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The Claustrum: charting a way forward for the brain's most mysterious nucleus

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889195428 Year: Pages: 141 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-542-8 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Neurology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2016-01-19 14:05:46
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The claustrum is a long, band-like grey matter structure situated in the ventrolateral telencephalon of most, if not all, mammalian brains. Due to its shape and close proximity to white matter structures and insular cortex, the anatomy and behavioral relevance of the claustrum have proven difficult to study. As a result, disagreements in the literature exist over ontogeny, phylogeny, anatomical boundaries, and connectivity. Despite this, it is generally regarded that the claustrum contains excitatory projection neurons that reciprocally connect to most regions of the cerebral cortex, a feature that has fostered varying hypotheses as to its function. These hypotheses propose multisensory integration, coordination of cortical activity for the generation of conscious percepts, or saliency filtration. The articles of this e-book consider the historical and recent highlights in claustrum structure, hodology, and function and seek to provide a compelling way forward for this “hidden” nucleus.

The Cognitive Thalamus

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889195411 Year: Pages: 125 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-541-1 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Neurology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2016-01-19 14:05:46
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Cognitive processing is commonly conceptualized as being restricted to the cerebral cortex. Accordingly, electrophysiology, neuroimaging and lesion studies involving human and animal subjects have almost exclusively focused on defining roles for cerebral cortical areas in cognition. Roles for the thalamus in cognition have been largely ignored despite the fact that the extensive connectivity between the thalamus and cerebral cortex gives rise to a closely coupled thalamo-cortical system. However, in recent years, growing interest in the thalamus as much more than a passive sensory structure, as well as methodological advances such as high-resolution functional magnetic resonance imaging of the thalamus and improved electrode targeting to subregions of thalamic nuclei using electrical stimulation and diffusion tensor imaging, have fostered research into thalamic contributions to cognition.Evidence suggests that behavioral context modulates processing in primary sensory, or first-order, thalamic nuclei (for example, the lateral geniculate and ventral posterior nuclei), allowing attentional filtering of incoming sensory information at an early stage of brain processing. Behavioral context appears to more strongly influence higher-order thalamic nuclei (for example, the pulvinar and mediodorsal nucleus), which receive major input from the cortex rather than the sensory periphery. Such higher-order thalamic nuclei have been shown to regulate information transmission in frontal and higher-order sensory cortex according to cognitive demands. This Research Topic aims to bring together neuroscientists who study different parts of the thalamus, particularly thalamic nuclei other than the primary sensory relays, and highlight the thalamic contributions to attention, memory, reward processing, decision-making, and language. By doing so, an emphasis is also placed on neural mechanisms common to many, if not all, of these cognitive operations, such as thalamo-cortical interactions and modulatory influences from sources in the brainstem and basal ganglia. The overall view that emerges is that the thalamus is a vital node in brain networks supporting cognition.

Current Research and Emerging Directions in Emotion-Cognition Interactions

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889194384 Year: Pages: 740 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-438-4 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Neurology --- Science (General) --- Psychology
Added to DOAB on : 2016-01-19 14:05:46
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Emotion can impact various aspects of our cognition and behavior, by enhancing or impairing them (e.g., enhanced attention to and memory for emotional events, or increased distraction produced by goal-irrelevant emotional information). On the other hand, emotion processing is also susceptible to cognitive influences, typically exerted in the form of cognitive control of motion, or emotion regulation. Despite important recent progress in understanding emotion- cognition interactions, a number of aspects remain unclear. The present book comprises a collection of manuscripts discussing emerging evidence regarding the mechanisms underlying emotion- cognition interactions in healthy functioning and alterations associated with clinical conditions, in which such interactions are dysfunctional. Initiated with a more restricted focus, targeting (1) identification and in depth analysis of the circumstances in which emotion enhances or impairs cognition and (2)identification of the role of individual differences in these effects, our book has emerged into a comprehensive collection of outstanding contributions investigating emotion-cognition interactions, based on approaches spanning from behavioral and lesion to pharmacological and brain imaging, and including empirical, theoretical, and review papers alike.Co-hosted by the Frontiers in Neuroscience - Integrative Neuroscience and Frontiers in Psychology - Emotion Science, the contributions comprising our book and the associated research topic are grouped around the following seven main themes, distributed across the two hosting journals: I. Emotion and Selectivity in Attention and Memory; II. The Impact of Emotional Distraction; Linking Enhancing and Impairing Effects of Emotion; III. What Really is the Role of the Amygdala?; IV. Age Differences in Emotion Processing; The Role of Emotional Valence; V. Affective Face Processing, Social Cognition, and Personality Neuroscience; VI. Stress, Mood, Emotion, and the Prefrontal Cortex; The Role of Control in the Stress Response; VII. Emotion-Cognition Interactions in Clinical Conditions.As illustrated by the present collection of contributions, emotion-cognition interactions can be identified at different levels of processing, from perception and attention to long- term memory, decision making processes, and social cognition and behavior. Notably, these effects are subject to individual differences that may affect the way we perceive, experience, and remember emotional experiences, or cope with emotionally challenging situations. Moreover, these opposing effects tend to co-occur in affective disorders, such as depression and PTSD, where uncontrolled recollection of and rumination on distressing memories also lead to impaired cognition due to emotional distraction. Understanding the nature and neural mechanisms of these effects is critical, as their exacerbation and co-occurrence in clinical conditions lead to devastating effects and debilitation. Hence, bringing together such diverse contributions has allowed not only an integrative understanding of the current extant evidence but also identification of emerging directions and concrete venues for future investigations.

The neurobiology of emotion-cognition interactions

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889195282 Year: Pages: 421 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-528-2 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Neurology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2015-12-10 11:59:06
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There is increasing interest in understanding the interplay of emotional and cognitive processes. The objective of the Research Topic was to provide an interdisciplinary survey of cutting-edge neuroscientific research on the interaction and integration of emotion and cognition in the brain. The following original empirical reports, commentaries and theoretical reviews provide a comprehensive survey on recent advances in understanding how emotional and cognitive processes interact, how they are integrated in the brain, and what their implications for understanding the mind and its disorders are. These works encompasses a broad spectrum of populations and showcases a wide variety of paradigms, measures, analytic strategies, and conceptual approaches. The aim of the Topic was to begin to address several key questions about the interplay of cognitive and emotional processes in the brain, including: what is the impact of emotional states, anxiety and stress on various cognitive functions? How are emotion and cognition integrated in the brain? Do individual differences in affective dimensions of temperament and personality alter cognitive performance, and how is this realized in the brain? Are there individual differences that increase vulnerability to the impact of affect on cognition—who is vulnerable, and who resilient? How plastic is the interplay of cognition and emotion? Taken together, these works demonstrate that emotion and cognition are deeply interwoven in the fabric of the brain, suggesting that widely held beliefs about the key constituents of ‘the emotional brain’ and ‘the cognitive brain’ are fundamentally flawed. Developing a deeper understanding of the emotional-cognitive brain is important, not just for understanding the mind but also for elucidating the root causes of its many debilitating disorders.

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2015 (4)