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Payne P.,Microbiology and Immunology | Crane-Godreau M.A.,Microbiology and Immunology | Crane-Godreau M.A.,Research and Development Service
Frontiers in Psychiatry | Year: 2013

This review focuses on Meditative Movement (MM) and its effects on anxiety, depression, and other affective states. MM is a term identifying forms of exercise that use movement in conjunction with meditative attention to body sensations, including proprioception, interoception, and kinesthesis. MM includes the traditional Chinese methods of Qigong (Chi Kung) and Taijiquan (Tai Chi), some forms of Yoga, and other Asian practices, as well as Western Somatic practices; however this review focuses primarily on Qigong and Taijiquan. We clarify the differences between MM and conventional exercise, present descriptions of several of the key methodologies of MM, and suggest how research into these practices may be approached in a systematic way. We also present evidence for possible mechanisms of the effects of MM on affective states, including the roles of posture, rhythm, coherent breathing, and the involvement of specific cortical and subcortical structures. We survey research outcomes summarized in reviews published since 2007. Results suggest that MM may be at least as effective as conventional exercise or other interventions in ameliorating anxiety and depression; however, study quality is generally poor and there are many confounding factors. This makes it difficult to draw definitive conclusions at this time. We suggest, however, that more research is warranted, and we offer specific suggestions for ensuring high-quality and productive future studies. ©2013 Payne and Crane-Godreau.

Krahl S.E.,Research and Development Service | Clark K.B.,4229 S.E. Harney Street
Surgical Neurology International | Year: 2012

In a previous paper, the anatomy and physiology of the vagus nerve was discussed in an attempt to explain which vagus nerve fibers and branches are affected by clinically relevant electrical stimulation. This companion paper presents some of vagus nerve stimulation's putative central nervous system mechanisms of action by summarizing known anatomical projections of vagal afferents and their effects on brain biogenic amine pathways and seizure expression. Copyright: © 2012 Krahl SE.

Schmalzl L.,University of California at San Diego | Crane-Godreau M.A.,Research and Development Service
Frontiers in Human Neuroscience | Year: 2014

Over the past decades, cognitive neuroscience has witnessed a shift from predominantly disembodied and computational views of the mind, to more embodied and situated views of the mind. These postulate that mental functions cannot be fully understood without reference to the physical body and the environment in which they are experienced. Within the field of contemplative science, the directing of attention to bodily sensations has so far mainly been studied in the context of seated meditation and mindfulness practices. However, the cultivation of interoceptive, proprioceptive and kinesthetic awareness is also said to lie at the core of many movement-based contemplative practices such as Yoga, Qigong, and Tai Chi. In addition, it likely plays a key role in the efficacy of modern somatic therapeutic techniques such as the Feldenkrais Method and the Alexander Technique. In the current paper we examine how these practices are grounded in the concepts of embodiment, movement and contemplation, as we look at them primarily through the lens of an enactive approach to cognition. Throughout, we point to a series of challenges that arise when Western scientists study practices that are based on a non-dualistic view of mind and body. © 2014 Schmalzl, Crane-Godreau and Payne.

Clark K.B.,Research and Development Service
Frontiers in Microbiology | Year: 2013

Preconjugal ciliates learn classical repetition error-correction codes to safeguard mating messages and replies from corruption by "rivals" and local ambient noise. Because individual cells behave as memory channels with Szilárd engine attributes, these coding schemes also might be used to limit, diagnose, and correct mating-signal errors due to noisy intracellular information processing. The present study, therefore, assessed whether heterotrich ciliates effect fault-tolerant signal planning and execution by modifying engine performance, and consequently entropy content of codes, during mock cell-cell communication. Socially meaningful serial vibrations emitted from an ambiguous artificial source initiated ciliate behavioral signaling performances known to advertise mating fitness with varying courtship strategies. Microbes, employing calcium-dependent Hebbian-like decision making, learned to diagnose then correct error syndromes by recursively matching Boltzmann entropies between signal planning and execution stages via "power" or "refrigeration" cycles. All eight serial contraction and reversal strategies incurred errors in entropy magnitude by the execution stage of processing. Absolute errors, however, subtended expected threshold values for single bit-flip errors in three-bit replies, indicating coding schemes protected information content throughout signal production. Ciliate preparedness for vibrations selectively and significantly affected the magnitude and valence of Szilárd engine performance during modal and non-modal strategy corrective cycles. But entropy fidelity for all replies mainly improved across learning trials as refinements in engine efficiency. Fidelity neared maximum levels for only modal signals coded in resilient three-bit repetition error-correction sequences. Together, these findings demonstrate microbes can elevate survival/reproductive success by learning to implement classical fault-tolerant information processing in social contexts. © 2013 Clark.

Baskin D.G.,Research and Development Service | Baskin D.G.,University of Washington
Journal of Histochemistry and Cytochemistry | Year: 2015

Before the middle of the previous century, cell types of the pancreatic islets of Langerhans were identified primarily on the basis of their color reactions with histological dyes. At that time, the chemical basis for the staining properties of islet cells in relation to the identity, chemistry and structure of their hormones was not fully understood. Nevertheless, the definitive islet cell types that secrete glucagon, insulin, and somatostatin (A, B, and D cells, respectively) could reliably be differentiated from each other with staining protocols that involved variations of one or more tinctorial techniques, such as the Mallory-Heidenhain azan trichrome, chromium hematoxylin and phloxine, aldehyde fuchsin, and silver impregnation methods, which were popularly used until supplanted by immunohistochemical techniques. Before antibody-based staining methods, the most bona fide histochemical techniques for the identification of islet B cells were based on the detection of sulfhydryl and disulfide groups of insulin. The application of the classical islet tinctorial staining methods for pathophysiological studies and physiological experiments was fundamental to our understanding of islet architecture and the physiological roles of A and B cells in glucose regulation and diabetes. © 2015, © The Author(s) 2015.

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