In contrast to humans and most other animals, rhesus macaques strongly prefer risky rewards to safe ones with similar expected value. Why macaques prefer risk while other animals typically avoid it remains puzzling and challenges the idea that monkeys provide a model for human economic behavior. Here we argue that monkeys’ risk-seeking preferences are neither mysterious nor unique. Risk-seeking in macaques is possibly induced by specific elements of the tasks that have been used to measure their risk preferences. The most important of these elements are (1) very small stakes, (2) serially repeated gambles with short delays between trials, and (3) task parameters that are learned through experience, not described verbally. Together, we hypothesize that these features will readily induce risk-seeking in monkeys, humans, and rats. Thus, elements of task design that are often ignored when comparing studies of risk attitudes can easily overwhelm basal risk preferences. More broadly, these results highlight the fundamental importance of understanding the psychological basis of economic decisions in interpreting preference data and corresponding neural measures.
risk; gambling; neuroeconomics; uncertainty; macaque
The scientific interest in meditation and mindfulness practice has recently seen an unprecedented surge. After an initial phase of presenting beneficial effects of mindfulness practice in various domains, research is now seeking to unravel the underlying psychological and neurophysiological mechanisms. Advances in understanding these processes are required for improving and fine-tuning mindfulness-based interventions that target specific conditions such as eating disorders or attention deficit hyperactivity disorders. This review presents a theoretical framework that emphasizes the central role of attentional control mechanisms in the development of mindfulness skills. It discusses the phenomenological level of experience during meditation, the different attentional functions that are involved, and relates these to the brain networks that subserve these functions. On the basis of currently available empirical evidence specific processes as to how attention exerts its positive influence are considered and it is concluded that meditation practice appears to positively impact attentional functions by improving resource allocation processes. As a result, attentional resources are allocated more fully during early processing phases which subsequently enhance further processing. Neural changes resulting from a pure form of mindfulness practice that is central to most mindfulness programs are considered from the perspective that they constitute a useful reference point for future research. Furthermore, possible interrelations between the improvement of attentional control and emotion regulation skills are discussed.
meditation; mindfulness; attentional control; Stroop; attention
In humans, the hypothalamic neuropeptide oxytocin shifts the individual’s focus on self-interest toward group-serving cognitions and decision-making. Here we examine this general tendency in the context of group formation, where individuals included into their group (or not) 18 targets morphed as having low or high-threat potential (with high-threat targets being beneficial to group-interests but potentially hurting the recruiter’s self-interest). Ninety healthy males self-administered oxytocin or placebo in a randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled study design, had their hands scanned to derive fetal testosterone vs. estradiol exposure from their 2D:4D ratio, and self-reported on their chronic empathic concern. Multilevel regression models revealed that when given oxytocin rather than placebo, individuals with low fetal testosterone priming included low-threat targets more and high-threat targets (somewhat) less. Individuals with high fetal testosterone (i.e., low estradiol) exposure, however, included high-threat targets more, and low-threat targets less when given oxytocin rather than placebo. Second, when given oxytocin rather than placebo, individuals with low empathic concern included low-threat targets more and high-threat targets less. Individuals with high empathic concern, however, included high-threat targets more, and low-threat targets less when given oxytocin rather than placebo. We conclude that oxytocin shifts the individual’s focus from self to group-serving cognition and decision-making, and that these tendencies are stronger for males with high rather than low fetal testosterone vs. estradiol exposure, and high rather than low empathic concern. Implications and avenues for future research are discussed.
oxytocin; testosterone; threat; empathy; social decisions
Glucocorticoids rapidly regulate synaptic input to neuroendocrine cells in the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus (PVN) by inducing the retrograde release of endogenous messengers. Here we investigated the rapid effects of dexamethasone (DEX) on excitatory synaptic input to feeding-related, preautonomic PVN neurons using whole-cell patch-clamp recordings. In ∼50% of identified gastric-related preautonomic PVN neurons, DEX elicited a biphasic synaptic response characterized by an initial rapid and transient increase in the frequency of miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents (mEPSCs), followed by a decrease in mEPSC frequency within 9 min; remaining cells displayed only a decrease in mEPSC frequency. The late-phase decrease in mEPSC frequency was mimicked by the cannabinoid receptor agonists anandamide (AEA) and WIN 55,212-2, and it was blocked by the CB1 receptor antagonist AM251. The biphasic DEX effect was mimicked by AEA. The early increase in mEPSCs was mimicked by activation of transient receptor potential vanilloid type 1 (TRPV1) receptors with capsaicin and by activation of TRPV4 receptors with 4-α-PDD. The increase was reduced, but not blocked, by selective TRPV1 antagonists and in TRPV1 knockout mice; it was blocked completely by the broad-spectrum TRPV antagonist ruthenium red and by combined application of selective TRPV1 and TRPV4 antagonists. The DEX effects were prevented entirely by intracellular infusion of the G-protein inhibitor, GDPβS. Thus, DEX biphasically modulates synaptic glutamate onto a subset of gastric-related PVN neurons, which is likely mediated by induction of a retrograde messenger. The effect includes a TRPV1/4 receptor-mediated transient increase and subsequent CB1 receptor-mediated suppression of glutamate release. Multiphasic modulation of glutamate input to PVN neurons represents a previously unappreciated complexity of control of autonomic output by glucocorticoids and endogenous cannabinoids.
cannabinoid; vanilloid; paraventricular nucleus
Figurative artists spend years practicing their skills, analyzing objects, and scenes in order to reproduce them accurately. In their drawings, they must depict distant objects as smaller and shadowed surfaces as darker, just as they are at the level of the retinal image. However, this retinal representation is not what we consciously see. Instead, the visual system corrects for distance, changes in ambient illumination and view-point so that our conscious percept of the world remains stable. Does extensive experience modify an artist's visual system so that he or she can access this retinal, veridical image better than a non-artist? We have conducted three experiments testing artists' perceptual abilities and comparing them to those of non-artists. The subjects first attempted to match the size or the luminance of a test stimulus to a standard that could be presented either on a perspective grid (size) or within a cast shadow. They were explicitly instructed to ignore these surrounding contexts and to judge the stimulus as if it were seen in isolation. Finally, in a third task, the subjects searched for an L-shape that either contacted or did not contact an adjacent circle. When in contact, the L-shape appeared as an occluded square behind a circle. This high-level completion camouflaged the L-shape unless subjects could access the raw image. However, in all these tasks, artists were as much affected by visual context as novices. We concluded that artists have no special abilities to access early, non-corrected visual representations and that better accuracy in artists' drawings cannot be attributed to the effects of expertise on early visual processes.
artists; expertise; visual constancy; visual search; scene perception
The neuroimaging community has been increasingly called up to openly share data. Although data sharing has been a cornerstone of large-scale data consortia, the incentive for the individual researcher remains unclear. Other fields have benefited from embracing a data publication form – the data paper – that allows researchers to publish their datasets as a citable scientific publication. Such publishing mechanisms both give credit that is recognizable within the scientific ecosystem, and also ensure the quality of the published data and metadata through the peer review process. We discuss the specific challenges of adapting data papers to the needs of the neuroimaging community, and we propose guidelines for the structure as well as review process.
data paper; data sharing; credit assignment; data quality; peer review
To survive and successfully reproduce animals need to maintain a balanced intake of nutrients and energy. The nervous system of insects has evolved multiple mechanisms to regulate feeding behavior. When animals are faced with the choice to feed, several decisions must be made: whether or not to eat, how much to eat, what to eat, and when to eat. Using Drosophila melanogaster substantial progress has been achieved in understanding the neuronal and molecular mechanisms controlling feeding decisions. These feeding decisions are implemented in the nervous system on multiple levels, from alterations in the sensitivity of peripheral sensory organs to the modulation of memory systems. This review discusses methodologies developed in order to study insect feeding, the effects of neuropeptides and neuromodulators on feeding behavior, behavioral evidence supporting the existence of internal energy sensors, neuronal and molecular mechanisms controlling protein intake, and finally the regulation of feeding by circadian rhythms and sleep. From the discussed data a conceptual framework starts to emerge which aims to explain the molecular and neuronal processes maintaining the stability of the internal milieu.
behavior; sensory systems; feeding; olfaction; taste; neuromodulators; neuropeptides; internal state
A history of early life adversity (ELA) has health-related consequences that persist beyond the initial maltreatment and into adulthood. Childhood adversity is associated with abnormal glucocorticoid signaling within the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and the development of functional pain disorders such as the irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). IBS and many adult psychopathologies are more frequently diagnosed in women, and ovarian hormones have been shown to modulate pain sensitivity. Therefore, the sexually dimorphic effects of ELA and the role of ovarian hormones in visceral pain perception represent critical research concepts to enhance our understanding of the etiology of IBS. In this review, we discuss current animal models of ELA and the potential mechanisms through which ovarian hormones modulate the HPA axis to alter nociceptive signaling pathways and induce functionally relevant changes in pain behaviors following ELA.
early life stress; neonatal stress; visceral pain; HPA; sex differences; glucocorticoid
We present an FPGA implementation of a re-configurable, polychronous spiking neural network with a large capacity for spatial-temporal patterns. The proposed neural network generates delay paths de novo, so that only connections that actually appear in the training patterns will be created. This allows the proposed network to use all the axons (variables) to store information. Spike Timing Dependent Delay Plasticity is used to fine-tune and add dynamics to the network. We use a time multiplexing approach allowing us to achieve 4096 (4k) neurons and up to 1.15 million programmable delay axons on a Virtex 6 FPGA. Test results show that the proposed neural network is capable of successfully recalling more than 95% of all spikes for 96% of the stored patterns. The tests also show that the neural network is robust to noise from random input spikes.
neuromorphic engineering; polychronous network; time multiplexing; spiking neurons; delay adaptation
In this paper we review several ways of realizing asynchronous Spike-Timing-Dependent-Plasticity (STDP) using memristors as synapses. Our focus is on how to use individual memristors to implement synaptic weight multiplications, in a way such that it is not necessary to (a) introduce global synchronization and (b) to separate memristor learning phases from memristor performing phases. In the approaches described, neurons fire spikes asynchronously when they wish and memristive synapses perform computation and learn at their own pace, as it happens in biological neural systems. We distinguish between two different memristor physics, depending on whether they respond to the original “moving wall” or to the “filament creation and annihilation” models. Independent of the memristor physics, we discuss two different types of STDP rules that can be implemented with memristors: either the pure timing-based rule that takes into account the arrival time of the spikes from the pre- and the post-synaptic neurons, or a hybrid rule that takes into account only the timing of pre-synaptic spikes and the membrane potential and other state variables of the post-synaptic neuron. We show how to implement these rules in cross-bar architectures that comprise massive arrays of memristors, and we discuss applications for artificial vision.
memristor/cmos; artificial-learning-synapses; spike-timing-dependent-plasticity; spiking-neural-networks
In this study, we present a highly configurable neuromorphic computing substrate and use it for emulating several types of neural networks. At the heart of this system lies a mixed-signal chip, with analog implementations of neurons and synapses and digital transmission of action potentials. Major advantages of this emulation device, which has been explicitly designed as a universal neural network emulator, are its inherent parallelism and high acceleration factor compared to conventional computers. Its configurability allows the realization of almost arbitrary network topologies and the use of widely varied neuronal and synaptic parameters. Fixed-pattern noise inherent to analog circuitry is reduced by calibration routines. An integrated development environment allows neuroscientists to operate the device without any prior knowledge of neuromorphic circuit design. As a showcase for the capabilities of the system, we describe the successful emulation of six different neural networks which cover a broad spectrum of both structure and functionality.
accelerated neuromorphic hardware system; universal computing substrate; highly configurable; mixed-signal VLSI; spiking neural networks; soft winner-take-all; classifier; cortical model
Gene expression profiling was performed on the human neuroglial cell line T98G after treatment with adaptogen ADAPT-232 and its constituents – extracts of Eleutherococcus senticosus root, Schisandra chinensis berry, and Rhodiola rosea root as well as several constituents individually, namely, eleutheroside E, schizandrin B, salidroside, triandrin, and tyrosol. A common feature for all tested adaptogens was their effect on G-protein-coupled receptor signaling pathways, i.e., cAMP, phospholipase C (PLC), and phosphatidylinositol signal transduction pathways. Adaptogens may reduce the cAMP level in brain cells by down-regulation of adenylate cyclase gene ADC2Y and up-regulation of phosphodiesterase gene PDE4D that is essential for energy homeostasis as well as for switching from catabolic to anabolic states and vice versa. Down-regulation of cAMP by adaptogens may decrease cAMP-dependent protein kinase A activity in various cells resulting in inhibition stress-induced catabolic transformations and saving of ATP for many ATP-dependant metabolic transformations. All tested adaptogens up-regulated the PLCB1 gene, which encodes phosphoinositide-specific PLC and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinases (PI3Ks), key players for the regulation of NF-κB-mediated defense responses. Other common targets of adaptogens included genes encoding ERα estrogen receptor (2.9–22.6 fold down-regulation), cholesterol ester transfer protein (5.1–10.6 fold down-regulation), heat shock protein Hsp70 (3.0–45.0 fold up-regulation), serpin peptidase inhibitor (neuroserpin), and 5-HT3 receptor of serotonin (2.2–6.6 fold down-regulation). These findings can be reconciled with the observed beneficial effects of adaptogens in behavioral, mental, and aging-associated disorders. Combining two or more active substances in one mixture significantly changes deregulated genes profiles: synergetic interactions result in activation of genes that none of the individual substances affected, while antagonistic interactions result in suppression some genes activated by individual substances. These interactions can have an influence on transcriptional control of metabolic regulation both on the cellular level and the level of the whole organism. Merging of deregulated genes array profiles and intracellular networks is specific to the new substance with unique pharmacological characteristics. Presumably, this phenomenon could be used to eliminate undesirable effects (e.g., toxic effects) and increase the selectivity of pharmacological intervention.
pharmacogenomics; Rhodiola rosea; Schisandra chinensis; Eleutherococcus senticosus; ADAPT-232; salidroside; eleutheroside E; schizandrin B
An important goal in neuroscience is to understand gene expression patterns in the brain. The recent availability of comprehensive and detailed expression atlases for mouse and human creates opportunities to discover global patterns and perform cross-species comparisons. Recently we reported that the major source of variation in gene transcript expression in the adult normal mouse brain can be parsimoniously explained as reflecting regional variation in glia to neuron ratios, and is correlated with degree of connectivity and location in the brain along the anterior-posterior axis. Here we extend this investigation to two gene expression assays of adult normal human brains that consisted of over 300 brain region samples, and perform comparative analyses of brain-wide expression patterns to the mouse. We performed principal components analysis (PCA) on the regional gene expression of the adult human brain to identify the expression pattern that has the largest variance. As in the mouse, we observed that the first principal component is composed of two anti-correlated patterns enriched in oligodendrocyte and neuron markers respectively. However, we also observed interesting discordant patterns between the two species. For example, a few mouse neuron markers show expression patterns that are more correlated with the human oligodendrocyte-enriched pattern and vice-versa. In conclusion, our work provides insights into human brain function and evolution by probing global relationships between regional cell type marker expression patterns in the human and mouse brain.
gene expression pattern; transcriptome; cell type; neuron; glia; evolution
Central proopiomelanocortin (POMC) neurons form a potent anorexigenic network, but our understanding of the integration of this hypothalamic circuit throughout the central nervous system (CNS) remains incomplete. POMC neurons extend projections along the rostrocaudal axis of the brain, and can signal with both POMC-derived peptides and fast amino acid neurotransmitters. Although recent experimental advances in circuit-level manipulation have been applied to POMC neurons, many pivotal questions still remain: how and where do POMC neurons integrate metabolic information? Under what conditions do POMC neurons release bioactive molecules throughout the CNS? Are GABA and glutamate or neuropeptides released from POMC neurons more crucial for modulating feeding and metabolism? Resolving the exact stoichiometry of signals evoked from POMC neurons under different metabolic conditions therefore remains an ongoing endeavor. In this review, we analyze the anatomical atlas of this network juxtaposed to the physiological signaling of POMC neurons both in vitro and in vivo. We also consider novel genetic tools to further characterize the function of the POMC circuit in vivo. Our goal is to synthesize a global view of the POMC network, and to highlight gaps that require further research to expand our knowledge on how these neurons modulate energy balance.
proopiomelanocortin neurons; hypothalamus; arcuate nucleus; energy homeostasis; neural networks; metabolism; obesity
Over the last 15 years, considerable work has accumulated to support the role of the CNS in regulating postprandial glucose levels. As discussed in the first section of this review, the CNS receives and integrates information from afferent neurons, circulating hormones, and postprandially generated nutrients to subsequently direct changes in glucose output by the liver and glucose uptake by peripheral tissues. The second major component of this review focuses on the effects of external pressures, including high fat diet and changes to the light:dark cycle on CNS-regulating glucose homeostasis. We also discuss the interaction between these different pressures and how they contribute to the multifaceted mechanisms that we hypothesize contribute to the dysregulation of glucose in type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). We argue that while current peripheral therapies serve to delay the progression of T2DM, generating combined obesity and T2DM therapies targeted at the CNS, the primary site of dysfunction for both diseases, would lead to a more profound impact on the progression of both diseases.
arcuate nucleus; brain; glucose metabolism; circadian; high fat diet
Microarray-based transcriptional profiling was used to determine the effect of nicotinamide on gene expression in an experimental traumatic brain injury (TBI) model. Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA) was used to evaluate the effect on relevant functional categories and canonical pathways. At 24 h, 72 h, and 7 days, respectively, 70, 58, and 76%, of the differentially expressed genes were up-regulated in the vehicle treated compared to the sham animals. At 24 h post-TBI, there were 150 differentially expressed genes in the nicotinamide treated animals compared to vehicle; the majority (82%) down-regulated. IPA analysis identified a significant effect of nicotinamide on the functional categories of cellular movement, cell-to-cell-signaling, antigen presentation and cellular compromise, function, and maintenance and cell death. The canonical pathways identified were signaling pathways primarily involved with the inflammatory process. At 72 h post-cortical contusion injury, there were 119 differentially expressed genes in the nicotinamide treated animals compared to vehicle; the majority (90%) was up-regulated. IPA analysis identified a significant effect of nicotinamide on cell signaling pathways involving neurotransmitters, neuropeptides, growth factors, and ion channels with little to no effect on inflammatory pathways. At 7 days post-TBI, there were only five differentially expressed genes with nicotinamide treatment compared to vehicle. Overall, the effect of nicotinamide on counteracting the effect of TBI resulted in significantly decreased number of genes differentially expressed by TBI. In conclusion, the mechanism of the effect of nicotinamide on secondary injury pathways involves effects on inflammatory response, signaling pathways, and cell death.
nicotinamide; gene expression; cortical contusion model; traumatic brain injury
Seasonal mammals use the photoperiodic variation in the nocturnal production of the pineal hormone melatonin to synchronize their reproductive activity with seasons. In rodents, the (SD) short day profile of melatonin secretion has long been proven to inhibit reproductive activity. Lately, we demonstrated that melatonin regulates the expression of the hypothalamic peptides kisspeptins (Kp) and RFamide-related peptide-3 (RFRP-3), recently discovered as potent regulators of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) neuron activity. In the male Syrian hamster, Kp expression in the arcuate nucleus is down-regulated by melatonin independently of the inhibitory feedback of testosterone. A central or peripheral administration of Kp induces an increase in pituitary gonadotropins and gonadal hormone secretion, but most importantly a chronic infusion of the peptide reactivates the photo-inhibited reproductive axis of Syrian hamsters kept in SD conditions. RFRP-3 expression in the dorsomedial hypothalamus is also strongly inhibited by melatonin in a SD photoperiod. Although RFRP-3 is usually considered as an inhibitory component of the gonadotropic axis, a central acute administration of RFRP-3 in the male Syrian hamster induces a marked increase in gonadotropin secretion and testosterone production. Furthermore, a chronic central infusion of RFRP-3 in SD-adapted hamsters reactivates the reproductive axis, in the same manner as Kp. Both Kp and RFRP-3 neurons project onto GnRH neurons and both neuropeptides regulate GnRH neuron activity. In addition, central RFRP-3 infusion was associated with a significant increase in arcuate Kp expression. However, the actual sites of action of both peptides in the Syrian hamster brain are still unknown. Altogether our findings indicate that Kp and RFRP neurons are pivotal relays for the seasonal regulation of reproduction, and also suggest that RFRP neurons might be the primary target of the melatoninergic message.
seasonal reproduction; melatonin; kisspeptin; RFRP-3; syrian hamster
Recognizing and responding to a remembered stimulus requires the coordination of perception, working memory, and decision-making. To investigate the role of visual cortex in these processes, we recorded responses of single V4 neurons during performance of a delayed match-to-sample task that incorporates rapid serial visual presentation of natural images. We found that neuronal activity during the delay period after the cue but before the images depends on the identity of the remembered image and that this change persists while distractors appear. This persistent response modulation has been identified as a diagnostic criterion for putative working memory signals; our data thus suggest that working memory may involve reactivation of sensory neurons. When the remembered image reappears in the neuron’s receptive field, visually evoked responses are enhanced; this match enhancement is a diagnostic criterion for decision. One model that predicts these data is the matched filter hypothesis, which holds that during search V4 neurons change their tuning so as to match the remembered cue, and thus become detectors for that image. More generally, these results suggest that V4 neurons participate in the perceptual, working memory, and decision processes that are needed to perform memory-guided decision-making.
matched filter; attention; feature-based attention; rapid serial visual presentation; delayed match-to-sample
The aim of the study was to investigate conditioned electroencephalography (EEG) responses to factually correct and incorrect statements in order to enable binary communication by means of a brain-computer interface (BCI). In two experiments with healthy participants true and false statements (serving as conditioned stimuli, CSs) were paired with two different tones which served as unconditioned stimuli (USs). The features of the USs were varied and tested for their effectiveness to elicit differentiable conditioned reactions (CRs). After acquisition of the CRs, these CRs to true and false statements were classified offline using a radial basis function kernel support vector machine. A mean single-trial classification accuracy of 50.5% was achieved for differentiating conditioned “yes” versus “no” thinking and mean accuracies of 65.4% for classification of “yes” and 68.8% for “no” thinking (both relative to baseline) were found using the best US. Analysis of the area under the curve of the conditioned EEG responses revealed significant differences between conditioned “yes” and “no” answers. Even though improvements are necessary, these first results indicate that the semantic conditioning paradigm could be a useful basis for further research regarding BCI communication in patients in the complete locked-in state.
brain-computer interface; classical conditioning; EEG; auditory; semantic conditioning; brain communication
The neuropeptide Y (NPY) family receptors and peptides have previously been characterized in several tetrapods, teleost fishes, and in a holocephalan cartilaginous fish. This has shown that the ancestral NPY system in the jawed vertebrates consisted of the peptides NPY and peptide YY (PYY) and seven G-protein-coupled receptors named Y1–Y8 (Y3 does not exist). The different vertebrate lineages have subsequently lost or gained a few receptor genes. For instance, the human genome has lost three of the seven receptors while the zebrafish has lost two and gained two receptor genes. Here we describe the NPY system of a representative of an early diverging lineage among the sarcopterygians, the West Indian Ocean coelacanth Latimeria chalumnae. The coelacanth was found to have retained all seven receptors from the ancestral jawed vertebrate. The receptors display the typical characteristics found in other vertebrates. Interestingly, the coelacanth was found to have the local duplicate of the PYY gene, called pancreatic polypeptide, previously only identified in tetrapods. Thus, this duplication took place very early in the sarcopterygian lineage, before the origin of tetrapods. These findings confirm the ancient complexity of the NPY system and show that mammals have lost more NPY receptors than any other vertebrate lineage. The coelacanth has all three peptides found in tetrapods and has retained the ancestral jawed vertebrate receptor repertoire with neither gains or losses.
G-protein-coupled receptor; neuropeptide Y; peptide YY; pancreatic polypeptide; coelacanth; Latimeria chalumnae
Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) studies are increasingly popular among clinicians and researchers as they provide unique insights into brain network connectivity. However, in order to optimize the use of DTI, several technical and methodological aspects must be factored in. These include decisions on: acquisition protocol, artifact handling, data quality control, reconstruction algorithm, and visualization approaches, and quantitative analysis methodology. Furthermore, the researcher and/or clinician also needs to take into account and decide on the most suited software tool(s) for each stage of the DTI analysis pipeline. Herein, we provide a straightforward hitchhiker's guide, covering all of the workflow's major stages. Ultimately, this guide will help newcomers navigate the most critical roadblocks in the analysis and further encourage the use of DTI.
diffusion tensor imaging; hitchhiker's guide; acquisition; analysis; processing