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The Safety and Efficacy of Noninvasive Brain Stimulation in Development and Neurodevelopmental Disorders

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889196999 Year: Pages: 68 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-699-9 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Neurology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2016-04-07 11:22:02
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Noninvasive brain stimulation (including Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) and Transcranial Current Brain Stimulation (TCS)) can be used both experimentally and therapeutically. In the experimental domain TMS can be applied in single pulses to depolarize a small population of neurons in a targeted brain region. This protocol can be used, for example, to map cortical motor outputs, study central motor conduction time, or evaluate the cortical silent period (a measure of intracortical inhibition) all of which are relevant to neurodevelopment. TMS can also be applied in pairs of pulses (paired pulse stimulation, ppTMS) where two pulses are presented in rapid succession to study intracortical inhibition and facilitation. Trains of repeated TMS (rTMS) pulses can be applied at various stimulation frequencies and patterns to modulate local cortical excitability beyond the duration of the stimulation itself. Depending on the parameters of stimulation the excitability can be either facilitated or suppressed. TCS (including Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS), alternating current (tACS), and random noise current stimulation (tRNS) also have the potential to modulate cortical excitability and have also been used to study and modulate cortical activity in healthy and patient populations. The after-effects of rTMS and TCS are thought to be related to changes in efficacy (in either the positive or negative direction) of synaptic connections of the neurons being stimulated, thus these techniques have been used to study and modulate cortical plasticity mechanisms in a number of populations. Recently, researchers have begun to apply these techniques to the study of neurodevelopmental mechanisms as well as the pathophysiology and development of novel treatments for neurodevelopmental disorders. Though there is much promise, caution is warranted given the vulnerability of pediatric and clinical populations and the potential that these techniques have to modify circuit development in a cortex that is in a very dynamic state. This Research Topic hopes to provide an opportunity to share ideas across areas (human and animal researchers, clinicians and basic scientists). We are particularly interested in papers that address issues of choosing a protocol (intensity, frequency, location, coil geometry etc.), populations where noninvasive brain stimulation may have direct impact on diagnostics and treatment, as well as the safety and ethics of applying these techniques in pediatric populations. As many may not be aware of the potential and limitations of noninvasive brain stimulation and its use for research and treatment in this area, this Research Topic promises to have broad appeal. Submissions for all Frontiers article types are encouraged.

The Neural Underpinnings of Vicarious Experience

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889192649 Year: Pages: 169 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-264-9 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Neurology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2015-12-03 13:02:24
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Everyday we vicariously experience a range of states that we observe in other people: we may "feel" embarrassed when witnessing another making a social faux pas, or we may feel sadness when we see a loved one upset. In some cases this process appears to be implicit. For instance, observing pain in others may activate pain-related neural processes but without generating an overt feeling of pain. In other cases, people report a more literal, conscious sharing of affective or somatic states and this has sometimes been described as representing an extreme form of empathy. By contrast, there appear to be some people who are limited in their ability to vicariously experience the states of others. This may be the case in several psychiatric, neurodevelopmental, and personality disorders where deficits in interpersonal understanding are observed, such as schizophrenia, autism, and psychopathy. In recent decades, neuroscientists have paid significant attention to the understanding of the “social brain,” and the way in which neural processes govern our understanding of other people. In this Research Topic, we wish to contribute towards this understanding and ask for the submission of manuscripts focusing broadly on the neural underpinnings of vicarious experience. This may include theoretical discussion, case studies, and empirical investigation using behavioural techniques, electrophysiology, brain stimulation, and neuroimaging in both healthy and clinical populations. Of specific interest will be the neural correlates of individual differences in traits such as empathy, how we distinguish between ourselves and other people, and the sensorimotor resonant mechanisms that may allow us to put ourselves in another's shoes.

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