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The cognitive and neural organisation of speech processing

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889197750 Year: Pages: 146 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-774-3 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Neurology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2016-04-07 11:22:02
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Speech production and perception are two of the most complex actions humans perform. The processing of speech is studied across various fields and using a wide variety of research approaches. These fields include, but are not limited to, (socio)linguistics, phonetics, cognitive psychology, neurophysiology, and cognitive neuroscience. Research approaches range from behavioural studies to neuroimaging techniques such as Magnetoencephalography, electroencephalography (MEG/EEG) and functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), as well as neurophysiological approaches, such as the recording of Motor Evoked Potentials (MEPs), and Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS). Each of these approaches provides valuable information about specific aspects of speech processing. Behavioural testing can inform about the nature of the cognitive processes involved in speech processing, neuroimaging methods show where (fMRI and MEG) in the brain these processes take place and/or elucidate on the time-course of activation of these brain areas (EEG and MEG), while neurophysiological methods (MEPs and TMS) can assess critical involvement of brain regions in the cognitive process. Yet, what is currently unclear is how speech researchers can combine methods such that a convergent approach adds to theory/model formulation, above and beyond the contribution of individual component methods? We expect that such combinations of approaches will significantly forward theoretical development in the field. The present research topic comprise a collection of manuscripts discussing the cognitive and neural organisation of speech processing, including speech production and perception at the level of individual speech sounds, syllables, words, and sentences. Our goal was to use findings from a variety of disciplines, perspectives, and approaches to gain a more complete picture of the organisation of speech processing. The contributions are grouped around the following five main themes: 1) Spoken language comprehension under difficult listening conditions; 2) Sub-lexical processing; 3) Sensorimotor processing of speech; 4) Speech production. The contributions used a variety of research approaches, including behavioural experiments, fMRI, EEG, MEG, and TMS. Twelve of the 14 contributions were on speech perception processing, and the remaining two examined speech production. This Research Topic thus displays a wide variety of topics and research methods and this comprehensive approach allows an integrative understanding of currently available evidence as well as the identification of concrete venues for future research.

Keywords

Speech --- Perception --- production --- TMS --- fMRI --- EEG --- MEG --- behavioural

Learned Brain Self-Regulation for Emotional Processing and Attentional Modulation: From Theory to Clinical Applications

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889199808 Year: Pages: 296 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-980-8 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Science (General) --- Neurology
Added to DOAB on : 2016-01-19 14:05:46
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Mounting evidence in the last years has demonstrated that self-regulation of brain activity can successfully be achieved by neurofeedback (NF). These methodologies have constituted themselves as new tools for cognitive neuroscience establishing causal links between voluntary brain activations and cognition and behavior, and as potential novel approaches for clinical applications in severe neuropsychiatric disorders (e.g. schizophrenia, depression, Parkinson´s disease, etc.). Current developments of brain imaging-based neurofeedback include the study of the behavioral modifications and neural reorganization produced by learned regulation of the activity of circumscribed brain regions and neuronal network activations. In a rapidly developing field, many open questions and controversies have arisen, i.e. choosing the proper experimental design, the adequate use of control conditions and subjects, the mechanism of learning involved in brain self-regulation, and the still unexplored potential long-lasting effect on brain reorganization and clinical alleviation, among others. This special issue on self-regulation of the brain of emotion and attention using NF approaches interested authors to report technical and methodological advances, scientific investigations in understanding the relation between brain activity and behaviour using NF, and finally studies developing clinical treatment of emotional and attentional disorders. The editors of this special issue anticipate rapid developments in this emerging field.

Application of Nonlinear Analysis to the Study of Complex Systems in Neuroscience and Behavioral Research

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889199969 Year: Pages: 271 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-996-9 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Neurology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2016-01-19 14:05:46
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Although nonlinear dynamics have been mastered by physicists and mathematicians for a long time (as most physical systems are inherently nonlinear in nature), the recent successful application of nonlinear methods to modeling and predicting several evolutionary, ecological, physiological, and biochemical processes has generated great interest and enthusiasm among researchers in computational neuroscience and cognitive psychology. Additionally, in the last years it has been demonstrated that nonlinear analysis can be successfully used to model not only basic cellular and molecular data but also complex cognitive processes and behavioral interactions. The theoretical features of nonlinear systems (such unstable periodic orbits, period-doubling bifurcations and phase space dynamics) have already been successfully applied by several research groups to analyze the behavior of a variety of neuronal and cognitive processes. Additionally the concept of strange attractors has lead to a new understanding of information processing which considers higher cognitive functions (such as language, attention, memory and decision making) as complex systems emerging from the dynamic interaction between parallel streams of information flowing between highly interconnected neuronal clusters organized in a widely distributed circuit and modulated by key central nodes. Furthermore, the paradigm of self-organization derived from the nonlinear dynamics theory has offered an interesting account of the phenomenon of emergence of new complex cognitive structures from random and non-deterministic patterns, similarly to what has been previously observed in nonlinear studies of fluid dynamics. Finally, the challenges of coupling massive amount of data related to brain function generated from new research fields in experimental neuroscience (such as magnetoencephalography, optogenetics and single-cell intra-operative recordings of neuronal activity) have generated the necessity of new research strategies which incorporate complex pattern analysis as an important feature of their algorithms. Up to now nonlinear dynamics has already been successfully employed to model both basic single and multiple neurons activity (such as single-cell firing patterns, neural networks synchronization, autonomic activity, electroencephalographic measurements, and noise modulation in the cerebellum), as well as higher cognitive functions and complex psychiatric disorders. Similarly, previous experimental studies have suggested that several cognitive functions can be successfully modeled with basis on the transient activity of large-scale brain networks in the presence of noise. Such studies have demonstrated that it is possible to represent typical decision-making paradigms of neuroeconomics by dynamic models governed by ordinary differential equations with a finite number of possibilities at the decision points and basic heuristic rules which incorporate variable degrees of uncertainty. This e-book has include frontline research in computational neuroscience and cognitive psychology involving applications of nonlinear analysis, especially regarding the representation and modeling of complex neural and cognitive systems. Several experts teams around the world have provided frontline theoretical and experimental contributions (as well as reviews, perspectives and commentaries) in the fields of nonlinear modeling of cognitive systems, chaotic dynamics in computational neuroscience, fractal analysis of biological brain data, nonlinear dynamics in neural networks research, nonlinear and fuzzy logics in complex neural systems, nonlinear analysis of psychiatric disorders and dynamic modeling of sensorimotor coordination.

Facing the Other: Novel Theories and Methods in Face Perception Research

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889197941 Year: Pages: 369 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-794-1 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Neurology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2017-02-03 17:04:57
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We rely heavily on faces during social interactions. Humans possess the ability to recognise thousands of people very quickly and accurately without effort. The serious social difficulties that follow abnormalities of the face recognition system (i.e., prosopagnosia) strongly underline the importance of typical face skills in our everyday life. Over the last fifty years, research on prosopagnosia, along with research in the healthy population, has provided insights into the cognitive and neural features behind typical face recognition. This has also been achieved thanks to non-invasive neuroimaging techniques such as functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), Electroencephalography (EEG), Magnetoencephalography (MEG), Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) and Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS). However, there is still much debate about the cognitive and neural mechanisms of face perception. In the current Research Topic we plan to gather experimental works, opinions, commentaries, mini-reviews and reviews that focus on new or novel theories and methods in face perception research. Where is the field at the moment? Do we need to re-think the experimental procedures we have adopted so far? Again, what kind of techniques (or combination of them) and analysis methods will be important in the future? From the experimental point of view we encourage both behavioural and neuroimaging contributions (e.g., fMRI, EEG, MEG, DTI and TMS). Despite the main emphasis on face perception, memory and identification, we will also consider original works that focus on other aspects of face processing, such as expression recognition, attractiveness judgments and face imagery. In addition, animal investigations and experimental manipulations that alter face recognition abilities in typical human subjects (e.g., hypnosis) are also welcome. Overall, we are proposing a Research Topic that looks at face processing using different perspectives and welcome contributions from different domains such as psychology, neurology, neuroscience, cognitive science and philosophy. The current Research Topic evolved over the desire to acknowledge the relatively recent loss of three giants in the field: Drs. Shlomo Bentin, Truett Allison and Andy Calder. We dedicate this Research Topic to them and their pioneering studies.

Integrating Computational and Neural Findings in Visual Object Perception

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889198733 Year: Pages: 137 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-873-3 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 articles in this Research Topic provide a state-of-the-art overview of the current progress in integrating computational and empirical research on visual object recognition. Developments in this exciting multidisciplinary field have recently gained momentum: High performance computing enabled breakthroughs in computer vision and computational neuroscience. In parallel, innovative machine learning applications have recently become available for datamining the large-scale, high resolution brain data acquired with (ultra-high field) fMRI and dense multi-unit recordings. Finally, new techniques to integrate such rich simulated and empirical datasets for direct model testing could aid the development of a comprehensive brain model. We hope that this Research Topic contributes to these encouraging advances and inspires future research avenues in computational and empirical neuroscience.

Inner Experiences: Theory, Measurement, Frequency, Content, and Functions

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889197712 Year: Pages: 163 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-771-2 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Psychology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2016-04-07 11:22:02
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One fundamental topic of scientific inquiry in psychology is the study of what William James called the 'stream of consciousness', our ongoing experience of the world and ourselves from within—our inner experiences. These internal states (aka "stimulus-independent thoughts") include inner speech, mental imagery, feelings, sensory awareness, internally produced sounds or music, unsymbolized thinking, and mentalizing (thinking about others' mental states). They may occur automatically during mind-wandering (daydreaming) and resting-state episodes, and may focus on one's past, present, or future ("mental time travel" - e.g., autonoetic consciousness). Inner experiences also may take the form of intrusive or ruminative thoughts. The types, characteristics, frequency, content, and functions of inner experiences have been studied using a variety of traditional methods, among which questionnaires, thought listing procedures (i.e., open-ended self-reports), thinking aloud techniques, and daily dairies. Another approach, articulatory suppression, consists in blocking participants' use of verbal thinking while completing a given task; deficits indicate that inner speech plays a causal role in normal task completion. Various thought sampling approaches have also been developed in an effort to gather more ecologically valid data. Previous thought sampling studies have relied on beepers that signal participants to report aspects of their inner experiences at random intervals. More recent studies are exploiting smartphone technology to easily and reliably probe randomly occurring inner experiences in large samples of participants. These various measures have allowed researchers to learn some fundamental facts about inner experiences. To illustrate, it is becoming increasingly clear that prospection (future-oriented thinking) greatly depends on access to autobiographical memory (past-oriented thinking), where recollection of past scenes is used as a template to formulate plausible future scenarios. The main goal of the present Research Topic was to offer a scientific platform for the dissemination of current high-quality research pertaining to inner experiences. Although data on all forms of inner experiences were welcome, reports on recent advances in inner speech research were particularly encouraged. Here are some examples of topics of interest: (1) description and validation of new scales, inventories, questionnaires measuring any form of inner experience; (2) novel uses or improvements of existing measures of inner experiences; (3) development of new smartphone technology facilitating or broadening the use of cell phones to sample inner experiences; (4) frequency, content, and functions of various inner experience; (5) correlations between personality or cognitive variables and any aspects of inner experiences; (6) philosophical or theoretical considerations pertaining to inner experiences; and (7) inner experience changes with age.

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2016 (6)