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Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience

Cooper A Smout, Jason B Mattingley
Recent evidence suggests that voluntary spatial attention can affect neural processing of visual stimuli that do not enter conscious awareness (i.e., invisible stimuli), supporting the notion that attention and awareness are dissociable processes [Wyart, V., Dehaene, S., & Tallon-Baudry, C. Early dissociation between neural signatures of endogenous spatial attention and perceptual awareness during visual masking. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 6, 1-14, 2012; Watanabe, M., Cheng, K., Murayama, Y., Ueno, K...
May 23, 2018: Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience
Anne S Berry, Vyoma D Shah, William J Jagust
Dopaminergic signaling in striatum is strongly implicated in executive functions including cognitive flexibility. However, there is a paucity of multimodal research in humans defining the nature of relationships between endogenous dopamine, striatal network activity, and cognition. Here, we measured dopamine synthesis capacity in young and older adults using the PET tracer 6-[18 F]fluoro-l- m-tyrosine and examined its relationship with cognitive performance and functional connectivity during an fMRI study of task switching...
May 23, 2018: Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience
Katherine W Turk, Ala'a A Elshaar, Rebecca G Deason, Nadine C Heyworth, Corrine Nagle, Bruno Frustace, Sean Flannery, Ann Zumwalt, Andrew E Budson
It is difficult to predict whether newly learned information will be retrievable in the future. A biomarker of long-lasting learning, capable of predicting an individual's future ability to retrieve a particular memory, could positively influence teaching and educational methods. Event-related potentials (ERPs) were investigated as a potential biomarker of long-lasting learning. Prior ERP studies have supported a dual-process model of recognition memory that categorizes recollection and familiarity as distinct memorial processes with distinct ERP correlates...
May 23, 2018: Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience
Alexa Tompary, Naseem Al-Aidroos, Nicholas B Turk-Browne
Top-down attention prioritizes the processing of goal-relevant information throughout visual cortex based on where that information is found in space and what it looks like. Whereas attentional goals often have both spatial and featural components, most research on the neural basis of attention has examined these components separately. Here we investigated how these attentional components are integrated by examining the attentional modulation of functional connectivity between visual areas with different selectivity...
May 23, 2018: Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience
Nicholas Gaspelin, Steven J Luck
Researchers have long debated how salient-but-irrelevant features guide visual attention. Pure stimulus-driven theories claim that salient stimuli automatically capture attention irrespective of goals, whereas pure goal-driven theories propose that an individual's attentional control settings determine whether salient stimuli capture attention. However, recent studies have suggested a hybrid model in which salient stimuli attract visual attention but can be actively suppressed by top-down attentional mechanisms...
May 15, 2018: Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience
Armand Mensen, William Marshall, Shuntaro Sasai, Giulio Tononi
While viewing a video clip, we experience a wide variety of contents, from low-level features of the images to high-level ideas such as the storyline. Each change in our experience must be supported by some corresponding change in neurophysiological activity. Differentiation analysis, which quantifies the differences in brain activity by measuring the distances between observed brain states, was applied here to continuous high-density electroencephalographic data recorded while participants watched short video clips...
May 15, 2018: Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience
Simon Nougaret, Sabrina Ravel
Humans and animals must evaluate the costs and expected benefits of their actions to make adaptive choices. Prior studies have demonstrated the involvement of the BG in this evaluation. However, little is known about the role of the external part of the globus pallidus (GPe), which is well positioned to integrate motor and reward-related information, in this process. To investigate this role, the activity of 126 neurons was recorded in the associative and limbic parts of the GPe of two monkeys performing a behavioral task in which different levels of force were required to obtain different amounts of liquid reward...
May 15, 2018: Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience
Mariya E Manahova, Pim Mostert, Peter Kok, Jan-Mathijs Schoffelen, Floris P de Lange
Prior knowledge about the visual world can change how a visual stimulus is processed. Two forms of prior knowledge are often distinguished: stimulus familiarity (i.e., whether a stimulus has been seen before) and stimulus expectation (i.e., whether a stimulus is expected to occur, based on the context). Neurophysiological studies in monkeys have shown suppression of spiking activity both for expected and for familiar items in object-selective inferotemporal cortex. It is an open question, however, if and how these types of knowledge interact in their modulatory effects on the sensory response...
May 15, 2018: Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience
Rodolfo Solís-Vivanco, Ole Jensen, Mathilde Bonnefond
Alpha oscillations (8-14 Hz) are proposed to represent an active mechanism of functional inhibition of neuronal processing. Specifically, alpha oscillations are associated with pulses of inhibition repeating every ∼100 msec. Whether alpha phase, similar to alpha power, is under top-down control remains unclear. Moreover, the sources of such putative top-down phase control are unknown. We designed a cross-modal (visual/auditory) attention study in which we used magnetoencephalography to record the brain activity from 34 healthy participants...
May 15, 2018: Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience
Lin Wang, Peter Hagoort, Ole Jensen
Using magnetoencephalography, the current study examined gamma activity associated with language prediction. Participants read high- and low-constraining sentences in which the final word of the sentence was either expected or unexpected. Although no consistent gamma power difference induced by the sentence-final words was found between the expected and unexpected conditions, the correlation of gamma power during the prediction and activation intervals of the sentence-final words was larger when the presented words matched with the prediction compared with when the prediction was violated or when no prediction was available...
April 30, 2018: Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience
Dana Bevilacqua, Ido Davidesco, Lu Wan, Matthias Oostrik, Kim Chaloner, Jess Rowland, Mingzhou Ding, David Poeppel, Suzanne Dikker
How does the human brain support real-world learning? We used wireless electroencephalography to collect neurophysiological data from a group of 12 senior high school students and their teacher during regular biology lessons. Six scheduled classes over the course of the semester were organized such that class materials were presented using different teaching styles (videos and lectures), and students completed a multiple-choice quiz after each class to measure their retention of that lesson's content. Both students' brain-to-brain synchrony and their content retention were higher for videos than lectures across the six classes...
April 30, 2018: Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience
Zoran Tiganj, Jason A Cromer, Jefferson E Roy, Earl K Miller, Marc W Howard
Cognitive theories suggest that working memory maintains not only the identity of recently presented stimuli but also a sense of the elapsed time since the stimuli were presented. Previous studies of the neural underpinnings of working memory have focused on sustained firing, which can account for maintenance of the stimulus identity, but not for representation of the elapsed time. We analyzed single-unit recordings from the lateral prefrontal cortex of two macaque monkeys during performance of a delayed match-to-category task...
April 26, 2018: Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience
Feng-Kuei Chiang, Joni D Wallis
Reinforcement learning models have proven highly effective for understanding learning in both artificial and biological systems. However, these models have difficulty in scaling up to the complexity of real-life environments. One solution is to incorporate the hierarchical structure of behavior. In hierarchical reinforcement learning, primitive actions are chunked together into more temporally abstract actions, called "options," that are reinforced by attaining a subgoal. These subgoals are capable of generating pseudoreward prediction errors, which are distinct from reward prediction errors that are associated with the final goal of the behavior...
April 25, 2018: Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience
Tobias Feldmann-Wüstefeld, Edward K Vogel, Edward Awh
Contralateral delay activity (CDA) has long been argued to track the number of items stored in visual working memory (WM). Recently, however, Berggren and Eimer [Berggren, N., & Eimer, M. Does contralateral delay activity reflect working memory storage or the current focus of spatial attention within visual working memory? Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 28, 2003-2020, 2016] proposed the alternative hypothesis that the CDA tracks the current focus of spatial attention instead of WM storage. This hypothesis was based on the finding that, when two successive arrays of memoranda were placed in opposite hemifields, CDA amplitude was primarily determined by the position and number of items in the second display, not the total memory load across both displays...
April 25, 2018: Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience
Nicolas J Bourguignon, Senne Braem, Egbert Hartstra, Jan De Houwer, Marcel Brass
Verbal instructions are central to humans' capacity to learn new behaviors with minimal training, but the neurocognitive mechanisms involved in verbally instructed behaviors remain puzzling. Recent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) evidence suggests that the right middle frontal gyrus and dorsal premotor cortex (rMFG-dPMC) supports the translation of symbolic stimulus-response mappings into sensorimotor representations. Here, we set out to (1) replicate this finding, (2) investigate whether this region's involvement is specific to novel (vs...
April 25, 2018: Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience
Ruth B Elijah, Mike E Le Pelley, Thomas J Whitford
Mechanisms of motor-sensory prediction are dependent on expectations regarding when self-generated feedback will occur. Existing behavioral and electrophysiological research suggests that we have a default expectation for immediate sensory feedback after executing an action. However, studies investigating the adaptability of this temporal expectation have been limited in their ability to differentiate modified expectations per se, from effects of stimulus repetition. Here, we use a novel, within-participant procedure that allowed us to disentangle the effect of repetition from expectation and allowed us to determine whether the default assumption for immediate feedback is fixed and resistant to modification or is amenable to change with experience...
April 18, 2018: Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience
Johannes C Ziegler, Marie Montant, Benny B Briesemeister, Tila T Brink, Bruno Wicker, Aurélie Ponz, Mireille Bonnard, Arthur M Jacobs, Mario Braun
How do we understand the emotional content of written words? Here, we investigate the hypothesis that written words that carry emotions are processed through phylogenetically ancient neural circuits that are involved in the processing of the very same emotions in nonlanguage contexts. This hypothesis was tested with respect to disgust. In an fMRI experiment, it was found that the same region of the left anterior insula responded whether people observed facial expressions of disgust or whether they read words with disgusting content...
April 18, 2018: Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience
Bernhard Pastötter, Christian Frings
Understanding the neural processes that maintain goal-directed behavior is a major challenge for the study of attentional control. Although much of the previous work on the issue has focused on prefrontal brain areas, little is known about the contribution of sensory brain processes to the regulation of attentional control. The present EEG study examined brain oscillatory activities invoked in the processing of response conflict in a lateralized Eriksen single-flanker task, in which target letters were presented at fixation and single distractor letters were presented either left or right to the targets...
April 18, 2018: Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience
Elisabetta Ambron, Nicole White, Olufunsho Faseyitan, Sudha K Kessler, Jared Medina, H Branch Coslett
Changes in the perceived size of a body part using magnifying lenses influence tactile perception and pain. We investigated whether the visual magnification of one's hand also influences the motor system, as indexed by transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)-induced motor evoked potentials (MEPs). In Experiment 1, MEPs were measured while participants gazed at their hand with and without magnification of the hand. MEPs were significantly larger when participants gazed at a magnified image of their hand. In Experiment 2, we demonstrated that this effect is specific to the hand that is visually magnified...
April 18, 2018: Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience
Sharon Gilad-Gutnick, Elia Samuel Harmatz, Kleovoulos Tsourides, Galit Yovel, Pawan Sinha
We report here an unexpectedly robust ability of healthy human participants ( n = 40) to recognize extremely distorted needle-like facial images, challenging the well-entrenched notion that veridical spatial configuration is necessary for extracting facial identity. In face identification tasks of parametrically compressed internal and external features, we found that the sum of performances on each cue falls significantly short of performance on full faces, despite the equal visual information available from both measures (with full faces essentially being a superposition of internal and external features)...
April 18, 2018: Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience
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