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Neural perception

Frederick S Barrett, Katrin H Preller, Marcus Herdener, Petr Janata, Franz X Vollenweider
Classic psychedelic drugs (serotonin 2A, or 5HT2A, receptor agonists) have notable effects on music listening. In the current report, blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) signal was collected during music listening in 25 healthy adults after administration of placebo, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), and LSD pretreated with the 5HT2A antagonist ketanserin, to investigate the role of 5HT2A receptor signaling in the neural response to the time-varying tonal structure of music. Tonality-tracking analysis of BOLD data revealed that 5HT2A receptor signaling alters the neural response to music in brain regions supporting basic and higher-level musical and auditory processing, and areas involved in memory, emotion, and self-referential processing...
September 28, 2017: Cerebral Cortex
Robert G Franklin, Leslie A Zebrowitz
Background/Study Context: Older adults (OA) have consistently shown lower accuracy compared with younger adults (YA) when labeling facial expressions of emotion in multiple choice tasks. However, OA do not show lower accuracy when judging psychological attributes from faces in rating tasks. The authors investigated whether the cognitive demands of multiple choice tasks yields an underestimation of OA emotion recognition ability and whether lower scores by OA in emotion recognition tasks are an instance of age-related dedifferentiated face perception...
October 12, 2017: Experimental Aging Research
Andreas Ebert, Martin Brüne
Oxytocin has been linked to many domains within the realm of "social cognition." For example, research has shown that oxytocin affects trusting behavior, cooperation, as well as the perception and processing of facial expressions. Furthermore, oxytocin increases empathy and seems to exert differential effects on in-group versus out-group preferences. However, there are some conflicting results that point towards a modulatory effect of oxytocin, depending on a variety of contextual and within-subject factors...
October 11, 2017: Current Topics in Behavioral Neurosciences
Rikukage Setsu, Yoshiyuki Hirano, Miki Tokunaga, Toru Takahashi, Noriko Numata, Koji Matsumoto, Yoshitada Masuda, Daisuke Matsuzawa, Masaomi Iyo, Eiji Shimizu, Michiko Nakazato
The aim of this study was to examine differences in brain neural activation in response to monosodium glutamate (MSG), the representative component of umami, between patients with bulimia nervosa (BN) and healthy women (HW) controls. We analyzed brain activity after ingestion of an MSG solution using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in a group of women with BN (n = 18) and a group of HW participants (n = 18). Both groups also provided a subjective assessment of the MSG solution via a numerical rating scale...
2017: Frontiers in Psychiatry
Michelle L Tomaszycki, Derek Atchley
Social relationships are complex, involving the production and comprehension of signals, individual recognition, and close coordination of behavior between two or more individuals. The nonapeptides oxytocin and vasopressin are widely believed to regulate social relationships. These findings come largely from prairie voles, in which nonapeptide receptors in olfactory neural circuits drive pair bonding. This research is assumed to apply to all species. Previous reviews have offered two competing hypotheses. The work of Sarah Newman has implicated a common neural network across species, the Social Behavior Network...
July 7, 2017: Integrative and Comparative Biology
T Christina Zhao, H T Gloria Lam, Harkirat Sohi, Patricia K Kuhl
Musical sounds, along with speech, are the most prominent sounds in our daily lives. They are highly dynamic, yet well structured in the temporal domain in a hierarchical manner. The temporal structures enhance the predictability of musical sounds. Western music provides an excellent example: while time intervals between musical notes are highly variable, underlying beats can be realized. The beat-level temporal structure provides a sense of regular pulses. Beats can be further organized into units, giving the percept of alternating strong and weak beats (i...
October 4, 2017: Neuropsychologia
Sabrina Danti, Giacomo Handjaras, Luca Cecchetti, Helen Beuzeron-Mangina, Pietro Pietrini, Emiliano Ricciardi
The disembedding ability (i.e., the ability to identify a simple masked figure within a complex one) depends on attentional mechanisms, executive functions and working memory. Recent cognitive models ascribed different levels of disembedding task performance to the efficiency of the subtended mental processes engaged during visuo-spatial perception. Here we aimed at assessing whether different levels of the disembedding ability were associated to the functional signatures of neural efficiency, defined as a specific modulation in response magnitude and functional connectivity strength in task-related areas...
October 5, 2017: International Journal of Psychophysiology
Federico Cavanna, Martina G Vilas, Matías Palmucci, Enzo Tagliazucchi
The scientific study of human consciousness has greatly benefited from the development of non-invasive brain imaging methods. The quest to identify the neural correlates of consciousness combined psychophysical experimentation with neuroimaging tools such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to map the changes in neural activity associated with conscious vs. unconscious percepts. Different neuroimaging methods have also been applied to characterize spontaneous brain activity fluctuations during altered states of consciousness, and to develop quantitative metrics for the level of consciousness...
October 3, 2017: NeuroImage
Thomas S A Wallis, Christina M Funke, Alexander S Ecker, Leon A Gatys, Felix A Wichmann, Matthias Bethge
Our visual environment is full of texture-"stuff" like cloth, bark, or gravel as distinct from "things" like dresses, trees, or paths-and humans are adept at perceiving subtle variations in material properties. To investigate image features important for texture perception, we psychophysically compare a recent parametric model of texture appearance (convolutional neural network [CNN] model) that uses the features encoded by a deep CNN (VGG-19) with two other models: the venerable Portilla and Simoncelli model and an extension of the CNN model in which the power spectrum is additionally matched...
October 1, 2017: Journal of Vision
Yasuko Tobari, Yoshimi Sato, Kazuo Okanoya
Social interactions rapidly modulate circulating hormone levels and behavioral patterns in most male animals. In male birds, sexual interaction or visual exposure to a conspecific female usually causes an increase in the levels of peripheral reproductive hormones, such as gonadotropins and androgens. Although the perception of a female presence is processed in the brain and peripheral hormonal levels are regulated by the hypothalamus-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis, the specific neural circuitry and neurochemical systems that translate social signals into reproductive physiology in male birds were not well understood until 2008...
2017: Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
Melanie Boly, Marcello Massimini, Naotsugu Tsuchiya, Bradley R Postle, Christof Koch, Giulio Tononi
The role of the frontal cortex in consciousness remains a matter of debate. In this Perspective, we will critically review the clinical and neuroimaging evidence for the involvement of the front versus the back of the cortex in specifying conscious contents and discuss promising research avenues.Dual Perspectives Companion Paper: Should a Few Null Findings Falsify Prefrontal Theories of Conscious Perception?, by Brian Odegaard, Robert T. Knight, and Hakwan Lau.
October 4, 2017: Journal of Neuroscience: the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience
Brian Odegaard, Robert T Knight, Hakwan Lau
Is activity in prefrontal cortex (PFC) critical for conscious perception? Major theories of consciousness make distinct predictions about the role of PFC, providing an opportunity to arbitrate between these views empirically. Here we address three common misconceptions: (1) PFC lesions do not affect subjective perception; (2) PFC activity does not reflect specific perceptual content; and (3) PFC involvement in studies of perceptual awareness is solely driven by the need to make reports required by the experimental tasks rather than subjective experience per se...
October 4, 2017: Journal of Neuroscience: the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience
Marco Tettamanti, Francesca Conca, Andrea Falini, Daniela Perani
The hypothesis that the brain constitutively encodes observed manipulable objects for the actions they afford is still debated. Yet, crucial evidence demonstrating that, even in the absence of perceptual awareness, the mere visual appearance of a manipulable object triggers a visuomotor coding in the action representation system including the premotor cortex, has hitherto not been provided. In this fMRI study, we instantiated reliable unaware visual perception conditions by means of Continuous Flash Suppression, and we tested in 24 healthy human participants (13 females) whether the visuomotor object-directed action representation system that includes left-hemispheric premotor, parietal, and posterior temporal cortices is activated even under subliminal perceptual conditions...
October 4, 2017: Journal of Neuroscience: the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience
Lucile Gamond, Emma Vilarem, Lou Safra, Laurence Conty, Julie Grèzes
Mere affiliation to a social group alters people's perception of other individuals. One suggested mechanism behind such influence is that group membership triggers divergent visual facial representations for in-group and out-group members, which could constrain face processing. Here, using EEG under fMRI during a group categorization task, we investigated the impact of mere affiliation to an arbitrary group on the processing of emotional faces. The results indicate that in- and out-group members trigger differential event-related potential activity, appearing 150 ms after presentation of group membership information, which correlated with medial prefrontal fMRI activity...
October 4, 2017: European Journal of Neuroscience
Benjamin Morillon, Sylvain Baillet
In behavior, action and perception are inherently interdependent. However, the actual mechanistic contributions of the motor system to sensory processing are unknown. We present neurophysiological evidence that the motor system is involved in predictive timing, a brain function that aligns temporal fluctuations of attention with the timing of events in a task-relevant stream, thus facilitating sensory selection and optimizing behavior. In a magnetoencephalography experiment involving auditory temporal attention, participants had to disentangle two streams of sound on the unique basis of endogenous temporal cues...
October 2, 2017: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Kaitlin Fitzgerald, Alexander Provost, Juanita Todd
Internal models of regularities in the world serve to facilitate perception as redundant input can be predicted and neural resources conserved for that which is new or unexpected. In the auditory system, this is reflected in an evoked potential component known as mismatch negativity (MMN). MMN is elicited by the violation of an established regularity to signal the inaccuracy of the current model and direct resources to the unexpected event. Prevailing accounts suggest that MMN amplitude will increase with stability in regularity; however, observations of first-impression bias contradict stability effects...
October 3, 2017: Psychophysiology
Luca Ronconi, David Melcher
Recent behavioural, neuroimaging and neurophysiological studies have renewed the idea that the information processing within different temporal windows is linked to the phase and/or frequency of the ongoing oscillation, predominantly in the theta/alpha band (∼4-7 and 8-12 Hz). However, being correlational in nature, this evidence might reflect a non-functional by-product rather than a causal role. A more direct link can be shown with methods that manipulate oscillatory activity. Here, we used audio-visual entrainment at different frequencies in the pre-stimulus period of a temporal integration/segregation task...
October 2, 2017: Journal of Neuroscience: the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience
Maren Stropahl, Stefan Debener
There is clear evidence for cross-modal cortical reorganization in the auditory system of post-lingually deafened cochlear implant (CI) users. A recent report suggests that moderate sensori-neural hearing loss is already sufficient to initiate corresponding cortical changes. To what extend these changes are deprivation-induced or related to sensory recovery is still debated. Moreover, the influence of cross-modal reorganization on CI benefit is also still unclear. While reorganization during deafness may impede speech recovery, reorganization also has beneficial influences on face recognition and lip-reading...
2017: NeuroImage: Clinical
R J Bufacchi, C F Sambo, G Di Stefano, G Cruccu, G D Iannetti
Perception of space has been guiding effective therapeutic interventions in a number of unilateral chronic pain conditions. However little is known about how trigeminal neuralgia (TN), a condition in which trigeminal stimulation triggers paroxysmal facial pain, affects defensive peripersonal space (DPPS), the portion of space surrounding the body within which defensive responses are enhanced. Given that TN is unilateral, in TN patients the DPPS of the face might not be horizontally symmetric as in pain-free individuals, but instead larger around the affected side...
October 2, 2017: Scientific Reports
Inez M Greven, Richard Ramsey
Group biases guide social interactions by promoting in-group favouritism, but the neural mechanisms underpinning group biases remain unclear. While neuroscience research has shown that distributed brain circuits are associated with seeing in-group and out-group members as "us" and "them", it is less clear how these networks exchange signals. This fMRI study uses functional connectivity analyses to investigate the contribution of functional integration to group bias modulation of person perception. Participants were assigned to an arbitrary group and during scanning they observed bodies of in-group or out-group members that cued the recall of positive or negative social knowledge...
September 29, 2017: Neuropsychologia
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