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Mental Practice - Clinical and Experimental Research in Imagery and Action Observation

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889198399 Year: Pages: 208 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-839-9 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Neurology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2016-01-19 14:05:46
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There is now strong evidence demonstrating that the brain simulates action and other functions. Such action simulation can be evoked through conscious mental rehearsal of movement or imagery, but also through passive action observation watching movements in others. Furthermore, there is evidence to suggest that mental rehearsal of movement, or mental practice, can produce improvements normally attributed to practising actual movements. It is currently assumed that such improvements are due to neural activation associated with action simulation. However the neuroscience of mental practice efficacy is still poorly understood. The aim of this research topic is to clarify the underlying mechanisms of mental practice, bringing evidence from cognitive neuroscience, experimental neuropsychology, sport and movement science, and clinical neurology. It also attempts to address confusion regarding the concepts of imagery and observation, which has hampered the progression of mental practice research both scientifically and applied. As well as reviews, theoretical, and position articles, this research topic includes original neuroimaging, experimental, and patient research addressing, among others, the following issues. Neuroimaging studies provide strong evidence for action simulation, but the link to behavioural change and functional outcome is weak. What is the evidence that mental practice efficacy is driven by neuroplasticity processes evoked by action simulation? This research topic includes contributions on neural correlates and behaviour with regards to imagery and action observation. Much of the mental practice efficacy evidence comes from longstanding research within sport science. However, what does mental practice entail in these contexts, and to what extent is it compatible with the cognitive neuroscience perspective of action simulation? This research topic will include contributions that consider both evidence and concepts with regards to imagery and action observation, in an attempt to build an interdisciplinary consensus on the nature and application of mental practice. Mental practice is perceived as a promising motor rehabilitation technique, but critically there is lack of clarity or consensus on what mental practice treatment should entail. It is also not clear what are the most appropriate outcomes to measure imagery ability and cognitive or behavioural change following mental practice. A further important issue that needs consideration as part of this research topic is dosage, as it is currently unclear how much mental practice is appropriate and whether this depends on patient variables such as age, cognitive functioning, motor function, or pathophysiology.

Perception, Action, and Cognition

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889199792 Year: Pages: 169 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-979-2 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Science (General) --- Psychology
Added to DOAB on : 2016-01-19 14:05:46
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Even as simple a task as quenching thirst with a glass of water involves a sequence of perceptions and actions woven together by expectations and experience. What are the myriad links between perception and action, and what does cognition have to do with them? Intuitively we think that perception precedes action, but we also know that action moulds perception. The reciprocal links between perception and action are now accepted almost universally. The discovery of mirror neurons that encode observed actions has further emphasized the coupling of perception and action. The real aim of this research topic is to go beyond identifying the evidence for perception-action coupling, and study the cognitive entities and processes that influence the perception-action link. For example, the internal representations of perceived and produced events are created and modified through experience. Yet the perception action link is considered relatively automatic. To what extent is the perception-action link affected by representations and their manipulations by cognitive processes? Does selective attention modify the perception action coupling? How, and to what extent, does the context provide sources of cognitive control? The developmental trajectory of the perception-action link and the influence of cognition at various stages of development could be another line of important evidence. The responses to these and other such questions contribute to our understanding of this research area with significant implications for perception-action coupling.

Linking Mine Action and SSR through Human Security

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Book Series: SSR Papers ISBN: 9781911529422 Year: Pages: 72 DOI: 10.5334/bbz Language: English
Publisher: Ubiquity Press
Subject: Sociology --- Political Science
Added to DOAB on : 2019-03-05 11:21:04
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Security sector reform (SSR) and mine action share a strong common conceptual basis, which draws from a shared understanding of security. They both reflect a conceptualization of security that is not limited to the level of the state, but takes into account security threats and needs at societal and individual levels. This common basis provides opportunities for synergies between SSR and mine action. However, empirical evidence demonstrates that the strong conceptual basis is not fully reflected in concrete activities, and the linkages remain limited and underexplored. Despite this gap, there are positive examples showing the potential for synergies between SSR and mine action. Ultimately, this paper maintains that the concept of human security provides a comprehensive framework which can bridge the differences and open broader opportunities for cooperation, which in turn will increase the impact of interventions in SSR and mine action.&#xD;

What can we make of theories of embodiment and the role of the human mirror neuron system?

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889197613 Year: Pages: 116 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-761-3 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Neurology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2016-04-07 11:22:02
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In recent years, work surrounding theories of embodiment and the role of the putative mirror neuron system (MNS) in humans has gained considerable attention. If humans have developed a net-work of neurons that fire in response to other beings’ actions, as has been shown in macaques, this system could have vast implications for all kinds of cognitive processes unique to humans, such as language, learning, empathy and communication in general. The goal of tapping into and understanding such a system is a fascinating yet challenging one. One form of embodiment - embodied linguistics - suggests that the way we process linguistic information is linked to our physical experience of the concept conveyed by each word. The interaction between these cognitive systems (i.e., language and motor processing) may occur thanks to the firing of neurons making up the MNS. The possible interdependence between different cognitive systems has implications for healthy as well as pathological profiles, and in fact, work in recent years has also explored the role of ‘embodiment’ and/or the MNS in clinical populations such as stroke, Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s Disease, and Autism, among others. Research on embodiment and/or the MNS has been approached with a number of different methodologies, but the results obtained with these different methodologies have not been entirely consistent, generating doubts regarding the theories. The question has been raised as to what this line of inquiry can gain from the types of evidence contributed by functional neuroimaging methods carried out with healthy volunteers versus behavioral or lesion-symptom mapping methods employed with neurologically-compromised individuals. Of particular interest are the clinical applications of this line of research. If indeed a system exists which reflects a tight link between, for example, the human language and motor systems, then the obvious challenge is to tap into this system to create useful therapies that can provide rehabilitation where damage has occurred. This Research Topic brought together work conducted with healthy and patient populations using several behavioral and imaging techniques, as well as insightful commentaries and opinion pieces. We believe the combined work of the participating authors is an important contribution to this intriguing line of research and an excellent point of reference for future work.

Beyond the body? The Future of Embodied Cognition

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889197972 Year: Pages: 147 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-797-2 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Psychology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2016-04-07 11:22:02
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Embodied cognition represents one of most important research programs in contemporary cognitive science. Although there is a diversity of opinion concerning the nature of embodiment, the core idea is that cognitive processes are influenced by body morphology, emotions, and sensorimotor systems. This idea is supported by an ever increasing collection of empirical studies that fall into two broad classes: one consisting of experiments that implicate action, emotion, and perception systems in seemingly abstract cognitive tasks and the other consisting of experiments that demonstrate the contribution of bodily interaction with the external environment to the performance of such tasks. Now that the research program of embodied cognition is well established, the time seems right for assessing its further promise and potential limitations. This research topic aims to create an interdisciplinary forum for discussing where we go from here. Given that we have good reason to think that the body influences cognition in surprisingly robust ways, the central question is no longer whether or not any cognitive processes are embodied. Instead, other questions have come to the fore: To what extent are cognitive processes in general embodied? Are there disembodied processes? Among those that are embodied, how are they embodied? Is there more than one kind of embodiment? Is embodiment a matter of degree? There are a number of specific issues that could be addressed by submissions to this research topic. Some supporters of embodied cognition eschew representations. Should anti-representationalism be a core part of an embodied approach? What role should dynamical models play? Research in embodied cognition has tended to focus on the importance of sensorimotor areas for cognition. What are the functions of multimodal or amodal brain areas? Abstract concepts have proved to be a challenge for embodied cognition. How should they be handled? Should researchers allow for some form of weak embodiment? Currently, there is a split between those who offer a simulation-based approach to embodiment and those who offer an enactive approach. Who is right? Should there be a rapprochement between these two groups? Some experimental and robotics researchers have recently shown a great deal of interest in the idea that external resources such as language can serve as form of cognitive scaffolding. What are the implications of this idea for embodied cognition? This research topic aims to bring together empirical and theoretical work from a diversity of perspectives. Submissions are sought from any of the major disciplines associated with cognitive science, including but not necessarily limited to anthropology, cognitive psychology, computational modeling, linguistics, neuroscience, philosophy, robotics, and social psychology. Researchers are encouraged to submit papers discussing experiments, methods, models, or theories that speak to the issue of the future of embodied cognition.

Veiklos tyrimas organizacijoje. Socialinių paslaugų senyvo amžiaus žmonėms atvejis

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ISBN: 9786094672019 Year: Pages: 200 p. Language: Lithuanian
Publisher: Vytautas Magnus University
Subject: Social Sciences
Added to DOAB on : 2016-06-01 12:35:23
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The aim of the study presented in the monograph is to reveal peculiarities, methodological strengths and limitations of participatory action research (PAR) in social service organizations. PAR is analysed as a methodological approach which involves scholars and research participants into a process of reflection, knowledge production and construction of new meanings. PAR application area is quite broad – this strategy is applied in communities, business, education, health and welfare organizations in order to increase involvement of citizens as well as their empowerment in communities and organizations. While highlighting originality and singularity of PAR in organizations, authors of the study discuss notions, definitions and distinctive features of PAR. The scholars distinguish novelty, empowering nature, methodological nuances and criticism toward PAR. The monograph presents models, the process, and stages of PAR. Based on PAR implementation in social service organizations, a need for movement from action to reflection and empowerment of research participants to take the responsibility of the changes in organizations is emphasized. The research sheds a light on psychosocial functioning of organizations as well as their readiness for change. Results and insights drawn by the research create preconditions to increase efficiency and effectiveness of organizations. The investigation presented in the monograph was implemented in social service organizations which provide services for the elderly. Lithuanian population is aging, therefore agencies which provide elderly care should be able to respond to changes in the market and satisfy clients` needs. This is relevant for profit organizations and business enterprises which become more active in the social service sector offering their activities for older people. This study presents the situation of older people in European Union and Lithuania. An overview of theoretical resources is carried out by revealing factors of organizational effectiveness and readiness for changes, concepts and typologies of organizational cultures, elements which are related to psychosocial functioning of organizations: job satisfaction, management, conflicts and their solutions, teamwork and stress at work. Recognition which embraces processes on micro, mezzo and macro levels is another concept that is discussed and analysed in the study. The research presented in the monograph included several stages. In the first stage of the research, a qualitative interpretative study was carried out by interviewing representatives of focus group. The researchers disclosed practical experiences, ideas, achievements, challenges and concerns, questions and tensions that arose in the organizations. 4 institutions participated in the research in this stage – 2 public organizations of home care and 2 private organizations of institutional long-term care. In the second stage of the investigation, a quantitative research was conducted to identify tendencies of readiness for change in social service organizations. 401 respondents from municipal and state organizations and 109 respondents from private agencies (510 in total) participated in the survey. In this stage of the research, objectives were: 1) to identify main factors and elements which determine the functioning of public and private agencies for social services; 2) to reveal differences between public and private organizations of social services; 3) to analyse attitude of employees working in public and private organizations toward development of organizations and to evaluate factors which foster agencies‘ development; 4) to delineate issues which are important and relevant for each organization and its psycho-social functioning. The third stage of the research was dedicated to construct a new knowledge on changes to be initiated in the organizations. 2 case studies were conducted by applying a constructivist version of grounded theory (Charmaz, 2006). The first case study was carried out in municipal organizations of home social services for the elderly. The second case study was conducted in public agencies which provide institutional long-term services for the elderly. The main techniques and methods of this research were individual interviews, interviews with focus groups and group discussions as well as methodological seminars to get a feedback from research participants. Five managers and 38 employees participated in the study. The research has empowered the authors to provide methodological recommendations for the implementation of PAR in organizations. The study actualized principles and elements of successful implementation of PAR in agencies of social services – a need to reflect processes and get a feedback in organizations, foster creativity and reciprocity in relationships between researchers and research participants at organizations, support trust and respect, avoid harm and disrespect.

Dynamics of Sensorimotor Interactions in Embodied Cognition

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889198078 Year: Pages: 148 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-807-8 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Psychology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2017-02-03 17:04:57
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We interact with our environment through perception and action. Perception is based on sensory components while actions are based on motor components. It is commonly accepted that these sensorimotor components constitute the foundation of knowledge (i.e., percepts and concepts), action and emotion. However, whether or not these components remain part of knowledge, action and emotion is still being debated (see Glenberg, Witt, & Metcalfe, 2013). According to the classical symbolic/abstracted approach of cognition, cognitive processes operate on symbols that are abstracted from these components. Reversely, embodied cognition theory states that knowledge, action and emotion remain grounded in these sensorimotor components (see Wilson, 2002). This embodiment revolution assumes that the interactions between present and absent —but simulated in memory— sensory-motor components determine the emergence of knowledge, action and emotion (Barsalou, 2008). It also implies that perception, memory (in particular conceptual knowledge), action and emotion interact together in a closer way that previously thought (e.g. Riou, Lesourd, Brunel & Versace, 2011; Corveleyn, Lopez-Moliner & Coello, 2012; Vermeulen et al., 2013). Despite the accumulation of empirical evidence showing that perception, memory, action and emotion interact together, less is known about the dynamics of these interactions. It remains to precise the temporal dynamic (when these interactions occur), the neural underlying networks, and the factors that modulate these interactions. The present research topic focuses on the dynamic relationship between present and absent sensorimotor components across perception, memory, action and emotion in a grounded cognition perspective. This research topic aims 1) to demonstrate the validity of the embodied cognition theories 2) to highlight the dynamics of emergence of conceptual knowledge, action and emotion 3) to provide a comprehensive state-of-the-art theoretical explanation and/or models.

L'esprit du terrain

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ISBN: 9791092046267 9791092046236 Year: Language: French
Publisher: Centre Jacques-Berque
Added to DOAB on : 2017-05-29 09:33:10
License: OpenEdition licence for Books

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Au début des années 1980, il était impudique et ascientifique de parler de soi, de son parcours, de son expérience. À partir des années 1990, on abandonne la dogmatique du détachement de l’observateur pour s’engouffrer dans une autre, faisant de l’engagement, de la réflexivité, de la maladie du journal, le credo du chercheur postmoderne. Hassan Rachik opte pour une solution médiane, ne retenant de son expérience que ce qui est susceptible de jeter un éclairage sur ses travaux de recherche. D...

Perceiving and Acting in the Real World: From Neural Activity to Behavior

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889450282 Year: Pages: 280 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88945-028-2 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Neurology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2017-07-06 13:27:36
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One remarkable ability of the human brain is to process large amounts of information about our surroundings to allow us to interact effectively with them. In everyday life, the most common way to interact with objects is by reaching, grasping, lifting and manipulating them. Although these may sound like simple tasks, the perceptual properties of the target object, such as its location, size, shape, and orientation all need to be processed in order to set the movement parameters that allow an accurate reach-to-grasp-to lift movement. Several brain areas work in concert to process this outstanding amount of visual information and drive the execution of a motor plan in just a few hundred milliseconds. How are these processes orchestrated? In developing this type of comprehensive knowledge about the interactions between objects perception and goal-directed actions, we have a window into the mechanisms underlying the functioning of the visuo-motor system. With this research topic we aim to further understand the neural mechanisms that mediate our interactions with the world. Therefore, we particularly encourage submission of papers that attempt to relate such findings to real-world situations by investigating behavioural and neural correlates of information processing related to eye-hand coordination and visually-guided actions, including reaching, grasping, and lifting movements. This topic welcomes submissions of original research using any relevant techniques and methods, from behavioural kinematics/kinetics, to neuroimaging and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), as well as neuropsychological studies.One remarkable ability of the human brain is to process large amounts of information about our surroundings to allow us to interact effectively with them. In everyday life, the most common way to interact with objects is by reaching, grasping, lifting and manipulating them. Although these may sound like simple tasks, the perceptual properties of the target object, such as its location, size, shape, and orientation all need to be processed in order to set the movement parameters that allow an accurate reach-to-grasp-to lift movement. Several brain areas work in concert to process this outstanding amount of visual information and drive the execution of a motor plan in just a few hundred milliseconds. How are these processes orchestrated? In developing this type of comprehensive knowledge about the interactions between objects perception and goal-directed actions, we have a window into the mechanisms underlying the functioning of the visuo-motor system. With this research topic we aim to further understand the neural mechanisms that mediate our interactions with the world. Therefore, we particularly encourage submission of papers that attempt to relate such findings to real-world situations by investigating behavioural and neural correlates of information processing related to eye-hand coordination and visually-guided actions, including reaching, grasping, and lifting movements. This topic welcomes submissions of original research using any relevant techniques and methods, from behavioural kinematics/kinetics, to neuroimaging and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), as well as neuropsychological studies.

Modularity in motor control: from muscle synergies to cognitive action representation

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889198054 Year: Pages: 792 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-805-4 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Neurology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2017-02-03 17:04:57
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Mastering a rich repertoire of motor behaviors, as humans and other animals do, is a surprising and still poorly understood outcome of evolution, development, and learning. Many degrees-of-freedom, non-linear dynamics, and sensory delays provide formidable challenges for controlling even simple actions. Modularity as a functional element, both structural and computational, of a control architecture might be the key organizational principle that the central nervous system employs for achieving versatility and adaptability in motor control. Recent investigations of muscle synergies, motor primitives, compositionality, basic action concepts, and related work in machine learning have contributed to advance, at different levels, our understanding of the modular architecture underlying rich motor behaviors. However, the existence and nature of the modules in the control architecture is far from settled. For instance, regularity and low-dimensionality in the motor output are often taken as an indication of modularity but could they simply be a byproduct of optimization and task constraints? Moreover, what are the relationships between modules at different levels, such as muscle synergies, kinematic invariants, and basic action concepts? One important reason for the new interest in understanding modularity in motor control from different viewpoints is the impressive development in cognitive robotics. In comparison to animals and humans, the motor skills of today’s best robots are limited and inflexible. However, robot technology is maturing to the point at which it can start approximating a reasonable spectrum of isolated perceptual, cognitive, and motor capabilities. These advances allow researchers to explore how these motor, sensory and cognitive functions might be integrated into meaningful architectures and to test their functional limits. Such systems provide a new test bed to explore different concepts of modularity and to address the interaction between motor and cognitive processes experimentally. Thus, the goal of this Research Topic is to review, compare, and debate theoretical and experimental investigations of the modular organization of the motor control system at different levels. By bringing together researchers seeking to understand the building blocks for coordinating many muscles, for planning endpoint and joint trajectories, and for representing motor and behavioral actions in memory we aim at promoting new interactions between often disconnected research areas and approaches and at providing a broad perspective on the idea of modularity in motor control. We welcome original research, methodological, theoretical, review, and perspective contributions from behavioral, system, and computational motor neuroscience research, cognitive psychology, and cognitive robotics.

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