806 research outputs found

    Outstanding questions concerning the regulation of enhancement devices

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    The authors (Maslen et al., 2014) propose to regulate cognitive enhancement devices (CEDs) as medical devices. Extending medical device regulations to CEDs raises some important questions that need to be adequately addressed before it makes sense to pursue this path. A first problem concerns the definition of ‘cognitive enhancement’ and ‘CEDs’. Where does treatment end and enhancement begin? Secondly, since most CEDs such as neurofeedback and transcranial direct current stimulation are currently performed by non-medical health care providers, how will this regulation impact the current practice, and which requirements need to be put in place to regulate their use? Thirdly, distributive justice issues present an obvious ethical limitation. Fourthly, if CEDs are indeed prescribed off-label similar to the off-label prescription of psychopharmacological enhancers by MDs, this will pose problems regarding a lack of sufficient knowledge and expertise due to the highly specialized nature of CEDs. And finally, are we faced with unnecessary worries and unrealistic hopes when it comes to CEDs? In sum, we propose to regulate them regarding product safety and restrict them to competent adult use including professional oversight where indicated

    The auditory and non-auditory brain areas involved in tinnitus. An emergent property of multiple parallel overlapping subnetworks

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    Tinnitus is the perception of a sound in the absence of an external sound source. It is characterized by sensory components such as the perceived loudness, the lateralization, the tinnitus type (pure tone, noise-like) and associated emotional components, such as distress and mood changes. Source localization of quantitative electroencephalography (qEEG) data demonstrate the involvement of auditory brain areas as well as several non-auditory brain areas such as the anterior cingulate cortex (dorsal and subgenual), auditory cortex (primary and secondary), dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex, insula, supplementary motor area, orbitofrontal cortex (including the inferior frontal gyrus), parahippocampus, posterior cingulate cortex and the precuneus, in different aspects of tinnitus. Explaining these non-auditory brain areas as constituents of separable subnetworks, each reflecting a specific aspect of the tinnitus percept increases the explanatory power of the non-auditory brain areas involvement in tinnitus. Thus, the unified percept of tinnitus can be considered an emergent property of multiple parallel dynamically changing and partially overlapping subnetworks, each with a specific spontaneous oscillatory pattern and functional connectivity signature

    Pinpointing a highly specific pathological functional connection that turns phantom sound into distress

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    International audienceIt has been suggested that an auditory phantom percept is the result of multiple, parallel but overlapping networks. One of those networks encodes tinnitus loudness and is electrophysiologically separable from a non-specific distress network. The present study investigates how these networks anatomically overlap, what networks are involved and how and when these networks interact. The EEG data of 317 tinnitus patients and 256 healthy subjects were analyzed, using independent component analysis. Results demonstrate that tinnitus is characterized by at least two major brain networks, each consisting of multiple independent components. One network reflects tinnitus distress, while another network reflects the loudness of the tinnitus. The component coherence analysis shows that the independent components that make up the distress and loudness networks communicate within their respective network at several discrete frequencies in parallel. The distress and loudness networks do not intercommunicate for patients without distress, but do when patients are distressed by their tinnitus. The obtained data demonstrate that the components that build up these two separable networks communicate at discrete frequencies within the network, and only between the distress and loudness networks in those patients in whom the symptoms are also clinically linked

    A Bayesian approach to adaptive frequency sampling

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    This paper introduces an adaptive frequency sampling scheme, based on a Bayesian approach to the well-known vector fitting algorithm. This Bayesian treatment results in a data-driven measure of intrinsic model uncertainty. This uncertainty measure can in turn be leveraged to sample sequentially in an efficient and robust way. A realistic example is used to visualize the proposed scheme, and to confirm its proficiency

    Urothelial TRPV1: TRPV1-Reporter Mice, a Way to Clarify the Debate?

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    A commentary on Trpv1 reporter mice reveal highly restricted brain distribution and functional expression in arteriolar smooth muscle cell

    A parahippocampal-sensory Bayesian vicious circle generates pain or tinnitus: a source-localized EEG study

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    Pain and tinnitus share common pathophysiological mechanisms, clinical features, and treatment approaches. A source-localized resting-state EEG study was conducted in 150 participants: 50 healthy controls, 50 pain, and 50 tinnitus patients. Resting-state activity as well as functional and effective connectivity was computed in source space. Pain and tinnitus were characterized by increased theta activity in the pregenual anterior cingulate cortex, extending to the lateral prefrontal cortex and medial anterior temporal lobe. Gamma-band activity was increased in both auditory and somatosensory cortex, irrespective of the pathology, and extended to the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex and parahippocampus. Functional and effective connectivity were largely similar in pain and tinnitus, except for a parahippocampal-sensory loop that distinguished pain from tinnitus. In tinnitus, the effective connectivity between parahippocampus and auditory cortex is bidirectional, whereas the effective connectivity between parahippocampus and somatosensory cortex is unidirectional. In pain, the parahippocampal-somatosensory cortex is bidirectional, but parahippocampal auditory cortex unidirectional. These modality-specific loops exhibited theta-gamma nesting. Applying a Bayesian brain model of brain functioning, these findings suggest that the phenomenological difference between auditory and somatosensory phantom percepts result from a vicious circle of belief updating in the context of missing sensory information. This finding may further our understanding of multisensory integration and speaks to a universal treatment for pain and tinnitus-by selectively disrupting parahippocampal-somatosensory and parahippocampal-auditory theta-gamma activity and connectivity

    Functional connectivity changes in adults with developmental stuttering: a preliminary study using quantitative electro-encephalography

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    Introduction: Stuttering is defined as speech characterized by verbal dysfluencies, but should not be seen as an isolated speech disorder, but as a generalized sensorimotor timing deficit due to impaired communication between speech related brain areas. Therefore we focused on resting state brain activity and functional connectivity. Method: We included 11 patients with developmental stuttering and 11 age matched controls. To objectify stuttering severity and the impact on quality of life (QoL), we used the Dutch validated Test for Stuttering Severity-Readers (TSS-R) and the Overall Assessment of the Speaker’s Experience of Stuttering (OASES), respectively. Furthermore, we used standardized low resolution brain electromagnetic tomography (sLORETA) analyses to look at resting state activity and functional connectivity differences and their correlations with the TSS-R and OASES. Results: No significant results could be obtained when looking at neural activity, however significant alterations in resting state functional connectivity could be demonstrated between persons who stutter (PWS) and fluently speaking controls, predominantly interhemispheric, i.e., a decreased functional connectivity for high frequency oscillations (beta and gamma) between motor speech areas (BA44 and 45) and the contralateral premotor (BA6) and motor (BA4) areas. Moreover, a positive correlation was found between functional connectivity at low frequency oscillations (theta and alpha) and stuttering severity, while a mixed increased and decreased functional connectivity at low and high frequency oscillations correlated with QoL. Discussion: PWS are characterized by decreased high frequency interhemispheric functional connectivity between motor speech, premotor and motor areas in the resting state, while higher functional connectivity in the low frequency bands indicates more severe speech disturbances, suggesting that increased interhemispheric and right sided functional connectivity is maladaptive
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