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The Role of Working Memory and Executive Function in Communication under Adverse Conditions

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889198610 Year: Pages: 272 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-861-0 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Neurology --- Psychology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2016-01-19 14:05:46
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Communication is vital for social participation. However, communication often takes place under suboptimal conditions. This makes communication harder and less reliable, leading at worst to social isolation. In order to promote participation, it is necessary to understand the mechanisms underlying communication in different situations. Human communication is often speech based, either oral or written, but may also involve gesture, either accompanying speech or in the form of sign language. For communication to be achieved, a signal generated by one person has to be perceived by another person, attended to, comprehended and responded to. This process may be hindered by adverse conditions including factors that may be internal to the sender (e.g. incomplete or idiosyncratic language production), occur during transmission (e.g. background noise or signal processing) or be internal to the receiver (e.g. poor grasp of the language or sensory impairment). The extent to which these factors interact to generate adverse conditions may differ across the lifespan. Recent work has shown that successful speech communication under adverse conditions is associated with good cognitive capacity including efficient working memory and executive abilities such as updating and inhibition. Further, frontoparietal networks associated with working memory and executive function have been shown to be activated to a greater degree when it is harder to achieve speech comprehension. To date, less work has focused on sign language communication under adverse conditions or the role of gestures accompanying speech communication under adverse conditions. It has been proposed that the role of working memory in communication under such conditions is to keep fragments of an incomplete signal in mind, updating them as appropriate and inhibiting irrelevant information, until an adequate match can be achieved with lexical and semantic representations held in long term memory. Recent models of working memory highlight an episodic buffer whose role is the multimodal integration of information from the senses and long term memory. It is likely that the episodic buffer plays a key role in communication under adverse conditions. The aim of this research topic is to draw together multiple perspectives on communication under adverse conditions including empirical and theoretical approaches. This will facilitate a scientific exchange among individual scientists and groups studying different aspects of communication under adverse conditions and/or the role of cognition in communication. As such, this topic belongs firmly within the field of Cognitive Hearing Science. Exchange of ideas among scientists with different perspectives on these issues will allow researchers to identify and highlight the way in which different internal and external factors interact to make communication in different modalities more or less successful across the lifespan. Such exchange is the forerunner of broader dissemination of results which ultimately, may make it possible to take measures to reduce adverse conditions, thus facilitating communication. Such measures might be implemented in relation to the built environment, the design of hearing aids and public awareness.

Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) in functional research of prefrontal cortex

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889199440 Year: Pages: 193 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-944-0 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Science (General) --- Neurology
Added to DOAB on : 2016-01-19 14:05:46
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This e-book includes the latest outcomes produced by a broad range of fNIRS research with activation of prefrontal cortex, from methodological one to clinical one, providing a forum for scientists planning functional studies of prefrontal brain activation. Reading this book, one will find the possibility that fNIRS could replace fMRI in the near future, and realize that even our aesthetic feeling is measurable. This will serve as a reference repository of knowledge from these fields as well as a conduit of information from leading researchers. In addition it offers an extensive cross-referencing system that will facilitate search and retrieval of information about NIRS measurements in activation studies. Researchers interested in fNIRS would benefit from an overview about its potential utilities for future research directions.

Advances in the Prevention and Treatment of Inflammation-Associated Preterm Birth

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889199686 Year: Pages: 101 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-968-6 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Science (General) --- Neurology
Added to DOAB on : 2016-01-19 14:05:46
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After decades of intensive research and over 10,000 publications, preterm birth remains a major global obstetric healthcare problem. Each year, early birth is responsible for the deaths of more than one million infants worldwide and is a major cause of life-long disability. Preterm birth places an enormous financial burden on our healthcare systems, resulting in long-term adverse health outcomes and lost productivity for many people. Preterm birth is a syndrome, associated with several different aetiologies; hence, potential treatment strategies need to be matched to pathophysiology in order to be effective. There is now unequivocal evidence that inflammation is causally involved in a majority of spontaneous preterm deliveries. However, the triggers of inflammation, and the strategies by which it can be safely and effectively prevented and treated, remain the subject of ongoing investigation and debate. While intraamniotic infection is an important cause of inflammation-associated preterm birth, particularly in very preterm deliveries, ‘sterile’ inflammation is actually a more common finding associated with preterm birth. It is likely that the nature, localisation, timing and extent of the inflammatory insult all determine the obstetric outcome and degree of risk to the fetus. These factors will also influence the success of approaches that might be employed to achieve better pregnancy outcomes. Despite our increased understanding of the causes and significance of intrauterine inflammation, we have yet to translate this knowledge into effective therapeutic strategies for preventing prematurity and mitigating its consequences for the neonate. In this Research Topic we review recent progress in treating and preventing inflammation-associated preterm birth, approaching the topic from both the causal and therapeutic perspectives. With global attention increasingly focused on the need to translate knowledge discovery into clinical translation, we hope this EBook will provide a stimulating and timely discussion that will focus research and lead to improved healthcare outcomes for women and children.

The long and short of mental time travel - self-projection over time-scales large and small

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889195831 Year: Pages: 201 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-583-1 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Psychology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2016-03-10 08:14:32
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Researchers working in many fields of psychology and neuroscience are interested in the temporal structure of experience, as well as the experience of time, at scales of a few milliseconds up to a few seconds as well as days, months, years, and beyond. This Research Topic supposes that broadly speaking, the field of "time psychology" can be organized by distinguishing between "perceptual" and "conceptual" time-scales. Dealing with conceptual time: "mental time travel," also called mental simulation, self-projection, episodic-semantic memory, prospection/foresight, allows humans (and perhaps other animals) to imagine and plan events and experiences in their personal futures, based in large part on memories of their personal pasts, as well as general knowledge. Moreover, contents of human language and thought are fundamentally organized by a temporal dimension, enmeshed with it so thoroughly that it is usually expressible only through spatial metaphors. But what might such notions have to do with experienced durations of events lasting milliseconds up to a few seconds, during the so-called "present moment" of perception-action cycle time? This Research Topic is organized around the general premise that, by considering how mental time travel might "scale down" to time perception (and vice-versa, no less), progress and integrative synthesis within- and across- scientific domains might be facilitated. Bipolar configurations of future- and past-orientations of the self may be repeated in parallel across conceptual and perceptual time-scales, subsumed by a general "Janus-like" feedforward-feedback system for goal-pursuit. As an example, it is notable that the duality of "prospection" and semantic-episodic memory operating at conceptual time-scales has an analogue in perception-action cycle time, namely the interplay of anticipatory attention and working memory. Authors from all areas of psychology and neuroscience are encouraged to submit articles of any format accepted by the journal (Original Research, Methods, Hypothesis & Theory, Reviews, etc.), which might speak to questions about time and temporal phenomena at long and/or short time-scales.

Turning the Mind's Eye Inward: The Interplay between Selective Attention and Working Memory

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889197217 Year: Pages: 170 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-721-7 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Neurology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2016-04-07 11:22:02
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Historically, cognitive sciences have considered selective attention and working memory as largely separated cognitive functions. That is, selective attention as a concept is typically reserved for the processes that allow for the prioritization of specific sensory input, while working memory entails more central structures for maintaining (and operating on) temporary mental representations. However, over the last decades various observations have been reported that question such sharp distinction. Most importantly, information stored in working memory has been shown to modulate selective attention processing – and vice versa. At the theoretical level, these observations are paralleled by an increasingly dominant focus on working memory as (involving) the attended part of long-term memory, with some positions considering that working memory is equivalent to selective attention turned to long-term memory representations – or internal selective attention. This questions the existence of working memory as a dedicated cognitive function and raises the need for integrative accounts of working memory and attention. The next step will be to explore the precise implications of attentional accounts of WM for the understanding of specific aspects and characteristics of WM, such as serial order processing, its modality-specificity, its capacity limitations, its relation with executive functions, as well as the nature of attentional mechanisms involved. This research topic in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience aims at bringing together the latest insights and findings about the interplay between working memory and selective attention.

The Cognitive Neuroscience of Visual Working Memory

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889451685 Year: Pages: 182 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88945-168-5 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Neurology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2017-08-28 14:01:09
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Visual working memory allows us to temporarily maintain and manipulate visual information in order to solve a task. The study of the brain mechanisms underlying this function began more than half a century ago, with Scoville and Milner’s (1957) seminal discoveries with amnesic patients. This timely collection of papers brings together diverse perspectives on the cognitive neuroscience of visual working memory from multiple fields that have traditionally been fairly disjointed: human neuroimaging, electrophysiological, behavioural and animal lesion studies, investigating both the developing and the adult brain.

Cognitive Hearing Mechanisms of Language Understanding: Short- and Long-Term Perspectives

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889453030 Year: Pages: 461 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88945-303-0 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Neurology --- Psychology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2018-02-27 16:16:45
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Executive Functions in Psychiatric Disorders

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889453061 Year: Pages: 142 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88945-306-1 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Science (General) --- Psychology --- Medicine (General) --- Psychiatry
Added to DOAB on : 2018-02-27 16:16:45
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Executive Functions comprise a range of neuropsychological processes related to intentional behavior and cognitive control. There are several theoretical models defining and explaining the concept of Executive Functions. Most of these models consider that the term Executive Functions encompasses cognitive process as working memory, cognitive flexibility, inhibitory control and other complex functions as planning, problem-solving and abstract reasoning. Other models argue that motivational and emotional functions, such as affective decision-making, reside under the concept of Executive Function. Much evidence supports how complex cognitive functions are related to the physiological activity of brain networks, including the frontal cortex and its connections with subcortical structures. Several psychiatric disorders related to impairment in these brain networks (eg., bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, ADHD, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and drug addiction) leading to deficits in Executive Functions. These cognitive deficits affect patients’ everyday functioning, worsening the clinical course of the disease. For example, deficits in Executive Functions are related to suicide behavior in bipolar disorder patients. Furthermore, these deficits also relate to obesity, a lack of adherence to treatment and an underperformance in the workplace and educational settings. The understanding of the role of deficits in Executive Functions, including its neurobiological basis, developmental trajectories, and relationship with clinical outcomes, is fundamental to improve clinical management of psychiatric patients. This research topic includes 13 articles with interdisciplinary contributions related to the understanding of the deficits in Executive Functions and its relationship with clinical manifestations in psychiatric disorders.

The Cognition of Sequences

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889453986 Year: Pages: 132 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88945-398-6 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Science (General) --- Psychology
Added to DOAB on : 2018-11-16 17:17:57
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It is impossible to perceive the innumerable stimuli impinging on our senses, all at once. Out of the myriad stimuli, external and internal, a few are selected for further processing; and even among these, we try to put each in some sort of relation with the others, to be able to make some sense about them all. Time, of course, is an elementary dimension we use to organize our experiences. Thus, the perception of sequences is basic to human cognition. Nevertheless, research addressing sequences is rather sparse. Partly, this is due to difficulty in designing experiments in this area due to huge individual differences. Then, there is the assumption that temporal order has more to do with memory than perception. Another problem is that sequences seem endemic to the auditory world. So much so that some researchers have suggested that sound provides the ‘auditory scaffolding’ for sequencing behavior. Little wonder that research studies addressing sequences in modalities other than audition are extremely rare.This research topic aimed to gather a holistic picture of sequencing behaviour among humans by collecting snapshots of the current research on the topic of sequencing. We particularly sought contributions which addressed sequences beyond the auditory modality. The single unifying criteria for these diverse contributions was that they shed new light on previously unexplored empirical relationships and/or provoked new lines of research with incisive ideas regarding sequencing behavior. Seasoned researchers contributed their views on perception, memory, and production of sequences.

Cognitive and Brain Plasticity Induced by Physical Exercise, Cognitive Training, Video Games and Combined Interventions

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889455072 Year: Pages: 646 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88945-507-2 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Science (General) --- Neurology
Added to DOAB on : 2019-01-23 14:53:42
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The premise of neuroplasticity on enhancing cognitive functioning among healthy as well as cognitively impaired individuals across the lifespan, and the potential of harnessing these processes to prevent cognitive decline attract substantial scientific and public interest. Indeed, the systematic evidence base for cognitive training, video games, physical exercise and other forms of brain stimulation such as entrain brain activity is growing rapidly. This Research Topic (RT) focused on recent research conducted in the field of cognitive and brain plasticity induced by physical activity, different types of cognitive training, including computerized interventions, learning therapy, video games, and combined intervention approaches as well as other forms of brain stimulation that target brain activity, including electroencephalography and neurofeedback. It contains 49 contributions to the topic, including Original Research articles (37), Clinical Trials (2), Reviews (5), Mini Reviews (2), Hypothesis and Theory (1), and Corrections (2).

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