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Thalamic Function - Beyond a Simple Relay

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889198429 Year: Pages: 231 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-842-9 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Neurology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2016-01-19 14:05:46
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The thalamus is often described as a relay. Typified by sensory pathways, this concept leads to thalamic nuclei being viewed as areas that passively streams information from a single source to the cortex, without affecting the nature of that information. However, diverse intrathalamic connections, the varying synaptic and membrane properties of thalamic neurons and the large number of inputs from non-sensory sources make the idea that the thalamus is just a passive relay unlikely. Furthermore, a large number of thalamic nuclei are not primarily driven by sensory signals nor do they exclusively target the cortex, meaning the thalamus must do more than simply pass sensory signals to the cortex. Finally, there is a wealth of research demonstrating that the thalamus does indeed function in ways that are not captured by the concept of a simple relay. So why, given all of this, is the primary paradigm for describing the thalamus, a relay? This Research Topic covers original research, reviews and hypotheses on thalamic function that explore the concept that the thalamus performs computational tasks other than simply passively relaying information.

The Vestibular System in Cognitive and Memory Processes in Mammals

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889197446 Year: Pages: 246 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-744-6 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Neurology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2016-04-07 11:22:02
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Since the beginning of life, all plant and animal kingdoms have been developed or modified based on gravity along with atmospheric composition and solar radiation existing on Earth. Gravity is mainly encoded by the otolithic sensors of the vestibular system but its role has been largely underestimated in favor of the vestibular semicircular canals and reduced to oculomotor and postural coordination. Over the last decade, it has been demonstrated that sensory information provided by the vestibular system is crucial in spatial-memory processes in rats and humans. More recently a role in attention processes has been raised. This topic aims to report and demonstrate the role and integration of vestibular information in cognitive processes in rodent models and human at the behavioral, imaging and electrophysiological levels.

How Humans Recognize Objects: Segmentation, Categorization and Individual Identification

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889199402 Year: Pages: 265 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-940-2 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Science (General) --- Psychology
Added to DOAB on : 2016-01-19 14:05:46
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Human beings experience a world of objects: bounded entities that occupy space and persist through time. Our actions are directed toward objects, and our language describes objects. We categorize objects into kinds that have different typical properties and behaviors. We regard some kinds of objects – each other, for example – as animate agents capable of independent experience and action, while we regard other kinds of objects as inert. We re-identify objects, immediately and without conscious deliberation, after days or even years of non-observation, and often following changes in the features, locations, or contexts of the objects being re-identified. Comparative, developmental and adult observations using a variety of approaches and methods have yielded a detailed understanding of object detection and recognition by the visual system and an advancing understanding of haptic and auditory information processing. Many fundamental questions, however, remain unanswered. What, for example, physically constitutes an “object”? How do specific, classically-characterizable object boundaries emerge from the physical dynamics described by quantum theory, and can this emergence process be described independently of any assumptions regarding the perceptual capabilities of observers? How are visual motion and feature information combined to create object information? How are the object trajectories that indicate persistence to human observers implemented, and how are these trajectory representations bound to feature representations? How, for example, are point-light walkers recognized as single objects? How are conflicts between trajectory-driven and feature-driven identifications of objects resolved, for example in multiple-object tracking situations? Are there separate “what” and “where” processing streams for haptic and auditory perception? Are there haptic and/or auditory equivalents of the visual object file? Are there equivalents of the visual object token? How are object-identification conflicts between different perceptual systems resolved? Is the common assumption that “persistent object” is a fundamental innate category justified? How does the ability to identify and categorize objects relate to the ability to name and describe them using language? How are features that an individual object had in the past but does not have currently represented? How are categorical constraints on how objects move or act represented, and how do such constraints influence categorization and the re-identification of individuals? How do human beings re-identify objects, including each other, as persistent individuals across changes in location, context and features, even after gaps in observation lasting months or years? How do human capabilities for object categorization and re-identification over time relate to those of other species, and how do human infants develop these capabilities? What can modeling approaches such as cognitive robotics tell us about the answers to these questions? Primary research reports, reviews, and hypothesis and theory papers addressing questions relevant to the understanding of perceptual object segmentation, categorization and individual identification at any scale and from any experimental or modeling perspective are solicited for this Research Topic. Papers that review particular sets of issues from multiple disciplinary perspectives or that advance integrative hypotheses or models that take data from multiple experimental approaches into account are especially encouraged.

Neuro-Education and Neuro-Rehabilitation

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889450060 Year: Pages: 176 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88945-006-0 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Science (General) --- Psychology
Added to DOAB on : 2018-02-27 16:16:44
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In the last decade, important discoveries have been made in cognitive neuroscience regarding brain plasticity and learning such as the mirror neurons system and the anatomo-functional organization of perceptual, cognitive and motor abilities.... Time has come to consider the societal impact of these findings. The aim of this Research Topic of Frontiers in Psychology is to concentrate on two domains: neuro-education and neuro-rehabilitation. At the interface between neuroscience, psychology and education, neuro-education is a new inter-disciplinary emerging field that aims at developing new education programs based on results from cognitive neuroscience and psychology. For instance, brain-based learning methods are flourishing but few have been rigorously tested using well-controlled procedures. Authors of this Research Topic will present their latest findings in this domain using rigorously controlled experiments. Neuro-rehabilitation aims at developing new rehabilitation methods for children and adults with learning disorders. Neuro-rehabilitation programs can be based upon a relatively low number of patients and controls or on large clinical trials to test for the efficiency of new treatments. These projects may also aim at testing the efficiency of video-games and of new methods such as Trans Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) for therapeutic interventions in children or adolescents with learning disabilities. This Research Topic will bring together neuroscientists interested in brain plasticity and the effects of training, psychologists working with adults as well as with normally developing children and children with learning disabilities as well as education researchers directly confronted with the efficiency of education programs. The goal for each author is to describe the state of the art in his/her specific research domain and to illustrate how her/his research findings can impact education in the classroom or rehabilitation of children and adolescents with learning disorders.

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