Social Neuroscience Advances
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Social Neuroscience Advances
Understanding ourselves and how we interact
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How Testosterone and Oxytocin Hormones Interact In Male Work and Parenting Effort • SJS

How Testosterone and Oxytocin Hormones Interact In Male Work and Parenting Effort • SJS | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it

Adrian Jaeggi, University of California, Santa Barbara and Ben Trumble, University of California, Santa Barbara Much of human behavior is influenced by hormones. There’s cortisol, involved in our stress response and energy balance.


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Transcranial direct current stimulation in psychiatric disorders. - PubMed - NCBI

Transcranial direct current stimulation in psychiatric disorders. - PubMed - NCBI | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
The interest in non-invasive brain stimulation techniques is increasing in recent years. Among these techniques, transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) has been the subject of great interest among researchers because of its easiness to use, low cost, benign profile of side effects and encouraging results of research in the field. This interest has generated several studies and randomized clinical trials, particularly in psychiatry. In this review, we provide a summary of the development of the technique and its mechanism of action as well as a review of the methodological aspects of randomized clinical trials in psychiatry, including studies in affective disorders, schizophrenia, obsessive compulsive disorder, child psychiatry and substance use disorder. Finally, we provide an overview of tDCS use in cognitive enhancement as well as a discussion regarding its clinical use and regulatory and ethical issues. Although many promising results regarding tDCS efficacy were described, the total number of studies is still low, highlighting the need of further studies aiming to replicate these findings in larger samples as to provide a definite picture regarding tDCS efficacy in psychiatry.
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Thomas Shultz, Professor @ McGill University

Thomas Shultz, Professor @ McGill University | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Thomas Shultz (PhD Yale, Psychology) is Professor of Psychology and Associate Member of the School of Computer Science at McGill University. He teaches courses in Computational Psychology and Cognitive Science. He is a Fellow of the Canadian Psychological Association, and a founder and former Coordinator of McGill Cognitive Science. Research interests include connectionism, cognitive science, cognitive development, evolution and learning, and relations between knowledge and learning. He has over 220 research publications in these areas. He is a Member of the IEEE Neural Networks Society Autonomous Mental Development Technical Committee and Chair of the AMD Task Force on Developmental Psychology.

News: Our paper on decision making with different kinds of nutrition labels appears in the December issue of ANYAS: Helfer, P., & Shultz, T. R. (2014). The effects of nutrition labeling on consumer food choice: a psychological experiment and computational model. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1331(1), 174-185. doi: 10.1111/nyas.12461
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Visual objects are represented by a distributed network in the human brain

Visual objects are represented by a distributed network in the human brain | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
LSU Psychology Professor Megan H. Papesh was part of a research team whose study appeared in the online-first edition of the Journal of Neuroscience on Wednesday, April 1.
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Deconstructing brain systems involved in memory and spatial skills

Deconstructing brain systems involved in memory and spatial skills | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
In work that reconciles two competing views of brain structures involved in memory and spatial perception, researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have conducted experiments that suggest the hippocampus - a small...
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The Microbiome and Brain Health: What's the Connection?

The Microbiome and Brain Health: What's the Connection? | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Researchers are now beginning to understand the ways in which bacteria living in the human gut—the gut microbiota—communicate with and influence brain health. The concept of a faulty "gut/brain axis" has been associated with various neurologic and psychiatric outcomes and is thought to be explained, at least in part, by immune dysfunction and inflammation triggered by poor gut health.[1]

The gut microbiota has emerged as an important focus in the understanding of noncommunicable diseases, including type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, as well as disorders of the brain. Brain-related conditions place a great burden on society, and the limitations of current interventions reflects the need for ongoing investigations into understanding and treating brain disorders, in part by exploring the close relationship between our biome and our brain.
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Researchers create 'Wikipedia' for neurons

Researchers create 'Wikipedia' for neurons | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
The decades worth of data that has been collected about the billions of neurons in the brain is astounding.
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A faster way to watch blood flow in the brain

A faster way to watch blood flow in the brain | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Laser beams track red blood cells as fast as a neuron can fire
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How the Brain Makes Memories

How the Brain Makes Memories | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Our minds are veritable memory machines
-- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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A long-standing mystery in membrane traffic was solved #science

A long-standing mystery in membrane traffic was solved #science | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
In a recent issue of Science, published on March 27, 2015, a research team, led by Tae-Young Yoon of the Department of Physics at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology and Reinhard Jahn of the Department of Neurobiology of the...

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Risto Suoknuuti's curator insight, March 29, 2015 6:28 PM

Back to the roots.

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When attention is a deficit: How the brain switches strategies to find better solutions

When attention is a deficit: How the brain switches strategies to find better solutions | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Sometimes being too focused on a task is not a good thing. During tasks that require our attention, we might become so engrossed in what we are doing that we fail to notice there is a better way to get the job done.
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Headway Ireland's curator insight, April 1, 2015 4:07 AM

Why does this sound familiar!

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High-Fat Diet May Alter Behavior And Brain: Gut Bacteria May Increase Anxiety, Impaired Memory

High-Fat Diet May Alter Behavior And Brain: Gut Bacteria May Increase Anxiety, Impaired Memory | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
High-fat foods alter mice's behavior more than a normal or control diet.
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Watching a paradigm shift in neuroscience

Watching a paradigm shift in neuroscience | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
When I finished my PhD 15 years ago, the neurosciences defined the main function of brains in terms of processing input to compute output: “brain function is ultimately best understood in terms of ...
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Empathy and motivation for justice: Cognitive empathy and concern, but not emotional empathy, predict sensitivity to injustice for others

Why do people tend to care for upholding principles of justice? This study examined the association betweenindividual differences in the affective, motivational and cognitive components of empathy, sensitivity to justice,and psychopathy in participants (N 265) who were also asked to rate the permissibility of everyday moralsituations that pit personal benet against moral standards of justice. Counter to common sense, emotionalempathy was not associated with sensitivity to injustice for others. Rather, individual differences in cognitiveempathy and empathic concern predicted sensitivity to justice for others, as well as the endorsement of moralrules. Psychopathy coldheartedness scores were inversely associated with motivation for justice. Moreover,hierarchical multiple linear regression analysis revealed that self-focused and other-focused orientations toward justice had opposing influences on the permissibility of moral judgments. High scores on psychopathy wereassociated with less moral condemnation of immoral behavior. Together, these results contribute to a better understanding of the information processing mechanisms underlying  justice motivation, and may guide interventions designed to foster justice and moral behavior. In order to promote justice motivation, it may be moreeffective to encourage perspective taking and reasoning than emphasizing emotional sharing with the misfortuneof others.


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Research highlights


Highlighted discoveries made in our lab are discussed in six areas:

  • Evolution of ethnocentrism
  • The shape of development
  • Connectionist modeling
  • Neural networks
  • Symbolic modeling
  • Causal reasoning
  • Moral reasoning
  • Theory of mind
  • Development of humor


Because some of these discoveries predate our current research interests, some references not well covered in the Publications pages are listed in these Highlights pages.

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Thomas Shultz, Professor @ McGill University

Thomas Shultz, Professor @ McGill University | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Thomas Shultz (PhD Yale, Psychology) is Professor of Psychology and Associate Member of the School of Computer Science at McGill University. He teaches courses in Computational Psychology and Cognitive Science. He is a Fellow of the Canadian Psychological Association, and a founder and former Coordinator of McGill Cognitive Science. Research interests include connectionism, cognitive science, cognitive development, evolution and learning, and relations between knowledge and learning. He has over 220 research publications in these areas. He is a Member of the IEEE Neural Networks Society Autonomous Mental Development Technical Committee and Chair of the AMD Task Force on Developmental Psychology.

News: Our paper on decision making with different kinds of nutrition labels appears in the December issue of ANYAS: Helfer, P., & Shultz, T. R. (2014). The effects of nutrition labeling on consumer food choice: a psychological experiment and computational model. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1331(1), 174-185. doi: 10.1111/nyas.12461
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Researchers create artificial link between unrelated memories

Researchers create artificial link between unrelated memories | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
The ability to learn associations between events is critical for survival, but it has not been clear how different pieces of information stored in memory may be linked together by populations of neurons.
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Can light therapy help the brain?

Can light therapy help the brain? | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Following up on promising results from pilot work, researchers at the VA Boston Healthcare System are testing the effects of light therapy on brain function in veterans with Gulf War Illness.
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Feelings, Perspective Taking Theory of Mind, Empathy

Feelings, Perspective Taking Theory of Mind, Empathy | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Theory of Mind:
Understanding others’ knowledge and beliefs.


Baron-Cohen (1995) coined the term “Mindblindness” to Characterize the difficulty that people with autism have with reading the mental states of others: thoughts, feelings and beliefs. (Baron-Cohen, S. (1995). Mindblindness: An essay on autism and theory of mind.) The “Theory of Mind” is the ability to reason about the thoughts, feelings, and intentions of self and others. (Premack & Woodruff 1978)



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Electroconvulsive therapy changes key areas of the human brain that play a role in memory, emotion

Electroconvulsive therapy changes key areas of the human brain that play a role in memory, emotion | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Although scientists know that depression affects the brain, they don't know why some people respond to treatment while others do not.
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High-tech method allows rapid imaging of functions in living brain

High-tech method allows rapid imaging of functions in living brain | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Researchers studying cancer and other invasive diseases rely on high-resolution imaging to see tumors and other activity deep within the body's tissues.
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Our Brain Sees Known Words As Pictures

Our Brain Sees Known Words As Pictures | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it

Given the fact that writing is a relatively recent invention, scientists are keen to understand how we read and recognize words as our brains cannot have evolved a dedicated mechanism for reading.


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ToKTutor's curator insight, April 2, 2015 6:42 AM

Titles 4 & 5: Language & knowledge: theory proposes that we learn words as whole units not simple phonetic sounds.

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Memories May Not Live in Neurons’ Synapses

Memories May Not Live in Neurons’ Synapses | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
The finding could mean recollections are more enduring than expected and disrupt plans for PTSD treatments
-- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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HIV can reach patients’ brains early in infection and evolve separate stronghold there: NIH study

HIV can reach patients’ brains early in infection and evolve separate stronghold there: NIH study | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Scientists are finding that the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) can evolve and replicate itself inside patients’ brains — establishing a treatment-resistant viral outpost — even early in the infection process.
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How the Brain Switches Strategies to Find Better Solutions

How the Brain Switches Strategies to Find Better Solutions | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Researchers explore how the brain is able to switch from an ongoing strategy to a new, more efficient one.
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