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Trends in Cognitive Sciences

Nadine Dijkstra, Sander E Bosch, Marcel A J van Gerven
For decades, the extent to which visual imagery relies on the same neural mechanisms as visual perception has been a topic of debate. Here, we review recent neuroimaging studies comparing these two forms of visual experience. Their results suggest that there is a large overlap in neural processing during perception and imagery: neural representations of imagined and perceived stimuli are similar in the visual, parietal, and frontal cortex. Furthermore, perception and imagery seem to rely on similar top-down connectivity...
March 12, 2019: Trends in Cognitive Sciences
Dominic A Evans, A Vanessa Stempel, Ruben Vale, Tiago Branco
When faced with potential predators, animals instinctively decide whether there is a threat they should escape from, and also when, how, and where to take evasive action. While escape is often viewed in classical ethology as an action that is released upon presentation of specific stimuli, successful and adaptive escape behaviour relies on integrating information from sensory systems, stored knowledge, and internal states. From a neuroscience perspective, escape is an incredibly rich model that provides opportunities for investigating processes such as perceptual and value-based decision-making, or action selection, in an ethological setting...
March 6, 2019: Trends in Cognitive Sciences
Courtney L Gallen, Mark D'Esposito
Interventions using methods such as cognitive training and aerobic exercise have shown potential to enhance cognitive abilities. However, there is often pronounced individual variability in the magnitude of these gains. Here, we propose that brain network modularity, a measure of brain subnetwork segregation, is a unifying biomarker of intervention-related plasticity. We present work from multiple independent studies demonstrating that individual differences in baseline brain modularity predict gains in cognitive control functions across several populations and interventions, spanning healthy adults to patients with clinical deficits and cognitive training to aerobic exercise...
February 27, 2019: Trends in Cognitive Sciences
Hyeong-Dong Park, Olaf Blanke
Although recent studies on self-consciousness emphasized the importance of bodily processing and multisensory integration, such research has focused solely on bodily signals originating from the outside of the body (i.e., exteroceptive bodily signals) or internal bodily signals from visceral organs (i.e., interoceptive bodily signals) and how each system contributes to self-consciousness, without much interaction between the two approaches. Reviewing the latest evidence on interoceptive bodily processing and the combination of exteroceptive and interoceptive bodily signals for self-consciousness, we propose an integrated neural system reconciling these two largely separated views and delineate how it accounts for fundamental aspects of self-consciousness such as self-identification and self-location, as well as its experienced global unity and temporal continuity...
February 27, 2019: Trends in Cognitive Sciences
Angela Radulescu, Yael Niv, Ian Ballard
Compact representations of the environment allow humans to behave efficiently in a complex world. Reinforcement learning models capture many behavioral and neural effects but do not explain recent findings showing that structure in the environment influences learning. In parallel, Bayesian cognitive models predict how humans learn structured knowledge but do not have a clear neurobiological implementation. We propose an integration of these two model classes in which structured knowledge learned via approximate Bayesian inference acts as a source of selective attention...
February 26, 2019: Trends in Cognitive Sciences
Yoed N Kenett, Miriam Faust
The role of semantic memory in creativity is theoretically assumed, but far from understood. In recent years, computational network science tools have been applied to investigate this role. These studies shed unique quantitative insights on the role of semantic memory structure in creativity, via measures of connectivity, distance, and structure.
February 23, 2019: Trends in Cognitive Sciences
Raffael Kalisch, Anna M V Gerlicher, Sevil Duvarci
It is a joyous relief when an event we dread fails to materialize. In fear extinction, the appetitive nature of an omitted aversive event is not a mere epiphenomenon but drives the reduction of fear responses and the formation of long-term extinction memories. Dopamine emerges as key neurobiological mediator of these related processes.
February 22, 2019: Trends in Cognitive Sciences
Rory J Bufacchi, Gian Domenico Iannetti
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
February 20, 2019: Trends in Cognitive Sciences
Radoslaw M Cichy, Daniel Kaiser
Artificial deep neural networks (DNNs) initially inspired by the brain enable computers to solve cognitive tasks at which humans excel. In the absence of explanations for such cognitive phenomena, in turn cognitive scientists have started using DNNs as models to investigate biological cognition and its neural basis, creating heated debate. Here, we reflect on the case from the perspective of philosophy of science. After putting DNNs as scientific models into context, we discuss how DNNs can fruitfully contribute to cognitive science...
February 19, 2019: Trends in Cognitive Sciences
Pieter Moors, Surya Gayet, Nicholas Hedger, Timo Stein, Philipp Sterzer, Raymond van Ee, Johan Wagemans, Guido Hesselmann
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
February 19, 2019: Trends in Cognitive Sciences
Cassandra J Lowe, Amy C Reichelt, Peter A Hall
In the modern obesogenic environment, limiting calorie-dense food consumption is partially dependent on the capacity of individuals to override visceral reactions to hyperpalatable and rewarding food cues. In the current review, we employ a health neuroscience framework to outline: (i) how individual variations in prefrontal cortical structure and functionality, and by extension, executive functions, may predispose an individual to the overconsumption of appetitive calorie-dense foods via differences in dietary self-regulation; (ii) how obesity may result in changes to cortical structure and functionality; and (iii) how the relationship between the structure and function of the prefrontal cortex and obesity may be best described as reciprocal in nature...
February 1, 2019: Trends in Cognitive Sciences
Jan R Wessel, Krzysztof J Gorgolewski, Pierre Bellec
A laboratory's programming language has wide-ranging implications. As demands towards scientific programming change and languages evolve, investigators may look to change their existing software stack. Following up on a recent online debate, we discuss key considerations and challenges in choosing and changing languages and suggest solutions for investigators looking to switch.
January 31, 2019: Trends in Cognitive Sciences
Torben Ott, Andreas Nieder
Cognitive control, the ability to orchestrate behavior in accord with our goals, depends on the prefrontal cortex. These cognitive functions are heavily influenced by the neuromodulator dopamine. We review here recent insights exploring the influence of dopamine on neuronal response properties in prefrontal cortex (PFC) during ongoing behaviors in primates. This review suggests three major computational roles of dopamine in cognitive control: (i) gating sensory input, (ii) maintaining and manipulating working memory contents, and (iii) relaying motor commands...
January 31, 2019: Trends in Cognitive Sciences
Jean-Paul Noel, Andrea Serino
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
January 29, 2019: Trends in Cognitive Sciences
James C R Whittington, Rafal Bogacz
This review article summarises recently proposed theories on how neural circuits in the brain could approximate the error back-propagation algorithm used by artificial neural networks. Computational models implementing these theories achieve learning as efficient as artificial neural networks, but they use simple synaptic plasticity rules based on activity of presynaptic and postsynaptic neurons. The models have similarities, such as including both feedforward and feedback connections, allowing information about error to propagate throughout the network...
January 28, 2019: Trends in Cognitive Sciences
Erin J Wamsley
Recent studies show that brief periods of rest after learning facilitate consolidation of new memories. This effect is associated with memory-related brain activity during quiet rest and suggests that in our daily lives, moments of unoccupied rest may serve an essential cognitive function.
January 22, 2019: Trends in Cognitive Sciences
Simone G Shamay-Tsoory, Nira Saporta, Inbar Z Marton-Alper, Hila Z Gvirts
When we clap our hands in synchrony, feel the sadness of a friend, or match our attitudes to peer norms, we align our behavior with others. We propose here a model that views synchronized movement, emotional contagion, and social conformity as interrelated processes that rely on shared neural networks. Building on the predictive coding framework, we suggest that social alignment is mediated by a three-component feedback loop - an error-monitoring system that reacts to misalignment, an alignment system, and a reward system that is activated when alignment is achieved...
January 21, 2019: Trends in Cognitive Sciences
Mark P Mattson
Brain structures and neuronal networks that mediate spatial navigation, decision-making, sociality, and creativity evolved, in part, to enable success in food acquisition. Here, I discuss evidence suggesting that the reason that overconsumption of energy-rich foods negatively impacts cognition is that signaling pathways that evolved to respond adaptively to food scarcity are relatively disengaged in the setting of continuous food availability. Obesity impairs cognition and increases the risk for some psychiatric disorders and dementias...
January 19, 2019: Trends in Cognitive Sciences
Zachary Horne, Melis Muradoglu, Andrei Cimpian
Understanding how people explain is a core task for cognitive science. In this opinion article, we argue that research on explanation would benefit from more engagement with how the cognitive systems involved in generating explanations (e.g., attention, long-term memory) shape the outputs of this process. Although it is clear that these systems do shape explanation, surprisingly little research has investigated how they might do so. We outline the proposed mechanistic approach to explanation and illustrate it with an example: the recent research that suggests explanations exhibit a bias toward inherent information...
January 15, 2019: Trends in Cognitive Sciences
Jerome R Busemeyer, Sebastian Gluth, Jörg Rieskamp, Brandon M Turner
Researchers have benefited from characterizing evidence-based decision making as a process involving sequential sampling. More recently, sequential sampling models have been applied to value-based decisions - decisions that involve examining preferences for multi-attribute, multi-alternative choices. The application of sequential sampling models to value-based decisions has helped researchers to account for the context effects associated with preferential choice tasks. However, for these models to predict choice preferences, more complex decision mechanisms have had to be introduced...
January 7, 2019: Trends in Cognitive Sciences
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