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The Neural Code for Motor Control in the Cerebellum and Oculomotor Brainstem. - eNeuro
A single extra spike makes a difference. Here, the size of the eye velocity in the initiation of smooth eye movements in the right panel depends on whether a cerebellar Purkinje cell discharges 3 (red), 4 (green), 5 (blue), or 6 (black) spikes in the 40-ms window indicated by the gray shading in the rasters on the left. Spike trains are rich in information that can be extracted to guide behaviors at millisecond time resolution or across longer time intervals. In sensory systems, the information usually is defined with respect to the stimulus. Especially in motor systems, however, it is equally critical to understand how spike trains predict behavior. Thus, our goal was to compare systematically spike trains in the oculomotor system with eye movement behavior on single movements. We analyzed the discharge of Purkinje cells in the floccular complex of the cerebellum, floccular target neurons in the brainstem, other vestibular neurons, and abducens neurons. We find that an extra spike in a brief analysis window predicts a substantial fraction of the trial-by-trial variation in the initiation of smooth pursuit eye movements. For Purkinje cells, a single extra spike in a 40 ms analysis window predicts, on average, 0.5 SDs of the variation in behavior. An optimal linear estimator predicts behavioral variation slightly better than do spike counts in brief windows. Simulations reveal that the ability of single spikes to predict a fraction of behavior also emerges from model spike trains that have the same statistics as the real spike trains, as long as they are driven by shared sensory inputs. We think that the shared sensory estimates in their inputs create correlations in neural spiking across time and across each population. As a result, one or a small number of spikes in a brief time interval can predict a substantial fraction of behavioral variation.
American Society of Blood and Marrow Transplantation, European Society of Blood and Marrow Transplantation, Blood and Marrow Transplant Clinical Trials Network, and International Myeloma Working Group Consensus Conference on Salvage Hematopoietic Cell Tra - Biology of blood and marrow transplantation : journal of the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation
In contrast to the upfront setting in which the role of high-dose therapy with autologous hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) as consolidation of a first remission in patients with multiple myeloma (MM) is well established, the role of high-dose therapy with autologous or allogeneic HCT has not been extensively studied in MM patients relapsing after primary therapy. The International Myeloma Working Group together with the Blood and Marrow Transplant Clinical Trials Network, the American Society of Blood and Marrow Transplantation, and the European Society of Blood and Marrow Transplantation convened a meeting of MM experts to: (1) summarize current knowledge regarding the role of autologous or allogeneic HCT in MM patients progressing after primary therapy, (2) propose guidelines for the use of salvage HCT in MM, (3) identify knowledge gaps, (4) propose a research agenda, and (5) develop a collaborative initiative to move the research agenda forward. After reviewing the available data, the expert committee came to the following consensus statement for salvage autologous HCT: (1) In transplantation-eligible patients relapsing after primary therapy that did NOT include an autologous HCT, high-dose therapy with HCT as part of salvage therapy should be considered standard; (2) High-dose therapy and autologous HCT should be considered appropriate therapy for any patients relapsing after primary therapy that includes an autologous HCT with initial remission duration of more than 18 months; (3) High-dose therapy and autologous HCT can be used as a bridging strategy to allogeneic HCT; (4) The role of postsalvage HCT maintenance needs to be explored in the context of well-designed prospective trials that should include new agents, such as monoclonal antibodies, immune-modulating agents, and oral proteasome inhibitors; (5) Autologous HCT consolidation should be explored as a strategy to develop novel conditioning regimens or post-HCT strategies in patients with short (less than 18 months remissions) after primary therapy; and (6) Prospective randomized trials need to be performed to define the role of salvage autologous HCT in patients with MM relapsing after primary therapy comparing it to "best non-HCT" therapy. The expert committee also underscored the importance of collecting enough hematopoietic stem cells to perform 2 transplantations early in the course of the disease. Regarding allogeneic HCT, the expert committee agreed on the following consensus statements: (1) Allogeneic HCT should be considered appropriate therapy for any eligible patient with early relapse (less than 24 months) after primary therapy that included an autologous HCT and/or high-risk features (ie, cytogenetics, extramedullary disease, plasma cell leukemia, or high lactate dehydrogenase); (2) Allogeneic HCT should be performed in the context of a clinical trial if possible; (3) The role of postallogeneic HCT maintenance therapy needs to be explored in the context of well-designed prospective trials; and (4) Prospective randomized trials need to be performed to define the role salvage allogeneic HCT in patients with MM relapsing after primary therapy.Copyright Â© 2015 American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Interactions between target location and reward size modulate the rate of microsaccades in monkeys. - Journal of neurophysiology
We have studied how rewards modulate the occurrence of microsaccades by manipulating the size of an expected reward and the location of the cue that sets the expectations for future reward. We found an interaction between the size of the reward and the location of the cue. When monkeys fixated on a cue that signaled the size of future reward, the frequency of microsaccades was higher if the monkey expected a large vs. a small reward. When the cue was presented at a site in the visual field that was remote from the position of fixation, reward size had the opposite effect: the frequency of microsaccades was lower when the monkey was expecting a large reward. The strength of pursuit initiation also was affected by reward size and by the presence of microsaccades just before the onset of target motion. The gain of pursuit initiation increased with reward size and decreased when microsaccades occurred just before or after the onset of target motion. The effect of the reward size on pursuit initiation was much larger than any indirect effects reward might cause through modulation of the rate of microsaccades. We found only a weak relationship between microsaccade direction and the location of the exogenous cue relative to fixation position, even in experiments where the location of the cue indicated the direction of target motion. Our results indicate that the expectation of reward is a powerful modulator of the occurrence of microsaccades, perhaps through attentional mechanisms.Copyright Â© 2015 the American Physiological Society.
A tale of two species: Neural integration in zebrafish and monkeys. - Neuroscience
Selection of a model organism creates tension between competing constraints. The recent explosion of modern molecular techniques has revolutionized the analysis of neural systems in organisms that are amenable to genetic techniques. Yet, the non-human primate remains the gold-standard for the analysis of the neural basis of behavior, and as a bridge to the operation of the human brain. The challenge is to generalize across species in a way that exposes the operation of circuits as well as the relationship of circuits to behavior. Eye movements provide an opportunity to cross the bridge from mechanism to behavior through research on diverse species. Here, we review experiments and computational studies on a circuit function called "neural integration" that occurs in the brainstems of larval zebrafish, primates, and species "in between". We show that analysis of circuit structure using modern molecular and imaging approaches in zebrafish has remarkable explanatory power for details of the responses of integrator neurons in the monkey. The combination of research from the two species has led to a much stronger hypothesis for the implementation of the neural integrator than could have been achieved using either species alone.Copyright Â© 2014 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Emergence of context-dependent variability across a basal ganglia network. - Neuron
Context dependence is a key feature of cortical-basal ganglia circuit activity, and in songbirds the cortical outflow of a basal ganglia circuit specialized for song, LMAN, shows striking increases in trial-by-trial variability and bursting when birds sing alone rather than to females. To reveal where this variability and its social regulation emerge, we recorded stepwise from corticostriatal (HVC) neurons and their target spiny and pallidal neurons in Area X. We find that corticostriatal and spiny neurons both show precise singing-related firing across both social settings. Pallidal neurons, in contrast, exhibit markedly increased trial-by-trial variation when birds sing alone, created by highly variable pauses in firing. This variability persists even when recurrent inputs from LMAN are ablated. These data indicate that variability and its context sensitivity emerge within the basal ganglia network, suggest a network mechanism for this emergence, and highlight variability generation and regulation as basal ganglia functions.Copyright Â© 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
A framework for using signal, noise, and variation to determine whether the brain controls movement synergies or single muscles. - Journal of neurophysiology
We have used an analysis of signal and variation in motor behavior to elucidate the organization of the cerebellar and brain stem circuits that control smooth pursuit eye movements. We recorded from the abducens nucleus and identified floccular target neurons (FTNs) and other, non-FTN vestibular neurons. First, we assessed neuron-behavior correlations, defined as the trial-by-trial correlation between the variation in neural firing and eye movement, in brain stem neurons. In agreement with prior data from the cerebellum, neuron-behavior correlations during pursuit initiation were large in all neurons. Second, we asked whether movement variation arises upstream from, in parallel to, or downstream from a given site of recording. We developed a model that highlighted two measures: the ratio of the SDs of neural firing rate and eye movement ("SDratio") and the neuron-behavior correlation. The relationship between these measures defines possible sources of variation. During pursuit initiation, SDratio was approximately equal to neuron-behavior correlation, meaning that the source of signal and variation is upstream from the brain stem. During steady-state pursuit, neuron-behavior correlation became somewhat smaller than SDratio for FTNs, meaning that some variation may arise downstream in the brain stem. The data contradicted the model's predictions for sources of variation in pathways that run parallel to the site of recording. Because signal and noise are tightly linked in motor control, we take the source of variation as a proxy for the source of signal, leading us to conclude that the brain controls movement synergies rather than single muscles for eye movements.
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