Science posts

See science posts on page 54 below.

    • 2012
    • David R. Vago et al
    • Self-awareness, self-regulation, and self-transcendence (S-ART): a framework for understanding the neurobiological mechanisms of mindfulness
    • Mindfulness—as a state, trait, process, type of meditation, and intervention has proven to be beneficial across a diverse group of psychological disorders as well as for general stress reduction. Yet, there remains a lack of clarity in the operationalization of this construct, and underlying mechanisms. Here, we provide an integrative theoretical framework and systems-based neurobiological model that explains the mechanisms by which mindfulness reduces biases related to self-processing and creates a sustainable healthy mind. Mindfulness is described through systematic mental training that develops meta-awareness (self-awareness), an ability to effectively modulate one's behavior (self-regulation), and a positive relationship between self and other that transcends self-focused needs and increases prosocial characteristics (self-transcendence). This framework of self-awareness, -regulation, and -transcendence (S-ART) illustrates a method for becoming aware of the conditions that cause ..
    • 2007
    • David Badre et al
    • Left ventrolateral prefrontal cortex and the cognitive control of memory
    • Cognitive control mechanisms permit memory to be accessed strategically, and so aid in bringing knowledge to mind that is relevant to current goals and actions. In this review, we consider the contribution of left ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC) to the cognitive control of memory. Reviewed evidence supports a two-process model of mnemonic control, supported by a double dissociation among rostral regions of left VLPFC. Specifically, anterior VLPFC (∼BA 47; inferior frontal gyrus pars orbitalis) supports controlled access to stored conceptual representations, whereas mid-VLPFC (∼BA 45; inferior frontal gyrus pars triangularis) supports a domain-general selection process that operates post-retrieval to resolve competition among active representations. We discuss the contribution of these control mechanisms across a range of mnemonic domains, including semantic retrieval, recollection of contextual details about past events, resolution of proactive interference in working..
    • 2010
    • Ana Raposo et al
    • Contributions of frontopolar cortex to judgments about self, others and relations
    • Activation in frontopolar cortex (FPC; BA 10) has been associated both with attending to mental states and with integrating multiple mental relations. However, few previous studies have manipulated both of these cognitive processes, precluding a clear functional distinction among regions within FPC. To address this issue, we developed an fMRI task that combined mentalizing and relational integration processes. Participants saw blocks of single words and performed one of three judgments: how pleasant or unpleasant they found each word (Self condition), how a specific friend would evaluate the pleasantness of the word (Other condition), or the difference between their own pleasantness judgment and that of their friend (Relational condition). We found that medial FPC was modulated by Other relative to Self judgments, consistent with a role in mentalizing. Lateral FPC was significantly activated during Relational compared to Self judgements, suggesting that this region is particularly in..
    • 2006
    • Adam E. Green et al
    • Frontopolar cortex mediates abstract integration in analogy
    • Integration of abstractly similar relations during analogical reasoning was investigated using functional magnetic resonance imaging. Activation elicited by an analogical reasoning task that required both complex working memory and integration of abstractly similar relations was compared to activation elicited by a non-analogical task that required complex working memory in the absence of abstract relational integration. A left-sided region of the frontal pole of the brain (BA 9/10) was selectively active for the abstract relational integration component of analogical reasoning. Analogical reasoning also engaged a left-sided network of parieto-frontal regions. Activity in this network during analogical reasoning is hypothesized to reflect categorical alignment of individual component terms that make up analogies. This parieto-frontal network was also engaged by the complex control task, which involved explicit categorization, but not by a simpler control task, which did not involve c..
    • 2008
    • Adam Moore et al
    • Meditation, mindfulness and cognitive flexibility
    • This study investigated the link between meditation, self-reported mindfulness and cognitive flexibility as well as other attentional functions. It compared a group of meditators experienced in mindfulness meditation with a meditation-naïve control group on measures of Stroop interference and the “d2-concentration and endurance test”. Overall the results suggest that attentional performance and cognitive flexibility are positively related to meditation practice and levels of mindfulness. Meditators performed significantly better than non-meditators on all measures of attention. Furthermore, self-reported mindfulness was higher in meditators than non-meditators and correlations with all attention measures were of moderate to high strength. This pattern of results suggests that mindfulness is intimately linked to improvements of attentional functions and cognitive flexibility. The relevance of these findings for mental balance and well-being are discussed.
    • 2011
    • James Z Chadick et al
    • Differential coupling of visual cortex with default or frontal-parietal network based on goals
    • The relationship between top-down enhancement and suppression of sensory cortical activity and large-scale neural networks remains unclear. Functional connectivity analysis of human functional magnetic resonance imaging data revealed that visual cortical areas that selectively process relevant information are functionally connected with the frontal-parietal network, whereas those that process irrelevant information are simultaneously coupled with the default network. This indicates that sensory cortical regions are differentially and dynamically coupled with distinct networks on the basis of task goals.
    • 2011
    • Anna Rieckmann et al
    • Caudate Dopamine D1 Receptor Density Is Associated with Individual Differences in Frontoparietal Connectivity during Working Memory
    • We assess the relationship of age-related losses in striatal D1 receptor densities to age-related reductions in functional connectivity between spatially distinct cortical regions in healthy human participants. Previous neuroimaging studies have reported age-related differences in functional connectivity of the frontoparietal working memory network and the default mode network during task performance. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging and seed-based connectivity (right dorsolateral and medial prefrontal cortex) to extend these findings: Anterior–posterior connectivity of both these functional networks was reduced in older (65–75 years, n = 18) compared with younger (20–30 years, n = 19) adults, whereas bilateral connectivity in prefrontal cortex was increased in older adults. Positron emission tomography with the D1 receptor ligand [11C]SCH23390 was used to assess caudate D1 receptor density in the same sample. Older adults showed significantly reduced caudate D1 receptor..
    • 2012
    • Jonathan Smallwood et al
    • Cooperation between the default mode network and the frontal–parietal network in the production of an internal train of thought
    • The ability to generate and sustain an internal train of thought unrelated to external reality frees an agent from the constraints of only acting on immediate, environmentally triggered events. The current paper proposes that such thought is produced through cooperation between autobiographical information provided by the default mode network and a frontal–parietal control network which helps sustain and buffer internal trains of thought against disruption by the external world. This hypothesis explains at least two features of the literature on internally guided thought. First, access to the top-down control system is a generally accepted prerequisite of conscious experience; this explains why activation of this system and default mode activity is often observed together during periods of internally guided thought. Second, because the top-down attentional control system has a limited capacity, internally and externally driven streams can come into conflict, with the result that perc..
    • 2008
    • Lucina Q. Uddin et al
    • Functional connectivity of default mode network components: Correlation, anticorrelation, and causality
    • The default mode network (DMN), based in ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) and posterior cingulate cortex (PCC), exhibits higher metabolic activity at rest than during performance of externally oriented cognitive tasks. Recent studies have suggested that competitive relationships between the DMN and various task-positive networks involved in task performance are intrinsically represented in the brain in the form of strong negative correlations (anticorrelations) between spontaneous fluctuations in these networks. Most neuroimaging studies characterize the DMN as a homogenous network, thus few have examined the differential contributions of DMN components to such competitive relationships. Here, we examined functional differentiation within the DMN, with an emphasis on understanding competitive relationships between this and other networks. We used a seed correlation approach on resting-state data to assess differences in functional connectivity between these two regions and thei..
    • 2011
    • Melissa Ellamil et al
    • Evaluative and generative modes of thought during the creative process
    • Psychological theories have suggested that creativity involves a twofold process characterized by a generative component facilitating the production of novel ideas and an evaluative component enabling the assessment of their usefulness. The present study employed a novel fMRI paradigm designed to distinguish between these two components at the neural level. Participants designed book cover illustrations while alternating between the generation and evaluation of ideas. The use of an fMRI-compatible drawing tablet allowed for a more natural drawing and creative environment. Creative generation was associated with preferential recruitment of medial temporal lobe regions, while creative evaluation was associated with joint recruitment of executive and default network regions and activation of the rostrolateral prefrontal cortex, insula, and temporopolar cortex. Executive and default regions showed positive functional connectivity throughout task performance. These findings suggest that t..