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Why and how is the self related to the brain midline regions?

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889192656 Year: Pages: 207 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-265-6 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Neurology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2015-12-03 13:02:24
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What the self is and where it comes from has been one of the great problems of philosophy for thousands of years. As science and medicine have progressed this question has moved to also become a central one in psychology, psychiatry, and neuroscience. The advent of in vivo brain imaging has now allowed the scientific investigation of the self to progress further than ever. Many such imaging studies have indicated that brain structures along the cortical midline are particularly closely related to self-specific processing. This association between cortical midline structures (CMS) and self is reinforced by the involvement of these regions in other self-oriented processes, such as mind-wandering or stimulus valuation. Those midline regions involved in self- processing also overlap with another network, the default mode network, which shows high brain activity during the so-called resting state, indicating that there may be a special relationship between self-processing and intrinsic activity. Although such promising groundwork linking the self and CMS has been carried out, many questions remain. These include: what features of the midline regions lead to their apparent importance in self-processing? How can we appropriately account for confounding factors such as familiarity or task-effects in our experiments? How is the self-related to other features of the mind, such as consciousness? How is our methodology influencing our attempts to link the self and the brain? The purpose of this ebook is to address some of these questions, including opinions, perspectives, and hypotheses about the concept of the self, the relationship between CMS and the self, and the specific function of these brain regions in self-processing. It also includes original research papers describing EEG, fMRI, and behavioral experiments investigating different aspects of the self.

Reward- and aversion-related processing in the brain: translational evidence for separate and shared circuits

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889198368 Year: Pages: 181 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-836-8 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Neurology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2016-01-19 14:05:46
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Affective brain circuits underpin our moods and emotions. Appetitive and aversive stimuli from our exteroceptive and interoceptive worlds play a key role in the activity of these circuits, but we still do not know precisely how to characterize these so-called reward-related and aversion-related systems. Moreover, we do we yet understand how they interact anatomically or functionally. The aim of the current project was to gather some translational evidence to help clarify the role of such circuits. A multi-dimensional problem in its own right, the book contains 14 works from authors exploring these questions at many levels, from the cellular to the cognitive-behavioral, and from both experimental and conceptual viewpoints. The editorial which introduces the book provides brief summaries of each perspective (Hayes, Northoff, Greenshaw, 2015). While questions of how to accurately define affect- and emotion-related concepts at the psychological level are far from answered, here we have attempted to provide some insight into the brain-based underpinnings of such processes. The near future will undoubtedly involve making new inroads and will require the joint efforts of behavioral, brain-based, and philosophical perspectives to do so.

The Janus-Face of Language: Where Are the Emotions in Words and the Words in Emotions?

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889455508 Year: Pages: 316 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88945-550-8 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Science (General) --- Psychology
Added to DOAB on : 2019-01-23 14:53:42
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Language has long been considered independent from emotions. In the last few years however research has accumulated empirical evidence against this theoretical belief of a purely cognitive-based foundation of language. In particular, through research on emotional word processing it has been shown, that processing of emotional words activates emotional brain structures, elicits emotional facial expressions and modulates action tendencies of approach and avoidance, probably in a similar manner as processing of non-verbal emotional stimuli does. In addition, it has been shown that emotional content is already processed in the visual cortex in a facilitated manner which suggests that processing of emotional language content is able to circumvent in-depth semantic analysis.


Yet, this is only one side of the coin. Very recent research putting words into context suggests that language may also construe emotions and that by studying word processing one can provide a window to one’s own feelings. All in all, the empirical observations support the thesis of a close relationship between language and emotions at the level of word meaning as a specific evolutionary achievement of the human species. As such, this relationship seems to be different from the one between emotions and speech, where emotional meaning is conveyed by nonverbal features of the voice. But what does this relationship between written words and emotions theoretically imply for the processing of emotional information?


The present Research Topic and its related articles aim to provide answers to this question. This book comprises several experimental studies investigating the brain structures and the time course of emotional word processing. Included are studies examining the affective core dimensions underlying affective word processing and studies that show how these basic affective dimensions influence word processing in general as well as the interaction between words, feelings and (expressive) behavior. In addition, new impetus comes from studies that on the one hand investigate how task-, sublexical and intrapersonal factors influence emotional word processing and on the other hand extend emotional word processing to the domains of social context and self-related processing. Finally, future perspectives are outlined including research on emotion and language acquisition, culture and multilingualism.


In summary, this textbook offers scientists from different disciplines insight into the neurophysiological, behavioral and subjective mechanisms underlying emotion and language interactions. It gives new impulses to existing theories on the embodiment of language and emotion and provides new ways of looking at emotion-cognition interactions.

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