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Spatial and non-spatial aspects of neglect

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889195848 Year: Pages: 151 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-584-8 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Neurology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2016-03-10 08:14:32
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Neglect is one of the most impressive neuropsychological disorder, for both its theoretical and clinical relevance. Besides being very common and disabling, it is highly informative for understanding normal cognitive functioning. The hallmark of neglect is the failure to attend to the contralesional hemispace. However, several studies have recently highlighted that additional deficits, not attributable to a spatial bias, are associated to the impaired contralesional hemispace processing. Moreover, manifestations of neglect tend to be particularly heterogeneous and often dissociate according to the spatial domain being investigated (e.g., body space, space within reaching, space beyond reaching, imaginal space). Heterogeneity in neglect patients also means that dissociations across different tasks in a single patient are more the rule than the exception. Evidence suggests that some of these dissociations can be readily explained by taking into account the amount of available attentional resources as a major determinant for the presence and the severity of neglect. There is no doubt that neglect patients provide a wealth of information about the functioning of systems subserving attentional orienting and spatial processing. Moreover, their performance also show that some non-spatial deficits are tightly coupled with more classic contralesional spatial deficits. It seems however still unclear to what extent these non-spatial deficits are an intrinsic characteristic of neglect or whether they are to be considered unspecific effects of the often massive brain lesions suffered by the patients. From the clinical point of view, neglect is a disorder that dramatically affects patients and their caregivers, because it severely limits the individuals’ autonomy and motor recovery after brain damage. For these reasons neglect is a disorder that is worth rehabilitating. To be effective, neglect rehabilitation should be based on the knowledge of what cognitive aspects are impaired and it should be focused on improving daily-life performance. For these reasons, it is also important to detect and quantify subtle forms of neglect.

Perspective Taking: Building a neurocognitive framework for integrating the "social" and the "spatial"

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889194179 Year: Pages: 252 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-417-9 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Neurology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2015-12-10 11:59:06
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Background: Interacting with other people involves spatial awareness of one’s own body and the other’s body and viewpoint. In the past, social cognition has focused largely on belief reasoning, which is abstracted away from spatial and bodily representations, while there is a strong tradition of work on spatial and object representation which does not consider social interactions. These two domains have flourished independently. A small but growing body of research examines how awareness of space and body relates to the ability to interpret and interact with others. This also builds on the growing awareness that many cognitive processes are embodied, which could be of relevance for the integration of the social and spatial domains: Online mental transformations of spatial representations have been shown to rely on simulated body movements and various aspects of social interaction have been related to the simulation of a conspecific’s behaviour within the observer’s bodily repertoire. Both dimensions of embodied transformations or mappings seem to serve the purpose of establishing alignment between the observer and a target. In spatial cognition research the target is spatially defined as a particular viewpoint or frame of reference (FOR), yet, in social interaction research another viewpoint is occupied by another’s mind, which crucially requires perspective taking in the sense of considering what another person experiences from a different viewpoint. Perspective taking has been studied in different ways within developmental psychology, cognitive psychology, psycholinguistics, neuropsychology and cognitive neuroscience over the last few decades, yet, integrative approaches for channelling all information into a unified account of perspective taking and viewpoint transformations have not been presented so far. Aims: This Research Topic aims to bring together the social and the spatial, and to highlight findings and methods which can unify research across areas. In particular, the topic aims to advance our current theories and set the stage for future developments of the field by clarifying and linking theoretical concepts across disciplines. Scope: The focus of this Research Topic is on the SPATIAL and the SOCIAL, and we anticipate that all submissions will touch on both aspects and will explicitly attempt to bridge conceptual gaps. Social questions could include questions of how people judge another person’s viewpoint or spatial capacities, or how they imagine themselves from different points of view. Spatial questions could include consideration of different physical configurations of the body and the arrangement of different viewpoints, including mental rotation of objects or viewpoints that have social relevance. Questions could also relate to how individual differences (in personality, sex, development, culture, species etc.) influence or determine social and spatial perspective judgements. Many different methods can be used to explore perspective taking, including mental chronometry, behavioural tasks, EEG/MEG and fMRI, child development, neuropsychological patients, virtual reality and more. Bringing together results and approaches from these different domains is a key aim of this Research Topic. We welcome submissions of experimental papers, reviews and theory papers which cover these topics.

Spatial memory - a unique window into healthy and pathological ageing

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889193868 Year: Pages: 122 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-386-8 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Neurology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2015-12-03 13:02:24
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The global population aged over 60 is set to rise dramatically in the coming decades. In many countries, the older population now faces the prospect of spending a quarter of their lives aged over 65, and a significant proportion will have to cope with cognitive decline associated with normal ageing or with dementia disorders. Given that these fundamental demographic changes will pose a significant challenge to health care systems, a detailed understanding of age-related cognitive and neurobiological changes is essential in helping elderly populations maintain cognitive performance. In addition, developing sensitive biomarkers to identify those at risk of developing dementia is crucial for early and effective interventions. To make inferences about the ageing process from the animal model back to the human, rigorous behavioral paradigms must be used to ensure that the same function is being examined across species. Given that similar navigational paradigms can easily be applied to humans and animals, recent years have seen an expansion of studies attempting to bridge the gap between age-related changes in animal and human spatial cognition. These studies begin to suggest that disruptions in spatial computations are among the earliest indicators of impending cognitive decline. In addition, although many animal studies have identified pathological mechanisms with paradigms involving spatial navigation, these mechanisms support many nonspatial cognitive functions as well. As a consequence, a successful characterization of how spatial processing changes in the ageing brain could reveal fundamental effects of cognitive ageing that could inform about general mechanisms underlying decline in perception, mnemonic processing and multisensory integration.

Quantitative analysis of neuroanatomy

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889197965 Year: Pages: 244 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-796-5 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Neurology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2016-04-07 11:22:02
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The true revolution in the age of digital neuroanatomy is the ability to extensively quantify anatomical structures and thus investigate structure-function relationships in great detail. Large-scale projects were recently launched with the aim of providing infrastructure for brain simulations. These projects will increase the need for a precise understanding of brain structure, e.g., through statistical analysis and models. From articles in this Research Topic, we identify three main themes that clearly illustrate how new quantitative approaches are helping advance our understanding of neural structure and function. First, new approaches to reconstruct neurons and circuits from empirical data are aiding neuroanatomical mapping. Second, methods are introduced to improve understanding of the underlying principles of organization. Third, by combining existing knowledge from lower levels of organization, models can be used to make testable predictions about a higher-level organization where knowledge is absent or poor. This latter approach is useful for examining statistical properties of specific network connectivity when current experimental methods have not yet been able to fully reconstruct whole circuits of more than a few hundred neurons.

The role of body and environment in cognition

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889192625 Year: Pages: 275 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-262-5 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Science (General) --- Psychology
Added to DOAB on : 2015-12-03 13:02:24
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Recent evidence has shown many ways in which our bodies and the environment influence cognition. In this Research Topic we aim to develop our understanding of cognition by considering the diverse and dynamic relationship between the language we use, our bodily perceptions, and our actions and interactions in the broader environment. There are already many empirical effects illustrating the continuity of mind- body-environment: manipulating body posture influences diverse areas such as mood, hormonal responses, and perception of risk; directing attention to a particular sensory modality can affect language processing, signal detection, and memory performance; placing implicit cues in the environment can impact upon social behaviours, moral judgements, and economic decision making. This Research Topic includes papers that explore the question of how our bodies and the environment influence cognition, such as how we mentally represent the world around us, understand language, reason about abstract concepts, make judgements and decisions, and interact with objects and other people. Contributions focus on empirical, theoretical, methodological or modelling issues as well as opinion pieces or contrasting perspectives. Topic areas include, perception and action, social cognition, emotion, language processing, modality-specific representations, spatial representations, gesture, atypical embodiment, perceptual simulation, cognitive modelling and perspectives on the future of embodiment.

Numerical Development - From cognitive functions to neural underpinnings

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889194247 Year: Pages: 281 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-424-7 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Psychology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2016-01-19 14:05:46
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Living at the beginning of the 21st century requires being numerate, because numerical abilities are not only essential for life prospects of individuals but also for economic interests of post-industrial knowledge societies. Thus, numerical development is at the core of both individual as well as societal interests. There is the notion that we are already born with a very basic ability to deal with small numerosities. Yet, this often called “number sense” seems to be very restricted, approximate, and driven by perceptual constraints. During our numerical development in formal (e.g., school) but also informal contexts (e.g., family, street) we acquire culturally developed abstract symbol systems to represent exact numerosities – in particular number words and Arabic digits – refining our numerical capabilities. In recent years, numerical development has gained increasing research interest documented in a growing number of behavioural, neuro-scientific, educational, cross-cultural, and neuropsychological studies addressing this issue. Additionally, our understanding of how numerical competencies develop has also benefitted considerably from the advent of different neuro-imaging techniques allowing for an evaluation of developmental changes in the human brain. In sum, we are now starting to put together a more and more coherent picture of how numerical competencies develop and how this development is associated with neural changes as well. In the end, this knowledge might also lead to a better understanding of the reasons for atypical numerical development which often has grieve consequences for those who suffer from developmental dyscalculia or mathematics learning disabilities. Therefore, this Research Topic deals with all aspects of numerical development: findings from behavioural performance to underlying neural substrates, from cross-sectional to longitudinal evaluations, from healthy to clinical populations. To this end, we included empirical contributions using different experimental methodologies, but also theoretical contributions, review articles, or opinion papers.

Turning the Mind's Eye Inward: The Interplay between Selective Attention and Working Memory

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889197217 Year: Pages: 170 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-721-7 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Neurology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2016-04-07 11:22:02
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Historically, cognitive sciences have considered selective attention and working memory as largely separated cognitive functions. That is, selective attention as a concept is typically reserved for the processes that allow for the prioritization of specific sensory input, while working memory entails more central structures for maintaining (and operating on) temporary mental representations. However, over the last decades various observations have been reported that question such sharp distinction. Most importantly, information stored in working memory has been shown to modulate selective attention processing – and vice versa. At the theoretical level, these observations are paralleled by an increasingly dominant focus on working memory as (involving) the attended part of long-term memory, with some positions considering that working memory is equivalent to selective attention turned to long-term memory representations – or internal selective attention. This questions the existence of working memory as a dedicated cognitive function and raises the need for integrative accounts of working memory and attention. The next step will be to explore the precise implications of attentional accounts of WM for the understanding of specific aspects and characteristics of WM, such as serial order processing, its modality-specificity, its capacity limitations, its relation with executive functions, as well as the nature of attentional mechanisms involved. This research topic in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience aims at bringing together the latest insights and findings about the interplay between working memory and selective attention.

The CA3 region of the hippocampus: how is it? what is it for? how does it do it?

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889196319 Year: Pages: 165 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-631-9 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Science (General) --- Neurology
Added to DOAB on : 2016-08-16 10:34:25
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The aim of this special topic is to bring together experts on the cellular and molecular mechanisms regulating the wiring properties of the CA3 hippocampal microcircuit in both physiological and pathological conditions, synaptic plasticity, behavior and cognition.We will particularly emphasize the dual glutamatergic and GABAergic phenotype of MF-CA3 synapses at early developmental stages and the steps that regulate the integration of newly generated neurons into the adult dentate gyrus-CA3 circuit.

A Matter of Bottom-Up or Top-Down Processes: The Role of Attention in Multisensory Integration

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889451937 Year: Pages: 139 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88945-193-7 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Neurology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2017-10-13 14:57:01
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The integration of information from various sensory modalities influences behaviour. It can induce behavioural benefits such as faster reaction times and enhanced detection of noisy signals but may also produce illusions, all of which have been characterized by specific neuronal signatures. Yet, while these effects of multisensory integration are largely accepted, the role of attention in this process is still the object of intense debate. On the one hand, it has been suggested that attention may guide multisensory integration in a top-down fashion by selection of specific inputs to be integrated out of the plethora of information in our environment. On the other hand, there is evidence that integration could occur in a bottom-up manner, based on temporal and spatial correlations, and outside the focus of attention. An extreme example is the multisensory enhancement of neural responses in anesthetised animals. Attention itself is not a unitary construct, and may refer to a range of different selection mechanisms. Therefore, the interplay between attention and multisensory integration can take many forms which explain, in part, the diversity of findings and the disputes in the literature. The goal of this Research Topic is to help clarify the picture by trying to answer the following questions from various perspectives: Under which circumstances does multisensory integration take place without attention?, and, When does attention determine the fate of multisensory integration?

The Impact of Sensory; Linguistic and Social Deprivation on Cognition

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889453542 Year: Pages: 183 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88945-354-2 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Science (General) --- Psychology
Added to DOAB on : 2018-02-27 16:16:45
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Early experience plays a crucial role in determining the trajectory of cognitive development. For example, early sensory deprivation is known to induce neural reorganization by way of adaptation to the altered sensory experience. Neville and Bavelier’s “compensatory theory’’ hypothesizes that loss of one sense may bring about a sensory enhancement in the remaining modalities. Sensory deprivation will, however, also impact the age of emergence, or the speed of acquisition of cognitive abilities that depend upon sensory inputs. Understanding how a child’s early environment shapes their cognition is not only of theoretical interest. It is essential for the development of early intervention programs that address not just the early deprivation itself, but also the cognitive sequelae of such deprivation. The articles in this e-book all address different aspects of deprivation - sensory, linguistic, and social - and explore the impacts of such deprivation on a wide range of cognitive outcomes. In reading these contributions, it is important to note that sensory, linguistic, and social deprivation are not independent factors in human experience. For example, a child born deaf into a hearing family is likely to experience delays in exposure to natural language, with subsequent limits on their linguistic competence having an effect on social interactions and inclusion: a child raised in environments where social interaction is highly limited is also likely to experience reductions in the quantity and quality of linguistic inputs. Future work will need to carefully examine the complex interactions between the sensory, linguistic and social environments of children raised in atypical or impoverished environments.

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