We detail the pathways involved in the neural regulation of the cardiovascular system and provide pharmacological and neuroimaging data in support of the neural structures linking the central nervous system to HRV in humans. We review a number of studies from our group showing that individual differences in HRV are related to performance on tasks associated with executive function and prefrontal cortical activity. These studies include comparisons of executive- and nonexecutive-function tasks in healthy participants, in both threatening and nonthreatening conditions. In addition, we show that manipulating resting HRV levels is associated with changes in performance on executive-function tasks. We also examine the relationship between HRV and cognitive performance in ecologically valid situations using a police shooting simulation and a naval navigation simulation. Finally, we review our studies in anxiety patients, as well as studies examining psychopathy.
The mammalian striatin family consists of three proteins, striatin, S/G2 nuclear autoantigen, and zinedin. Striatin family members have no intrinsic catalytic activity, but rather function as scaffolding proteins. Remarkably, they organize multiple diverse, large signaling complexes that participate in a variety of cellular processes. Moreover, they appear to be regulatory/targeting subunits for the major eukaryotic serine/threonine protein phosphatase 2A. In addition, striatin family members associate with germinal center kinase III kinases as well as other novel components, earning these assemblies the name striatin-interacting phosphatase and kinase (STRIPAK) complexes. Recently, there has been a great increase in functional and mechanistic studies aimed at identifying and understanding the roles of STRIPAK and STRIPAK-like complexes in cellular processes of multiple organisms. These studies have identified novel STRIPAK and STRIPAK-like complexes and have explored their roles in specific signaling pathways. Together, the results of these studies have sparked increased interest in striatin family complexes because they have revealed roles in signaling, cell cycle control, apoptosis, vesicular trafficking, Golgi assembly, cell polarity, cell migration, neural and vascular development, and cardiac function. Moreover, STRIPAK complexes have been connected to clinical conditions, including cardiac disease, diabetes, autism, and cerebral cavernous malformation. In this review, we discuss the expression, localization, and protein domain structure of striatin family members. Then we consider the diverse complexes these proteins and their homologs form in various organisms, emphasizing what is known regarding function and regulation. Finally, we explore possible roles of striatin family complexes in disease, especially cerebral cavernous malformation.
Brains are most simply compared in terms of their size. The relationship between brain size , body size and other variables has been studied across a wide range of vertebrate species. As a rule, brain size increases with body size, but not in a simple linear proportion. In general, smaller animals tend to have larger brains, measured as a fraction of body size. For mammals, the relationship between brain volume and body mass essentially follows a power law with an exponent of about .  This formula describes the central tendency, but every family of mammals departs from it to some degree, in a way that reflects in part the complexity of their behavior. For example, primates have brains 5 to 10 times larger than the formula predicts. Predators tend to have larger brains than their prey, relative to body size.