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Visual Dysfunction in Schizophrenia: A View into the Mechanisms of Madness?

Authors: --- --- --- --- et al.
Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889195152 Year: Pages: 319 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-515-2 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Psychology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2015-10-30 16:33:44
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Research on visual perception in schizophrenia has a long history. However, it is only recently that it has been included in mainstream efforts to understand the cognitive neuroscience of the disorder and to assist with biomarker and treatment development (e.g., the NIMH CNTRICS and RDoC initiatives). Advances in our understanding of visual disturbances in schizophrenia can tell us about both specific computational and neurobiological abnormalities, and about the widespread computational and neurobiological abnormalities in the illness, of which visual disturbances constitute well-studied, replicable, low-level examples. Importantly, far from being a passive sensory registration process, visual perception is active, inferential, and hypothesis-generating, and therefore can provide excellent examples of breakdowns in general brain functions in schizophrenia. Despite progress made in understanding visual processing disturbances in schizophrenia, many challenges exist and many unexplored areas are in need of examination. For example, the directional relationships between perceptual and cognitive disturbances (e.g., in attention, memory, executive function, predictive coding) remain unclear in many cases, as do links with symptoms, including visual hallucinations. The effect of specific visual disturbances on multisensory integration in schizophrenia has also not been explored. In addition, few studies of vision in schizophrenia have used naturalistic stimuli, including real-world objects, and almost no studies have examined processing during interaction with objects or visual exploration, which can provide important data on functioning of the perception for action pathway. Relatedly, studies of visual processing in schizophrenia have also not been conducted within contexts that include emotional stimulation and the presence of reinforcers - characteristics of many real-world situations - and the consequences of this are likely to be an incomplete view of how and when perception is abnormal in the condition. An additional important area involves treatment of visual disturbances in schizophrenia. Two major questions regarding this are: 1) can visual processing be improved in cases where it is impaired (and by what types of interventions affecting which cognitive and neurobiological mechanisms)? and 2) what are the clinical and functional benefits of improving specific visual functions in people with schizophrenia? Other important and understudied questions concern: 1) the extent to which indices of visual functioning can serve as biomarkers such as predictors of relapse, treatment response, and/or recovery; 2) the potential role of visual functioning in diagnosing and predicting illness; 3) the extent to which some visual perception disturbances are diagnostically specific to schizophrenia; and 4) the extent to which visual disturbances are truly manifestations of disease, as opposed to aspects of normal variation that, in combination with disease, serves to modify the clinical presentation. This Frontiers Research Topic explores some of these, and other issues facing this exciting interface between vision science and schizophrenia research. We include papers that span the entire range of different Frontiers paper types, including those that are data driven (using psychophysics, electroencephalography, neuroimaging, computational and animal models, and other methods), reviews, hypotheses, theories, opinion, methods, areas of impact, and historical perspectives.

Body, space and pain

Authors: --- --- ---
Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889192915 Year: Pages: 127 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-291-5 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Neurology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2015-12-10 11:59:07
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There is growing interest in understanding how the perception of pain (and touch) is influenced by the way we represent our body and the space surrounding it. Recent views argue that pain can only be understood in a larger framework of body perception and action. This attention is driven by accumulating research in experimental and clinical domains, indicating that pain perception depends largely on cognitive factors and multisensory integration. The interest is also boosted by studies on chronic pain conditions suggesting a tight link between body perception and the maintenance of pain. Many aspects remain yet to be elucidated. We welcomed submissions from researchers in cognitive neuroscience and pain to increase our understanding of the interplay among body, space, pain, touch and movement. We aimed to gather insights from different theoretical frameworks and encouraged investigators using a broad range of methods including (but not limited to) behavioural and neuropsychological approaches, imaging techniques, electrophysiology, psychophysiology and TMS to present their results in this Research Topic. In the attempt to go from bench- to bedside we also strongly encouraged submissions from clinicians and physiotherapist whose contribution may help rising some future key questions. Qualitative and phenomenological approaches were also welcome.

What can simple brains teach us about how vision works

Authors: --- --- ---
Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889196784 Year: Pages: 290 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-678-4 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Science (General) --- Neurology
Added to DOAB on : 2016-08-16 10:34:25
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Vision is the process of extracting behaviorally-relevant information from patterns of light that fall on retina as the eyes sample the outside world. Traditionally, nonhuman primates (macaque monkeys, in particular) have been viewed by many as the animal model-of-choice for investigating the neuronal substrates of visual processing, not only because their visual systems closely mirror our own, but also because it is often assumed that “simpler” brains lack advanced visual processing machinery. However, this narrow view of visual neuroscience ignores the fact that vision is widely distributed throughout the animal kingdom, enabling a wide repertoire of complex behaviors in species from insects to birds, fish, and mammals. Recent years have seen a resurgence of interest in alternative animal models for vision research, especially rodents. This resurgence is partly due to the availability of increasingly powerful experimental approaches (e.g., optogenetics and two-photon imaging) that are challenging to apply to their full potential in primates. Meanwhile, even more phylogenetically distant species such as birds, fish, and insects have long been workhorse animal models for gaining insight into the core computations underlying visual processing. In many cases, these animal models are valuable precisely because their visual systems are simpler than the primate visual system. Simpler systems are often easier to understand, and studying a diversity of neuronal systems that achieve similar functions can focus attention on those computational principles that are universal and essential. This Research Topic provides a survey of the state of the art in the use of animal models of visual functions that are alternative to macaques. It includes original research, methods articles, reviews, and opinions that exploit a variety of animal models (including rodents, birds, fishes and insects, as well as small New World monkey, the marmoset) to investigate visual function. The experimental approaches covered by these studies range from psychophysics and electrophysiology to histology and genetics, testifying to the richness and depth of visual neuroscience in non-macaque species.

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