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Mental Practice - Clinical and Experimental Research in Imagery and Action Observation

Authors: --- --- ---
Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889198399 Year: Pages: 208 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-839-9 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Neurology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2016-01-19 14:05:46
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Abstract

There is now strong evidence demonstrating that the brain simulates action and other functions. Such action simulation can be evoked through conscious mental rehearsal of movement or imagery, but also through passive action observation watching movements in others. Furthermore, there is evidence to suggest that mental rehearsal of movement, or mental practice, can produce improvements normally attributed to practising actual movements. It is currently assumed that such improvements are due to neural activation associated with action simulation. However the neuroscience of mental practice efficacy is still poorly understood. The aim of this research topic is to clarify the underlying mechanisms of mental practice, bringing evidence from cognitive neuroscience, experimental neuropsychology, sport and movement science, and clinical neurology. It also attempts to address confusion regarding the concepts of imagery and observation, which has hampered the progression of mental practice research both scientifically and applied. As well as reviews, theoretical, and position articles, this research topic includes original neuroimaging, experimental, and patient research addressing, among others, the following issues. Neuroimaging studies provide strong evidence for action simulation, but the link to behavioural change and functional outcome is weak. What is the evidence that mental practice efficacy is driven by neuroplasticity processes evoked by action simulation? This research topic includes contributions on neural correlates and behaviour with regards to imagery and action observation. Much of the mental practice efficacy evidence comes from longstanding research within sport science. However, what does mental practice entail in these contexts, and to what extent is it compatible with the cognitive neuroscience perspective of action simulation? This research topic will include contributions that consider both evidence and concepts with regards to imagery and action observation, in an attempt to build an interdisciplinary consensus on the nature and application of mental practice. Mental practice is perceived as a promising motor rehabilitation technique, but critically there is lack of clarity or consensus on what mental practice treatment should entail. It is also not clear what are the most appropriate outcomes to measure imagery ability and cognitive or behavioural change following mental practice. A further important issue that needs consideration as part of this research topic is dosage, as it is currently unclear how much mental practice is appropriate and whether this depends on patient variables such as age, cognitive functioning, motor function, or pathophysiology.

Advances in Virtual Agents and Affective Computing for the Understanding and Remediation of Social Cognitive Disorders

Authors: --- --- --- --- et al.
Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889197873 Year: Pages: 138 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-787-3 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Neurology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2016-04-07 11:22:02
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Advances in modern sciences occur thanks to within-fields discoveries as well as confrontation of concepts and methods from separated, sometimes distant, domains of knowledge. For instance, the fields of psychology and psychopathology benefited from accumulated contributions from cognitive neurosciences, which, in turn, received insights from molecular chemistry, cellular biology, physics (neuroimaging), statistics and computer sciences (data processing), etc. From the results of these researches, one can argue that among the numerous cognitive phenomena supposedly involved in the emergence the human intelligence and organized behavior, some of them are specific to the social nature of our phylogenetic order. Scientific reductionism allowed to divide the social cognitive system into several components, i.e. emotion processing and regulation, mental state inference (theory of mind), agency, etc. New paradigms were progressively designed to investigate these processes within highly-controlled laboratory settings. Moreover, the related constructs were successful at better understanding psychopathological conditions such as autism and schizophrenia, with partial relationships with illness outcomes.

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