Science posts

See science posts on page 41 below.

    • 2010
    • Malia F. Mason et al
    • Specialization in Relational Reasoning: The Efficiency, Accuracy, and Neural Substrates of Social versus Nonsocial Inferences
    • Although deduction can be applied both to associations between nonsocial objects and to social relationships among people, the authors hypothesize that social targets elicit specialized cognitive mechanisms that facilitate inferences about social relations. Consistent with this view, in Experiments 1a and 1b the authors show that participants are more efficient and more accurate at inferring social relations compared to nonsocial relations. In Experiment 2 they find direct evidence for a specialized neural apparatus recruited specifically for social relational inferences. When making social inferences, functional magnetic resonance imaging results indicate that the brain regions that play a general role in logical reasoning (e.g., hippocampi, parietal cortices, and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex) are supplemented by regions that specialize in representing people’s mental states (e.g., posterior superior temporal sulcus, temporo-parietal junction, and medial prefrontal cortex).
    • 2004
    • Irene P. Kan et al
    • Selection from perceptual and conceptual representations
    • The lateral prefrontal cortex has been implicated in a wide variety of functions that guide our be- havior, and one such candidate function is selection. Selection mechanisms have been described in several domains spanning different stages of processing, from visual attention to response execution. Here, we consider two such mechanisms: selecting relevant information from the perceptual world (e.g., visual selective attention) and selecting relevant information from conceptual representations (e.g., selecting a specific attribute about an object from long-term memory). Although the mechanisms involved in visual selective attention have been well characterized, much less is known about the lat- ter case of selection. In this article, we review the relevant literature from the attention domain as a springboard to understanding the mechanisms involved in conceptual selection.
    • 2015
    • R.P. Spunt
    • Dual-Process Theories in Social Cognitive Neuroscience
    • Dual-process theories seek to explain the observation that mental processes vary in the degree to which they are consciously controllable. Although the resulting distinction between automatic processing and controlled processing has been influential in social psychology, its application to social cognitive neuroscience research has been limited. Here, I will discuss both a categorical approach and dimensional approach to dual-process theories of brain function and will suggest how the latter approach may provide a more precise description of the complex, interactive, and conditional nature of neurocognitive functions.
    • 2015
    • K. Baetens et al
    • Social Versus Nonsocial Reasoning
    • Does social reasoning rely on different processes than other forms of reasoning do? Direct and meta-analytical comparisons of social and nonsocial reasoning have consistently reported stronger engagement of the mentalizing network (encompassing the medial prefrontal cortex, precuneus, and temporoparietal junction) in social reasoning, but other studies on nonsocial reasoning also implicate the mentalizing network. Recent research suggests that the mentalizing system is associated with domain-general processes related to attention reallocation and meaning retrieval. Although not only social reasoning requires these capacities, they may have evolved primarily to serve social functioning.
    • 2015
    • R.N. Spreng et al
    • The Default Network and Social Cognition
    • The default network is a neurocognitive network implicated in social cognition and other forms of self-generated thought. The neuroanatomical topography of the default network, delineated using resting-state functional connectivity MRI, includes core regions and two distinct subsystems. First, the dorsomedial subsystem is primarily associated with social cognitive processes, such as mentalizing. Second, the medial temporal subsystem is primarily associated with memory-related processes, such as autobiographical recollection and imagination. Finally, these two subsystems interact with core regions, which are primarily associated with self-referential processes. Dynamic interaction between components of the default network provides a neural basis for temporally extended adaptive social cognition.
    • 2006
    • Ajay B. Satpute et al
    • Integrating automatic and controlled processes into neurocognitive models of social cognition
    • Interest in the neural systems underlying social perception has expanded tremendously over the past few decades. However, gaps between behavioral literatures in social perception and neuroscience are still abundant. In this article, we apply the concept of dual-process models to neural systems in an effort to bridge the gap between many of these behavioral studies and neural systems underlying social perception. We describe and provide support for a neural division between reflexive and reflective systems. Reflexive systems correspond to automatic processes and include the amygdala, basal ganglia, ventromedial prefrontal cortex, dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, and lateral temporal cortex. Reflective systems correspond to controlled processes and include lateral prefrontal cortex, posterior parietal cortex, medial prefrontal cortex, rostral anterior cingulate cortex, and the hippocampus and surrounding medial temporal lobe region. This framework is considered to be a working model r..
    • 2014
    • Cunningham, W et al
    • Implicit and Explicit Evaluation: fMRI Correlates of Valence, Emotional Intensity, and Control in the Processing of Attitudes
    • Previous work suggests that explicit and implicit evaluations (good–bad) involve somewhat different neural circuits that process different dimensions such as valence, emotional intensity, and complexity. To better understand these differences, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging to identify brain regions that respond differentially to such dimensions depending on whether or not an explicit evaluation is required. Participants made either good–bad judgments (evaluative) or abstract–concrete judgments (not explicitly evaluative) about socially relevant concepts (e.g., “murder,” “happiness,” “abortion,” “welfare”). After scanning, participants rated the concepts for goodness, badness, emotional intensity, and how much they tried to control their evaluation of the concept. Amygdala activation correlated with emotional intensity and right insula activation correlated wit..
    • 2015
    • Erica N. Grodin et al
    • The neuroanatomical delineation of agentic and affiliative extraversion
    • Extraversion is a fascinating personality dimension that consists of two major components, agentic extraversion and affiliative extraversion. Agentic extraversion involves incentive motivation and is expressed as a tendency toward assertiveness, persistence, and achievement. Affiliative extraversion involves the positive emotion of social warmth and is expressed as a tendency toward amicability, gregariousness, and affection. Here we investigate the neuroanatomical correlates of the personality traits of agentic and affiliative extraversion using the Multidimensional Personality Questionnaire Brief Form, structural magnetic resonance imaging, and voxel-based morphometry in a sample of 83 healthy adult volunteers. We found that trait agentic extraversion and trait affiliative extraversion were each positively associated with the volume of the medial orbitofrontal cortex bilaterally (t’s ≥ 2.03, r’s ≥ .23, p’s < .05). Agentic extraversion..
    • 2010
    • Behrad Noudoost et al
    • Top-down control of visual attention
    • Top-down visual attention improves perception of selected stimuli and that improvement is reflected in the neural activity at many stages throughout the visual system. Recent studies of top-down attention have elaborated on the signatures of its effects within visual cortex and have begun identifying its causal basis. Evidence from these studies suggests that the correlates of spatial attention exhibited by neurons within the visual system originate from a distributed network of structures involved in the programming of saccadic eye movements. We summarize this evidence and discuss its relationship to the neural mechanisms of spatial working memory.
    • 2007
    • Anthony G. Phillips et al
    • A top-down perspective on dopamine, motivation and memory
    • Dopamine (DA) activity, in the form of increased neural firing or enhanced release of transmitter from nerve terminals and varicosities, is linked to a number of important psychological processes including: movement; hedonic reactions to positive reward; provision of an error detection signal during the acquisition of new learning; response to novel stimuli; provision of reinforcement signals essential for acquisition of new action patterns; and incentive motivation. This review focuses primarily on our research linking dynamic changes in DA efflux on the timescale of minutes, with incentive motivation, as revealed by brain dialysis experiments in behaving animals. Recent experiments on sensory-specific satiety and successive positive and negative contrast are discussed along with the distinction between preparatory behaviors that precede contact with biologically significant stimuli and subsequent consummatory behaviors. The relationship between DA efflux in the medial prefrontal co..

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