No study has directly explored the influence of reward and punishment on motor cortex activity when observing others’ actions, which is likely to have substantial relevance in different social contexts. In this experiment, EEG was recorded while participants watched movie clips of a person performing actions that led to a monetary reward, loss or no change for the observer. Using the EEG mu rhythm as an index of motor resonance, our results
demonstrate that observation of rewarding actions produce significantly greater motor cortex activity than punishing or neutral actions, with punishing actions producing greater activity than neutral ones. In addition, the dynamic change in the mu rhythm over sensorimotor cortex is modulated by reward and punishment, with punishing actions producing a prolonged suppression. These findings demonstrate Selleckchem R428 that the associated reward value of an observed action may be crucial in determining the strength of the representation of the action in the observer’s brain. Consequently, reward and punishment
is likely to drive observational learning through changes in the action observation network, and may also influence how we interpret, understand, engage in and empathize with others’ actions in social interaction. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.”
“Circoviruses are among the smallest and simplest of all viruses, but they are relatively poorly characterized. Here, we intensively sampled two sympatric Tariquidar chemical structure parrot populations from Mauritius over a period
of 11 years and screened for the circovirus Beak and feather disease virus (BFDV). During the sampling period, a severe outbreak of psittacine beak and feather disease, which is caused by BFDV, occurred in Echo parakeets. Consequently, this data set presents an ideal system for studying the evolution of a pathogen in a natural population and to understand the adaptive changes that cause outbreaks. Unexpectedly, we discovered that the outbreak was most likely caused by C646 purchase changes in functionally important regions of the normally conserved replication-associated protein gene and not the immunogenic capsid. Moreover, these mutations were completely fixed in the Echo parakeet host population very shortly after the outbreak. Several capsid alleles were linked to the replication-associated protein outbreak allele, suggesting that whereas the key changes occurred in the latter, the scope of the outbreak and the selective sweep may have been influenced by positive selection in the capsid. We found evidence for viral transmission between the two host populations though evidence for the invasive species as the source of the outbreak was equivocal. Finally, the high evolutionary rate that we estimated shows how rapidly new variation can arise in BFDV and is consistent with recent results from other small single-stranded DNA viruses.”
“Repetition suppression in fMRI studies is generally thought to underlie behavioural facilitation effects (i.e.