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Psychoanalytical neuroscience: Exploring psychoanalytic concepts with neuroscientific methods

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889193776 Year: Pages: 178 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-377-6 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Psychology --- Neurology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2015-11-19 16:29:12
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Sigmund Freud was a trained neuroanatomist and wrote his first psychoanalytical theory in neuroscientific terms. Throughout his life, he maintained the belief that at some distant day in the future, all psychoanalytic processes could be tied to a neural basis: “We must recollect that all of our provisional ideas in psychology will presumably one day be based on an organic substructure” (Freud 1914, On Narcissism: An Introduction). Fundamental Freudian concepts reveal their foundation in the physiological science of his time, most importantly among them the concept of libidinous energy and the homeostatic “principle of constancy”. However, the subsequent history of psychoanalysis and neuroscience was mainly characterized by mutual ignorance or even opposition; many scientists accused psychoanalytic viewpoints not to be scientifically testable, and many psychoanalysts claimed that their theories did not need empirical support outside of the therapeutic situation. On this historical background, it may appear surprising that the recent years have seen an increasing interest in re-connecting psychoanalysis and neuroscience in various ways: By studying psychodynamic consequences of brain lesions in neurological patients, by investigating how psychoanalytic therapy affects brain structure and function, or even by operationalizing psychoanalytic concepts in well-controlled experiments and exploring their neural correlates. These empirical studies are accompanied by theoretical work on the philosophical status of the “neuropsychoanalytic” endeavour. In this volume, we attempt to provide a state-of-the-art overview of this new exciting field. All types of submissions are welcome, including research in patient populations, healthy human participants and animals, review articles on some empirical or theoretical aspect, and of course also critical accounts of the new field. Despite this welcome variability, we would like to suggest that all contributions attempt to address one (or both) of two main questions, which should motivate the connection between psychoanalysis and neuroscience and that in our opinion still remain exigent: First, from the neuroscientific side, why should researchers in the neurosciences address psychoanalytic ideas, and what is (or will be) the impact of this connection on current neuroscientific theories? Second, from the psychoanalytic side, why should psychoanalysts care about neuroscientific studies, and (how) can current psychoanalytical theory and practice benefit from their results? Of course, contributors are free to provide a critical viewpoint on these two questions as well.

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.

Society, Organizations and the Brain: building towards a unified cognitive neuroscience perspective

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889195800 Year: Pages: 205 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-580-0 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Neurology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2016-03-10 08:14:32
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This e-book brings together scholars in both the neurosciences and organizational sciences who have adopted various approaches to study the cognitive mechanisms mediating the social behavior that we see within organizations. Such an approach has been termed by ourselves, and others, as ‘organisational cognitive neuroscience’. In recent years there has been a veritable increase in studies that have explored the cognitive mechanisms driving such behaviors, and much progress has been made in understanding the neural underpinnings of processes such as financial exchange, risk awareness and even leadership. However, while these studies are informative and add to our understanding of human cognition they fall short of providing evidence-based recommendations for practice. Specifically, we address the broader issue of how the neuroscientific study of such core social behaviors can be used to improve the very way that we work. To address these gaps in our understanding the chapters in this book serve as a platform that allows scholars in both the neurosciences and the organizational sciences to highlight the work that spans across these two fields. The consolidation of these two fields also serves to highlight the utility of a singular organizational cognitive neuroscience. This is a fundamentally important outcome of the book as the application of neuroscience to address economically relevant behaviors has seen a variety of fields evolve in their own right, such as neuromarketing, neuroeconomics and so forth. The use of neuro-scientific technologies,in particular fMRI, has indeed led to a bewildering (and somewhat suffocating) proliferation of new approaches, however, the speed of such developments demands that we must proceed carefully with such ventures or risk some fundamental mistakes. The book that you now hold will consolidates these new neuroscience based approaches and in doing so highlight the importance of this approach in helping us to understand human social behavior in general. Taken together the chapters provide a framework for scholars within the neurosciences who wish to explore the further the opportunities that the study of organisational behavior may provide.

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.

Neural basis of social learning, social deciding, and other-regarding preferences

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889194292 Year: Pages: 199 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-429-2 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Psychology --- Science (General) --- Neurology
Added to DOAB on : 2016-01-19 14:05:46
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Humans and many other social animals decide, or learn when necessary, what to do in a given social situation by assessing a range of variables related to social states (e.g., competitive or cooperative), others’ overt behavior (e.g., response choices and outcomes), others’ covert mental states (e.g., beliefs, intentions and desires), and one’s own interpersonal inclination (e.g. other-regarding preferences and generosity). Recent studies in social neuroscience have begun to uncover how such social variables are processed, encoded, and integrated in the brain. The goal of the current Research Topic is to promote a better understanding of neural basis of social learning, social decision-making, and other-regarding preferences.

Neuroscience perspectives on Security: Technology, Detection, and Decision Making

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889196005 Year: Pages: 108 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-600-5 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Neurology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2016-03-10 08:14:32
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In security science, efficient operation depends typically on the interaction between technology, human and machine detection and human and machine decision making. A perfect example of this interplay is ‘gatekeeping’, which is aimed to prevent the passage of people and objects that represent known threats from one end to the other end of an access point. Gatekeeping is most often achieved via visual inspections, mass screening, random sample probing and/or more targeted controls on attempted passages at points of entry. Points of entry may be physical (e.g. national borders) or virtual (e.g. connection log-ons). Who and what are defined as security threats and the resources available to gatekeepers determine the type of checks and technologies that are put in place to ensure appropriate access control. More often than not, the net performance of technology-aided screening and authentication systems ultimately depends on the characteristics of human operators. Assessing cognitive, affective, behavioural, perceptual and brain processes that may affect gatekeepers while undertaking this task is fundamental. On the other hand, assessing the same processes in those individuals who try to breach access to secure systems (e.g. hackers), and try to cheat controls (e.g. smugglers) is equally fundamental and challenging. From a security standpoint it is vital to be able to anticipate, focus on and correctly interpret the signals connected with such attempts to breach access and/or elude controls, in order to be proactive and to enact appropriate responses. Knowing cognitive, behavioral, social and neural constraints that may affect the security enterprise will undoubtedly result in a more effective deployment of existing human and technological resources. Studying how inter-observer variability, human factors and biology may affect the security agenda, and the usability of existing security technologies, is of great economic and policy interest. In addition, brain sciences may suggest the possibility of novel methods of surveillance and intelligence gathering. This is just one example of a typical security issue that may be fruitfully tackled from a neuroscientific and interdisciplinary perspective. The objective of our Research Topic was to document across relevant disciplines some of the most recent developments, ideas, methods and empirical findings that have the potential to expand our knowledge of the human factors involved in the security process. To this end we welcomed empirical contributions using different methodologies such as those applied in human cognitive neuroscience, biometrics and ethology. We also accepted original theoretical contributions, in the form of review articles, perspectives or opinion papers on this topic. The submissions brought together researchers from different backgrounds to discuss topics which have scientific, applicative and social relevance.

Open questions on the mechanisms of neuromodulation with applied and endogenous electric fields

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889193738 Year: Pages: 73 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-373-8 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Neurology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2015-11-19 16:29:12
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Despite increased knowledge, and more sophisticated experimental and modeling approaches, fundamental questions remain about how electricity can interact with ongoing brain function in information processing or as a medical intervention. Specifically, what biophysical and network mechanisms allow for weak electric fields to strongly influence neuronal activity and function? How can strong and weak fields induce meaningful changes in CNS function? How do abnormal endogenous electric fields contribute to pathophysiology? Topics included in the review range from the role of field effects in cortical oscillations, transcranial electrical stimulation, deep brain stimulation, modeling of field effects, and the role of field effects in neurological diseases such as epilepsy, hemifacial spasm, trigeminal neuralgia, and multiple sclerosis.

Near-Infrared Spectroscopy: Recent Advances in Infant Speech Perception and Language Acquisition Research

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889194155 Year: Pages: 118 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-415-5 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Psychology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2015-12-10 11:59:06
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Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS) is a novel and increasingly popular optical imaging technique that has revolutionarized brain research in the youngest developmental populations. After nearly a decade of technological development, NIRS has become a reliable, easy-to-use and efficient tool to explore the linguistic and cognitive abilities of neonates and young infants, opening new vistas for the investigation of language acquisition and cognitive development. This Research Topic covers the latest advances in these areas brought about by NIRS imaging. The main focus is to highlight innovative and foundational studies that go beyond methodological issues and advance our theoretical understanding of infant and child development. Contributions from the pioneers of this method are selected, illustrating how NIRS has allowed developmental researchers to ask theoretically relevant questions that more traditional methods couldn't address. These works further our understanding of language and cognitive development and bring us closer to bridging the gap between brain, mind and behavior at the very beginning of life.

Educational Neuroscience, Constructivist Learning, and the Mediation of Learning and Creativity in the 21st Century

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889195190 Year: Pages: 126 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-519-0 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Psychology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2015-12-10 11:59:06
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The advent of educational neuroscience, a transdisciplinary exercise emerging from cognitive neuroscience and educational psychology, is the examination of physiological processes that undermine, support, and enhance the capacities to learn and create. The physiological underpinnings of learning and creativity each impact human ability and performance and mediate the processes of becoming educated, expert, and valued. Evidence of learning provides support to an ongoing canon, process, system, field or domain, while evidence of creativity results in an elaboration or departure from an ongoing canon, process, system, field, or domain. Educational neuroscience extends a challenge to scholars from multiple contexts to engage in the characterization and exploration of human ability and performance in these realms. The role of context, both environmental and interoceptive, is an integral part of efforts in educational neuroscience and in theories of constructivist learning to contribute ecologically valid insight to the pragmatic processes of learning and creativity. Examination at this level of specificity is vital to our ability to educate and support human potential in the 21st century. This Research Topic examines the neural basis of cognitive states and processes that influence knowledge and skill acquisition tied to the demonstration of human ability and performance across individual differences and in multiple contexts including STEM learning and the arts.

Decision making under uncertainty

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889194667 Year: Pages: 143 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-466-7 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Psychology --- Neurology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2016-03-10 08:14:32
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Most decisions in life are based on incomplete information and have uncertain consequences. To successfully cope with real-life situations, the nervous system has to estimate, represent and eventually resolve uncertainty at various levels. A common tradeoff in such decisions involves those between the magnitude of the expected rewards and the uncertainty of obtaining the rewards. For instance, a decision maker may choose to forgo the high expected rewards of investing in the stock market and settle instead for the lower expected reward and much less uncertainty of a savings account. Little is known about how different forms of uncertainty, such as risk or ambiguity, are processed and learned about and how they are integrated with expected rewards and individual preferences throughout the decision making process. With this Research Topic we aim to provide a deeper and more detailed understanding of the processes behind decision making under uncertainty.

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