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Active Touch Sensing

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889192489 Year: Pages: 173 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-248-9 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Neurology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2015-11-16 15:44:59
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Active touch can be described as the control of the position and movement of tactile sensing systems to facilitate information gain. In other words, it is finding out about the world by reaching out and exploring - sensing by ‘touching’ as opposed to ‘being touched’. In this Research Topic (with cross-posting in both Behavioural Neuroscience and Neurorobotics) we welcomed articles from junior researchers on any aspect of active touch. We were especially interested in articles on the behavioral, physiological and neuronal underpinnings of active touch in a range of species (including humans) for submission to Frontiers in Behavioural Neuroscience. We also welcomed articles describing robotic systems with biomimetic or bio-inspired tactile sensing systems for publication in Frontiers in Neurorobotics.

Re-Enacting Sensorimotor Experience for Cognition

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889451487 Year: Pages: 163 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88945-148-7 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: General and Civil Engineering
Added to DOAB on : 2017-08-28 14:01:09
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Mastering the sensorimotor capabilities of our body is a skill that we acquire and refine over time, starting at the prenatal stages of development. This learning process is linked to brain development and is shaped by the rich set of multimodal information experienced while exploring and interacting with the environment. Evidence coming from neuroscience suggests the brain forms and mantains body representations as the main strategy to this mastering. Although it is still not clear how this knowledge is represented in our brain, it is reasonable to think that such internal models of the body undergo a continuous process of adaptation. They need to match growing corporal dimensions during development, as well as temporary changes in the characteristics of the body, such as the transient morphological alterations produced by the usage of tools. In the robotics community there is an increasing interest in reproducing similar mechanisms in artificial agents, mainly motivated by the aim of producing autonomous adaptive systems that can deal with complexity and uncertainty in human environments. Although promising results have been achieved in the context of sensorimotor learning and autonomous generation of body representations, it is still not clear how such low-level representations can be scaled up to more complex motor skills and how they can enable the development of cognitive capabilities. Recent findings from behavioural and brain studies suggests that processes of mental simulations of action-perception loops are likely to be executed in our brain and are dependent on internal motor representations. The capability to simulate sensorimotor experience might represent a key mechanism behind the implementation of further cognitive skills, such as self-detection, self-other distinction and imitation. Empirical investigation on the functioning of similar processes in the brain and on their implementation in artificial agents is fragmented. This e-book comprises a collection of manuscripts published by Frontiers in Robotics and Artificial Intelligence, under the section Humanoid Robotics, on the research topic re-enactment of sensorimotor experience for cognition in artificial agents. This compendium aims at condensing the latest theoretical, review and experimental studies that address new paradigms for learning and integrating multimodal sensorimotor information in artificial agents, re-use of the sensorimotor experience for cognitive development and further construction of more complex strategies and behaviours using these concepts. The authors would like to thank M.A. Dylan Andrade for his art work for the cover.

Neural and Computational Modeling of Movement Control

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889451302 Year: Pages: 178 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88945-130-2 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Neurology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2017-07-06 13:27:36
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In the study of sensorimotor systems, an important research goal has been to understand the way neural networks in the spinal cord and brain interact to control voluntary movement. Computational modeling has provided insight into the interaction between centrally generated commands, proprioceptive feedback signals and the biomechanical responses of the moving body. Research in this field is also driven by the need to improve and optimize rehabilitation after nervous system injury and to devise biomimetic methods of control in robotic devices. This research topic is focused on efforts dedicated to identify and model the neuromechanical control of movement. Neural networks in the brain and spinal cord are known to generate patterned activity that mediates coordinated activation of multiple muscles in both rhythmic and discrete movements, e.g. locomotion and reaching. Commands descending from the higher centres in the CNS modulate the activity of spinal networks, which control movement on the basis of sensory feedback of various types, including that from proprioceptive afferents. The computational models will continue to shed light on the central strategies and mechanisms of sensorimotor control and learning. This research topic demonstrated that computational modeling is playing a more and more prominent role in the studies of postural and movement control. With increasing ability to gather data from all levels of the neuromechanical sensorimotor systems, there is a compelling need for novel, creative modeling of new and existing data sets, because the more systematic means to extract knowledge and insights about neural computations of sensorimotor systems from these data is through computational modeling. While models should be based on experimental data and validated with experimental evidence, they should also be flexible to provide a conceptual framework for unifying diverse data sets, to generate new insights of neural mechanisms, to integrate new data sets into the general framework, to validate or refute hypotheses and to suggest new testable hypotheses for future experimental investigation. It is thus expected that neural and computational modeling of the sensorimotor system should create new opportunities for experimentalists and modelers to collaborate in a joint endeavor to advance our understanding of the neural mechanisms for postural and movement control. The editors would like to thank Professor Arthur Prochazka, who helped initially to set up this research topic, and all authors who contributed their articles to this research topic. Our appreciation also goes to the reviewers, who volunteered their time and effort to help achieve the goal of this research topic. We would also like to thank the staff members of editorial office of Frontiers in Computational Neuroscience for their expertise in the process of manuscript handling, publishing, and in bringing this ebook to the readers. The support from the Editor-in-Chief, Dr. Misha Tsodyks and Dr. Si Wu is crucial for this research topic to come to a successful conclusion. We are indebted to Dr. Si Li and Ms. Ting Xu, whose assistant is important for this ebook to become a reality. Finally, this work is supported in part by grants to Dr. Ning Lan from the Ministry of Science and Technology of China (2011CB013304), the Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 81271684, No. 61361160415, No. 81630050), and the Interdisciplinary Research Grant cross Engineering and Medicine by Shanghai Jiao Tong University (YG20148D09). Dr. Vincent Cheung is supported by startup funds from the Faculty of Medicine of The Chinese University of Hong Kong. Guest Associate EditorsNing Lan, Vincent Cheung, and Simon Gandevia

A Multidisciplinary Approach to Motor Learning and Sensorimotor Adaptation

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889193653 Year: Pages: 214 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-365-3 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Neurology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2015-11-19 16:29:12
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The plasticity of the living matter of our nervous system, in short, is the reason why we do a thing with difficulty the first time, but soon do it more and more easily, and finally, with sufficient practice, do it semi-mechanically, or with hardly any consciousness at all. William James, 1899. It is over 100 years since James described the acquisition of skill. How much, or how little, have recent advances in science changed the way we think about skill learning? What theories and ideas do we still hold dear and which have we discarded? Advances in neuroimaging over the past 20 years have provided insight into the dynamic neural processes underlying human motor skill acquisition, focusing primarily on brain networks that are engaged during early versus late stages of learning. What has been challenging for the field is to tightly link these shifting neural processes with what is known about measureable behavioral changes and strategic processes that occur during learning. The complex nature of behavior and strategy in motor learning often result in a trade-off between experimental control and external validity. The articles assembled for this special issue cut across a number of related disciplines and investigate skill learning across multiple domains. The broad range of theoretical, analytical and methodological approaches offer complementary approaches that can be exploited to develop integrated models of skilled learning. It is our hope that this collection inspires innovation and collaboration amongst researchers, and thereby, accelerates development of societally relevant translational paradigms.

Multisensory and sensorimotor interactions in speech perception

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889195480 Year: Pages: 263 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-548-0 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Science (General) --- Psychology
Added to DOAB on : 2016-01-19 14:05:46
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Speech is multisensory since it is perceived through several senses. Audition is the most important one as speech is mostly heard. The role of vision has long been acknowledged since many articulatory gestures can be seen on the talker's face. Sometimes speech can even be felt by touching the face. The best-known multisensory illusion is the McGurk effect, where incongruent visual articulation changes the auditory percept. The interest in the McGurk effect arises from a major general question in multisensory research: How is information from different senses combined? Despite decades of research, a conclusive explanation for the illusion remains elusive. This is a good demonstration of the challenges in the study of multisensory integration. Speech is special in many ways. It is the main means of human communication, and a manifestation of a unique language system. It is a signal with which all humans have a lot of experience. We are exposed to it from birth, and learn it through development in face-to-face contact with others. It is a signal that we can both perceive and produce. The role of the motor system in speech perception has been debated for a long time. Despite very active current research, it is still unclear to which extent, and in which role, the motor system is involved in speech perception. Recent evidence shows that brain areas involved in speech production are activated during listening to speech and watching a talker's articulatory gestures. Speaking involves coordination of articulatory movements and monitoring their auditory and somatosensory consequences. How do auditory, visual, somatosensory, and motor brain areas interact during speech perception? How do these sensorimotor interactions contribute to speech perception? It is surprising that despite a vast amount of research, the secrets of speech perception have not yet been solved. The multisensory and sensorimotor approaches provide new opportunities in solving them. Contributions to the research topic are encouraged for a wide spectrum of research on speech perception in multisensory and sensorimotor contexts, including novel experimental findings ranging from psychophysics to brain imaging, theories and models, reviews and opinions.

The olivo-cerebellar system

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889198269 Year: Pages: 322 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-826-9 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Neurology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2016-01-19 14:05:46
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During the last decades, investigations on the olivo-cerebellar system have attained a high level of sophistication, which led to redefinitions of several structural and functional properties of neurons, synapses, connections and circuits. Research has expanded and deepened in so many directions and so many theories and models have been proposed that an ensemble review of the matter is now needed. Yet, hot topics remain open and scientific discussion is very lively at several fronts. One major question, here as well as in other major brain circuits, is how single neurons and synaptic properties emerge at the network level and contribute to behavioural regulation via neuronal plasticity. Other major aspects that this Research Topic covers and discusses include the development and circuit organization of the olivo-cerebellar network, the established and recent theories of learning and motor control, and the emerging role of the cerebellum in cognitive processing. By touching on such varied and encompassing subjects, this Frontiers Special Topic aims to highlight the state of the art and stimulate future research. We hope that this unique collection of high-quality articles from experts in the field will provide scientists with a powerful basis of knowledge and inspiration to enucleate the major issues deserving further attention.

Habituation mechanisms and their impact on cognitive function

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889194629 Year: Pages: 110 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-462-9 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Neurology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2016-03-10 08:14:32
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Habituation describes the progressive decrease of the amplitude or frequency of a motor response to repeated sensory stimulation that is not caused by sensory receptor adaptation or motor fatigue. Habituation can occur in different time scales: habituation within a testing session has been termed short-term habituation, whereas habituation across testing sessions has been termed long-term habituation. Generally, the more spaced the stimuli for inducing habituation are presented (i.e. the slower habituation is induced), the longer it seems to take to recover the behavioural response to its initial magnitude. Habituation is opposed by behavioural sensitization, which is thought to be an independent mechanism that leads to an increased behavioural response, especially if the sensory stimulus is annoying or aversive. Habituation provides an important mechanism for filtering sensory information, as it allows filtering out irrelevant stimuli and thereby focussing on important stimuli, a prerequisite for many cognitive tasks. The importance is demonstrated in mental disorders that are associated with disruptions in habituation, e.g. schizophrenia and autism spectrum disorders. The inability to filter out irrelevant information in patients with these disorders strongly correlates with disruptions in higher cognitive functions, such as in different types of memory and attention. Habituation is also considered to be the most basic form of non-associative implicit learning, and it can be observed throughout the animal kingdom. Based on the importance of habituation for cognitive function and therefore for the survival of an animal, it is assumed that habituation mechanisms are highly conserved across species. On the other hand, there is emerging evidence for a multitude of homo- and heterosynaptic mechanisms underlying habituation, depending on the modality of sensory stimulation, the level of sensory information processing where habituation occurs, and the temporal composition of sensory stimulation. Eric Kandel used the sea hare Aplysia in order to study habituation mechanisms of the gill withdrawal reflex; however, the molecular mechanisms remain largely elusive to date. A multitude of different organisms, behaviours, and experimental approaches have been used since in order to study habituation, but still surprisingly little is known about the underlying mechanisms. New insights also come from an unexpected side: in the recent past, groups that have been studying molecular mechanisms underlying short- and long-term synaptic plasticity phenomenons in different parts of the rodent brain are starting to link these plasticity processes to behavioural habituation. The scope of this Frontier Research Topic is to give an overview over the concept of habituation, different animal and behavioural models used for studying habituation mechanisms, as well as the different synaptic and molecular processes suggested to play a role in behavioural habituation through Original Research Articles, Methods, Hypothesis & Theory Articles, and Reviews.

Dynamics of Sensorimotor Interactions in Embodied Cognition

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889198078 Year: Pages: 148 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-807-8 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Psychology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2017-02-03 17:04:57
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We interact with our environment through perception and action. Perception is based on sensory components while actions are based on motor components. It is commonly accepted that these sensorimotor components constitute the foundation of knowledge (i.e., percepts and concepts), action and emotion. However, whether or not these components remain part of knowledge, action and emotion is still being debated (see Glenberg, Witt, & Metcalfe, 2013). According to the classical symbolic/abstracted approach of cognition, cognitive processes operate on symbols that are abstracted from these components. Reversely, embodied cognition theory states that knowledge, action and emotion remain grounded in these sensorimotor components (see Wilson, 2002). This embodiment revolution assumes that the interactions between present and absent —but simulated in memory— sensory-motor components determine the emergence of knowledge, action and emotion (Barsalou, 2008). It also implies that perception, memory (in particular conceptual knowledge), action and emotion interact together in a closer way that previously thought (e.g. Riou, Lesourd, Brunel & Versace, 2011; Corveleyn, Lopez-Moliner & Coello, 2012; Vermeulen et al., 2013). Despite the accumulation of empirical evidence showing that perception, memory, action and emotion interact together, less is known about the dynamics of these interactions. It remains to precise the temporal dynamic (when these interactions occur), the neural underlying networks, and the factors that modulate these interactions. The present research topic focuses on the dynamic relationship between present and absent sensorimotor components across perception, memory, action and emotion in a grounded cognition perspective. This research topic aims 1) to demonstrate the validity of the embodied cognition theories 2) to highlight the dynamics of emergence of conceptual knowledge, action and emotion 3) to provide a comprehensive state-of-the-art theoretical explanation and/or models.

Modeling of Visual Cognition, Body Sense, Motor Control and Their Integrations

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889451098 Year: Pages: 134 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88945-109-8 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Neurology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2017-07-06 13:27:36
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The interdisciplinary studies between neuroscience and information science have greatly promoted the development of these two fields. The achievements of these studies can help humans understand the essence of biological systems, provide computational platforms for biological experiments, and improve the intelligence and performance of the algorithms in information science. This research topic is focused on the computational modeling of visual cognition, body sense, motor control and their integrations. Firstly, the modeling and simulation of vision and body sense are achieved by 1) understanding neural mechanism underlying sensory perception and cognition, and 2) mimicking accordingly the structures and mechanisms of their signal propagation pathways. The achievement of this procedure could provide neural findings for better encoding and decoding visual and somatosensory perception of humans, and help robots or systems build humanoid robust vision, body sensing, and various emotions. Secondly, the modeling and simulation of the motor system of the primate are achieved by mimicking the coordination of bones, muscles and joints and the control mechanisms of the neural system in the brain and spinal cord. This procedure could help robots achieve fast, robust and accurate manipulations and be used for safe human-computer interaction. Finally, by integrating them, more complete and intelligent systems/robots could be built to accomplish various tasks self-adaptively and automatically.

Neuro-Education and Neuro-Rehabilitation

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889450060 Year: Pages: 176 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88945-006-0 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Science (General) --- Psychology
Added to DOAB on : 2018-02-27 16:16:44
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In the last decade, important discoveries have been made in cognitive neuroscience regarding brain plasticity and learning such as the mirror neurons system and the anatomo-functional organization of perceptual, cognitive and motor abilities.... Time has come to consider the societal impact of these findings. The aim of this Research Topic of Frontiers in Psychology is to concentrate on two domains: neuro-education and neuro-rehabilitation. At the interface between neuroscience, psychology and education, neuro-education is a new inter-disciplinary emerging field that aims at developing new education programs based on results from cognitive neuroscience and psychology. For instance, brain-based learning methods are flourishing but few have been rigorously tested using well-controlled procedures. Authors of this Research Topic will present their latest findings in this domain using rigorously controlled experiments. Neuro-rehabilitation aims at developing new rehabilitation methods for children and adults with learning disorders. Neuro-rehabilitation programs can be based upon a relatively low number of patients and controls or on large clinical trials to test for the efficiency of new treatments. These projects may also aim at testing the efficiency of video-games and of new methods such as Trans Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) for therapeutic interventions in children or adolescents with learning disabilities. This Research Topic will bring together neuroscientists interested in brain plasticity and the effects of training, psychologists working with adults as well as with normally developing children and children with learning disabilities as well as education researchers directly confronted with the efficiency of education programs. The goal for each author is to describe the state of the art in his/her specific research domain and to illustrate how her/his research findings can impact education in the classroom or rehabilitation of children and adolescents with learning disorders.

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