Increased emphasis on circuit level activity in the brain makes it necessary to have methods to visualize and evaluate large-scale ensemble activity beyond that revealed by raster-histograms or pairwise correlations. We present a method to evaluate the relative similarity of neural spiking patterns by combining spike train distance metrics with dimensionality reduction. Spike train distance metrics provide an estimate of similarity between activity patterns at multiple temporal resolutions. Vectors of pair-wise distances are used to represent the intrinsic relationships between multiple activity patterns at the level of single units or neuronal ensembles. Dimensionality reduction is then used to project the data into concise representations suitable for clustering analysis as well as exploratory visualization. Algorithm performance and robustness are evaluated using multielectrode ensemble activity data recorded in behaving primates. We demonstrate how spike train SIMilarity space (SSIMS) analysis captures the relationship between goal directions for an eight-directional reaching task and successfully segregates grasp types in a 3D grasping task in the absence of kinematic information. The algorithm enables exploration of virtually any type of neural spiking (time series) data, providing similarity-based clustering of neural activity states with minimal assumptions about potential information encoding models.
Diatoms are frequently used for water quality assessments; however, identification to species level is difficult, time-consuming and needs in-depth knowledge of the organisms under investigation, as nonhomoplastic species-specific morphological characters are scarce. We here investigate how identification methods based on DNA (metabarcoding using NGS platforms) perform in comparison to morphological diatom identification and propose a workflow to optimize diatom fresh water quality assessments. Diatom diversity at seven different sites along the course of the river system Odra and Lusatian Neisse from the source to the mouth is analysed with DNA and morphological methods, which are compared. The NGS technology almost always leads to a higher number of identified taxa (270 via NGS vs. 103 by light microscopy LM), whose presence could subsequently be verified by LM. The sequence-based approach allows for a much more graduated insight into the taxonomic diversity of the environmental samples. Taxa retrieval varies considerably throughout the river system, depending on species occurrences and the taxonomic depth of the reference databases. Mostly rare taxa from oligotrophic parts of the river systems are less well represented in the reference database used. A workflow for DNA-based NGS diatom identification is presented. 28 000 diatom sequences were evaluated. Our findings provide evidence that metabarcoding of diatoms via NGS sequencing of the V4 region (18S) has a great potential for water quality assessments and could complement and maybe even improve the identification via light microscopy.
DNA barcoding uses a short fragment of a DNA sequence to identify a taxon. After obtaining the target sequence it is compared to reference sequences stored in a database to assign an organism name to it. The quality of data in the reference database is the key to the success of the analysis. In the here presented study, multiple types of data have been combined and critically examined in order to create best practice guidelines for taxonomic reference libraries for environmental barcoding. 70 unialgal diatom strains from Berlin waters have been established and cultured to obtain morphological and molecular data. The strains were sequenced for 18S V4 rDNA (the pre-Barcode for protists) as well as rbcL data, and identified by microscopy. LM and for some strains also SEM pictures were taken and physical vouchers deposited at the BGBM. 37 freshwater taxa from 15 naviculoid diatom genera were identified. Four taxa from the genera Amphora, Mayamaea, Planothidium and Stauroneis are described here as new. Names, molecular, morphological and habitat data as well as additional images of living cells are also available electronically in the AlgaTerra Information System. All reference sequences (or reference barcodes) presented here are linked to voucher specimens in order to provide a complete chain of evidence back to the formal taxonomic literature.
As yet, no cure exists for upper-limb paralysis resulting from the damage to motor pathways after spinal cord injury or stroke. Recently, neural activity from the motor cortex of paralyzed individuals has been used to control the movements of a robot arm but restoring function to patients' actual limbs remains a considerable challenge. Previously we have shown that electrical stimulation of the cervical spinal cord in anesthetized monkeys can elicit functional upper-limb movements like reaching and grasping. Here we show that stimulation can be controlled using cortical activity in awake animals to bypass disruption of the corticospinal system, restoring their ability to perform a simple upper-limb task. Monkeys were trained to grasp and pull a spring-loaded handle. After temporary paralysis of the hand was induced by reversible inactivation of primary motor cortex using muscimol, grasp-related single-unit activity from the ventral premotor cortex was converted into stimulation patterns delivered in real-time to the cervical spinal gray matter. During periods of closed-loop stimulation, task-modulated electromyogram, movement amplitude, and task success rate were improved relative to interleaved control periods without stimulation. In some sessions, single motor unit activity from weakly active muscles was also used successfully to control stimulation. These results are the first use of a neural prosthesis to improve the hand function of primates after motor cortex disruption, and demonstrate the potential for closed-loop cortical control of spinal cord stimulation to reanimate paralyzed limbs.
Diatom cultures of the G. parvulum species complex were established from seven different sites in the Faroe Islands, Sweden, Germany, Mexico and Korea, and were studied in detail. Eight morphodemes were identified which corresponded to the descriptions of the cosmopolitan taxon G. parvulum (Kützing) Kützing sensu lato: its nominate variety (var. parvulum), G. parvulum var. exilissimum Grunow and G. parvulum f. saprophilum Lange-Bertalot & Reichardt, G. [parvulum var.] lagenula Kützing plus four unidentifiable morphodemes. The concatenated analysis of the sequences of the markers 18SV4, rbcL, and ITS as well as morphological data resulted in a separation of four taxa based on their biogeography in Mexico, Korea, central Continental Europe and Northern Atlantic Europe. Mantel tests showed a significant correlation between molecular and geographical distances. The diagnoses of two taxa, G. parvulum sensu stricto, and G. lagenula, were emended, G. saprophilum elevated to species rank and epitypes designated. One species was newly described.
To date, there is no effective therapy for spinal cord injury, and many patients could benefit dramatically from at least partial restoration of arm and hand function. Despite a substantial body of research investigating intraspinal microstimulation (ISMS) in frogs, rodents and cats, little is known about upper-limb responses to cervical stimulation in the primate. Here, we show for the first time that long trains of ISMS delivered to the macaque spinal cord can evoke functional arm and hand movements. Complex movements involving coordinated activation of multiple muscles could be elicited from a single electrode, while just two electrodes were required for independent control of reaching and grasping. We found that the motor responses to ISMS were described by a dual exponential model that depended only on stimulation history. We demonstrate that this model can be inverted to generate stimulus trains capable of eliciting arbitrary, graded motor responses, and could be used to restore volitional movements in a closed-loop brain-machine interface.
Regaining motor function is of high priority to patients with spinal cord injury (SCI). A variety of electronic devices that interface with the brain or spinal cord, which have applications in neural prosthetics and neurorehabilitation, are in development. Owing to our advancing understanding of activity-dependent synaptic plasticity, new technologies to monitor, decode and manipulate neural activity are being translated to patient populations, and have demonstrated clinical efficacy. Brain-machine interfaces that decode motor intentions from cortical signals are enabling patient-driven control of assistive devices such as computers and robotic prostheses, whereas electrical stimulation of the spinal cord and muscles can aid in retraining of motor circuits and improve residual capabilities in patients with SCI. Next-generation interfaces that combine recording and stimulating capabilities in so-called closed-loop devices will further extend the potential for neuroelectronic augmentation of injured motor circuits. Emerging evidence suggests that integration of closed-loop interfaces into intentional motor behaviours has therapeutic benefits that outlast the use of these devices as prostheses. In this Review, we summarize this evidence and propose that several known plasticity mechanisms, operating in a complementary manner, might underlie the therapeutic effects that are achieved by closing the loop between electronic devices and the nervous system.
Related JoVE Video
Journal of Visualized Experiments
What is Visualize?
JoVE Visualize is a tool created to match the last 5 years of PubMed publications to methods in JoVE's video library.
How does it work?
We use abstracts found on PubMed and match them to JoVE videos to create a list of 10 to 30 related methods videos.
Video X seems to be unrelated to Abstract Y...
In developing our video relationships, we compare around 5 million PubMed articles to our library of over 4,500 methods videos. In some cases the language used in the PubMed abstracts makes matching that content to a JoVE video difficult. In other cases, there happens not to be any content in our video library that is relevant to the topic of a given abstract. In these cases, our algorithms are trying their best to display videos with relevant content, which can sometimes result in matched videos with only a slight relation.