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Automatic Analysis Of The Frequency, Vigor, And Complexity Of Spontaneous Locomotion Bouts Of Mice With Loss And Gain Of Function Of The G Protein-Coupled Receptor Smoothened In Cholinergic Neurons, Aleksandra Feshchenko 2023 The Graduate Center, City University of New York

Automatic Analysis Of The Frequency, Vigor, And Complexity Of Spontaneous Locomotion Bouts Of Mice With Loss And Gain Of Function Of The G Protein-Coupled Receptor Smoothened In Cholinergic Neurons, Aleksandra Feshchenko

Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Locomotion, a fundamental behavior, is classically assessed using simple metrics of velocity and total distance moved in an open field. This behavior however offers rich data about the organization and breadth of actions an animal can take while only facing limitations due to the bio-mechanical constraints of the organism. Importantly, these actions are not biased towards a particular task-solution space imposed by many behavioral paradigms. Here, to analyze motor complexity in freely ambulating mice, we developed a method for the automatic and unbiased identification of locomotor bouts which we call Bout Finder (BF). This analysis utilizes Open Feld data to …


Characterization Of Pathological Tau Mutants, Charles J. McDonald 2023 The Graduate Center, City University of New York

Characterization Of Pathological Tau Mutants, Charles J. Mcdonald

Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Tau is a protein expressed exclusively in glia and neurons in the central nervous system and implicated in several neurogenerative diseases called “tauopathies”. Among all the tauopathies, one third is characterized by the presence of genetic mutations leading to the synthesis of tau proteins with single amino acid substitutions at specific locations and affecting protein function. While most of the initial studies have emphasize the functional role of tau as modulator of the axonal cytoskeleton, it has recently been well accepted that tau is also an intrinsically disordered protein that tends to form membraneless organelles called coacervates, due to a …


Brainwaves, Memory, And Reward, Rebecca McCune 2023 The Graduate Center, City University of New York

Brainwaves, Memory, And Reward, Rebecca Mccune

Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

The development of effective educational curricula for enhancing learning involves the crucial consideration of effort and rewards. In the realm of education, teachers commonly employ rewards as motivational tools. Traditionally, these rewards are given to students as a recognition of their successful performance. However, a thought-provoking idea emerges: What if we were to extend rewards to students not solely based on accurate answers, but also on the effort they invest, even in cases where their actual response might be incorrect? Our study explores the potential impact of this approach on the way information is absorbed and subsequently retained, specifically focusing …


Proceedings From The Third Annual Society For Neurosports Conference, NeuroSports Editorial Staff 2023 Nova Southeastern University

Proceedings From The Third Annual Society For Neurosports Conference, Neurosports Editorial Staff

Journal for Sports Neuroscience

Proceedings from the Third Annual Society for NeuroSports Conference


Visual Cortical Traveling Waves: From Spontaneous Spiking Populations To Stimulus-Evoked Models Of Short-Term Prediction, Gabriel B. Benigno 2023 The University of Western Ontario

Visual Cortical Traveling Waves: From Spontaneous Spiking Populations To Stimulus-Evoked Models Of Short-Term Prediction, Gabriel B. Benigno

Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Thanks to recent advances in neurotechnology, waves of activity sweeping across entire cortical regions are now routinely observed. Moreover, these waves have been found to impact neural responses as well as perception, and the responses themselves are found to be structured as traveling waves. How exactly do these waves arise? Do they confer any computational advantages? These traveling waves represent an opportunity for an expanded theory of neural computation, in which their dynamic local network activity may complement the moment-to-moment variability of our sensory experience.

This thesis aims to help uncover the origin and role of traveling waves in the …


Music Advocacy: The Cognitive Development, Behavioral And Emotional Management, And Academic Success That Music Education Provides Students In Louisiana’S Low Socioeconomic Elementary Schools, Cory D. Dugar 2023 Liberty University

Music Advocacy: The Cognitive Development, Behavioral And Emotional Management, And Academic Success That Music Education Provides Students In Louisiana’S Low Socioeconomic Elementary Schools, Cory D. Dugar

Doctoral Dissertations and Projects

There are many technological curricular activities in math and science classrooms, yet few are found in music classrooms. Although many elementary schools may be benefiting from advocacy for music and technology, many elementary schools in the state of Louisiana have lost funding for music programs. For the Louisiana Department of Education to act as an advocate for music education, there must be a thorough understanding of the benefits of music education. Extensive research is one way to suggest that elementary music classes can raise the cognitive capacity of elementary students and could be the catalyst for ensuring the upcoming generation’s …


Neural Dynamics Of Visual Processes In Challenging Visibility Conditions, Saba Charmi Motlagh 2023 Western University

Neural Dynamics Of Visual Processes In Challenging Visibility Conditions, Saba Charmi Motlagh

Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

In our daily visual experience, our brain effortlessly categorizes countless objects, enabling us to perceive and interpret the world around us. This core object recognition process is vital for our survival and adaptive behavior, allowing us to recognize objects despite variations in appearance. The incredible speed at which we accomplish this task is a testament to the efficiency of our visual system and the significance of visual processing is evident in the allocation of nearly half of the neocortex in primates to this function. Unraveling the intricacies of how the human visual system tackles this complex challenge has long been …


White Matter Connectome Associations With Reading Functions In Children, Chenglin Lou 2023 Western University

White Matter Connectome Associations With Reading Functions In Children, Chenglin Lou

Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

This thesis investigated associations between the white matter connectome and reading in children with a wide range of reading abilities. It is well established that the connectome supports the interplay among brain regions and connections within an integrated system. In this dissertation, I examine the hypothesis that it could therefore represent multiple mapping processes among reading components and further explain variations in reading performance. Such associations between the organization of the connectome and reading skills have not been well explored. This thesis aimed to address this issue by considering both the relationship between connectome measures and standardized reading performance out …


Examining The Emergence Of Mood And Anxiety Molecular Phenotypes Resulting From Chronic Prenatal Nicotine Exposure In Cerebral Organoids, Emma K. Proud 2023 Western University

Examining The Emergence Of Mood And Anxiety Molecular Phenotypes Resulting From Chronic Prenatal Nicotine Exposure In Cerebral Organoids, Emma K. Proud

Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Prenatal nicotine exposure (PNE) from maternal smoking disrupts regulatory processes vital to fetal development. These changes result in long-term behavioural impairments, including mood and anxiety disorders, that manifest later in life. However the relationship underlying PNE, and the underpinnings of mood/anxiety molecular phenotypes remains elusive. To model nicotine exposure during prenatal development, our study used human cerebral organoids that were chronically exposed to nicotine and collected for molecular analyses. Short-term, nicotine altered molecular markers of neural identity, mood/anxiety disorders and those involved in maintaining the excitatory/inhibitory (E/I) balance in the cortex. RNA sequencing further revealed transcriptomic changes in genes pertaining …


Neural Dynamics Of Target Processing In Attentional Blink, Mansoure Jahanian 2023 Western University

Neural Dynamics Of Target Processing In Attentional Blink, Mansoure Jahanian

Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

The attentional blink (AB) phenomenon refers to the failure to report the second target (T2) if it appears 200-500 ms after the first target (T1) in a stream of rapidly presented images. The present study aimed to investigate the neural representations of target processing under conditions where AB does or does not occur. We recorded EEG and behavioral data while participants viewed a rapid sequence of natural object images embedded with two face targets presented at two lag conditions: lag 3 (targets were 252 ms apart) and lag 7 (targets were 588 ms apart). Consistent with AB, our behavioral results …


The Role Of Serotonin In The Estradiol-Dependent Selectivity Of Auditory Regions In Songbirds, Calista J. Henry 2023 The University of Western Ontario

The Role Of Serotonin In The Estradiol-Dependent Selectivity Of Auditory Regions In Songbirds, Calista J. Henry

Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Breeding-typical levels of estradiol in songbirds has been shown to lead to selective auditory processing and induce a release of serotonin in auditory regions of the forebrain. These findings triggered the question of whether auditory discrimination is driven by estradiol directly, or by the associated release of serotonin. I treated non-breeding female white-throated sparrows (Zonotrichia albicollis) with either blank implants, 17β-estradiol, serotonin enhancer and blank implants, or serotonin antagonist and 17β-estradiol implants. Birds then heard male conspecific songs or control tones, and ZENK-immunoreactivity was quantified in the caudomedial nidopallium (NCM) and caudomedial mesopallium (CMM). While I did not …


Fraction Magnitude Understanding Across Learning Formats: An Fmri Study, Chloe A. Henry 2023 The University of Western Ontario

Fraction Magnitude Understanding Across Learning Formats: An Fmri Study, Chloe A. Henry

Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Knowledge of fraction magnitudes are an important, but notoriously difficult mathematical concept to master. Behavioural work has begun to explore and compare the instructional tools used for fraction learning. However, how fraction instructional tools are processed in the brain remains an underexplored question. Therefore, in the present thesis, we used functional brain MRI methodology to examine the neural activity of adult participants while completing a fraction verification task using the number line and area model, two common methods of fraction learning. We found that both models commonly recruited fronto-parietal activity, the neural regions typically implicated in number processing. However, we …


Self-Supervised Pretraining And Transfer Learning On Fmri Data With Transformers, Sean Paulsen 2023 Dartmouth College

Self-Supervised Pretraining And Transfer Learning On Fmri Data With Transformers, Sean Paulsen

Dartmouth College Ph.D Dissertations

Transfer learning is a machine learning technique founded on the idea that knowledge acquired by a model during “pretraining” on a source task can be transferred to the learning of a target task. Successful transfer learning can result in improved performance, faster convergence, and reduced demand for data. This technique is particularly desirable for the task of brain decoding in the domain of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), wherein even the most modern machine learning methods can struggle to decode labelled features of brain images. This challenge is due to the highly complex underlying signal, physical and neurological differences between …


The Directional Effect Of Target Position On Spatial Selective Auditory Attention, Heesung Park 2023 James Madison University

The Directional Effect Of Target Position On Spatial Selective Auditory Attention, Heesung Park

Dissertations, 2020-current

Spatial selective auditory attention plays a crucial role in listening in a mixture of competing speech sounds. Previous neuroimaging studies have reported alpha band neural activity modulated by auditory attention, along with the alpha lateralization corresponding to attentional focus. A greater cortical representation of the attended speech envelope compared to the ignored speech envelope was also found, a phenomenon known as 'neural speech tracking’. However, little is known about the neural activities when attentional focus is directed on speech sounds from behind the listener, even though understanding speech from behind is a common and essential aspect of daily life. The …


Investigating The Roles Of The Dorsal And Ventral Striatum In Humor Comprehension And Appreciation Throughout Health, Aging, And Parkinson’S Disease, Maggie Prenger 2023 Western University

Investigating The Roles Of The Dorsal And Ventral Striatum In Humor Comprehension And Appreciation Throughout Health, Aging, And Parkinson’S Disease, Maggie Prenger

Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Humor processing is thought to involve two distinct components. The first, humor comprehension, involves detecting and resolving incongruities that are present within a humorous stimulus. This is related to cognitive processes such as ambiguity resolution, response inhibition, working memory, and cognitive flexibility, functions that are mediated in part by the dorsal portion of the striatum (DS). Humor appreciation, on the other hand, refers to the subjective amusement and mirth that one experiences in response to a joke. This is related to reward processing, which implicates the ventral portion of the striatum (VS). Across three separate studies, we investigated the involvement …


Temporal Dynamics Of Natural Sound Categorization, Ali Tafakkor 2023 Western University

Temporal Dynamics Of Natural Sound Categorization, Ali Tafakkor

Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

While extensive research has elucidated the brain’s processing of semantics from speech sound waves and their mapping onto the auditory cortex, the temporal dynamics of how meaningful non-speech sounds are processed remain less examined. Understanding these dynamics is key to resolving the debate between cascaded and parallel hierarchical processing models, both plausible given the anatomical evidence. This study investigates how semantic category information from environmental sounds is processed in the temporal domain, using electroencephalography (EEG) collected from 25 participants and representational similarity analysis (RSA) along with models of acoustic and semantic information. We examined information extracted by the brain from …


Nmda Receptor Inhibition On Rodent Optimal Decision-Making In The Diminishing Returns Task, Seth Foust 2023 Seattle Pacific University

Nmda Receptor Inhibition On Rodent Optimal Decision-Making In The Diminishing Returns Task, Seth Foust

Research Psychology Theses

There has been growing interest in using N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonists as treatments for mood disorders, but there is still much to learn about their cognitive effects. Research shows NMDA receptors can affect decision-making, and the antagonist MK-801 has had varying effects in rodents. Specifically, some have reported impairments in working memory while foraging behaviors remained intact, while others have demonstrated changes in choice behavior related to delay or risk in behavior tasks. We investigated the role of NMDA receptors in the specific paradigm of optimal decision-making to further confirm MK-801’s effects and to explore whether inhibiting NMDA receptors alters …


Machine Learning Techniques For Improved Functional Brain Parcellation, Da Zhi 2023 The University of Western Ontario

Machine Learning Techniques For Improved Functional Brain Parcellation, Da Zhi

Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Brain parcellation studies are fundamental for neuroscience as they serve as a bridge between anatomy and function, helping researchers interpret how functions are distributed across different brain regions. However, two substantial challenges exist in current imaging-based brain parcellation studies: large variations in the functional organization across individuals and the intrinsic spatial dependence which causes nearby brain locations to have a similar function. This thesis presents a series of projects aimed to tackle these challenges from different perspectives by using advanced machine learning techniques.

To handle the challenge of individual variability in building precise individual parcellations, Chapter 3 introduces a novel …


Sex Differences In Mood And Anxiety-Related Outcomes In Response To Adolescent Nicotine Exposure, Tsun Hay Jason Ng 2023 The University of Western Ontario

Sex Differences In Mood And Anxiety-Related Outcomes In Response To Adolescent Nicotine Exposure, Tsun Hay Jason Ng

Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Nicotine dependence is causally linked to increased risk of mood/anxiety disorders in later life. Females are reported to experience a higher prevalence of anxiety/depressive disorders and challenges in smoking cessation therapies, suggesting a potential sex-specific response to nicotine exposure and mood/anxiety disorder risk. However, pre-clinical evidence of sex-specific responses to adolescent nicotine exposure is unclear. Thus, to determine any sex differences in anxiety/depressive-related outcomes, adolescent male and female Sprague Dawley rats received nicotine (0.4 mg/kg; 3x daily) or saline injections for 10 consecutive days, followed by behavioural testing, in-vivo electrophysiology and Western Blot analyses. Our results revealed that adolescent nicotine …


The Consolidation Of Memory Associations, Kyle A. Kainec 2023 University of Massachusetts Amherst

The Consolidation Of Memory Associations, Kyle A. Kainec

Doctoral Dissertations

Creating memories is a fundamental challenge for the human brain. To create memories, defining features of experiences must be stored distinguishably without forgetting other memories. Memory associations represent co-occurring features and defining features across experiences. Memory associations are represented as networks of information that are stored in the brain. New memory associations are encoded during experiences and can be used to update existing memory associations during offline intervals. However, the mechanisms that underlie how encoded memory associations are stored within existing networks during offline intervals remains unclear. The experiments in this dissertation address a significant theoretical gap in understanding the …


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