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https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27909646/the-neural-mechanisms-of-meditative-practices-novel-approaches-for-healthy-aging
#1
REVIEW
Bianca P Acevedo, Sarah Pospos, Helen Lavretsky
OBJECTIVES: Meditation has been shown to have physical, cognitive, and psychological health benefits that can be used to promote healthy aging. However, the common and specific mechanisms of response remain elusive due to the diverse nature of mind-body practices. METHODS: In this review, we aim to compare the neural circuits implicated in focused-attention meditative practices that focus on present-moment awareness to those involved in active-type meditative practices (e...
2016: Current Behavioral Neuroscience Reports
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27909395/reversal-learning-in-humans-and-gerbils-dynamic-control-network-facilitates-learning
#2
Christian Jarvers, Tobias Brosch, André Brechmann, Marie L Woldeit, Andreas L Schulz, Frank W Ohl, Marcel Lommerzheim, Heiko Neumann
Biologically plausible modeling of behavioral reinforcement learning tasks has seen great improvements over the past decades. Less work has been dedicated to tasks involving contingency reversals, i.e., tasks in which the original behavioral goal is reversed one or multiple times. The ability to adjust to such reversals is a key element of behavioral flexibility. Here, we investigate the neural mechanisms underlying contingency-reversal tasks. We first conduct experiments with humans and gerbils to demonstrate memory effects, including multiple reversals in which subjects (humans and animals) show a faster learning rate when a previously learned contingency re-appears...
2016: Frontiers in Neuroscience
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27909103/habenula-induced-inhibition-of-midbrain-dopamine-neurons-is-diminished-by-lesions-of-the-rostromedial-tegmental-nucleus
#3
P Leon Brown, Heather Palacorolla, Dana Brady, Katelyn Riegger, Greg I Elmer, Paul D Shepard
: Neurons in the lateral habenula (LHb) are transiently activated by aversive events and have been implicated in associative learning. Functional changes associated with tonic and phasic activation of the LHb are often attributed to a corresponding inhibition of midbrain dopamine (DA) neurons. Activation of GABAergic neurons in the rostromedial tegmental nucleus (RMTg), a region that receives dense projections from the LHb and projects strongly to midbrain monoaminergic nuclei, is believed to underlie the transient inhibition of DA neurons attributed to activation of the LHb...
December 1, 2016: Journal of Neuroscience: the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27909102/the-attraction-effect-modulates-reward-prediction-errors-and-intertemporal-choices
#4
Sebastian Gluth, Jared M Hotaling, Jörg Rieskamp
: Classical economic theory contends that the utility of a choice option should be independent of other options. This view is challenged by the attraction effect, in which the relative preference between two options is altered by the addition of a third, asymmetrically dominated option. Here, we leveraged the attraction effect in the context of intertemporal choices to test whether both decisions and reward prediction errors (RPE)-in the absence of choice-violate the independence of irrelevant alternatives principle...
December 1, 2016: Journal of Neuroscience: the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27909007/statistical-learning-signals-in-macaque-inferior-temporal-cortex
#5
Peter Kaposvari, Susheel Kumar, Rufin Vogels
Humans are sensitive to statistical regularities in their visual environment, but the nature of the underlying neural statistical learning signals still remains to be clarified. As in human behavioral and neuroimaging studies of statistical learning, we exposed rhesus monkeys to a continuous stream of images, presented without interstimulus interval or reward association. The stimulus set consisted of 3 groups of 5 images each (quintets). The stimulus order within each quintet was fixed, but the quintets were presented repeatedly in a random order without interruption...
November 30, 2016: Cerebral Cortex
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27905069/pavlovian-reward-learning-underlies-value-driven-attentional-capture
#6
Berno Bucker, Jan Theeuwes
Recent evidence shows that distractors that signal high compared to low reward availability elicit stronger attentional capture, even when this is detrimental for task-performance. This suggests that simply correlating stimuli with reward administration, rather than their instrumental relationship with obtaining reward, produces value-driven attentional capture. However, in previous studies, reward delivery was never response independent, as only correct responses were rewarded, nor was it completely task-irrelevant, as the distractor signaled the magnitude of reward that could be earned on that trial...
November 30, 2016: Attention, Perception & Psychophysics
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27903935/impairment-of-decision-making-in-multiple-sclerosis-a-neuroeconomic-approach
#7
Maria Sepúlveda, Begoña Fernández-Diez, Elena H Martínez-Lapiscina, Sara Llufriu, Nuria Sola-Valls, Irati Zubizarreta, Yolanda Blanco, Albert Saiz, Dino Levy, Paul Glimcher, Pablo Villoslada
OBJECTIVE: To assess the decision-making impairment in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) and how they relate to other cognitive domains. METHODS: We performed a cross-sectional analysis in 84 patients with MS, and 21 matched healthy controls using four tasks taken from behavioral economics: (1) risk preferences, (2) choice consistency, (3) delay of gratification, and (4) rate of learning. All tasks were conducted using real-world reward outcomes (food or money) in different real-life conditions...
November 30, 2016: Multiple Sclerosis: Clinical and Laboratory Research
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27903731/memory-transformation-enhances-reinforcement-learning-in-dynamic-environments
#8
Adam Santoro, Paul W Frankland, Blake A Richards
: Over the course of systems consolidation, there is a switch from a reliance on detailed episodic memories to generalized schematic memories. This switch is sometimes referred to as "memory transformation." Here we demonstrate a previously unappreciated benefit of memory transformation, namely, its ability to enhance reinforcement learning in a dynamic environment. We developed a neural network that is trained to find rewards in a foraging task where reward locations are continuously changing...
November 30, 2016: Journal of Neuroscience: the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27899725/why-good-teaching-evaluations-may-reward-bad-teaching-on-grade-inflation-and-other-unintended-consequences-of-student-evaluations
#9
Wolfgang Stroebe
In this article, I address the paradox that university grade point averages have increased for decades, whereas the time students invest in their studies has decreased. I argue that one major contributor to this paradox is grading leniency, encouraged by the practice of university administrators to base important personnel decisions on student evaluations of teaching. Grading leniency creates strong incentives for instructors to teach in ways that would result in good student evaluations. Because many instructors believe that the average student prefers courses that are entertaining, require little work, and result in high grades, they feel under pressure to conform to those expectations...
November 2016: Perspectives on Psychological Science: a Journal of the Association for Psychological Science
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27899333/abnormalities-of-brain-neural-circuits-related-to-obesity-a-diffusion-tensor-imaging-study
#10
Ioannis Papageorgiou, Loukas G Astrakas, Vassileios Xydis, George Alexiou, Panagiotis Bargiotas, Loukia Tzarouchi, Anastasia K Zikou, Dimitrios N Kiortsis, Maria I Argyropoulou
PURPOSE: Increased Body-Mass-Index (BMI) has been associated with brain atrophy in both gray and white matter structures. However, little is known concerning the integrity of white matter tracts in obesity. The purpose of the study was to evaluate the pattern of changes in white matter microstructure in human adiposity. MATERIAL AND METHODS: The study included 268 participants (52 obese, 96 overweight and 120 normal-weight) that were retrospectively evaluated by Diffusion Tensor Imaging...
November 26, 2016: Magnetic Resonance Imaging
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27896709/learned-value-and-object-perception-accelerated-perception-or-biased-decisions
#11
Jason Rajsic, Harendri Perera, Jay Pratt
Learned value is known to bias visual search toward valued stimuli. However, some uncertainty exists regarding the stage of visual processing that is modulated by learned value. Here, we directly tested the effect of learned value on preattentive processing using temporal order judgments. Across four experiments, we imbued some stimuli with high value and some with low value, using a nonmonetary reward task. In Experiment 1, we replicated the value-driven distraction effect, validating our nonmonetary reward task...
November 28, 2016: Attention, Perception & Psychophysics
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27896312/the-memory-trace-supporting-lose-shift-responding-decays-rapidly-after-reward-omission-and-is-distinct-from-other-learning-mechanisms-in-rats
#12
Aaron J Gruber, Rajat Thapa
The propensity of animals to shift choices immediately after unexpectedly poor reinforcement outcomes is a pervasive strategy across species and tasks. We report here that the memory supporting such lose-shift responding in rats rapidly decays during the intertrial interval and persists throughout training and testing on a binary choice task, despite being a suboptimal strategy. Lose-shift responding is not positively correlated with the prevalence and temporal dependence of win-stay responding, and it is inconsistent with predictions of reinforcement learning on the task...
November 2016: ENeuro
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27894877/relief-learning-requires-a-coincident-activation-of-dopamine-d1-and-nmda-receptors-within-the-nucleus-accumbens
#13
Jorge R Bergado Acosta, Evelyn Kahl, Georgios Kogias, Taygun C Uzuneser, Markus Fendt
Relief learning is the association of a stimulus with the offset of an aversive event. Later, the now conditioned relief stimulus induces appetitive-like behavioral changes. We previously demonstrated that the NMDA receptors within the nucleus accumbens (NAC) are involved in relief learning. The NAC is also important for reward learning and it has been shown that reward learning is mediated by an interaction of accumbal dopamine and NMDA glutamate receptors. Since conditioned relief has reward-like properties, we hypothesized that (a) acquisition of relief learning requires the activation of dopamine D1 receptors in the NAC, and (b) if D1 receptors are involved in this process as expected, a concurrent dopamine D1 and NMDA receptor activation may mediate this learning...
November 25, 2016: Neuropharmacology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27893230/ecological-momentary-assessment-of-negative-symptoms-in-schizophrenia-relationships-to-effort-based-decision-making-and-reinforcement-learning
#14
Erin K Moran, Adam J Culbreth, Deanna M Barch
Negative symptoms are a core clinical feature of schizophrenia, but conceptual and methodological problems with current instruments can make their assessment challenging. One hypothesis is that current symptom assessments may be influenced by impairments in memory and may not be fully reflective of actual functioning outside of the laboratory. The present study sought to investigate the validity of assessing negative symptoms using ecological momentary assessment (EMA). Participants with schizophrenia (N = 31) completed electronic questionnaires on smartphones 4 times a day for 1 week...
November 28, 2016: Journal of Abnormal Psychology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27891082/reward-and-behavioral-factors-contributing-to-the-tonic-activity-of-monkey-pedunculopontine-tegmental-nucleus-neurons-during-saccade-tasks
#15
Ken-Ichi Okada, Yasushi Kobayashi
The pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus (PPTg) in the brainstem plays a role in controlling reinforcement learning and executing conditioned behavior. We previously examined the activity of PPTg neurons in monkeys during a reward-conditioned, visually guided saccade task, and reported that a population of these neurons exhibited tonic responses throughout the task period. These tonic responses might depend on prediction of the upcoming reward, successful execution of the task, or both. Here, we sought to further distinguish these factors and to investigate how each contributes to the tonic neuronal activity of the PPTg...
2016: Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27890441/the-ability-for-cocaine-and-cocaine-associated-cues-to-compete-for-attention
#16
Kyle K Pitchers, Taylor R Wood, Cari J Skrzynski, Terry E Robinson, Martin Sarter
In humans, reward cues, including drug cues in addicts, are especially effective in biasing attention towards them, so much so they can disrupt ongoing task performance. It is not known, however, whether this happens in rats. To address this question, we developed a behavioral paradigm to assess the capacity of an auditory drug (cocaine) cue to evoke cocaine-seeking behavior, thus distracting thirsty rats from performing a well-learned sustained attention task (SAT) to obtain a water reward. First, it was determined that an auditory cocaine cue (tone-CS) reinstated drug-seeking equally in sign-trackers (STs) and goal-trackers (GTs), which otherwise vary in the propensity to attribute incentive salience to a localizable drug cue...
November 24, 2016: Behavioural Brain Research
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27888020/neural-correlates-of-affective-empathy-and-reinforcement-learning-in-boys-with-conduct-problems-fmri-evidence-from-a-gambling-task
#17
Christina Schwenck, Angela Ciaramidaro, Marina Selivanova, Jennifer Tournay, Christine M Freitag, Michael Siniatchkin
BACKGROUND: Conduct problems (CP) comprise abnormal behaviors associated with aberrant aspects of affective empathy as well as learning. However, behavioral measures for affective empathy are challenging, and previous results concerning learning in patients with CP are inconsistent. METHODS: Nineteen boys with CP and 24 typically developing (TD) boys aged 11-17 years (M=14.34, SD=1.93) participated in the study. An ultimatum-game was applied in order to elicit the feeling of like or dislike towards the opponent for a subsequent gambling task, which was played by the opponents (OTHER-condition) and by the participants themselves (SELF-condition)...
November 22, 2016: Behavioural Brain Research
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27884551/resting-state-abnormalities-in-heroin-dependent-individuals
#18
REVIEW
Niki Pandria, Leda Kovatsi, Ana B Vivas, Panagiotis D Bamidis
Drug addiction is a major health problem worldwide. Recent neuroimaging studies have shed light into the underlying mechanisms of drug addiction as well as its consequences to the human brain. The most vulnerable, to heroin addiction, brain regions have been reported to be specific prefrontal, parietal, occipital, and temporal regions, as well as, some subcortical regions. The brain regions involved are usually linked with reward, motivation/drive, memory/learning, inhibition as well as emotional control and seem to form circuits that interact with each other...
November 21, 2016: Neuroscience
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27882630/workplace-stress-burnout-and-coping-a-qualitative-study-of-the-experiences-of-australian-disability-support-workers
#19
Megan J Judd, Kate P Dorozenko, Lauren J Breen
Disability support workers (DSWs) are the backbone of contemporary disability support services and the interface through which disability philosophies and policies are translated into practical action. DSWs often experience workplace stress and burnout, resulting in a high turnover rate of employees within the non-professional disability service workforce. The full implementation of the National Disability Insurance Scheme in Australia is set to intensify the current challenges of attracting and retaining DSWs, as the role becomes characterised by greater demands, ambiguity and conflict...
November 23, 2016: Health & Social Care in the Community
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27881782/consolidation-of-goal-directed-action-depends-on-mapk-erk-signaling-in-rodent-prelimbic-cortex
#20
Genevra Hart, Bernard W Balleine
: The prelimbic prefrontal cortex (PL) has consistently been found to be necessary for the acquisition of goal-directed actions in rodents. Nevertheless, the specific cellular processes underlying this learning remain unknown. We assessed changes in learning-related expression of mitogen-activated protein kinase/extracellular signal-related kinase (MAPK/ERK1/2) phosphorylation (pERK) in layers 2-3 and 5-6 of the anterior and posterior PL and in the population of neurons projecting to posterior dorsomedial striatum (pDMS), also implicated in goal-directed learning...
November 23, 2016: Journal of Neuroscience: the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience
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