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Dynamics of decision making: from evidence to preference and belief

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889192700 Year: Pages: 259 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-270-0 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Science (General) --- Neurology --- Psychology
Added to DOAB on : 2015-12-03 13:02:24
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At the core of the many debates throughout cognitive science concerning how decisions are made are the processes governing the time course of preference formation and decision. From perceptual choices, such as whether the signal on a radar screen indicates an enemy missile or a spot on a CT scan indicates a tumor, to cognitive value-based decisions, such as selecting an agreeable flatmate or deciding the guilt of a defendant, significant and everyday decisions are dynamic over time. Phenomena such as decoy effects, preference reversals and order effects are still puzzling researchers. For example, in a legal context, jurors receive discrete pieces of evidence in sequence, and must integrate these pieces together to reach a singular verdict. From a standard Bayesian viewpoint the order in which people receive the evidence should not influence their final decision, and yet order effects seem a robust empirical phenomena in many decision contexts. Current research on how decisions unfold, especially in a dynamic environment, is advancing our theoretical understanding of decision making. This Research Topic aims to review and further explore the time course of a decision - from how prior beliefs are formed to how those beliefs are used and updated over time, towards the formation of preferences and choices and post-decision processes and effects. Research literatures encompassing varied approaches to the time-scale of decisions will be brought into scope: a) Speeded decisions (and post-decision processes) that require the accumulation of noisy and possibly non-stationary perceptual evidence (e.g., randomly moving dots stimuli), within a few seconds, with or without temporal uncertainty. b) Temporally-extended, value-based decisions that integrate feedback values (e.g., gambling machines) and internally-generated decision criteria (e.g., when one switches attention, selectively, between the various aspects of several choice alternatives). c) Temporally extended, belief-based decisions that build on the integration of evidence, which interacts with the decision maker's belief system, towards the updating of the beliefs and the formation of judgments and preferences (as in the legal context). Research that emphasizes theoretical concerns (including optimality analysis) and mechanisms underlying the decision process, both neural and cognitive, is presented, as well as research that combines experimental and computational levels of analysis.

Interactions between emotions and social context: Basic, clinical and non-human evidence

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889193196 Year: Pages: 217 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-319-6 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Neurology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2016-02-05 17:24:33
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The emotions that we feel and also those that we perceive in others are crucial to the social functioning of both humans and non-human animals. Although the role of context has been extensively studied in basic sensory processing, its relevance for social cognition and emotional processing is little understood. In recent years, several lines of research at the behavioral and neural levels have highlighted the bidirectional interactions that take place between emotions and social context. Experienced emotions, even when incidental, bias decision-making. Remarkably, even basic emotions can be strongly influenced by situational contexts. In addition, both humans and non-human animals can use emotional expressions strategically as a means of influencing and managing the behavioral response of others in relation to specific environmental situations. Moreover, social emotions (e.g., engaged in moral judgment, empathic concern and social norms) seem to be context-dependent, which also questions a purely abstract account of emotion understanding and expression, as well as other social cognition domains. The present Research Topic of Frontiers in Human Neuroscience highlights the need for a situated approach to emotion and social cognition. We presented theoretical and empirical work at the behavioral and neural levels that contribute to our understanding of emotion within a highly contextualized social realm, and vice-versa. Relevant contributions are presented from diverse fields, including ethology, neurology, biology, cognitive and social neuroscience, and as well as psychology and neuropsychiatry. This integrated approach that entails the interaction between emotion and social context provide important new insights into the growing field of social neuroscience.

Why and how is the self related to the brain midline regions?

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889192656 Year: Pages: 207 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-265-6 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Neurology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2015-12-03 13:02:24
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What the self is and where it comes from has been one of the great problems of philosophy for thousands of years. As science and medicine have progressed this question has moved to also become a central one in psychology, psychiatry, and neuroscience. The advent of in vivo brain imaging has now allowed the scientific investigation of the self to progress further than ever. Many such imaging studies have indicated that brain structures along the cortical midline are particularly closely related to self-specific processing. This association between cortical midline structures (CMS) and self is reinforced by the involvement of these regions in other self-oriented processes, such as mind-wandering or stimulus valuation. Those midline regions involved in self- processing also overlap with another network, the default mode network, which shows high brain activity during the so-called resting state, indicating that there may be a special relationship between self-processing and intrinsic activity. Although such promising groundwork linking the self and CMS has been carried out, many questions remain. These include: what features of the midline regions lead to their apparent importance in self-processing? How can we appropriately account for confounding factors such as familiarity or task-effects in our experiments? How is the self-related to other features of the mind, such as consciousness? How is our methodology influencing our attempts to link the self and the brain? The purpose of this ebook is to address some of these questions, including opinions, perspectives, and hypotheses about the concept of the self, the relationship between CMS and the self, and the specific function of these brain regions in self-processing. It also includes original research papers describing EEG, fMRI, and behavioral experiments investigating different aspects of the self.

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