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Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience

Shuo Wang, Virginia Falvello, Jenny Porter, Christopher P Said, Alexander Todorov
People often make approachability decisions based on perceived facial trustworthiness. However, it remains unclear how people learn trustworthiness from a population of faces and whether this learning influences their approachability decisions. Here we investigated the neural underpinning of approach behavior and tested two important hypotheses: whether the amygdala adapts to different trustworthiness ranges and whether the amygdala is modulated by task instructions and evaluative goals. We showed that participants adapted to the stimulus range of perceived trustworthiness when making approach decisions and that these decisions were further modulated by the social context...
February 2, 2018: Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience
Magdalena Chechlacz, Peter C Hansen, Joy J Geng, Dario Cazzoli
Visual attention allows the allocation of limited neural processing resources to stimuli based on their behavioral priorities. The selection of task-relevant visual targets entails the processing of multiple competing stimuli and the suppression of distractors that may be either perceptually salient or perceptually similar to targets. The posterior parietal cortex controls the interaction between top-down (task-driven) and bottom-up (stimulus-driven) processes competing for attentional selection, as well as spatial distribution of attention...
February 2, 2018: Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience
Marcus Paul, Marie-Christin Fellner, Gerd T Waldhauser, John Paul Minda, Nikolai Axmacher, Boris Suchan, Oliver T Wolf
Adapting behavior based on category knowledge is a fundamental cognitive function, which can be achieved via different learning strategies relying on different systems in the brain. Whereas the learning of typical category members has been linked to implicit, prototype abstraction learning, which relies predominantly on prefrontal areas, the learning of exceptions is associated with explicit, exemplar-based learning, which has been linked to the hippocampus. Stress is known to foster implicit learning strategies at the expense of explicit learning...
February 2, 2018: Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience
Iske Bakker-Marshall, Atsuko Takashima, Jan-Mathijs Schoffelen, Janet G van Hell, Gabriele Janzen, James M McQueen
Like many other types of memory formation, novel word learning benefits from an offline consolidation period after the initial encoding phase. A previous EEG study has shown that retrieval of novel words elicited more word-like-induced electrophysiological brain activity in the theta band after consolidation [Bakker, I., Takashima, A., van Hell, J. G., Janzen, G., & McQueen, J. M. Changes in theta and beta oscillations as signatures of novel word consolidation. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 27, 1286-1297, 2015]...
February 2, 2018: Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience
Tobias Katus, Martin Eimer
Working memory (WM) is limited in capacity, but it is controversial whether these capacity limitations are domain-general or are generated independently within separate modality-specific memory systems. These alternative accounts were tested in bimodal visual/tactile WM tasks. In Experiment 1, participants memorized the locations of simultaneously presented task-relevant visual and tactile stimuli. Visual and tactile WM load was manipulated independently (one, two, or three items per modality), and one modality was unpredictably tested after each trial...
January 18, 2018: Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience
Anne G E Collins
Learning to make rewarding choices in response to stimuli depends on a slow but steady process, reinforcement learning, and a fast and flexible, but capacity-limited process, working memory. Using both systems in parallel, with their contributions weighted based on performance, should allow us to leverage the best of each system: rapid early learning, supplemented by long-term robust acquisition. However, this assumes that using one process does not interfere with the other. We use computational modeling to investigate the interactions between the two processes in a behavioral experiment and show that working memory interferes with reinforcement learning...
January 18, 2018: Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience
Jessica M Ross, John R Iversen, Ramesh Balasubramaniam
There is a growing interest in how the brain's motor systems contribute to the perception of musical rhythms. The Action Simulation for Auditory Prediction hypothesis proposes that the dorsal auditory stream is involved in bidirectional interchange between auditory perception and beat-based prediction in motor planning structures via parietal cortex [Patel, A. D., & Iversen, J. R. The evolutionary neuroscience of musical beat perception: The Action Simulation for Auditory Prediction (ASAP) hypothesis. Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience, 8, 57, 2014]...
January 18, 2018: Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience
Lars Meyer, Matthias Gumbert
In auditory neuroscience, electrophysiological synchronization to low-level acoustic and high-level linguistic features is well established-but its functional purpose for verbal information transmission is unclear. Based on prior evidence for a dependence of auditory task performance on delta-band oscillatory phase, we hypothesized that the synchronization of electrophysiological responses at delta-band frequency to the speech stimulus serves to implicitly align neural excitability with syntactic information...
January 11, 2018: Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience
Sarah C Tyler, Federica Contò, Lorella Battelli
This study explored the modulatory effects of high-frequency transcranial random noise stimulation (tRNS) on visual sensitivity during a temporal attention task. We measured sensitivity to different onset asynchronies during a temporal order judgment task as a function of active stimulation relative to sham. While completing the task, participants were stimulated bilaterally for 20 min over either the TPJ or the human middle temporal area. We hypothesized that tRNS over the TPJ, which is critical to the temporal attention network, would selectively increase cortical excitability and induce cognitive training-like effects on performance, perhaps more so in the left visual field [Matthews, N...
January 11, 2018: Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience
David A Vogelsang, Matthias Gruber, Zara M Bergström, Charan Ranganath, Jon S Simons
People can employ adaptive strategies to increase the likelihood that previously encoded information will be successfully retrieved. One such strategy is to constrain retrieval toward relevant information by reimplementing the neurocognitive processes that were engaged during encoding. Using EEG, we examined the temporal dynamics with which constraining retrieval toward semantic versus nonsemantic information affects the processing of new "foil" information encountered during a memory test. Time-frequency analysis of EEG data acquired during an initial study phase revealed that semantic compared with nonsemantic processing was associated with alpha decreases in a left frontal electrode cluster from around 600 msec after stimulus onset...
January 11, 2018: Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience
Kirsten C S Adam, Matthew K Robison, Edward K Vogel
Neural measures of working memory storage, such as the contralateral delay activity (CDA), are powerful tools in working memory research. CDA amplitude is sensitive to working memory load, reaches an asymptote at known behavioral limits, and predicts individual differences in capacity. An open question, however, is whether neural measures of load also track trial-by-trial fluctuations in performance. Here, we used a whole-report working memory task to test the relationship between CDA amplitude and working memory performance...
January 8, 2018: Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience
Eun Young Choi, Garrett K Drayna, David Badre
Patient lesion and neuroimaging studies have identified a rostral-to-caudal functional gradient in the lateral frontal cortex (LFC) corresponding to higher-order (complex or abstract) to lower-order (simple or concrete) cognitive control. At the same time, monkey anatomical and human functional connectivity studies show that frontal regions are reciprocally connected with parietal and temporal regions, forming parallel and distributed association networks. Here, we investigated the link between the functional gradient of LFC regions observed during control tasks and the parallel, distributed organization of association networks...
January 8, 2018: Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience
Natalie V Covington, Sarah Brown-Schmidt, Melissa C Duff
Converging evidence points to a role for the hippocampus in statistical learning, but open questions about its necessity remain. Evidence for necessity comes from Schapiro and colleagues who report that a single patient with damage to hippocampus and broader medial temporal lobe cortex was unable to discriminate new from old sequences in several statistical learning tasks. The aim of the current study was to replicate these methods in a larger group of patients who have either damage localized to hippocampus or a broader medial temporal lobe damage, to ascertain the necessity of the hippocampus in statistical learning...
January 8, 2018: Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience
Lucia M Sacheli, Gaetano Tieri, Salvatore M Aglioti, Matteo Candidi
Although temporal coordination is a hallmark of motor interactions, joint action (JA) partners do not simply synchronize; they rather dynamically adapt to each other to achieve a joint goal. We created a novel paradigm to tease apart the processes underlying synchronization and JA and tested the causal contribution of the left anterior intraparietal sulcus (aIPS) in these behaviors. Participants had to synchronize their congruent or incongruent movements with a virtual partner in two conditions: (i) being instructed on what specific action to perform, independently from what action the partner performed (synchronization), and (ii) being instructed to adapt online to the partner's action (JA)...
January 8, 2018: Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience
Wen Wen, Patrick Haggard
The feeling of control is a fundamental aspect of human experience and accompanies our voluntary actions all the time. However, it remains poorly understood how the sense of control interacts with wider perception, cognition, and behavior. This study focused on how controlling an external object influences the allocation of attention. Experiment 1 examined attention to an object that is under a different level of control from the others. Participants searched for a target among multiple distractors on screen...
January 8, 2018: Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience
Meghan L Meyer, Matthew D Lieberman
Humans have a tendency to think about themselves. What generates this self-focus? One clue may come from the observation that the same part of the brain that supports self-reflection-the medial pFC (MPFC/Brodmann's area 10 [BA 10])-also spontaneously engages by default whenever the brain is free from external demands to attention. Here, we test the possibility that the default tendency to engage MPFC/BA 10 primes self-referential thinking. Participants underwent fMRI while alternating between brief periods of rest and experimental tasks in which they thought about their own traits, another person's traits, or another location's traits...
January 8, 2018: Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience
Stephen D Auger, Eleanor A Maguire
Retrosplenial cortex (RSC) plays a role in using environmental landmarks to help orientate oneself in space. It has also been consistently implicated in processing landmarks that remain fixed in a permanent location. However, it is not clear whether the RSC represents the permanent landmarks themselves or instead the orienting relevance of these landmarks. In previous functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies, these features have been conflated-stable landmarks were always useful for orienting. Here, we dissociated these two key landmark attributes to investigate which one best reflects the function of the RSC...
January 8, 2018: Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience
Julia Föcker, Matin Mortazavi, Wayne Khoe, Steven A Hillyard, Daphne Bavelier
Action video game players (AVGPs) outperform non-action video game players (NAVGPs) on a range of perceptual and attentional tasks. Although several studies have reported neuroplastic changes within the frontoparietal networks of attention in AVGPs, little is known about possible changes in attentional modulation in low-level visual areas. To assess the contribution of these different levels of neural processing to the perceptual and attentional enhancements noted in AVGPs, visual event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded from 14 AVGPs and 14 NAVGPs during a target discrimination task that required participants to attend to rapid sequences of Gabor patches under either focused or divided attention conditions...
January 8, 2018: Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience
Genevieve Quek, Dan Nemdorov, Bruno Rossion, Joan Liu-Shuang
In daily life, efficient perceptual categorization of faces occurs in dynamic and highly complex visual environments. Yet the role of selective attention in guiding face categorization has predominantly been studied under sparse and static viewing conditions, with little focus on disentangling the impact of attentional enhancement and suppression. Here we show that attentional enhancement and suppression exert a differential impact on face categorization supported by the left and right hemispheres. We recorded 128-channel EEG while participants viewed a 6-Hz stream of object images (e...
December 19, 2017: Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience
Andrea N Goldstein-Piekarski, Stephanie M Greer, Jared M Saletin, Allison G Harvey, Leanne M Williams, Matthew P Walker
Insufficient sleep is a known trigger of anxiety. However, not everyone experiences these effects to the same extent. One determining factor is sex, wherein women experience a greater anxiogenic impact in response to sleep loss than men. However, the underlying brain mechanism(s) governing this sleep-loss-induced anxiety increase, including the markedly different reaction in women and men, is unclear. Here, we tested the hypothesis that structural brain morphology in a discrete network of emotion-relevant regions represents one such explanatory factor...
December 15, 2017: Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience
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