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    2019 Charles E. Williams II Advanced Leadership Institute Oratorical Contest Winning Speech
    (2019-01-17) Nnoromele, Patrick
    Patrick Nnoromele is a Eugene McDermott and National Merit Scholar. He is also a recipient of the Barry Goldwater Scholarship. He is majoring in Neuroscience and plans to attend medical school after graduation. This is the text of the winning speech he gave at the Charles E. Williams II Advanced Leadership Institute Oratorical Contest, held during the 2019 Southwestern Black Students Leadership Conference.
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    Systemic Functional Adaptedness and Domain-General Cognition: Broadening the Scope of Evolutionary Psychology
    (Springer, 2019-01-14) Lundie, Michael; Lundie, Michael
    Evolutionary psychology tends to be associated with a massively modular cognitive architecture. On this framework of human cognition, an assembly of specialized information processors called modules developed under selection pressures encountered throughout the phylogenic history of hominids. The coordinated activity of domain-specific modules carries out all the processes of belief fixation, abstract reasoning, and other facets of central cognition. Against the massive modularity thesis, I defend an account of systemic functional adaptedness, according to which non-modular systems emerged because of adaptive problems imposed by the intrinsic physiology of the evolving human brain. The proposed reformulation of evolutionary theorizing draws from neural network models and Cummins' (J Philos 72(20):741-765, 1975) account of systemic functions to identify selection pressures that gave rise to non-modular, domain-general mechanisms in cognitive architecture.
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    The Time Course of Semantic and Relational Processing During Verbal Analogical Reasoning
    (Academic Press Inc Elsevier Science, 2018-12-01) Kmiecik, Matthew J.; Brisson, Ryan J.; Morrison, Robert G.; Kmiecik, Matthew J.
    Analogy is an important ability that allows humans to discover relationships between information domains that often vary in surface and relational characteristics. Cognitive neuroscience studies of analogy have demonstrated the importance of the prefrontal cortex during relational comparisons, but little is known about how semantic and relational similarity interact throughout its time course. We used scalp electroencephalography (EEG) analyzed with event-related potentials (ERPs) to examine the neural time course of analogical reasoning while 16 participants solved four-term verbal analogies. Semantic similarity was manipulated by increasing the semantic distance between source and target analogs creating semantically near and far analogies. Relational similarity was manipulated by creating relationally valid and invalid analogies. Only valid analogies were impacted by semantic distance such that far analogies were solved slower and less accurately than near analogies. Correctly solving near analogies elicited more positive waveforms at the N400 and during later relational processing. However, valid analogies elicited more positive signals during only later relational processing and not during the N400. These results suggest that semantic information impacts both early semantic and late relational comparison stages, while relational properties exert more influence in later stages of analogical reasoning. The degree of semantic similarity shared between knowledge domains demonstrated a potent effect throughout the time course of analogy that affected not only semantic access, but also the mapping of relational structures.
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    Some Prospective Alternatives for Treating Pain: The Endocannabinoid System and its Putative Receptors GPR18 and GPR55
    (Frontiers Media SA, 2019-01-08) Guerrero-Alba, Raquel; Barragán-Iglesias, Paulino; Gonzalez-Hernandez, Abimael; Valdez-Morales, Eduardo E.; Granados-Soto, Vinicio; Condes-Lara, Miguel; Rodriguez, Martin G.; Marichal-Cancino, Bruno A.; Barragán-Iglesias, Paulino
    Background: Marijuana extracts (cannabinoids) have been used for several millennia for pain treatment. Regarding the site of action, cannabinoids are highly promiscuous molecules, but only two cannabinoid receptors (CB₁ and CB₂) have been deeply studied and classified. Thus, therapeutic actions, side effects and pharmacological targets for cannabinoids have been explained based on the pharmacology of cannabinoid CB₁/CB₂ receptors. However, the accumulation of confusing and sometimes contradictory results suggests the existence of other cannabinoid receptors. Different orphan proteins (e.g., GPR18, GPR55, GPR119, etc.) have been proposed as putative cannabinoid receptors. According to their expression, GPR18 and GPR55 could be involved in sensory transmission and pain integration. Methods: This article reviews select relevant information about the potential role of GPR18 and GPR55 in the pathophysiology of pain. Results: This work summarized novel data supporting that, besides cannabinoid CB₁ and CB₂ receptors, GPR18 and GPR55 may be useful for pain treatment. Conclusion: There is evidence to support an antinociceptive role for GPR18 and GPR55.
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    Implicit and Explicit Bodily Emotions and Social Functioning in Schizophrenia
    (Elsevier Science BV, 2019-02-12) Hajduk, M.; Klein, Hans S.; Springfield, Cassi R.; Bass, E.; Pinkham, Amy E.; Klein, Hans S.; Springfield, Cassi R.; Bass, E.; Pinkham, Amy E.
    No abstract available. From the text: "The aim of the present study is to analyze whether explicit and implicit recognition of bodily emotions predicts interpersonal functioning in patients with schizophrenia. The secondary aim was to analyze whether these relationships are present using self - report and objective measures of social functioning."
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    Predicting Speech Recognition Using the Speech Intelligibility Index and Other Variables for Cochlear Implant Users
    (American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 2019-05-13) Lee, Sungmin; Mendel, L. L.; Bidelman, G. M.; Lee, Sungmin
    Purpose Although the speech intelligibility index (SII) has been widely applied in the field of audiology and other related areas, application of this metric to cochlear implants (CIs) has yet to be investigated. In this study, SIIs for CI users were calculated to investigate whether the SII could be an effective tool for predicting speech perception performance in a population with CI. Method Fifteen pre- and postlingually deafened adults with CI participated. Speech recognition scores were measured using the AzBio sentence lists. CI users also completed questionnaires and performed psychoacoustic (spectral and temporal resolution) and cognitive function (digit span) tests. Obtained SIIs were compared with predicted SIIs using a transfer function curve. Correlation and regression analyses were conducted on perceptual and demographic predictor variables to investigate the association between these factors and speech perception performance. Result Because of the considerably poor hearing and large individual variability in performance, the SII did not predict speech performance for this CI group using the traditional calculation. However, new SII models were developed incorporating predictive factors, which improved the accuracy of SII predictions in listeners with CI. Conclusion Conventional SII models are not appropriate for predicting speech perception scores for CI users. Demographic variables (aided audibility and duration of deafness) and perceptual-cognitive skills (gap detection and auditory digit span outcomes) are needed to improve the use of the SII for listeners with CI. Future studies are needed to improve our CI-corrected SII model by considering additional predictive factors. Supplemental Material
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    Motivations for Faking Orgasm and Orgasm Consistency Among Young Adult Women
    (Elsevier Ltd, 2019-06-04) Barnett, M D.; Maciel, Idalia V.; Van Vleet, S.; Marsden, A. D.,III; Maciel, Idalia V.
    Women fake orgasm for partner-focused reasons and self-focused reasons, the latter of which include elevating their own sexual arousal. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationships between motivations for faking orgasm and orgasm consistency within the sexual activities of receiving oral sex and sexual intercourse among young adult women (N = 998). For both receiving oral sex and sexual intercourse, women who faked orgasm in order to elevate their own sexual arousal had greater orgasm consistency, whereas women who faked orgasm out of fear or insecurity had lower orgasm consistency. Overall, the results suggest that self-focused motivations for faking orgasm – particularly elevating arousal – are more closely associated with orgasm consistency than partner-focused motivations for faking orgasm. ©2019 Elsevier Ltd
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    Differences in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms Among Post-9/11 Veterans with Blast- and Non-Blast Mild Traumatic Brain Injury
    (Mary Ann Liebert Inc., 2019-01-30) Ryan-Gonzalez, C.; Kimbrel, N. A.; Meyer, E. C.; Gordon, Evan M.; DeBeer, B. B.; Gulliver, S. B.; Elliott, T. R.; Morissette, S. B.; Gordon, Evan M.
    The relationship between traumatic brain injury (TBI) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has been difficult to disentangle, in part due to the commonality of incidents that can cause both conditions, as well as high rates of comorbidity between the two conditions. Inconsistent findings may be related to different study characteristics and types of mild TBI (mTBI) sustained (e.g., blast, non-blast). The objective of this study was to determine the association of blast- versus non-blast-related TBIs with long-term PTSD symptoms after controlling for demographic variables and trauma exposure. The sample included 230 post-9/11 veterans who experienced a blast-related mTBI (n = 29), non-blast mTBI (n = 74), combined blast and non-blast mTBI (n = 40), or no TBI (n = 87). As hypothesized, a between-groups analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) revealed that, after controlling for demographics, combat exposure, and prior trauma, PTSD symptoms among individuals with blast-related mTBI and combined blast and non-blast mTBI were significantly higher compared with non-blast-related mTBI and no TBI. These data suggest that blast-related mTBI is associated with more severe long-term PTSD symptoms. Copyright ©2019, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers
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    Contributions of Neuroscience Knowledge to Teachers and Their Practice
    (Sage Publications Inc., 2019-03-21) Dubinsky, J. M.; Guzey, S. S.; Schwartz, M. S.; Roehrig, G.; MacNabb, C.; Schmied, A.; Hinesley, V.; Hoelscher, M.; Michlin, M.; Schmitt, L.; Ellingson, C.; Chang, Zhengsi; Cooper, J. L.; Chang, Zhengsi
    While neuroscience has elucidated the mechanisms underpinning learning and memory, accurate dissemination of this knowledge to teachers and educators has been limited. This review focuses on teacher professional development in neuroscience that harnessed the power of active-learning strategies and best educational practices resulting in increased teacher and student understanding of cognition and brain function. For teachers, the experience of learning a novel subject in an active manner enabled them to subsequently teach using similar strategies. Most important, participants viewed neuroscience as a frame for understanding why active-learning pedagogies work to engage and motivate students. Teachers themselves made connections applying neuroscience concepts to understand why learner-centered pedagogies are effective in promoting higher order thinking and deep learning in their students. Teachers planned and embraced pedagogies involving modeling, experimentation, discussion, analysis, and synthesis, increasing classroom cognitive engagement. Comprehending that everyone is in charge of changing their own brains is a tremendously powerful idea that may motivate science and non-science teachers to provide students opportunities to actively engage with content. Neuroscience courses for preservice and in-service teachers, provided as collaborations between scientists and teacher educators, can result in improved science education, pedagogy, and understanding of neuroscience. © The Author(s) 2019.
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    Leaky Expression of Channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) In Ai32 Mouse Lines
    (Public Library of Science) Prabhakar, Arthi; Vujovic, D.; Cui, L.; Olson, W.; Luo, W.; Prabhakar, Arthi
    Optogenetics enables the selective activation of genetically-targeted neuronal populations using light-sensitive ion channels. Genetic strategies using Cre-dependent mouse strains, especially the Ai32 line expressing Channelrhodopsin (ChR2)-EYFP fusion protein, have been a popular means to drive opsin expression in a cell-type specific manner. Here we report a low level of leaky ‘off-target’ (Cre-independent) ChR2-EYFP expression in Ai32/ Ai32 homozygous mice throughout the nervous system. This leaky off-target expression was characterized in multiple prevalent nervous system regions using anti-EYFP immunostaining. Expression of full-length ChR2-EYFP protein was confirmed using immunoprecipitation followed by Western blotting. Notably, light stimulation of these ChR2-EYFP expressing neurons in the spinal cord dorsal horn did not induce detectable photocurrents in juvenile 4-week old mice. Given the wide use of the Ai32 line by many labs, our results suggest researchers should be vigilant of possible off-target ChR2-EYFP expression in their region of interest, especially when generating Ai32/Ai32 homozygotes to drive high levels of ChR2-EYFP expression in adult mice.
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    A Speech Processing Strategy Based on Sinusoidal Speech Model for Cochlear Implant Users
    (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.) Lee, Sungmin; Akbarzadeh, Sara; Singh, Satnam; Tan, Chin-Tuan; 0000-0002-4676-4917 (Tan, C-T); 78509491 (Tan, C-T); Lee, Sungmin; Akbarzadeh, Sara; Singh, Satnam; Tan, Chin-Tuan
    In sinusoidal modeling (SM), speech signal, which is pseudo-periodic in structure, can be approximated by sinusoids and noise without losing significant speech information. A speech processing strategy based on this sinusoidal speech model will be relevant for encoding electric pulse streams in cochlear implant (CI) processing, where the number of channels available is limited. In this study, 5 normal hearing (NH) listeners and 2 CI users were asked to perform the task of speech recognition and perceived sound quality rating on speech sentences processed in 12 different test conditions. The sinusoidal analysis/synthesis algorithm was limited to 1, 3 or 6 sinusoids from the sentences low-pass filtered at either 1 kHz, 1.5 kHz, 3 kHz, or 6 kHz, re-synthesized as the test conditions. Each of 12 lists of AzBio sentences was randomly chosen and process with one of 12 test conditions, before they were presented to each participant at 65 dB SPL (Sound Pressure Level). Participant was instructed to repeat the sentence as they perceived, and the number of words correctly recognized was scored. They were also asked to rate the perceived sound quality of the sentences including original speech sentence, on the scale of 1 (distorted) to 10 (clean). Both speech recognition score and perceived sound quality rating across all participants increase when the number of sinusoids increases and low-pass filter broadens. Our current finding showed that three sinusoids may be sufficient to elicit the nearly maximum speech intelligibility and quality necessary for both NH and CI listeners. Sinusoidal speech model has the potential in facilitating the basis for a speech processing strategy in CI. ©2018 APSIPA.
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    The Value of Clinical and Ultrasound Features for the Diagnosis of Infantile Hepatic Hemangioma: Comparison with Contrast-Enhanced CT/MRI
    (Elsevier Inc.) Xu, M.; Pan, F. -S; Wang, W.; Zhang, X. -E; Li, X. -J; Hong, Yu; Zhou, L. -Y; Xie, X. -Y; Lyu, M. -D; Hong, Yu
    Objectives: To investigate the combined use of ultrasound together with clinical features to differentiate infantile hepatic hemangioma (IHH) from other focal liver lesions (FLLs) in children and to compare the efficacy of the combined method to that of CECT/MRI. Methods: The location, number, size and appearance of the tumors were evaluated in 45 children with IHH. Another 45 children with FLL were randomly selected as a control group. Independent factors for predicting IHH versus FLLs were evaluated. The diagnostic performance of the clinical and ultrasound features was compared with CECT/MRI. Results: Compared with the control FLL group, the IHH group had a younger age at diagnosis (P = 0.008), lower alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) levels (P = 0.000), smaller lesion sizes (P = 0.000), and a higher tumor proportion with a resistance index (RI) of 0.05). Conclusions: CECT/MRI was the effective diagnostic indicator for IHH. However, the combined clinical and ultrasound diagnoses, including age at diagnosis, lesion size, RI and AFP, can achieve the same effectiveness as CECT/MRI. © 2018
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    Relations Between Parent Psychological Control and Parent and Adolescent Social Aggression
    (Springer New York LLC) Meter, D. J.; Ehrenreich, S. E.; Underwood, Marion K.; Underwood, Marion K.
    Parent-child interactions and parenting behavior may be related to social aggression among adolescents, and adolescents’ social aggression may relate to parents’ social aggression. This study investigated (a) whether parent psychological control predicted future adolescent and parent social aggression in their own peer relationships, (b) whether parents’ social aggression was related to their use of psychological control within the parent-adolescent relationship (c) whether adolescents’ and parents’ social aggression was associated with changes in each other’s social aggression over time, and (d) change in psychological control. Participants were 174 racially/ethnically diverse parent-adolescent dyads assessed longitudinally for four years. Adolescents were approximately 15-years-old at the first time point. The adolescent sample was 52% girls and 56% identified as White, 22% as Black or African American, 16% as Hispanic, and 5% as mixed race/ethnicity. Ten percent of the parent participants were fathers. Parents self-reported their psychological control and social aggression, and their adolescents’ teachers reported adolescents’ social aggression. Hypotheses were tested using longitudinal structural equation modeling and a latent growth curve analysis. The hypothesized effect of parent’s psychological control on parent’s future aggression with their own peers was supported. Psychological control positively predicted parent aggression from T2 to T3 (β =.28, p <.05) and from T3 to T4 (β =.37, p <.05). Other hypotheses were not supported. The findings suggest that the parent-child relationship may influence the parent’s functioning in their own peer relationships. Parents’ peer relations seem to have important implications for their own well being and the parent-child relationship. ©2018, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.
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    Enhancing CCTV: Averages Improve Face Identification from Poor-Quality Images
    (John Wiley and Sons Ltd) Ritchie, K. L.; White, D.; Kramer, R. S. S.; Noyes, Eilidh; Jenkins, R.; Burton, A. M.; Noyes, Eilidh
    Low-quality images are problematic for face identification, for example, when the police identify faces from CCTV images. Here, we test whether face averages, comprising multiple poor-quality images, can improve both human and computer recognition. We created averages from multiple pixelated or nonpixelated images and compared accuracy using these images and exemplars. To provide a broad assessment of the potential benefits of this method, we tested human observers (n = 88; Experiment 1), and also computer recognition, using a smartphone application (Experiment 2) and a commercial one-to-many face recognition system used in forensic settings (Experiment 3). The third experiment used large image databases of 900 ambient images and 7,980 passport images. In all three experiments, we found a substantial increase in performance by averaging multiple pixelated images of a person's face. These results have implications for forensic settings in which faces are identified from poor-quality images, such as CCTV.
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    Mapping the Operational Landscape of MicroRNAs in Synthetic Gene Circuits.
    (Nature Partner Journals, 2018-10-22) Quarton, Tyler; Ehrhardt, Kristina; Lee, James; Kannan, Srijaa; Li, Yi; Ma, Lan; Bleris, Leonidas; Quarton, Tyler; Ehrhardt, Kristina; Lee, James; Kannan, Srijaa; Li, Yi; Ma, Lan; Bleris, Leonidas
    MicroRNAs are a class of short, noncoding RNAs that are ubiquitous modulators of gene expression, with roles in development, homeostasis, and disease. Engineered microRNAs are now frequently used as regulatory modules in synthetic biology. Moreover, synthetic gene circuits equipped with engineered microRNA targets with perfect complementarity to endogenous microRNAs establish an interface with the endogenous milieu at the single-cell level. The function of engineered microRNAs and sensor systems is typically optimized through extensive trial-and-error. Here, using a combination of synthetic biology experimentation in human embryonic kidney cells and quantitative analysis, we investigate the relationship between input genetic template abundance, microRNA concentration, and output under microRNA control. We provide a framework that employs the complete operational landscape of a synthetic gene circuit and enables the stepwise development of mathematical models. We derive a phenomenological model that recapitulates experimentally observed nonlinearities and contains features that provide insight into the microRNA function at various abundances. Our work facilitates the characterization and engineering of multi-component genetic circuits and specifically points to new insights on the operation of microRNAs as mediators of endogenous information and regulators of gene expression in synthetic biology.
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    Voice Gender and the Segregation of Competing Talkers: Perceptual Learning in Cochlear Implant Simulations
    (Acoustical Society of America) Sullivan, J. R.; Assmann, Peter F.; Hossain, Shaikat; Schafer, Erin C.; 138145911066327061564 (Assmann, PF); Assmann, Peter F.; Hossain, Shaikat
    Two experiments explored the role of differences in voice gender in the recognition of speech masked by a competing talker in cochlear implant simulations. Experiment 1 confirmed that listeners with normal hearing receive little benefit from differences in voice gender between a target and masker sentence in four- and eight-channel simulations, consistent with previous findings that cochlear implants deliver an impoverished representation of the cues for voice gender. However, gender differences led to small but significant improvements in word recognition with 16 and 32 channels. Experiment 2 assessed the benefits of perceptual training on the use of voice gender cues in an eight-channel simulation. Listeners were assigned to one of four groups: (1) word recognition training with target and masker differing in gender; (2) word recognition training with same-gender target and masker; (3) gender recognition training; or (4) control with no training. Significant improvements in word recognition were observed from pre- to post-test sessions for all three training groups compared to the control group. These improvements were maintained at the late session (one week following the last training session) for all three groups. There was an overall improvement in masked word recognition performance provided by gender mismatch following training, but the amount of benefit did not differ as a function of the type of training. The training effects observed here are consistent with a form of rapid perceptual learning that contributes to the segregation of competing voices but does not specifically enhance the benefits provided by voice gender cues.
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    The Role of Nonverbal Working Memory in Morphosyntactic Processing by Children with Specific Language Impairment and Autism Spectrum Disorders
    (BioMed Central, 2018-09-24) Ellis Weismer, S.; Davidson, Meghan M.; Gangopadhyay, I.; Sindberg, H.; Roebuck, H.; Kaushanskaya, M.; Davidson, Meghan M.
    Background: Both children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and children with specific language impairment (SLI) have been shown to have difficulties with grammatical processing. A comparison of these two populations with neurodevelopmental disorders was undertaken to examine similarities and differences in the mechanisms that may underlie grammatical processing. Research has shown that working memory (WM) is recruited during grammatical processing. The goal of this study was to examine morphosyntactic processing on a grammatical judgment task in children who varied in clinical diagnosis and language abilities and to assess the extent to which performance is predicted by nonverbal working memory (WM). Two theoretical perspectives were evaluated relative to performance on the grammatical judgment task - the "working memory" account and the "wrap-up" account. These accounts make contrasting predictions about the detection of grammatical errors occurring early versus late in the sentence. Methods: Participants were 84 school-age children with SLI (n = 21), ASD (n = 27), and typical development (TD, n = 36). Performance was analyzed based on diagnostic group as well as language status (normal language, NL, n = 54, and language impairment, LI, n = 30). A grammatical judgment task was used in which the position of the error in the sentence (early versus late) was manipulated. A visual WM task (N-back) was administered and the ability of WM to predict morphosyntactic processing was assessed. Results: Groups differed significantly in their sensitivity to grammatical errors (TD > SLI and NL > LI) but did not differ in nonverbal WM. Overall, children in all groups were more sensitive and quicker at detecting errors occurring late in the sentence than early in the sentence. Nonverbal WM predicted morphosyntactic processing across groups, but the specific profile of association between WM and early versus late error detection was reversed for children with and without language impairment. Conclusions: Findings primarily support a "wrap up" account whereby the accumulating sentence context for errors positioned late in the sentence (rather than early) appeared to facilitate morphosyntactic processing. Although none of the groups displayed deficits in visual WM, individual differences in these nonverbal WM resources predicted proficiency in morphosyntactic processing.
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    A High-Fat Diet Causes Impairment in Hippocampal Memory and Sex-Dependent Alterations in Peripheral Metabolism
    (Hindawi Publishing Corporation) Underwood, Erica L.; Thompson, Lucien T.; 0000-0001-8878-0221 (Thompson, LT)
    While high-fat diets are associated with rising incidence of obesity/type-2 diabetes and can induce metabolic and cognitive deficits, sex-dependent comparisons are rarely systematically made. Effects of exclusive consumption of a high-fat diet (HFD) on systemic metabolism and on behavioral measures of hippocampal-dependent memory were compared in young male and female LE rats. Littermates were fed from weaning either a HFD or a control diet (CD) for 12 wk prior to testing. Sex-different effects of the HFD were observed in classic metabolic signs associated with type-2 diabetes. Males fed the HFD became obese, and had elevated fasted blood glucose levels, elevated corticosterone, and impaired glucose-tolerance, while females on the HFD exhibited only elevated corticosterone. Regardless of peripheral metabolism alteration, rats of both sexes fed the HFD were equally impaired in a spatial object recognition memory task associated with impaired hippocampal function. While the metabolic changes reported here have been characterized previously in males, the set of diet-induced effects observed here in females are novel. Impaired memory can have significant cognitive consequences, over the short-term and over the lifespan. A significant need exists for comparative research into sex-dependent differences underlying obesity and metabolic syndromes relating systemic, cognitive, and neural plasticity mechanisms.
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    Developmental Differences in Beta and Theta Power During Sentence Processing
    (Elsevier Ltd) Schneider, Julie M.; Abel, A. D.; Ogiela, D. A.; Middleton, Anna E.; Maguire, Mandy J.; 0000 0003 5139 1227 (Maguire, MJ)
    Although very young children process ongoing language quickly and effortlessly, research indicates that they continue to improve and mature in their language skills through adolescence. This prolonged development may be related to differing engagement of semantic and syntactic processes. This study used event related potentials and time frequency analysis of EEG to identify developmental differences in neural engagement as children (ages 10-12) and adults performed an auditory verb agreement grammaticality judgment task. Adults and children revealed very few differences in comprehending grammatically correct sentences. When identifying grammatical errors, however, adults displayed widely distributed beta and theta power decreases that were significantly less pronounced in children. Adults also demonstrated a significant P600 effect, while children exhibited an apparent N400 effect. Thus, when identifying subtle grammatical errors in real time, adults display greater neural activation that is traditionally associated with syntactic processing whereas children exhibit greater activity more commonly associated with semantic processing. These findings support previous claims that the cognitive and neural underpinnings of syntactic processing are still developing in adolescence, and add to them by more clearly identifying developmental changes in the neural oscillations underlying grammatical processing.
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    To Switch or Not to Switch: Role of Cognitive Control in Working Memory Training in Older Adults
    (Frontiers Media SA) Basak, Chandramallika; O'Connell, Margaret A.; 0000 0001 2852 4218 (Basak, C)
    It is currently not known what are the best working memory training strategies to offset the age-related declines in fluid cognitive abilities. In this randomized clinical double-blind trial, older adults were randomly assigned to one of two types of working memory training one group was trained on a predictable memory updating task (PT) and another group was trained on a novel, unpredictable memory updating task (UT). Unpredictable memory updating, compared to predictable, requires greater demands on cognitive control (Basak and Verhaeghen, 2011a). Therefore, the current study allowed us to evaluate the role of cognitive control in working memory training. All participants were assessed on a set of near and far transfer tasks at three different testing sessions before training, immediately after the training, and 1.5 months after completing the training. Additionally, individual learning rates for a comparison working memory task (performed by both groups) and the trained task were computed. Training on unpredictable memory updating, compared to predictable, significantly enhanced performance on a measure of episodic memory, immediately after the training. Moreover, individuals with faster learning rates showed greater gains in this episodic memory task and another new working memory task; this effect was specific to UT. We propose that the unpredictable memory updating training, compared to predictable memory updating training, may a better strategy to improve selective cognitive abilities in older adults, and future studies could further investigate the role of cognitive control in working memory training.