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Spatial memory - a unique window into healthy and pathological ageing

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889193868 Year: Pages: 122 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-386-8 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Neurology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2015-12-03 13:02:24
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The global population aged over 60 is set to rise dramatically in the coming decades. In many countries, the older population now faces the prospect of spending a quarter of their lives aged over 65, and a significant proportion will have to cope with cognitive decline associated with normal ageing or with dementia disorders. Given that these fundamental demographic changes will pose a significant challenge to health care systems, a detailed understanding of age-related cognitive and neurobiological changes is essential in helping elderly populations maintain cognitive performance. In addition, developing sensitive biomarkers to identify those at risk of developing dementia is crucial for early and effective interventions. To make inferences about the ageing process from the animal model back to the human, rigorous behavioral paradigms must be used to ensure that the same function is being examined across species. Given that similar navigational paradigms can easily be applied to humans and animals, recent years have seen an expansion of studies attempting to bridge the gap between age-related changes in animal and human spatial cognition. These studies begin to suggest that disruptions in spatial computations are among the earliest indicators of impending cognitive decline. In addition, although many animal studies have identified pathological mechanisms with paradigms involving spatial navigation, these mechanisms support many nonspatial cognitive functions as well. As a consequence, a successful characterization of how spatial processing changes in the ageing brain could reveal fundamental effects of cognitive ageing that could inform about general mechanisms underlying decline in perception, mnemonic processing and multisensory integration.

How nature shaped echolocation in animals

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889193479 Year: Pages: 207 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-347-9 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Physiology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2016-03-10 08:14:32
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Echolocation has evolved in different groups of animals, from bats and cetaceans to birds and humans, and enables localization and tracking of objects in a dynamic environment, where light levels may be very low or absent. Nature has shaped echolocation, an active sense that engages audiomotor feedback systems, which operates in diverse environments and situations. Echolocation production and perception vary across species, and signals are often adapted to the environment and task. In the last several decades, researchers have been studying the echolocation behavior of animals, both in the air and underwater, using different methodologies and perspectives. The result of these studies has led to rich knowledge on sound production mechanisms, directionality of the sound beam, signal design, echo reception and perception. Active control over echolocation signal production and the mechanisms for echo processing ultimately provide animals with an echoic scene or image of their surroundings. Sonar signal features directly influence the information available for the echolocating animal to perceive images of its environment. In many echolocating animals, the information processed through echoes elicits a reaction in motor systems, including adjustments in subsequent echolocation signals. We are interested in understanding how echolocating animals deal with different environments (e.g. clutter, light levels), tasks, distance to targets or objects, different prey types or other food sources, presence of conspecifics or certain predators, ambient and anthropogenic noise. In recent years, some researchers have presented new data on the origins of echolocation, which can provide a hint of its evolution. Theoreticians have addressed several issues that bear on echolocation systems, such as frequency or time resolution, target localization and beam-forming mechanisms. In this Research Topic we compiled recent work that elucidates how echolocation – from sound production, through echolocation signals to perception- has been shaped by nature functioning in different environments and situations. We strongly encouraged comparative approaches that would deepen our understanding of the processes comprising this active sense.

The Functional Organization of the Auditory System

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889450619 Year: Pages: 330 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88945-061-9 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Neurology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2017-07-06 13:27:36
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This eBook comprises s series of original research and review articles dealing with the anatomical, genetic, and physiological organization of the auditory system from humans to monkeys and mice.

Chocolate and Health: Friend or Foe?

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889454112 Year: Pages: 77 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88945-411-2 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Allergy and Immunology --- Nutrition and Food Sciences --- Medicine (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2018-11-16 17:17:57
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In the ancient past, cocoa has been appreciated as a high-calorie food to boost energy in soldiers and for its undefined medicinal and mystical properties. During other times, chocolate has been considered as the forbidden “food of God”: a treasure of pleasure for the mind and the soul. The overall perception of the consumer for chocolate was of a “charming” and appealing food with lots of negative aspects related to high sugar content leading to consider chocolate as “junk food” for its “obesigen” calories. Recently, in association with the renewed interest of nutrition science in alternative source of health-promoting foods and ingredients, a large body of research has been conducted to unravel the pro and cons of cocoa in relation to human health. Epidemiological evidences indicate that cocoa consumption helps preventing cardiovascular disease for its high content in bioactive flavonoids. Clinical trials show that chocolate consumption might improve vascular function, decreasing platelet aggregation and display an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effect. The putative protective action of cocoa seems to be multi-factorial and involving different aspects of vascular, antioxidant and endothelial function. However, the mechanism(s) that account for the benefits of cocoa it is still unclear.The aim of this Research Topic is therefore to provide the reader with an objective picture of the state of art on the association between cocoa and health, mainly through the evidences of human trials; overwhelmingly considered the golden standard for nutritional science. The Research Topic will cover the analysis of the manufacturing processes of the chocolate and the antioxidant effects in humans as well as the majority of the putative health effects of chocolate and cocoa, such as anti-inflammatory properties, effect on immunity, platelet aggregation, blood pressure, endothelial function and cognitive behavior. Unraveling the functional properties of cocoa will help to understand if the 'food of God' is a primordial gift for the health of mankind.

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