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Wearable Haptics and Immersive Virtual Reality Rehabilitation Training in Children With Neuromotor Impairments

The past decade has seen the emergence of rehabilitation treatments using virtual reality (VR) environments although translation into clinical practice has been limited so far. In this paper, an immersive VR rehabilitation training system endowed with wearable haptics is proposed for children with neuromotor impairments: it aims to enhance involvement and engagement of patients, to provide congruent multi-sensory afferent feedback during motor exercises and to benefit from the flexibility of VR in adapting exercises to the patient’s need. An experimental rehabilitation session conducted with children with cerebral palsy (CP) and developmental dyspraxia (DD) has been performed to evaluate the usability of the system and proof of concept trial of the proposed approach. We compared CP/DD performance with both typically developing children and adult control group. Results show the system was compliant with different levels of motor skills and allowed patients to complete the experimental rehabilitation session, with performance varying according to the expected motor abilities of different groups. Moreover, a kinematic assessmentbased on the presented system has been designed. Obtained results reflected different motor abilities of patients and participants, suggesting suitability of the proposed kinematic assessment as a motor function outcome.

IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering information for authors

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Sleep it off

Nature on Neuroscience - Mon, 06/25/2018 - 22:00

Sleep it off

Sleep it off, Published online: 26 June 2018; doi:10.1038/s41583-018-0037-9

A set of 80 (mostly synaptic) proteins show hyperphosphorylation in sleep-deprived mice and genetically ‘sleepy’ mice, suggesting that increased phosphorylation of such proteins may be associated with sleep need.

Neuroscience of apathy and anhedonia: a transdiagnostic approach

Nature on Neuroscience - Mon, 06/25/2018 - 22:00

Neuroscience of apathy and anhedonia: a transdiagnostic approach

Neuroscience of apathy and anhedonia: a transdiagnostic approach, Published online: 26 June 2018; doi:10.1038/s41583-018-0029-9

Anhedonia and apathy are syndromes affecting motivation and have been reported in various neurological and psychiatric disorders. Husain and Roiser examine the neural mechanisms underlying apathy and anhedonia within a transdiagnostic framework of effort-based decision making for reward.

Losing sleep over lipids

Nature on Neuroscience - Thu, 06/21/2018 - 22:00

Losing sleep over lipids

Losing sleep over lipids, Published online: 22 June 2018; doi:10.1038/s41583-018-0033-0

In genetic fly models of Parkinson disease, disrupted lipid trafficking in neuropeptidergic neurons leads to circadian disruption.

Generation of circadian rhythms in the suprachiasmatic nucleus

Nature on Neuroscience - Thu, 06/21/2018 - 22:00

Generation of circadian rhythms in the suprachiasmatic nucleus

Generation of circadian rhythms in the suprachiasmatic nucleus, Published online: 22 June 2018; doi:10.1038/s41583-018-0026-z

In mammals, the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) of the hypothalamus acts as the principal pacemaker for circadian rhythms, which are powerful regulators of physiology and behaviour. In this Review, Hastings, Maywood and Brancaccio examine the molecular, cellular and circuit mechanisms underlying time-keeping in the SCN.

Trading places

Nature on Neuroscience - Thu, 06/21/2018 - 22:00

Trading places

Trading places, Published online: 22 June 2018; doi:10.1038/s41583-018-0032-1

Insights into the molecular and cellular mechanisms by which the APOE4 variant increases risk for Alzheimer disease are gained by comparing transcriptomes of neurons, astrocytes and microglia derived from isogenic APOE3- and APOE4-carrying iPSC cell lines.

Opioid receptors: drivers to addiction?

Nature on Neuroscience - Thu, 06/21/2018 - 22:00

Opioid receptors: drivers to addiction?

Opioid receptors: drivers to addiction?, Published online: 22 June 2018; doi:10.1038/s41583-018-0028-x

The opioid system is central to addiction. Darcq and Kieffer review the role of these receptors in the addiction neurocircuitry, ask whether opioid receptors can be targeted to kill pain without addiction and discuss studies that bridge the translational gap in the field.

Synaptic nibbling

Nature on Neuroscience - Mon, 04/30/2018 - 22:00

Synaptic nibbling

Synaptic nibbling, Published online: 01 May 2018; doi:10.1038/s41583-018-0008-1

Synaptic nibbling

Pathways to contextual control

Nature on Neuroscience - Mon, 04/30/2018 - 22:00

Pathways to contextual control

Pathways to contextual control, Published online: 01 May 2018; doi:10.1038/s41583-018-0009-0

Pathways to contextual control

Continued access to investigational brain implants

Nature on Neuroscience - Mon, 04/23/2018 - 22:00

Continued access to investigational brain implants

Continued access to investigational brain implants, Published online: 24 April 2018; doi:10.1038/s41583-018-0004-5

Brain implants are being trialled for their potential to ameliorate treatment-resistant conditions or to restore function. However, there are no clear guidelines for continued access to brain implants for trial participants whose symptoms improve with these devices.

Time to get tough

Nature on Neuroscience - Tue, 04/17/2018 - 22:00

Time to get tough

Time to get tough, Published online: 18 April 2018; doi:10.1038/s41583-018-0005-4

In mice, aggression is regulated by the circadian suprachiasmatic nucleus through at least two neural pathways.

Feeding circuit development and early-life influences on future feeding behaviour

Nature on Neuroscience - Mon, 04/16/2018 - 22:00

Feeding circuit development and early-life influences on future feeding behaviour

Feeding circuit development and early-life influences on future feeding behaviour, Published online: 17 April 2018; doi:10.1038/nrn.2018.23

The extent and contribution of maternal influence to the developing hypothalamus to later feeding behaviour remain controversial. In this Opinion, Zeltser proposes that crosstalk between developing circuits regulating different modalities of food intake shapes susceptibility to environmental challenges.

Neural repair: Getting back on your hindlimbs

Nature on Neuroscience - Mon, 04/16/2018 - 22:00

Neural repair: Getting back on your hindlimbs

Neural repair: Getting back on your hindlimbs, Published online: 17 April 2018; doi:10.1038/nrn.2018.39

A combination of electrochemical neuromodulation of spinal leg circuits and physical training in a robotic rehabilitation system restored volitional locomotion in rodents with severe spinal cord injury.

Intrinsic mechanisms of neuronal axon regeneration

Nature on Neuroscience - Mon, 04/16/2018 - 22:00

Intrinsic mechanisms of neuronal axon regeneration

Intrinsic mechanisms of neuronal axon regeneration, Published online: 17 April 2018; doi:10.1038/s41583-018-0001-8

Peripheral axon injury initiates a regenerative response that is absent in CNS axons. Mahar and Cavalli describe the mechanisms that initiate and coordinate the programme of transcriptional and epigenetic changes that enable axon regeneration in the peripheral nervous system.

The basal ganglia and the cerebellum: nodes in an integrated network

Nature on Neuroscience - Tue, 04/10/2018 - 22:00

The basal ganglia and the cerebellum: nodes in an integrated network

The basal ganglia and the cerebellum: nodes in an integrated network, Published online: 11 April 2018; doi:10.1038/s41583-018-0002-7

The basal ganglia and the cerebellum were thought to communicate via the cerebral cortex. In this Review, Andreea Bostan and Peter Strick discuss findings indicating that these subcortical areas are in fact interconnected and, along with the cerebral cortex, form an integrated network.

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IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering publication information

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Subject-Independent ERP-Based Brain–Computer Interfaces

Brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) are desirable for people to express their thoughts, especially those with profound disabilities in communication. The classification of brain patterns for each different subject requires an extensively time-consuming learning stage specific to that person, in order to reach satisfactory accuracy performance. The training session could also be infeasible for disabled patients as they may not fully understand the training instructions. In this paper, we propose a unified classification scheme based on ensemble classifier, dynamic stopping, and adaptive learning. We apply this scheme on the P300-based BCI, with the subject-independent manner, where no learning session is required for new experimental users. According to our theoretical analysis and empirical results, the harmonized integration of these three methods can significantly boost up the average accuracy from 75.00% to 91.26%, while at the same time reduce the average spelling time from 12.62 to 6.78 iterations, approximately to two-fold faster. The experiments were conducted on a large public dataset which had been used in other related studies. Direct comparisons between our work with the others' are also reported in details.

HIVE is supported by the European Commission under the Future and Emerging Technologies program.

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