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Voluntary gaze control allows people to direct their attention toward selected targets while avoiding distractors. Failure in this ability could be related to dysfunctions in the neural circuits underlying executive functions. Interestingly, recent evidence suggests that factors such as years of schooling and literacy may positively influence goal-directed behavior and inhibitory control. However, we do not yet know whether these factors also have a significant impact on the inhibitory control of oculomotor responses. Using pro- and antisaccadic tasks to assess the behavioral responses of healthy adults, we tested the contribution of years of schooling and reading proficiency to their oculomotor control, while simultaneously analyzing the effects of other individual characteristics related to demographic, cognitive and motor profiles. This approach allowed us to test the hypothesis that schooling factors are closely related to oculomotor performance. Indeed, a regression analysis revealed important contributions of reading speed and intellectual functioning to the choices on both pro- and antisaccadic tasks, while years of schooling, age and block sequence emerged as important predictors of the kinematic properties of eye movements on antisaccadic tasks. Thus, our findings show that years of schooling and reading speed had a strong predictive influence on the oculomotor measures, although age and order of presentation also influenced saccadic performance, as previously reported. Unexpectedly, we found that an indirect measure of intellectual ability also proved to be a good predictor of the control of saccadic movements. The methods and findings of this study will be useful for identifying and breaking down the cognitive and educational components involved in assessing voluntary and automatic responses.
prosaccades, antisaccades, education, reading, adults, neuropsychology
Educational and Cognitive Predictors of Pro- and Antisaccadic Performance
Yaira Chamorro,1 Mario TreviNo,2 and Esmeralda Matute1,*
We describe an automated training/testing system for adult mice that allows reliable quantification of visual discrimination capacities, adaptive swimming strategies, and stereotyped choices with minimal human intervention. The experimental apparatus consists of a hexagonal swimming pool with an internal decision zone leading to three interior arms with two software-controlled platforms inside of each arm. Each experimental trial consists in projecting a “positive” conditioned discriminative stimulus (SD) in one randomly chosen arm, whereas the other two arms project non-reinforced stimuli (the delta stimuli, SΔ). By employing a classical behavioral training schedule, the mice learn to swim toward the arm that displays the SD, because it predicts the presence of two elevated platforms located symmetrically to the left and right side of the projecting monitor. Separate behavioral components for discriminative and stereotyped choice behavior can be identified through this geometric arrangement. In addition, the projection in real-time of either static or dynamic visual stimuli allows the usage of training programs contingent on current behavioral performance. We validated the system by characterizing the visual acuity and contrast sensitivities in a group of trained mice. By employing pharmacological manipulations, we found that the mice required an intact functioning of the primary visual cortex (V1) to solve the hexagonal pool. Overall, the automated training system constitutes a reliable, rapid, and inexpensive method to quantify visual capacities of mice. It can be used to characterize visual and non-visual factors of choice behavior. It can also be combined with manipulations of visual experience and pharmacological micro-infusions to investigate integrated brain function and learning processes in adult mice over consecutive days.
mouse, visual discrimination, stereotypy assay, visual cortex (V1), entropy, pharmacological inactivation
An Automated Water Task to Test Visual Discrimination Performance, Adaptive Strategies and Stereotyped Choices in Freely Moving Mice
Mario TreviNo, Esteban Fregoso, Carlos Sahagún, Eli Lezama
Macaca fascicularis, the cynomolgus macaque, is a widely used model in biomedical research and drug development as its genetics and physiology are close to those of humans. Detailed information on the cynomolgus macaque gut microbiota, the functional interplay between the gut microbiota and host physiology, and possible similarities to humans and other mammalians is very limited. The aim of this study was to construct the first cynomolgus macaque gut microbial gene catalog and compare this catalog to the human, pig, and mouse gut microbial gene catalogs. We performed metagenomic sequencing on fecal samples from 20 cynomolgus macaques and identified 1.9 million non-redundant bacterial genes of which 39.49% and 25.45% are present in the human and pig gut bacterial gene catalogs, respectively, whereas only 0.6% of the genes are present in the mouse gut bacterial gene catalog. By contrast, at the functional levels, more than 76% Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes orthologies are shared between the gut microbiota of all four mammalians. Thirty-two highly abundant bacterial genera could be defined as core genera of these mammalians. We demonstrated significant differences in the composition and functional potential of the gut microbiota as well as in the distribution of predicted bacterial phage sequences in cynomolgus macaques fed either a low-fat/high-fiber diet or a high-fat/low-fiber diet. Interestingly, the gut microbiota of cynomolgus macaques fed the high-fat/low-fiber diet became more similar to the gut microbiota of humans.
Macaca fascicularis, gut microbiota gene catalog, gut microbiome, core genera, high-fat/low-fiber diet, low-fat/high-fiber diet, metagenomics
Establishment of a Macaca fascicularis gut microbiome gene catalog and comparison with the human, pig, and mouse gut microbiomes
Xiaoping Li, Suisha Liang, Zhongkui Xia, Jing Qu, Huan Liu, Chuan Liu, Huanming Yang, Jian Wang, Lise Madsen, Yong Hou, Junhua Li, Huijue Jia, Karsten Kristiansen, Liang Xiao