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Neural Mechanisms of Perceptual Categorization as Precursors to Speech Perception

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889451586 Year: Pages: 186 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88945-158-6 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Neurology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2017-08-28 14:01:09
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Perceptual categorization is fundamental to the brain’s remarkable ability to process large amounts of sensory information and efficiently recognize objects including speech. Perceptual categorization is the neural bridge between lower-level sensory and higher-level language processing. A long line of research on the physical properties of the speech signal as determined by the anatomy and physiology of the speech production apparatus has led to descriptions of the acoustic information that is used in speech recognition (e.g., stop consonants place and manner of articulation, voice onset time, aspiration). Recent research has also considered what visual cues are relevant to visual speech recognition (i.e., the visual counter-parts used in lipreading or audiovisual speech perception). Much of the theoretical work on speech perception was done in the twentieth century without the benefit of neuroimaging technologies and models of neural representation. Recent progress in understanding the functional organization of sensory and association cortices based on advances in neuroimaging presents the possibility of achieving a comprehensive and far reaching account of perception in the service of language. At the level of cell assemblies, research in animals and humans suggests that neurons in the temporal cortex are important for encoding biological categories. On the cellular level, different classes of neurons (interneurons and pyramidal neurons) have been suggested to play differential roles in the neural computations underlying auditory and visual categorization. The moment is ripe for a research topic focused on neural mechanisms mediating the emergence of speech representations (including auditory, visual and even somatosensory based forms). Important progress can be achieved by juxtaposing within the same research topic the knowledge that currently exists, the identified lacunae, and the theories that can support future investigations. This research topic provides a snapshot and platform for discussion of current understanding of neural mechanisms underlying the formation of perceptual categories and their relationship to language from a multidisciplinary and multisensory perspective. It includes contributions (reviews, original research, methodological developments) pertaining to the neural substrates, dynamics, and mechanisms underlying perceptual categorization and their interaction with neural processes governing speech perception.

Learning in Social Context: The Nature and Profit of Living in Groups for Development

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889451821 Year: Pages: 87 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88945-182-1 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Psychology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2017-08-28 14:01:09
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One of the distinctive features of humans is their unique sociality. Humans live in organized societies that are characterized by a high level of interdependence of group members in various aspects of life, ranging from the economic phenomenon of labour division to providing emotional support to others. Under these circumstances, the capacity to track social connections within and between groups has great adaptive value in managing everyday life. We may understand the importance and adaptive value of tracking the scope of culturally shared knowledge if we consider the importance of cultural norms in guiding behaviour. To become a competent member of their cultural group one must be able to conform to the group's specific behavioural norms and to accumulate culturally shared knowledge. Acquiring this knowledge is essential for successful social interactions. In contrast to current dominant explanatory theories emphasizing that social category formation is simply rooted in humans’ need to belong and affiliate with a group, the aim of this e-book is to provide evidence that, in addition to its affiliative role, children form social categories for epistemic purposes. We show that children use specific cues, like kinship, patterns of resource allocation and consensus to understand group cohesion (Section 1). Once children figured out who is in-group and who is out-group, they show a significant in-group bias in attention, acting and learning (Section 2). Yet, this in-group bias can be attenuated by induced synchronous behavior (Section 3).

Stem Cell and Biologic Scaffold Engineering

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ISBN: 9783039214976 9783039214983 Year: Pages: 110 DOI: 10.3390/books978-3-03921-498-3 Language: English
Publisher: MDPI - Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute
Subject: Science (General) --- Biology
Added to DOAB on : 2019-12-09 11:49:15
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Tissue engineering and regenerative medicine is a rapidly evolving research field which effectively combines stem cells and biologic scaffolds in order to replace damaged tissues. Biologic scaffolds can be produced through the removal of resident cellular populations using several tissue engineering approaches, such as the decellularization method. Indeed, the decellularization method aims to develop a cell-free biologic scaffold while keeping the extracellular matrix (ECM) intact. Furthermore, biologic scaffolds have been investigated for their in vitro potential for whole organ development. Currently, clinical products composed of decellularized matrices, such as pericardium, urinary bladder, small intestine, heart valves, nerve conduits, trachea, and vessels, are being evaluated for use in human clinical trials. Tissue engineering strategies require the interaction of biologic scaffolds with cellular populations. Among them, stem cells are characterized by unlimited cell division, self-renewal, and differentiation potential, distinguishing themselves as a frontline source for the repopulation of decellularized matrices and scaffolds. Under this scheme, stem cells can be isolated from patients, expanded under good manufacturing practices (GMPs), used for the repopulation of biologic scaffolds and, finally, returned to the patient. The interaction between scaffolds and stem cells is thought to be crucial for their infiltration, adhesion, and differentiation into specific cell types. In addition, biomedical devices such as bioreactors contribute to the uniform repopulation of scaffolds. Until now, remarkable efforts have been made by the scientific society in order to establish the proper repopulation conditions of decellularized matrices and scaffolds. However, parameters such as stem cell number, in vitro cultivation conditions, and specific growth media composition need further evaluation. The ultimate goal is the development of “artificial” tissues similar to native ones, which is achieved by properly combining stem cells and biologic scaffolds and thus bringing them one step closer to personalized medicine. The original research articles and comprehensive reviews in this Special Issue deal with the use of stem cells and biologic scaffolds that utilize state-of-the-art tissue engineering and regenerative medicine approaches.

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