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Octopus Transverse and Internal Longitudinal Arm Muscles in Relation to Fetching Movements

Description

Octopus arms employ a complex three dimensional array of musculature, called a
muscular hydrostat, which allows for nearly infinite degrees of freedom of movement without
the structure of a skeletal system. This study employed Magnetic Resonance Imaging with a
Gadoteridol-based

Octopus arms employ a complex three dimensional array of musculature, called a
muscular hydrostat, which allows for nearly infinite degrees of freedom of movement without
the structure of a skeletal system. This study employed Magnetic Resonance Imaging with a
Gadoteridol-based contrast agent to image the octopus arm and view the internal tissues. Muscle
layering was mapped and area was measured using AMIRA image processing and the trends in
these layers at the proximal, middle, and distal portions of the arms were analyzed. A total of 39
arms from 6 specimens were scanned to give 112 total imaged sections (38 proximal, 37 middle,
37 distal), from which to ascertain and study the possible differences in musculature. The
images revealed significant increases in the internal longitudinal muscle layer percentages
between the proximal and middle, proximal and distal, and middle and distal sections of the
arms. These structural differences are hypothesized to be used for rapid retraction of the distal
segment when encountering predators or noxious stimuli. In contrast, a significant decrease in
the transverse muscle layer was found when comparing the same sections. These structural
differences are hypothesized to be a result of bending behaviors during retraction. Additionally,
the internal longitudinal layer was separately studied orally, toward the sucker, and aborally,
away from the sucker. The significant differences in oral and aboral internal longitudinal
musculature in proximal, middle, and distal sections is hypothesized to support the pseudo-joint
functionality displayed in octopus fetching behaviors. The results indicate that individual
octopus arm morphology is more unique than previously thought and supports that internal
structural differences exist to support behavioral functionality.

Contributors

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Created

Date Created
2019-05

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Can Startle Elicit Sequential Movements in Highly Trained Individuals?

Description

Most daily living tasks consist of pairing a series of sequential movements, e.g., reaching to a cup, grabbing the cup, lifting and returning the cup to your mouth. The process by which we control and mediate the smooth progression of

Most daily living tasks consist of pairing a series of sequential movements, e.g., reaching to a cup, grabbing the cup, lifting and returning the cup to your mouth. The process by which we control and mediate the smooth progression of these tasks is not well understood. One method which we can use to further evaluate these motions is known as Startle Evoked Movements (SEM). SEM is an established technique to probe the motor learning and planning processes by detecting muscle activation of the sternocleidomastoid muscles of the neck prior to 120ms after a startling stimulus is presented. If activation of these muscles was detected following a stimulus in the 120ms window, the movement is classified as Startle+ whereas if no sternocleidomastoid activation is detected after a stimulus in the allotted time the movement is considered Startle-. For a movement to be considered SEM, the activation of movements for Startle+ trials must be faster than the activation of Startle- trials. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect that expertise has on sequential movements as well as determining if startle can distinguish when the consolidation of actions, known as chunking, has occurred. We hypothesized that SEM could distinguish words that were solidified or chunked. Specifically, SEM would be present when expert typists were asked to type a common word but not during uncommon letter combinations. The results from this study indicated that the only word that was susceptible to SEM, where Startle+ trials were initiated faster than Startle-, was an uncommon task "HET" while the common words "AND" and "THE" were not. Additionally, the evaluation of the differences between each keystroke for common and uncommon words showed that Startle was unable to distinguish differences in motor chunking between Startle+ and Startle- trials. Explanations into why these results were observed could be related to hand dominance in expert typists. No proper research has been conducted to evaluate the susceptibility of the non-dominant hand's fingers to SEM, and the results of future studies into this as well as the results from this study can impact our understanding of sequential movements.

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Date Created
2018-05

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Stochastic parameterization of the proliferation-diffusion model of brain cancer in a Murine model

Description

Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is a malignant, aggressive and infiltrative cancer of the central nervous system with a median survival of 14.6 months with standard care. Diagnosis of GBM is made using medical imaging such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or

Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is a malignant, aggressive and infiltrative cancer of the central nervous system with a median survival of 14.6 months with standard care. Diagnosis of GBM is made using medical imaging such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computed tomography (CT). Treatment is informed by medical images and includes chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgical removal if the tumor is surgically accessible. Treatment seldom results in a significant increase in longevity, partly due to the lack of precise information regarding tumor size and location. This lack of information arises from the physical limitations of MR and CT imaging coupled with the diffusive nature of glioblastoma tumors. GBM tumor cells can migrate far beyond the visible boundaries of the tumor and will result in a recurring tumor if not killed or removed. Since medical images are the only readily available information about the tumor, we aim to improve mathematical models of tumor growth to better estimate the missing information. Particularly, we investigate the effect of random variation in tumor cell behavior (anisotropy) using stochastic parameterizations of an established proliferation-diffusion model of tumor growth. To evaluate the performance of our mathematical model, we use MR images from an animal model consisting of Murine GL261 tumors implanted in immunocompetent mice, which provides consistency in tumor initiation and location, immune response, genetic variation, and treatment. Compared to non-stochastic simulations, stochastic simulations showed improved volume accuracy when proliferation variability was high, but diffusion variability was found to only marginally affect tumor volume estimates. Neither proliferation nor diffusion variability significantly affected the spatial distribution accuracy of the simulations. While certain cases of stochastic parameterizations improved volume accuracy, they failed to significantly improve simulation accuracy overall. Both the non-stochastic and stochastic simulations failed to achieve over 75% spatial distribution accuracy, suggesting that the underlying structure of the model fails to capture one or more biological processes that affect tumor growth. Two biological features that are candidates for further investigation are angiogenesis and anisotropy resulting from differences between white and gray matter. Time-dependent proliferation and diffusion terms could be introduced to model angiogenesis, and diffusion weighed imaging (DTI) could be used to differentiate between white and gray matter, which might allow for improved estimates brain anisotropy.

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Date Created
2016-05

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Startle can evoke individuated movements of the fingers; implications for neural control

Description

Startle-evoked-movement (SEM), the involuntary release of a planned movement via a startling stimulus, has gained significant attention recently for its ability to probe motor planning as well as enhance movement of the upper extremity following stroke. We recently showed that

Startle-evoked-movement (SEM), the involuntary release of a planned movement via a startling stimulus, has gained significant attention recently for its ability to probe motor planning as well as enhance movement of the upper extremity following stroke. We recently showed that hand movements are susceptible to SEM. Interestingly, only coordinated movements of the hand (grasp) but not individuated movements of the finger (finger abduction) were susceptible. It was suggested that this resulted from different neural mechanisms involved in each task; however it is possible this was the result of task familiarity. The objective of this study was to evaluate a more familiar individuated finger movement, typing, to determine if this task was susceptible to SEM. We hypothesized that typing movements will be susceptible to SEM in all fingers. These results indicate that individuated movements of the fingers are susceptible to SEM when the task involves a more familiar task, since the electromyogram (EMG) latency is faster in SCM+ trials compared to SCM- trials. However, the middle finger does not show a difference in terms of the keystroke voltage signal, suggesting the middle finger is less susceptible to SEM. Given that SEM is thought to be mediated by the brainstem, specifically the reticulospinal tract, this suggest that the brainstem may play a role in movements of the distal limb when those movements are very familiar, and the independence of each finger might also have a significant on the effect of SEM. Further research includes understanding SEM in fingers in the stroke population. The implications of this research can impact the way upper extremity rehabilitation is delivered.

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Date Created
2016-12

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A Functional and Structural MRI Investigation of the Neural Signatures of Dyslexia in Adults

Description

The International Dyslexia Association defines dyslexia as a learning disorder that is characterized by poor spelling, decoding, and word recognition abilities. There is still no known cause of dyslexia, although it is a very common disability that affects 1 in

The International Dyslexia Association defines dyslexia as a learning disorder that is characterized by poor spelling, decoding, and word recognition abilities. There is still no known cause of dyslexia, although it is a very common disability that affects 1 in 10 people. Previous fMRI and MRI research in dyslexia has explored the neural correlations of hemispheric lateralization and phonemic awareness in dyslexia. The present study investigated the underlying neurobiology of five adults with dyslexia compared to age- and sex-matched control subjects using structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging. All subjects completed a large battery of behavioral tasks as part of a larger study and underwent functional and structural MRI acquisition. This data was collected and preprocessed at the University of Washington. Analyses focused on examining the neural correlates of hemispheric lateralization, letter reversal mistakes, reduced processing speed, and phonemic awareness. There were no significant findings of hemispheric differences between subjects with dyslexia and controls. The subject making the largest amount of letter reversal errors had deactivation in their cerebellum during the fMRI language task. Cerebellar white matter volume and surface area of the premotor cortex was the largest in the individual with the slowest reaction time to tapping. Phonemic decoding efficiency had a high correlation with neural activation in the primary motor cortex during the fMRI motor task (r=0.6). Findings from the present study suggest that brain regions utilized during motor control, such as the cerebellum, premotor cortex, and primary motor cortex, may have a larger role in dyslexia then previously considered. Future studies are needed to further distinguish the role of the cerebellum and other motor regions in relation to motor control and language processing deficits related to dyslexia.

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Date Created
2016-12

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Estimating GL-261 cell growth: A murine model for Glioblastoma Multiforme

Description

Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM) is an aggressive and deadly form of brain cancer with a median survival time of about a year with treatment. Due to the aggressive nature of these tumors and the tendency of gliomas to follow white matter

Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM) is an aggressive and deadly form of brain cancer with a median survival time of about a year with treatment. Due to the aggressive nature of these tumors and the tendency of gliomas to follow white matter tracks in the brain, each tumor mass has a unique growth pattern. Consequently it is difficult for neurosurgeons to anticipate where the tumor will spread in the brain, making treatment planning difficult. Archival patient data including MRI scans depicting the progress of tumors have been helpful in developing a model to predict Glioblastoma proliferation, but limited scans per patient make the tumor growth rate difficult to determine. Furthermore, patient treatment between scan points can significantly compound the challenge of accurately predicting the tumor growth. A partnership with Barrow Neurological Institute has allowed murine studies to be conducted in order to closely observe tumor growth and potentially improve the current model to more closely resemble intermittent stages of GBM growth without treatment effects.

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Date Created
2014-05

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Development of a Novel Smart Contrast Agent for Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Description

Smart contrast agents allow for noninvasive study of specific events or tissue conditions inside of a patient's body using Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). This research aims to develop and characterize novel smart contrast agents for MRI that respond to temperature

Smart contrast agents allow for noninvasive study of specific events or tissue conditions inside of a patient's body using Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). This research aims to develop and characterize novel smart contrast agents for MRI that respond to temperature changes in tissue microenvironments. Transmission Electron Microscopy, Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, and cell culture growth assays were used to characterize the physical, magnetic, and cytotoxic properties of candidate nanoprobes. The nanoprobes displayed thermosensitve MR properties with decreasing relaxivity with temperature. Future work will be focused on generating and characterizing photo-active analogues of the nanoprobes that could be used for both treatment of tissues and assessment of therapy.

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Date Created
2014-05

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Utilizing Structural MRI Data to Improve Epilepsy Surgery Planning

Description

In epilepsy, malformations that cause seizures often require surgery. The purpose of this research is to join forces with the Multi-Center Epilepsy Lesion Detection (MELD) project at University College London (UCL) in order to improve the process of detecting lesions

In epilepsy, malformations that cause seizures often require surgery. The purpose of this research is to join forces with the Multi-Center Epilepsy Lesion Detection (MELD) project at University College London (UCL) in order to improve the process of detecting lesions in patients with drug-resistant epilepsy. This, in turn, will improve surgical outcomes via more structured surgical planning. It is a global effort, with more than 20 sites across 5 continents. The targeted populations for this study include patients whose epilepsy stems from Focal Cortical Dysplasia. Focal Cortical Dysplasia is an abnormality of cortical development, and causes most of the drug-resistant epilepsy. Currently, the creators of MELD have developed a set of protocols which wrap various
commands designed to streamline post-processing of MRI images. Using this partnership, the Applied Neuroscience and Technology Lab at PCH has been able to complete production of a post-processing pipeline which integrates locally sourced smoothing techniques to help identify lesions in patients with evidence of Focal Cortical Dysplasia. The end result is a system in which a patient with epilepsy may experience more successful post-surgical results due to the
combination of a lesion detection mechanism and the radiologist using their trained eye in the presurgical stages. As one of the main points of this work is the global aspect of it, Barrett thesis funding was dedicated for a trip to London in order to network with other MELD project collaborators. This was a successful trip for the project as a whole in addition to this particular thesis. The ability to troubleshoot problems with one another in a room full of subject matter
experts allowed for a high level of discussion and learning. Future work includes implementing machine learning approaches which consider all morphometry parameters simultaneously.

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Date Created
2019-05

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Startle-evoked movement in multi-jointed, two-dimensional reaching tasks

Description

Previous research has shown that a loud acoustic stimulus can trigger an individual's prepared movement plan. This movement response is referred to as a startle-evoked movement (SEM). SEM has been observed in the stroke survivor population where results have shown

Previous research has shown that a loud acoustic stimulus can trigger an individual's prepared movement plan. This movement response is referred to as a startle-evoked movement (SEM). SEM has been observed in the stroke survivor population where results have shown that SEM enhances single joint movements that are usually performed with difficulty. While the presence of SEM in the stroke survivor population advances scientific understanding of movement capabilities following a stroke, published studies using the SEM phenomenon only examined one joint. The ability of SEM to generate multi-jointed movements is understudied and consequently limits SEM as a potential therapy tool. In order to apply SEM as a therapy tool however, the biomechanics of the arm in multi-jointed movement planning and execution must be better understood. Thus, the objective of our study was to evaluate if SEM could elicit multi-joint reaching movements that were accurate in an unrestrained, two-dimensional workspace. Data was collected from ten subjects with no previous neck, arm, or brain injury. Each subject performed a reaching task to five Targets that were equally spaced in a semi-circle to create a two-dimensional workspace. The subject reached to each Target following a sequence of two non-startling acoustic stimuli cues: "Get Ready" and "Go". A loud acoustic stimuli was randomly substituted for the "Go" cue. We hypothesized that SEM is accessible and accurate for unrestricted multi-jointed reaching tasks in a functional workspace and is therefore independent of movement direction. Our results found that SEM is possible in all five Target directions. The probability of evoking SEM and the movement kinematics (i.e. total movement time, linear deviation, average velocity) to each Target are not statistically different. Thus, we conclude that SEM is possible in a functional workspace and is not dependent on where arm stability is maximized. Moreover, coordinated preparation and storage of a multi-jointed movement is indeed possible.

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Date Created
2016-12