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Cognitive Neuroscience

Elizabeth A Shay, Quanjing Chen, Frank E Garcea, Bradford Z Mahon
Multivoxel pattern analysis (MVPA) over functional MRI data can distinguish neural representational states that do not differ in their overall amplitude of BOLD contrast. Here we used MVPA to test whether simple intransitive actions can be distinguished in primary motor cortex. Participants rotated and flexed each of their extremities (hands and feet) during fMRI scanning. The primary motor cortex for the hand/wrist was functionally defined in each hemisphere in each subject. Within those subject-specific ROIs, we found that the average amplitude of BOLD contrast for two different movements of the contralateral hand (rotation, flexion) were higher than for the ipsilateral hand, as well as movements by both feet; however, there was no difference in amplitude between the two different types of movements for the contralateral hand...
March 16, 2018: Cognitive Neuroscience
Ayaka Fujisawa, Shoko Kasuga, Takaharu Suzuki, Junichi Ushiba
The objective of the present study was to clarify the variation in and properties of mental images and policies used to regulate specific image selection when learning to control a brain-computer interface. Healthy volunteers performed a reaching task with a virtually generated monkey tail-like object on a computer monitor by regulating event-related desynchronization (ERD) on the buttock area of the sensorimotor cortex as recorded by electroencephalogram (EEG). Participants were instructed to find a free image by which the tail was well controlled...
January 26, 2018: Cognitive Neuroscience
Luca F Ticini, Simone Schütz-Bosbach, Florian Waszak
Numerous studies corroborated the idea that the sound of familiar motor acts triggers a muscle-specific replica of the perceived actions in the listener's brain. We recently contradicted this conclusion by demonstrating that the representation of newly-learned action-related sounds is not somatotopically organised but rather it corresponds to the goal a particular action aims to achieve. In the present study, we reconciled these contrasting results by showing that a higher degree of motor familiarity obtained via long-term practice with auditory-motor associations shapes a somatotopically organised representation of action-related sounds...
January 8, 2018: Cognitive Neuroscience
Scott D Slotnick
This special issue of Cognitive Neuroscience focuses on the debate regarding whether spatial attention can rapidly modulate the event-related potential (ERP) C1 component, which reflects the initial feedforward signal in V1. A discussion paper by Baumgartner, Graulty, Hillyard, and Pitts (this issue) included an empirical experiment that failed to replicate the significant C1 attention effects of Kelly, Gomez-Ramirez, and Foxe. Commentaries were received by Ding (this issue), Klein (this issue), Pourtois, Rossi, Vuilleumier, and Rauss (this issue), Kelly and Mohr (this issue), Slagter, Alilovic, and Van Gaal (this issue), and Fu (this issue)...
January 2018: Cognitive Neuroscience
Scott D Slotnick
In a discussion paper (Slotnick, this issue), I conducted a selective review of spatial attention studies to compare experimental parameters and determine whether particular stimulus, task, or analysis conditions were more likely to produce significant attentional modulation of the event-related potential (ERP) C1 component. It was concluded that to maximize C1 attention effects, stimuli should be in the upper visual field, there should be distractors, conditions should be high perceptual or attentional load, there should be exogenous cuing, and effects should be measured at midline parietal-occipital electrodes POz, Pz, and CPz...
October 25, 2017: Cognitive Neuroscience
Hannah M Baumgartner, Christian J Graulty, Steven A Hillyard, Michael A Pitts
The thoughful comments on our study (Baumgartner et al., this issue) that failed to replicate the C1 attention effect reported by a previous study roughly fall into three broad categories. First, the commentators identified specific differences between the two studies that may have contributed to the discrepant results. Second, they highlighted some of the theoretical and methodological problems that are encountered when trying to demonstrate attention effects on the initial evoked response in primary visual cortex...
October 23, 2017: Cognitive Neuroscience
Zhe Qu, Yulong Ding
During recent years, perceptual/attentional load paradigms have been frequently used to investigate whether the initial visual cortical processing can be modified by spatial attention. For example, Rauss and colleagues reported significant modulations of the earliest component (i.e. the C1) of the visual evoked potential (VEP) as a function of attentional load. It may be questioned, however, whether these load effects represent modulations of the C1 or overlaps from other components. Here we summarize some methods to identify and remove the overlaps, which is important to clarify the question of whether the initial visual cortical processing could be modulated by attention...
October 12, 2017: Cognitive Neuroscience
Naomi Hannaway, Bertram Opitz, Paul Sauseng
To explain varying previous results as to whether bilinguals show an advantage over monolinguals in inhibitory control, two hypotheses have been suggested. The Bilingual Inhibitory Control Advantage (BICA) hypothesis proposes a bilingual advantage specific to the presence of conflict. In contrast, the Bilingual Executive Processing Advantage (BEPA) hypothesis proposes a global advantage in processing, across all contexts. The present research contrasts these hypotheses by investigating the effects of second language immersion and similarity of colour terms across languages on the bilingual Stroop task...
October 9, 2017: Cognitive Neuroscience
Francesco Di Russo
Slotnick (this issue) proposes that the earliest ERP C1 component, evoked by visual stimuli, may be affected by attention if certain experimental parameters are used. My opinion on this paper is that some results of previous papers are forced to appear significant even though they were not. This commentary focuses on Slotnick's description of my cited papers and clarifies that there were not in fact any significant C1 attention effects present. Even though the C1 was often numerically larger in the attended condition, the statistical tests of these effects were far from significance...
October 9, 2017: Cognitive Neuroscience
Michael A Pitts, Steven A Hillyard
Slotnick (this issue) has specified a number of experimental parameters that appear critical for enabling an attention-related modulation of the C1 component. These include stimulus presentation in the upper visual field, the presence of distractors, a high perceptual or attentional load, and measurements at midline occipito-parietal sites. While we agree with many of these recommendations, we would modify others and even dispute a few. Despite the employment of these parameters in a few existing studies, there has not yet been a convincing, reproducible demonstration of a modulation of the C1 component by spatial attention that can be localized to primary visual cortex...
October 4, 2017: Cognitive Neuroscience
Shimin Fu
The t-test formula for a within-subject design suggests that the C1 attentional effect is more likely to be significant if the C1 attentional difference, as the numerator, is large and the standard deviation of the C1 difference that affects the denominator is small. Experimental manipulations for exploring potential C1 attentional effects can be evaluated by their contributions to the numerator and/or the denominator of the t-test formula. 'Tricks' that may enhance the C1 attentional difference and minimize the standard deviation of the sampled C1 are discussed...
October 4, 2017: Cognitive Neuroscience
Alberto Zani, Alice Mado Proverbio
Converging neuroimaging and electrophysiological evidence supports the notion that selective attention can modulate neural activity not only in V1 (BA17)-as early as 40-60 ms post-stimulus-but also at the subcortical level (thalamic lateral geniculate nucleus, LGN). V1 modulation has been documented both in space-based and (especially) object-based selection conditions, most of all in endogenous orienting paradigms. It seems then that an attentional modulation of the ERP C1 response-reflecting V1 modulation-would not be especially favoured by exogenous cuing as far as object-based attention is concerned...
October 4, 2017: Cognitive Neuroscience
Kieran S Mohr, Simon P Kelly
Slotnick (this issue) provided a selective review of studies on the attentional modulation of the C1 component of the visual evoked potential, and offers a number of guidelines to maximize the likelihood of observing such modulation in terms of electrode choice, stimulus placement, and types of attentional cue and target stimulus. However, the broader literature pertaining to attentional modulation of the C1 does not support many of these guidelines, and the question of why exactly C1 modulations are so rare remains very much open...
October 3, 2017: Cognitive Neuroscience
Alex Milton, Christopher Pleydell-Pearce
Pre-stimulus phase has been shown to influence temporal judgments concerning order, causality and simultaneity. One hypothesis is that phase cycles frame discrete perceptual snapshots over time. Yet, existing studies have explored the effect of pre-stimulus phase on fine-grained temporal judgments whereas no study has shown whether pre-stimulus phase influences sub-second temporal judgments lasting several phase cycles. If effects of phase on fine-grained temporal judgments reflect perceptual framing, then the perception of longer intervals might show some dependency on the frequency of phase cycles...
October 2017: Cognitive Neuroscience
Yulong Ding
Almost ten years ago, Kelly and collegues reported that the earliest component (i.e., the C1) of the visual evoked potential (VEP) could be modulated by spatial attention. Using a similar experimental design and data analysis methods, however, Baumgartner et al. (this issue) recently failed to provide confirmative evidence. In this commentary, I suggest that some minor differences in experimental design may account for the inconsistent results between the two studies. I also propose a hypothesis that the C1 effect reported in Kelly et al...
September 18, 2017: Cognitive Neuroscience
Simon P Kelly, Kieran S Mohr
In Kelly, Gomez-Ramirez and Foxe (2008), we demonstrated strong spatial attentional modulation of initial afferent activity in human area V1 reflected in the C1 visual evoked potential (VEP) component. Using the same task and analysis strategy, Baumgartner and colleagues provide compelling evidence that there is no such modulation in their data. Here, we examine differences in task conditions between this new study and our original study, speculate on how they may account for the discrepant findings, and discuss the broader theoretical implications...
September 12, 2017: Cognitive Neuroscience
Scott D Slotnick
There is current debate as to whether spatial attention can modulate V1 activity during the initial wave of visual processing. Research on this topic has focused on the event-related potential (ERP) C1 component, which primarily reflects activity in V1. The purpose of the present selective review was to compare experimental parameters across spatial attention studies to determine whether certain stimulus, task, or analysis conditions were more likely to produce significant C1 attention effects. Specifically, C1 attention effects were evaluated as a function of visual field location, presence or absence of distractors, load (perceptual or attentional), cue type (endogenous or exogenous), and electrode location...
September 8, 2017: Cognitive Neuroscience
Shimin Fu
According to the "minority view", the initial afferent processing on C1 can be modulated by attention under certain experimental conditions. However, evidence supporting this "minority view" is relatively rare and needs more replication, and the optimal conditions for eliciting attentional modulations on C1 have not yet been clearly defined. V1-tuned stimuli with distractors, peripheral cuing paradigms, and high perceptual loads seem to be important factors in favor of the "minority view". The signal-noise issue for C1, especially between attended and unattended conditions, needs to be considered...
September 5, 2017: Cognitive Neuroscience
Stanley Klein
This commentary raises three broad questions regarding the Baumgartner et al. (this issue) paper. Topic 1 is about how to deal with the different outcomes of Kelly, Gomez-Ramirez & Foxe (2008) and Baumgartner et al. The methodologies were almost identical yet different results were found. Topic 2 is about statistical issues regarding how to present this type of data. Topic 3 is concerned with the issue of EEG/MEG source localization and whether the C1 component is mainly V1.
August 31, 2017: Cognitive Neuroscience
Gilles Pourtois, Valentina Rossi, Patrik Vuilleumier, Karsten Rauss
Baumgartner and colleagues (this issue) report a replication of an ERP study by Kelly, Gomez-Ramirez, and Foxe (2008). Unlike the original authors, they failed to observe a significant modulation of the C1 by visuo-spatial attention. They conclude that initial afferent processing in V1 is impermeable to visuo-spatial attention. Although their study, like any replication effort, is valuable and important, there are some uncertainties at the methodological and statistical levels suggesting that the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence in the present case...
August 28, 2017: Cognitive Neuroscience
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