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Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience

Bradley Voytek, Jason Samaha, Camarin E Rolle, Zachery Greenberg, Navdeep Gill, Shai Porat, Tahim Kader, Sabahat Rahman, Rick Malzyner, Adam Gazzaley
Our attentional focus is constantly shifting: In one moment, our attention may be intently concentrated on a specific spot, whereas in another moment we might spread our attention more broadly. Although much is known about the mechanisms by which we shift our visual attention from place to place, relatively little is known about how we shift the aperture of attention from more narrowly to more broadly focused. Here we introduce a novel attentional distribution task to examine the neural mechanisms underlying this process...
March 15, 2017: Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience
Anna Manelis, Vencislav Popov, Christopher Paynter, Matthew Walsh, Mark E Wheeler, Keith M Vogt, Lynne M Reder
We examined the neurobiological basis of temporal resetting, an aspect of temporal order memory, using a version of the delayed-match-to-multiple-sample task. While in an fMRI scanner, participants evaluated whether an item was novel or whether it had appeared before or after a reset event that signified the start of a new block of trials. Participants responded "old" to items that were repeated within the current block and "new" to both novel items and items that had last appeared before the reset event (pseudonew items)...
March 15, 2017: Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience
Felix Duecker, Teresa Schuhmann, Nina Bien, Christianne Jacobs, Alexander T Sack
The concept of interhemispheric competition has been very influential in attention research, and the occurrence of biased attention due to an imbalance in posterior parietal cortex (PPC) is well documented. In this context, the vast majority of studies have assessed attentional performance with tasks that did not include an explicit experimental manipulation of attention, and as a consequence, it remains largely unknown how these findings relate to core attentional constructs such as endogenous and exogenous control and spatial orienting and reorienting...
March 15, 2017: Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience
Katerina D Kandylaki, Karen Henrich, Arne Nagels, Tilo Kircher, Ulrike Domahs, Matthias Schlesewsky, Ina Bornkessel-Schlesewsky, Richard Wiese
While processing continuous speech, humans use beat perception to correctly identify word boundaries. The beats of language are stress patterns that are created by combining lexical (word-specific) stress patterns and the rhythm of a specific language. Sometimes, the lexical stress pattern needs to be altered to obey the rhythm of the language. This study investigated this interplay of lexical stress patterns and rhythmical well-formedness in natural speech with fMRI. Previous electrophysiological studies on cases in which a regular lexical stress pattern may be altered to obtain rhythmical well-formedness showed that even subtle rhythmic deviations are detected by the brain if attention is directed toward prosody...
March 15, 2017: Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience
Gavin K Hanson, Evangelia G Chrysikou
A critical aspect of conceptual knowledge is the selective activation of goal-relevant aspects of meaning. Although the contributions of ventrolateral prefrontal and posterior temporal areas to semantic cognition are well established, the precise role of posterior parietal cortex in semantic control remains unknown. Here, we examined whether this region modulates attention to goal-relevant features within semantic memory, according to the same principles that determine the salience of task-relevant object properties during visual attention...
March 15, 2017: Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience
Alice Blumenthal-Dramé, Volkmar Glauche, Tobias Bormann, Cornelius Weiller, Mariacristina Musso, Bernd Kortmann
In usage-based linguistic theories, the assumption that high-frequency language strings are mentally represented as unitary chunks has been invoked to account for a wide range of phenomena. However, neurocognitive evidence in support of this assumption is still lacking. In line with Gestalt psychological assumptions, we propose that a language string qualifies as a chunk if the following two conditions are simultaneously satisfied: The perception of the whole string does not involve strong activation of its individual component parts, but the component parts in isolation strongly evoke the whole...
March 15, 2017: Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience
Benjamin Katz, Jacky Au, Martin Buschkuehl, Tessa Abagis, Chelsea Zabel, Susanne M Jaeggi, John Jonides
A great deal of interest surrounds the use of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) to augment cognitive training. However, effects are inconsistent across studies, and meta-analytic evidence is mixed, especially within healthy, young adults. One major source of this inconsistency is individual differences among the participants, but these differences are rarely examined in the context of combined training/stimulation studies. In addition, it is unclear how long the effects of stimulation last, even in successful interventions...
March 2, 2017: Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience
Nathan M Petro, L Forest Gruss, Siyang Yin, Haiqing Huang, Vladimir Miskovic, Mingzhou Ding, Andreas Keil
Emotionally salient cues are detected more readily, remembered better, and evoke greater visual cortical responses compared with neutral stimuli. The current study used concurrent EEG-fMRI recordings to identify large-scale network interactions involved in the amplification of visual cortical activity when viewing aversively conditioned cues. To generate a continuous neural signal from pericalcarine visual cortex, we presented rhythmic (10/sec) phase-reversing gratings, the orientation of which predicted the presence (CS+) or absence (CS-) of a cutaneous electric shock (i...
March 2, 2017: Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience
Amanda E van Lamsweerde, Jeffrey S Johnson
Maintaining visual working memory (VWM) representations recruits a network of brain regions, including the frontal, posterior parietal, and occipital cortices; however, it is unclear to what extent the occipital cortex is engaged in VWM after sensory encoding is completed. Noninvasive brain stimulation data show that stimulation of this region can affect working memory (WM) during the early consolidation time period, but it remains unclear whether it does so by influencing the number of items that are stored or their precision...
March 2, 2017: Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience
Anne S Berry, Martin Sarter, Cindy Lustig
We investigated the brain activity patterns associated with stabilizing performance during challenges to attention. Our findings revealed distinct patterns of frontoparietal activity and functional connectivity associated with increased attentional effort versus preserved performance during challenged attention. Participants performed a visual signal detection task with and without presentation of a perceptual-attention challenge (changing background). The challenge condition increased activation in frontoparietal regions including right mid-dorsal/dorsolateral pFC (RPFC), approximating Brodmann's area 9, and superior parietal cortex...
March 2, 2017: Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience
Lisa Marieke Kluen, Agorastos Agorastos, Klaus Wiedemann, Lars Schwabe
Memory generalization is essential for adaptive decision-making and action. Our ability to generalize across past experiences relies on medial-temporal lobe structures, known to be highly sensitive to stress. Recent evidence suggests that stressful events may indeed interfere with memory generalization. Yet, the mechanisms involved in this generalization impairment are unknown. We tested here whether a pharmacological elevation of major stress mediators, noradrenaline, and glucocorticoids is sufficient to disrupt memory generalization...
March 2, 2017: Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience
Tom Verguts
A neural synchrony model of cognitive control is proposed. It construes cognitive control as a higher-level action to synchronize lower-level brain areas. Here, a controller prefrontal area (medial frontal cortex) can synchronize two cortical processing areas. The synchrony is achieved by a random theta frequency-locked neural burst sent to both areas. The choice of areas that receive this burst is determined by lateral frontal cortex. As a result of this synchrony, communication between the two areas becomes more efficient...
March 2, 2017: Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience
Dagmar Zeithamova, Alison R Preston
Events with overlapping elements can be encoded as two separate representations or linked into an integrated representation; yet, we know little about the conditions that promote one form of representation over the other. Here, we tested the hypothesis that the proximity of overlapping events would increase the probability of integration. Participants first established memories for house-object and face-object pairs; half of the pairs were learned 24 hr before a fMRI session, and the other half 30 min before the session...
March 2, 2017: Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience
Shima Seyed-Allaei, Zahra Nasiri Avanaki, Bahador Bahrami, Tim Shallice
An important question for understanding the neural basis of problem solving is whether the regions of human prefrontal cortices play qualitatively different roles in the major cognitive restructuring required to solve difficult problems. However, investigating this question using neuroimaging faces a major dilemma: either the problems do not require major cognitive restructuring, or if they do, the restructuring typically happens once, rendering repeated measurements of the critical mental process impossible...
March 2, 2017: Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience
Patricia F Sayegh, Diana J Gorbet, Kara M Hawkins, Kari L Hoffman, Lauren E Sergio
Our brain's ability to flexibly control the communication between the eyes and the hand allows for our successful interaction with the objects located within our environment. This flexibility has been observed in the pattern of neural responses within key regions of the frontoparietal reach network. More specifically, our group has shown how single-unit and oscillatory activity within the dorsal premotor cortex (PMd) and the superior parietal lobule (SPL) change contingent on the level of visuomotor compatibility between the eyes and hand...
March 2, 2017: Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience
Muge Ozker, Inga M Schepers, John F Magnotti, Daniel Yoshor, Michael S Beauchamp
Human speech can be comprehended using only auditory information from the talker's voice. However, comprehension is improved if the talker's face is visible, especially if the auditory information is degraded as occurs in noisy environments or hearing loss. We explored the neural substrates of audiovisual speech perception using electrocorticography, direct recording of neural activity using electrodes implanted on the cortical surface. We observed a double dissociation in the responses to audiovisual speech with clear and noisy auditory component within the superior temporal gyrus (STG), a region long known to be important for speech perception...
March 2, 2017: Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience
Brian A Metzger, Kyle E Mathewson, Evelina Tapia, Monica Fabiani, Gabriele Gratton, Diane M Beck
Research on the neural correlates of consciousness (NCC) has implicated an assortment of brain regions, ERP components, and network properties associated with visual awareness. Recently, the P3b ERP component has emerged as a leading NCC candidate. However, typical P3b paradigms depend on the detection of some stimulus change, making it difficult to separate brain processes elicited by the stimulus itself from those associated with updates or changes in visual awareness. Here we used binocular rivalry to ask whether the P3b is associated with changes in awareness even in the absence of changes in the object of awareness...
February 14, 2017: Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience
Daniele Corbo, Guy A Orban
To obtain further evidence that action observation can serve as a proxy for action execution and planning in posterior parietal cortex, we scanned participants while they were (1) observing two classes of action: vocal communication and oral manipulation, which share the same effector but differ in nature, and (2) rehearsing and listening to nonsense sentences to localize area Spt, thought to be involved in audio-motor transformation during speech. Using this localizer, we found that Spt is specifically activated by vocal communication, indicating that Spt is not only involved in planning speech but also in observing vocal communication actions...
February 14, 2017: Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience
Thomas Hinault, Jean-Michel Badier, Sylvain Baillet, Patrick Lemaire
In a wide variety of cognitive domains, performance is determined by the selection and execution of cognitive strategies to solve problems. We used magnetoencephalography to identify the brain regions involved and specify the time course of dynamic modulations of executive control processes during strategy execution. Participants performed a computational estimation task in which they were instructed to execute a poorer or better strategy to estimate results of two-digit multiplication problems. When participants were asked to execute the poorer strategy, two distinct sets of brain activations were identified, depending on whether the poorer strategy (engaging the left inferior frontal junction) or the better strategy (engaging ACC) had been executed on the immediately preceding items...
February 14, 2017: Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience
John Ryan Morehead, Jordan A Taylor, Darius Parvin, Richard B Ivry
Sensorimotor adaptation occurs when there is a discrepancy between the expected and actual sensory consequences of a movement. This learning can be precisely measured, but its source has been hard to pin down because standard adaptation tasks introduce two potential learning signals: task performance errors and sensory prediction errors. Here we employed a new method that induces sensory prediction errors without task performance errors. This method combines the use of clamped visual feedback that is angularly offset from the target and independent of the direction of motion, along with instructions to ignore this feedback while reaching to targets...
February 14, 2017: Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience
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