Brain Mapping

Of all of the techniques used in science, none seem so much like magic as brain mapping. From PET scans to MRIs the process manages to divine not only that thoughts are occurring and where, but how the different parts of the brain communicate with each other, and perhaps, how those parts make up us.

I asked my Human Anatomy and Physiology students to read through some papers in PLOS’s excellent Brain Mapping Methods: Functional MRI section.

Read through the comments to see what they found and which papers they liked!

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109 thoughts on “Brain Mapping

  1. The paper that I have chosen to discuss about among the PLOS brain mapping collection was “Functional MRI in Awake Unrestrained Dogs.” The paper focuses on a study pertaining to using fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging, which measures brain activity) of two female dogs’ (one trained and one untrained) brains to determine which brain circuit(s) respond to human hand signals that indicate the presence/absence of a food reward. According to the research results, the right caudate of each dog had clusters of activation activity during hand signaling tests, especially during the the time where there were reward signals. Because of these research findings, it may be indicated that the right caudate plays a major role in positive reward predictions for dogs, similarly to the function of dopamine in human brains, which is released during situations requiring reward-motivated behavior/during times of positive reward predictions. The paper also mentioned that such behavioral similarities between dogs and humans may be caused by the fact that humans have “created” the dogs that we know today through domestication. However, there are many studies to be done in the future in order to prove or disapprove such points.

    • I read the article entitled, “Scale-Free Brain-Wave Music from Simultaneously EEG and fMRI Recordings”. The researchers who wrote this paper designed a method by which they translated the brain EEG and fMRI signals of two test subjects (ages 31 and 14) into music. The brain waves were translated into a piano score which was then recorded and included in the paper for readers to listen to. I really liked that these scientists are being more innovative in trying to analyze how the brain works in terms of music and feel that this perspective of examining how the brain operates is quite open minded. It was very interesting to listen to the recordings of the brain wave music and notice similarities between, as they call it, “physiologically made” music and “human made” music. This study is a preliminary step in understanding what triggers the human brain to write the music that we listen to every day which is quite something.

  2. Benjamin Donovan

    A Robust Classifier to Distinguish Noise from fMRI Independent Components

    While it is possible to investigate human brain functions, scientists are still working on trying to cancel out noise. This extra noise is making it difficult to analyze certain data, and to get a specific result. Their approach involved them in creating 4 data sets that had differences in testing abilities. Using different methods of motion correcting, they tested healthy and schizophrenic controls to comprise their data. Then they created a classifier in order to distinguish between noise-related and network-related components. From the data they were able to record, they built models using decompositions in order to show their data, encompassing seven models for different kinds of noise. This allowed them to test each classifier with the original data sets in order to cancel out the different noises to determine the functional capacity without as much disturbance. Such models were able to distinguish noise components for different institutions of the brain

  3. I read the paper titled “Functional MRI in Awake Unrestrained Dogs”. The purpose of the study was to attempt to figure out the how mind of a dog works using fMRI. Two dogs were used, one that was specially trained and one that was not, and hand signals indicating whether the dog would receive a treat or not were used to see differences in the dogs’ brain activity. Results showed differences in activity in the caudate of the dog. When the “reward” hand signals were shown, there was much more activity in the caudate than when the “no reward” hand signals were shown. The success of this experiment proves that dogs are fully capable of participating in these sorts of studies and that future experiments like these can be performed on them.

  4. Functional MRI in Awake Unrestrained Dogs

    The use of MRI’s pave the way to help understand how the mind of a domestic canine works. Two spayed, female, domesticated dogs with different backgrounds were trained to hold still in an MRI machine in order to examine their brains when they are signaled to receive a food reward versus no food reward. It was hypothesized that the ventral striatum of the domesticated dogs was linked to the signal of a food reward as it is in monkeys as well. Though the dogs had to come in and out of the machine between each signal causing slight movement in each picture, the results from the MRI’s of their brain showed that the right caudate becomes much more active in response to a signal that indicates they will receive a food reward versus when they are signaled that they will not receive a reward. The study using only two dogs have low odds in detecting activation when dogs receive a reward signal but this just only means that viewing the brains of dogs in MRIs is possible and it allows further studying of social canines in the future.

  5. I read the paper named “Intrinsic Functional Brain Architecture Derived from Graph Theoretical Analysis in the Human Fetus”. In this paper, scientists are trying to find early emerging capacity for information processing in the human fetal brain. The goals of neuroscience is to build a diagram of brain connections at beginning of the human life. They first divide the brain into regions, then use matrix to analyze it. They used women who are currently receiving prenatal care as test subjects. Then they detected fetal movements in the pregnant woman and collected data from it. Movement values were on average <1 millimeter/radian. Results show that with development, functional modules become more tightly integrated into a whole brain system. Older fetuses have longer connections. The fetal brain is organized with modular structure. Early fetal life functional systems are independent, and only with time do these begin to collaborate more fully as members of a whole brain system.

  6. In the article “Brain Entropy Mapping Using fMRI” by Ze Wang, Yin Li, Anna Rose Childress and John A. Detre, it goes over the aspect of brain entropy within the human mind and how it allows scientists to quantify brain activity and any attributions it might have to neural disease. However, it has been hard to distinguish the various brain activities from each other. So in this new study, the team sought out to examine the BEN (brain entropy) and develop a map of sorts based on the entropy of certain regions of the brain. Through numerous mappings of patients and many calculations, the results were that SampEn-based fMRI-derived BEN can be reliable in measuring brain activity. In terms of entropy, it was observed that there was definitely a difference in entropy between different parts of the brain. The lower BEN regions were thought to be where sophisticated mental functions took place. With further research and study, perhaps a full understanding of how it works can be within human reach in the near future.

  7. “Functional MRI in Awake Unrestrained Dogs”
    by Gregory S. Berns , Andrew M. Brooks, Mark Spivak

    This article was to figure out if the exposure of dogs during the length of human evolution has led to the dog’s mind being especially sensitive to human motions and gestures. The experiment was to place two female dogs (one trained and one untrained) into a fMRI and gesture to them using positive reinforcement and treats. The results were to compare just gestures versus with the additional treats and to see what the difference in brain activity would be.Although, during the experiment there was lots of head moving due to chewing and looking at the hand gestures there was still significant evidence in the head of the caudate. There was clusters of activity in both dogs alluding to the conclusion that there is learning in the reward-prediction part of the brain.

  8. The paper that I chose to read was “Functional MRI in Awake Unrestrained Dogs” by Gregory S. Berns, Andrew M. Brooks, and Mark Spivak. The two subjects in the study were one female trained dog and one female untrained dog. The canines were assigned a simple discrimination task with two human hand signals associated with primary rewards to analyze during the Fmri. There were a total of 3 sessions. In the final session, a left hand signal represented a reward while both hand signals represented no reward. The results showed a caudate activation to a hand signal associated with reward as to no caudate activation with no reward. Since this was the first demonstration of using a fMRI in a completely awake canine, it opens doors to many more future studies. Since dogs also have a prolonged evolution with humans, there are endless amounts of questions about dogs that can possibly answered with technology in the future.

  9. “Entropy Mapping Using fMRI”

    The goal of the study is to monitor brain entropy (BEN) patterns of 1049 subjects to discover the distribution and regional organization of BEN in the brain by generating a BEN map using SampEN to see if it can be a tool to assess brain states and brain functions. Entropy will constantly increase over time as stated by the second law of thermodynamics, but in order for the brain to sustain vital functions, it seems that the brain needs to limit the increase in entropy. Hence, by measuring BEN, it may be able to reflect brain status and alteration due to outside factors such as diseases. BEN is generally consistent throughout the brain, with the exception in several voxels in the middle sagittal plan. Lower BEN is observed in the neocortex, reflecting higher mental function, and uniform BEN clusters can be found on both sides of the brain, suggesting no dominance between the hemispheres of the brain. This study showed that the brain is organized into 7 hierarchical regions parallel to the known structural and function brain parcellation, demonstrating that BEN mapping is a valid measure for studying the brain, and BEN may even be a valuable index used to study the different brain states and detect brain disorders as it is a quantitative measure.

  10. I read the paper, “Discovering Relations Between Mind, Brain, and Mental Disorders Using Topic Mapping.” I’m honestly not sure if I understood this paper correctly, but from what I got out of it, this article discussed how these scientists were able to develop a method called “topic mapping” to analyze neuroscience research in order develop connections between the mental processes, brain functions, and mental disorders. Basically, there’s a lot of published studies on neuroscience, however none of which are really connected in order to fully understand psychological functions and how they’re related to the brain system. Therefore, this research project analyzed and mapped out all the different published works based on what topics the documents discussed. This form of “topic mapping” created graphs and showed patterns between the topics and brain activation, ultimately allowing us to characterize how the neural systems are associated with the specific topics. Further use of this “topic mapping” method also allowed these scientists to conclude that psychological processes and mental disorders are linked to specific brain functions and structure.

  11. In the article, “Intrinsic Functional Brain Architecture Derived from Graph Theoretical Analysis in the Human Fetus”, scientists are trying to understand the neural connectivity in the beginning stages of the human brain. For this experiment, there were 33 pregnant women being examined. Modules were used to show the connectivity of the developing brain of the fetuses. The results of these diagrams indicated that the older fetuses exhibited stronger connectivity of the brain. However, these findings contradict other descriptions that state that there is a linear decrease in modularity with age in participants ranging from ages 7 to 85 years old. It can be concluded that with the brain is more sensitive to development at a younger age and is more likely to have an increase in brain modularity.

  12. “Discovering Relations Between Mind, Brain, and Mental Disorders Using Topic Mapping”

    This article focuses on the use of “topic mapping” to identify the connection between mental function topics and area of brain activation and their relationship to particular mental disorders. From a database of over 5000 articles that have reported fMRI activation, the mental function topics of each article, as well as the words associated with each topic were extracted using a technique called latent Dirichlet allocation. “Topic mapping” was then used to show the specific sites of brain activation related to each topic, allowing researchers to determine which neural systems are associated with each mental function topic. Using this approach, researchers identified the topics related to mental disorders, and used them to assess the patterns of brain activation associated with each disorder. This research has not only shown how techniques like “topic mapping” are useful in analyzing the connection between neural systems and mental disorders in the field of neuroscience, but has also revealed the potential of these approaches in future studies involving the analysis of large databases in various other fields.

  13. I chose the article “The Functional MRI in Awake Unrestrained Dogs” because of the fact that these animals were awake. Normally, when these tests are done, there is some type of anesthetic to keep the animal still to get the data from the fMRI. However, the test required the animals to be aware of their surroundings, and therefore could not use any sort of anesthetic. A specific hand signal would signify if the dog would receive a reward, which was food, and another hand signal would be used to show that the dog would not get the food. The goal was to find out which part of the brain responds when food was present or was not present. They found out that in both dogs, one that only had basic training and one that was well trained, that the caudate was more active when there was a reward signal than when there wasn’t one. The reward prediction error hypothesis of dopamine function says that whenever there is a reward, dopamine would increase in response to the future reward, which in this case is the food. Since fMRI cannot show readings of dopamine, it cannot be completely claimed that dopamine is the cause, however, since there was a BOLD signal that shows similar response as dopamine, the researchers thought that the activation of the caudate shows a positive reward prediction. In order to make their research stronger, I had hoped that there was some way of measuring the level of dopamine, so that it can be compared with the BOLD signal. They did mention that there were studies that proved it, but to take it another step further with their research could have made their findings stronger.

  14. The article that I have read is, “Functional MRI in Awake Unrestrained Dogs,” by Gregory S. Berns, Andrew M. Brooks, and Mark Spivak. The goal of this article to figure about how the dog minds work with fMRI. Two dogs were used for this experiment. One of the dogs had no specialized training and the other dog was well trained. These dogs were trained to remain motionless to collect quality fMRI images because this study required the dogs to be awake, which was the main challenge of this study. The study focused on the analysis on the head of the caudate. When there was a reward, the caudate was more active when compared to when there is no reward. Even though this study was about the canine mind, it shows some information about the human mind. That is because humans are the one that are training the dogs so it shows how the dog sees human through there eyes, ears, and noses.

  15. In “Functional MRI in Awake Unrestrained Dogs” by Gregory S. Berns, Andrew M. Brooks, and Mark Spivak, fMRIs were taken on dogs to determine which brain circuits differently respond to human hand signals denoting presence or absence of food. Two dogs were used; one with no specialized training and one with training. They were taught to be motionless during the imaging because the study requires awake dogs for accurate results. The goal was to find which part of the brain is stimulated. The results showed that when a reward was signaled, the caudate was more active. The activation of this part of the brain could cause a strong chemical release, but a fMRI can only show so much. I only wish more tests were taken to show more than just the bold signal in the caudate.

  16. “Discovering Relations Between Mind, Brain, and Mental Disorders Using Topic Mapping” by
    Russell A. Poldrack ,Jeanette A. Mumford, Tom Schonberg, Donald Kalar, Bishal Barman,Tal Yarkoni
    In this article, the authors used a method called “topic mapping” to group together a number of neuroimaging literature and studies. The purpose is to link together certain topics and the area of the brain that is activated in order to better understand patterns of mental function. One mental function topic may have several associated words; for example, topic 93 deals with emotion, arousal, and focus and the authors mapped it with the amygdala, orbitofrontal cortex, and medial prefrontal cortex of the brain. They then used the same technique but with topics that correlate to neuropsychiatric disorders. They were able to group together different mental disorders under one topic based on similar patterns of brain activation. For example, bipolar disorder and alcoholism were grouped together under Topic 7. I found that topic mapping provided a useful way to visualize which part of the brain was linked with different psychological functions. It can be used to better understand brain disorders, as the authors noted that it is interesting how many of these disorders shared a similar pattern of brain activity and engaged the same neural system.

  17. A Novel Method of Combining Blood Oxygenation and Blood Flow Sensitive Magnetic Resonance Imaging Techniques to Measure the Cerebral Blood Flow and Oxygen Metabolism Responses to an Unknown Neural Stimulus.

    Magnetic resonance imaging methods and blood oxygenation level dependent imaging is able to correlate the changes in cerebral blood and oxygen consumption to the neural stimuli. It is stated that hyperemia or the increase in blood volume to the brain tissues is critical to maintaining homeostasis in the brain and its dysfunction can lead to cerebral vascular and neurodegenerative diseases. Through the use of BOLD experiments and the Arterial Spin labeleling, the daily neural stimulus that may result from watching a movie or listening to music can be related to the oxygen metabolism and hemodynamic response that occurs in the brain. These tests can further aid in health and disease research, especially as it provides quantitative information about the baseline and activated states of the neural stimulations that are measured through blood flow and oxygen metabolism.

  18. In the article “Discovering Relations Between Mind, Brain, and Mental Disorders Using Topic Mapping,” the research on the relationship between mental disorders and mental functions were analyzed and discussed. Causes of disorders have always been assessed through “endophenotypes”, which are psychological and neural mechanisms that are intermediate of genetic and environmental factors. There have been many associations made between functions and networks in the past, but they are relatively broad findings. A different approach has become necessary in order to analyze more unique functions and circumstances. A new approach called topic mapping was developed and helped identify the association between brain activation and topic loading to further identify which neural systems are associated to the topics and the organization of brain disorders. Overall, the findings can help improve the characterization of disorders and come to a better understanding about brain activity patterns and functions. By discovering the relations, they hope to improve the understanding of basic mental operations helped by brain systems.

  19. “Scale Free Brain Wave Music from Simultaneously EEG and fMRI Recordings”
    The article “Scale-Free Brain-Wave Music” discusses the process developed by a group of scientists to extrapolate a musical score from two distinct methods of brain wave analysis: EEG and fMRI. Previously, the team worked solely with EEGs to create a score from a subject’s brain wave. This method, however, did not properly take into account one of the four characteristics of music. Pitch was determined from EEG tests using the Power Rule, duration was accounted for specific periods of the EEG waves, timbre was held constant to that of a piano, but the EEG lacked any method for measuring intensity. When all four characteristics were extrapolated from EEG tests alone, the music was unnatural and sounded little like man-made music. The scientists then used fMRI to extrapolate intensity and volume, as the data is far less erratic. When each score was listened to by a group of trained musicians, there was a significant difference between the two scores; the EEG score was unnatural, and did not flow properly. The EEG-fMRI score flowed more naturally with the new measure of intensity. After listening to both sound files, I found that the EEG score alone resembled a child trying to annoy their parent by playing incessantly. The EEG-fMRI resembled an abstract piece you might hear playing in an underground, avant-garde jazz club. This method of analyzing the brain through music can given us a better understanding of brain states, and can be used in biofeedback therapies and as a specific diagnostic tool.

  20. In the article,”Functional MRI in Awake Unrestrained Dogs”, researchers,Gregory S. Berns, Andrew M. Brooks, and Mark Spivak, were eager to determine how dogs truly react cognitively when presented with a certain stimuli. By using an fMRI and positive reinforcement techniques, activity in certain parts of the brain were correlated with heightened senses that the canines experienced. This experiment was unique in that it required the dogs to be awake, so that they could proactively respond to the stimuli. The researchers focused on the stimulation of the head of the caudate, where in humans is associated with feelings of reward. There were two dog subjects, one dog who was trained and one who was not. When hand signals for the dog treat were initiated, both dogs’ caudate areas were ignited; and when there was no reward, the caudate area was depressed. Researchers compared the profound screenings of the caudate from the fMRI scans with a hypothetical assumption that dogs may also experience an increase of dopamine. The experiment preformed by Gregory Berns and his team paves way for a potential future in understanding interspecies communication.

  21. The article “Functional MRI in Awake Unrestrained Dogs” by Gregory S. Berns, Andrew M. Brooks, and Mark Spivak focused mainly on how dogs are able to take commands from humans and perform a certain action. The article describes an experiment done to collect an fMRI image from two spayed female domesticated dogs. The two subjects were Callie, a dog from a local shelter and was adopted with no training, and McKenzie, a well-trained border collie. This experiment went on to test different hand signals with and without treats. Surprisingly, this experiment was performed well will no anesthesia or retrains on the dogs. In the experiment it was hypothesized that the link between a reward and the hand signal produced would occur in the ventral striatum. The results proved that the right caudate was the site of activation when dealing with no reward and reward hand signals. To no surprise a evident hemodynamic response was produced in reward hand signals. The caudate proved to be more active with a reward. Although this experiment was done on two dogs it gives us insight also into the human mind looking at how a dog sees us and perceives our actions.

  22. “Scale-Free Brain-Wave Music from Simultaneously EEG and fMRI Recordings” by Jing Lu, Dan Wu, Hua Yang, Cheng Luo, Chaoyi Li, Dezhong Yao

    In this article a group of people proposed a new method to translate both brain EEG and fMRI signals to music to better reflect the internal functional activities of the brain under the power law framework. This was done by using the signals of EEG and fMRI to represent intensity and pitch which are two factors of music composition. Then they compared the changes in intensity to an actual piece of music, which was “Nocturnes” by Mozart. They were able to find that the EEG-fMRI music intensity changes were closer to actual music than EEG and could be used in the future to reflect physiological brain processes. This new way of translating brain signals to music can be used to discover new ways in how the brain works and shows another connection between how science and art can used in correlation of each other in brain mapping research.

  23. This is Young Song. I read the article about the dog’s cognitive skills. They used MRI testing in order to sought out what traits allow dogs to recognize and respond to human cues. This was a very interesting experiment because these are some of the traits that in my opinion, differentiates dogs from most other household pets and is one of the reasons why dogs are one of the most desired pets. However the results were quite expected and unsurprising. The obedience of the pet seems to result from the social reward that they receive. Seeing such results, it is undeniable that dogs are indeed intelligent. However, it does seem that they may be scheming for treats out of the greed and desire to receive more attention and treats.

  24. Functional MRI in Awake Unrestrained Dogs

    In this article, scientists dwell into the functioning of dogs’ brain to interpret/comprehend human signals. Callie (a local shelter dog without any training) and McKenzie (a trained dog) were used in this experiment to see what the differences were in MRI scanning between trained dogs and untrained dogs. The testing was done with different hand signals, with and without a reward. The dogs were not put under anesthetics because it would inhibit the response wanted because the dogs’ functional brain would not be working when processing hand signals. The result of the experiment shows that the caudate was at work in response to the hand signaling with and without rewards. The caudate seems to be more active in responses that reward the dog as oppose to the responses that did not reward the dog for obedience. This experiment has given an insight to the human population on how the dogs perceive us as well as how they process the signals we send to them to produce a desired action.

  25. Victor Huang “Functional MRI in Awake Unrestrained Dogs”

    It has been said that “men are like dogs.” However, what made this come to be? If our behaviors are similar to that of a dog then surely our brain processing has to be similar as well right? In this article, 2 trained dogs are studied in order to find out how their brains react to hand signals. (reward vs. no reward) Having 2 dogs as a test sample is not that large so the results from the experiment can go either way. The results showed an activation of the right caudate when it came to a reward stimulus hand signal. This is the part of the brain that is correlated with arousal. When we are stimulated with a reward, I’m sure we process the same information and activate the same part of our brain. The release of dopamine creates a positive feedback mechanism for such “reward” events. This makes us associate and make the connection between the event and an upcoming award. The experiment was a nice idea, but this idea is very time consuming. Dogs are hard to train and in order to obtain a larger sample size with different breeds of dogs, it would take forever. I feel there is no need to question that dogs are our best friends.

  26. Looking at the various journal titles on the website pls.org on brain mapping, I found the article “Functional MRI in Awake Unrestrained dogs” the most interesting. This study attempts to observe how a dog’s mind works utilizing fMRI. There were two female dogs in this study and although it might seem like you won’t be able to observe the dogs’ brains with this much data, this study proves that wrong. Callie, a 2 year old untrained dog, and McKenzie, a 3 year old well-trained dog, were the two subjects. One of the tests to see if the dog’s brains were capable of understanding signals, was based on hand signals. The dogs were supposed to place their head on their chin rest and not move. After 5 seconds, a hand signal was given that signaled whether or not the dog would get a food reward. There would be a hot dog reward if the left hand was up, while there would not be any food if both hands pointed towards each other horizontally. The results showed differences in the caudate nucleus of the dog, which is responsible for motor processes. If there wasn’t a reward hand signal shown, there was less activity in the caudate than if the reward hand signal was shown. This experiment was very successful and proves that dogs are capable of these studies and more studies like these can be performed on them in the future to map their brains.

  27. Intrinsic Functional Brain Architecture Derived from Graph Theoretical Analysis in the Human Fetus
    Moriah E. Thomason , Jesse A. Brown, Maya T. Dassanayake, Rupal Shastri, Hilary A. Marusak, Edgar Hernandez-Andrade, Lami Yeo, Swati Mody, Susan Berman, Sonia S. Hassan, Roberto Romero
    Published: May 1, 2014

    This article talks about how During fetal and early postnatal life there is so much development and growth that occurs in the human brain to set up a neural system to for this new life. There is a high statistics of neural injury in preterm infants due to being affected by ex-uterine factors that distort neural connectivity. The scientific world does not have much information and data on the functional neural networks of human fetus’. A new technology has made the examination of fetal neural connectivity possible. It is possible now to use the resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging data also known as fMRI. Scientist can now use fMRI data from 33 healthy human fetuses between the age of 19 to 39 weeks gestational age. From this data new information about fetuses brain was discovered in that fetal brains have a modular organization and modules overlap functional systems. They also found that brain modularity decreases and connectivity to the other brain networks decrease as gestational age increases. In regards to modularity inter-modular mean connection was seen to be directly proportional to gestational age. This shows that with development functional modules become more integrated in the whole brain system. Modules from young and older fetuses had similar topological organization but differences were observed in some of the modules. An example is how in older fetuses the sensorimotor cortices are more functionally connected to the cerebellum and inferior temporal cortices. This new data will help scientist to form a complete diagram of brain connections at the beginning of human life.

  28. Discovering Relations Between Mind, Brain, and Mental Disorders Using Topic Mapping
    This research paper focused on looking for connections between psychological functions and mental disorders by comparing their respective brain activity patterns with topic mapping. Specifically, the research is looking to support the usage of topic mapping to identify relationships between how various parts of the brain is activated and how it provides for the conclusion that certain functions of the neural system, if disrupted, can contribute to mental disorders. Supportive data such as Figure 5 explains how the malfunctioning of one specific topic can branch back to one general function of the brain, allowing us to better understand the reason for mental disorders. Topic mapping not only analyzes the relationships between the functioning of the brain and mental disorders that they contributed to, but can also provide for an underlying cause. While this research paper focused on topics related to the neural system and the brain, it is believed that topic mapping can be useful in other areas where this technique can be used to narrow down the possible causes and the various relationships between diseases and body systems.

  29. Functional MRI in Awake Unrestrained Dogs:
    Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is used to study how the brain works of a fully awake, unrestrained dog. Anesthesia and immobilization weren’t used, but instead dogs were trained to go into the MRI scanner and the dogs had to hold their heads still enough for the fMRI studies without any restraints (using positive reinforcement). Canine cognitive skills represents the traits that make dogs sensitive to human cues. Simple discrimination tasks (two hand signals) were used for the study. Main purpose was to determine which brain circuits differentially respond to hand signals denoting the presence or absence of food reward.

  30. The paper titled, “Intrinsic Functional Brain Architecture Derived from Graph Theoretical Analysis in the Human Fetus,” examines specific neural changes that occur from the maturing of the fetus during the fetus’ early and late stages of development (Thomason et al., 2014). Functional MRI (fMRI) is a technique used to aid scientists in discovering the detailed neural connectivity in the fetal brain, revealing the brain’s organization and its relation to its function (Thomason et al., 2014). The brain has specific organization sites, and the posterior cingulate and insular cortices are the anatomical areas allowing for connectivity of modular arrangements (Thomason et al., 2014). Even though graph-based MRI analyses are able to be used to analyze many patterns, scientists have yet to discover whether principles of the brain’s interactive, organizational sites, referred to as modular organization, are prenatally apparent (Thomason et al., 2014). This article discusses the findings that the human fetal brain consists of modular organization (Thomason et al., 2014). Overall, modularity is found to be a characteristic in the start of brain development, and, as gestational age progresses, “…intermodule connection strength increases, modularity decreases, modules begin to overlap with known functional systems, and function in the PCC becomes more negatively correlated with other brain areas” (Thomason et al., 2014). During the early stages of fetal development, the functional areas of the brain work independently; as the fetus prenatally progresses, the organization areas of the brain then begin to communicate and work together (Thomason et al., 2014). This finding is important and interesting to note because it contradicts prior findings that were done in late childhood, adolescence, and adulthood, revealing that as a human ages, his or her brain modules become increasingly independent (Thomason et al., 2014). Scientific studies that focus on how the neural connectivity of the human brain is developed are significant in the advancement of human neurology, which will then aid in further explanation of specific neurological disorders (Thomason et al., 2014).

    Citation:
    Thomason ME, Brown JA, Dassanayake MT, Shastri R, Marusak HA, Hernandez-Andrade E, et al. (2014) Intrinsic Functional Brain Architecture Derived from Graph Theoretical Analysis in the Human Fetus. PLoS ONE 9(5): e94423. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0094423

  31. The article, “Functional MRI in awake Unrestrained Dogs,” is very interesting in that the traits of canine are closely correlated to human actions. This is due to the fact that humans and dogs have a very long history together. It is no surprise that dogs are labeled as “man’s best friend.” This article describes the blueprint for discovering how a dog’s brain works. Two dogs were used in this experiment and were trained to remain motionless to collect quality fMRI images. A testing of which brain circuits responded differentially to human hand signals, which denoted a presence or absence of a food reward.

  32. Although I found “Discovering Relations Between Mind, Brain, and Mental Disorders Using Topic Mapping” thought provoking as well, I chose to read and review the “Functional MRI in Awake Unrestrained Dogs.” This article is very relatable and much easier to understand compared to the other articles on the webpage. Alongside that, I am an animal lover and I have always wondered how a dog’s mind works! Two dogs participated in this study involving fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) tests. The first dog was a 2 year old with undetermined background named Callie who did not have extensive previous training and the second dog was a 3 year old collie named McKenzie who had lots of previous training. The main challenge with collecting images involves the movement of the dog, but dogs can be trained to sit still for periods of time instead of forcing immobilization or using anesthesia. They found that these two dogs could stay still for around 24 seconds, which is enough time to perform certain tests. There were two hand motions used during the study; holding the left hand up indicated the dog would receive a hot dog as a reward while horizontally pointing both hands toward each other meant no reward would be given. When the reward was given, the dogs moved to eat it but they repositioned their head to the same spot they had held beforehand. Thus, the important activities could be tracked despite the movements. Brain activity was examined using the fMRI to see how the reactions to those events differed. They found that the right caudate was active when the reward was given. Also, distinct and increased blood flow resulted from the reward. These findings could suggest that the reward prediction is linked to the right caudate, such as how dopamine is released when a reward is given. This study would be more useful if more dogs were used and if a variety of tests were used.

  33. Discovering Relations Between Mind, Brain, and Mental Disorders Using Topic Mapping:

    In this article, the main focus is on understanding the underlying psychological and/or neural mechanisms that contribute to mental disorders. One view looks at the environmental and genetic aspect, while the other view looks at psychiatric diagnoses. These are termed as endophenotypes, when multiple intermediate things can lead to one thing. The problem is trying to get to the root as to why psychiatric patients with mental disorders take or hear one thing and perceive it as something else. The researchers then decided to test the patients using topic mapping, where they would read or show words and then monitor which parts of brain was triggered. The results showed that patients were able to recognize a range of broad topics, but when it came to specific topics, such as regret and surprise, patients didn’t respond as clearly. In conclusion, it is noted that many factors contribute to mental disorder, and neurocognitive recognition and genetics are just two of the many.

  34. Reflection on:
    “Scale-Free Brain-Wave Music from Simultaneously EEG and fMRI Recordings”
    article written by Jing Lu, Dan Wu, Hua Yang, Cheng Luo, Chaoyi Li, Dezhong Yao.

    While music note consists four main components, pitch, timbre, duration, and intensity, the researchers of this article mainly focused on the latter two, setting the former two as constant variables. The interesting focus of the article was that the researchers were trying to compose music initially with EEG (Electroencephalogram). With the waveforms obtained from the EEG, the researchers incorporated the power law rule to determine the pitch and the Fechner’s law to determine the intensity. During the procedure, the researchers found out that the pitch and intensity could not be separated and be independent from each other because a component of the equation partly overlapped. To separate the pitch and intensity, they adopted fMRI (Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging) signals along with the EEG signals. Surprisingly, the researchers noticed that EEG amplitude and fMRI signals clearly separated the pitch and intensity, since the correlation coefficient between the two was less than 0.01. This allowed the researchers to create music with adjustable pitch and volume separately, forming music that is most close to that of man made music. While the research on relating brain signals and music is interesting enough, it makes me curious as to how they would incorporate this research to be used for clinical diagnosis and bio-feedback therapy in the future.

  35. As i count myself as a musician, the article “Scale-Free Brain-Wave Music from Simultaneously EEG and fMRI Recordings” caught my attention. The article explains how the researchers could translate the brain signals to music. While doing the research, they listed three most important factors of music: 1. Duration, 2. Intensity and 3. Pitch. They used a period of an EEG waveform for duration. However, they could not simultaneously translate intensity and pitch from EEG because they were dependent on each other. If both of them are derived from EEG, a specific pitch will always produce only one volume. In music, the intensity has to be independent of the pitch, producing a variety of combinations. Therefore, the researchers came up with newly defined translation rules using EEG-fMRI. They discovered that the intensity using fMRI is closer to the real music. Therefore the intensity was derived from fMRI, and the pitch was derived from EEG. I thought music was only an “auditory” thing, unrelated to the brain. However, this research has revealed to me that my brain can actually give signals to compose a music! Wow! I also thought that we could only assess the brain and the mental states through graphs, but I was wrong. We can in fact listen to our brain!!

  36. The article “Functional MRI in Awake Unrestrained Dogs” primarily focused on how dogs react to human commands and particular stimuli. Within the study, fMRI and positive reinforcement techniques were implemented to determine that parts of brain correspond to the increased senses of the canines. Within this experiment, there were two dogs, one that was trained and one that was not. The researchers focused on the head of caudate of the canines. It was found that when hand signals were performed while offering rewards, both the heads of caudate of both dogs were stimulated. However, when rewards were not presented they were less active. Researchers compared these results to other hypotheses. Berns, Brooks, and Spivak’s experiment provides insight on communication within animals and similarities between canines and humans.

  37. Functional MRI in Awake Unrestrained Dogs
    Dogs are the oldest domesticated species and because of this, they have learned the ability to comprehend and communicate with their owners and other human beings. This study was conducted with the intent of obtaining a better understanding of the dog mind using fMRI data. To obtain quality data, two dogs were trained to stay completely still inside the MRI machine without restraint by positive reinforcement. The dogs were being tested to determine the difference in caudate activity using two different hand signals of which one denoted a food reward and one did not. As predicted, the hand signal used for a food reward showed a distinct hemodynamic response as compared to the other no food reward signal.

  38. The article “Functional MRI in Awake Unrestrained Dogs” discusses one of the first demonstrations of fMRI in completely awake, unrestrained dogs. There are two broad reasons one might study the canine brain, one is to provide comparative insight into human brain function, and the other is to understand the dog’s brain in general in order to rationalize why it acts the way it does. In order to understand how the mind of a dog actually works, scientists trained two dogs to remain motionless for the duration required to collect quality fMRI images by using positive reinforcement without sedation or physical restraints. In addition, scientists were able to quantify the relative value of food vs. praise in order to settle debates regarding the most effective methods in dog training. The task was designed to determine which brain circuits differentially respond to human hand signals denoting the presence or absence of a food reward. The study found that the caudate is significantly more active to the “reward” hand signal compared to the “no-reward” hand signal. It also revealed that dogs can hold as still as humans for periods up to 24 s – long enough for a wide variety of functional studies and veterinary applications.

  39. Functional MRI in Awake Unrestrained Dogs
    Dogs have had a prolonged evolution with humans, making them particularly sensitive to human cues. In the study, two dogs were trained to stay still long enough to collect fMRI images. The experiment was designed to determine which brain circuits respond to hand signals indicating the presence or absence of a food reward and to gain a better understanding of a dog’s mind. At the end of the study, many fMRI images found that the BOLD signal in the ventral striatum follows the pattern of activation in response to a food reward. There was more of a response when there was a reward as oppose to when there was not. The observation of ventral caudate activation in both dogs shows that canine fMRI is possible and paves the way for more studies on canine social cognition. Future studies can help answer the endless questions we still have and give us a better understanding of how humans are reflected in the minds of dogs.

  40. In “Functional MRI in Awake Unrestrained Dogs”, researchers tested brain activity and circuits of dogs when stimulated by “food rewards” using fMRI scanning sessions. In order to maintain a certain amount of control in the screenings, one trained dog and one untrained dog were used. There were a total of 3 scanning sessions performed over 6 weeks. During the first session, the untrained dog was used in order to get herself used to the testing environment. During the second session, a scanning session was run to test and see what changes could be made for the final test. The final session was formatted based on the findings from the second session. During the scanning sessions, it was found that hand signals linked to the presence of “food rewards” stimulated more activity in the right caudate of both dogs. The scanning sessions show that regardless of degrees of training in dogs, brain activities and circuits will be stimulated and display action when the dog senses hand signals linked to the presence of “food rewards”.

  41. In the article “Functional MRI in Awake Unrestrained Dogs”, a study was conducted in order to see how the dog’s mind actually worked. Trained dogs were taught to keep still without the use of drugs/anesthetics and go through an MRI scanner. Signals were given to the dogs to monitor brain activity. When the person’s left hand was raised, signaling a food reward, the dogs brain activity was increased. When the person’s both hands were raised, signaling no reward, the dog had less brain activity. This study showed that the dogs responded differently to the different hand signals meaning that they understood humans.

  42. Functional MRI in Unrestrained Dogs

    The main focus of the experiment was to analyze the brain activity of dogs in response to human gestures and/or movements. Dogs were first domesticated by humans over tens of thousands of years ago, (date range 9,000-30,000 BCE, Berns/Brooks/Spivak) so it would not be out of the ordinary for the methodology of thought processes for such dogs to adapt to this. Two dogs were used in this study, one trained, and the other untrained. Their brain activity was then recorded and analyzed. The variable in the study used was the the gestures made by a person, however, certain hand gestures resulted in a reward, while others did not. Anesthetic was not used in the study because both dogs were needed to be conscious and awake. It was noted that the caudate area of both dogs were active in response to being gestures leading to reward. the caudate area did not show much change in response to gestures that resulted in no treat. This observation will further aid understanding of the function/activation of the “reward center” in dogs, an could possibly lead to a synthetic stimulation of which prompting dogs to help humans in ways that are otherwise not normal.

  43. The article “Discovering Relations Between Mind, Brain, and Mental Disorders Using Topic Mapping” by Russel A. Poldrack et al delves into the relationship of topic mapping of typical brain functions and the latent networks that function behind these functions. Evaluation of blood flow through the brain during different activities helps to determine what regions of the brain are associated with certain tasks, which enables researchers to formulate connections between certain phenotypes and the regions of brain that are active in relation. Using this information in conjunction with what we know about mental disorders, more and more can be learned about these afflictions that affect many people everyday.

  44. The article “A Toolbox for Representational Similarity Analysis” by Hamed Nili et al discusses how scientists are trying to map out brain information processing in each part of the brain by using spatiotemporal measurements. In the article it discusses RSA, which shows activation of parts of the brain based on a specific stimuli. RDM is as subset of RSA that shows the geometry and respresentation of where the brain was activated and is used to compare brains. The RDM is used to visualize the geometry and attributes of the brain and then compared to other models to eliminate noise(unwanted signals) to give us the best representation of the brain geometry.

  45. In “Functional MRI in Awake Unrestrained Dogs”, the main focus was to see how a dog’s mind works using positive reinforcement without sedation or physical restraints. The results were taken using fMRI images. Two female dogs were used: one trained and one untrained. Using three scanning sessions over a period of six weeks, it was found that both dogs were able to hold for 24 seconds while inside a MRI scanner (it took around 24 seconds to get all the images that the researchers needed). The fMRI images looked at whether the caudate was stimulated with the treats. When the hand signaled the treats to be given, both of the dogs’ caudate areas were stimulated; when the hand signaled for no treats to be given, both of the dogs’ caudate areas were repressed. Researchers also hypothesized that along with the stimulation of the caudate areas, the dogs also had an increase of dopamine in their systems. Even though both trained and untrained dogs yielded similar results, this was not a conclusive result because of the small number of subjects.

  46. “Functional MRI in Awake Unrestrained Dogs”

    The article “Functional MRI in Awake Unrestrained Dogs,” by Gregory S. Berns, Andrew M. Brooks, and Mark Spivak enlighten the general public on the use of fMRIs to map the brain activity in dogs. The focal point of the article was to determine how dogs respond to human commands and to analyze the brain activity of these dogs. In this experiment, functional MRIs are used to collect images of the dog’s brain activities. There were two dogs used in the study; one was trained but the other was not. Gestures used by humans, with and without treats, were used in the study as well. The experiment was conducted by 3 scanning sessions performed over 6 weeks.The dogs were not anesthetized due to the fact that they needed to be awake and responsive in order to map out the brain activities. The results showed that the caudate area in both dogs were active in response to the gestures with the treats. However, this area was not active when the gestures resulted in no treats. Through this experiment, it is fascinating to see how dogs perceive our actions and how they respond to rewards. Further studies would need to be implemented in order to fully understand more about the brain activity of canines.

  47. “Functional MRI in Awake, Unrestrained Dogs” documents an MRI procedure performed on two dogs, and how their attention related to humans. I was very surprised that both dogs proved to be able to be as still as humans can be in the MRI machine. Even after leaving for a break halfway through the procedure, when the dogs returned, their heads managed to remain in similar regions as they were before they left. Treating the dogs with food allowed the dogs to maintain such stillness. If dogs can stay still for this long, many more tests can be performed on them without having to restrain them or anesthetize them, which would clearly be the more optimal situation.

  48. “Functional MRI in Awake Unrestrained Dogs”
    This brain mapping article followed an attempt to perform the first MRIs in awake and unrestrained dogs in order to develop a better understanding of man’s best friend. Since dogs have long been domesticated by humans, another idea fueling this experiment was to prove it is possible to examine their minds in order to access a unique perspective on the human mind. This experiment called for extensive training of the two dogs, since there are many components of the MRI process that could startle an unsuspecting subject. After adjusting to the MRI’s tight quarters, loud noises, and required stillness, the dogs climbed in for many readings. The team involved had to use some adjustments for the occasional movements of the dogs, such as when they were chowing down on their hot dog rewards, but the experiment proved quite successful. There was a distinct correlation between brain mappings and signal give, especially the positive reward signal, as predicted. This experiment will likely lead to further research into the mind of a dog as well as its similarity to that of a human.

  49. The article “Functional MRI in Awake Unrestrained Dogs,” by Gregory S. Berns, Andrew M. Brooks and Mark Spivak discusses a study performed in which an fMRI was used to study the brain activities of two dogs. These dogs were trained to remain still inside the MRI machine by using positive reinforcement without restraints or sedation. The purpose was to determine the difference in brain activity when the dog was shown a hand signal corresponding to the presence of a food reward compared to a hand signal corresponding to the absence of a food reward. The study found that the caudate area in both dogs was more active when there was a food reward gesture than when the dog was shown a gesture resulting in no food. More studies need to be done to further understand the brain activities of canines.

  50. “Functional MRI in Awake Unrestrained Dogs”
    In this experiment, two female domesticated dogs were observed to see how the dog brain works and reacts. One dog was trained while the other was not as skillfully trained. Three fMRI sessions were given which were to familiarize the dog with the scanner environment, to optimize the scanner and to test how the dog would act when movement for a reward occurs. The results after the third session showed that caudate activation is shown to be associated with hand signals when giving a reward to a dog versus when no reward was given. This result was shown for both the trained and untrained dog. A hypothesis was made that dopamine is released when unexpected signals are made, however, it shows it is not completely true but the bold signal was definitely there. In future tests, the scientists have three major concerns which include not to harm the dog, not to restrain the dog, and that positive reinforcement should be used.

  51. Humans still have a long way to fully understand the brain. That doesn’t mean that we will not try every way possible. Lu et al. researched ways to represent brain wave data through music and published their finding in 2012 in an article titled “Scale-Free Brain-Wave Music from Simultaneously EEG and fMRI Recordings”. By doing so, one could just listen to the music to understand the status of the patient. As someone who listens to music on a daily basis, this sounds like a great way to intertwine two fields of study into one. The paper mainly focused on improving electroencephalogram (EEG) music to include functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to add more depth and dimension to the music. By doing so, it was easier to tell the difference in pitch, amplitude, and intensity. However, the trials Lu et al. underwent were rather lackluster, as they only conducted tests on two female subjects and polled intensity variation from ten individuals. Still, it was a very enjoyable read and listen and I believe this area of study has a lot of potential.

  52. I read the article titled “Functional MRI in Awake Unrestrained Dogs.” An experiment was conducted in attempts to better understand the mind of a dog. The fMRI images of two dogs, Callie (untrained), and McKenzie (well-trained) were taken to determine which brain circuits respond to specific hand signals, which either represent food reward or no reward. The dogs were trained to remain as motionless as possible in the MRI machine without any restraints, which would have not only been unethical, but would have also altered the results. The fMRI images showed that activity was observed in the right caudate in response to the hand signal associated with reward. It was also assumed that dopamine is released in response to unexpected events that denote a reward. Apart from gaining more knowledge about the brain activity of a dog, this experiment also made it clear that it is possible to conduct further experiments on these animals, under ethical conditions, by changing certain variables.

  53. In the article, “Functional MRI in Awake Unrestrained Dogs” scientists attempted to observe the brain activity within dogs that were being trained to exhibit certain behavior in correlation with certain hand signals. The goal of the trials was to train the dogs to lie still inside an MRI machine without having to restrain them or anesthetize them. If successful, this could potentially open up new research opportunities for scientists to use dogs as test subjects by using postitive reinforcement and without harming them in any way.The test subjects were two dogs, Callie and McKenzie. These dogs were taught over the course of learning period to lie inside the machine and rest their chin for a number of seconds on the stand provided, while watching for their owners to give them a hand signal. The raising of the left hand meant that a reward was to be provided at the end of the task, whereas two hands facing towards each other horizontally meant that there would be no reward. At first, the dogs seemed off-put by the sounds of the machine or even the space inside the machine. Eventually after a few training sessions, the dogs learned to read the hand signals and act accordingly. When the scientists went over the MRI scans, they were able to observe that the caudate, which plays a vital role in learning, storing information and memories, was more active towards the rewards hand-signal as opposed to the no-rewards hand signal. Understanding the way the canines’ brains worked in relation to communicating with humans may be of great significance in research in the future. Knowing this information, dogs may be able to be trained to a great extent, further strengthening the bond that humans may have to animals.

  54. “Functional MRI in Awake Unrestrained Dogs”

    The goal of this study was to determine how mind of a dog functions using fMRI. There were two dogs tested, one of which received training to show if the dog would receive a treat or not based on the dogs’ brain activity. The observations showed differences in activity in the dog’s caudate, which helps dogs in learning and storing information. When the reward hand signals were shown, activity in the caudate was significantly increased compared to when the no reward hand signal was shown. These results of this prove that dogs are fully capable of participating in studies that test the rely on the stability of the caudate of a dog. This experiment will allow scientists to continue experimenting on dogs for these tests, as well as in the future doing these tests on humans.

  55. “Functional MRI in Awake, Unrestrained Dogs” studied how a dogs mind works by examining two dogs, Callie (untrained) and McKenzie (trained). Both dogs were taught to stay still while researchers collected fMRI images because normally for this procedure, the subject would have been under sedation or anesthesia. The task was designed to determine which brain circuits differentially respond to hand signals denoting the presence or absence of a food reward. As a result, the researchers determined that the caudate area in both dogs was responded actively when there was a food reward gesture rather than when the dog was shown a gesture without food. Because the study was very small, further research must be done to entirely understand how a dog’s mind work.

  56. Dogs often respond to people’s commands and have the ability to understand them, but the question that remains is how does a dog’s mind really work? In the article, Functional MRI in Awake Unrestrained Dogs, a study was performed with two female, domesticated dogs. They were trained to stay motionless in the MRI machine by using positive reinforcement without sedation or physical restraints. The task was to see which brain circuits respond to human hand signals in the presence or absence of food reward. The left hand indicated a food reward and both hands lifted, pointing towards each other horizontally, meant no food. It was observed that the caudate area in both dogs was more active in the presence of a hand signal for food than in the absence of a food gesture. More studies can now be made with no harm to the dogs to determine their brain activity. Future studies can also determine whether the hand signals were intrinsically rewarding because they came from the dogs’ owner or because they where associated with food.

  57. “Functional MRI in Awake Unrestrained Dogs”
    In this study, researchers designed an experiment to determine which part of a dog’s brain responds to hand signals denoting the presence or absence of a food reward. Two female domesticated dogs were used in this study. The dogs were trained to remain stationary in the MRI scanner and were not anesthetized. To the knowledge of the researchers, this study represents the first demonstration of either an MRI or fMRI in completely awake and unrestrained dogs proving that dogs can remain as still as humans for long periods of time. Ultimately, the data of the experiment demonstrated that hand signals, especially those associated with reward lead to activation of the caudate. The caudate is located ventral to the corpus callosum. In both dogs, activation was found in the right caudate in response to hand signals. While the authors of the article acknowledge that the activation is most likely due to association with reward, they also suspect that social reward may contribute to this response because dogs are very social creatures. Future studies may consider separating these components.

  58. Functional MRI in Awake Unrestrained Dogs

    The paper that I read caught my eye with just the title and after reading it I can say that it really enlightened me. The thought processes of dogs have been deduced into the idea that dogs only follow our commands based on cues and not actual communication in the way we talk to others. To test this, three fMRI scans were taken on two dogs over the course of 6 weeks. The dogs were then shown hand signals that would denote the presence of food. The results showed that the caudate area of the brain reacted positively when the gesture indicated food. This shows that dogs do in fact communicate and understand our commands in a very simple sense. The sample size was small however and more than 2 dogs would be necessary to test before making a generalization

  59. Developmental Maturation of Dynamic Casual Control Signals in Higher-Order Cognition: A Neurocognitive Network Model

    This article discusses the development of brain interactions in relation to cognitive tasks. The patterns of interconnectivity between different sections of the brain and how they change when taking on more cognitively demanding tasks are still ambiguous. More details found from research can help investigate neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism and ADHD, where major control processes are impaired. Images from fMRIs were used to catch any differences between brain interactions of children and adults. Images showed significant differences, with adult brains having more interactions, as well as stronger ones. The strength of control signals showed to play a considerable role, because weaker signals were observed to correlate with lower levels of task performance in children. The study showed the importance of monitoring the changes of brain interactions during development from childhood to adulthood and how it impacts crucial abilities, such as decision-making, reasoning, problem solving, attention, and memory.

  60. The article “Functional MRI in Awake Unrestrained Dogs” aimed to figure out how the mind of dogs’ work to understand human signals and movements. Two dogs ended up being selected and trained to limit their movement for an fMRI. The first session helped to introduce the dogs to the environment o the MRI, while the second session worked to obtain data that would help to map out the movement related actions of dogs. At the end, it was concluded that this was the first time a successful MRI was conducted on fully awake and unrestrained dogs and that dogs can hold as still as humans for a period of 24 seconds was obtained. This data impressed me and allowed me to recognize that dogs were able to catch onto a variety of functional activities during this period of time. Also, it was pleasing to hear that scientific research was being conducted to understand the mind and actions of dogs better without causing them harm. Thus, this article provided information that truly made me realize how innovating and creative the world of science is getting day by day.

  61. The main idea of the article “Brain Entropy Mapping Using fMRI,” is based on the idea that the entropy of the brain can be calculated in order to determine the brains status and how it is affected by problems in the body using a functional MRI. This MRI is effective by monitoring changes in the cerebral blood flow and its metabolism allowing for all sections of the brain to be measured based on its level of entropy. One problem that scientist had to overcome when calculating the entropy was determining if the entropy calculated was actually of the brain and not from the background. They found that the human brain has a low entropy reading, and has a huge variation from the entropy level of the background and non-living water, proving that the entropy readings were of the brain. The study of these different brain entropy levels allowed scientist to formulate a sort of ranking to determine any sign of brain normality’s or drug addictions, and to which part of the brain it affects. Overall, the study of entropy in the brain may allow scientist to both find the area of the brain affected by certain diseases and allow them to research ways to improve the treatment of cerebral diseases.

  62. “Functional MRI in Awake Unrestrained Dogs”
    This article is aimed to determine how a dog’s brain works using fMRI and to compare it to human actions. Two female dogs were used in this experiment. The goal of the first session was to help one dog get accustomed with the scanner environment and determine the fMRI data. The goal of the second session was to get enough fMRI data to visualize movement. Each imaging sequence tended to startle the dogs leading to movement or exiting the scanner. In the final session, the dogs did not get startled and caused minor movement, suggesting that they were getting used to the the scanner environment. This suggests that our brains can understand certain situations after periods of time and get accustomed to environments due the functionality of the dopamine and various structures in the brain.

  63. I read the article, “Functional MRI in Awake Unrestrained Dogs”. In the article I read, two dogs were taken in for an MRI to monitor their cognitive function and brain circuits when shown hand signals. There was no anesthesia used since it was a cognitive test. These dogs were trained to stay still for long periods of time using positive reinforcement. One dog as put through three scans where in the first one she was just getting familiar with the machine. The other was put through two. In the second trial anytime an image popped up, the subjects reacted and attempted to exit the scanner. In the third trial, a proper MRI was possible. During the MRI it was confirmed that dogs have a caudate activation when they see a hand signal identifying a reward. I personally thought this was an interesting article being a dog lover. Often people wonder what dogs think and this brought us a step closer to see what stimulates them. I also liked how they trained the dogs versus using anesthesia.

  64. I read “Functional MRI in Awake Unrestrained Dogs”. I chose this article because dogs are amazing, and it looks the most appealing to be honest. It explores the idea that dogs have evolved with humans to react certain ways to humans; this has something to do with dogs’ cognitive skills. Instead of using anesthetics to observe the dogs, they trained the dogs so that they could go into an MRI scanner and be still enough to study the results. It compared the different brain circuits of the dogs in response to hand signals with or without the reward of food. It was found that activation of ventral caudate shows canine social cognition clearly. This helped realize that we can study a dog’s social behavior through the use of fMRI. I thought it was cool that they were able to train the dogs and use modern technology to observe their cognitive skills. Dogs were not harmed in this experiment either which was a plus. Perhaps studying different animals comparably will help us understand how other mammals react and use their brain.

  65. The article, “Scale-Free Brain Wave Music from Simultaneously EEG and fMRI Recordings,” discussed a study designed to translate both brain EEG and fMRI signals to music. The test subjects involved two females, one 31 years old and the other 14 years old, who were scanned in an MRI scanner for simultaneous EEG-fMRI recordings. The amplitude of EEG was mapped to music pitch, while average power change of EEG or fMRI signal was used to represent intensity of music. Because pitch and intensity are two independent factors in music composing, it was concluded that EEG-fMRI music, compared to EEG music (whose pitch and intensity were both related to EEG amplitude), is better in mimicking man-made music. In addition, the intensity of EEG music was described as “quick and abrupt” (5) opposed to the EEG-fMRI music intensity, which was “smooth and leisure” (Ibid). The scientists who conducted this study hope that the translation of brain signals to music will eventually be used to understand the mental state of the brain and for clinical diagnosis.

  66. The article that I chose to read was “Functional fMRI in Awake and Unrestrained Dogs”. This article talked about an experiment that was conducted on two dogs in order to test caudate activation when a dog is presented with a reward stimuli vs a non-reward stimuli. Initial trials of the scans were conducted in order to get the animals use to the fMRI machines and to train them in remaining still throughout the testing. Although the dogs were trained, hand signs were also conditioned into the dogs with a reward or no reward in order to trigger a more evident reading on the fMRI of the dogs’ reward system. This was represented by raising of the left hand for a reward and both hand pointing towards each other for no reward. During trial tests, it was found out that the noise of the fMRI machines startled the dogs, making them move. This was corrected by a playing of the machines noises before the trial began in order to prevent the dogs from getting startled. After the experiment was completed, it was seen that caudate activation in the dogs through association of hand signals and the reward was apparent. It is also stated that future studies can differentiate between intrinsic reward and reward by association with food.

  67. I chose the article, “Discovering Relations Between Mind, Brain and Mental Disorder Using Topic Mapping.” The article, for the most part, discusses the underlying causes of mental disorders with regard to the structure and organization of the brain. Essentially, scientists have been studying brain activity, observed behaviors and patterns that could likely be associated with each of these neurological disorders. As a result, the use of “topic mapping” emerged. Topic mapping refers to the identification of topics in relation to mental function. They examine verbiage, word count, cognitive capacity, awareness, emotion and many other things that can be analyzed when a particular topic is brought up. With more and more data, scientists are hoping to obtain new information on brain disorders from established data they’ve collected so far. I’m very interested to seeing the use of “topic mapping” and the improvement scientists make in their discoveries on brain functionality or the lack thereof. It’s a fascinating use of technology and approach to research.

  68. “Functional MRI in Awake Unrestrained Dogs”
    The purpose of the experiment was to find out how canine minds work, and was performed with the use of fMRI technology to see which brain circuits were stimulated in response to hand signals for “reward” or “no reward.” This approach is different than others previously used in that the dogs were kept awake and unrestrained, rather than administered anesthesia. Two dogs were used- one that was trained, and the other with no formal training. The experiment was focused on activity of the caudate of the dogs. The results displayed that the caudate of both dogs was stimulated in response to the hand signal for reward, rather than no reward, with the trained dog having a stronger response. It is possible that the component of social reward contributed to the response in the dogs, and the trained dog had a stronger response because she was more attuned to hand signals. Both dogs were also able to remain as still as humans for up to 24 seconds, showing that a wide variety of other brain studies are possible with canines.

  69. The article, “Functional MRI in Awake Unrestrained Dogs” discusses an experiment that was conducted in order to find out how a dog’s mind really works when exposed to human hand gestures. In order to obtain results, the researchers trained two dogs to remain motionless as fMRI images were taken of their brains. This procedure was done to see which circuits of the dogs’ brains respond to human hand signals whether there was a food reward or not. This experiment required several trials because the dogs were slightly startled by the scanner noises and since they were not sedated, it was harder for the dogs to stay still. After a few trials, a high quality structural image was obtained. The results showed that caudate is more active to the hand signal that was linked to a food reward in comparison to the hand signal that suggests no reward. More research on how the brains of canines work should be done in order to have a more valid conclusion because of the fact that only two dogs were being tested. Further research into this topic can also help in understanding how canine brains work similarly to the human brain.

  70. Discovering Relations Between Mind, Brain, and Mental Disorders Using Topic Mapping
    The brain is a magnificent organ that allows us to be very spectacular beings. For many years scientist and neurologist have been trying to map out how the brain works and its connection to mental functions. Many areas of the brain have been mapped to reveal that they control many different functions in the body such as the anterior cingulate cortex which controls conflict monitoring, error processing, pain, and interoceptive awareness. Scientist now are attempting to use a special type of research known as topic mapping. This paper explains this method as bringing information from many fMRI literatures and and “mapping” the information to show associated brain activation between different topics.Through this method, scientists have found structural and functional similarities with mental and disorder domains based on common brain activity patterns. Certain topics had a lot of associated documents because of their association with common features of neuroimaging such as movement, emotion, and attention.

  71. The paper I analyzed was the MRI in Awake Unrestrained Dogs. The paper seeks to observe the brain activity abilities of canines without using anesthesiology, but simple enforcement methods to ensure the dogs are compliant with the study requirements. The experiment took two dogs of similar characteristics, but slightly differing ages and weights, and performed fMRIs on both. One dog, who was previously trained, had 2 fMRIs, while the other dog, who had no specialized training, had 3 fMRIs. In all instances, food rewards or positive reinforcement mechanisms were used to get the dogs to comply with positioning or certain needs for an fMRI. The fMRI was used to observe the grey and the white matter that was present in each of the readings for the canines head. The results were looking to see the responses to hand signals for “reward” and “no reward” signals and how each dog reacted to the specific signal. The trained and untrained dog both were more attuned to react to a hand signal that was accompanied by a reward, where the right caudate seemed to have a large amount of activity. The trained dog did have stronger responses to this specific signal, as compared to the untrained dog, which suggests the trained dogs brain capacity to identify a certain signal with a certain objective and being able to understand a human signal with more awareness then an untrained dog. Both dogs showed actions that strengthened the claim of dopamine being released to a hand signal that suggested possible “future-reward,” giving insight on how the canines neurotransmitters work. The tests showed that positive reinforcements for canines provides positive responses to dogs ability to respond to a reward based system over a no reward based system.

  72. In Berns et. al.’s article, “Functional MRI in Awake Unrestrained Dogs,” the brain activity of dogs was studied with quality fMRI images. Through evolution, dogs have the ability to understand and communicate with humans. They are especially sensitive to human cues. This experiment studied the response of two spayed, female, domesticated dogs’ brain circuits in the presence or absence of a food reward. Three fMRI scanning sessions were performed over a period of 6 weeks. The dogs were held stationary and hand signals were given either to indicate whether or not a reward is to be delivered. The left hand indicates a hot dog reward whereas both hands indicated no-reward. The signals were maintained for about 10 seconds. The results of the experiment showed that the caudate of the brain is significantly more active to the left hand reward signal compared to the both hands no reward signal. This result is not surprising and is similar to the release of dopamine in human brains. Due to the trained association to a food reward for the dogs, when they are exposed to the signal of a left hand, it is likely that the active caudate signal represents a positive reward prediction to the dog. This was a very innovative study because this was the first demonstration of either MRI or fMRI in completely awake, unrestrained dogs. The scientists were professional and ethical because they didn’t harm the dogs and took into consideration dog’s sensitivity of hearing by letting them wear ear muffs. The dogs were also not restrained and Callie, one of the dogs in the experiment, demonstrated that dogs can hold just as still as humans for periods up to 24 seconds. Although dogs have had a prolonged evolution with humans, we still have endless amount of questions about the canine brain just like the human brain. The canine mind is fascinating and there could be further studies to study the canine brain more thoroughly.

  73. The article I found most interesting in the PLOS Brain Mapping collection is titled “Functional MRI in Awake Unrestrained Dogs.” This article centers around understanding the brains of two female dogs, Callie (untrained) and McKenzie (trained) using an fMRI (functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging). The fMRI was used to observe and understand both the gray and white matter of the brain. Brain activities of both dogs were studied using positive reinforcement in order to make sure that the dogs do not move while the fMRI is being performed. The test performed was to see if the dogs were able to comprehend hand signals that correspond to the “food reward” and “no reward” and how their brains reacted to each of the signals. The fMRI showed that both dogs were more responsive to a hand signal that followed a food reward. This was accompanied by major activity in the right caudate of the brain, which is responsible for the reward system. If a food reward hand signal was not shown, there was much less activity in the caudate. However, McKenzie, the trained dog, had more activity in the caudate as compared to the untrained dog. This may have been due to the extensive training it underwent and its ability to associate hand signals with rewards. This test showed a lot about the brain activity of dogs and how they respond to certain signals and opened up opportunities for many other experiments that can be done. The results of this fMRI will also be helpful in understanding how the human brain functions and its differences from that of dog brains.

  74. Discovering Relations Between Mind, Brain, and Mental Disorders Using Topic Mapping

    I’m unsure why, but this article’s title stood out to me. Honestly, I think it may be because the other article titles seemed complicated and dense but this title was simple and easy to understand. This article circled mainly around the relationship between the brain and certain activities that we do. It maps the brain in helping decide which part controls what actions we perform. Specifically, a method called topic mapping is used by scientists to test little sections of the brain and observing what it can control us in doing. Figure 7 shows the significance of the space between neural activation spaces (referred to as Canonical correlation analysis) and how that affects different disorders–examples are alcoholism, obesity, schizophrenia, and alzheimer’s. Many of these disorders are commonly known and it was interesting to read deeper into how easily we could get these disorders just based on how our brain is when we are born. Although this article’s material was denser than I initially thought it would be, what I took away from it was that they saw our brain and divided it into sections like a map and identified how each section had a different responsibility in deciding how we learn and who we are. It’s a method to learn more about why people have mental disorders/how prone they are to having them by distinguishing common neural patterns.

  75. “Functional MRI in Awake Unrestrained Dogs”

    In this article, researchers stay into the working of pooches’ cerebrum to translate/grasp human signs. Callie, a sheltered dog with no training, and McKenzie, a trained puppy were utilized as a part of this analysis to see what the distinctions were in MRI filtering between prepared mutts and untrained puppies. The testing was finished with various hand signals, with and without a reward. The pooches were not put under soporifics since it would hinder the reaction needed in light of the fact that the canines’ useful cerebrum would not work when handling hand signals. The aftereffect of the investigation demonstrates that the caudate was grinding away because of the hand motioning with and without prizes. The caudate is by all accounts more dynamic in reactions that reward the puppy as restrict to the reactions that did not compensate the canine for submission. This trial has given a knowledge to the human populace on how the puppies see us and additionally how they prepare the signs we send to them to deliver a wanted activity.

  76. “A Robust Classifier to Distinguish Noise from fMRI Independent Components’

    The All noise types classifier was able to determine the different noisy components using 147 features. . ICA separates the data into signal and Gaussian noise and maps it to spatial networks. To further examine the functions of the human brain. The experiment shows that it is possible to predict different kinds of ” noisy ICA components using intelligent feature selection paired with an automated method”. They do this by developing models of noise using a set of healthy control rsfMRI.

  77. As humans evolved, dogs have evolved as well. Due to our evolution together, dogs’ cognitive skills are thought to depict a selection of traits that make dogs sensitive to human cues. The paper I chose to read was “Functional MRI in Awake Unrestrained Dogs” by Gregory S. Berns. In this study, two dogs from different backgrounds (one trained dog and one untrained) were trained to stay still and were studied under the use of functional magnetic resonance imagining. A total of three fMRI scanning sessions were performed over a 6-week period. During the initial sessions, the images were altered because the noise generated by the fMRI startled the subjects. This resulted in the dogs’ movements in the machine and nonfunctional analysis. However, during the third session there was an additional variable. A recording of the scanner noise was played through the intercom before the initial start of the session. Through this, high quality structural images were obtained. Both dogs were awake and unrestrained because the focus of the study was canine cognition. According to the results, the caudate activity in both dogs was more active when the hand signal for food reward was presented compared to the no reward signal. This study demonstrates the intelligence of dogs and the successful results prove that future studies on canines are possible.

  78. My response is to the piece titled “Functional MRI in Awake Unrestrained Dogs.”

    Two adorable dogs were trained to remain motionless in for fMRI images by using positive reinforcement and without sedation or physical restraints. This test was done to gather information on the brain circuits that respond to hand signals that either have or do not have a food “reward.” The two canines used in the experiment were spayed, female domesticated dogs. One, named Callie, being a mutt from the pound with no special training, and the other, McKenzie, being a well-trained border collie, which is arguably the smartest breed of dog. Over the period of 6 weeks, with daily 10 minute sessions, the dogs were put through 3 fMRI scanning sessions. Callie was in all 3 sessions and McKenzie was only in the last 2. The trainers made one of 2 hand signals: one meaning “hot dog reward” and one meaning “no hot dog.” The results observed were that caudate activation occurred to the hand signals associated with a reward, along with dopamine being released. McKenzie had a stronger response than Callie, probably due to her familiarity with hand signals. This experiment will be used to further future technical advancements as it demonstrated that dogs can be used in wide varieties of functional studies and veterinary applications.

  79. Functional MRI in Awake Unrestrained Dogs

    The article I read was “Functional MRI in Awake Unrestrained Dogs” in which two spayed, female dogs of different training were used. One was an adopted dog from the shelter and one was a dog who was trained and entered agility competitions. Each dog went through different sets of scans and showed that they could sit still for up to 24 seconds in the machine. With this in mind, one could see through these scans how dogs behave as they are a reflection of humans, according to the article because they are relaying back a response that was given by the human training them. This was seen better with the signaling tests in each dog, and a more prominent reaction especially when a reward/treat was involved. By a mixture of hand signals and treats, this experiment proved it possible for dogs to be able to participate in MRI or fMRI scans in the future.

  80. “Discovering Relations Between Mind, Brain, and Mental Disorders Using Topic Mapping”
    This article focussed on identifying new relationships between brain function and mental disorders. These relationships were identified throughout the use of already established techniques like data mining techniques and neuroimaging. This discovery has the potential to identify special brain networks that are related to certain psychiatric disorders; which would intern help better understand their traits and structures. The topics with the highest number of associated documents were related to traits like movement, emotion, attention, and memory. This proves that such techniques have the ability to successfully obtain conceptual structures of psychological processes when aimed at studying brain function.

  81. The article that I found interesting was “Discovering Relations Between Mind, Brain, and Mental Disorders Using Topic Mapping” because the research incorporates large database to further understand the relationship between psychological functions and mental disorders. They have shown that certain types of mental disorders are associated with specific activation in a certain area of the limbic system. For example, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and mood disorders show activation centered on the prefrontal cortex, basal ganglia, and amygdala. This demonstrates that a particular set of limbic areas could be the seat of major psychiatric disorders, and thus providing future researchers a path for future experimentations on mental disorders.

  82. “Discovering Relations Between Mind, Brain, and Mental Disorders Using Topic Mapping”

    According to this article, scientists were able to develop a new method called, “topic mapping” to learn more about the connections between mental processes, brain function, and mental disorders. The goal of topic mapping was to locate the areas of the brain that were activated with certain mental functions utilizing 5000+ articles from a database. For example, topic 86 is associated with the ventral striatum, medial, orbital, and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex; all regions which are used in decision making and choice. The idea of different topics in the brain was then applied to mental illnesses. For example, Topic 7 is associated with the activation of the medial prefrontal cortex, basal ganglia, and amygdala. The activation of these regions is similar for people with bipolar, schizophrenia, and mood disorders. I found the article to be highly intriguing and impressive. The results from this article show a promising future in learning more about the correlations between mental illnesses, brain activation, and brain functions.

  83. “Functional MRI in Awake Unrestrained Dogs”

    This article discusses the idea of how dogs’ brains, specifically in response to human hand signals for the presence or absence of a food reward. The experiment was conducted on two sprayed, female dogs – Callie (2 years old, 12 kg, and no specialized training) and McKenzie (3 years old, 16 kg, and well-trained in agility competition). The experiment started out with helping the dogs gain familiarity with the MRI machines and then instructing the dogs to remain still long enough to run a MRI. The result was caudate activation when there was a hand signal for food reward, but the finding does not clarify if this signal is due to food reward or social reward (simply because they came from the dogs’ owner). This experiment also opens up pathways for future research with canine fMRI, but also protecting dog’s rights and welfare to avoid exploitation of the obedience of dogs.

  84. “Functional MRI in Awake Unrestrained Dogs”

    The article follows two spayed dogs from different backgrounds, and how they reacted to hand signals with and without a reward. Unlike other tests, these dogs were trained to stay in an MRI machine without a sedative. The results showed that the caudate is significantly more active to the “reward” hand signal compared to the “no-reward” hand signal. This shows how dogs have evolved to coexist with humans as they have been domesticated throughout the centuries. This is also a great step forward in understanding how dogs “think” and possibly lower the chances of abuse.

  85. In the article “Functional MRI in Awake Unrestrained Dogs” two female dogs, one with specialized training and one without, were chosen to undergo an fMRI, functional magnetic resonance imaging, while being awake. The goal of the study was to determine the canine brain signals associated with response to human hand signals signaling whether or not a food reward would be received. The result of the study seen from the fMRI was a caudate signal representing a positive reward prediction to the dog as well as a release of dopamine in response to a possible future award. The study shows that canine fMRI is possible and can lead to further, more in depth studies.

  86. The research I read about is titled “Intrinsic Functional Brain Architecture Derived from Graph Theoretical Analysis in the Human Fetus”

    This study exhibits the use of fetal fMRI for finding standards of neural framework association toward the start of human life. This builds upon the major goal of neuroscience of building diagrams and images of the human brain. This starts with drawing a complete diagram of brain connections starting at the fetal stage of life. What this study essentially does is summarize many different observations of development of brain networks before the human is actually born. It shows that as human fetal brains advance in age, intermodule brain connections get stronger, different modules begin to overlap with functional systems that are already known, and many functions in the posterior cingulate cortex have become less and less connected to other parts of the brain. This study shows that being able to understand brain development in fetal life using different imaging approaches plays a major role in understanding neurological problems. Although these neuroimaging approaches are advanced, there still is a need to further develop fetal connectivity fMRI methods and apply them to really tackle human fetal health and disease.

  87. In the article “Functional MRI in Awake Unrestrained Dogs,” two female dogs were chosen to participate in an experiment where quality fMRI images of their brains were collected when presented with two hand signals: a reward hand signal and a no-reward hand signal. The two dogs were of different background where one was untrained while the other was trained. To keep the experiment ethical, neither dogs were restrained and so had to be trained to rest their heads in an MRI through positive reinforcement. The results of the experiment were that with the reward hand signal, there was activation in the right caudate in both dogs while there was no activation with the no-reward signal. This experiment proved that canine fMRI is possible and may encourage other scientists to start their own experiments using an MRI.

  88. The article that I decided to read is, 
“Functional MRI in Awake Unrestrained Dogs”. I chose this article because I thought it would be interesting to see how researchers incorporated dogs with MRI technology. In this article, researchers used a MRI to determine the canine brain signals associated with response to human hand signals with reward vs. no reward. The dogs were trained to remain still in the MRI while being awake. This must have been a challenge because as a dog owner myself I notice how hard it is for dogs to remain motionless and not scratch, or wag their tail. The study concluded that the dog was more active in the presence of the signal with a reward. In regards to the design and implementation it is mentioned that no harm must occur to the dogs, and that the dogs should not be restrained and must have the ability to leave. It is noted in the article that this regulation is critical to avoid abuse since dogs are very vulnerable and will usually do whatever people train them to do. In the future, I would like to see more studies involving dogs as long as these safety regulations are respected.

  89. The article, ‘Functional MRI in Awake Unrestrained Dogs”, explored the cognitive function of two female dogs. An experiment was designed with the objective of examining the change in brain activity within the dogs based on different stimuli presented. The dogs were subjected to fMRI tests. fMRIs require minimal movement in order to obtain precise readings. Researchers attempted to reduce movement without the use of sedatives or physical restraints. In order to ensure limited dog movement while the tests were being conducted, feedback mechanisms were implemented. The dogs were shown hand signals that represented either a food reward or the absence of a food reward. After a series of three trials, results showed increased brain activity when the positive hand signal was used that symbolized a food reward. The caudal region of the dog’s brain exhibited increased activity when the food reward signal was given.

  90. Functional MRI in Awake Unrestrained Dogs
    Gregory Berns, Andrew Brooks, Mark Spivak

    The purpose of this experiment was to study how the dog’s mind “actually works”. The researchers collected fMRI images of dogs to see how their brains reacted while their owners made hand signals for “reward” and “no reward” while also using treats as rewards. The experimenters used positive reinforcement and did not use any physical restraints or sedation on the dogs. They tested two dogs, one with no specialized training and one with training in agility competition. Analysis was focused on the head of the caudate, with activation of the region on the right caudate for reward or no reward hand signals. Results of the experiment found that the caudate was activated more for the reward signal than for the no reward signal. The trained dog had a stronger response, perhaps because she had been through more training and may be more attuned to hand signals of her owner. It was concluded that the caudate signal that was observed represented the reward prediction to the dog, as both dogs has trained an association to a food reward. Further studies could find where the hand signals themselves were rewarding (social rewards) as they came from their owners, or if the hand signal was rewarding because they came packaged with food.

  91. The article I read was “Functional MRI In Awake Unrestrained Dogs” by Gregory S. Berns, Andrew M. Brooks, and Mark Spivak. The article’s focus was figuring out how the mind of dogs work with fMRI. OF The two dogs int he experiment, one had specialized training, while the second dog had no such training. When there was no reward,, the caudate, the focus of the study,was less active. When the dogs were rewarded, the caudate, was more active. The reward prediction error hypothesis of dopamine function says that whenever there is a reward, dopamine would increase in response to the future reward. Since fMRI cannot show readings of dopamine, it cannot be completely claimed that dopamine is the cause, however, since there was a BOLD signal that shows similar response as dopamine, the researchers thought that the activation of the caudate shows a positive reward prediction.
    Similar to how dogs are trained, humans can be trained through.

  92. Functional MRI in Awake Unrestrained Dogs
    By: Gregory S. Berns, Andrew M. Brooks, Mark Spivak

    Over the years it has been found that dogs have the ability to understand and communicate with humans. This study focuses on understanding the brain function of dogs by attempting to acquire fMRI data in 2 awake, unrestrained dogs in 3 scanning sessions performed over a 6-week period. This is attempted through using human commands to keep a dog still for the duration of an MRI. The connection between signaling for receiving a treat vs. not receiving a treat for performing a specific task was also observed in both dogs. In both dogs there was a significant cluster of activation in the right caudate region when trying to differentiate between reward vs. no reward signals.
    Based off the cluster activation in both dogs at the sign of a hand signal indicating a reward one can see that the caudate signal represents a positive prediction for a reward to the dogs and could prove that the hypothesis about dopamine being released in this type of event, to be true. This study also proved that dogs can sit still while being awake and unrestrained for periods up to 24 seconds in order to be scanned, like humans.
    It is also noted that a Siemens 3 T Trio was used for the acquisition of the FMRI data, which was processed with AFNI. The 2 dogs recruited for this study were also already well socialized with humans and demonstrated calmness, not being afraid of loud noises or others etc. and only positive reinforcement, were used in their 2 month training process for this experiment.

  93. “Discovering Relations Between Mind, Brain, and Mental Disorders Using Topic Mapping”

    This article focuses on determining how mental disorders are related in relation to the neurological activity that is observed form the behaviors associated with the different disorders. Different psychological processes take place that are normal, but it is hard to determine if the brain reacts differently when there are mental disorders. It is interesting to learn how the mental disorders affect neurological function and this wouldn’t be possible without brain mapping. This method is used to determine how the brain functions with mental disorders and shows how they may relate to one another. The researchers had to determine what neurological functions led to different behaviors of people with different mental disorders and how they were similar or different. They observed the brain patterns that were common and used it to determine any kind of similarities between different diagnostic categories and to see how they were connected. One interesting thing that I learned was that disorders such as drug abuse, alcoholism, antisocial personality disorder and conduct disorder exhibited similar brain activity, while disorders like anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, phobia and panic disorder exhibited the similar brain activity. It’s interesting to see how the brain separates different disorders and the ones with similar diagnoses, or close to similar diagnoses, exhibit similar brain patterns.

  94. The article I chose to read was titled, “Functional MRI in Awake Unrestrained Dogs” by Gregory S. Berns, Andrew M. Brooks, and Mark Spivak. In this experiment, the researchers wanted to use fMRI images to better understand how a dog’s mind worked. Two dogs named Callie and McKenzie participated in this research. McKenzie was well-trained in agility competition. On the other hand, Callie had no specialized training. Prior to the start of the experiment, both dogs were trained for 2 months to familiarize them with the procedure of getting into an fMRI machine and to get them used to the scanner’s sound. The dogs were also trained to hold still for as long as 30 seconds. Three fMRI scanning sessions took place during the research. Callie took part in all 3 sessions, but McKenzie only took part in the last two sessions. While the dogs were in the fMRI, they were given hand signals. The left hand up meant a hot dog reward. Both hands pointing toward each other horizontally meant no reward. After the scanning was completed, the dog would get a reward (positive reinforcement). The scientists hypothesized that the dog’s association of a hand signal to a reward would activate the ventral striatum of the brain. However, they discovered that this association occurs in the caudate region of the dog’s brain. Unfortunately, the researchers were unable to determine if the caudate signal was associated to a food reward or a social reward. This research has demonstrated that it is possible to study the dog brain under fMRI, and therefore has opened up the possibilities of more canine fMRI studies in the future.

  95. Functional MRI in Awake Unrestrained Dogs
    By: Gregory S. Berns, Andrew M. Brooks, Mark Spivak

    It is quite interesting to think about the evolution that dogs have experienced over 20,000 years, caused by the personal encounters with the human species. Dogs have developed communication skills with human, having the ability to understand hand gestures, such as pointing and tone recognition. To fully comprehend how the dog’s brain functions, the subjects underwent a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). The purpose of these examinations were to determine which part of the brain respond to hand signals that indicate there is an absence or presence of food. Researchers focused their attention on the head of the caudate, which is located ventral to the genu of the corpus callosum. The results came to no surprise. Both, Callie and McKenzie’s (dogs), brains released dopamine when given the gesture that signaled a food reward (a positive reaction). The secretion of dopamine in the brain can also stem from social interaction with humans. McKenzie seemed to be more responsive because, she was better trained in comparison with Callie. The data acquired expressed a heightened level of hemodynamic responses to reward hand signals, but not to the no-reward signal, which is sensible. However, with the utilization of such technological equipment, humans must abide by ethical conduct and must take into account that dogs are a vulnerable species due to their obedient nature to please humans.

  96. The article I read was “Function MRI in Awake Unrestrained Dogs.” I thought it was interesting dogs were chosen to be the subject of the experiment. The purpose was to collect fRMI images of dogs and see if there was a difference in reacting to human cues in the presence or absence of food. Hand signals were associated with primary rewards to provide a link with other imaging experiments that had been done with humans and monkeys and to increase the chance of observing a significant brain response. Then they attempted to determine which brain circuits differentially respond to hand signals that represent the presence or absence of food. One of the dogs, McKenzie, had a stronger response to the hand signals than the other dog, Callie, and it’s suspected that this may be because Mckenzie had undergone agility training before, making her more used to hand gestures than Callie. Also, the observation of ventral caudate activation in both dogs show that canine fMRI is possible and paves the way for studying canine social cognition. Since there was no associated behavior for the hand signals, t’s hard to determine how long it took for the dogs to learn the association. This reminds me of Pavlov’s dogs and how the dogs learned to associate the ringing of the bell with dinner.

  97. The article I read was “Functional MRI in Awake Unrestrained Dogs” by Gregory S. Berns, Andrew M. Brooks, and Mark Spivak. The article was about an experiment using two female dogs, one trained and one untrained, in order to study how a dog’s mind works. The dog’s were trained to stay still and recognize hand signals which represented reward vs no reward. Since the dogs were not immobilized or put under anesthesia, they were trained to go into an MRI scanner and hold their head still enough for fMRI studies without any restraint. The experiment focused on the activity of the caudate of the dogs. The results showed that caudate region of the dog’s brain had increased activity when the food reward hand signal was given. The trained dog had a stronger response than the untrained dog as well.

  98. The passage I read is “Task-based core-periphery organization of human brain dynamics”. The goal of the research was to identify properties that enable robust learning motor skill by measuring brain activity during motor sequencing and characterize network properties. When we are learning of motor skills, the synapses, regional activities, and larger-scale circuits happen. In the research, participants with larger separation between core and periphery learn better, and this shows structure of core and periphery decides the learning module function. Also, multilayer modularity and community brain network structure decreases and number and flexibility of community increases, when learning practice trial increases. These properties of temporal organization of functional brain network used to predict extended motor learning. The lab results show that the dynamic happening in brain during learning new skills has a pattern and happens in a temporal core. These data from the research could be used to develop a machine or medicine for brain to increase the person’s learning ability. If increasing human learning skills is available, then it would change the whole world into a new level.

  99. Functional MRI in Awake Unrestrained Dogs

    I like dogs and I think that they are quite smart. They can easily be trained, especially by reinforcing the relationship between their action and a reward. In this study, the two dogs (one less trained and the other more trained) were examined through fMRI to see what happens in their brains that would allow such positive reinforcement to be made. When a person gave a hand signal associated with a reward (in this case food), it led to cluster activation in the right caudate of the dog’s brain. This was more significant on the well trained dog than the less trained dog, probably because the reinforcement was stronger on the well trained dog. Although dopamine was not directly measured, the fact that the fMRI reflected a series of patterns very close to that of dopamine effect on the brain suggests that dopamine was released during this event, signaling a future reward. It would be interesting, as the study mentions, to find out whether it was the hand signal that was intrinsically rewarding or merely the association with food that was rewarding. Either way, I think that dogs are easily manipulated to how the humans want them to act. For instance, this trait of the dogs actually allowed them to go through fMRI as awake and unrestrained. One of the dogs held its head still for 24s, long enough for this fMRI study, for nothing but a positive reinforcement (a reward was given afterwards).

  100. The article I am writing about is the one entitled “Functional MRI in Awake Unrestrained Dogs”. It focuses on dogs and their ability to interact with human beings. It is known that these animals are very intelligent creatures and they are able to do many things but the question that often remains is “how does [their] mind work?” While the common practice in the past was to either sedate the animal or render it motionless; these methods were ineffective because if the main goal is to understand how a dog functions while awake, you definitely need to have it awake and responsive. To fix this problem the researchers of the experiment were able to train the dogs to remain motionless throughout the duration of the MRI test. With advanced technology, the researchers were able to take the acquired images from three tests and align them in order to further evaluate them. The findings were not surprising but the confirmed what was expected. When the dogs were shown signs to inform them that they were going to receive a reward it was observed that levels of dopamine increased. With this new ability to understand brain function, the researchers suggested that the next topic to be looked at is whether the release of dopamine was a direct result of being trained by their owner or from simply being told they would receive food. Overall this article is quite interesting and it really paves the path for research into the functions of the dog brain.

  101. The article I found most intriguing and captive was “Functional MRI in Awake Unrestrained Dogs”. The purpose of the study was to attempt to figure out the how mind of a dog works using fMRI. The dog’s were trained to stay still and recognize hand signals which represented reward vs no reward. Since the dogs were not immobilized or put under anesthesia, they were trained to go into an MRI scanner and hold their head still enough for fMRI studies without any restraint. Overall this article is quite interesting and it really paves the path for research into the functions of the dog brain.

  102. I found “Discovering Relations Between Mind, Brain, and Mental Disorders Using Topic Mapping” to be a great read. This article conveyed the relationship between psychological functions and mental disorders using data. “Topic mapping” was a method used to gather data in neuroimaging. It showed a disorder on the limbic system, for example the prefrontal cortex, to be indicative of a mood disorder. Topping map provides a way to visualize brain functions and can further knowledge of researchers for future experiments and health advancements. Topics separated different regions of the brain to allow for further understanding of the limbic system. This interested me because a person’s whole life is directed by the functions of the brain, and there is always more information that can be learned through the study of the brain.

  103. The article I read was Functional MRI in Awake Unrestrained Dogs. This study tested the effect of centuries of human domestication in dogs. Subjects were two spayed, female, domesticated dogs. Specifically, they studied how the dog’s brain works using MRI technology. They were trained, with prior no skills, to stay still at the call of hand signals and compared positive reinforcement against none. Movement was shown to be minimal. Thus they were able to sit still enough to sit through a MRI scan. It is also suggested that dogs had the potential to understand human cues without having been talk. This article suggests that though we do not have an understanding of their language, Dogs are capable of much more complex communication than we give them credit for.

  104. The article I chose to review was the “Functional MRI in Unrestrained Dogs”. This experiment conducted a study on the brain activity of dogs when they respond to human gestures and movements. There were two dogs used in this study: a trained one and an untrained one. The dogs were given different hand gestures; some which resulted in a reward while others did not. The dog’s brain activity was recorded and analyzed after each gesture. What was interesting about this study was that in order for the experiment to work, the dog’s had to be awake and not under the influence of anesthesia. The dogs were trained to keep their head up and steady when placed in the machine to analyze their brain activity. The study showed that the caudate area of both dogs were active when responding to gestures that lead to rewards. However, the caudate area showed little change when responding to gestures that had no reward. This study can help aid the understanding of the function of a dog’s reward center and can lead to new ways of training dogs to understand and react to humans.

  105. Functional MRI in Awake Unrestrained Dogs

    There was a study on two dogs, one trained and one not. The study was to see their brain activity when shown hand gestures and given rewards. The study showed that caudate area responded to the gesture but there was little response when there wasn’t a food reward. Because of this we will be able to understand dog’s brains when it comes to rewards and therefore in training them.

  106. I chose the article “Functional MRI in Unrestrained Dogs”. This experiment consisted of a study in which the brain activities of the dog were tested as they respond to gestures. Two dogs were used in this comparative study. One of the dogs were trained while the other one did not receive the proper training. Thus, both of the dogs served as a standard of comparison because they both received different gestures. As all of this was happening, the dogs’ reactions were analyzed. . The caudate area seemed to be the important aspect in all of this. This study showed that dogs were active when responding to gestures that resulted in a reward. However when gestures did not give a reward, the caudate area remained unchanged. I really liked this study because this can englighten new ways to train dogs by examining them psychologically.

  107. “Discovering Relations Between Mind, Brain, and Mental Disorders Using Topic Mapping”

    This article focuses on determining how mental disorders are correlated through psychological functions that are observed through behaviors observed. I found it interesting due to how relevant this topic of mental disorders are to many people in their lives. This new method of topic mapping is able to aid in learning about the brain having certain characteristics and activation in the different parts of the limbic system. There is a difficulty however, of comparing brain activity of those with and without mental disorders due to its similarity in many ways. Although there has been extensive research into the psychological functions in humans but there is still more to discover due to such a complex function.

  108. “Functional MRI In Awake Unrestrained Dogs” by Gregory S. Berns, Andrew M. Brooks, and Mark Spivak

    Functional MRI require the subject to stay still and not move. Dogs are known to fidget a lot and have trouble staying still. In order to have these tests on dogs, instead of using sedatives or restraining these canines, hand signals were used to try to keep them still. While one of the dogs was trained, the other was not. They were not restrained, and instead they were tested to see if they could stay still for the MRI using positive reinforcement. The results from this study showed that there was caudate activation in both the trained and untrained dogs with the hand signal signifying a reward and not for the hand signal signifying no reward. This study made sure that no harm should fall onto the dogs and that they should not be in a position which they feel forced, for example being sedated or restrained. Instead they used positive reinforcements that would allow the dog to choose whether or not staying still would be worth it. This study showed that dogs are capable of holding still as humans for up to 24 second periods. This study also helps to show that a variety of future studies are now possible.

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