Science posts

See science posts on page 57 below.

    • 2008
    • Christine I. Hooker et al
    • Mentalizing about emotion and its relationship to empathy
    • Mentalizing involves the ability to predict someone else's behavior based on their belief state. More advanced mentalizing skills involve integrating knowledge about beliefs with knowledge about the emotional impact of those beliefs. Recent research indicates that advanced mentalizing skills may be related to the capacity to empathize with others. However, it is not clear what aspect of mentalizing is most related to empathy. In this study, we used a novel, advanced mentalizing task to identify neural mechanisms involved in predicting a future emotional response based on a belief state. Subjects viewed social scenes in which one character had a False Belief and one character had a True Belief. In the primary condition, subjects were asked to predict what emotion the False Belief Character would feel if they had a full understanding about the situation. We found that neural regions related to both mentalizing and emotion were involved when predicting a future emotional response, inclu..
    • 2010
    • Knut Schnella et al
    • Functional relations of empathy and mentalizing: An fMRI study on the neural basis of cognitive empathy
    • This fMRI study was set up to explore how cognitive empathy, i.e. the cognitive inference on another person's affective state, can be characterized as a distinct brain function relating to pre-existing neurofunctional concepts about mentalizing and empathy. In a 3 Tesla MRI scanner 28 healthy participants were presented with four different instructions randomly combined with 32 false-belief cartoon stories of 3 subsequent pictures free of direct cues for affective states, like e.g. facial expressions. Participants were instructed to judge affective or visuospatial changes from their own (1st person perspective) or the protagonists' (3rd person perspective, 3rdpp) perspective. 3rdpp-judgements about affective states differed from visuospatial 3rdpp judgements by a significantly higher activation of the anterior mentalizing network (dorsomedial prefrontal cortex, anterior superior temporal sulcus, temporal poles) and the limbic system (left amygdala and hippocampus). Analysis of main e..
    • 2005
    • Morris Moscovitch et al
    • Functional neuroanatomy of remote episodic, semantic and spatial memory: a unified account based on multiple trace theory
    • We review lesion and neuroimaging evidence on the role of the hippocampus, and other structures, in retention and retrieval of recent and remote memories. We examine episodic, semantic and spatial memory, and show that important distinctions exist among different types of these memories and the structures that mediate them. We argue that retention and retrieval of detailed, vivid autobiographical memories depend on the hippocampal system no matter how long ago they were acquired. Semantic memories, on the other hand, benefit from hippocampal contribution for some time before they can be retrieved independently of the hippocampus. Even semantic memories, however, can have episodic elements associated with them that continue to depend on the hippocampus. Likewise, we distinguish between experientially detailed spatial memories (akin to episodic memory) and more schematic memories (akin to semantic memory) that are sufficient for navigation but not for re-experiencing the environment in..
    • 2006
    • Takashima A et al
    • Declarative memory consolidation in humans: a prospective functional magnetic resonance imaging study.
    • Retrieval of recently acquired declarative memories depends on the hippocampus, but with time, retrieval is increasingly sustainable by neocortical representations alone. This process has been conceptualized as system-level consolidation. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we assessed over the course of three months how consolidation affects the neural correlates of memory retrieval. The duration of slow-wave sleep during a nap/rest period after the initial study session and before the first scan session on day 1 correlated positively with recognition memory performance for items studied before the nap and negatively with hippocampal activity associated with correct confident recognition. Over the course of the entire study, hippocampal activity for correct confident recognition continued to decrease, whereas activity in a ventral medial prefrontal region increased. These findings, together with data obtained in rodents, may prompt a revision of classical consolidation theo..
    • 2011
    • Eve Tramoni et al
    • Long-term consolidation of declarative memory: insight from temporal lobe epilepsy
    • Several experiments carried out with a subset of patients with temporal lobe epilepsy have demonstrated normal memory performance at standard delays of recall (i.e. minutes to hours) but impaired performance over longer delays (i.e. days or weeks), suggesting altered long-term consolidation mechanisms. These mechanisms were specifically investigated in a group of five adult-onset pharmaco-sensitive patients with temporal lobe epilepsy, exhibiting severe episodic memory complaints despite normal performance at standardized memory assessment. In a first experiment, the magnitude of autobiographical memory loss was evaluated using retrograde personal memory tasks based on verbal and visual cues. In both conditions, results showed an unusual U-shaped pattern of personal memory impairment, encompassing most of the patients’ life, sparing however, periods of the childhood, early adulthood and past several weeks. This profile was suggestive of a long-term consolidation impairment of persona..
    • 2004
    • Howard Eichenbaum
    • Cognitive Processes and Neural Representations that Underlie Declarative Memory
    • The hippocampus serves a critical role in declarative memory—our capacity to recall everyday facts and events. Recent studies using functional brain imaging in humans and neuropsychological analyses of humans and animals with hippocampal damage have revealed some of the elemental cognitive processes mediated by the hippocampus. In addition, recent characterizations of neuronal firing patterns in behaving animals and humans have suggested how neural representations in the hippocampus underlie those elemental cognitive processes in the service of declarative memory.
    • 2010
    • Spunt RP et al
    • Dissociable neural systems support retrieval of how and why action knowledge.
    • In everyday discourse, people typically represent actions in one of two ways: how they are performed or why they are performed. In the present study, we determined the neural systems that support these natural modes of representing actions. Participants underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging while identifying how and why people perform various familiar actions. Identifying how actions are performed produced activity in premotor areas that support the execution of actions and in higher-order visual areas that support the perception of action-related objects; this finding supports an embodied view of action knowledge. However, identifying why actions are performed preferentially engaged areas of the brain associated with representing and reasoning about mental states; these areas were right temporoparietal junction, precuneus, dorsomedial prefrontal cortex, and posterior superior temporal sulcus. Our results suggest that why action knowledge is not sufficiently constituted by ..
    • 2004
    • Gallese V et al
    • A unifying view of the basis of social cognition.
    • In this article we provide a unifying neural hypothesis on how individuals understand the actions and emotions of others. Our main claim is that the fundamental mechanism at the basis of the experiential understanding of others' actions is the activation of the mirror neuron system. A similar mechanism, but involving the activation of viscero-motor centers, underlies the experiential understanding of the emotions of others.
    • 2007
    • Brass M et al
    • Investigating action understanding: inferential processes versus action simulation.
    • In our daily life, we continuously monitor others' behaviors and interpret them in terms of goals, intentions, and reasons. Despite their central importance for predicting and interpreting each other's actions, the functional mechanisms and neural circuits involved in action understanding remain highly controversial. Two alternative accounts have been advanced. Simulation theory assumes that we understand actions by simulating the observed behavior through a direct matching process that activates the mirror-neuron circuit. The alternative interpretive account assumes that action understanding is based on specialized inferential processes activating brain areas with no mirror properties. Although both approaches recognize the central role of contextual information in specifying action intentions, their respective accounts of this process differ in significant respects. Here, we investigated the role of context in action understanding by using functional brain imaging while participant..
    • 2000
    • Lucas RE et al
    • Cross-cultural evidence for the fundamental features of extraversion
    • Psychologists have not determined the defining characteristics of extraversion. In four studies, the authors tested the hypothesis that extraversion facets are linked by reward sensitivity. According to this hypothesis, only facets that reflect reward sensitivity should load on a higher order extraversion factor. This model was tested against a model in which sociability links the facets. The authors also tested the generalizability of the model in a diverse sample of participants from 39 nations, and they tested the model using widely used extraversion scales. Results of all studies indicate that only facets that reflect reward sensitivity load on a higher order extraversion factor and that this factor correlates strongly with pleasant affect. Although sociability is undoubtedly an important part of extraversion, these results suggest that extraverts' sociability may be a by-product of reward sensitivity, rather than the core feature of the trait.

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