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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.

New frontiers in the neuropsychopharmacology of mental illness

Authors: --- ---
Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889194049 Year: Pages: 254 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-404-9 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Therapeutics --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2015-12-10 11:59:06
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In recent years, mental illnesses have become recognized as a huge emotional and financial burden to the individual, their relatives and society at large. Stress-related and mood disorders as well as psychoactive substance abuse are among the disorders associated with most disability in high income countries. Suicide, which is often attributed to some underlying mental disorders, is a leading cause of death among teenagers and young adults. At the same time, mental disorders pose some of the toughest challenges in neuroscience research. There are many different categories of mental disorder as defined and classified by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) and the International Statistical Classification of Diseases 10th Revision (ICD-10). Despite the ongoing improvements of those widely used manuals, the validity and reliability of their diagnoses remain a constant debate. However, it has now become accepted by the scientific community that mental disorders can arise from multiple sources. In that regard, both clinical and animal studies looking at gene-environment interactions have helped to better understand the mechanisms involved in the pathophysiology as well as the discovery of treatments for mental disorders. This Research Topic aims to cover recent progress in research studying how genetic make-up and environmental factors (such as stress paradigm or pharmacological treatment) can contribute to the development of mental disorders such as anxiety, depression, and schizophrenia. This Research Topic also seeks to highlight studies looking at affective-like disorders following the intake of drugs of abuse. We also welcome all research articles, review papers, brief communications, and commentary on topics related to the broad field of Neuropsychopharmacology.

Non-Pharmacological Interventions for Schizophrenia: How Much Can Be Achieved and How?

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889450091 Year: Pages: 94 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88945-009-1 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Psychology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2017-07-06 13:27:36
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The introduction of antipsychotic agents in the 1950’s substantially improved the treatment of schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders. However, clinical and functional outcomes are still far less than optimal for patients, and have not improved in recent years despite the development of several new antipsychotics. Efficacy rates are further compromised by medication non-adherence, which has been reported to affect more than half of patients. In response to these issues, several non-pharmacological interventions have been developed for the treatment of schizophrenia, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, cognitive remediation, social cognition training and metacognitive approaches. Although these interventions have produced promising results, there is still much controversy regarding their usefulness and applicability in clinical practice. A major impeding factor for their dissemination is possibly a lack of sufficient evidence regarding their specific indications, mechanisms of action, adverse effects, but also practical issues concerning the interpretability of respective clinical studies, such as the choice of outcome variables and control of confounding factors. The present Research Topic includes original research articles and reviews addressing these issues.

Schizophrenia: A Consequence of Gene-Environment Interactions?

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889195312 Year: Pages: 126 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-531-2 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Neurology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2015-12-10 11:59:06
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Schizophrenia is a multi-factorial disease characterized by a high heritability and environmental risk factors (e.g. stress and cannabis use). In recent years, an increasing number of researchers worldwide have started investigating the ‘two-hit hypothesis’ of schizophrenia predicting that genetic and environmental risk factors interactively cause the development of the disorder. This work is starting to produce valuable new animal models and reveal novel insights into the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. Eventually, it might help advance studies of the molecular pathways involved in this mental disorder and propose more specific molecular medicine. However, the complexity of this multi-factorial line of research has also caused difficulties in data interpretation and comparison. Our research topic is intended to cover past and current directions in research dedicated to the understanding and measurement of gene-environment interactions (GxE) in schizophrenia, the neurobiological and behavioural consequences of such interactions as well as the challenges and limitations one encounters when working on complex aetiological systems.

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.

Neural processing of emotion in multimodal settings

Authors: --- --- --- --- et al.
Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889194148 Year: Pages: 274 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-414-8 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Neurology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2015-12-10 11:59:06
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Our everyday life is characterized by a multitude of emotionally relevant cues that we perceive and communicate via various sensory channels. This does not only encompass the obvious cases of auditory and visual modalities, but also olfactory, gustatory, and even tactile stimuli. Any kind of emotional situation in a natural setting is usually a multimodal experience: A friend welcomes us with warm words, a smile, and a happy voice; the sight of our favourite food is accompanied by a seductive smell and a delicious taste; the thrill of watching an exciting movie scene is intensified by a gripping soundtrack. In these situations, the signals from various senses do not stand on their own; they interact and create a unified emotional experience. Recent neuroscientific research has begun to accommodate this inherent multimodality of emotions in natural situations by studying the interaction of affectively relevant information from more than one sensory channel. Fascinating new aspects emerge concerning the neurobiology of emotion processing, and there is evidence that integrating emotional cues from various sources invokes brain processes that go beyond the well-known patterns observed during unimodal stimulation. The aim of this volume is to present novel and interesting studies dealing with the multimodality of emotions and their neural processing. This includes findings from novel paradigms beyond the classical stimulus-response pattern, fascinating new insights into the interaction of the chemical senses, new analysis methods, comprehensive reviews of selected topics, multimodality in social interactions, and clinical perspectives. Taken together, the studies of this volume thus help us to better understand the interplay of various senses in our daily emotional experiences.

Novel roles of non-coding brain RNAs in health and disease

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889193097 Year: Pages: 213 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-309-7 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Neurology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2016-02-05 17:24:33
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Non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs), and in particular microRNAs are rapidly becoming the focus of research interest in numerous basic and translational fields, including brain research; and their importance for many aspects in brain functioning merits special discussion. The wide-scope, multi-targeted and highly efficient manner of ncRNA regulatory activities draws attention to this topic by many, but the available research and analysis tools and experimental protocols are still at their infancy, and calls for special discussion given their importance for many aspects in brain functioning. This eBook is correspondingly focused on the search for, identification and exploration of those non-coding RNAs whose activities modulate the multi-leveled functions of the eukaryotic brain. The different articles strive to cover novel approaches for identifying and establishing ncRNA-target relationships, provide state of the art reports of the affected neurotransmission pathways, describe inherited and acquired changes in ncRNA functioning and cover the use of ncRNA mimics and blockade tools for interference with their functions in health and disease of the brain. Non-coding RNAs are here to stay, and this exciting eBook provides a glimpse into their impact on our brain’s functioning at the physiology, cell biology, behavior and immune levels.

The Metaphorical Brain

Authors: ---
Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889197729 Year: Pages: 178 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-772-9 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Neurology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2016-04-07 11:22:02
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Metaphor has been an issue of intense research and debate for decades (see, for example [1]). Researchers in various disciplines, including linguistics, psychology, computer science, education, and philosophy have developed a variety of theories, and much progress has been made [2]. For one, metaphor is no longer considered a rhetorical flourish that is found mainly in literary texts. Rather, linguists have shown that metaphor is a pervasive phenomenon in everyday language, a major force in the development of new word meanings, and the source of at least some grammatical function words [3]. Indeed, one of the most influential theories of metaphor involves the suggestion that the frequency of metaphoric language results because cross-domain mappings are a major determinant in the organization of semantic memory, as cognitive and neural resources for dealing with concrete domains are recruited for the conceptualization of more abstract ones [4]. Researchers in cognitive neuroscience have explored whether particular kinds of brain damage are associated with metaphor production and comprehension deficits, and whether similar brain regions are recruited when healthy adults understand the literal and metaphorical meanings of the same words (see [5] for a review). Whereas early research on this topic focused on the issue of the role of hemispheric asymmetry in the comprehension and production of metaphors [6], in recent years cognitive neuroscientists have argued that metaphor is not a monolithic category, and that metaphor processing varies as a function of numerous factors, including the novelty or conventionality of a particular metaphoric expression, its part of speech, and the extent of contextual support for the metaphoric meaning (see, e.g., [7], [8], [9]). Moreover, recent developments in cognitive neuroscience point to a sensorimotor basis for many concrete concepts, and raise the issue of whether these mechanisms are ever recruited to process more abstract concepts [10]. This Frontiers Research Topic brings together contributions from researchers in cognitive neuroscience whose work involves the study of metaphor in language and thought in order to promote the development of the neuroscientific investigation of metaphor. Adopting an interdisciplinary perspective, it synthesizes current findings on the cognitive neuroscience of metaphor, provides a forum for voicing novel perspectives, and promotes avenues for new research on the metaphorical brain.

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.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Health and Disease

ISBN: 9783038422723 9783038422730 Year: Pages: XII, 312 Language: English
Publisher: MDPI - Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute
Subject: Medicine (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2016-11-11 19:02:10
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The role of major dietary omega-3 fatty acids (Ω-3; α-linolenic acid, eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid) in human health has generated enormous scientific interest and many controversies in recent years. Due to a growing number of studies with conflicting or even negative clinical results, the former “hype” of Ω-3 thought to be beneficial in many aspects of human health regardless of the physiological and clinical preconditions is now being critically re-evaluated, especially with respect to the potential role of Ω-3 fatty acid supplementation in preventing a variety of diseases and clinical conditions. This critical view reflects the complex interaction of Ω-3 with cell membranes and their integrated proteins mediating signal transduction, transport systems, and other processes. Moreover, Ω-3 are precursors of bioactive metabolites, such as eicosanoids, lipoxins, resolvins, protectins, maresins, and nitrolipids that influence several physiological and pathophysiological processes and their full spectrum of effects are only beginning to be defined. Finally, physiological and pathophysiological conditions as well as concomitant pharmacological treatments may influence the specific and non-specific actions of Ω-3 supplementation.This Special Issue of the Journal of Clinical Medicine will emphasize the role and biological interactions of Ω-3 with regard to cancer, psychiatric disorders, metabolic disorders and nutrition and will also reflect on some basic molecular and cellular mechanisms.

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