Portable Intermodal Preferential Looking (IPL): Investigating Language Comprehension in Typically Developing Toddlers and Young Children with Autism
A reliable home-based way to assess the language comprehension of very young typically developing children, as well as those with autism, is described. The method analyzes children's eye gaze while viewing side-by-side images but hearing an audio that matches only one image. Stimuli are designed with young participants in mind.
Neuroimaging techniques, such as functional MRI and Diffusion Tensor Imaging have become increasingly useful in characterizing the cognitive and neural deficits in autism. An examination of brain connectivity in autism at a network level along with adaptations for scanning children with developmental disabilities is presented.
Eye tracking has long been used to study gaze patterns in typically-developing individuals, but recent technological advancements have made its use with clinical populations, including autism, more feasible. While eye-tracking young children with autism can offer insight into early symptom manifestations, it involves methodological challenges. Suggestions for best practices are provided.
Combining Computer Game-Based Behavioural Experiments With High-Density EEG and Infrared Gaze Tracking
1Department of Human Development, Cornell University, 2Social Sciences Division, University of Chicago, 3National Brain Research Centre, Manesar, India
Procedures for recording high-density EEG and gaze data during computer game-based cognitive tasks are described. Using a video game to present cognitive tasks enhances ecological validity without sacrificing experimental control.
TMS: Using the Theta-Burst Protocol to Explore Mechasnism of Plasticity in Individuals with Fragile X Syndrome and Autism
In this article, we examine the effects of Theta-Burst TMS stimulation on cortical plasticity in individuals suffering from Fragile X syndrome and individuals on the autistic spectrum.
Investigating Social Cognition in Infants and Adults Using Dense Array Electroencephalography (dEEG)
Dense array electroencephalography is being used increasingly to study social cognitive functions in infants and adults. Here we present an established methodology that represents a significant improvement on conventional methodologies for studying EEG in infants and adults.
Assessment of Cerebral Lateralization in Children using Functional Transcranial Doppler Ultrasound (fTCD)
Functional transcranial Doppler sonography (fTCD) is a simple and non-invasive ultrasound technique which can be used to assess the lateralization of cognitive functions, especially language, and is suitable for use with children.
The advent of MEG systems sized for young children opens important new opportunities to study brain development. The new system, together with a protocol that aligns experimental requirements with the capacities of children, can be used to study cognitive and language processes in healthy, awake children aged three to six.
Despite an increase in the use of structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in humans, the study of young pediatric populations remains a challenge. We present a hands-on, step-by-step video protocol including guidelines for clinicians and researchers intending to perform (f)MRI in young children.
1Centre of Excellence in Neuromics, CHUM Research Center and the Department of Medicine, Universite de Montreal, 2Center of Excellence in Neuromics, CHU Sainte Justine and CHUM Notre-Dame Research Centers, Universite de Montreal, 3Department of Medicine, Universite de Montreal
Molecular genetic strategy for finding de novo mutations causing common disorders such as autism and schizophrenia.
A test battery (IMAP) for performing an in-depth assessment of auditory and cognitive abilities contributing to listening skills is described. It is quick to administer, child-friendly and free from linguistic confounds. Stimulus generation and protocol management are controlled via a software platform (IHR-STAR) to ensure replicable procedures.
1Department of Public Health, Academic Medical Center - University of Amsterdam, 2Department of Epidemiology, Documentation and Health Promotion, Public Health Service of Amsterdam (GGD), 3Department of Biological Psychology, VU University, 4EMGO+ Institute, VU University Medical Center, 5Institute of Health Sciences, VU University, 6Department of Pediatrics, VU University Medical Center
Measurement of autonomic nervous system activity usually confines the researcher and participant to the laboratory, which may provide an intimidating environment to children. The VU University Ambulatory Monitoring System (VU-AMS) device can record cardiac autonomic control in any setting. The VU-AMS proved very amenable to testing in children.
Chronic infection with soil-transmitted helminths (STHs) causes malabsorption, stunting, and wasting in the growing child. Hence, it is plausible that these infections also reduce the physical fitness of children. Here, we visualize two techniques for the diagnosis of STHs and the 20-meter shuttle run test for assessing children's physical fitness.
A simple method to record extracellular field potentials in the larval zebrafish forebrain is described. The method provides a robust in vivo read-out of seizure-like activity. This technique can be used with genetically modified zebrafish larvae carrying epilepsy-related genes or seizures evoked by administration of convulsant drugs.
An Investigation of the Effects of Sports-related Concussion in Youth Using Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging and the Head Impact Telemetry System
1Graduate Department of Rehabilitation Science, University of Toronto, 2Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, University of Toronto, 3Department of Psychology, University of Toronto, 4Bloorview Kids Rehab, 5Toronto Rehab, 6Cognitive Neurology, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, 7Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto
This article provides an overview of a multi-modal approach to mild traumatic brain injury diagnosis and recovery in youth. This approach combines neuropsychological testing with functional magnetic resonance imaging and the Head Impact Telemetry System to monitor the relationship between head impacts and brain activity during cognitive testing.
1Department of Ophthalmology, Massachusetts Eye and Ear, 2JoVE Content Production
Traditional microscopy requires lens objectives to magnify specimens, and can involve numerous optical components like additional objectives, filters, and mirrors to refract and direct light to optical sensors. The August 2012 issue of JoVE (Journal of Visualized Experiments) is marked by the third publication from the Ozcan Lab (University of California, Los Angeles) on their lens-free "on-chip" microscopy platform, which they have pioneered.
Meatoplasty, surgical management of meatal stenosis.
1Department of Ophthalmology, Massachusetts Eye and Ear, 2JoVE Content Production
Here's a look at some of the milestones and highlights of the year 2012 in Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE).
We describe guidelines to perform a safe and efficient elective fiberoptic intubation in pediatric patients while maintaining spontaneous ventilation.
The cranial mesenchyme undergoes dramatic morphogenic movements that likely provides a driving force for elevation of the neural folds1,2. Here we describe a simple ex vivo explant assay to characterize the cellular behaviors of the cranial mesenchyme during neurulation. This assay has numerous applications including being amenable to pharmacological manipulations and live imaging analyses.
Isolation of Cerebrospinal Fluid from Rodent Embryos for use with Dissected Cerebral Cortical Explants
1Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, 2Department of Pharmacology and Physiology, Institute for Neuroscience, The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, 3Division of Genetics, Department of Medicine, Boston Children's Hospital, 4Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Boston Children's Hospital, 5Department of Pathology, Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School
The ventricular cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) bathes the neuroepithelial and cerebral cortical progenitor cells during early brain development in the embryo. Here we describe the method developed to isolate ventricular CSF from rodent embryos of different ages in order to investigate its biological function. In addition, we demonstrate our cerebral cortical explant dissection and culture technique that allows for explant growth with minimal volumes of culture medium or CSF.
1Epigenomic Medicine, Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, The Alfred Medical Research and Education Precinct, 2Epigenetics in Human Health and Disease, Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, The Alfred Medical Research and Education Precinct, 3Department of Pathology, The University of Melbourne, 4Department of Allergy and Immunology, Murdoch Children's Research Institute, Royal Children's Hospital, 5Department of Pediatrics, The University of Melbourne
Quantitation of DNA double-strand breaks on the basis of γH2AX foci has become an invaluable tool, particularly in radiation biology, for the evaluation of tissue radiosensitivity and effects of radiation modifying compounds. Here we demonstrate the use of an immunofluorescence assay for quantitation of γH2AX foci in tissue samples.
Here we describe a data collection and data analysis method for functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS), a novel non-invasive brain imaging system used in cognitive neuroscience, particularly in studying child brain development. This method provides a universal standard of data acquisition and analysis vital to data interpretation and scientific discovery.
1Department of Biomedical Engineering, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York, 2Department of Creative IT Engineering, Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH), 3School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Kyungpook National University
Photoacoustic cystography (PAC) has a great potential to map urinary bladders, a radiation sensitive internal organ in pediatric patients, without using any ionizing radiation or toxic contrast agent. Here we demonstrate the use of PAC for mapping urinary bladders with an injection of optical-opaque tracers in rats in vivo.
We describe a technique to maintain oxygenation and ventilation using an endotracheal tube inserted nasally to the level of the naso-pharynx while sealing the mouth and nares for successful positive pressure ventilation.
1Department of Ophthalmology, Massachusetts Eye and Ear, 2JoVE Content Production
Back in 1905, in what is now the Czech Republic, Eduard Zirm performed the first corneal transplantation surgery (keratoplasty), which restored vision to a patient blinded by corneal injury. Today, eye banks all over the world prepare, store, and distribute donated corneas to hospitals so that thousands of sight-saving keratoplasties can be performed every year. In June 2012, JoVE has its eye on two research groups, one from Italy and the other from Michigan, who demonstrate two distinct methods for corneal graft preparation prior to transplantation.
Development of an Audio-based Virtual Gaming Environment to Assist with Navigation Skills in the Blind
1Laboratory for Visual Neuroplasticity, Department of Ophthalmology, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Harvard Medical School, 2Department of Computer Science and Center for Advanced Research in Education (CARE), University of Chile
Audio-based Environment Simulator (AbES) is virtual environment software designed to improve real world navigation skills in the blind.
Until recently, expression studies on human brain were limited to quantification of RNA or protein. With the chromatin immunoprecipitation techniques described in this paper, it will be possible to map histone methylation and other epigenetic regulators of gene expression in postmortem brain.
1Department of Computing Science, University of Alberta, 2Department of Psychology, University of Illinois, 3Centre for Neuroscience, University of Alberta, 4Department of Psychology, University of Alberta, 5Department of Marketing, Business Economics, and Law, University of Alberta, 6Neuroscience Program, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 7Beckman Institute, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
This article demonstrates an experimental design in which whole-body animated characters are used in conjunction with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate the neural correlates of observing virtual social interactions.
Osmotic Avoidance in Caenorhabditis elegans: Synaptic Function of Two Genes, Orthologues of Human NRXN1 and NLGN1, as Candidates for Autism
Neurexins and neuroligins are membrane-neuron adhesion proteins which perform essential roles in synaptic differentiation and transmission. Neuroligin deficient mutants of C. elegans are defective in detecting osmotic strength, but when they also contain a mutation in the gene coding neurexin, they recover the wild type phenotype.
A Practical Approach to Genetic Inducible Fate Mapping: A Visual Guide to Mark and Track Cells In Vivo
Genetic Inducible Fate Mapping (GIFM) marks and tracks cells with fine spatial and temporal control in vivo and elucidates how cells from a specific genetic lineage contribute to developing and adult tissues. Demonstrated here are the techniques required to fate map E12.5 mouse embryos for epifluorescent and explant analysis.
1Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute, Mount Sinai Hospital, 2Toronto Centre for Phenogenomics, Mount Sinai Hospital, 3Department of Medical Biophysics, University of Toronto, 4Department of Psychology, University of Toronto, 5Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto
Here we describe a detailed protocol for examination of sociability in mice by using Crawley's sociability and preference for social novelty test. We describe the advantages and possible applications for this procedure, including critical details important for correct interpretation of the results.
The Virochip is a pan-viral microarray designed to simultaneously detect all known viruses as well as novel viruses on the basis of conserved sequence homology. Here we demonstrate how to run a Virochip assay to analyze clinical samples for the presence of both known and unknown viruses.
A Functional Whole Blood Assay to Measure Viability of Mycobacteria, using Reporter-Gene Tagged BCG or M.Tb (BCG lux/M.Tb lux)
We describe an alternative approach to the enumeration of mycobacteria in vitro, which uses reporter-gene tagged mycobacteria instead of colony-forming units (CFU). “Survival” of organisms as well as host response-markers are measured simultaneously, providing a low-cost, versatile and functional system for studies of host/pathogen interactions in the context of tuberculosis.
This article and the accompanying video present our protocol for generating tissue-engineered intestine in the mouse, using an organoid units-on-scaffold approach.
1Laboratorio de Investigación y Desarrollo (LID), Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, 2Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, 3Laboratorio de Diagnostico Molecular, Facultad de Medicina, University of Concepcion,Chile, 4University of California San Diego School of Medicine
A One-Step RT-PCR assay for detection and genogroup identification of Norovirus isolates from children’s stools, that utilizes primers and TaqMan probes specific to the open reading frame 1 (ORF1)-ORF2 junction region, the most conserved region of the Norovirus genome is described. A non-commercial, cost-effective RNA extraction method is detailed.
The identification of brain tumor initiating cells (BTICs), the rare cells within a heterogeneous tumor possessing stem cell properties, provides new insights into human brain tumor pathogenesis. We have refined specific culture conditions to enrich for BTICs, and we routinely use flow cytometry to further enrich these populations. Self-renewal assays and transcript analysis by single cell RT-PCR can subsequently be performed on these isolated cells.
Mitochondria-associated ER Membranes (MAMs) and Glycosphingolipid Enriched Microdomains (GEMs): Isolation from Mouse Brain
This procedure illustrates how to isolate from the adult mouse brain the mitochondria-associated ER membranes or MAMs and the glycosphingolipid-enriched microdomain fractions from MAMs and mitochondrial preparations.
Determination of the Transport Rate of Xenobiotics and Nanomaterials Across the Placenta using the ex vivo Human Placental Perfusion Model
1Department of Obstetrics, Perinatal Pharmacology, University Hospital Zurich, 2Laboratory for Materials - Biology Interactions, EMPA Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Testing and Research, 3Graduate School for Cellular and Biomedical Sciences, University of Bern
The ex vivo dual recirculating human placental perfusion model can be used to investigate the transfer of xenobiotics and nanoparticles across the human placenta. In this video protocol we describe the equipment and techniques required for a successful execution of a placenta perfusion.
1Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine, Children's Hospital Boston and Harvard Medical School, 2Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine, Children’s Hospital Boston
Here, we describe a cardiac surgical procedure to implant engineered tissue in the atrioventricular (AV)-groove of an adult Lewis rat.
1Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine, Children's Hospital Boston and Harvard Medical School, 2Departments of Cardiac Surgery, Children's Hospital Boston and Harvard Medical School
This article describes a high temporal and spatial resolution technique to optically image action potential movement on the surface of Langendorff-perfused rat hearts using a potentiometric dye (di-8-ANEPPS).
Here, we demonstrate fabrication of collagen-based, tissue constructs containing skeletal myoblasts. These 3-D engineered constructs may be used to replace or repair tissues in vivo. For our purposes, we have designed these as an atrioventricular electrical conduit for the repair of complete heart block.
This article describes the procedure for the formation and visualization of a bacterial biofilm grown within an 8-well chamber slide
The neuromuscular junction (NMJ) of Drosophila melanogaster is an important model system for studying normal synaptic function as well as perturbations to synaptic function found in certain neurological diseases. We present a protocol for dissection of the Drosophila larval motor system and immunostaining for active zone proteins within the NMJ.
1Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Hotchkiss Brain Institute, Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute, University of Calgary, 2Department of Medical Genetics, Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute, Hotchkiss Brain Institute, University of Calgary
In utero electroporation allows for rapid gene delivery in a spatially- and temporally-controlled manner in the developing central nervous system (CNS). Here we describe a highly adaptable in utero electroporation protocol that can be used to deliver expression constructs into multiple embryonic CNS domains, including the telencephalon, diencephalon and retina.
A method is described to photoactivate single cells containing a caged fluorescent protein using two-photon absorption from a Ti:Sapphire femtosecond laser oscillator. To fate map the photoactivated cell, immunohistochemistry is used. This technique can be applied to any cell type.
We developed a new protocol to improve efficiency of in vitro differentiation of mouse embryonic stem cells into motor neurons. The differentiated ES cells acquired motor neurons features as evidenced by expression of neuronal and motor neuron markers using immunohistochemical techniques.
A Practical and Novel Method to Extract Genomic DNA from Blood Collection Kits for Plasma Protein Preservation
1Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, Department of Pediatrics, Emory University School of Medicine and Children's Health Care of Atlanta, 2Division of Rheumatology, Department of Pediatrics, Emory University School of Medicine and Children's Health Care of Atlanta
We are describing a new method of isolating genomic DNA from whole blood collected for plasma/serology. After plasma collection, the compacted blood is usually discarded. Our novel method represents a significant improvement over existing methods and makes DNA and plasma available from a single collection, without requesting additional blood.
The Citrobacter rodentium Mouse Model: Studying Pathogen and Host Contributions to Infectious Colitis
Citrobacter rodentium infection provides a valuable model to study enteric bacterial infections as well as host immune responses and colitis in mice. This protocol outlines the measurement of barrier integrity, pathogen load and histological damage allowing for the thorough characterization of pathogen and host contributions to murine infectious colitis.