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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.

Cognition across the psychiatric disorder spectrum: From mental health to clinical diagnosis

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889196531 Year: Pages: 93 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-653-1 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Medicine (General) --- Psychiatry
Added to DOAB on : 2016-08-16 10:34:25
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Psychiatric symptoms are considered to be distributed along a continuum, from good mental health to a diagnosable psychiatric disorder. In the case of psychosis, subclinical psychotic experiences, which can include odd behaviors, strange speech, unusual perceptual experiences and social/emotional withdrawal, are often referred to as schizotypy. Research examining schizotypal traits in non-clinical populations is rapidly expanding. The exploration of schizotypy allows us to identify areas of overlap with psychiatric disorders (schizophrenia and related disorders) at genetic, biological, environmental and psychosocial levels, thus identifying putative risk factors, as well as exploring potentially protective factors. Schizotypy is also a valuable model for exploring cognition as performance is not confounded by issues often present in schizophrenia samples, such as long-term antipsychotic medication usage, social isolation, and recurrent hospitalizations. Investigating cognition is a particularly important area of research as cognitive symptoms in schizophrenia, such as impaired attention, reduced memory and difficulties with executive functions, are a core feature of schizophrenia and strongly related to quality of life and functional outcomes, yet generally respond poorly to current treatment options. The aim of this special Research Topic is to explore the relationship between cognition, schizotypy and the schizophrenia spectrum. The articles in this e-book draw on a variety of perspectives and represent an interesting array of opinions, reviews and empirical studies that begin to answer questions about the similarities and overlaps between schizotypy and schizophrenia spectrum disorders, contributing to our understanding of potential risk factors. Equally important is research that highlights differences between schizotypy and schizophrenia spectrum disorders that may enhance our understanding of potentially protective or adaptive features of schizotypy. Collectively, these articles highlight the exploratory potential of the study of schizotypy, particularly in relation to better understanding cognition across the schizophrenia spectrum.

Do Both Psychopathology and Creativity Result from a Labile Wake-Sleep-Dream Cycle?

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889453375 Year: Pages: 115 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88945-337-5 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Science (General) --- Psychology
Added to DOAB on : 2018-02-27 16:16:45
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Laypeople think of wake, sleep and dreaming as distinct states of the mind/brain but “in-between”, hybrid states are recognized. For example, day-dreaming or, more scientifically, the default network occurs during wake. Equally, during sleep, lucid dreaming in rapid eye movement (REM) sleep presents as another hybrid state. But hybrid states are usually temporary. This book explores the possibility of an enduring hybrid wake-sleep-dream state, proposing that such a state may engender both creativity and psychopathologies. REM sleep is hyper-associative. Creativity depends on making remote associations. If REM sleep and dreaming begin to suffuse the wake state, enhanced creativity may result. But moderate to severe interpenetration of wake, sleep and dreaming may engender psychopathologies – as the functions of wake, sleep and dreaming are partially eroded.

Fragmentation in Sleep and Mind: Linking Dissociative Symptoms, Sleep, and Memory

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889454488 Year: Pages: 108 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88945-448-8 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Medicine (General) --- Psychiatry --- Science (General) --- Psychology
Added to DOAB on : 2018-11-16 17:17:57
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Fragmented, dissociated consciousness can characterize the mind in both wake and sleep states. Dissociative symptoms, during sleep, include vivid dreaming, nightmares, and alterations in objective sleep parameters (e.g., lengthening of REM sleep). During waking hours, dissociative symptoms exhibit disparate characteristics encompassing memory problems, excessive daydreaming, absentmindedness, and impairments and discontinuities in perceptions of the self, identity, and the environment. Llewellyn has theorized that a progressive and enduring de-differentiation of wake and dream states of consciousness eventually results in schizophrenia; a lesser degree of de-differentiation may have implications for dissociative symptoms.Against a background of de-differentiation between the dream and wake states, the papers in this volume link consciousness, memory, and mental illness with a special interest for dissociative symptoms.

Cognitive Event-Related Potentials in Psychopathology: New Experimental and Clinical Perspectives

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889450688 Year: Pages: 112 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88945-068-8 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Psychology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2017-07-06 13:27:36
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A common feature of many psychopathological states (going from anxiety, depression to schizophrenia or addictions) is to show cognitive alterations. These cognitive deficits clearly impact on the onset of clinical symptoms. Therefore, recent studies showed that increasing cognitive skills have a positive effect on patients' quality of life, and decrease the severity of clinical symptoms. However, a main problem consists in the fact that some minor cognitive restrictions, even if not observable at the behavioral level, may induce a state of "vulnerability" that can, in some circumstances, lead the patients to relapse. For instance, in alcohol dependence, it is well-known that, despite detoxification cure, psychological intervention and medication, 50 to 90% of patients resume in alcohol consumption within 1 year post-detoxification cure. In this view, it could be really important to find biological markers for even minor cognitive alterations, that can help clinicians to identify which patients are more "at-risk" to relapse, in order to improve treatment through best suited medication and specialized programs of cognitive rehabilitation. In this topic, our aim is to illustrate how and why cognitive event-related potentials (ERPs) may help in different psychopathological populations to adapt the treatment of individual patients on the basis of their specific neuro-cognitive alterations.

Madness and Creativity: Yes, No or Maybe?

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889196708 Year: Pages: 85 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-670-8 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Psychology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2015-12-04 13:33:42
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The pervasive idea that madness and creativity are intricately linked is one that holds tremendous fascination for both scientists and the general public alike. Although this view was at first largely driven by anecdotal evidence showcasing the manifestation of mental illness in individuals who exhibited extraordinary levels of creativity in various spheres of life, it initiated a strong impetus to empirically investigate the association between mental health and creativity.A variety of approaches (and combinations of approaches) have been adopted to address this association including clinical, personality, psychometric, behavioral, cognitive, historiometric and neuroscientific. Despite the ever accumulating body of evidence over the past six decades investigating this link, what is lacking is a comprehensive overview of the disparate findings from these different approaches that will enable us to address the question of whether there is an empirically founded relationship between creativity and mental illness. And if such a link does exist, what is the nature of this association? The purpose of this Research Topic was to motivate theorists and researchers to answer this question (or at least attempt to do so) given the available evidence thus far. The themes of interest that were open to exploration in view of this topic included:(a) Which mental disorders are positively associated with creativity?(b) Which mental disorders are negatively associated with creativity?(c) The dynamics of information processing biases (positive versus negative) associated with psychiatric and high-risk populations(d) Theories regarding the madness-creativity link(e) Personality-based studies on creativity(f) Creativity, mental illness and the brain(g) Genes and creativity(h) How can studies on neurological populations inform this debate?(i) What are the areas of impact with regard to real world applications and practice?(j) Historical timeline of this question(k) Evolutionary perspectives on the madness-creativity link(l) Methodological problems associated with this field(m) Philosophical issues to bear in mind when investigating this domain(n) The usefulness of the “troubled genius” concept The invitation to contribute was open to all interested academics regardless of whether they were seasoned explorers within this field of study or just beginning to get their feet wet in its murky waters. As a result of adopting this inclusive approach, the contributions showcase a wide variety of perspectives from academic departments and institutions the world over. What is most encouraging is that so many were willing to openly take on the challenge of tackling this difficult question head on. We hope future discussions that follow through as a result of this collective effort will prove to be just as fruitful.

Neuroscience of Human Attachment

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889452217 Year: Pages: 214 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88945-221-7 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Neurology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2017-10-13 14:57:01
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Attachment is a biologically emotion regulation based system guiding cognitive and emotional processes with respect to intimate and significant relationships. Secure relationships promote infants’ exploration of the world and expand their mastery of the environment. Adverse attachment experiences like, maltreatment, loss, and separation have long been known to have enduring unfavorable effects on human mental health. Research on the neurobiological basis of attachment started with animal studies focusing on emotional deprivation and its behavioral, molecular and endocrine consequences. The present book presents an interdisciplinary synthesis of existing knowledge and new perspectives on the human neuroscience of attachment, showing the tremendous development of this field. The following chapters include innovative studies that are representative of the broad spectrum of current approaches. These involve both differing neurobiological types of substrates using measures like fMRI, EEG, psychophysiology, endocrine parameters, and genetic polymorphisms, as well as psychometric approaches to classify attachment patterns in individuals. The findings we have acquired in the meanwhile on the neural substrates of attachment in healthy subjects lay the foundation of studies with clinical groups. The final section of the book addresses evidence on changes in the functioning of these neural substrates in psychopathology.

Advances in Emotion Regulation: From Neuroscience to Psychotherapy

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889452439 Year: Pages: 159 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88945-243-9 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Science (General) --- Psychology
Added to DOAB on : 2018-02-27 16:16:44
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Emotions are the gift nature gave us to help us connect with others. Emotions do not come from out of nowhere. Rather, they are constantly generated, usually by stimuli in our interpersonal world. They bond us to others, guide us in navigating our social interactions, and help us care for each other. Paraphrasing Shakespeare, “Our relationships are such stuff as emotions are made of”. Emotions express our needs and desires. When problems happen in our relationships, emotions arise to help us fixing those problems. However, when emotions can become dysregulated, pathology begins. Almost all forms of psychopathology are associated with dysregulated emotions or dysregulatory mechanisms. These dysregulated emotions can become regulated when the therapist helps clients express, face and regulate their emotions, and channel them into healthy actions. This research topic gathers contributions from affective neuroscientists and psychotherapists to illustrate how our emotions become dysregulated in life and can become regulated through psychotherapy.

Embodying the Self: Neurophysiological Perspectives on the Psychopathology of Anomalous Bodily Experiences

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889454563 Year: Pages: 174 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88945-456-3 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Science (General) --- Neurology
Added to DOAB on : 2018-11-16 17:17:57
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Since the beginning of the 20th Century, phenomenology has developed a distinction between lived body (Leib) and physical body (Koerper), a distinction well known as body-subject vs. body-object (Hanna and Thompson 2007). The lived body is the body experienced from within - my own direct experience of my body lived in the first-person perspective, myself as a spatiotemporal embodied agent in the world. The physical body on the other hand, is the body thematically investigated from a third person perspective by natural sciences as anatomy and physiology. An active topic affecting the understanding of several psychopathological disorders is the relatively unknown dynamic existing between aspects related to the body-object (that comprises the neurobiological substrate of the disease) and the body-subject (the experiences reported by patients) (Nelson and Sass 2017). A clue testifying the need to better explore this dynamic in the psychopathological context is the marked gap that still exists between patients’ clinical reports (generally entailing disturbing experiences) and etiopathogenetic theories and therapeutic practices, that are mainly postulated at a bodily/brain level of description and analysis. The phenomenological exploration typically targets descriptions of persons’ lived experience. For instance, patients suffering from schizophrenia may describe their thoughts as alien (‘‘thoughts are intruding into my head’’) and the world surrounding them as fragmented (‘‘the world is a series of snapshots’’) (Stanghellini et al., 2015). The result is a rich and detailed collection of the patients’ qualitative self-descriptions (Stanghellini and Rossi, 2014), that reveal fundamental changes in the structure of experiencing and can be captured by using specific assessment tools (Parnas et al. 2005; Sass et al. 2017; Stanghellini et al., 2014).The practice of considering the objective and the subjective levels of analysis as separated in the research studies design has many unintended consequences. Primarily, it has the effect of limiting actionable neuroscientific progress within clinical practice. This holds true both in terms of availability of evidence-based treatments for the disorders, as well as for early diagnosis purposes. In response to this need, this collection of articles aims to promote an interdisciplinary endeavor to better connect the bodily, objective level of analysis with its experiential corollary. This is accomplished by focusing on the convergence between (neuro) physiological evidence and the phenomenological manifestations of anomalous bodily experiences present in different disorders.

A Multidimensional Approach to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder - from Theory to Practice

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ISBN: 9789535127284 9789535127291 9789535141600 Year: Pages: 254 DOI: 10.5772/61874 Language: English
Publisher: IntechOpen
Subject: Psychology
Added to DOAB on : 2019-10-03 07:51:49

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Is the heart rate variability biofeedback a promising intervention for PTSD? Is there a link between early traumatic events in life and the presence of psychopathology and interpersonal difficulties in adulthood? Wondering what is the next step for humanistic, psychodynamic, or CBT therapists working with PTSD patients? Look no further. A Multidimensional Approach to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder - From Theory to Practice explores the PTSD through the lens of the biopsychosocial model. The various topics covered in this book - from the neuro-bio-physiological aspects to the clinical and methodological dimensions involved in investigating the PTSD - address a wide variety of concerns regarding the disorder. The authors of the chapters are internationally renowned leaders in their field of science, sharing both the results of their latest investigations and their thoughtful perspectives on future fundamental and clinical research on PTSD. The knowledge shared by the authors results in an engaging and scientific experience for the initiated reader, yet accessible to the newcomers who are just learning about PTSD.

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