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Neuroimaging and Neuropsychology of Meditation States

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889451784 Year: Pages: 145 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88945-178-4 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Psychology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2017-08-28 14:01:09
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Neurophysiological and psychological modifications induced by meditation practice have been consistently addressed by neuroscience. Training meditation practice induced plasticity (Barinaga, 2003; Knight, 2004), and as a consequence several benefit for mental and physical health (Davidson & McEwen, 2012), and cognitive performance. One goal of meditation is to achieve the light of consciousness observing with equanimity (the right distance) clouds of the mind wandering. This Frontiers Research Topic brings together studies from groups of authors whose research focus on neuropsychological systems involved in meditation demonstrating how meditation activates and can modify brain areas, cognitive mechanisms and well-being.

What makes written words so special to the brain

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889193790 Year: Pages: 267 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-379-0 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Neurology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2015-12-03 13:02:24
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Reading is an integral part of life in today's information-driven societies. Since the pioneering work of Dejerine on "word blindness" in brain-lesioned patients, the literature has increased exponentially, from neuropsychological case reports to mechanistic accounts of word processing at the behavioural, neurofunctional and computational levels, tapping into diverse aspects of visual word processing. These studies have revealed some exciting findings about visual word processing, including how the brain learns to read, how changes in literacy impact upon word processing strategies, and whether word processing mechanisms vary across different alphabetic, logographic or artificial writing systems. Other studies have attempted to characterise typical and atypical word processes in special populations in order to explain why dyslexic brains struggle with words, how multilingualism changes the way our brains see words, and what the exact developmental signatures are that would shape the acquisition of reading skills. Exciting new insights have also emerged from recent studies that have investigated word stimuli at the system/network level, by looking for instance, at how the reading system interacts with other cognitive systems in a context-dependent fashion, how visual language stimuli are integrated into the speech processing streams, how both left and right hemispheres cooperate and interact during word processing, and what the exact contributions of subcortical and cerebellar regions to reading are. The contributions to this Research Topic highlight the latest findings regarding the different issues mentioned above, particularly how these findings can explain or model the different processes, mechanisms, pathways or cognitive strategies by which the human brain sees words. The introductory editorial, summarising the contributions included here, highlights how varieties of behavioural tests and neuroimaging techniques can be used to investigate word processing mechanisms across different alphabetic and logographic writing systems.

Neural Implementations of Expertise

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889196883 Year: Pages: 236 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-688-3 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Neurology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2016-04-07 11:22:02
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When we think about expertise, we usually consider people who master tasks at a level not reachable by most other people. Although we rarely realise it, however, most humans are experts in many aspects of everyday life. This expertise enables us to find our way through a complex environment that is our life. For instance, we can instantly recognise multiple objects and relations between them to form a meaningful unit, such as an office. Thus, research on expertise is not only important to investigate the cognitive and neural processes within an “elite” group, but it is also a powerful tool to understand how everyone can acquire complex skills. The goal of this Research Topic is to shed further light on the common and distinct neural mechanisms that implement various kinds of expertise. We broadly define expertise as skill in any perceptual, cognitive, social or motor domain, with the common core being optimised information processing due to knowledge acquired from repeated experiences. Thus, we are interested in the full range of mental processes modulated or modified by expertise, from “simple” object or pattern recognition to complex decision making or problem solving in a particular domain. These domains can range from everyday or occupational expertise to sports and rather artificial domains such as board games. In all cases, the aim should be to elucidate how the brain implements these sometimes incredible feats. We are particularly interested in connecting cognitive theories about expertise and expertise-related performance differences with models and data on the neural implementation of expertise. We welcome original research contributions using the full range of behavioural neuroscience methods, as well as theoretical, methodological or historical reviews, and opinion papers focusing on any of the above-mentioned aspects.

Keywords

Expertise --- Sport --- Board games --- Music --- Language --- Perception --- MRI --- fMRI --- EEG

The cognitive and neural organisation of speech processing

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889197750 Year: Pages: 146 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-774-3 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Neurology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2016-04-07 11:22:02
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Speech production and perception are two of the most complex actions humans perform. The processing of speech is studied across various fields and using a wide variety of research approaches. These fields include, but are not limited to, (socio)linguistics, phonetics, cognitive psychology, neurophysiology, and cognitive neuroscience. Research approaches range from behavioural studies to neuroimaging techniques such as Magnetoencephalography, electroencephalography (MEG/EEG) and functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), as well as neurophysiological approaches, such as the recording of Motor Evoked Potentials (MEPs), and Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS). Each of these approaches provides valuable information about specific aspects of speech processing. Behavioural testing can inform about the nature of the cognitive processes involved in speech processing, neuroimaging methods show where (fMRI and MEG) in the brain these processes take place and/or elucidate on the time-course of activation of these brain areas (EEG and MEG), while neurophysiological methods (MEPs and TMS) can assess critical involvement of brain regions in the cognitive process. Yet, what is currently unclear is how speech researchers can combine methods such that a convergent approach adds to theory/model formulation, above and beyond the contribution of individual component methods? We expect that such combinations of approaches will significantly forward theoretical development in the field. The present research topic comprise a collection of manuscripts discussing the cognitive and neural organisation of speech processing, including speech production and perception at the level of individual speech sounds, syllables, words, and sentences. Our goal was to use findings from a variety of disciplines, perspectives, and approaches to gain a more complete picture of the organisation of speech processing. The contributions are grouped around the following five main themes: 1) Spoken language comprehension under difficult listening conditions; 2) Sub-lexical processing; 3) Sensorimotor processing of speech; 4) Speech production. The contributions used a variety of research approaches, including behavioural experiments, fMRI, EEG, MEG, and TMS. Twelve of the 14 contributions were on speech perception processing, and the remaining two examined speech production. This Research Topic thus displays a wide variety of topics and research methods and this comprehensive approach allows an integrative understanding of currently available evidence as well as the identification of concrete venues for future research.

Keywords

Speech --- Perception --- production --- TMS --- fMRI --- EEG --- MEG --- behavioural

Beyond Reward: Insights from Love and Addiction

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889450701 Year: Pages: 131 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88945-070-1 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Psychology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2017-07-06 13:27:36
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It is an interesting topic to discuss addiction and love in the context of reward. In this e-book, we begin with an animal study of comparison between drug and natural reward. Then, some papers aim to understand the reward system underlying behavioral addiction focusing on technology, for example Internet addiction and mobile phone dependence. The third part of this e-book addresses the topic of love. Considered as a whole, this e-book demonstrates that drug and behavioral addictions are frequently related with negative consequences, while romantic love is related with a positive consequence. That's why romantic love may be considered as a natural addiction. We think that the notion of romantic love as a positive addiction may offer a new view for future research in the field.It is an interesting topic to discuss addiction and love in the context of reward. In this e-book, we begin with an animal study of comparison between drug and natural reward. Then, some papers aim to understand the reward system underlying behavioral addiction focusing on technology, for example Internet addiction and mobile phone dependence. The third part of this e-book addresses the topic of love. Considered as a whole, this e-book demonstrates that drug and behavioral addictions are frequently related with negative consequences, while romantic love is related with a positive consequence. That's why romantic love may be considered as a natural addiction. We think that the notion of romantic love as a positive addiction may offer a new view for future research in the field.

Keywords

Addiction --- drug --- romantic love --- reward system --- fMRI --- EEG

Recent Advances and Challenges on Big Data Analysis in Neuroimaging

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889451289 Year: Pages: 195 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88945-128-9 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Science (General) --- Neurology
Added to DOAB on : 2017-07-06 13:27:36
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Big data is revolutionizing our ability to measure and study the human brain. New technology increases the resolution of images that are being study as well as enables researchers to study the brain as it functions. These technological advances are combined with efforts to collect neuroimaging data on large numbers of subjects, in some cases longitudinally. This combination of advances in measurement and scope of studies requires novel development in the statistical analysis. Fast, scalable, robust and accurate models and approaches need to be developed to make headway on these problems. This volume represents a unique collection of researchers providing deep insights on the statistical analysis of big neuroimaging data.

Executive Function(s): Conductor, Orchestra or Symphony? Towards a Trans-Disciplinary Unification of Theory and Practice Across Development, in Normal and Atypical Groups

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889455553 Year: Pages: 245 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88945-555-3 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Science (General) --- Neurology
Added to DOAB on : 2019-01-23 14:53:42
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There are several theories of executive function(s) that tend to share some theoretical overlap yet are also conceptually distinct, each bolstered by empirical data (Norman and Shallice, 1986; Shallice &amp; Burgess, 1991; Stuss and Alexander, 2007; Burgess, Gilbert, &amp; Dumentheil, 2007; Burgess &amp; Shallice, 1996; Miyake et al., 2000). The notion that executive processes are supervisory, and most in demand in novel situations was an early conceptualization of executive function that has been adapted and refined over time (Norman &amp; Shallice, 1986; Shallice, 2001; Burgess, Gilbert &amp; Dumentheil, 2007). Presently there is general consensus that executive functions are multi-componential (Shallice, 2001), and are supervisory only in the sense that attention in one form or another is key to the co-ordination of other hierarchically organized ‘lower’ cognitive processes. Attention in this sense is defined as (i) independent but interrelated attentional control processes (Stuss &amp; Alexander, 2007); (ii) automatic orientation towards stimuli in the environment or internally–driven thought (Burgess, Gilbert &amp; Dumontheil, 2007); (iii) the automatically generated interface between tacit processes and strategic conscious thought (Barker, Andrade, Romanowski, Morton and Wasti, 2006; Morton and Barker, 2010); and (iv) distinct but interrelated executive processes that maintain, update and switch across different sources of information (Miyake et al., 2000).


One problem is that executive dysfunction or dysexecutive syndrome (Baddeley &amp; Wilson, 1988) after brain injury typically produces a constellation of deficits across social, cognate, emotional and motivational domains that rarely map neatly onto theoretical frameworks (Barker, Andrade &amp; Romanowski, 2004). As a consequence there is debate that conceptual theories of executive function do not always correspond well to the clinical picture (Manchester, Priestley &amp; Jackson, 2004). Several studies have reported cases of individuals with frontal lobe pathology and impaired daily functioning despite having little detectable impairment on traditional tests of executive function (Shallice &amp; Burgess, 1991; Eslinger &amp; Damasio, 1985; Barker, Andrade &amp; Romanowski, 2004; Andrés &amp; Van der Linden, 2002; Chevignard et al., 2000; Cripe, 1998; Fortin, Godbout &amp; Braun, 2003). There is also some suggestion that weak ecological validity limits predictive and clinical utility of many traditional measures of executive function (Burgess et al, 2006; Lamberts, Evans &amp; Spikman, 2010; Barker, Morton, Morrison, McGuire, 2011). Complete elimination of environmental confounds runs the risk of generating results that cannot be generalized beyond constrained circumstances of the test environment (Barker, Andrade &amp; Romanowski, 2004). Several researchers have concluded that a new approach is needed that is mindful of the needs of the clinician yet also informed by the academic debate and progress within the discipline (McFarquhar &amp; Barker, 2012; Burgess et al., 2006). Finally, translational issues also confound executive function research across different disciplines (psychiatry, cognitive science, and developmental psychology) and across typically developing and clinical populations (including Autism Spectrum Disorders, Head Injury and Schizophrenia – Blakemore &amp; Choudhury, 2006; Taylor, Barker, Heavey &amp; McHale, 2013). Consequently, there is a need for unification of executive function approaches across disciplines and populations and narrowing of the conceptual gap between theoretical positions, clinical symptoms and measurement.

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

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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.

Investigating the human brainstem with structural and functional MRI

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889192472 Year: Pages: 92 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-247-2 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Science (General) --- Neurology
Added to DOAB on : 2015-11-16 15:44:59
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The brainstem is one of the least understood parts of the human brain despite its prime importance for the maintenance of basic vital functions. Owing to its role as a relay station between spinal cord, cerebellum and neocortex, the brainstem contains vital nodes of all functional systems in the central nervous system, including the visual, auditory, gustatory, vestibular, somatic and visceral senses, and the somatomotor as well as autonomic nervous systems. While the brainstem has been extensively studied in animals using invasive methods, human studies remain scarce. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) as a non-invasive and widely available method is one possibility to access the brainstem in humans and measure its structure as well as function. The close vicinity of the brainstem to large arteries and ventricles and the small size of the anatomical structures, however, place high demands on imaging as well as data analysis methods. Nevertheless, the field of brainstem-(f)MRI has significantly advanced in the past few years, largely due to the development of several new tools that facilitate studying this critical part of the human brain. Within this scope, the goal of this Research Topic is to compile work representing the state of the art in functional and structural MRI of the human brainstem.

Basic and applied research on deception and its detection

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889192540 Year: Pages: 249 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-254-0 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Psychology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2015-11-16 15:44:59
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Deception is a ubiquitous phenomenon in social interactions and has attracted a significant amount of research during the last decades. The majority of studies in this field focused on how deception modulates behavioral, autonomic, and brain responses and whether these changes can be used to validly identify lies. Especially the latter question, which historically gave rise to the development of psychophysiological "lie detection" techniques, has been driving research on deception and its detection until today. The detection of deception and concealed information in forensic examinations currently constitutes one of the most frequent applications of psychophysiological methods in the field. With the increasing use of such methods, the techniques for detecting deception have been controversially discussed in the scientific community. It has been proposed to shift from the original idea of detecting deception per se to a more indirect approach that allows for determining whether a suspect has specific knowledge of crime-related details. This so-called Concealed Information Test is strongly linked to basic psychological concepts concerning memory, attention, orienting, and response monitoring. Although research in this field has intensified with the advancement of neuroimaging techniques such as PET and fMRI in the last decade, basic questions on the psychological mechanisms underlying modulatory effects of deception and information concealment on behavioral, autonomic, and brain responses are still poorly understood. This Research Topic brings together contributions from researchers in experimental psychology, psychophysiology, and neuroscience focusing on the understanding of the broad concept of deception including the detection of concealed information, with respect to basic research questions as well as applied issues. This Research Topic is mainly composed of originalresearch articles but reviews and papers elaborating on novel methodological approaches have also been included. Experimental methods include, but are not limited to, behavioral, autonomic, electroencephalographic or brain imaging techniques that allow for revealing relevant facets of deception on a multimodal level. While this Research Topic primarily includes laboratory work, relevant issues for the field use of such methods are also discussed.

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