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Executive Function(s): Conductor, Orchestra or Symphony? Towards a Trans-Disciplinary Unification of Theory and Practice Across Development, in Normal and Atypical Groups

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889455553 Year: Pages: 245 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88945-555-3 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Science (General) --- Neurology
Added to DOAB on : 2019-01-23 14:53:42
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There are several theories of executive function(s) that tend to share some theoretical overlap yet are also conceptually distinct, each bolstered by empirical data (Norman and Shallice, 1986; Shallice & Burgess, 1991; Stuss and Alexander, 2007; Burgess, Gilbert, & Dumentheil, 2007; Burgess & Shallice, 1996; Miyake et al., 2000). The notion that executive processes are supervisory, and most in demand in novel situations was an early conceptualization of executive function that has been adapted and refined over time (Norman & Shallice, 1986; Shallice, 2001; Burgess, Gilbert & Dumentheil, 2007). Presently there is general consensus that executive functions are multi-componential (Shallice, 2001), and are supervisory only in the sense that attention in one form or another is key to the co-ordination of other hierarchically organized ‘lower’ cognitive processes. Attention in this sense is defined as (i) independent but interrelated attentional control processes (Stuss & Alexander, 2007); (ii) automatic orientation towards stimuli in the environment or internally–driven thought (Burgess, Gilbert & Dumontheil, 2007); (iii) the automatically generated interface between tacit processes and strategic conscious thought (Barker, Andrade, Romanowski, Morton and Wasti, 2006; Morton and Barker, 2010); and (iv) distinct but interrelated executive processes that maintain, update and switch across different sources of information (Miyake et al., 2000).


One problem is that executive dysfunction or dysexecutive syndrome (Baddeley & Wilson, 1988) after brain injury typically produces a constellation of deficits across social, cognate, emotional and motivational domains that rarely map neatly onto theoretical frameworks (Barker, Andrade & Romanowski, 2004). As a consequence there is debate that conceptual theories of executive function do not always correspond well to the clinical picture (Manchester, Priestley & Jackson, 2004). Several studies have reported cases of individuals with frontal lobe pathology and impaired daily functioning despite having little detectable impairment on traditional tests of executive function (Shallice & Burgess, 1991; Eslinger & Damasio, 1985; Barker, Andrade & Romanowski, 2004; Andrés & Van der Linden, 2002; Chevignard et al., 2000; Cripe, 1998; Fortin, Godbout & Braun, 2003). There is also some suggestion that weak ecological validity limits predictive and clinical utility of many traditional measures of executive function (Burgess et al, 2006; Lamberts, Evans & Spikman, 2010; Barker, Morton, Morrison, McGuire, 2011). Complete elimination of environmental confounds runs the risk of generating results that cannot be generalized beyond constrained circumstances of the test environment (Barker, Andrade & Romanowski, 2004). Several researchers have concluded that a new approach is needed that is mindful of the needs of the clinician yet also informed by the academic debate and progress within the discipline (McFarquhar & Barker, 2012; Burgess et al., 2006). Finally, translational issues also confound executive function research across different disciplines (psychiatry, cognitive science, and developmental psychology) and across typically developing and clinical populations (including Autism Spectrum Disorders, Head Injury and Schizophrenia – Blakemore & Choudhury, 2006; Taylor, Barker, Heavey & McHale, 2013). Consequently, there is a need for unification of executive function approaches across disciplines and populations and narrowing of the conceptual gap between theoretical positions, clinical symptoms and measurement.

Brain-Mind-Body Practice and Health

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889453665 Year: Pages: 160 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88945-366-5 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Psychology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2018-02-27 16:16:45
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It is acknowledged that practice could induce rapid change or reorganization of the brain’s cellular or neural networks as well as behaviors. Notably, practice relevant to mental or physical approach attracted great attention in this decade. It highlights profound significance both for human evolvement and individual development. Specifically, acquiring fine motor skills is a crucial premise for human being to evolve to modern human by using tools in one side. In the other side, numerous evidences indicated that motor learning involved in limb and trunks promotes the development of individual brain in anatomy and functions. Hence, motor learning is also tightly associated with developmental plasticity. These studies on brain-mind-body practice illuminate a promising way in promoting human brain health. This editorial covers wide range of brain-mind-body practice forms to summarize recent new findings and development from behavioral, physiological, neurobiological and psychological science approaches. In this research topic, we addressed recent findings from theoretical as well as experimental perspective including contributions under the following three headings: 1) intervention studies to investigate the positive effect of brain-mind-body practice on cognition and relevant brain mechanism. The intervention pattern consisted of short-term practice ranging from few hours to several weeks; 2) cross-sectional studies using expert-novice paradigm to explore the behavioral and neural system change induced by extensive brain-mind-body practice; 3) the mediators influence the relationship between practice and health outcomes and 4) new viewpoints on brain-mind-body practice from theoretical perspectives. Here we briefly highlight these articles aiming to provide a deep understanding for the association between practice, plasticity and health for readers. Additionally, it offers new insights for developing possible practice interventions for clinical treatment of neurological dysfunction or disorders.

Nutrition and the Function of the Central Nervous System

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ISBN: 9783038970514 9783038970521 Year: Pages: X, 123 Language: english
Publisher: MDPI - Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute
Subject: Nutrition and Food Sciences --- Biology
Added to DOAB on : 2018-08-09 17:50:23
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Neuroscience, as a field, has only recently expanded to consider how the nervous system might be influenced by interaction with other bodily systems. The psychology curriculum never, for instance, included courses on nutrition. Although we learn about the body as if it is segregated into systems (cardiovascular, immune, digestive, etc.), these systems are not truly separate. If the aphorism, you are what you eat, is literally true: then you—your personality, thoughts, feelings, etc.—are, at least partly, a product of your diet. Such recognitions have spawned the new subdiscipline, nutritional neuroscience: the study of the role of diet on neurochemistry, neurobiology, cognition and behavior. This collection explores this exciting new area.

Cognitive and Brain Plasticity Induced by Physical Exercise, Cognitive Training, Video Games and Combined Interventions

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889455072 Year: Pages: 646 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88945-507-2 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Science (General) --- Neurology
Added to DOAB on : 2019-01-23 14:53:42
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The premise of neuroplasticity on enhancing cognitive functioning among healthy as well as cognitively impaired individuals across the lifespan, and the potential of harnessing these processes to prevent cognitive decline attract substantial scientific and public interest. Indeed, the systematic evidence base for cognitive training, video games, physical exercise and other forms of brain stimulation such as entrain brain activity is growing rapidly. This Research Topic (RT) focused on recent research conducted in the field of cognitive and brain plasticity induced by physical activity, different types of cognitive training, including computerized interventions, learning therapy, video games, and combined intervention approaches as well as other forms of brain stimulation that target brain activity, including electroencephalography and neurofeedback. It contains 49 contributions to the topic, including Original Research articles (37), Clinical Trials (2), Reviews (5), Mini Reviews (2), Hypothesis and Theory (1), and Corrections (2).

Proceedings of the International School on Magnetic Resonance and Brain Function - XII Workshop

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889455546 Year: Pages: 150 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88945-554-6 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Science (General) --- Neurology --- Physics (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2019-01-23 14:53:42
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In the last thirty years, Magnetic Resonance has generated a wide revolution in biomedical research and in medical imaging in general. More recently, the "in vivo" studies of the human brain were extended by new original ways to the dynamic study of function and metabolism of the human brain. The enormous interest in expanding the investigation of the brain is emphasizing the search for new NMR methods capable of extracting information of so-far obscure aspects of the brain function. In fact, many quantitative approaches have been proposed in order to complement the information obtained by functional MRI, and several multimodal and multiparametric approaches have been developed to exploit the information, either functional or structural, made available by the flexible contrast generation typical of MRI, and to combine it with complementary information. The XII workshop of the International School on Magnetic Resonanceand Brain Function, held in Erice between 17 April and 6 May, 2016, was specially devoted to novel approaches aimed at better structural characterization of brain diseases, and at investigating frontiers MRI approaches to better understand the brain function. The papers included in this eBook offer a broad overview of the subjects covered during the Workshop, including applications of multiparametric MRI to neurological diseases, multimodal combination of MRI with electrophysiology, advanced methods for the investigation of brain networks and of brain physiology, and perspectives towards brain state reading.

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