946 research outputs found

    Exact analysis of the subthreshold variability for conductance-based neuronal models with synchronous synaptic inputs

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    The spiking activity of neocortical neurons exhibits a striking level of variability, even when these networks are driven by identical stimuli. The approximately Poisson firing of neurons has led to the hypothesis that these neural networks operate in the asynchronous state. In the asynchronous state neurons fire independently from one another, so that the probability that a neuron experience synchronous synaptic inputs is exceedingly low. While the models of asynchronous neurons lead to observed spiking variability, it is not clear whether the asynchronous state can also account for the level of subthreshold membrane potential variability. We propose a new analytical framework to rigorously quantify the subthreshold variability of a single conductance-based neuron in response to synaptic inputs with prescribed degrees of synchrony. Technically we leverage the theory of exchangeability to model input synchrony via jump-process-based synaptic drives; we then perform a moment analysis of the stationary response of a neuronal model with all-or-none conductances that neglects post-spiking reset. As a result, we produce exact, interpretable closed forms for the first two stationary moments of the membrane voltage, with explicit dependence on the input synaptic numbers, strengths, and synchrony. For biophysically relevant parameters, we find that the asynchronous regime only yields realistic subthreshold variability (voltage variance 49mV2\simeq 4-9\mathrm{mV^2}) when driven by a restricted number of large synapses, compatible with strong thalamic drive. By contrast, we find that achieving realistic subthreshold variability with dense cortico-cortical inputs requires including weak but nonzero input synchrony, consistent with measured pairwise spiking correlations

    Flight Testing of Guidance, Navigation and Control Systems on the Mighty Eagle Robotic Lander Testbed

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    During 2011 a series of progressively more challenging flight tests of the Mighty Eagle autonomous terrestrial lander testbed were conducted primarily to validate the GNC system for a proposed lunar lander. With the successful completion of this GNC validation objective the opportunity existed to utilize the Mighty Eagle as a flying testbed for a variety of technologies. In 2012 an Autonomous Rendezvous and Capture (AR&C) algorithm was implemented in flight software and demonstrated in a series of flight tests. In 2012 a hazard avoidance system was developed and flight tested on the Mighty Eagle. Additionally, GNC algorithms from Moon Express and a MEMs IMU were tested in 2012. All of the testing described herein was above and beyond the original charter for the Mighty Eagle. In addition to being an excellent testbed for a wide variety of systems the Mighty Eagle also provided a great learning opportunity for many engineers and technicians to work a flight program

    Executive functioning in children with autism and Tourette syndrome

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    The main aims of this study were to investigate if children with high-functioning autism (HFA) and children with Tourette syndrome (TS) can be differentiated in their executive functioning (EF) profile compared to normal controls (NCs) and compared to each other and to investigate whether children with HFA or children with TS and a comorbid group of children with both disorders are distinct conditions in terms of EF. Four groups of children participated in this study: HFA, TS, comorbid HFA + TS, and a NC group. All children were in the age range of 6 to 13 years. The groups were compared on five major domains of EF: inhibition, visual working memory, planning, cognitive flexibility, and verbal fluency. Children with HFA scored lower than NC children on all the EFs measured. Children with TS and NC children showed the same EF profile. The HFA group scored lower than the TS group for inhibition of a prepotent response and cognitive flexibility. Children with HFA performed poorer than children with comorbid HFA + TS on all functions, with the exception of inhibiting an ongoing response, interference control, and verbal fluency. Children with TS and children with comorbid HFA + TS could not be differentiated from one another in terms of EF. This study indicates that EF deficits are highly characteristic of children with HFA in comparison to children with TS and NC. The results suggest that for the comparison between HFA and TS groups, it is important to take into account comorbidity. A reevaluation of the EF hypothesis in children with TS is suggested. Copyright © 2005 Cambridge University Press

    Resistance to autosomal dominant Alzheimer's disease in an APOE3 Christchurch homozygote: a case report.

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    We identified a PSEN1 (presenilin 1) mutation carrier from the world's largest autosomal dominant Alzheimer's disease kindred, who did not develop mild cognitive impairment until her seventies, three decades after the expected age of clinical onset. The individual had two copies of the APOE3 Christchurch (R136S) mutation, unusually high brain amyloid levels and limited tau and neurodegenerative measurements. Our findings have implications for the role of APOE in the pathogenesis, treatment and prevention of Alzheimer's disease

    Forum: Feminism in German Studies

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    From Professor Wallach\u27s contribution entitled Jews and Gender : To consider Jews and gender within German Studies is to explore the evolution of German‐Jewish Studies with respect to feminist and gender studies. At times this involves looking beyond German Studies to other scholarship in Jewish gender studies, an interdisciplinary subfield in its own right. Over the past few decades, the focus on gender within German‐Jewish Studies has experienced several shifts in line with broader trends: an initial focus on the history of Jewish women and feminist movements gradually expanded to encompass the study of gender identity, masculinity, and sexuality. Historical and literary scholarly approaches now operate alongside and in dialogue with interdisciplinary scholarship in cultural studies, film and visual studies, performance studies, and other fields. [excerpt

    Structure and function of CutC choline lyase from human microbiota bacterium Klebsiella pneumoniae

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    Publisher Copyright: © 2015 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.CutC choline trimethylamine-lyase is an anaerobic bacterial glycyl radical enzyme (GRE) that cleaves choline to produce trimethylamine (TMA) and acetaldehyde. In humans, TMA is produced exclusively by the intestinal microbiota, and its metabolite, trimethylamine oxide, has been associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular diseases. Therefore, information about the three-dimensional structures of TMA-producing enzymes is important for microbiota-targeted drug discovery. We have cloned, expressed, and purified the CutC GRE and the activating enzyme CutD from Klebsiella pneumoniae, a representative of the human microbiota. We have determined the first crystal structures of both the choline-bound and choline-free forms of CutC and have discovered that binding of choline at the ligand-binding site triggers conformational changes in the enzyme structure, a feature that has not been observed for any other characterized GRE.publishersversionPeer reviewe

    Progress in Classical and Quantum Variational Principles

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    We review the development and practical uses of a generalized Maupertuis least action principle in classical mechanics, in which the action is varied under the constraint of fixed mean energy for the trial trajectory. The original Maupertuis (Euler-Lagrange) principle constrains the energy at every point along the trajectory. The generalized Maupertuis principle is equivalent to Hamilton's principle. Reciprocal principles are also derived for both the generalized Maupertuis and the Hamilton principles. The Reciprocal Maupertuis Principle is the classical limit of Schr\"{o}dinger's variational principle of wave mechanics, and is also very useful to solve practical problems in both classical and semiclassical mechanics, in complete analogy with the quantum Rayleigh-Ritz method. Classical, semiclassical and quantum variational calculations are carried out for a number of systems, and the results are compared. Pedagogical as well as research problems are used as examples, which include nonconservative as well as relativistic systems
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