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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.

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.

Taking a hands-on approach: Current perspectives on the effect of hand position on vision

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889196647 Year: Pages: 104 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-664-7 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Science (General) --- Psychology
Added to DOAB on : 2016-08-16 10:34:25
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An exciting new line of research that investigates the impact of one’s own hands on visual processing has flourished in the past several years. Specifically, several studies have demonstrated that objects near the hands receive prioritized attention, enhanced perceptual sensitivity, altered figure-ground assignment, prolonged and detail-oriented processing, and improved visual working memory. Taken together, these results demonstrate that the visual system reveals a new pattern of processing when one's hands are in proximity of viewed objects. Therefore, the vast majority of studies on visual processing, in which one's hands are kept away from the stimuli, may constitute but one side of a more complex story of the inner workings of the visual system. With several consistent behavioral demonstrations of hand-altered vision now in the literature, the present challenge facing this growing field, and the aim of this Research Topic, is four-pronged: 1) Isolate and elucidate the underlying cognitive and neural mechanisms of hand-altered vision; 2) Map the parameters and conditions of hand-nearness that permit/prevent the onset or maintenance of hand-altered vision; 3) Determine the consequences of hand-altered vision for higher-level cognition and assess its applied potential (e.g., as a neuropsychological intervention); and, 4) Present a cohesive and predictive theoretical account of hand-altered vision. We welcome submissions that fit into any one (or a combination) of the above domains. For behavioral research, we particularly encourage submissions that are relevant to the advancement of our understanding of the neural mechanisms of hand-altered vision (e.g., demonstrations that might corroborate or disconfirm proposed neural systems).

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