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Health Among the Elderly in Germany

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Book Series: Beitrage zur Bevölkerungswissenschaft ISBN: 9783847402886 9783847406068 Year: Pages: 214 DOI: 10.3224/84740606 Language: English
Publisher: Verlag Barbara Budrich
Subject: Social Sciences
Added to DOAB on : 2018-09-13 11:01:03
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Whether increasing life expectancy leads to better health remains still controversial. Three topics are explored: (1) vanguard groups which inform about possible levels of health if the general social and environmental conditions were to approach those of the vanguard group; (2) the social and behavioral determinants of health differentiated into proximal and distal factors; (3) vulnerable groups such as migrants and the health differences between migrant groups. Newly available population-based data as well as new study designs and advanced statistical modelling form the basis for the empirical analyses.&#xD;

Individual differences in associative learning

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889192908 Year: Pages: 112 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-290-8 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Psychology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2015-12-10 11:59:07
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Theories of associative learning have a long history in advancing the psychological account of behavior via cognitive representation. There are many components and variations of associative theory but at the core is the idea that links or connections between stimuli or responses describe important aspects of our psychological experience. This Frontiers Topic considers how variations in association formation can be used to account for differences between people, elaborating the differences between males and females, differences over the life span, understanding of psychopathologies or even across cultural contexts. A recent volume on the application of learning theory to clinical psychology is one example of this emerging application (e.g., Hazelgrove & Hogarth, 2012). The task for students of learning has been the development, often with mathematically defined explanations, of the parameters and operators that determine the formation and strengths of associations. The ultimate goal is to explain how the acquired representations influence future behavior. This approach has recently been influential in the field of neuroscience where one such learning operator, the error correction principle, has unified the understanding of the conditions which facilitate neuron activation with the computational goals of the brain with properties of learning algorithms (e.g., Rescorla & Wagner, 1972). In this Frontiers Research Topic, we are interested in a similar but currently developing aspect to learning theory, which is the application of the associative model to our understanding of individual differences, including psychopathology. In general, learning theories are monolithic, the same theory applies to the rat and the human, and within people the same algorithm is applied to all individuals. If so this might be thought to suggest that there is little that learning theory can tell us about the how males and females differ, how we change over time or why someone develops schizophrenia for instance. However, these theories have wide scope for developing our understanding of when learning occurs and when it is interfered with, along with a variety of methods of predicting these differences. We received contributions from researchers studying individual differences, including sex differences, age related changes and those using analog or clinical samples of personality and psychopathological disorders where the outcomes of the research bear directly on theories of associative learning. This Research Topic brings together researchers studying basic learning and conditioning processes but in which the basic emotional, attentional, pathological or more general physiological differences between groups of people are modeled using associative theory. This work involves varying stimulus properties and temporal relations or modeling the differences between groups.

Variability and Individual Differences in Early Social Perception and Social Cognition

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889198481 Year: Pages: 174 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-848-1 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Psychology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2016-01-19 14:05:46
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Over the past three decades mounting evidence has suggested that infants’ social perceptual and social cognitive abilities are considerably richer than was once thought. By the end of the second year of life, infants discriminate faces along various social dimensions, attend to and understand others’ goals and intentions, use the emotions of others to guide their learning and behavior, attribute dispositional characteristics to other agents, and make basic social evaluations. What has also become clear is that there is a great deal of variability in infants’ social perception and cognition. A critical, outstanding question concerns the nature and meaning of such variability. The proposed Research Topic welcomes papers addressing cutting-edge questions regarding variability and individual differences in early social perception and social cognition. The goal of these papers is to investigate overarching questions in this domain, which are necessary to move the field forward. Variability in early social perception and social cognition (among other domains) in infancy and early childhood is often attributed to noise, or overlooked in favor of focusing on age-related changes. Yet, recent work suggests that variability in social perceptual and social cognitive tasks reliably inter-relates, and predicts real-world social behaviors. For example, infants’ everyday experience with different face categories predicts individual differences in face processing, infants’ production of goal-directed actions predicts their simultaneous understanding of these actions, and variability in social attention during the second year of life is related to theory of mind during the preschool years. These findings suggest that variability in performance on social perception and social cognition tasks is not merely a nuisance variable, but, rather, may provide the key to addressing significant questions regarding the nature of infants’ social perception and social cognition, and the processes that underlie developmental change. Acknowledging and closely examining and investigating variability in early social perceptual and social cognitive abilities may represent a powerful approach for understanding development in (at least) two ways. First, variability can signal transitional points in the developmental onset of a given ability. Thus, such variability, and the extent to which variability relates to experience and/or other abilities, can be used to test hypotheses regarding mechanisms that underlie developmental changes. Second, variability can represent more enduring individual differences between infants. In this case, critical questions arise regarding the source of individual differences (that is, what factors shape the emergence of individual differences?) and whether such early individual differences contribute to the development of more advanced and sophisticated forms of social cognition and behavior. The goal of this Research Topic will be to encourage researchers to take variability in early social perception and cognition seriously. Papers that give variability center stage, and are aimed at addressing the value of variability for identifying developmental mechanisms, as well as investigating the existence, source, and antecedents of early individual differences in social perception and social cognition are welcomed. Taken together, the contributed papers will provide integral new information to the study of social perception and social cognition over the first three years of life.

Individuality in music performance

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889193073 Year: Pages: 171 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-307-3 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Psychology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2016-02-05 17:24:33
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Humans are remarkably adept at identifying individuals on the basis of their facial features, or other traits such as gait or vocal timbre. Besides voice, another auditory medium capable of carrying identity information is music. Indeed, certain famous musicians, such as John Coltrane or Sonny Rollins, need only to play a few notes to be unequivocally recognized. Along with emotion and structural cues, artistic individuality seems to be a key element communicated in music performance. Yet, the means by which individuality is expressed in performance, as well as the cognitive processes employed by listeners to perceive identity cues, remain poorly elucidated. Other pertinent issues, including the connection between a performer’s technical competence and ability to convey a specific musical identity, as well as potential links between individuality and career-defining outcomes such as critical recognition and aesthetic appraisal, warrant further exploration. Quantitative approaches to the study of music performance have benefited greatly from MIDI technology and the application of computational methods, leading to the flourishing of empirical music performance research over the last few decades. More recently, neuroimaging techniques have provided valuable insights into the neural mechanisms involved in the cognitive processes of performing music. Nevertheless, this field continues to benefit greatly from qualitative approaches, given that the communication of affect and identity cues in music performance leads to a rich subjectivity of impressions that must be accounted for in order to lead to a greater understanding of this multifaceted phenomenon. The aim of this Research Topic is to provide a forum for interdisciplinary research broadly related to the expression and perception of individuality in music performance. Research methodology includes behavioral, psychophysiological, and neuroimaging techniques. Both quantitative and qualitative approaches are presented The scope of this Research Topic includes laboratory studies as well as studies in real-life performance settings and longitudinal studies on performers.

Face Perception across the Life-Span

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889451142 Year: Pages: 244 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88945-114-2 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Psychology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2017-07-06 13:27:36
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Face perception is a highly evolved visual skills in humans. This complex ability develops across the life-span, steeply rising in infancy, refining across childhood and adolescence, reaching highest levels in adulthood and declining in old age. As such, the development of face perception comprises multiple skills, including sensory (e.g., mechanisms of holistic, configural and featural perception), cognitive (e.g., memory, processing speed, attentional control), and also emotional and social (e.g., reading and interpreting facial expression) domains. Whereas our understanding of specific functional domains involved in face perception is growing, there is further pressing demand for a multidisciplinary approach toward a more integrated view, describing how face perception ability relates to and develops with other domains of sensory and cognitive functioning. In this research topic we bring together a collection of papers that provide a shot of the current state of the art of theorizing and investigating face perception from the perspective of multiple ability domains. We would like to thank all authors for their valuable contributions that advanced our understanding of face and emotion perception across development.

The Underrepresentation of Women in Science: International and Cross-Disciplinary Evidence and Debate

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889454341 Year: Pages: 168 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88945-434-1 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Science (General) --- Psychology
Added to DOAB on : 2018-11-16 17:17:57
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There is no shortage of articles and books exploring women’s underrepresentation in science. Everyone is interested--academics, politicians, parents, high school girls (and boys), women in search of college majors, administrators working to accommodate women’s educational interests; the list goes on. But one thing often missing is an evidence-based examination of the problem, uninfluenced by personal opinions, accounts of “lived experiences,” anecdotes, and the always-encroaching inputs of popular culture. This is why this special issue of Frontiers in Psychology can make a difference. In it, a diverse group of authors and researchers with even more diverse viewpoints find themselves united by their empirical, objective approaches to understanding women’s underrepresentation in science today. The questions considered within this special issue span academic disciplines, methods, levels of analysis, and nature of analysis; what these article share is their scholarly, evidence-based approach to understanding a key issue of our time.

Visual Dysfunction in Schizophrenia: A View into the Mechanisms of Madness?

Authors: --- --- --- --- et al.
Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889195152 Year: Pages: 319 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-515-2 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Psychology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2015-10-30 16:33:44
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Research on visual perception in schizophrenia has a long history. However, it is only recently that it has been included in mainstream efforts to understand the cognitive neuroscience of the disorder and to assist with biomarker and treatment development (e.g., the NIMH CNTRICS and RDoC initiatives). Advances in our understanding of visual disturbances in schizophrenia can tell us about both specific computational and neurobiological abnormalities, and about the widespread computational and neurobiological abnormalities in the illness, of which visual disturbances constitute well-studied, replicable, low-level examples. Importantly, far from being a passive sensory registration process, visual perception is active, inferential, and hypothesis-generating, and therefore can provide excellent examples of breakdowns in general brain functions in schizophrenia. Despite progress made in understanding visual processing disturbances in schizophrenia, many challenges exist and many unexplored areas are in need of examination. For example, the directional relationships between perceptual and cognitive disturbances (e.g., in attention, memory, executive function, predictive coding) remain unclear in many cases, as do links with symptoms, including visual hallucinations. The effect of specific visual disturbances on multisensory integration in schizophrenia has also not been explored. In addition, few studies of vision in schizophrenia have used naturalistic stimuli, including real-world objects, and almost no studies have examined processing during interaction with objects or visual exploration, which can provide important data on functioning of the perception for action pathway. Relatedly, studies of visual processing in schizophrenia have also not been conducted within contexts that include emotional stimulation and the presence of reinforcers - characteristics of many real-world situations - and the consequences of this are likely to be an incomplete view of how and when perception is abnormal in the condition. An additional important area involves treatment of visual disturbances in schizophrenia. Two major questions regarding this are: 1) can visual processing be improved in cases where it is impaired (and by what types of interventions affecting which cognitive and neurobiological mechanisms)? and 2) what are the clinical and functional benefits of improving specific visual functions in people with schizophrenia? Other important and understudied questions concern: 1) the extent to which indices of visual functioning can serve as biomarkers such as predictors of relapse, treatment response, and/or recovery; 2) the potential role of visual functioning in diagnosing and predicting illness; 3) the extent to which some visual perception disturbances are diagnostically specific to schizophrenia; and 4) the extent to which visual disturbances are truly manifestations of disease, as opposed to aspects of normal variation that, in combination with disease, serves to modify the clinical presentation. This Frontiers Research Topic explores some of these, and other issues facing this exciting interface between vision science and schizophrenia research. We include papers that span the entire range of different Frontiers paper types, including those that are data driven (using psychophysics, electroencephalography, neuroimaging, computational and animal models, and other methods), reviews, hypotheses, theories, opinion, methods, areas of impact, and historical perspectives.

The Variable Mind? How Apparently Inconsistent Effects Might Inform Model Building

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889198597 Year: Pages: 135 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-859-7 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Psychology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2016-01-19 14:05:46
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Model building is typically based on the identification of a set of established facts in any given field of research, insofar as the model is then evaluated on how well it accounts for these facts. Psychology – and specifically visual word identification and reading – is no exception in this sense (e.g., Amenta & Crepaldi, 2012; Coltheart et al., 2001; Grainger & Jacobs, 1996). What counts as an established fact, however, was never discussed in great detail. It was typically considered, for example, that experimental effects need to replicate across, e.g., individuals, experimental settings, and languages if they are to be believed. The emphasis was on consistency, perhaps under a tacit assumption that the universal principles lying behind our cognitive structures determine our behaviour for the most part (or at least for that part that is relevant for model building). There are signs that a different approach is growing up in reading research. On a theoretical ground, Dennis Norris’ Bayesian reader (2006, 2009) has advanced the idea that models can dispense of static forms of representation (i.e., fixed architectures), and process information in a way that is dynamically constrained by context-specific requirements. Ram Frost (2012) has focused on language-specific constraints in the development of general theories of reading. On an empirical ground, the most notable recent advance in visual word identification concern the demonstration that some previously established (in the classic sense) effects depend heavily on language (Velan and Frost, 2011), task (e.g., Duñabeitia et al., 2011; Marelli et al., 2013; Kinoshita and Norris, 2009), or even individual differences (Andrews & Lo, 2012, 2013). Variability has become an intrinsic and informative aspect of cognitive processing, rather than a sign of experimental weakness. This Research Topic aims at moving forward in this new direction by providing an outlet for experimental and theoretical papers that: (i) explore more in depth the theoretical basis for considering variability as an intrinsic property of the human cognitive system; (ii) highlight new context-dependent experimental effects, in a way that is informative on the dynamics of the underlying cognitive processing; (iii) shed new light on known context-dependent experimental effects, again in a way that enhances their theoretical informativeness.

Manual Asymmetries, Handedness and Motor Performance

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889198634 Year: Pages: 147 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-863-4 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Psychology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2016-01-19 14:05:46
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The performance of most tasks with one hand, typically the right, is a uniquely human characteristic. Not only do people prefer to use one hand rather than the other, but also they usually perform tasks faster and more accurately with this hand. The study of manual asymmetries and what such performance differences between the two hands reveal about brain organization and motor function has been a topic of considerable research over the last several decades. The aim of this Research Topic is to review and further explore the origins of manual asymmetries and their relationship to handedness, unimanual and bimanual motor performance, and brain function. The articles included here involve original research conducted in humans or non-human models species, as well as theoretical perspectives, review articles, and meta-analyses.

Creativity and Mental Imagery

Authors: --- --- --- --- et al.
Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889199945 Year: Pages: 114 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-994-5 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Science (General) --- Psychology
Added to DOAB on : 2016-01-19 14:05:46
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Creativity is increasingly attracting attention of scientific community given its role in different aspects of human life. So far we have only began to understand its complexity and how it correlates with other cognitive processes. A further understanding of its key processes is essential to better implement applications of creativity tools to daily life. Therefore, it is the aim of this Research Topics to further elucidate how creativity can be measured, and its components, such as mental imagery, are determined.

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