Science posts

See science posts on page 29 below.

    • 2014
    • Hikaru Takeuchi et al.
    • Association between resting-state functional connectivity and empathizing/systemizing
    • Empathizing is the drive to identify the mental status of other individuals and respond to it with an appropriate emotion; systemizing is the drive to analyze a system. Previously, we have shown that structures associated with the default mode network (DMN) and external attention system (EAS) are associated with empathizing and systemizing, respectively. Here we investigated the association between resting-state functional connectivity (RSFC) and empathizing/systemizing in 248 healthy young adults. We considered the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and bilateral dorsolateral prefrontal cortices (DLPFCs), which are key nodes of DMN and EAS, as seed regions, and investigated correlations across subjects between individual empathizing/systemizing and RSFC between each seed region and other brain regions. We found that higher empathizing was associated with larger RSFC between the mPFC and areas in (a) the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC), (b) precuneus, and (c) left superior tempo..
    • 2015
    • Jodi L. Berg
    • The role of personal purpose and personal goals in symbiotic visions
    • It is believed that symbiotic visions can drive employees and organizations toward a common objective based on the premise that people have a high level of self-motivation and engagement when they are working toward something very personal. The field of organizational development has been aspiring to help organizations and people align their visions for decades without much, if any, empirical support for the role of personal purpose and goals in the symbiotic relationship with a company vision. This qualitative study examines the role personal purpose and goals play in how high performing leaders align to their company's vision. Whether and how senior managers articulate this alignment, and its correlation to their motivation and engagement, was examined. An observation was that most senior managers within organizations with a well-developed and widely known higher purpose vision are driven by something personal, identified as either personal goals or a personal purpose. One of the k..
    • 2014
    • Takeshi Sakurai
    • The role of orexin in motivated behaviours
    • Wakefulness and vigilance levels are required for maintaining purposeful activities and motivated behaviours, which are often triggered by sensory information conveying external cues. An increasing body of work has suggested that orexins (also known as hypocretins) — a pair of neuropeptides that are crucial for maintaining wakefulness — are also involved in the regulation of motivated behaviours, including feeding, emotional behaviour and reward seeking, and that these functions are mediated by two subtypes of orexin receptors. Autonomic and endocrine responses, which accompany these motivated behaviours, are also influenced by the orexin system. Orexin-producing neurons act as a hub that links information about the internal and external environments of an animal to vigilance levels and internal bodily functions to support various motivated behaviours.
    • 2014
    • Stephen V Mahler et al.
    • Motivational activation: a unifying hypothesis of orexin/hypocretin function
    • Orexins (hypocretins) are two peptides (orexin A and B) produced from the pre-pro-orexin precursor and expressed in a limited region of dorsolateral hypothalamus. Orexins were originally thought to specifically mediate feeding and promote wakefulness, but it is now clear that they participate in a wide range of behavioral and physiological processes under select circumstances. Orexins primarily mediate behavior under situations of high motivational relevance, such as during physiological need states, exposure to threats or reward opportunities. We hypothesize that many behavioral functions of orexins (including regulation of sleep/wake cycling) reflect a fundamentally integrated function for orexins in translating motivational activation into organized suites of psychological and physiological processes supporting adaptive behaviors. We also discuss how numerous forms of neural heterogeneity modulate this function, allowing orexin neurons to organize diverse, adaptive responses in a ..
    • 2012
    • Susan J. Sara et al.
    • Orienting and Reorienting: The Locus Coeruleus Mediates Cognition through Arousal
    • Mood, motivation, attention, and arousal are behavioral states having a profound impact on cognition. Behavioral states are mediated though the peripheral nervous system and neuromodulatory systems in the brainstem. The noradrenergic nucleus locus coeruleus is activated in parallel with the autonomic system in response to biological imperatives. These responses can be spontaneous, to unexpected salient or threatening stimuli, or they can be conditioned responses to awaited behaviorally relevant stimuli. Noradrenaline, released in forebrain structures, will facilitate sensory processing, enhance cognitive flexibility and executive function in the frontal cortex, and promote offline memory consolidation in limbic structures. Central activation of neuromodulatory neurons and peripheral arousal, together, prepare the organism for a reorientation or reset of cortical networks and an adaptive behavioral response.
    • 2015
    • Sherie Ma et al.
    • Ascending control of arousal and motivation: Role of nucleus incertus and its peptide neuromodulators in behavioural responses to stress
    • Arousal is a process that involves activation of ascending neural pathways originating in the rostral pons that project to the forebrain through the midbrain reticular formation to promote activation of key cortical, thalamic, hypothalamic and limbic centres. Established modulators of arousal include the cholinergic, serotonergic, noradrenergic and dopaminergic networks originating in the pons and midbrain. Recent data indicate that a population of largely GABAergic projection neurons located in the nucleus incertus (NI) are also involved in arousal and motivational processes. The NI has prominent efferent connections with distinct hypothalamic, amygdalar and thalamic nuclei, in addition to dense projections to key brain regions associated with the generation and pacing of hippocampal activity. NI receives strong inputs from the prefrontal cortex, lateral habenula, and the interpeduncular and median raphe nuclei, suggesting it is highly integrated in circuits regulating higher cognit..
    • 2014
    • Matthew L. Dixon et al.
    • Evidence for rostro-caudal functional organization in multiple brain areas related to goal-directed behavior
    • The functional organization of brain areas supporting goal-directed behavior is debated. Some accounts suggest a rostro-caudal organization, while others suggest a broad recruitment as part of a multiple demand network. We used fMRI and an anatomical region of interest (ROI) approach to test which account better characterizes the organization of key brain areas related to goal-directed behavior: the lateral prefrontal cortex (LPFC), medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC), cingulate cortex, and insula. Subjects performed a cognitive control task with distinct trial events corresponding to rule representation, rule maintenance, action execution, and monitoring progress towards an overarching motivational goal. The use of ROIs allowed us to look for evidence of rostro-caudal gradients during each event separately. Our results provide strong evidence for rostro-caudal gradients in all regions. During the action execution period, activation was robust in caudal ROIs and decreased linearly moving..
    • 2015
    • Ivelin Sardamov
    • Out of Touch: The Analytic Misconstrual of Social Knowledge
    • The schism between positivism and interpretivism in the social sciences is usually explained by the explicit epistemological and methodological commitments of social scientists and philosophers. It can be better understood, though, as a collision between two contrasting cognitive modes and sensibilities, rooted in the predominant recruitment of two distinct networks in the human brain. Since the activation of these networks is negatively correlated, the analytic reasoning typical of positivists and the empathetic, intuitive, and holistic thinking employed by intepretivists produce incommensurate versions of social reality. The analytic cognitive mode is fostered and privileged in complex modern societies and in institutionalized social-science research. It is nevertheless inadequate for understanding the social world, as it facilitates the modeling of causal interactions between inanimate objects.
    • 2008
    • Elaine Fox et al.
    • Looking on the bright side: biased attention and the human serotonin transporter gene
    • Humans differ in terms of biased attention for emotional stimuli and these biases can confer differential resilience and vulnerability to emotional disorders. Selective processing of positive emotional information, for example, is associated with enhanced sociability and well-being while a bias for negative material is associated with neuroticism and anxiety. A tendency to selectively avoid negative material might also be associated with mental health and well-being. The neurobiological mechanisms underlying these cognitive phenotypes are currently unknown. Here we show for the first time that allelic variation in the promotor region of the serotonin transporter gene (5-HTTLPR) is associated with differential biases for positive and negative affective pictures. Individuals homozygous for the long allele (LL) showed a marked bias to selectively process positive affective material alongside selective avoidance of negative affective material. This potentially protective pattern was abse..
    • 2009
    • Koraly Pérez-Edgar et al.
    • Variations in the serotonin-transporter gene are associated with attention bias patterns to positive and negative emotion faces
    • Both attention biases to threat and a serotonin-transporter gene polymorphism (5-HTTLPR) have been linked to heightened neural activation to threat and the emergence of anxiety. The short allele of 5-HTTLPR may act via its effect on neurotransmitter availability, while attention biases shape broad patterns of cognitive processing. We examined individual differences in attention bias to emotion faces as a function of 5-HTTLPR genotype. Adolescents (N = 117) were classified for presumed SLC6A4 expression based on 5-HTTLPR—low (SS, SLG, or LGLG), intermediate (SLA or LALG), or high (LALA). Participants completed the dot-probe task, measuring attention biases toward or away from angry and happy faces. Biases for angry faces increased with the genotype-predicted neurotransmission levels (low > intermediate > high). The reverse pattern was evident for happy faces. The data indicate a linear relation between 5-HTTLPR allelic status and attention biases to emotion, demonstrating ..