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Frontiers | Dreaming, waking conscious experience, and the resting brain: report of subjective experience as a tool in the cognitive neurosciences | Frontiers in Consciousness Research

Even when we are ostensibly doing “nothing” – as during states of rest, sleep, and reverie – the brain continues to process information. In resting wakefulness, the mind generates thoughts, plans for the future, and imagines fictitious scenarios.
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Social Neuroscience Advances
Understanding ourselves and how we interact
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Researchers examine how touch can trigger our emotions

Researchers examine how touch can trigger our emotions | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
While touch always involves awareness, it also sometimes involves emotion. For example, picking up a spoon triggers no real emotion, while feeling a gentle caress often does.
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Gene therapy that could cure Motor Neurone Disease moves one step closer

Gene therapy that could cure Motor Neurone Disease moves one step closer | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Researchers at the University of Sheffield have moved one step closer to a gene therapy that could silence the faulty SOD1 gene responsible for triggering a form of Motor Neurone Disease also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
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High stress, hostility, depression linked with increased stroke risk

High stress, hostility, depression linked with increased stroke risk | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Higher levels of stress, hostility and depressive symptoms are associated with significantly increased risk of stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA) in middle-age and older adults, according to new research in the American Heart Association...
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Scientists explain how memories stick together - PsyPost

Scientists explain how memories stick together - PsyPost | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Scientists at the Salk Institute have created a new model of memory that explains how neurons retain select memories a few hours after an event. This new framework provides a more complete picture of how memory works, which can inform research into disorders liked Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, post-traumatic stress and learning disabilities. “Previous models of memoryRead More

Via Neil Gains, Emre Erdogan
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Working to Loosen the Grip of Severe Mental Illness

Working to Loosen the Grip of Severe Mental Illness | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it

The underlying architecture of the brain at rest is basically the same as that of a person performing a variety of tasks, a new study reports.


Via LOr
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LOr's curator insight, July 11, 1:29 AM

resting-states & psychopathology

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Center for Cognitive and Neurobiological Imaging

Center for Cognitive and Neurobiological Imaging | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Mission Statement

Discoveries about the brain have implications for fields ranging across Business, Law, Psychology, and Education. The Stanford Center for Cognitive and Neurobiological Imaging supports scientific investigations into the brain that make rigorous connections between neuroscience and society. Our Mission is to:

  • Support neuroscience discovery for enhancing society
  • Develop and disseminate cognitive and neurobiological imaging methods
  • Create a structured, safe, and innovative environment for human neuroscience research

 

The Facility

The CNI facility has been designed to reflect experimental needs in the social sciences disciplines. Visit ourWiki for the latest details on the facility and all research equipment.

The core instrumentation provided by the CNI is a research-dedicated 3T MRI scanner, a GE Discovery MR750. Technical information is available at GE Healthcare.

The CNI has an array of MRI Coils, including Nova Medical 32-channel and 16-channel head coils and a GE 8-channel head coil.

For stimulus delivery we provide a custom large-screen flat-panel display as well as a goggle system with eye tracker and audio from Resonance Technology, Inc.

Other Equipment includes an MR-compatible 256-channel EEG system, made by EGI, a Polhemus 3D digitizer used for EEG electrode localization, Fiber Optic Response Devices (FORP), by Current Designs, as well as a MRI Simulator (Mock Scanner), provided by Psychology Software Tools, Inc.
 

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Temperament may contribute to cardiac complications in high blood pressure

Temperament may contribute to cardiac complications in high blood pressure | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Temperament has been traditionally associated with high blood pressure. A new study has substantiated this issue. Major depression and coronary heart disease have a strong, bidirectional relationship.
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What's So Funny?: The Science of Humor

What's So Funny?: The Science of Humor | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Cognitive neuroscientist Scott Weems talks about his book HA!: The Science of When We Laugh and Why.  
-- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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Where’s Waldo? How perceptual, cognitive, and emotional brain processes cooperate during learning to categorize and find desired objects in a cluttered scene | Frontiers in Integrative ...

The Where’s Waldo problem concerns how individuals can rapidly learn to search a scene to detect, attend, recognize, and look at a valued target object in it. This article develops the ARTSCAN Search neural model to clarify how brain mechanisms across the What and Where cortical streams are coordinated to solve the Where's Waldo problem. The What stream learns positionally-invariant object representations, whereas the Where stream controls positionally-selective spatial and action representations. The model overcomes deficiencies of these computationally complementary properties through What and Where stream interactions. Where stream processes of spatial attention and predictive eye movement control modulate What stream processes whereby multiple view- and positionally-specific object categories are learned and associatively linked to view- and positionally-invariant object categories through bottom-up and attentive top-down interactions. Gain fields control the coordinate transformations that enable spatial attention and predictive eye movements to carry out this role. What stream cognitive-emotional learning processes enable the focusing of motivated attention upon the invariant object categories of desired objects. What stream cognitive names or motivational drives can prime a view- and positionally-invariant object category of a desired target object. A volitional signal can convert these primes into top-down activations that can, in turn, prime What stream view- and positionally-specific categories. When it also receives bottom-up activation from a target, such a positionally-specific category can cause an attentional shift in the Where stream to the positional representation of the target, and an eye movement can then be elicited to foveate it. These processes describe interactions among brain regions that include visual cortex, parietal cortex inferotemporal cortex, prefrontal cortex, amygdala, basal ganglia, and superior colliculus.
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Integrating intention and context: assessing social cognition in adults with Asperger syndrome | Frontiers in Human Neuroscience

Deficits in social cognition are an evident clinical feature of the Asperger syndrome (AS). Although many daily life problems of adults with AS are related to social cognition impairments, few studies have conducted comprehensive research in this area. The current study examined multiple domains of social cognition in adults with AS assessing the executive functions (EF) and exploring the intra and inter-individual variability. Fifteen adults diagnosed with AS and 15 matched healthy controls completed a battery of social cognition tasks. This battery included measures of emotion recognition, theory of mind, empathy, moral judgment, social norms knowledge and self-monitoring behavior in social settings. We controlled for the effect of EF and explored the individual variability. The results indicated that adults with AS had a fundamental deficit in several domains of social cognition. We also found high variability in the social cognition tasks. In these tasks, AS participants obtained mostly subnormal performance. Executive functions did not seem to play a major role in the social cognition impairments. Our results suggest that adults with AS present a pattern of social cognition deficits characterized by the decreased ability to implicitly encode and integrate contextual information in order to access to the social meaning. Nevertheless, when social information is explicitly presented or the situation can be navigated with abstract rules, performance is improved. Our findings have implications for the diagnosis and treatment of individuals with AS as well as for the neurocognitive models of this syndrome.
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Situated affective and social neuroscience | Frontiers in Human Neuroscience

This Research Topic features several papers tapping the situated nature of emotion and social cognition processes. The volume covers a broad scope of methodologies (behavioral assessment, functional magnetic resonance imaging [fMRI], structural neuroimaging, event related potentials [ERPs], brain connectivity, and peripheral measures), populations (non-human animals, neurotypical participants, developmental studies, and neuropsychiatric and pathological conditions), and article types (original research, review papers, and opinion articles). Through this wide-ranging proposal, we introduce a fresh approach to the study of contextual effects in emotion and social cognition domains. We report four levels of evidence. First, we present studies examining how cognitive and neural functions are influenced by basic affective processes (interoception, motivation and reward, emotional impulsiveness, and appraisal of violent stimuli). 

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Glitch in brain’s garbage removal enhances risk of neurodegenerative diseases

Glitch in brain’s garbage removal enhances risk of neurodegenerative diseases | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
An international team of researchers identified a pathogenic mechanism that is common to several neurodegenerative diseases. The findings suggest that it may be possible to slow the progression of dementia even after the onset of symptoms.
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Cleveland Clinic researchers identify urgent need for Alzheimer’s drug development

Cleveland Clinic researchers identify urgent need for Alzheimer’s drug development | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Researchers at the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health have conducted the first-ever analysis of clinical trials for Alzheimer’s disease (AD), revealing an urgent need to increase the number of agents entering the AD drug development...
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19 video talks on migraine & mathematics

19 video talks on migraine & mathematics | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
We had a workshop on “Cortical Spreading Depression (CSD) and Related Neurological Phenomena” at the Fields Institute in Toronto, Canada. All talks are available online here.
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Erwin Neher: The Fascination of How Things Work

Erwin Neher: The Fascination of How Things Work | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Guestblogger and young neuroscientist Stefano Sandrone talked with Erwin Neher about dreams, the exploration of his childhood garden and winning the Nobel Prize.
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Scientists Shed New Light on Nerve Cell Growth

Scientists Shed New Light on Nerve Cell Growth | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
A new study reports that a particular protein play a more sophisticated role in neuron development than previously thought.
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Hebbs Rule Shown: Researchers have for the first time directly created and destroyed neural connections

Hebbs Rule Shown: Researchers have for the first time directly created and destroyed neural connections | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it

Researchers from UCSD have for the first time directly created and destroyed neural connections that connect high level sensory input and high level behavioral responses. 


Donald Hebb in 1949 was one of the first to seize upon this observation.  He proposed that on the biological level, neurons were rewired so that coordinated inputs and outputs get wired together.  As such, were there a nausea neuron and a boat neuron, through the effects of association, the two would get wired together so that the “boat” itself fires up pathways in the “nausea” part of the brain.


In the field of neural networks, this has a name: Hebbian learning.  Pavlov of course also described this phenomenon, and tested it in animals, bequeathing its name the “conditioned response”.


Until now the wiring of neural inputs and outputs was a theory with good but indirect evidence.  At UCSD, neuroscientists teamed up with molecular biologists to engineer a mouse whose neurons can be directly controlled for forming and losing connections.


They did this by injecting an engineered virus into the auditory nerve cells.  The viruses, largely harmless, carry a light responsive molecular switch (a membrane protein “channel” actually) which gets inserted into cells of the auditory region.  Using laser light of certain frequencies it is possible to both “potentiate” or “depress” the auditory nerve cells.


The upshot is that the researchers could directly make the auditory nerve cells increase or decrease their signal strength to other nerve cells, without needing a real, external noise.  In effect, they’ve short-circuited the noise input.  In experiments, they used a light electrical pulse to shock mice while simultaneously stimulating the auditory input with the laser-activated switch.


Basically they flashed the laser light at the ear of the mouse.  Over time, the mouse began to associate the laser pulse induced nerve signal with the electrical shock.  The mice were conditioned to exhibit fear even when there was no shock.


The crux of the experiment is what happened when the scientists flashed the laser in a way to weaken the auditory nerve.  Now the mouse stopped responding in fear to the laser auditory stimulus.

The experiments showed for the first time that associative learning was indeed the wiring together of sensory and response neurons.  The study was published in Nature.


Nature (2014) doi:10.1038/nature13294


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Imaging Shows Bipolar Link to Risk-taking

Imaging Shows Bipolar Link to Risk-taking | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Emerging research shows that brain circuits associated with pursuing and savoring rewarding experiences are more strongly activated in people with bipolar disorders.
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Stanford Center for Mind, Brain and Computation

Stanford Center for Mind, Brain and Computation | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it

Stanford has launched a new interdisciplinary center for the integration of research on Mind, Brain and Computation (MBC). The Center is dedicated to understanding how mental functions such as perceiving, understanding, thinking, feeling, and decision-making arise from neural processes in the brain. Research in the Center will address the processes and mechanisms that underlie the development of these abilities as well as disorders and diseases that affect them. MBC will foster the integration of theoretical, computational and experimental approaches to these issues, in hopes of increasing understanding and fostering improved methods for enhancement of human potential and life satisfaction. The Center will develop integrative research and educational programs and will promote interdisciplinary links between faculty and research trainees throughout the university.

The Center began operations during 2007. It is led by Jay McClelland, Professor of Psychology, with a steering committee currently consisting of representatives of the Departments of Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Linguistics, Neurobiology and Psychology, and of the Neurosciences Institute at Stanford. Initial goals include:

  • Fostering research at the interface between mind, brain, and computation, with a focus on the integration of computational, statistical, and theoretical methods into functional brain imaging and other investigations of mental and neural processes.
  • Facilitating faculty appointments relevant to the agenda of the Center.
  • Developing a graduate training program aimed at increasing the involvement of individuals with backgrounds in quantitative, computational, and theoretical disciplines in the scientific investigation of mental and neural processes.
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New treatment for borderline personality disorder

New treatment for borderline personality disorder | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
A group of Swiss investigators reports on a new type of psychotherapy for borderline personality disorder.
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Blood test breakthrough in search for Alzheimer's cure

Blood test breakthrough in search for Alzheimer's cure | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it

Test for 10 proteins predicts onset of disease over 12 months in those with mild memory loss with 87% accuracy. A blood test to detect which people with failing memories will go on to develop Alzheimer's disease has been developed by British...

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Frontiers in Human Neuroscience | Research Topics

Frontiers in Human Neuroscience | Research Topics | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
What determines social behavior? Investigating the role of emotions, self-centered motives, and social norms.

Topic Editors:

Corrado Corradi-Dell'AcquaUniversity of Geneva, Switzerland 
Susanne LeibergUniversity of Zurich, Switzerland 
Leonie KobanUniversity of Colorado Boulder, USA 
Patrik VuilleumierUniversity Medical Center and University Hospital Geneva, Switzerland 
Ernst FehrUniversity of Zurich, Switzerland 

Human behavior and decision making is subject to social and motivational influences such as emotions, norms and self/other regarding preferences. The identification of the neural and psychological mechanisms underlying these factors is a central issue in psychology, behavioral economics and social neuroscience, with important clinical, social, and even political implications. However, despite a continuously growing interest from the scientific community, the processes underlying these factors, as well as their ontogenetic and phylogenetic development, have so far remained elusive. In this Research Topic we call for articles that will provide challenging insights and stimulate a fruitful controversy on the question of “what determines social behavior.” 

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Comedy vs. anti-science: 10 amazing videos that show how humor can make a difference

Comedy vs. anti-science: 10 amazing videos that show how humor can make a difference | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
From Colbert and Oliver to Sarah Silverman and Louis CK, comedians are torching anti-science activists with aplomb VIDEO
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Something doesn’t smell right

Something doesn’t smell right | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Harvard scientists say they’re closer to unraveling one of the most basic questions in neuroscience — how the brain encodes likes and dislikes — with the discovery of the first receptors in any species evolved to detect cadaverine and putrescine,...

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David McGavock's curator insight, January 28, 2:47 PM

I'm curious about attraction  and aversion. This study investigates aversion at a very basic level. Important steps in understanding what turns us on and off.


“We don’t understand, as a field, how aversive and attractive odors are differentially processed … but identifying the receptor gives us a handle on the neural circuits that are involved. Now that we have the receptor, we can ask basic questions about aversion and attraction circuitry in general."

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Low brain protein levels associated with neurodegeneration

Low brain protein levels associated with neurodegeneration | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Persons with reduced levels of the TREM2 protein could be at greater risk of developing neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease or frontotemporal dementia, according to an international study which included the participation of the...
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