SAGE Journal Articles

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Journal Article 1: Brooks, E. M. (2016). How the brain understands: Explanation of consciousness and understanding. Imagination, Cognition, and Consciousness in Personality: Consciousness in Theory, Research, and Clinical Practice, 35(4), 397-412.

Abstract: Understanding and consciousness are two of the most fundamental functions of the mind. While understanding is semantically different from consciousness, the two functions are explicated as being very much the same physiologically. Their physiologies are elucidated. Genetic research is cited which clearly demonstrates that both functions are physical and indicates the role of qualitative neurons or qualitative proteins as instantiations of both functions. The roles of synecdoche and semi-independent memory item are reviewed. In addition, reasons are presented for the historical unfathomability of consciousness and understanding and the applicability of the concept of a “fact of nature” is explained.

Journal Article 2: Chen, M. C., Chiang, W.-Y., Yugay, T., Patxot, M., Özçivit, Ï. B., Hu, K., & Lu, J. (2016). Anterior insula regulates multiscale temporal organization of sleep and wake activityJournal of Biological Rhythms, 31(2), 182-193.
doi: 10.1177/0748730415627035.

Abstract: The role of specific cortical regions in sleep-regulating circuits is unclear. The anterior insula (AI) has strong reciprocal connectivity with wake and sleep-promoting hypothalamic and brainstem regions, and we hypothesized that the AI regulates patterns of sleep and wakefulness. To test this hypothesis, we lesioned the AI in rats (n = 8) and compared sleep, wake, and activity regulation in these animals with nonlesioned controls (n = 8) with 24-h sleep recordings and chronic infrared activity monitoring. Compared to controls, animals with AI lesions had decreased wakefulness and increased rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and non-REM (NREM) sleep. AI-lesioned animals had shorter wake bouts, especially during the active dark phase. AI-lesioned animals also had more transitions from NREM to REM sleep, especially during the inactive light phase. Chronic infrared monitoring revealed that AI-lesioned animals also had a disturbed temporal organization of locomotor activity at multiple time scales with more random activity fluctuations from 4 to 12 h despite intact circadian rhythms. These results suggest that the AI regulates sleep and activity and contributes to the regulation of sleep and motor behavior rhythmicity across multiple time scales. Dysfunction of the AI may underlie changes in sleep-wake patterns in neurological diseases.

Journal Article 3: Chi-Castañeda, D., & Ortega, A. (2016). Clock genes in glia cells: A rhythmic history. ASN Neuro, 8(5), 1-13.
doi: 10.1177/1759091416670766.

Abstract: Circadian rhythms are periodic patterns in biological processes that allow the organisms to anticipate changes in the environment. These rhythms are driven by the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), the master circadian clock in vertebrates. At a molecular level, circadian rhythms are regulated by the so-called clock genes, which oscillate in a periodic manner. The protein products of clock genes are transcription factors that control their own and other genes’ transcription, collectively known as “clock-controlled genes.” Several brain regions other than the SCN express circadian rhythms of clock genes, including the amygdala, the olfactory bulb, the retina, and the cerebellum. Glia cells in these structures are expected to participate in rhythmicity. However, only certain types of glia cells may be called “glial clocks,” since they express PER-based circadian oscillators, which depend of the SCN for their synchronization. This contribution summarizes the current information about clock genes in glia cells, their plausible role as oscillators and their medical implications.