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Psychological Issues in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889197583 Year: Pages: 103 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-758-3 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Psychology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2016-04-07 11:22:02
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Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a fatal and progressive disease, characterized by progressive muscles weakness, with consequent loss of physical capacities. Patients become relentlessly immobile and, in the late stages of the disease, develop a "locked-in" state in which only residual muscular movement is possible, but the intellect and the personality usually remain unimpaired. At now, there is no cure for ALS. The psychological impact of the disease is huge, on both patients and caregivers. Aim of the present Research Topic is to collect new evidence about quality of life, depression, anxiety, pain, spiritual and existential issues, hope and hopelessness in the ALS field, with attention to both patients and their caregivers. Emphasis will be provided to the investigation of psychological support and the possible role of psychologists in this challenging field. Keywords: Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis; Health Psychology; Clinical Psychology, Motor Neuron Disorder; Quality of Life. Subtopics:The subtopics to be covered in the Research Topic include, but not limited to:1. Assessment of psychological variables in ALS2. Quality of life during the course of the illness3. Impact of technological assistance to illness (wheelchairs, NIV...)4. Interfaces among biological, psychosocial, and social factors5. Psychological and psychotherapeutic interventions6. Couple and family relationships7. Research methodology, measurement and statistics8. Cultural and social features of ALS9. Professional issues, including training and supervision10. Implications of research findings for health-related policy

The Psychology of Magic and the Magic of Psychology

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889450084 Year: Pages: 175 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88945-008-4 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Science (General) --- Psychology
Added to DOAB on : 2018-02-27 16:16:44
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Magicians have dazzled audiences for many centuries; however, few researchers have studied how, let alone why, most tricks work. The psychology of magic is a nascent field of research that examines the underlying mechanisms that conjurers use to achieve enchanting phenomena, including sensory illusions, misdirection of attention, and the appearance of mind-control and nuanced persuasion. Most studies to date have focused on either the psychological principles involved in watching and performing magic or “neuromagic” - the neural correlates of such phenomena. Whereas performers sometimes question the contributions that modern science may offer to the advancement of the magical arts, the history of magic reveals that scientific discovery often charts new territories for magicians. In this research topic we sketch out the symbiotic relationship between psychological science and the art of magic. On the one hand, magic can inform psychology, with particular benefits for the cognitive, social, developmental, and transcultural components of behavioural science. Magicians have a large and robust set of effects that most researchers rarely exploit. Incorporating these effects into existing experimental, even clinical, paradigms paves the road to innovative trajectories in the study of human behaviour. For example, magic provides an elegant way to study the behaviour of participants who may believe they had made choices that they actually did not make. Moreover, magic fosters a more ecological approach to experimentation whereby scientists can probe participants in more natural environments compared to the traditional lab-based settings. Examining how magicians consistently influence spectators, for example, can elucidate important aspects in the study of persuasion, trust, decision-making, and even processes spanning authorship and agency. Magic thus offers a largely underused armamentarium for the behavioural scientist and clinician. On the other hand, psychological science can advance the art of magic. The psychology of deception, a relatively understudied field, explores the intentional creation of false beliefs and how people often go wrong. Understanding how to methodically exploit the tenuous twilight zone of human vulnerabilities – perceptual, logical, emotional, and temporal – becomes all the more revealing when top-down influences, including expectation, symbolic thinking, and framing, join the fray. Over the years, science has permitted magicians to concoct increasingly effective routines and to elicit heightened feelings of wonder from audiences. Furthermore, on occasion science leads to the creation of novel effects, or the refinement of existing ones, based on systematic methods. For example, by simulating a specific card routine using a series of computer stimuli, researchers have decomposed the effect to assess its essential elements. Other magic effects depend on meaningful psychological knowledge, such as which type of information is difficult to retain or what changes capture attention. Behavioural scientists measure and study these factors. By combining analytical findings with performer intuitions, psychological science begets effective magic. Whereas science strives on parsimony and independent replication of results, magic thrives on reproducing the same effect with multiple methods to obscure parsimony and minimise detection. This Research Topic explores the seemingly orthogonal approaches of scientists and magicians by highlighting the crosstalk as well as rapprochement between psychological science and the art of deception.

Keywords

Magic --- Psychology --- deception --- Misdirection --- persuasion --- Illusion --- wonder

Turn-Taking in Human Communicative Interaction

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISBN: 9782889198252 Year: Pages: 291 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-825-2 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA Grant: Max Planck Gesellschaft
Subject: Psychology
Added to DOAB on : 2016-01-19 14:05:46
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The core use of language is in face-to-face conversation. This is characterized by rapid turn-taking. This turn-taking poses a number central puzzles for the psychology of language. Consider, for example, that in large corpora the gap between turns is on the order of 100 to 300 ms, but the latencies involved in language production require minimally between 600ms (for a single word) or 1500 ms (for as simple sentence). This implies that participants in conversation are predicting the ends of the incoming turn and preparing in advance. But how is this done? What aspects of this prediction are done when? What happens when the prediction is wrong? What stops participants coming in too early? If the system is running on prediction, why is there consistently a mode of 100 to 300 ms in response time? 

The timing puzzle raises further puzzles: it seems that comprehension must run parallel with the preparation for production, but it has been presumed that there are strict cognitive limitations on more than one central process running at a time. How is this bottleneck overcome? Far from being 'easy' as some psychologists have suggested, conversation may be one of the most demanding cognitive tasks in our everyday lives. Further questions naturally arise: how do children learn to master this demanding task, and what is the developmental trajectory in this domain? 

Research shows that aspects of turn-taking such as its timing are remarkably stable across languages and cultures, but the word order of languages varies enormously. How then does prediction of the incoming turn work when the verb (often the informational nugget in a clause) is at the end? Conversely, how can production work fast enough in languages that have the verb at the beginning, thereby requiring early planning of the whole clause? What happens when one changes modality, as in sign languages -- with the loss of channel constraints is turn-taking much freer? And what about face-to-face communication amongst hearing individuals -- do gestures, gaze, and other body behaviors facilitate turn-taking? One can also ask the phylogenetic question: how did such a system evolve? There seem to be parallels (analogies) in duetting bird species, and in a variety of monkey species, but there is little evidence of anything like this among the great apes. 

All this constitutes a neglected set of problems at the heart of the psychology of language and of the language sciences. This research topic welcomes contributions from right across the board, for example from psycholinguists, developmental psychologists, students of dialogue and conversation analysis, linguists interested in the use of language, phoneticians, corpus analysts and comparative ethologists or psychologists. We welcome contributions of all sorts, for example original research papers, opinion pieces, and reviews of work in subfields that may not be fully understood in other subfields.

Dysregulation of Autonomic Cardiac Control by Traumatic Stress and Anxiety

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889199150 Year: Pages: 118 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-915-0 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Science (General) --- Psychology
Added to DOAB on : 2016-01-19 14:05:46
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Current understanding of the interplay between sympathetic and parasympathetic influences on cardiac response to environmental stimuli and subsequent response selection (e.g. maintenance of resting homeostasis, mobilization of defensive response, task performance, tonic immobilization, and/or affiliation) will be explored. Reference will be made to how these processes conjoin with proposed polyvagal theory. Cardiac adjustments to environmental stimuli affect the internal physiological state of the organism as well as the quality of information processing that the individual can perform during the stimulus appraisal stage of the orienting response. Bradyrdia is adaptive in early stages of orientation to novel or potential threat, while greater HRV power serves to facilitate self-regulation, stimulus information processing and appraisal, and appropriate response selection. This issue is devoted to current research findings on how normal patterns of cardiac autonomic regulation of HRV are disrupted in PTSD, impairing sustained attention to the environment and increasing the rate of inappropriate responding to stimuli. Origins of our current state of understanding in the ‘intake-rejection’ hypothesis will be considered, and how the intake-rejection hypothesis has morphed into present-day Optimal Performance practice. Additionally, empirical data where available will be presented on how dysregulation of the normal pattern of cardiac autonomic regulation by PTSD impairs sustained attention to the environment, and increases the rate of inappropriate responding to stimuli through disinhibition, poor impulse control, emotional withdrawal, over-arousal, and attentional bias. Current research findings are sought that address in controlled, experimental and clinical trials the restorative effects of HRV biofeedback on HRV power, and how increases in HRV power relate to improved attention / immediate memory and self-regulation of affect using outcome measures of cognition, symptoms of PTSD and depression, stress perception, and level of adaptive function.

Evolutionary Theory: Fringe or Central to Psychological Science

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889199204 Year: Pages: 62 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-920-4 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Science (General) --- Psychology
Added to DOAB on : 2016-01-19 14:05:46
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The computational theory of mind, which views the brain as an information processor that operates on cognitive representations, is central to modern cognitive psychology and is the dominant perspective from which brain function is conceptualized and studied. Evolutionary Psychology (EP) is the application of evolutionary theory to understanding human behaviour and cognition. Unlike other core Psychology topic areas (such as Personality, Learning or Developmental Psychology), however, EP is not defined by the subset of psychological phenomena it seeks to describe and understand. It is instead defined by a specific meta-theoretical perspective, from which it seeks to (potentially) explain all psychological phenomena. The central question posed by this volume is whether this over-arching nature provides an opportunity for evolutionary approaches to offer an alternative meta-theoretical perspective to the information processing / representational view of brain function and behavior.

Research Methods Pedagogy: Engaging Psychology Students in Research Methods and Statistics

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889450107 Year: Pages: 102 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88945-010-7 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Science (General) --- Psychology
Added to DOAB on : 2018-02-27 16:16:44
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Research methods and statistics are central to the development of professional competence and evidence based psychological practice. Furthermore, the ability to interpret and apply research findings contributes to the development of psychological literacy, the primary outcome of an undergraduate education in psychology. Despite this, many psychology students express little interest in, and in some cases an active dislike of, learning research methods and statistics. This ebook brings together current research, innovative evidence-based practice and critical discourse related to engaging psychology students in learning quantitative and qualitative mixed methods research.

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