1-10 of 64 Results  for:

  • Cognitive Psychology/Neuroscience x
Clear all

Article

Tipu Aziz and Holly Roy

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a neurosurgical technology that allows the manipulation of activity within specific brain regions through delivery of electrical stimulation via implanted electrodes. The growth of DBS has led to research around the development of novel interventions for a wide range of neurological and neuropsychiatric conditions, including Parkinson’s disease, dystonia, chronic pain, Tourette’s syndrome, treatment-resistant depression, anorexia nervosa, and Alzheimer’s disease. Some of these treatment approaches have a high level of efficacy as well as an established place in the clinical armamentarium for the diseases in question, such as DBS for movement disorders, including Parkinson’s disease. Other interventions are at a more developmental stage, such as DBS for depression and Alzheimer’s disease. Success both in clinical aspects of DBS and new innovations depends on a close-knit multidisciplinary team incorporating experts in the underlying condition (often neurologists and psychiatrists); neurosurgeons; nurse specialists, who may be involved in device programming and other aspects of patient care; and researchers including neuroscientists, imaging specialists, engineers, and signal analysts. Directly linked to the growth of DBS as a specialty is allied research around neural signals analysis and device development, which feed directly back into further clinical progress. The close links between clinical DBS and basic and translational research make it an exciting and fast-moving area of neuroscience.

Article

Conditioning is the change in the response to a stimulus either because of the relation of that stimulus to other stimuli (Pavlovian conditioning), or because of the relation between the response and other stimuli (instrumental conditioning). These relations are formulated in terms of differences in conditional probability known as contingencies. Pavlovian contingencies refer to the difference in the conditional probability of one stimulus (the outcome, or O) given the presence vs. the absence of another stimulus (the conditioned stimulus, or CS). A conditioned response (CR) may be strengthened by a positive Pavlovian contingency (excitatory conditioning) or it may be weakened by a negative Pavlovian contingency (inhibitory conditioning). CRs are anticipatory or modified responses to the O, so their topography depends on the nature of the O (appetitive vs. aversive); the proximity between and congruency of O and CS; prior experience with the CS, O, and their contingency; the magnitude of their contingency; and the characteristics of other stimuli in the environment. Instrumental contingencies refer to the relation between one stimulus (the discriminative stimulus, or SD), a response (or operant, R), and the outcome of that response (O). The nature of the O and of its contingency with the R determines whether the O strengthens or weakens the R: Os that introduce an appetitive stimulus (positive reinforcement) or remove an aversive stimulus (negative reinforcement) strengthen the R. Positive reinforcement is typically arranged on a subset of one or more Rs following a set of rules known as a schedule of reinforcement. The probability that an R is reinforced may depend on the number of Rs (ratio schedules) or the amount of time (interval schedules) since the last reinforcer. The topography and strength of instrumental Rs depend on variables that are analogous to those that affect Pavlovian CRs: the amount and nature of prior experience with the O; the proximity, congruency, and contingency of R and O; and characteristics of other stimuli in past and present environments. Contemporary quantitative models of Pavlovian and instrumental conditioning recognize the importance of contextual stimuli that compete for cognitive and behavioral resources, constraining and shaping the expression of target responses. These models have guided the bulk of recent empirical research and conceptual developments, leading to a progressively unified view of learning and motivation processes. Along the way, Pavlovian and instrumental research have demonstrated their utility in addressing a broad range of consequential societal problems.

Article

Play  

Sergio M. Pellis and Vivien C. Pellis

Play behavior is relatively rare in the animal kingdom, but is widespread, and in some lineages is very common not only in childhood but also in adulthood. It can take many forms, as playful actions can be directed to a social partner (social play), to an inanimate object (object play), or self-directed, as the animal, jumps, runs, and turns (locomotor-rotational play). Considerable progress has been made in understanding the neural, emotional, and cognitive mechanisms mammals use in regulating social play, but whether comparable mechanisms are used to regulate other forms of play, or apply to non-mammalian animals, remains to be resolved. Similarly, social play in some mammals has been demonstrated to benefit the development of sociocognitive skills and emotional resilience, while locomotor-rotational play can benefit the development of motor skills. The factors that allow some species to gain these benefits also remain to be resolved. Statistical approaches that take the relatedness of species into account are increasingly being applied to analyze a growing comparative database that includes species from many different lineages. In addition, mathematical and computational models are being used to test the explanatory power of various factors to account for the evolution of play. Coupled with new methods in neuroscience that provide a deeper understanding of the brain during play, these approaches will enable extraordinary progress in understanding play over the next few decades.

Article

Brady Wagoner

Within the course of a day people perform innumerable feats of memory. They are involved in remembering when they search for their keys, find their way through a city, reminisce on episodes from their past, or join in commemorations such as independence days and religious rituals. Culture plays a crucial role in all of these mnemonic activities. Memories come into being and take form through both a set of internalized cultural conventions, specific to the society in question, as well as a particular setting therein (e.g., therapy, court of law or church). Furthermore, culture has arguably shaped how memory is understood and the uses it has been put to, as can be seen in how the concept has differed across history and societies. But what is culture and how does it operate? Although culture has been variably understood throughout history and even by researchers in the early 21st century, there is consensus that it is something that is taken over from society, rather than being innate, and transmitted across generations with modifications. In psychology it is typically operationalized in two ways: In cross-cultural psychology it is something one belongs in (usually a national group) as a function of language, traditions, and geo-political borders, while in cultural psychology it is approached as a psychological tool that shapes and enables memory. Taking account of culture provides an opening to investigate memory socialization, setting specificity, and collective remembering.

Article

Ian Q. Whishaw and Megan Sholomiski

A brain lesion is an area of damage, injury, or abnormal change to a part of the brain. Brain lesions may be caused by head injury, disease, surgery, or congenital disorders, and they are classified by the cause, extent, and locus of injury. Lesions cause many behavioral symptoms. Symptom severity generally corresponds to the region and extent of damaged brain. Thus, behavior is often a reliable indicator of the type and extent of a lesion. Observations of patients suffering brain lesions were first recorded in detail in the 18th century, and lesion studies continue to shape modern neuroscience and to give insight into the functions of brain regions. Recovery, defined as any return of lost behavioral or cognitive function, depends on the age, sex, genetics, and lifestyle of patients, and recovery may be predicted by the cause of injury. Most recovery occurs within the first 6 to 9 months after injury and likely involves a combination of compensatory behaviors and physiological changes in the brain. Children often recover some function after brain lesions better than adults, though both children and adults experience residual deficits. Brain lesion survival rates are improved by better diagnostic tools and treatments. Therapeutic interventions and treatments for brain lesions include surgery, pharmaceuticals, transplants, and temperature regulation, each with varying degrees of success. Research in treating brain lesions is progressing, but in principle a cure will only be complete when brain lesions are replaced with healthy tissue.

Article

G. Campbell Teskey

The kindling phenomenon is a form of sensitization where, with repetition, epileptiform discharges become progressively longer and behavioral seizures eventually appear and then become more severe. The classic or exogenous kindling technique involves the repeated application of a convulsant stimulus. This technique also lowers seizure thresholds, the minimum intensity of a stimulus required to evoke an electrographic seizure, a process known as epileptogenesis. Endogenous kindling typically occurs following a brain-damaging event which lowers seizure thresholds to the point where self-generated epileptiform discharges recur, lengthen, propagate, and drive progressively more severe behavioral seizures. While exogenous kindling results in alterations in neuronal molecular, cellular/synaptic, and network function that give rise to altered behavior, there is a paucity of evidence for loss of neurons. In contrast, brain-damaging events, with neuronal loss, typically give rise to endogenous kindling. Kindling is a pan-species phenomenon and all mammals that have been examined, including humans, manifest exogenous kindling when seizure-genic (forebrain) structures have been targeted. Since humans display both exogenous and endogenous kindling phenomena this serves as a sober warning to clinicians to prevent seizures. Kindling serves as a robust and reliable model for epileptogenesis, focal as well as secondarily generalized seizures, and certain epileptic disorders.

Article

Holly Bridge

The sensation of vision arises from the detection of photons of light at the eye, but in order to produce the percept of the world, extensive regions of the brain are required to process the visual information. The majority of information entering the brain via the optic nerve from the eye projects via the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN) of the thalamus to the primary visual cortex, the largest visual area, having been reorganized such that one side of the brain represents one side of the world. Damage to the primary visual cortex in one hemisphere therefore leads to a loss of conscious vision on the opposite side of the world, known as hemianopia. Despite this cortical blindness, many patients are still able to detect visual stimuli that are presented in the blind region if forced to guess whether a stimulus is present or absent. This is known as “blindsight.” For patients to gain any information (conscious or unconscious) about the visual world, the input from the eye must be processed by the brain. Indeed, there is considerable evidence from functional brain imaging that several visual areas continue to respond to visual stimuli presented within the blind region, even when the patient is unaware of the stimulus. Furthermore, the use of diffusion imaging allows the microstructure of white matter pathways within the visual system to be examined to see whether they are damaged or intact. By comparing patients who have hemianopia with and without blindsight it is possible to determine the pathways that are linked to blindsight function. Through understanding the brain areas and pathways that underlie blindsight in humans and non-human primates, the aim is to use modern neuroscience to guide rehabilitation programs for use after stroke.

Article

The problem of time in psychology, which first became the object of attention and investigation by scientific psychology concerning the aspect of temporal measurement of mental processes, has been addressed since the early 20th century with regard to the perception of time, also called the subjective experience of time. The reaction time paradigm, defined as the minimum time between the presentation of a stimulus and the participant’s response to it, is closely related to the birth of experimental psychology. The determination of an objective parameter of the speed of the nerve impulse, therefore, represented the initial purpose of the psychochronometric studies. Defining the object of study for experimental psychology as immediate conscious experience or subjective experience of consciousness has led psychologists to reflect on the distinction between physical time and psychological time—a distinction already present in the philosophical field—and to analyze the latter in all its manifestations through sophisticated and complex experimental investigations. Psychologists, although aware of the reflections on time developed by philosophical doctrines and prepared to take these into account, generally tried to steer clear of the questions relating to the typical problems of philosophy—the nature of the idea of time and its corresponding reality—preferring to concentrate their analysis on the subjective experience of time. In relation to the different varieties of the temporal experience, experiments have been conceived and set up to analyze, measure, and precisely define them using the psychophysical and psychophysiological research paradigm. Between the end of the 19th century and the first decade of the 20th century researches concerning perception of the present, simultaneity, succession, instant, and time interval were developed.

Article

Thirst  

Neil E. Rowland

Thirst is a specific and compelling sensation, often arising from internal signals of dehydration but modulated by many environmental variables. There are several historical landmarks in the study of thirst and drinking behavior. The basic physiology of body fluid balance is important, in particular the mechanisms that conserve fluid loss. The transduction of fluid deficits can be discussed in relation to osmotic pressure (osmoreceptors) and volume (baroreceptors). Other relevant issues include the neurobiological mechanisms by which these signals are transformed to intracellular and extracellular dehydration thirsts, respectively, including the prominent role of structures along the lamina terminalis. Other considerations are the integration of signals from natural dehydration conditions, including water deprivation, thermoregulatory fluid loss, and thirst associated with eating dry food. These mechanisms should also be considered within a broader theoretical framework of organization of motivated behavior based on incentive salience.

Article

Mutsumi Imai, Junko Kanero, and Takahiko Masuda

The relations among language, culture, and thought are complex. The empirical evidence from diverse domains suggests that culture affects language, language affects thought, and universally shared perception and cognition constrain the structure of language. Although neither language nor culture determines thought, both seem to highlight certain aspects of the world, with stronger influence when there are no clear perceptible categories. Research must delve into how language, culture, perception, and cognition interact with one another across different domains.