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Trends in Cognitive Sciences

Sabrina Trapp, John P O'Doherty, Lars Schwabe
Stressful events are better remembered than mundane events. We explain this advantage by reconceptualizing stress in terms of cumulative prediction errors (PEs) that promote rapid learning of events. This proposal integrates the effects of stress on perception and memory, and provides exciting new perspectives for research on stress and cognition.
April 11, 2018: Trends in Cognitive Sciences
Yin Wang, Ingrid R Olson
Social neuroscience has traditionally focused on the functionality of gray matter regions, ignoring the critical role played by axonal fiber pathways in supporting complex social processes. In this paper, we argue that research on white matter is essential for understanding a range of topics in social neuroscience, such as face processing, theory of mind, empathy, and imitation, as well as clinical disorders defined by aberrant social behavior, such as prosopagnosia, autism, and schizophrenia. We provide practical advice on how best to carry out these studies, which ultimately will substantially deepen our understanding of the neurobiological basis of social behavior...
April 5, 2018: Trends in Cognitive Sciences
Gui Xue
A fundamental question of human episodic memory concerns the cognitive and neural representations and processes that give rise to the neural signals of memory. By integrating behavioral tests, formal computational models, and neural measures of brain activity patterns, recent studies suggest that memory signals not only depend on the neural processes and representations during encoding and retrieval, but also on the interaction between encoding and retrieval (e.g., transfer-appropriate processing), as well as on the interaction between the tested events and all other events in the episodic memory space (e...
April 3, 2018: Trends in Cognitive Sciences
Sarah Shultz, Ami Klin, Warren Jones
Within the context of early infant-caregiver interaction, we review a series of pivotal transitions that occur within the first 6 months of typical infancy, with emphasis on behavior and brain mechanisms involved in preferential orientation towards, and interaction with, other people. Our goal in reviewing these transitions is to better understand how they may lay a necessary and/or sufficient groundwork for subsequent phases of development, and also to understand how the breakdown thereof, when development is atypical and those transitions become derailed, may instead yield disability...
March 30, 2018: Trends in Cognitive Sciences
Mohamed L Seghier, Cathy J Price
We consider between-subject variance in brain function as data rather than noise. We describe variability as a natural output of a noisy plastic system (the brain) where each subject embodies a particular parameterisation of that system. In this context, variability becomes an opportunity to: (i) better characterise typical versus atypical brain functions; (ii) reveal the different cognitive strategies and processing networks that can sustain similar tasks; and (iii) predict recovery capacity after brain damage by taking into account both damaged and spared processing pathways...
March 30, 2018: Trends in Cognitive Sciences
Alik S Widge
Transcranial electrical stimulation (TES) is a proposed tool for noninvasively modulating human brain circuits, but its ability to affect cortical physiology remains unclear. A recent study merged TES with live animal and human cadaveric recordings to verify intracranial electrical effects, then used these findings to develop a novel neuromodulation protocol.
March 27, 2018: Trends in Cognitive Sciences
Alexander J Shackman, Andrew S Fox
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
March 22, 2018: Trends in Cognitive Sciences
Taylor W Schmitz, John Duncan
Attention alters three key properties of population neural activity - firing rate, rate variability, and shared variability between neurons. All three properties are well explained by a single canonical computation - normalization - that acts across hierarchically integrated brain systems. Combining data from rodents and nonhuman primates, we argue that cortical cholinergic modulation originating from the basal forebrain closely mimics the effects of directed attention on these three properties of population neural activity...
March 22, 2018: Trends in Cognitive Sciences
Shihui Han
Racial discrimination in social behavior, although disapproved of by many contemporary cultures, has been widely reported. Because empathy plays a key functional role in social behavior, brain imaging researchers have extensively investigated the neurocognitive underpinnings of racial ingroup bias in empathy. This research has revealed consistent evidence for increased neural responses to the perceived pain of same-race compared with other-race individuals in multiple brain regions and across multiple time-windows...
March 18, 2018: Trends in Cognitive Sciences
Matthew D Lieberman
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
March 13, 2018: Trends in Cognitive Sciences
Carlos Crivelli, Alan J Fridlund
Based on modern theories of signal evolution and animal communication, the behavioral ecology view of facial displays (BECV) reconceives our 'facial expressions of emotion' as social tools that serve as lead signs to contingent action in social negotiation. BECV offers an externalist, functionalist view of facial displays that is not bound to Western conceptions about either expressions or emotions. It easily accommodates recent findings of diversity in facial displays, their public context-dependency, and the curious but common occurrence of solitary facial behavior...
March 12, 2018: Trends in Cognitive Sciences
Nick Chater
Melnikoff and Bargh provide a powerful critique of the Type 1/Type 2 distinction as a typology of cognitive processes. But such a distinction may, nonetheless, be useful in highlighting the need for behaviorally inspired public policy.
March 7, 2018: Trends in Cognitive Sciences
Kieran C R Fox, Brett L Foster, Aaron Kucyi, Amy L Daitch, Josef Parvizi
The human default network (DN) plays a critical role in internally directed cognition, behavior, and neuropsychiatric disease. Despite much progress with functional neuroimaging, persistent questions still linger concerning the electrophysiological underpinnings, fast temporal dynamics, and causal importance of the DN. Here, we review how direct intracranial recording and stimulation of the DN provides a unique combination of high spatiotemporal resolution and causal information that speaks directly to many of these outstanding questions...
March 7, 2018: Trends in Cognitive Sciences
David E Melnikoff, John A Bargh
It is often said that there are two types of psychological processes: one that is intentional, controllable, conscious, and inefficient, and another that is unintentional, uncontrollable, unconscious, and efficient. Yet, there have been persistent and increasing objections to this widely influential dual-process typology. Critics point out that the 'two types' framework lacks empirical support, contradicts well-established findings, and is internally incoherent. Moreover, the untested and untenable assumption that psychological phenomena can be partitioned into two types, we argue, has the consequence of systematically thwarting scientific progress...
February 28, 2018: Trends in Cognitive Sciences
Sarah Genon, Andrew Reid, Robert Langner, Katrin Amunts, Simon B Eickhoff
Many brain regions have been defined, but a comprehensive formalization of each region's function in relation to human behavior is still lacking. Current knowledge comes from various fields, which have diverse conceptions of 'functions'. We briefly review these fields and outline how the heterogeneity of associations could be harnessed to disclose the computational function of any region. Aggregating activation data from neuroimaging studies allows us to characterize the functional engagement of a region across a range of experimental conditions...
February 28, 2018: Trends in Cognitive Sciences
Thomas Naselaris, Danielle S Bassett, Alyson K Fletcher, Konrad Kording, Nikolaus Kriegeskorte, Hendrikje Nienborg, Russell A Poldrack, Daphna Shohamy, Kendrick Kay
Understanding the computational principles that underlie complex behavior is a central goal in cognitive science, artificial intelligence, and neuroscience. In an attempt to unify these disconnected communities, we created a new conference called Cognitive Computational Neuroscience (CCN). The inaugural meeting revealed considerable enthusiasm but significant obstacles remain.
February 27, 2018: Trends in Cognitive Sciences
Cameron T Ellis, Nicholas B Turk-Browne
Our understanding of the typical human brain has benefitted greatly from studying different kinds of brains and their associated behavioral repertoires, including animal models and neuropsychological patients. This same comparative perspective can be applied to early development - the environment, behavior, and brains of infants provide a model system for understanding how the mature brain works. This approach requires noninvasive methods for measuring brain function in awake, behaving infants. fMRI is becoming increasingly viable for this purpose, with the unique ability to precisely measure the entire brain, including both cortical and subcortical structures...
February 24, 2018: Trends in Cognitive Sciences
Roni Tibon, Cbu Open Science Committee, Richard Henson
Academic conferences are among the most prolific scientific activities, yet the current abstract submission and review process has serious limitations. We propose a revised process that would address these limitations, achieve some of the aims of Open Science, and stimulate discussion throughout the entire lifecycle of the scientific work.
February 23, 2018: Trends in Cognitive Sciences
Michael Inzlicht, Amitai Shenhav, Christopher Y Olivola
According to prominent models in cognitive psychology, neuroscience, and economics, effort (be it physical or mental) is costly: when given a choice, humans and non-human animals alike tend to avoid effort. Here, we suggest that the opposite is also true and review extensive evidence that effort can also add value. Not only can the same outcomes be more rewarding if we apply more (not less) effort, sometimes we select options precisely because they require effort. Given the increasing recognition of effort's role in motivation, cognitive control, and value-based decision-making, considering this neglected side of effort will not only improve formal computational models, but also provide clues about how to promote sustained mental effort across time...
February 21, 2018: Trends in Cognitive Sciences
Giovanni Pezzulo, Francesco Rigoli, Karl J Friston
Motivated control refers to the coordination of behaviour to achieve affectively valenced outcomes or goals. The study of motivated control traditionally assumes a distinction between control and motivational processes, which map to distinct (dorsolateral versus ventromedial) brain systems. However, the respective roles and interactions between these processes remain controversial. We offer a novel perspective that casts control and motivational processes as complementary aspects - goal propagation and prioritization, respectively - of active inference and hierarchical goal processing under deep generative models...
February 20, 2018: Trends in Cognitive Sciences
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