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Hage S.R.,University of Tubingen | Hage S.R.,Werner Reichardt Center for Integrative Neuroscience | Nieder A.,University of Tubingen
Journal of Neuroscience | Year: 2015

Complex audio-vocal integration systems depend on a strong interconnection between the auditory and the vocal motor system. To gain cognitive control over audio-vocal interaction during vocal motor control, the PFC needs to be involved. Neurons in the ventrolateral PFC (VLPFC) have been shown to separately encode the sensory perceptions and motor production of vocalizations. It is unknown, however, whether single neurons in the PFC reflect audio-vocal interactions. We therefore recorded single-unit activity in the VLPFC of rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) while they produced vocalizations on command or passively listened to monkey calls. We found that 12% of randomly selected neurons in VLPFC modulated their discharge rate in response to acoustic stimulation with species-specific calls. Almost three-fourths of these auditory neurons showed an additional modulation of their discharge rates either before and/or during the monkeys' motor production of vocalization. Based on these audio-vocal interactions, the VLPFC might be well positioned to combine higher order auditory processing with cognitive control of the vocal motor output. Such audio-vocal integration processes in the VLPFC might constitute a precursor for the evolution of complex learned audio-vocal integration systems, ultimately giving rise to human speech. © 2015 the authors.

Clausen J.,Werner Reichardt Center for Integrative Neuroscience | Clausen J.,International Center for Ethics in Science and Humanities | Clausen J.,Institute for Ethics and History of Medicine
Neuroethics | Year: 2013

Novel neurotechnologies like deep brain stimulation and brain-computer interfaces promise clinical benefits for severely suffering patients. Nevertheless, such electroceuticals raise several ethical issues on different levels: while on the level of clinical neuroethics issues with direct relevance for diagnosis and treatment have to be discussed, on the level of research neuroethics questions regarding research and development of these technological devices like investigating new targets and different diseases as well as thorough inclusion criteria are dealt with. On the level of theoretical neuroethics more general questions are examined including anthropological considerations on "normal" human functioning as well as implications on personality, personal identity and authenticity. This paper presents a brief review on ethical issues of deep brain stimulation and brain computer interfacing and simultaneously introduces to this themed issue with thirteen contributions dealing from different perspectives with ethical implications of electroceuticals for the human brain. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.

Schroeder P.A.,University of Tubingen | Lohmann J.,University of Tubingen | Butz M.V.,University of Tubingen | Plewnia C.,University of Tubingen | Plewnia C.,Werner Reichardt Center for Integrative Neuroscience
Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking | Year: 2016

Palatable food induces general approach tendencies when compared to nonfood stimuli. For eating disorders, the modification of an attention bias toward food was proposed as a treatment option. Similar approaches have been efficient for other psychiatric conditions and, recently, successfully incorporated approach motivation. The direct impact of attentional biases on spontaneous natural behavior has hardly been investigated so far, although actions may serve as an intervention target, especially seeing the recent advances in the field of embodied cognition. In this study, we addressed the interplay of motor action execution and cognition when interacting with food objects. In a Virtual Reality (VR) setting, healthy participants repeatedly grasped or warded high-calorie food or hand-affordant ball objects using their own dominant hand. This novel experimental paradigm revealed an attention-like bias in hand-based actions: 3D objects of food were collected faster than ball objects, and this difference correlated positively with both individual body mass index and diet-related attitudes. The behavioral bias for food in hand movements complements several recent experimental and neurophysiological findings. Implications for the use of VR in the treatment of eating-related health problems are discussed. © Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. 2016.

Tang Q.,Humboldt University of Berlin | Brecht M.,Humboldt University of Berlin | Burgalossi A.,Humboldt University of Berlin | Burgalossi A.,Werner Reichardt Center for Integrative Neuroscience
Nature Protocols | Year: 2014

It is well established that neural circuits consist of a great diversity of cell types, but very little is known about how neuronal diversity contributes to cognition and behavior. One approach to addressing this problem is to directly link cellular diversity to neuronal activity recorded in vivo in behaving animals. Here we describe the technical procedures for obtaining juxtacellular recordings from single neurons in trained rats engaged in exploratory behavior. The recorded neurons can be labeled to allow subsequent anatomical identification. In its current format, the protocol can be used for resolving the cellular identity of spatially modulated neurons (i.e., head-direction cells and grid cells), which form the basis of the animal's internal representation of space, but this approach can easily be extended to other unrestrained behaviors. The procedures described here, from the beginning of animal training to the histological processing of brain sections, can be completed in 1/43-4 weeks.

Koester P.,University of Cologne | Volz K.G.,Werner Reichardt Center for Integrative Neuroscience | Tittgemeyer M.,Max Planck Institute For Neurologische Forschung | Wagner D.,University of Cologne | And 3 more authors.
Neuropsychopharmacology | Year: 2013

Qualitative poor decision-making and associated altered neuronal activation patterns have been described for the users of several drugs, amongst others for stimulants like amphetamine and MDMA. Deficits in decision-making might be caused by an augmented attraction to short-term rewarding properties despite negative long-term consequences, leading to rigid stimulus-response patterns. In the present imaging study, we investigated decision-making and associated neuronal activation in three groups differing in their exposure to amphetamine and MDMA. An established paradigm on risky choices was used to evaluate decision-making performance and corresponding functional magnet resonance imaging (fMRI) activation. Subjects could choose between a low-risk control gamble and an experimental gamble, which always differed in the probability of winning or losing, as well as the magnitudes of monetary gain or loss. Experienced users (EU), users with low exposure to stimulants and drug-naive controls, did not differ from each other in behavioral performance. In accordance with our hypotheses, the anticipation of reward led to an activation of primarily the frontal cortex and the striatum in low-exposure users and drug-naive controls. In contrast, frontal and parietal activation was observed in all groups when the actual outcome of an experimental gamble was presented. EU displayed more activation compared to both control groups when there was a high probability of winning. The study at hand supports the hypothesis that neuronal activation patterns might even differ between drug users and healthy controls when no behavioral deficits are apparent. In EU, the probability of the occurrence of an event has more influence on neuronal activation than on the actual magnitude of reinforcing properties of this event. © 2013 American College of Neuropsychopharmacology. All rights reserved.

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