Implicit skill learning underlies obtaining not only motor, but also cognitive and social skills through the life of an individual. Yet, the ontogenetic changes in humans' implicit learning abilities have not yet been characterized, and, thus, their role in acquiring new knowledge efficiently during development is unknown. We investigated such learning across the lifespan, between 4 and 85 years of age with an implicit probabilistic sequence learning task, and we found that the difference in implicitly learning high- vs.
In animals, longevity (maximal lifespan) is inversely related to mass-specific basal metabolic rates. However, contrary to expectation, in several mammalian taxa, exceptional longevity is associated with high basal metabolic rate, and also fast evolution of mtDNA-coded proteins. The association of these traits was suggested to result from adaptive selection of mutations in mtDNA-coded proteins, which accelerates basal respiration, thus inhibiting the generation of reactive oxygen species that constrain longevity.
Our interest in healthy aging and in evolutionarily conserved mechanisms of lifespan extension prompted us to investigate whether features of age-related decline in the honey bee could be attenuated with resveratrol. Resveratrol is regarded as a caloric restriction mimetic known to extend lifespan in some but not all model species. The current, prevailing view is that resveratrol works largely by activating signaling pathways. It has also been suggested that resveratrol may act as an antioxidant and confer protection against nervous system impairment and oxidative stress.
Flies were starved with water before being subjected to various severe stresses (heat, cold, fungal infection, hydrogen peroxide) immediately after starvation or after a delay. Starvation of young and middle-aged flies increased resistance to a long cold stress (0†∞C for up to 48†h), mainly if there was a 2-6†h delay between starvation and the cold stress, but positive effects in old flies were hardly observed. No positive effect was observed on resistance to the other stresses and starvation rather decreased resistance to them.
This mini-review describes recent discoveries demonstrating that experience can drive the production of epigenetic marks in the adult nervous system and that the experience-dependent regulation of epigenetic molecular mechanisms in the mature central nervous system participates in the control of gene transcription underlying the formation of long-term memories. In the mammalian experimental systems investigated thus far, epigenetic mechanisms have been linked to associative fear conditioning, extinction of learned fear, and hippocampus-dependent spatial memory formation.
INTRODUCTION: There is growing interest in the role of single genes in cognitive functions. Association studies are the most commonly applied method in this field. This method assumes that the genetic information affecting cognitive processes is "static" and unchanging. However, there is accumulating evidence that dynamic genomic and epigenetic alterations can modulate complex cognitive processes, and influence susceptibility to disorders associated with impaired cognitive functioning.
Sponsored by the New York Academy of Sciences, the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and the University of Massachusetts Boston, "Behavioral Epigenetics" was held on October 29-30, 2010 at the University of Massachusetts Boston Campus Center, Boston, Massachusetts. This meeting featured speakers and panel discussions exploring the emerging field of behavioral epigenetics, from basic biochemical and cellular mechanisms to the epigenetic modulation of normative development, developmental disorders, and psychopathology.
A scalable hardware/software hybrid module--called Ubidule--endowed with bio-inspired ontogenetic and epigenetic features is configured to run a neural networks simulation with developmental and evolvable capabilities. We simulated the activity of hierarchically organized spiking neural networks characterized by an initial developmental phase featuring cell death followed by spike timing dependent synaptic plasticity in presence of background noise.
DNA methylation was once considered to be a static epigenetic modification whose primary function was restricted to directing the development of cellular phenotype. However, it is now evident that the methylome is dynamically regulated across the lifespan: during development as a putative mechanism by which early experience leaves a lasting signature on the genome and during adulthood as a function of behavioral adaptation.
International Journal of Developmental Neuroscience: The Official Journal of the International Society for Developmental Neuroscience
Non-specific pharmacological inhibition of the histone deacetylase (HDAC) family of enzymes has largely beneficial effects in a variety of diverse contexts including cancer, cognitive function, and neurodegeneration. This review will discuss the role of individual HDAC isoforms in brain function during development and in the adult. Importantly class I and class II HDACs exhibit distinct cellular and subcellular expression patterns and utilize different signaling pathways to influence their substrates.