation occurs at multiple sites in the oculomotor system. Saccade motor learning might be the result of a comparison between a prediction of the saccade landing position and its actual postsaccadic location. To investigate whether a thalamic feedback pathway might carry such a prediction signal, we studied a patient with a lesion in the posterior ventrolateral thalamic nucleus. Saccade adaptation was tested for reactive saccades, which are performed to suddenly appearing targets, and for scanning saccades, which are performed to stationary targets. For reactive saccades, we found a clear impairment in adaptation retention ipsilateral to the lesioned side and a larger-than-normal adaptation on the contralesional side. For scanning saccades, adaptation was intact on both sides and not different from the control group. Our results provide the first lesion evidence that adaptation of reactive and scanning saccades relies on distinct feedback pathways from cerebellum to cortex. They further demonstrate that saccade adaptation in humans is not restricted to the cerebellum but also involves cortical areas. The paradoxically strong adaptation for outward target steps can be explained by stronger reliance on visual targeting errors when prediction error signaling is impaired. © 2015 the American Physiological Society.

Stetefeld H.R.,University of Cologne | Lehmann H.C.,University of Cologne | Fink G.R.,University of Cologne | Fink G.R.,Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine | Burghaus L.,University of Cologne
Journal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases | Year: 2014

The association of a posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome (PRES) without arterial hypertension with autoimmune-mediated inflammatory neuropathies such as Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) is a rare and poorly understood phenomenon. To date, PRES has been described as initial manifestation, coincidental finding, or adverse event subsequent to immunomodulatory treatment with intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) in cases of axonal and demyelinating GBS as well as in Miller-Fisher syndrome (MFS). We here report a case of MFS/Bickerstaff brain stem encephalitis (BBE)-overlap syndrome and nonhypertensive PRES that occurred in close temporal association with IVIG treatment and caused stroke. Immunoadsorption ameliorated the disease course. Our case supports the notion that in severe cases, immunoadsorption should be considered as first-line therapy instead of IVIG for rapid removal of IgG and thus to hasten recovery and improve functional outcome. © 2014 National Stroke Association.

Zimmermann E.,Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine | Fink G.,Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine | Fink G.,University of Cologne | Cavanagh P.,Attention
Journal of Vision | Year: 2013

We report a strong compression of space around a visual anchor presented in the near visual periphery (<5°). While subjects kept fixation, a salient visual stimulus (from now on referred to as "anchor") was presented, followed by a brief whole-field mask. At various times around mask onset a probe dot was flashed. Subjects estimated the position of the probe dot in relation to a subsequently presented comparison bar. The probe dot location was perceived nearly veridically when presented long before or after mask onset. However, when the probe dot was presented simultaneously with the mask it appeared shifted toward the anchor by as much as 50% of their separation. The anchor had to appear briefly before mask onset to attract the probe dot. No compression occurred when the anchor was presented long before or after the mask. When the probe dot and anchor were presented with similar brief duration, the more peripheral stimulus always shifted toward the more foveal stimulus independently of their temporal order. We hypothesize that the attraction might be explained by the summation of the neural activity distributions of probe and anchor. © 2013 ARVO.

Georgescu A.L.,University of Cologne | Kuzmanovic B.,University of Cologne | Kuzmanovic B.,Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine | Roth D.,University of Cologne | And 3 more authors.
Frontiers in Human Neuroscience | Year: 2014

High-functioning autism (HFA) is a neurodevelopmental disorder, which is characterized by life-long socio-communicative impairments on the one hand and preserved verbal and general learning and memory abilities on the other. One of the areas where particular difficulties are observable is the understanding of non-verbal communication cues.Thus, investigating the underlying psychological processes and neural mechanisms of non-verbal communication in HFA allows a better understanding of this disorder, and potentially enables the development of more efficient forms of psychotherapy and trainings. However, the research on non-verbal information processing in HFA faces several methodological challenges.The use of virtual characters (VCs) helps to overcome such challenges by enabling an ecologically valid experience of social presence, and by providing an experimental platform that can be systematically and fully controlled. To make this field of research accessible to a broader audience, we elaborate in the first part of the review the validity of using VCs in non-verbal behavior research on HFA, and we review current relevant paradigms and findings from social-cognitive neuroscience. In the second part, we argue for the use of VCs as either agents or avatars in the context of "transformed social interactions." This allows for the implementation of real-time social interaction in virtual experimental settings, which represents a more sensitive measure of socio-communicative impairments in HFA. Finally, we argue that VCs and environments are a valuable assistive, educational and therapeutic tool for HFA. © 2014 Georgescu, Kuzmanovic, Roth, Bente and Vogeley.

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