13 October 2017, Volume 35 Issue 19

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    Exclusive:Sensory Integration and Its Brain Mechanisms
  • BAO Min, HUANG Changbing, WANG Li, ZHANG Tao, JIANG Yi
    Science & Technology Review. 2017, 35(19): 15-20. https://doi.org/10.3981/j.issn.1000-7857.2017.19.001
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    Vision is often recognized as one of the most important senses, as we get much useful information about the world around us from what we see. In this paper we systematically review the research progress on visual information processing. We first focus on the key questions about how the brain processes and represents visual information. Then, we discuss the recent work on visual plasticity, perceptual learning and bio-social information perception, offering a new understanding of visual information processing and its brain mechanism.
  • LIANG Baishen, DU Yi
    Science & Technology Review. 2017, 35(19): 21-28. https://doi.org/10.3981/j.issn.1000-7857.2017.19.002
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    The way our brains perceive and comprehend speech remains an essential issue in psychology and brain science. In recent years, consensus has gradually been made on that the speech motor system (SMS) contributes to speech perception in a modulatory and compensatory manner, especially under noise masking or speech degradation circumstances. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, the current work investigates neural mechanisms of sensorimotor integration and compensation during syllable identification task in noisy conditions. Study 1 reveals an increment of the SMS involvement as the task difficulty increases. In addition, the SMS shows more robust specificity of phoneme representations than auditory regions in noisy conditions, as such a superiority climaxes at moderate noise levels. Study 2 finds that older adults with normal hearing have difficulty in syllable-in-noise identification. Compared with younger counterparts, the elders rely more on increased recruitment of the SMS and preserved speech motoric representations, which are less affected by noise and aging effects than auditory ones, to compensate for deficient auditory encoding. Our findings deepen the knowledge of neural mechanisms underlying cross-modal sensorimotor integration in speech perception and its life-span developmental changes. Moreover, new insights could be given on designing and implementing rehabilitative and training regimens for speech comprehension (e.g., SMS-targeted brain enhancement) in older adults with or without hearing loss.
  • CHEN Wei, CHEN Kepu, ZHOU Bin, ZHOU Wen
    Science & Technology Review. 2017, 35(19): 29-36. https://doi.org/10.3981/j.issn.1000-7857.2017.19.003
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    Olfaction is a chemoreception that occurs when odorants bind to olfactory receptors located in the nasal cavity. Recent research on human olfaction shows that it not only enables odor identification but also automatically evokes emotional response and subtly mediates interpersonal communication. By integrating with vision, the sense of smell facilitates object perception and influences socioemotional processing. Moreover, the combination of olfaction, taste and other senses forms flavor perception, which gives rise to the enjoyable experiences of eating and drinking.
  • ZHOU Lili, YAO Xinru, TANG Zhengyu, REN Qiaoyue, LÜ Xuejing, HU Li
    Science & Technology Review. 2017, 35(19): 37-43. https://doi.org/10.3981/j.issn.1000-7857.2017.19.004
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    To perceive external environment more efficiently, the sensory information derived from the modality of touch, or tactile information, is processed in terms of its physical features and affective responses to these features. This review summarizes the current understanding about how haptic information is processed in skin, spinal cord, and cerebral cortex of animals and humans. Typically, different non-noxious somatosensory information is coded by various cutaneous sensory neurons called low-threshold mechanoreceptors (LTMRs). Next, haptic processing starts at the dorsal horn of the spinal cord, and then it partially segregates into different pathways, transmitting information to the somatosensory cortex, the first crucial brain area for haptic information processing. Moreover, several relatively independent brain networks are responsible for the processing of different properties of haptic information. Finally, by discussing the interactions between touch and other sensory modalities, we argue that such interactions are plastic, which is warranted in the future work to generate extensive value in applications.
  • LUO Fei
    Science & Technology Review. 2017, 35(19): 44-48. https://doi.org/10.3981/j.issn.1000-7857.2017.19.005
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    Pain has long been a clinical, psychological, and social issue for human beings. Based on the progress of studies on pain mechanisms in neuroscience, more investigations are increasingly focusing on the pain-related psychological processes. Pain or nociception may have appeared pretty early in evolution, and may have long acquired its psychological and social attributes. From the innumerous amount of sensory inputs, our brain presents nociceptive information to our consciousness in the form of pain sensation. The extent of damage is reflected as pain affect. Similar protocols are also employed to reflect impacts in social relations. Different life experiences may thus generate great difference in pain cognition. Understanding pain from the view of both psychology and neuroscience may shed light on the depiction of pain per se.
  • YE Zheng
    Science & Technology Review. 2017, 35(19): 49-55. https://doi.org/10.3981/j.issn.1000-7857.2017.19.006
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    Parkinson's disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder following Alzheimer's disease. As the world's population aging grows at an unprecedented rate, so does the population with Parkinson's disease. Cognitive impairment and other nonmotor symptoms have become a major factor in decline of quality of life in Parkinson's patients. However, the biological mechanisms responsible for cognitive impairment in Parkinson's disease have not been identified with certainty. Cognitive impairment is common in Parkinson's patients but often not recognized in clinical practice. Efficacious therapies have to be developed for treating cognitive impairment in Parkinson's disease. This article is to review recent advances in neuroscience and medicine, from the neurochemical basis, genetic risk, and impact of other non-motor symptoms to biomarkers of Parkinson's cognitive impairment.
  • Articles
  • LI Qin, PENG Yuanzhuo, LIU Wenyong
    Science & Technology Review. 2017, 35(19): 56-61. https://doi.org/10.3981/j.issn.1000-7857.2017.19.007
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    The registration is a critical step in the computer assisted orthopaedic surgery (CAOS). The accuracy of the registration directly affects the effect of the navigation. In this paper, the influence of the fiducials configuration on the accuracy of the bi-planar method widely applied in the fluoroscopy-based navigation is investigated through theoretical analysis and computer simulation. The error distribution characteristics under the influence of the factors such as the distance between the fiducials and the number of the fiducials are obtained. The results indicate that increasing the number and spacing of the fiducials can reduce the positioning error. The configuration of the 5-point quadrangle yields a smaller error than the configurations of 4-point rectangles and 4-points triangles. This research provides a reference for the fiducials configuration selection to improve the registration accuracy in the CAOS.
  • YUE Xin'an, WAN Weixing
    Science & Technology Review. 2017, 35(19): 62-66. https://doi.org/10.3981/j.issn.1000-7857.2017.19.008
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    In real applications regarding ionospheric radio wave propagation, the community usually needs appropriate ionospheric parameters on a case by case basis, due to different methods, models, and requirements in the forecast. The kind of ‘lack of coordination’ way not only wastes resources but also degrades the application performance. In this paper we propose a new concept ‘numerical ionosphere’to describe the past, present, and future of ionospheric parameters through assimilating multiple observations into the model to solve the demand of different ionospheric parameters in various engineering applications efficiently and comprehensively.Then, we address the necessity and status of numerical ionosphere development. Finally, we focus on the main content and technical bottleneck of numerical ionosphere.
  • HE Jingjing, SHI Junping
    Science & Technology Review. 2017, 35(19): 67-73. https://doi.org/10.3981/j.issn.1000-7857.2017.19.009
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    According to Tsai theory, axial tensile experiments are carried out for basalt fiber-epoxy resin composite material (BFRP), with fiber volume fractions of 0.6%, 0.9%, 1.2% and 1.5%, and fiber orientation angle of 0°, 15°, 30° and 45°. The fiber sharing coefficient and the clustering fiber content are adopted to characterize the clustering effect of the basalt fiber in the epoxy resin, and to establish the micromechanics model and the geometry model of the clustering fiber. Meanwhile, the tensile strength of the BFRP is numerically calculated and compared.The results show that, when the fiber volume fraction is fixed, the BFRP tensile strength is decreased with the increase of the fiber orientation angle, and when the fiber orientation angle is fixed, the BFRP tensile strength is increased with the increase of the fiber volume fraction. The fiber sharing coefficient is decreased with the increase of the fiber vol-ume fraction, and the clustering fiber content is increased with the increase of the fiber volume fraction. The fiber clustering effect increases the BFRP critical fiber volume fraction as compared with the sharing one, and decreases the enhancement amplitude of the tensile strength of the basalt fiver in the epoxy resin substrate. The calculated values of the BFRP tensile strength with consideration of the fiber clustering effect are close to the experimental results.
  • Reviews
  • ZHANG Bo, ZHANG Haidong, ZHOU Yiteng, HUANG Kai, LIU Zhiqiang
    Science & Technology Review. 2017, 35(19): 74-80. https://doi.org/10.3981/j.issn.1000-7857.2017.19.010
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    Amphotericin B, as the first drug against deep fungal infection which has been used for more than fifty years, is still an indispensable antibiotic in clinical treatment. In recent years, with the development of AmB derivatives, the analysis of genome of the Streptomyces nodosus and the metabolic pathways of AmB, more and more strategies involving genetic engineering and metabolic engineering were used to study the combinatorial biosynthesis of AmB. It's obviously AmB paly an important role in clinical treatment, for this reason developing the production of AmB has significant economic and social benefits. Herein, a brief summary of AmB, the organization of the AmBiosynthetic gene cluster and its current combinatorial biosynthesis is reviewed.
  • Focus
  • LI Xiaohui, HE Defang, PENG Jie
    Science & Technology Review. 2017, 35(19): 81-84. https://doi.org/10.3981/j.issn.1000-7857.2017.19.011
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    The United States, Japan and Germany are the world's scientific and technological powers and economic powers. Their governments have long paid attention to the cooperation of industry, university and research institute to promote the transformation of scientific and technological achievements into real productivity. After several years of practicing, each of the three countries gradually formed its own unique cooperative model that suits its own national conditions. Based on the analysis of the main models of the three countries, some suggestions on promoting the development of our country's industry-university-research institute cooperations are given.
  • XU Lingyu
    Science & Technology Review. 2017, 35(19): 85-90. https://doi.org/10.3981/j.issn.1000-7857.2017.19.012
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    Quantum key distribution (QKD) uses quantum mechanics to guarantee secure communication. It enables two parties to produce a shared random secret key known only to them, which can then be used to encrypt and decrypt messages. The security of encryption that uses quantum key distribution relies on the foundation of quantum mechanics, in contrast to the traditional public key cryptography, which relies on the computational difficulty of certain mathematical functions and cannot provide any mathematical proof as to the actual complexity of reversing the one-way functions used. The history and future development of quantum cryptography are also briefly discussed.