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Sample records for consciousness related neural

  1. Neural Darwinism and consciousness.

    PubMed

    Seth, Anil K; Baars, Bernard J

    2005-03-01

    Neural Darwinism (ND) is a large scale selectionist theory of brain development and function that has been hypothesized to relate to consciousness. According to ND, consciousness is entailed by reentrant interactions among neuronal populations in the thalamocortical system (the 'dynamic core'). These interactions, which permit high-order discriminations among possible core states, confer selective advantages on organisms possessing them by linking current perceptual events to a past history of value-dependent learning. Here, we assess the consistency of ND with 16 widely recognized properties of consciousness, both physiological (for example, consciousness is associated with widespread, relatively fast, low amplitude interactions in the thalamocortical system), and phenomenal (for example, consciousness involves the existence of a private flow of events available only to the experiencing subject). While no theory accounts fully for all of these properties at present, we find that ND and its recent extensions fare well.

  2. Mechanisms of cortical neural synchronization related to healthy and impaired consciousness: evidence by quantitative electroencephalographic studies.

    PubMed

    Babiloni, Claudio; Vecchio, Fabrizio; Buffo, Paola; Iacoboni, Marco; Pistoia, Francesca; Sacco, Simona; Sara, Marco; Rossini, Paolo Maria

    2014-01-01

    In this paper, we review the contribution of our research group to the study of human consciousness by quantitative electroencephalographic (EEG) techniques. We posit that EEG techniques can be extremely useful for a direct measurement of brain electrophysiological activity related to human consciousness for their unsurpassable high temporal resolution (milliseconds). This activity can be expressed in terms of event-related potentials as well as changes of EEG rhythms of interest, for example the dominant alpha rhythms (about 8-12 Hz). The results of our studies, and those of several independent groups, lead support to the hypothesis that these techniques provide important insights about the neurophysiologic mechanisms underlying cortical neural synchronization/desynchronization and the regulation of neuromodulatory systems (e.g. dopaminergic, noradrenergic, cholinergic, etc.) at the basis of brain arousal and consciousness in healthy subjects and in patients with impairment of the consciousness. A possible interaction of these mechanisms and the drugs administered to patients with consciousness disorders is discussed.

  3. Cortical Neural Synchronization Underlies Primary Visual Consciousness of Qualia: Evidence from Event-Related Potentials

    PubMed Central

    Babiloni, Claudio; Marzano, Nicola; Soricelli, Andrea; Cordone, Susanna; Millán-Calenti, José Carlos; Del Percio, Claudio; Buján, Ana

    2016-01-01

    This article reviews three experiments on event-related potentials (ERPs) testing the hypothesis that primary visual consciousness (stimulus self-report) is related to enhanced cortical neural synchronization as a function of stimulus features. ERP peak latency and sources were compared between “seen” trials and “not seen” trials, respectively related and unrelated to the primary visual consciousness. Three salient features of visual stimuli were considered (visuospatial, emotional face expression, and written words). Results showed the typical visual ERP components in both “seen” and “not seen” trials. There was no statistical difference in the ERP peak latencies between the “seen” and “not seen” trials, suggesting a similar timing of the cortical neural synchronization regardless the primary visual consciousness. In contrast, ERP sources showed differences between “seen” and “not seen” trials. For the visuospatial stimuli, the primary consciousness was related to higher activity in dorsal occipital and parietal sources at about 400 ms post-stimulus. For the emotional face expressions, there was greater activity in parietal and frontal sources at about 180 ms post-stimulus. For the written letters, there was higher activity in occipital, parietal and temporal sources at about 230 ms post-stimulus. These results hint that primary visual consciousness is associated with an enhanced cortical neural synchronization having entirely different spatiotemporal characteristics as a function of the features of the visual stimuli and possibly, the relative qualia (i.e., visuospatial, face expression, and words). In this framework, the dorsal visual stream may be synchronized in association with the primary consciousness of visuospatial and emotional face contents. Analogously, both dorsal and ventral visual streams may be synchronized in association with the primary consciousness of linguistic contents. In this line of reasoning, the ensemble

  4. Neural correlates of consciousness reconsidered.

    PubMed

    Neisser, Joseph

    2012-06-01

    It is widely accepted among philosophers that neuroscientists are conducting a search for the neural correlates of consciousness, or NCC. Chalmers (2000) conceptualized this research program as the attempt to correlate the contents of conscious experience with the contents of representations in specific neural populations. A notable claim on behalf of this interpretation is that the neutral language of "correlates" frees us from philosophical disputes over the mind/body relation, allowing the science to move independently. But the experimental paradigms and explanatory canons of neuroscience are not neutral about the mechanical relation between consciousness and the brain. I argue that NCC research is best characterized as an attempt to locate a causally relevant neural mechanism and not as an effort to identify a discrete neural representation, the content of which correlates with some actual experience. It might be said that the first C in "NCC" should stand for "causes" rather than "correlates."

  5. Identification and integration of sensory modalities: neural basis and relation to consciousness.

    PubMed

    Pennartz, Cyriel M A

    2009-09-01

    A key question in studying consciousness is how neural operations in the brain can identify streams of sensory input as belonging to distinct modalities, which contributes to the representation of qualitatively different experiences. The basis for identification of modalities is proposed to be constituted by self-organized comparative operations across a network of unimodal and multimodal sensory areas. However, such network interactions alone cannot answer the question how sensory feature detectors collectively account for an integrated, yet phenomenally differentiated experiential content. This problem turns out to be different from, although related to, the binding problem. It is proposed that the neural correlate of an enriched, multimodal experience is constituted by the attractor state of a dynamic associative network. Within this network, unimodal and multimodal sensory maps continuously interact to influence each other's attractor state, so that a feature change in one modality results in a fast re-coding of feature information in another modality. In this scheme, feature detection is coded by firing-rate, whereas firing phase codes relational aspects.

  6. Neural correlates of consciousness: progress and problems.

    PubMed

    Koch, Christof; Massimini, Marcello; Boly, Melanie; Tononi, Giulio

    2016-05-01

    There have been a number of advances in the search for the neural correlates of consciousness--the minimum neural mechanisms sufficient for any one specific conscious percept. In this Review, we describe recent findings showing that the anatomical neural correlates of consciousness are primarily localized to a posterior cortical hot zone that includes sensory areas, rather than to a fronto-parietal network involved in task monitoring and reporting. We also discuss some candidate neurophysiological markers of consciousness that have proved illusory, and measures of differentiation and integration of neural activity that offer more promising quantitative indices of consciousness.

  7. Distilling the neural correlates of consciousness.

    PubMed

    Aru, Jaan; Bachmann, Talis; Singer, Wolf; Melloni, Lucia

    2012-02-01

    Solving the problem of consciousness remains one of the biggest challenges in modern science. One key step towards understanding consciousness is to empirically narrow down neural processes associated with the subjective experience of a particular content. To unravel these neural correlates of consciousness (NCC) a common scientific strategy is to compare perceptual conditions in which consciousness of a particular content is present with those in which it is absent, and to determine differences in measures of brain activity (the so called "contrastive analysis"). However, this comparison appears not to reveal exclusively the NCC, as the NCC proper can be confounded with prerequisites for and consequences of conscious processing of the particular content. This implies that previous results cannot be unequivocally interpreted as reflecting the neural correlates of conscious experience. Here we review evidence supporting this conjecture and suggest experimental strategies to untangle the NCC from the prerequisites and consequences of conscious experience in order to further develop the otherwise valid and valuable contrastive methodology.

  8. "Binaural Rivalry": Dichotic Listening as a Tool for the Investigation of the Neural Correlate of Consciousness

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brancucci, Alfredo; Tommasi, Luca

    2011-01-01

    Since about two decades neuroscientists have systematically faced the problem of consciousness: the aim is to discover the neural activity specifically related to conscious perceptions, i.e. the biological properties of what philosophers call qualia. In this view, a neural correlate of consciousness (NCC) is a precise pattern of brain activity…

  9. Neural correlates of processing "self-conscious" vs. "basic" emotions.

    PubMed

    Gilead, Michael; Katzir, Maayan; Eyal, Tal; Liberman, Nira

    2016-01-29

    Self-conscious emotions are prevalent in our daily lives and play an important role in both normal and pathological behavior. Despite their immense significance, the neural substrates that are involved in the processing of such emotions are surprisingly under-studied. In light of this, we conducted an fMRI study in which participants thought of various personal events which elicited feelings of negative and positive self-conscious (i.e., guilt, pride) or basic (i.e., anger, joy) emotions. We performed a conjunction analysis to investigate the neural correlates associated with processing events that are related to self-conscious vs. basic emotions, irrespective of valence. The results show that processing self-conscious emotions resulted in activation within frontal areas associated with self-processing and self-control, namely, the mPFC extending to the dACC, and within the lateral-dorsal prefrontal cortex. Processing basic emotions resulted in activation throughout relatively phylogenetically-ancient regions of the cortex, namely in visual and tactile processing areas and in the insular cortex. Furthermore, self-conscious emotions differentially activated the mPFC such that the negative self-conscious emotion (guilt) was associated with a more dorsal activation, and the positive self-conscious emotion (pride) was associated with a more ventral activation. We discuss how these results shed light on the nature of mental representations and neural systems involved in self-reflective and affective processing.

  10. Consciousness, awareness of insight and neural mechanisms of schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Touskova, Tereza; Bob, Petr

    2015-01-01

    According to recent research, disturbances of self-awareness and conscious experience have a critical role in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia, and in this context, schizophrenia is currently understood as a disorder characterized by distortions of acts of awareness, self-consciousness, and self-monitoring. Together, these studies suggest that the processes of disrupted awareness and conscious disintegration in schizophrenia might be related and represented by similar disruptions on the brain level, which, in principle, could be explained by various levels of disturbed connectivity and information disintegration that may negatively affect usual patterns of synchronous activity constituting adaptive integrative functions of consciousness. On the other hand, mental integration based on self-awareness and insight may significantly increase information integration and directly influence neural mechanisms underlying basic pathophysiological processes in schizophrenia.

  11. Imaging neural signatures of consciousness: 'what', 'when', 'where' and 'how' does it work?

    PubMed

    Sergent, C; Naccache, L

    2012-01-01

    'What' do we call consciousness? 'When' and 'Where' in the brain do conscious states occur, and 'How' conscious processing and conscious access to a given content work? In the present paper, we present a non-exhaustive overview of each of these 4 major issues, we provide the reader with a brief description of the major difficulties related to these issues, we highlight the current theoretical points of debate, and we advocate for the explanatory power of the "global workspace" model of consciousness (Baars 1989; Dehaene and Naccache 2001; Dehaene, Changeux et al. 2006) which can accommodate for a fairly large proportion of current experimental findings, and which can be used to reinterpret apparent contradictory findings within a single theoretical framework. Most notably, we emphasize the crucial importance to distinguish genuine neural signatures of conscious access from neural events correlated with consciousness but occurring either before ('upstream') or after ('downstream').

  12. Comparing the Neural Correlates of Conscious and Unconscious Conflict Control in a Masked Stroop Priming Task

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Jun; Bailey, Kira; Xiang, Ling; Zhang, Li; Zhang, Qinglin

    2016-01-01

    Although previous studies have suggested that conflict control can occur in the absence of consciousness, the brain mechanisms underlying unconscious and conscious conflict control remain unclear. The current study used a rapid event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging design to collect data from 24 participants while they performed a masked Stroop priming task under both conscious and unconscious conditions. The results revealed that the fronto-parietal conflict network, including medial frontal cortex (MFC), left and right dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), and posterior parietal cortex (PPC), was activated by both conscious and unconscious Stroop priming, even though in MFC and left DLPFC the activations elicited by unconscious Stroop priming were smaller than conscious Stroop priming. The findings provide evidence for the existence of quantitative differences between the neural substrates of conscious and unconscious conflict control. PMID:27378890

  13. The neural subjective frame: from bodily signals to perceptual consciousness.

    PubMed

    Park, Hyeong-Dong; Tallon-Baudry, Catherine

    2014-05-05

    The report 'I saw the stimulus' operationally defines visual consciousness, but where does the 'I' come from? To account for the subjective dimension of perceptual experience, we introduce the concept of the neural subjective frame. The neural subjective frame would be based on the constantly updated neural maps of the internal state of the body and constitute a neural referential from which first person experience can be created. We propose to root the neural subjective frame in the neural representation of visceral information which is transmitted through multiple anatomical pathways to a number of target sites, including posterior insula, ventral anterior cingulate cortex, amygdala and somatosensory cortex. We review existing experimental evidence showing that the processing of external stimuli can interact with visceral function. The neural subjective frame is a low-level building block of subjective experience which is not explicitly experienced by itself which is necessary but not sufficient for perceptual experience. It could also underlie other types of subjective experiences such as self-consciousness and emotional feelings. Because the neural subjective frame is tightly linked to homeostatic regulations involved in vigilance, it could also make a link between state and content consciousness.

  14. Fractal characterization of neural correlates of consciousness

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ibañez-Molina, A. J.; Iglesias-Parro, S.

    2013-01-01

    In this work we present a novel experimental paradigm, based on binocular rivalry, to address the study of internally and externally generated conscious percepts. Assuming the nonlinear nature of the EEG signals, we propose the use of fractal dimension to characterize the complexity of the EEG associated with each percept. Data analysis showed significant differences in complexity between the internally and externally generated percepts. Moreover, EEG complexity of auditory and visual percepts was unequal. These results support fractal dimension analyses as a new tool to characterize conscious perception.

  15. Can binocular rivalry reveal neural correlates of consciousness?

    PubMed Central

    Blake, Randolph; Brascamp, Jan; Heeger, David J.

    2014-01-01

    This essay critically examines the extent to which binocular rivalry can provide important clues about the neural correlates of conscious visual perception. Our ideas are presented within the framework of four questions about the use of rivalry for this purpose: (i) what constitutes an adequate comparison condition for gauging rivalry's impact on awareness, (ii) how can one distinguish abolished awareness from inattention, (iii) when one obtains unequivocal evidence for a causal link between a fluctuating measure of neural activity and fluctuating perceptual states during rivalry, will it generalize to other stimulus conditions and perceptual phenomena and (iv) does such evidence necessarily indicate that this neural activity constitutes a neural correlate of consciousness? While arriving at sceptical answers to these four questions, the essay nonetheless offers some ideas about how a more nuanced utilization of binocular rivalry may still provide fundamental insights about neural dynamics, and glimpses of at least some of the ingredients comprising neural correlates of consciousness, including those involved in perceptual decision-making. PMID:24639582

  16. A frontal but not parietal neural correlate of auditory consciousness.

    PubMed

    Brancucci, Alfredo; Lugli, Victor; Perrucci, Mauro Gianni; Del Gratta, Cosimo; Tommasi, Luca

    2016-01-01

    Hemodynamic correlates of consciousness were investigated in humans during the presentation of a dichotic sequence inducing illusory auditory percepts with features analogous to visual multistability. The sequence consisted of a variation of the original stimulation eliciting the Deutsch's octave illusion, created to maintain a stable illusory percept long enough to allow the detection of the underlying hemodynamic activity using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Two specular 500 ms dichotic stimuli (400 and 800 Hz) presented in alternation by means of earphones cause an illusory segregation of pitch and ear of origin which can yield up to four different auditory percepts per dichotic stimulus. Such percepts are maintained stable when one of the two dichotic stimuli is presented repeatedly for 6 s, immediately after the alternation. We observed hemodynamic activity specifically accompanying conscious experience of pitch in a bilateral network including the superior frontal gyrus (SFG, BA9 and BA10), medial frontal gyrus (BA6 and BA9), insula (BA13), and posterior lateral nucleus of the thalamus. Conscious experience of side (ear of origin) was instead specifically accompanied by bilateral activity in the MFG (BA6), STG (BA41), parahippocampal gyrus (BA28), and insula (BA13). These results suggest that the neural substrate of auditory consciousness, differently from that of visual consciousness, may rest upon a fronto-temporal rather than upon a fronto-parietal network. Moreover, they indicate that the neural correlates of consciousness depend on the specific features of the stimulus and suggest the SFG-MFG and the insula as important cortical nodes for auditory conscious experience.

  17. An adaptive workspace hypothesis about the neural correlates of consciousness: insights from neuroscience and meditation studies.

    PubMed

    Raffone, Antonino; Srinivasan, Narayanan

    2009-01-01

    While enormous progress has been made to identify neural correlates of consciousness (NCC), crucial NCC aspects are still very controversial. A major hurdle is the lack of an adequate definition and characterization of different aspects of conscious experience and also its relationship to attention and metacognitive processes like monitoring. In this paper, we therefore attempt to develop a unitary theoretical framework for NCC, with an interdependent characterization of endogenous attention, access consciousness, phenomenal awareness, metacognitive consciousness, and a non-referential form of unified consciousness. We advance an adaptive workspace hypothesis about the NCC based on the global workspace model emphasizing transient resonant neurodynamics and prefrontal cortex function, as well as meditation-related characterizations of conscious experiences. In this hypothesis, transient dynamic links within an adaptive coding net in prefrontal cortex, especially in anterior prefrontal cortex, and between it and the rest of the brain, in terms of ongoing intrinsic and long-range signal exchanges, flexibly regulate the interplay between endogenous attention, access consciousness, phenomenal awareness, and metacognitive consciousness processes. Such processes are established in terms of complementary aspects of an ongoing transition between context-sensitive global workspace assemblies, modulated moment-to-moment by body and environment states. Brain regions associated to momentary interoceptive and exteroceptive self-awareness, or first-person experiential perspective as emphasized in open monitoring meditation, play an important modulatory role in adaptive workspace transitions.

  18. A common neural code for similar conscious experiences in different individuals

    PubMed Central

    Naci, Lorina; Cusack, Rhodri; Anello, Mimma; Owen, Adrian M.

    2014-01-01

    The interpretation of human consciousness from brain activity, without recourse to speech or action, is one of the most provoking and challenging frontiers of modern neuroscience. We asked whether there is a common neural code that underpins similar conscious experiences, which could be used to decode these experiences in the absence of behavior. To this end, we used richly evocative stimulation (an engaging movie) portraying real-world events to elicit a similar conscious experience in different people. Common neural correlates of conscious experience were quantified and related to measurable, quantitative and qualitative, executive components of the movie through two additional behavioral investigations. The movie’s executive demands drove synchronized brain activity across healthy participants’ frontal and parietal cortices in regions known to support executive function. Moreover, the timing of activity in these regions was predicted by participants’ highly similar qualitative experience of the movie’s moment-to-moment executive demands, suggesting that synchronization of activity across participants underpinned their similar experience. Thus we demonstrate, for the first time to our knowledge, that a neural index based on executive function reliably predicted every healthy individual’s similar conscious experience in response to real-world events unfolding over time. This approach provided strong evidence for the conscious experience of a brain-injured patient, who had remained entirely behaviorally nonresponsive for 16 y. The patient’s executive engagement and moment-to-moment perception of the movie content were highly similar to that of every healthy participant. These findings shed light on the common basis of human consciousness and enable the interpretation of conscious experience in the absence of behavior. PMID:25225384

  19. The sound of consciousness: neural underpinnings of auditory perception.

    PubMed

    Brancucci, Alfredo; Franciotti, Raffaella; D'Anselmo, Anita; Della Penna, Stefania; Tommasi, Luca

    2011-11-16

    The neural correlates of consciousness (NCC), i.e., patterns of brain activity that specifically accompany a particular conscious experience, have been investigated mainly in the visual system using particularly suited paradigms, such as binocular rivalry and multistable percepts in combination with neural recordings or neuroimaging. Through the same principles, we look here for possible NCC in the auditory modality exploiting the properties of the Deutsch's illusion, a stimulation condition in which a sequence of two specular dichotic stimuli presented in alternation causes an illusory segregation of pitch and side (ear of origin), which can yield up to four different auditory percepts per dichotic stimulus. Using magnetoencephalography in humans, we observed cortical activity specifically accompanying conscious experience of pitch inside an early bilateral network, including the Heschl's gyrus, the middle temporal gyrus, the right inferior, and the superior frontal gyri. The conscious experience of perceived side was instead accompanied by later activity observed bilaterally in the inferior parietal lobe and in the superior frontal gyrus. These results suggest that the NCC are not independent of stimulus features and modality and that, even at the higher cortical levels, the different aspects of a single perceptual scene may not be simultaneously processed.

  20. General anesthesia and the neural correlates of consciousness.

    PubMed

    Alkire, Michael T; Miller, Jason

    2005-01-01

    The neural correlates of consciousness must be identified, but how? Anesthetics can be used as tools to dissect the nervous system. Anesthetics not only allow for the experimental investigation into the conscious-unconscious state transition, but they can also be titrated to subanesthetic doses in order to affect selected components of consciousness such as memory, attention, pain processing, or emotion. A number of basic neuroimaging examinations of various anesthetic agents have now been completed. A common pattern of regional activity suppression is emerging for which the thalamus is identified as a key target of anesthetic effects on consciousness. It has been proposed that a neuronal hyperpolarization block at the level of the thalamus, or thalamocortical and corticocortical reverberant loops, could contribute to anesthetic-induced unconsciousness. However, all anesthetics do not suppress global cerebral metabolism and cause a regionally specific effect on thalamic activity. Ketamine, a so-called dissociative anesthetic agent, increases global cerebral metabolism in humans at doses associated with a loss of consciousness. Nevertheless, it is proposed that those few anesthetics not associated with a global metabolic suppression effect might still have their effects on consciousness mediated at the level of thalamocortical interactions, if such agents scramble the signals associated with normal neuronal network reverberant activity. Functional and effective connectivity are analysis techniques that can be used with neuroimaging to investigate the signal scrambling effects of various anesthetics on network interactions. Whereas network interactions have yet to be investigated with ketamine, a thalamocortical and corticocortical disconnection effect during unconsciousness has been found for both suppressive anesthetic agents and for patients who are in the persistent vegetative state. Furthermore, recovery from a vegetative state is associated with a reconnection

  1. Behavioral, Neural, and Computational Principles of Bodily Self-Consciousness.

    PubMed

    Blanke, Olaf; Slater, Mel; Serino, Andrea

    2015-10-07

    Recent work in human cognitive neuroscience has linked self-consciousness to the processing of multisensory bodily signals (bodily self-consciousness [BSC]) in fronto-parietal cortex and more posterior temporo-parietal regions. We highlight the behavioral, neurophysiological, neuroimaging, and computational laws that subtend BSC in humans and non-human primates. We propose that BSC includes body-centered perception (hand, face, and trunk), based on the integration of proprioceptive, vestibular, and visual bodily inputs, and involves spatio-temporal mechanisms integrating multisensory bodily stimuli within peripersonal space (PPS). We develop four major constraints of BSC (proprioception, body-related visual information, PPS, and embodiment) and argue that the fronto-parietal and temporo-parietal processing of trunk-centered multisensory signals in PPS is of particular relevance for theoretical models and simulations of BSC and eventually of self-consciousness.

  2. Psychophysiology of dissociated consciousness.

    PubMed

    Bob, Petr

    2014-01-01

    Recent study of consciousness provides an evidence that there is a limit of consciousness, which presents a barrier between conscious and unconscious processes. This barrier likely is specifically manifested as a disturbance of neural mechanisms of consciousness that through distributed brain processing, attentional mechanisms and memory processes enable to constitute integrative conscious experience. According to recent findings a level of conscious integration may change during certain conditions related to experimental cognitive manipulations, hypnosis, or stressful experiences that can lead to dissociation of consciousness. In psychopathological research the term dissociation was proposed by Pierre Janet for explanation of processes related to splitting of consciousness due to traumatic events or during hypnosis. According to several recent findings dissociation of consciousness likely is related to deficits in global distribution of information and may lead to heightened levels of "neural complexity" that reflects brain integration or differentiation based on numbers of independent neural processes in the brain that may be specifically related to various mental disorders.

  3. Consciousness of seizures and consciousness during seizures: are they related?

    PubMed

    Detyniecki, Kamil; Blumenfeld, Hal

    2014-01-01

    Recent advances have been made in the network mechanisms underlying impairment of consciousness during seizures. However, less is known about patient awareness of their own seizures. Studying patient reports or documentation of their seizures is currently the most commonly utilized mechanism to scientifically measure patient awareness of seizures. The purpose of this review is to summarize the available evidence regarding the accuracy of patient seizure counts and identify the variables that may influence unreliable seizure reporting. Several groups looking at patient documentation of seizures during continuous EEG monitoring show that patients do not report as many as 50% of their seizures. These studies also suggest that seizures accompanied by loss of consciousness, arising from the left hemisphere or the temporal lobe, or occurring during sleep are associated with significantly reduced reporting. Baseline memory performance does not appear to have a major influence on the accuracy of seizure report. Further prospective studies using validated ictal behavioral testing as well as using correlation with newer electrophysiological and neuroimaging techniques for seizure localization are needed to more fully understand the mechanisms of underreporting of seizures. Better methods to alert caregivers about unrecognized seizures and to improve seizure documentation are under investigation.

  4. No-Report Paradigms: Extracting the True Neural Correlates of Consciousness.

    PubMed

    Tsuchiya, Naotsugu; Wilke, Melanie; Frässle, Stefan; Lamme, Victor A F

    2015-12-01

    The goal of consciousness research is to reveal the neural basis of phenomenal experience. To study phenomenology, experimenters seem obliged to ask reports from the subjects to ascertain what they experience. However, we argue that the requirement of reports has biased the search for the neural correlates of consciousness over the past decades. More recent studies attempt to dissociate neural activity that gives rise to consciousness from the activity that enables the report; in particular, no-report paradigms have been utilized to study conscious experience in the full absence of any report. We discuss the advantages and disadvantages of report-based and no-report paradigms, and ask how these jointly bring us closer to understanding the true neural basis of consciousness.

  5. Posterior Cingulate, Precuneal & Retrosplenial Cortices: Cytology & Components of the Neural Network Correlates of Consciousness*

    PubMed Central

    Vogt, Brent A.; Laureys, Steven

    2008-01-01

    Neuronal aggregates involved in conscious awareness are not evenly distributed throughout the CNS but are comprised of key components referred to as the neural network correlates of consciousness (NNCC). A critical node in this network is the retrosplenial, posterior cingulate, and precuneal cortices (RSC/PCC/PrCC). The cytological and neurochemical composition of this region is reviewed in relation to the Brodmann map. This region has the highest level of brain glucose metabolism and cytochrome c oxidase activity. Monkey studies suggest that the anterior thalamic projection likely drives RSC and PCC metabolism and that the midbrain projection to the anteroventral thalamic nucleus is a key coupling site between the brainstem system for arousal and cortical systems for cognitive processing and awareness. The pivotal role of RSC/PCC/PrCC in consciousness is demonstrated with posterior cingulate epilepsy cases, midcingulate lesions that de-afferent this region and are associated with unilateral sensory neglect, observations from stroke and vegetative state patients, alterations in blood flow during sleep, and the actions of anesthetics. Since this region is critically involved in self reflection, it is not surprising that it is similarly a site for the NNCC. Interestingly, information processing during complex cognitive tasks and during aversive sensations such as pain induces efforts to terminate self reflection and result in decreased processing in PCC/PrCC. Finally, anatomical relations between the neural correlates of mind and NNCC in the cingulate gyrus do not appear to overlap and suggests that mental function and conscious awareness may be mediated by two neural networks. PMID:16186025

  6. A roadmap for the study of conscious audition and its neural basis.

    PubMed

    Dykstra, Andrew R; Cariani, Peter A; Gutschalk, Alexander

    2017-02-19

    How and which aspects of neural activity give rise to subjective perceptual experience-i.e. conscious perception-is a fundamental question of neuroscience. To date, the vast majority of work concerning this question has come from vision, raising the issue of generalizability of prominent resulting theories. However, recent work has begun to shed light on the neural processes subserving conscious perception in other modalities, particularly audition. Here, we outline a roadmap for the future study of conscious auditory perception and its neural basis, paying particular attention to how conscious perception emerges (and of which elements or groups of elements) in complex auditory scenes. We begin by discussing the functional role of the auditory system, particularly as it pertains to conscious perception. Next, we ask: what are the phenomena that need to be explained by a theory of conscious auditory perception? After surveying the available literature for candidate neural correlates, we end by considering the implications that such results have for a general theory of conscious perception as well as prominent outstanding questions and what approaches/techniques can best be used to address them.This article is part of the themed issue 'Auditory and visual scene analysis'.

  7. An invisible touch: Body-related multisensory conflicts modulate visual consciousness.

    PubMed

    Salomon, Roy; Galli, Giulia; Łukowska, Marta; Faivre, Nathan; Ruiz, Javier Bello; Blanke, Olaf

    2016-07-29

    The majority of scientific studies on consciousness have focused on vision, exploring the cognitive and neural mechanisms of conscious access to visual stimuli. In parallel, studies on bodily consciousness have revealed that bodily (i.e. tactile, proprioceptive, visceral, vestibular) signals are the basis for the sense of self. However, the role of bodily signals in the formation of visual consciousness is not well understood. Here we investigated how body-related visuo-tactile stimulation modulates conscious access to visual stimuli. We used a robotic platform to apply controlled tactile stimulation to the participants' back while they viewed a dot moving either in synchrony or asynchrony with the touch on their back. Critically, the dot was rendered invisible through continuous flash suppression. Manipulating the visual context by presenting the dot moving on either a body form, or a non-bodily object we show that: (i) conflict induced by synchronous visuo-tactile stimulation in a body context is associated with a delayed conscious access compared to asynchronous visuo-tactile stimulation, (ii) this effect occurs only in the context of a visual body form, and (iii) is not due to detection or response biases. The results indicate that body-related visuo-tactile conflicts impact visual consciousness by facilitating access of non-conflicting visual information to awareness, and that these are sensitive to the visual context in which they are presented, highlighting the interplay between bodily signals and visual experience.

  8. Neural correlates of consciousness: what we know and what we have to learn!

    PubMed

    Calabrò, Rocco Salvatore; Cacciola, Alberto; Bramanti, Placido; Milardi, Demetrio

    2015-04-01

    Consciousness is a multifaceted concept with two major components: awareness of environment and of self (i.e., the content of consciousness) and wakefulness (i.e., the level of consciousness). Medically speaking, consciousness is the state of the patient's awareness of self and environment and his responsiveness to external stimulation and inner need. A basic understanding of consciousness and its neural correlates is of major importance for all clinicians, especially those involved with patients suffering from altered states of consciousness. To this end, in this review it is shown that consciousness is dependent on the brainstem and thalamus for arousal; that basic cognition is supported by recurrent electrical activity between the cortex and the thalamus at gamma band frequencies; and that some kind of working memory must, at least fleetingly, be present for awareness to occur. New advances in neuroimaging studies are also presented in order to better understand and demonstrate the neurophysiological basis of consciousness. In particular, recent functional magnetic resonance imaging studies have offered the possibility to measure directly and non-invasively normal and severely brain damaged subjects' brain activity, whilst diffusion tensor imaging studies have allowed evaluating white matter integrity in normal subjects and patients with disorder of consciousness.

  9. "Paradox of slow frequencies" - Are slow frequencies in upper cortical layers a neural predisposition of the level/state of consciousness (NPC)?

    PubMed

    Northoff, Georg

    2017-04-05

    Consciousness research has much focused on faster frequencies like alpha or gamma while neglecting the slower ones in the infraslow (0.001-0.1Hz) and slow (0.1-1Hz) frequency range. These slower frequency ranges have a "bad reputation" though; their increase in power can observed during the loss of consciousness as in sleep, anesthesia, and vegetative state. However, at the same time, slower frequencies have been conceived instrumental for consciousness. The present paper aims to resolve this paradox which I describe as "paradox of slow frequencies". I first show various data that suggest a central role of slower frequencies in integrating faster ones, i.e., "temporo-spatial integration and nestedness". Such "temporo-spatial integration and nestedness" is disrupted during the loss of consciousness as in anesthesia and sleep leading to "temporo-spatial fragmentation and isolation" between slow and fast frequencies. Slow frequencies are supposedly mediated by neural activity in upper cortical layers in higher-order associative regions as distinguished from lower cortical layers that are related to faster frequencies. Taken together, slower and faster frequencies take on different roles for the level/state of consciousness. Faster frequencies by themselves are sufficient and thus a neural correlate of consciousness (NCC) while slower frequencies are a necessary non-sufficient condition of possible consciousness, e.g., a neural predisposition of the level/state of consciousness (NPC). This resolves the "paradox of slow frequencies" in that it assigns different roles to slower and faster frequencies in consciousness, i.e., NCC and NPC. Taken as NCC and NPC, fast and slow frequencies including their relation as in "temporo-spatial integration and nestedness" can be considered a first "building bloc" of a future "temporo-spatial theory of consciousness" (TTC) (Northoff, 2013; Northoff, 2014b; Northoff & Huang, 2017).

  10. Neural relativity principle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koulakov, Alexei

    Olfaction is the final frontier of our senses - the one that is still almost completely mysterious to us. Despite extensive genetic and perceptual data, and a strong push to solve the neural coding problem, fundamental questions about the sense of smell remain unresolved. Unlike vision and hearing, where relatively straightforward relationships between stimulus features and neural responses have been foundational to our understanding sensory processing, it has been difficult to quantify the properties of odorant molecules that lead to olfactory percepts. In a sense, we do not have olfactory analogs of ``red'', ``green'' and ``blue''. The seminal work of Linda Buck and Richard Axel identified a diverse family of about 1000 receptor molecules that serve as odorant sensors in the nose. However, the properties of smells that these receptors detect remain a mystery. I will review our current understanding of the molecular properties important to the olfactory system. I will also describe a theory that explains how odorant identity can be preserved despite substantial changes in the odorant concentration.

  11. Consciousness: a neural capacity for objectivity, especially pronounced in humans

    PubMed Central

    Dijker, Anton J. M.

    2014-01-01

    Consciousness tends to be viewed either as subjective experience of sensations and feelings, or as perception and internal representation of objects. This paper argues that neither view sufficiently acknowledges that consciousness may refer to the brain’s most adaptive property: its capacity to produce states of objectivity. It is proposed that this capacity relies on multiple sensorimotor networks for internally representing objects and their properties in terms of expectancies, as well as on motivational and motor mechanisms involved in exploration, play, and care for vulnerable living and non-living objects. States of objectivity are associated with a very special phenomenal aspect; the experience that subjective aspects are absent and one is “just looking” at the world as it really is and can be. However, these states are normally closely preceded and followed by (and tend to be combined or fused with) sensations and feelings which are caused by activation of sensory and motivational mechanisms. A capacity for objectivity may have evolved in different species and can be conceived as a common basis for other elusive psychological properties such as intelligence, conscience, and esthetic experience; all three linked to crucial behaviors in human evolution such as tool making, cooperation, and art. The brain’s pervasive tendency to objectify may be responsible for wrongly equating consciousness with feelings and wrongly opposing it to well-learned or habitual (“unconscious”) patterns of perception and behavior. PMID:24672506

  12. Information integration based predictions about the conscious states of a spiking neural network.

    PubMed

    Gamez, David

    2010-03-01

    This paper describes how Tononi's information integration theory of consciousness was used to make detailed predictions about the distribution of phenomenal states in a spiking neural network. This network had approximately 18,000 neurons and 700,000 connections and it used models of emotion and imagination to control the eye movements of a virtual robot and avoid 'negative' stimuli. The first stage in the analysis was the development of a formal definition of Tononi's theory of consciousness. The network was then analysed for information integration and detailed predictions were made about the distribution of consciousness for each time step of recorded activity. This work demonstrates how an artificial system can be analysed for consciousness using a particular theory and in the future this approach could be used to make predictions about the phenomenal states associated with biological systems.

  13. Spin-mediated consciousness theory: possible roles of neural membrane nuclear spin ensembles and paramagnetic oxygen.

    PubMed

    Hu, Huping; Wu, Maoxin

    2004-01-01

    A novel theory of consciousness is proposed in this paper. We postulate that consciousness is intrinsically connected to quantum spin since the latter is the origin of quantum effects in both Bohm and Hestenes quantum formulism and a fundamental quantum process associated with the structure of space-time. That is, spin is the "mind-pixel". The unity of mind is achieved by entanglement of the mind-pixels. Applying these ideas to the particular structures and dynamics of the brain, we theorize that human brain works as follows: through action potential modulated nuclear spin interactions and paramagnetic O2/NO driven activations, the nuclear spins inside neural membranes and proteins form various entangled quantum states some of which survive decoherence through quantum Zeno effects or in decoherence-free subspaces and then collapse contextually via irreversible and non-computable means producing consciousness and, in turn, the collective spin dynamics associated with said collapses have effects through spin chemistry on classical neural activities thus influencing the neural networks of the brain. Our proposal calls for extension of associative encoding of neural memories to the dynamical structures of neural membranes and proteins. Thus, according our theory, the nuclear spin ensembles are the "mind-screen" with nuclear spins as its pixels, the neural membranes and proteins are the mind-screen and memory matrices, and the biologically available paramagnetic species such as O2 and NO are pixel-activating agents. Together, they form the neural substrates of consciousness. We also present supporting evidence and make important predictions. We stress that our theory is experimentally verifiable with present technologies. Further, experimental realizations of intra-/inter-molecular nuclear spin coherence and entanglement, macroscopic entanglement of spin ensembles and NMR quantum computation, all in room temperatures, strongly suggest the possibility of a spin

  14. Lateral information processing by spiking neurons: a theoretical model of the neural correlate of consciousness.

    PubMed

    Ebner, Marc; Hameroff, Stuart

    2011-01-01

    Cognitive brain functions, for example, sensory perception, motor control and learning, are understood as computation by axonal-dendritic chemical synapses in networks of integrate-and-fire neurons. Cognitive brain functions may occur either consciously or nonconsciously (on "autopilot"). Conscious cognition is marked by gamma synchrony EEG, mediated largely by dendritic-dendritic gap junctions, sideways connections in input/integration layers. Gap-junction-connected neurons define a sub-network within a larger neural network. A theoretical model (the "conscious pilot") suggests that as gap junctions open and close, a gamma-synchronized subnetwork, or zone moves through the brain as an executive agent, converting nonconscious "auto-pilot" cognition to consciousness, and enhancing computation by coherent processing and collective integration. In this study we implemented sideways "gap junctions" in a single-layer artificial neural network to perform figure/ground separation. The set of neurons connected through gap junctions form a reconfigurable resistive grid or sub-network zone. In the model, outgoing spikes are temporally integrated and spatially averaged using the fixed resistive grid set up by neurons of similar function which are connected through gap-junctions. This spatial average, essentially a feedback signal from the neuron's output, determines whether particular gap junctions between neurons will open or close. Neurons connected through open gap junctions synchronize their output spikes. We have tested our gap-junction-defined sub-network in a one-layer neural network on artificial retinal inputs using real-world images. Our system is able to perform figure/ground separation where the laterally connected sub-network of neurons represents a perceived object. Even though we only show results for visual stimuli, our approach should generalize to other modalities. The system demonstrates a moving sub-network zone of synchrony, within which the contents of

  15. Neural and hormonal control of blood pressure in conscious monkeys.

    PubMed

    Cornish, K G; Barazanji, M W; Iaffaldano, R

    1990-01-01

    The contribution of the autonomic nervous system, angiotensin II (ANG II), and arginine vasopressin (AVP) to the control of blood pressure (BP) was examined in 12 chronically instrumented tethered monkeys. The vasopressin antagonist, [d(CH2)5AVP] (Manning Compound, MC), the ANG II antagonist, saralasin (SAR), and the ganglionic blocking drug, hexamethonium (Hx), were injected in a random sequence into the left atrium (LA) while BP and heart rate (HR) were monitored. When given as the first antagonist, MC caused a slight decrease in BP; SAR did not significantly decrease BP regardless of the sequence of administration, whereas Hx caused a consistent decrease in blood pressure of 35-50 mmHg. Seven (4 intact and 3 with renal denervation) additional animals were involved in hemorrhage experiments. Blood pressure was reduced to 50-60 mmHg by hemorrhage and then allowed to return spontaneously. Ten to 15 min after the end of the hemorrhage, MC was given. When blood pressure had stabilized, SAR was given. Blood pressure returned to 80-90 mmHg after the hemorrhage. MC did not affect the blood pressure recovery; however, saralasin reduced it to the post-hemorrhage levels. We would conclude that the sympathetic nervous system is the primary controlling mechanism for BP in the conscious primate, with AVP making a minor contribution. The release of renin would appear to be primarily under the control of the sympathetic nervous system.

  16. The olfactory system as the gateway to the neural correlates of consciousness.

    PubMed

    Merrick, Christina; Godwin, Christine A; Geisler, Mark W; Morsella, Ezequiel

    2014-01-10

    How consciousness is generated by the nervous system remains one of the greatest mysteries in science. Investigators from diverse fields have begun to unravel this puzzle by contrasting conscious and unconscious processes. In this way, it has been revealed that the two kinds of processes differ in terms of the underlying neural events and associated cognitive mechanisms. We propose that, for several reasons, the olfactory system provides a unique portal through which to examine this contrast. For this purpose, the olfactory system is beneficial in terms of its (a) neuroanatomical aspects, (b) phenomenological and cognitive/mechanistic properties, and (c) neurodynamic (e.g., brain oscillations) properties. In this review, we discuss how each of these properties and aspects of the olfactory system can illuminate the contrast between conscious and unconscious processing in the brain. We conclude by delineating the most fruitful avenues of research and by entertaining hypotheses that, in order for an olfactory content to be conscious, that content must participate in a network that is large-scale, both in terms of the neural systems involved and the scope of information integration.

  17. It is time to combine the two main traditions in the research on the neural correlates of consciousness: C = L × D

    PubMed Central

    Bachmann, Talis; Hudetz, Anthony G.

    2014-01-01

    Research on neural correlates of consciousness has been conducted and carried out mostly from within two relatively autonomous paradigmatic traditions – studying the specific contents of conscious experience and their brain-process correlates and studying the level of consciousness. In the present paper we offer a theoretical integration suggesting that an emphasis has to be put on understanding the mechanisms of consciousness (and not a mere correlates) and in doing this, the two paradigmatic traditions must be combined. We argue that consciousness emerges as a result of interaction of brain mechanisms specialized for representing the specific contents of perception/cognition – the data – and mechanisms specialized for regulating the level of activity of whatever data the content-carrying specific mechanisms happen to represent. Each of these mechanisms are necessary because without the contents there is no conscious experience and without the required level of activity the processed contents remain unconscious. Together the two mechanisms, when activated up to a necessary degree each, provide conditions sufficient for conscious experience to emerge. This proposal is related to pertinent experimental evidence. PMID:25202297

  18. It is time to combine the two main traditions in the research on the neural correlates of consciousness: C = L × D.

    PubMed

    Bachmann, Talis; Hudetz, Anthony G

    2014-01-01

    Research on neural correlates of consciousness has been conducted and carried out mostly from within two relatively autonomous paradigmatic traditions - studying the specific contents of conscious experience and their brain-process correlates and studying the level of consciousness. In the present paper we offer a theoretical integration suggesting that an emphasis has to be put on understanding the mechanisms of consciousness (and not a mere correlates) and in doing this, the two paradigmatic traditions must be combined. We argue that consciousness emerges as a result of interaction of brain mechanisms specialized for representing the specific contents of perception/cognition - the data - and mechanisms specialized for regulating the level of activity of whatever data the content-carrying specific mechanisms happen to represent. Each of these mechanisms are necessary because without the contents there is no conscious experience and without the required level of activity the processed contents remain unconscious. Together the two mechanisms, when activated up to a necessary degree each, provide conditions sufficient for conscious experience to emerge. This proposal is related to pertinent experimental evidence.

  19. Perceptual and contextual awareness: methodological considerations in the search for the neural correlates of consciousness.

    PubMed

    Navajas, Joaquin; Rey, Hernan G; Quian Quiroga, Rodrigo

    2014-01-01

    In the last decades, the neural correlates of consciousness (NCCs) have been explored using both invasive and non-invasive recordings by comparing the brain activity elicited by seen versus unseen visual stimuli (i.e., the contrastive analysis). Here, we review a selection of these studies and discuss a set of considerations to improve the search for the NCCs using the contrastive analysis. In particular, we first argue in favor of implementing paradigms where different perceptual outputs are obtained using identical visual inputs. Second, we propose that the large disagreement in the field -in terms of the dissimilar neural patterns proposed as NCCs- is partially explained by the fact that different studies report the neural correlates of different conscious processes in the brain. More specifically, we distinguish between the perceptual awareness of a visual stimulus, associated to a boost in object-selective neural assemblies, and a more elaborate process (contextual awareness) that we argue is reflected in the firing of concept neurons in the medial temporal lobe, triggering a rich representation of the context, associations, and memories linked to the specific stimulus.

  20. Modulating Conscious Movement Intention by Noninvasive Brain Stimulation and the Underlying Neural Mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Douglas, Zachary H.; Maniscalco, Brian; Hallett, Mark; Wassermann, Eric M.

    2015-01-01

    Conscious intention is a fundamental aspect of the human experience. Despite long-standing interest in the basis and implications of intention, its underlying neurobiological mechanisms remain poorly understood. Using high-definition transcranial DC stimulation (tDCS), we observed that enhancing spontaneous neuronal excitability in both the angular gyrus and the primary motor cortex caused the reported time of conscious movement intention to be ∼60–70 ms earlier. Slow brain waves recorded ∼2–3 s before movement onset, as well as hundreds of milliseconds after movement onset, independently correlated with the modulation of conscious intention by brain stimulation. These brain activities together accounted for 81% of interindividual variability in the modulation of movement intention by brain stimulation. A computational model using coupled leaky integrator units with biophysically plausible assumptions about the effect of tDCS captured the effects of stimulation on both neural activity and behavior. These results reveal a temporally extended brain process underlying conscious movement intention that spans seconds around movement commencement. PMID:25948272

  1. Evidence for consciousness-related anomalies in random physical systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Radin, Dean I.; Nelson, Roger D.

    1989-12-01

    Speculations about the role of consciousness in physical systems are frequently observed in the literature concerned with the interpretation of quantum mechanics. While only three experimental investigations can be found on this topic in physics journals, more than 800 relevant experiments have been reported in the literature of parapsychology. A well-defined body of empirical evidence from this domain was reviewed using meta-analytic techniques to assess methodological quality and overall effect size. Results showed effects conforming to chance expectation in control conditions and unequivocal non-chance effects in experimental conditions. This quantitative literature review agrees with the findings of two earlier reviews, suggesting the existence of some form of consciousness-related anomaly in random physical systems.

  2. Identifying neural correlates of visual consciousness with ALE meta-analyses.

    PubMed

    Bisenius, Sandrine; Trapp, Sabrina; Neumann, Jane; Schroeter, Matthias L

    2015-11-15

    Neural correlates of consciousness (NCC) have been a topic of study for nearly two decades. In functional imaging studies, several regions have been proposed to constitute possible candidates for NCC, but as of yet, no quantitative summary of the literature on NCC has been done. The question whether single (striate or extrastriate) regions or a network consisting of extrastriate areas that project directly to fronto-parietal regions are necessary and sufficient neural correlates for visual consciousness is still highly debated [e.g., Rees et al., 2002, Nat Rev. Neurosci 3, 261-270; Tong, 2003, Nat Rev. Neurosci 4, 219-229]. The aim of this work was to elucidate this issue and give a synopsis of the present state of the art by conducting systematic and quantitative meta-analyses across functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies using several standard paradigms for conscious visual perception. In these paradigms, consciousness is operationalized via perceptual changes, while the visual stimulus remains invariant. An activation likelihood estimation (ALE) meta-analysis was performed, representing the best approach for voxel-wise meta-analyses to date. In addition to computing a meta-analysis across all paradigms, separate meta-analyses on bistable perception and masking paradigms were conducted to assess whether these paradigms show common or different NCC. For the overall meta-analysis, we found significant clusters of activation in inferior and middle occipital gyrus; fusiform gyrus; inferior temporal gyrus; caudate nucleus; insula; inferior, middle, and superior frontal gyri; precuneus; as well as in inferior and superior parietal lobules. These results suggest a subcortical-extrastriate-fronto-parietal network rather than a single region that constitutes the necessary NCC. The results of our exploratory paradigm-specific meta-analyses suggest that this subcortical-extrastriate-fronto-parietal network might be differentially activated as a function of the

  3. Cortical source of blink-related delta oscillations and their correlation with levels of consciousness.

    PubMed

    Bonfiglio, Luca; Olcese, Umberto; Rossi, Bruno; Frisoli, Antonio; Arrighi, Pieranna; Greco, Giovanni; Carozzo, Simone; Andre, Paolo; Bergamasco, Massimo; Carboncini, Maria Chiara

    2013-09-01

    Recently, blink-related delta oscillations (delta BROs) have been observed in healthy subjects during spontaneous blinking at rest. Delta BROs have been linked with continuous gathering of information from the surrounding environment, which is classically attributed to the precuneus. Furthermore, fMRI studies have shown that precuneal activity is reduced or missing when consciousness is low or absent. We therefore hypothesized that the source of delta BROs in healthy subjects could be located in the precuneus and that delta BROs could be absent or reduced in patients with disorders of consciousness (DOC). To test these hypotheses, electroencephalographic (EEG) activity at rest was recorded in 12 healthy controls and nine patients with DOC (four vegetative states, and five minimally conscious states). Three-second-lasting EEG epochs centred on each blink instance were analyzed in both time- (BROs) and frequency domains (event-related spectral perturbation or ERSP and intertrial coherence or ITC). Cortical sources of the maximum blink-related delta power, corresponding to the positive peak of the delta BROs, were estimated by standardized Low Resolution Electromagnetic Tomography. In control subjects, as expected, the source of delta BROs was located in the precuneus, whereas in DOC patients, delta BROs were not recognizable and no precuneal localization was possible. Furthermore, we observed a direct relationship between spectral indexes and levels of cognitive functioning in all subjects participating in the study. This reinforces the hypothesis that delta BROs reflect neural processes linked with awareness of the self and of the environment.

  4. DMN Operational Synchrony Relates to Self-Consciousness: Evidence from Patients in Vegetative and Minimally Conscious States.

    PubMed

    Fingelkurts, Andrew A; Fingelkurts, Alexander A; Bagnato, Sergio; Boccagni, Cristina; Galardi, Giuseppe

    2012-01-01

    The default mode network (DMN) has been consistently activated across a wide variety of self-related tasks, leading to a proposal of the DMN's role in self-related processing. Indeed, there is limited fMRI evidence that the functional connectivity within the DMN may underlie a phenomenon referred to as self-awareness. At the same time, none of the known studies have explicitly investigated neuronal functional interactions among brain areas that comprise the DMN as a function of self-consciousness loss. To fill this gap, EEG operational synchrony analysis [1, 2] was performed in patients with severe brain injuries in vegetative and minimally conscious states to study the strength of DMN operational synchrony as a function of self-consciousness expression. We demonstrated that the strength of DMN EEG operational synchrony was smallest or even absent in patients in vegetative state, intermediate in patients in minimally conscious state and highest in healthy fully self-conscious subjects. At the same time the process of ecoupling of operations performed by neuronal assemblies that comprise the DMN was highest in patients in vegetative state, intermediate in patients in minimally conscious state and minimal in healthy fully self-conscious subjects. The DMN's frontal EEG operational module had the strongest decrease in operational synchrony strength as a function of selfconsciousness loss, when compared with the DMN's posterior modules. Based on these results it is suggested that the strength of DMN functional connectivity could mediate the strength of self-consciousness expression. The observed alterations similarly occurred across EEG alpha, beta1 and beta2 frequency oscillations. Presented results suggest that the EEG operational synchrony within DMN may provide an objective and accurate measure for the assessment of signs of self-(un)consciousness in these challenging patient populations. This method therefore, may complement the current diagnostic procedures for

  5. Neural functional organization of hallucinations in schizophrenia: multisensory dissolution of pathological emergence in consciousness.

    PubMed

    Jardri, Renaud; Pins, Delphine; Bubrovszky, Maxime; Lucas, Bernard; Lethuc, Vianney; Delmaire, Christine; Vantyghem, Vincent; Despretz, Pascal; Thomas, Pierre

    2009-06-01

    Although complex hallucinations are extremely vivid, painful symptoms in schizophrenia, little is known about the underlying mechanisms of multisensory integration in such a phenomenon. We investigated the neural basis of these altered states of consciousness in a patient with schizophrenia, by combining state of the art neuroscientific exploratory methods like functional MRI, diffusion tensor imaging, cortical thickness analysis, electrical source reconstruction and trans-cranial magnetic stimulation. The results shed light on the functional architecture of the hallucinatory processes, in which unimodal information from different modalities is strongly functionally connected to higher-order integrative areas.

  6. Conscious perception of errors and its relation to the anterior insula

    PubMed Central

    Harsay, Helga A.; Wessel, Jan R.; Ridderinkhof, K. Richard

    2010-01-01

    To detect erroneous action outcomes is necessary for flexible adjustments and therefore a prerequisite of adaptive, goal-directed behavior. While performance monitoring has been studied intensively over two decades and a vast amount of knowledge on its functional neuroanatomy has been gathered, much less is known about conscious error perception, often referred to as error awareness. Here, we review and discuss the conditions under which error awareness occurs, its neural correlates and underlying functional neuroanatomy. We focus specifically on the anterior insula, which has been shown to be (a) reliably activated during performance monitoring and (b) modulated by error awareness. Anterior insular activity appears to be closely related to autonomic responses associated with consciously perceived errors, although the causality and directions of these relationships still needs to be unraveled. We discuss the role of the anterior insula in generating versus perceiving autonomic responses and as a key player in balancing effortful task-related and resting-state activity. We suggest that errors elicit reactions highly reminiscent of an orienting response and may thus induce the autonomic arousal needed to recruit the required mental and physical resources. We discuss the role of norepinephrine activity in eliciting sufficiently strong central and autonomic nervous responses enabling the necessary adaptation as well as conscious error perception. PMID:20512371

  7. Hippocampus and consciousness.

    PubMed

    Behrendt, Ralf-Peter

    2013-01-01

    An important assumption concerning the physiology of consciousness is that all varieties of conscious experience are closely related to each other and, hence, are subserved by the same neural mechanism. There are several considerations that lead us to implicate the hippocampus in the generation of conscious perception and, ultimately, of conscious experiences of all kinds. Firstly, conscious perception of external events is intricately linked with the formation of episodic (declarative) memories, a key function attributed to the hippocampus. Secondly, conscious experience is allocentric and contextualized. Consciousness creates or simulates an image of the world that appears to surround us and to be independent of our observation of it. What is characteristic of wakeful consciousness and dreaming alike is that objects or events are experienced as being embedded in an external, that is, allocentric, frame of space and time. The hippocampus has been implicated in the rapid formation and memorization of allocentric representations that embed objects or events in a world context. Thirdly, the hippocampus is ideally positioned to bind information processed in different sensory association cortices. It is argued that rapidly forming patterns of neuronal ensemble firing in the hippocampus, particularly in region CA3, which encode arbitrary associations between objects and their spatiotemporal and emotional context, that is, associations between information derived from different neocortical processing streams, define the informational content of consciousness. Evidence suggestive of an important contribution of the hippocampus to conscious observation, mental imagery, dreaming, conscious anticipation of outcomes, and hallucinations will be reviewed.

  8. Raising Relational Critical Consciousness to Enhance Empathy in Clinical Hypnosis.

    PubMed

    Vargas, H Luis

    2016-01-01

    Empathic involvement theory suggests that a trance-like experience occurs when a cross-relational empathic connection is achieved. The empathically-laden relational phenomenon is thought to enhance hypnosis. Empathic involvement theory suggests hypnotizables are highly empathic. By the same token, the relational empathic connection necessitates a highly empathic practitioner of hypnosis. In the United States, where values of individualism are thought to be socially embedded and internalized, practitioners of hypnosis and clients alike may be impeded by an individually oriented worldview to empathically connect with others. Raising a relational critical consciousness is promoted as a way to increase sensitivity to the marginalization of relationships, limit empathic-effort burn-out, and promote cross-relational empathic connection.

  9. Platelet aggregability in relation to impaired consciousness after head injury.

    PubMed Central

    Vecht, C J; Minderhoud, J M; Sibinga, C T

    1975-01-01

    ADP-induced platelet aggregation was studied for up to six weeks in 34 patients with head injuries. The patients were divided into three groups according to the degree of impaired consciousness assessed by a clinical coma scale, and change in platelet aggregation was related to the coma score. Platelet aggregation was markedly reduced in all eight patients dying within 24 hours of injury. All 17 patients who remained unconscious for four days or more showed decreased platelet aggregation up to nine days after admission, the most marked effect being on the second day. Platelet function in this group returned to normal within 16 days. Nine patients with only slightly impaired consciousness also showed subnormal platelet aggregation during the first few days with a return to normal by the fourth day. Platelet counts remained within normal limits in all groups. We suggest that during coma following head injury brainstem dysfunction induces neurohumoral changes in the blood which are responsible for a decrease in platelet function. PMID:1214015

  10. A TMS Study of the Ventral Projections from V1 with Implications for the Finding of Neural Correlates of Consciousness

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Overgaard, Morten; Nielsen, Jorgen Feldbaek; Fuglsang-Frederiksen, Anders

    2004-01-01

    The study of subliminal perception in normal and brain lesioned subjects has long been of interest to scholars studying the neural mechanisms behind conscious vision. Using brief durations and a developed methodology of introspective reporting, we present an experiment with visual stimuli that gives rise to little or no subliminal perception under…

  11. Conscious brain, metacognition and schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Bob, Petr; Pec, Ondrej; Mishara, Aaron L; Touskova, Tereza; Lysaker, Paul H

    2016-07-01

    Recent findings indicate that the binding and synchronization of distributed neural activities are crucial for cognitive processes and consciousness. In addition, there is increasing evidence that disrupted feature binding is related to experiences of disintegration of consciousness in schizophrenia. These data suggest that the disrupted binding and disintegration of consciousness could be typically related to schizophrenia in terms of Bleuler's concept of "splitting". In this context, deficits in metacognitive capacity in schizophrenia may be conceptualized as a spectrum from more discrete to more synthetic activities, related to specific levels of neural binding and neurocognitive deficits. This review summarizes the recent research on metacognition and its relationship to deficits of conscious awareness that may be found in schizophrenia patients. Deficits in synthetic metacognition are likely linked to the integration of information during specific processes of neural binding. Those in turn may be related to a range of mental activities including reasoning style, learning potential and insight.

  12. The sense of consciousness.

    PubMed

    Tannenbaum, A S

    2001-08-21

    I propose that consciousness might be understood as the property of a system that functions as a sense in the biological meaning of that term. The theory assumes that, as a complex system, the sense of consciousness is not a fixed structure but implies structure with variations and that it evolved, as many new functions do, through the integration of simpler systems. The recognized exteroceptive and enteroceptive senses provide information about the organism's environment and about the organism itself that are important to adaptation. The sense of consciousness provides information about the brain and thus about the organism and its environment. It senses other senses and processes in the brain, selecting and relating components into a form that "makes sense"-where making sense is defined as being useful to the organism in its adaptation to the environment. The theory argues that this highly adaptive organizing function evolved with the growing complexity of the brain and that it might have helped resolve discrepancies created at earlier stages. Neural energies in the brain that are the input to the sense of consciousness, along with the processing subsystem of which they are a part, constitute the base of consciousness. Consciousness itself is an emergent effect of an organizing process achieved through the sense of consciousness. The sense of consciousness thus serves an organizing function although it is not the only means of organization in the brain. Its uniqueness lies in the character of the organization it creates with consciousness as a property of that organization. The paper relates the theory to several general conceptions-interactionism, epiphenomenalism and identity theory-and illustrates a number of testable hypotheses. Viewing consciousness as a property of a sense provides a degree of conceptual integration. Much of what we know about the evolution and role of the conventionally recognized senses should help us understand the evolution and role of

  13. Beyond Relation: A Critical Exploration of "Relational Consciousness" for Spiritual Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wills, Ruth

    2012-01-01

    This paper takes a philosophical view of the spiritual concept "relational consciousness" first proposed by Rebecca Nye in 1998. I will consider the "relational" aspect of spirituality through the ontology of Heidegger and the dialogical relationship "I and Thou" of Martin Buber, examining the problems that contingency and mediation within…

  14. The neural basis of one's own conscious and unconscious emotional states.

    PubMed

    Smith, Ryan; Lane, Richard D

    2015-10-01

    The study of emotional states has recently received considerable attention within the cognitive and neural sciences. However, limited work has been done to synthesize this growing body of literature within a coherent hierarchical, neuro-cognitive framework. In this article, we review evidence pertaining to three interacting hierarchical neural systems associated with the generation, perception and regulation of one's own emotional state. In the framework we propose, emotion generation proceeds through a series of appraisal mechanisms - some of which appear to require more cognitively sophisticated computational processing (and hence more time) than others - that ultimately trigger iterative adjustments to one's bodily state (as well as to the modes of processing in other cognitive systems). Perceiving one's own emotions then involves a multi-stage interoceptive/somatosensory process by which these body state patterns are detected and assigned conceptual emotional meaning. Finally, emotion regulation can be understood as a hierarchical control system that, at various levels, modulates autonomic reactions, appraisal mechanisms, attention, the contents of working memory, and goal-directed action selection. We highlight implications this integrative model may have for competing theories of emotion and emotional consciousness and for guiding future research.

  15. Body-related self-conscious emotions relate to physical activity motivation and behavior in men.

    PubMed

    Castonguay, Andree L; Pila, Eva; Wrosch, Carsten; Sabiston, Catherine M

    2015-05-01

    The aim of this study was to examine the associations between the body-related self-conscious emotions of shame, guilt, and pride and physical activity motivation and behavior among adult males. Specifically, motivation regulations (external, introjected, indentified, intrinsic) were examined as possible mediators between each of the body-related self-conscious emotions and physical activity behavior. A cross-sectional study was conducted with adult men (N = 152; Mage = 23.72, SD = 10.92 years). Participants completed a questionnaire assessing body-related shame, guilt, authentic pride, hubristic pride, motivational regulations, and leisure-time physical activity. In separate multiple mediation models, body-related shame was positively associated with external and introjected regulations and negatively correlated with intrinsic regulation. Guilt was positively linked to external, introjected, and identified regulations. Authentic pride was negatively related to external regulation and positively correlated with both identified and intrinsic regulations and directly associated with physical activity behavior. Hubristic pride was positively associated with intrinsic regulation. Overall, there were both direct and indirect effects via motivation regulations between body-related self-conscious emotions and physical activity (R(2) shame = .15, guilt = .16, authentic pride = .18, hubristic pride = .16). These findings highlight the importance of targeting and understanding self-conscious emotions contextualized to the body and links to motivation and positive health behavior among men.

  16. Propofol induction reduces the capacity for neural information integration: implications for the mechanism of consciousness and general anesthesia.

    PubMed

    Lee, UnCheol; Mashour, George A; Kim, Seunghwan; Noh, Gyu-Jeong; Choi, Byung-Moon

    2009-03-01

    The cognitive unbinding paradigm suggests that the synthesis of neural information is attenuated by general anesthesia. Here, we analyzed the functional organization of brain activities in the conscious and anesthetized states, based on functional segregation and integration. Electroencephalography (EEG) recordings were obtained from 14 subjects undergoing induction of general anesthesia with propofol. We quantified changes in mean information integration capacity in each band of the EEG. After induction with propofol, mean information integration capacity was reduced most prominently in the gamma band of the EEG (p=.0001). Furthermore, we demonstrate that loss of consciousness is reflected by the breakdown of the spatiotemporal organization of gamma waves. We conclude that induction of general anesthesia with propofol reduces the capacity for information integration in the brain. These data directly support the information integration theory of consciousness and the cognitive unbinding paradigm of general anesthesia.

  17. Intelligence as it relates to conscious and unconscious memory influences.

    PubMed

    Joordens, Steve; Walsh, Darlene; Mantonakis, Antonia

    2013-09-01

    We examine the relationship between a measure of intelligence and estimates of conscious and unconscious memory influences derived using Jacoby's (Jacoby, L. L. [1991]. A process dissociation framework: Separating automatic from intentional uses of memory. Journal of Memory and Language, 30, 513-541.) process-dissociation procedure. We find a positive relationship between intelligence and conscious memory, and no relationship between intelligence and unconscious influences once the impact of conscious influences are removed (Experiment 1). We also find that when participants cannot engage in conscious strategies, such as when there is insufficient time for learning, the relationships observed in Experiment 1 are eliminated (Experiments 2A and 2B). Our results support the notion that individual differences in intelligence reflect differences in conscious strategic processes (Karis, D., Fabiani, M., & Donchin, E. [1984]. "P300" and memory: Individual differences in the von Restorff effect. Cognitive Psychology, 16, 177-216.) and not differences in mental speed (Eysenck, H. J. (1984). Intelligence versus behavior. The Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 7, 290-291; Jensen, A. R. [1982]. Bias in mental testing. New York, NY: Free Press).

  18. Dissociative States and Neural Complexity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bob, Petr; Svetlak, Miroslav

    2011-01-01

    Recent findings indicate that neural mechanisms of consciousness are related to integration of distributed neural assemblies. This neural integration is particularly vulnerable to past stressful experiences that can lead to disintegration and dissociation of consciousness. These findings suggest that dissociation could be described as a level of…

  19. Caring for the Past: On Relationality and Historical Consciousness

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chinnery, Ann

    2013-01-01

    Over the past 20 years, there has been a shift in history education away from a view of history as the pursuit of an objective, universal story about the past toward "historical consciousness," which seeks to cultivate an understanding of the past as something that makes moral demands on us here and now. According to Roger Simon,…

  20. Neural correlates of visuospatial consciousness in 3D default space: insights from contralateral neglect syndrome.

    PubMed

    Jerath, Ravinder; Crawford, Molly W

    2014-08-01

    One of the most compelling questions still unanswered in neuroscience is how consciousness arises. In this article, we examine visual processing, the parietal lobe, and contralateral neglect syndrome as a window into consciousness and how the brain functions as the mind and we introduce a mechanism for the processing of visual information and its role in consciousness. We propose that consciousness arises from integration of information from throughout the body and brain by the thalamus and that the thalamus reimages visual and other sensory information from throughout the cortex in a default three-dimensional space in the mind. We further suggest that the thalamus generates a dynamic default three-dimensional space by integrating processed information from corticothalamic feedback loops, creating an infrastructure that may form the basis of our consciousness. Further experimental evidence is needed to examine and support this hypothesis, the role of the thalamus, and to further elucidate the mechanism of consciousness.

  1. Evolution of consciousness.

    PubMed

    Eccles, J C

    1992-08-15

    The hypothesis of the origin of consciousness is built upon the unique properties of the mammalian neocortex. The apical dendrites of the pyramidal cells bundle together as they ascend to lamina I to form neural receptor units of approximately 100 apical dendrites plus branches receiving hundreds of thousands of excitatory synapses, the collective assemblage being called a dendron. It is proposed that the whole world of consciousness, the mental world, is microgranular, with mental units called psychons, and that in mind-brain interaction one psychon is linked to one dendron through quantum physics. The hypothesis is that in mammalian evolution dendrons evolved for more effective integration of the increased complexity of sensory inputs. These evolved dendrons had the capacity for interacting with psychons that came to exist, so forming the mental world and giving the mammal conscious experiences. In Darwinian evolution, consciousness would have occurred initially some 200 million years ago in relation to the primitive cerebral cortices of evolving mammals. It would give global experiences of a surrounding world for guiding behavior beyond what is given by the unconscious operation of sensory cortical areas per se. So conscious experiences would give mammals evolutionary advantage over the reptiles, which lack a neocortex giving consciousness. The Wulst of the avian brain needs further investigation to discover how it could give birds the consciousness that they seem to have.

  2. From sensation to perception: Using multivariate classification of visual illusions to identify neural correlates of conscious awareness in space and time.

    PubMed

    Hogendoorn, Hinze

    2015-01-01

    An important goal of cognitive neuroscience is understanding the neural underpinnings of conscious awareness. Although the low-level processing of sensory input is well understood in most modalities, it remains a challenge to understand how the brain translates such input into conscious awareness. Here, I argue that the application of multivariate pattern classification techniques to neuroimaging data acquired while observers experience perceptual illusions provides a unique way to dissociate sensory mechanisms from mechanisms underlying conscious awareness. Using this approach, it is possible to directly compare patterns of neural activity that correspond to the contents of awareness, independent from changes in sensory input, and to track these neural representations over time at high temporal resolution. I highlight five recent studies using this approach, and provide practical considerations and limitations for future implementations.

  3. Body Consciousness, Illness-Related Impairment, and Patient Adherence in Hemodialysis.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Christensen, Alan J.; And Others

    1996-01-01

    Examined the joint effects of private body consciousness (PBC) and degree of illness-related physical impairment on treatment regimen adherence in a sample of 52 hemodialysis patients. Predicted the effect of PBC on adherence would vary as a function of patients' level of illness-related physical impairment. Results are discussed in terms of…

  4. Neural Dynamics Underlying Event-Related Potentials

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shah, Ankoor S.; Bressler, Steven L.; Knuth, Kevin H.; Ding, Ming-Zhou; Mehta, Ashesh D.; Ulbert, Istvan; Schroeder, Charles E.

    2003-01-01

    There are two opposing hypotheses about the brain mechanisms underlying sensory event-related potentials (ERPs). One holds that sensory ERPs are generated by phase resetting of ongoing electroencephalographic (EEG) activity, and the other that they result from signal averaging of stimulus-evoked neural responses. We tested several contrasting predictions of these hypotheses by direct intracortical analysis of neural activity in monkeys. Our findings clearly demonstrate evoked response contributions to the sensory ERP in the monkey, and they suggest the likelihood that a mixed (Evoked/Phase Resetting) model may account for the generation of scalp ERPs in humans.

  5. Conscious Action/Zombie Action

    PubMed Central

    Shepherd, Joshua

    2015-01-01

    Abstract I argue that the neural realizers of experiences of trying (that is, experiences of directing effort towards the satisfaction of an intention) are not distinct from the neural realizers of actual trying (that is, actual effort directed towards the satisfaction of an intention). I then ask how experiences of trying might relate to the perceptual experiences one has while acting. First, I assess recent zombie action arguments regarding conscious visual experience, and I argue that contrary to what some have claimed, conscious visual experience plays a causal role for action control in some circumstances. Second, I propose a multimodal account of the experience of acting. According to this account, the experience of acting is (at the very least) a temporally extended, co‐conscious collection of agentive and perceptual experiences, functionally integrated and structured both by multimodal perceptual processing as well as by what an agent is, at the time, trying to do. PMID:27667859

  6. Conscious Action/Zombie Action.

    PubMed

    Shepherd, Joshua

    2016-06-01

    I argue that the neural realizers of experiences of trying (that is, experiences of directing effort towards the satisfaction of an intention) are not distinct from the neural realizers of actual trying (that is, actual effort directed towards the satisfaction of an intention). I then ask how experiences of trying might relate to the perceptual experiences one has while acting. First, I assess recent zombie action arguments regarding conscious visual experience, and I argue that contrary to what some have claimed, conscious visual experience plays a causal role for action control in some circumstances. Second, I propose a multimodal account of the experience of acting. According to this account, the experience of acting is (at the very least) a temporally extended, co-conscious collection of agentive and perceptual experiences, functionally integrated and structured both by multimodal perceptual processing as well as by what an agent is, at the time, trying to do.

  7. Evocative Cues and Presence: Relational Consciousness within Qualitative Research

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pearmain, Rosalind

    2007-01-01

    This paper introduces an example of how pictures were used to facilitate exploration of spiritual aspects of self, as a basis for qualitative research, with young people aged 15-18 years. The author considers how spiritually moving and stirring experiences may be related to the notion of a direct, participatory embodied attunement to the world.…

  8. A chronometric functional sub-network in the thalamo-cortical system regulates the flow of neural information necessary for conscious cognitive processes.

    PubMed

    León-Domínguez, Umberto; Vela-Bueno, Antonio; Froufé-Torres, Manuel; León-Carrión, Jose

    2013-06-01

    The thalamo-cortical system has been defined as a neural network associated with consciousness. While there seems to be wide agreement that the thalamo-cortical system directly intervenes in vigilance and arousal, a divergence of opinion persists regarding its intervention in the control of other cognitive processes necessary for consciousness. In the present manuscript, we provide a review of recent scientific findings on the thalamo-cortical system and its role in the control and regulation of the flow of neural information necessary for conscious cognitive processes. We suggest that the axis formed by the medial prefrontal cortex and different thalamic nuclei (reticular nucleus, intralaminar nucleus, and midline nucleus), represents a core component for consciousness. This axis regulates different cerebral structures which allow basic cognitive processes like attention, arousal and memory to emerge. In order to produce a synchronized coherent response, neural communication between cerebral structures must have exact timing (chronometry). Thus, a chronometric functional sub-network within the thalamo-cortical system keeps us in an optimal and continuous functional state, allowing high-order cognitive processes, essential to awareness and qualia, to take place.

  9. Detecting consciousness in a total locked-in syndrome: an active event-related paradigm.

    PubMed

    Schnakers, Caroline; Perrin, Fabien; Schabus, Manuel; Hustinx, Roland; Majerus, Steve; Moonen, Gustave; Boly, Melanie; Vanhaudenhuyse, Audrey; Bruno, Marie-Aurelie; Laureys, Steven

    2009-08-01

    Total locked-in syndrome is characterized by tetraplegia, anarthria and paralysis of eye motility. In this study, consciousness was detected in a 21-year-old woman who presented a total locked-in syndrome after a basilar artery thrombosis (49 days post-injury) using an active event-related paradigm. The patient was presented sequences of names containing the patient's own name and other names. The patient was instructed to count her own name or to count another target name. Similar to 4 age- and gender-matched healthy controls, the P3 response recorded for the voluntarily counted own name was larger than while passively listening. This P3 response was observed 14 days before the first behavioral signs of consciousness. This study shows that our active event-related paradigm allowed to identify voluntary brain activity in a patient who would behaviorally be diagnosed as comatose.

  10. [Neural representation of human body schema and corporeal self-consciousness].

    PubMed

    Naito, Eiichi; Morita, Tomoyo

    2014-04-01

    The human brain processes every sensation evoked by altered posture and builds up a constantly changing postural model of the body. This is called a body schema, and somatic signals originating from skeletal muscles and joints, i.e. proprioceptive signals, largely contribute its formation. Recent neuroimaging techniques have revealed neuronal substrates for human body schema. A dynamic limb position model seems to be computed in the central motor network (represented by the primary motor cortex). Here, proprioceptive (kinesthetic) signals from muscle spindles are transformed into motor commands, which may underlie somatic perception of limb movement and facilitate its efficient motor control. Somatic signals originating from different body parts are integrated in the course of hierarchical somatosensory processing, and activity in higher-order somatosensory parietal cortices is capable of representing a postural model of the entire body. The left fronto-parietal network associates internal motor representation with external object representation, allowing the embodiment of external objects. In contrast, the right fronto-parietal regions connected by the most inferior branch of superior longitudinal fasciculus fibers seem to have the functions of monitoring bodily states and updating body schema. We hypothesize that activity in these right-sided fronto-parietal regions is deeply involved in corporeal self-consciousness.

  11. A higher-order theory of emotional consciousness

    PubMed Central

    LeDoux, Joseph E.; Brown, Richard

    2017-01-01

    Emotional states of consciousness, or what are typically called emotional feelings, are traditionally viewed as being innately programmed in subcortical areas of the brain, and are often treated as different from cognitive states of consciousness, such as those related to the perception of external stimuli. We argue that conscious experiences, regardless of their content, arise from one system in the brain. In this view, what differs in emotional and nonemotional states are the kinds of inputs that are processed by a general cortical network of cognition, a network essential for conscious experiences. Although subcortical circuits are not directly responsible for conscious feelings, they provide nonconscious inputs that coalesce with other kinds of neural signals in the cognitive assembly of conscious emotional experiences. In building the case for this proposal, we defend a modified version of what is known as the higher-order theory of consciousness. PMID:28202735

  12. A higher-order theory of emotional consciousness.

    PubMed

    LeDoux, Joseph E; Brown, Richard

    2017-03-07

    Emotional states of consciousness, or what are typically called emotional feelings, are traditionally viewed as being innately programmed in subcortical areas of the brain, and are often treated as different from cognitive states of consciousness, such as those related to the perception of external stimuli. We argue that conscious experiences, regardless of their content, arise from one system in the brain. In this view, what differs in emotional and nonemotional states are the kinds of inputs that are processed by a general cortical network of cognition, a network essential for conscious experiences. Although subcortical circuits are not directly responsible for conscious feelings, they provide nonconscious inputs that coalesce with other kinds of neural signals in the cognitive assembly of conscious emotional experiences. In building the case for this proposal, we defend a modified version of what is known as the higher-order theory of consciousness.

  13. From sensation to percept: the neural signature of auditory event-related potentials.

    PubMed

    Joos, Kathleen; Gilles, Annick; Van de Heyning, Paul; De Ridder, Dirk; Vanneste, Sven

    2014-05-01

    An external auditory stimulus induces an auditory sensation which may lead to a conscious auditory perception. Although the sensory aspect is well known, it is still a question how an auditory stimulus results in an individual's conscious percept. To unravel the uncertainties concerning the neural correlates of a conscious auditory percept, event-related potentials may serve as a useful tool. In the current review we mainly wanted to shed light on the perceptual aspects of auditory processing and therefore we mainly focused on the auditory late-latency responses. Moreover, there is increasing evidence that perception is an active process in which the brain searches for the information it expects to be present, suggesting that auditory perception requires the presence of both bottom-up, i.e. sensory and top-down, i.e. prediction-driven processing. Therefore, the auditory evoked potentials will be interpreted in the context of the Bayesian brain model, in which the brain predicts which information it expects and when this will happen. The internal representation of the auditory environment will be verified by sensation samples of the environment (P50, N100). When this incoming information violates the expectation, it will induce the emission of a prediction error signal (Mismatch Negativity), activating higher-order neural networks and inducing the update of prior internal representations of the environment (P300).

  14. The role of body-related self-conscious emotions in motivating women's physical activity.

    PubMed

    Sabiston, Catherine M; Brunet, Jennifer; Kowalski, Kent C; Wilson, Philip M; Mack, Diane E; Crocker, Peter R E

    2010-08-01

    The purpose of this study was to test a model where body-related self-conscious emotions of shame, guilt, and pride were associated with physical activity regulations and behavior. Adult women (N = 389; M age = 29.82, SD = 15.20 years) completed a questionnaire assessing body-related pride, shame, and guilt, motivational regulations, and leisure-time physical activity. The hypothesized measurement and structural models were deemed adequate, as was a revised model examining shame-free guilt and guilt-free shame. In the revised structural model, body-related pride was positively significantly related to identified and intrinsic regulations. Body-related shame-free guilt was significantly associated with external, introjected, and identified regulations. Body-related guilt-free shame was significantly positively related to external and introjected regulation, and negatively associated with intrinsic regulation. Identified and intrinsic regulations were significantly positively related to physical activity (R2 = .62). These findings highlight the importance of targeting and understanding the realm of body-related self-conscious emotions and the associated links to regulations and physical activity behavior.

  15. Occupational Consciousness.

    PubMed

    Ramugondo, Elelwani L

    2015-10-02

    Occupational consciousness refers to ongoing awareness of the dynamics of hegemony and recognition that dominant practices are sustained through what people do every day, with implications for personal and collective health. The emergence of the construct in post-apartheid South Africa signifies the country's ongoing struggle with negotiating long-standing dynamics of power that were laid down during colonialism, and maintained under black majority rule. Consciousness, a key component of the new terminology, is framed from post-colonial perspectives - notably work by Biko and Fanon - and grounded in the philosophy of liberation, in order to draw attention to continuing unequal intersubjective relations that play out through human occupation. The paper also draws important links between occupational consciousness and other related constructs, namely occupational possibilities, occupational choice, occupational apartheid, and collective occupation. The use of the term 'consciousness' in sociology, with related or different meanings, is also explored. Occupational consciousness is then advanced as a critical notion that frames everyday doing as a potentially liberating response to oppressive social structures. This paper advances theorizing as a scholarly practice in occupational science, and could potentially expand inter or transdisciplinary work for critical conceptualizations of human occupation.

  16. Self-consciousness in non-communicative patients.

    PubMed

    Laureys, Steven; Perrin, Fabien; Brédart, Serge

    2007-09-01

    The clinical and para-clinical examination of residual self-consciousness in non-communicative severely brain damaged patients (i.e., coma, vegetative state and minimally conscious state) remains exceptionally challenging. Passive presentation of the patient's own name and own face are known to be effective attention-grabbing stimuli when clinically assessing consciousness at the patient's bedside. Event-related potential and functional neuroimaging studies using such self-referential stimuli are currently being used to disentangle the cognitive hierarchy of self-processing. We here review neuropsychological, neuropathological, electrophysiological and neuroimaging studies using the own name and own face paradigm obtained in conscious waking, sleep, pharmacological coma, pathological coma and related disorders of consciousness. Based on these results we discuss what we currently do and do not know about the functional significance of the neural network involved in "automatic" and "conscious" self-referential processing.

  17. The neural basis for spatial relations.

    PubMed

    Amorapanth, Prin X; Widick, Page; Chatterjee, Anjan

    2010-08-01

    Studies in semantics traditionally focus on knowledge of objects. By contrast, less is known about how objects relate to each other. In an fMRI study, we tested the hypothesis that the neural processing of categorical spatial relations between objects is distinct from the processing of the identity of objects. Attending to the categorical spatial relations compared with attending to the identity of objects resulted in greater activity in superior and inferior parietal cortices (especially on the left) and posterior middle frontal cortices bilaterally. In an accompanying lesion study, we tested the hypothesis that comparable areas would be necessary to represent categorical spatial relations and that the hemispheres differ in their biases to process categorical or coordinate spatial relations. Voxel-based lesion symptom mapping results were consistent with the fMRI observations. Damage to a network comprising left inferior frontal, supramarginal, and angular gyri resulted in behavioral impairment on categorical spatial judgments. Homologous right brain damage also produced such deficits, albeit less severely. The reverse pattern was observed for coordinate spatial processing. Right brain damage to the middle temporal gyrus produced more severe deficits than left hemisphere damage. Additional analyses suggested that some areas process both kinds of spatial relations conjointly and others distinctly. The left angular and inferior frontal gyrus processes coordinate spatial information over and above the categorical processing. The anterior superior temporal gyrus appears to process categorical spatial information uniquely. No areas within the right hemisphere processed categorical spatial information uniquely. Taken together, these findings suggest that the functional neuroanatomy of categorical and coordinate processing is more nuanced than implied by a simple hemispheric dichotomy.

  18. Trauma-related altered states of consciousness: exploring the 4-D model.

    PubMed

    Frewen, Paul A; Lanius, Ruth A

    2014-01-01

    Frewen and Lanius (in press) recently articulated a 4-D model as a framework for classifying symptoms of posttraumatic stress into those that potentially occur within normal waking consciousness (NWC) versus those that intrinsically represent dissociative experiences of trauma-related altered states of consciousness (TRASC). Four dimensions were specified: time-memory, thought, body, and emotion. The 4-D model further hypothesizes that in traumatized persons, symptoms of TRASC, compared with NWC forms of distress, will be (a) observed less frequently; (b) less intercorrelated, especially as measured as moment-to-moment states; (c) observed more frequently in people with high dissociative symptomatology as measured independently; and (d) observed more often in people who have experienced repeated traumatization, particularly early developmental trauma. The aim of the present research was to begin to evaluate these 4 predictions of the 4-D model. Within a sample of 74 women with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) primarily due to histories of childhood trauma, as well as within a 2nd sample of 504 undergraduates (384 females), the 1st 2 hypotheses of the 4-D model were supported. In addition, within the PTSD sample, the 3rd hypothesis was supported. However, inconsistent with the 4th hypothesis, severity of childhood trauma history was not strongly associated with TRASC. We conclude that the hypotheses articulated by the 4-D model were generally supported, although further research in different trauma-related disorders is needed, and the role of childhood trauma history in the etiology of TRASC requires further research.

  19. Event-related brain potential correlates of two states of conscious awareness in memory

    PubMed Central

    Düzel, Emrah; Yonelinas, Andrew P.; Mangun, George R.; Heinze, Hans-Jochen; Tulving, Endel

    1997-01-01

    We report an event-related potential (ERP) experiment of human recognition memory that explored the relation between conscious awareness and electrophysiological activity of the brain. We recorded ERPs from healthy adults while they made “remember” and “know” recognition judgments about previously seen words. These two kinds of judgments reflect “autonoetic” and “noetic” awareness, respectively. The ERP effects differed between the two kinds of awareness while they were similar for “true” and “false” recognition. Noetic awareness was associated with a temporoparietal positivity in the N400 range (325–600 ms) and a late (600–1,000 ms) frontocentral negativity, whereas autonoetic awareness was associated with a widespread, late, bifrontal and left parietotemporal (600–1000 ms) positivity. In the very late (1,300–1,900 ms) time window, a right frontal positivity was observed for both remember and know judgments of both true and false targets. These results provide physiological evidence for two types of conscious awareness in episodic memory retrieval. PMID:9159185

  20. Sleep neuroimaging and models of consciousness.

    PubMed

    Tagliazucchi, Enzo; Behrens, Marion; Laufs, Helmut

    2013-01-01

    Human deep sleep is characterized by reduced sensory activity, responsiveness to stimuli, and conscious awareness. Given its ubiquity and reversible nature, it represents an attractive paradigm to study the neural changes which accompany the loss of consciousness in humans. In particular, the deepest stages of sleep can serve as an empirical test for the predictions of theoretical models relating the phenomenology of consciousness with underlying neural activity. A relatively recent shift of attention from the analysis of evoked responses toward spontaneous (or "resting state") activity has taken place in the neuroimaging community, together with the development of tools suitable to study distributed functional interactions. In this review we focus on recent functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) studies of spontaneous activity during sleep and their relationship with theoretical models for human consciousness generation, considering the global workspace theory, the information integration theory, and the dynamical core hypothesis. We discuss the venues of research opened by these results, emphasizing the need to extend the analytic methodology in order to obtain a dynamical picture of how functional interactions change over time and how their evolution is modulated during different conscious states. Finally, we discuss the need to experimentally establish absent or reduced conscious content, even when studying the deepest sleep stages.

  1. Sleep Neuroimaging and Models of Consciousness

    PubMed Central

    Tagliazucchi, Enzo; Behrens, Marion; Laufs, Helmut

    2013-01-01

    Human deep sleep is characterized by reduced sensory activity, responsiveness to stimuli, and conscious awareness. Given its ubiquity and reversible nature, it represents an attractive paradigm to study the neural changes which accompany the loss of consciousness in humans. In particular, the deepest stages of sleep can serve as an empirical test for the predictions of theoretical models relating the phenomenology of consciousness with underlying neural activity. A relatively recent shift of attention from the analysis of evoked responses toward spontaneous (or “resting state”) activity has taken place in the neuroimaging community, together with the development of tools suitable to study distributed functional interactions. In this review we focus on recent functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) studies of spontaneous activity during sleep and their relationship with theoretical models for human consciousness generation, considering the global workspace theory, the information integration theory, and the dynamical core hypothesis. We discuss the venues of research opened by these results, emphasizing the need to extend the analytic methodology in order to obtain a dynamical picture of how functional interactions change over time and how their evolution is modulated during different conscious states. Finally, we discuss the need to experimentally establish absent or reduced conscious content, even when studying the deepest sleep stages. PMID:23717291

  2. [Anesthesia and Consciousness].

    PubMed

    Ogino, Yuichi; Kawamichi, Hiroaki; Saiot, Shigeru

    2016-05-01

    The mechanism of consciousness and loss of conciousness by general anesthetics are crucial issue for the anesthesiologists. Recent non-invasive brain-imaging technology brings about light to various our emotions and sensations in human brain; however, neural correlate of consciousness is not yet still elucidated. The concept "the seat of the consciousness (is in the subcortical nuclei)" is now completely denied, but instead the consciousness is based on the idea that connectivity and communications across cortical and thalamocortical networks. Anesthetics and sleep disrupt the networks that encompass complexity and integration. The compatibility between complexity and integration is the key feature of the consciousness, which is represented by complex, extensive, communicative and integrative electroencephalograph currents evoked by transcranial magnetic stimulation, provoking a single unified conscious experience in us, humans.

  3. Nonlinear measures and dynamics in psychophysiology of consciousness.

    PubMed

    Bob, Petr

    2014-01-01

    According to recent findings nonlinear dynamic processes related to neural chaos and complexity likely play a crucial role in neural synchronization of distributed neural activities that enable information integration and conscious experience. Disturbances in these interactions produce patterns of temporal and spatial disorganization with decreased or increased functional connectivity and complexity that underlie specific changes of perceptual and cognitive states. These perceptual and cognitive changes may be characterized by neural chaos with significantly increased brain sensitivity that may underlie sensitization and kindling, and cognitive hypersensitivity in some mental disorders. Together these findings suggest that processes related to more irregular neural states with higher complexity that may lead to neural chaos, negatively affect information integration and processing in the brain, and may influence disintegrated conscious experience.

  4. Trauma-related dissociation and altered states of consciousness: a call for clinical, treatment, and neuroscience research

    PubMed Central

    Lanius, Ruth A.

    2015-01-01

    The primary aim of this commentary is to describe trauma-related dissociation and altered states of consciousness in the context of a four-dimensional model that has recently been proposed (Frewen & Lanius, 2015). This model categorizes symptoms of trauma-related psychopathology into (1) those that occur within normal waking consciousness and (2) those that are dissociative and are associated with trauma-related altered states of consciousness (TRASC) along four dimensions: (1) time; (2) thought; (3) body; and (4) emotion. Clinical applications and future research directions relevant to each dimension are discussed. Conceptualizing TRASC across the dimensions of time, thought, body, and emotion has transdiagnostic implications for trauma-related disorders described in both the Diagnostic Statistical Manual and the International Classifications of Diseases. The four-dimensional model provides a framework, guided by existing models of dissociation, for future research examining the phenomenological, neurobiological, and physiological underpinnings of trauma-related dissociation. PMID:25994026

  5. Difference, Explanation, Certainty and Terror: A View from a Londoner about the Formation of Children's Spirituality as Relational Consciousness

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johnson, Helen

    2006-01-01

    The manner in which we relate and behave towards one another can be analysed in political and social terms. Significantly, in the examination of children's spirituality, the concept of relational consciousness has revealed how early we become aware of people and phenomena beyond ourselves. But our desire to relate and behave reasonably towards…

  6. Occupational Consciousness

    PubMed Central

    Ramugondo, Elelwani L.

    2015-01-01

    Occupational consciousness refers to ongoing awareness of the dynamics of hegemony and recognition that dominant practices are sustained through what people do every day, with implications for personal and collective health. The emergence of the construct in post-apartheid South Africa signifies the country’s ongoing struggle with negotiating long-standing dynamics of power that were laid down during colonialism, and maintained under black majority rule. Consciousness, a key component of the new terminology, is framed from post-colonial perspectives – notably work by Biko and Fanon – and grounded in the philosophy of liberation, in order to draw attention to continuing unequal intersubjective relations that play out through human occupation. The paper also draws important links between occupational consciousness and other related constructs, namely occupational possibilities, occupational choice, occupational apartheid, and collective occupation. The use of the term ‘consciousness’ in sociology, with related or different meanings, is also explored. Occupational consciousness is then advanced as a critical notion that frames everyday doing as a potentially liberating response to oppressive social structures. This paper advances theorizing as a scholarly practice in occupational science, and could potentially expand inter or transdisciplinary work for critical conceptualizations of human occupation. PMID:26549984

  7. The Merit of Synesthesia for Consciousness Research

    PubMed Central

    van Leeuwen, Tessa M.; Singer, Wolf; Nikolić, Danko

    2015-01-01

    Synesthesia is a phenomenon in which additional perceptual experiences are elicited by sensory stimuli or cognitive concepts. Synesthetes possess a unique type of phenomenal experiences not directly triggered by sensory stimulation. Therefore, for better understanding of consciousness it is relevant to identify the mental and physiological processes that subserve synesthetic experience. In the present work we suggest several reasons why synesthesia has merit for research on consciousness. We first review the research on the dynamic and rapidly growing field of the studies of synesthesia. We particularly draw attention to the role of semantics in synesthesia, which is important for establishing synesthetic associations in the brain. We then propose that the interplay between semantics and sensory input in synesthesia can be helpful for the study of the neural correlates of consciousness, especially when making use of ambiguous stimuli for inducing synesthesia. Finally, synesthesia-related alterations of brain networks and functional connectivity can be of merit for the study of consciousness. PMID:26696921

  8. The Merit of Synesthesia for Consciousness Research.

    PubMed

    van Leeuwen, Tessa M; Singer, Wolf; Nikolić, Danko

    2015-01-01

    Synesthesia is a phenomenon in which additional perceptual experiences are elicited by sensory stimuli or cognitive concepts. Synesthetes possess a unique type of phenomenal experiences not directly triggered by sensory stimulation. Therefore, for better understanding of consciousness it is relevant to identify the mental and physiological processes that subserve synesthetic experience. In the present work we suggest several reasons why synesthesia has merit for research on consciousness. We first review the research on the dynamic and rapidly growing field of the studies of synesthesia. We particularly draw attention to the role of semantics in synesthesia, which is important for establishing synesthetic associations in the brain. We then propose that the interplay between semantics and sensory input in synesthesia can be helpful for the study of the neural correlates of consciousness, especially when making use of ambiguous stimuli for inducing synesthesia. Finally, synesthesia-related alterations of brain networks and functional connectivity can be of merit for the study of consciousness.

  9. Aberrant Functional Connectivity of the Amygdala Complexes in PTSD during Conscious and Subconscious Processing of Trauma-Related Stimuli

    PubMed Central

    Rabellino, Daniela; Densmore, Maria; Frewen, Paul A.; Théberge, Jean; McKinnon, Margaret C.; Lanius, Ruth A.

    2016-01-01

    Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is characterized by altered functional connectivity of the amygdala complexes at rest. However, amygdala complex connectivity during conscious and subconscious threat processing remains to be elucidated. Here, we investigate specific connectivity of the centromedial amygdala (CMA) and basolateral amygdala (BLA) during conscious and subconscious processing of trauma-related words among individuals with PTSD (n = 26) as compared to non-trauma-exposed controls (n = 20). Psycho-physiological interaction analyses were performed using the right and left amygdala complexes as regions of interest during conscious and subconscious trauma word processing. These analyses revealed a differential, context-dependent responses by each amygdala seed during trauma processing in PTSD. Specifically, relative to controls, during subconscious processing, individuals with PTSD demonstrated increased connectivity of the CMA with the superior frontal gyrus, accompanied by a pattern of decreased connectivity between the BLA and the superior colliculus. During conscious processing, relative to controls, individuals with PTSD showed increased connectivity between the CMA and the pulvinar. These findings demonstrate alterations in amygdala subregion functional connectivity in PTSD and highlight the disruption of the innate alarm network during both conscious and subconscious trauma processing in this disorder. PMID:27631496

  10. Loss of Consciousness Is Related to White Matter Injury in Mild Traumatic Brain Injury.

    PubMed

    Wilde, Elisabeth A; Li, Xiaoqi; Hunter, Jill V; Narayana, Ponnada A; Hasan, Khader; Biekman, Brian; Swank, Paul; Robertson, Claudia; Miller, Emmy; McCauley, Stephen R; Chu, Zili David; Faber, Jessica; McCarthy, James; Levin, Harvey S

    2016-11-15

    To study the relation of loss of consciousness (LOC) to white matter integrity after mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), we acquired diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) at 3 Tesla in 79 participants with mTBI and normal computed tomography (age 18 to 50 years) whom we imaged after a mean post-injury interval of 25.9 h (standard deviation = 12.3) and at 3 months. For comparison, 64 participants with orthopedic injury (OI) underwent DTI at similar intervals. Quantitative tractography was used to measure fractional anisotropy (FA) and mean diffusivity (MD) in the left and right uncinate fasciculus (UF), left and right inferior frontal occipital fasciculus (IFOF), and the genu of the corpus callosum. Generalized estimating equation models assessed the association between LOC and both MD and FA across time after mTBI and compared their DTI metrics with the OI group. LOC was significantly related to MD in UF and IFOF (p values ranged from p < 0.0001 to 0.0270) and to FA in left UF (p = 0.0104) and right UF (p = 0.0404). Between-group differences in MD were significant for left UF, left and right IFOF, and the genu of the corpus callosum on initial DTI, but not at 3 months post-injury, and these differences were specific to the mTBI subgroup with LOC. Groups did not differ in FA at either occasion. Early DTI may provide a biomarker for mTBI with LOC, even in patients whose consciousness recovers by arrival in the emergency department. MD better differentiates mTBI from OI than FA on early DTI, but this is specific to mTBI with LOC. DTI findings support a continuum of white matter injury in early mTBI.

  11. Use of functional foods among Swedish consumers is related to health-consciousness and perceived effect.

    PubMed

    Landström, Eva; Hursti, Ulla-Kaisa Koivisto; Becker, Wulf; Magnusson, Maria

    2007-11-01

    The aim of the present study was to survey attitudes to and use of functional foods and to investigate which demographic variables and attitudes to diet and health predict consumption of functional foods among Swedish consumers. A questionnaire was developed and sent to 2000 randomly selected Swedish citizens aged between 17 and 75 years. A total of 972 (48%) responded, 53% were female and 44% male. Mean age was 45 years. The results revealed that 84% of respondents were familiar with the concept of functional foods; 83% had consumed/purchased at least one of the seven functional food products presented in the questionnaire. Of those who had consumed a functional food, 25% had perceived effect of it. Positive correlations were seen between consumers perceiving a personal reward from eating functional foods, having an interest in natural products and an interest in general health. Consumption/purchase of functional foods was related to beliefs in the effects of the products, having consumed nutraceuticals or dietary supplements, having a diet-related problem personally or in the family, and a high level of education. The characteristic Swedish functional food consumer has a high level of education, is health-conscious and interested in healthy foods and believes in the health effect of functional foods. Thus, factors other than demographics better explain consumption of FF. However, the study population may represent a more health-conscious segment of the Swedish population in general. Additional studies are therefore required to elucidate the attitudes and use of FF in different consumer groups.

  12. Trauma-Related Altered States of Consciousness: Exploring the 4-D Model

    PubMed Central

    Frewen, Paul A.; Lanius, Ruth A.

    2014-01-01

    Frewen and Lanius (in press) recently articulated a 4-D model as a framework for classifying symptoms of posttraumatic stress into those that potentially occur within normal waking consciousness (NWC) versus those that intrinsically represent dissociative experiences of trauma-related altered states of consciousness (TRASC). Four dimensions were specified: time-memory, thought, body, and emotion. The 4-D model further hypothesizes that in traumatized persons, symptoms of TRASC, compared with NWC forms of distress, will be (a) observed less frequently; (b) less intercorrelated, especially as measured as moment-to-moment states; (c) observed more frequently in people with high dissociative symptomatology as measured independently; and (d) observed more often in people who have experienced repeated traumatization, particularly early developmental trauma. The aim of the present research was to begin to evaluate these 4 predictions of the 4-D model. Within a sample of 74 women with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) primarily due to histories of childhood trauma, as well as within a 2nd sample of 504 undergraduates (384 females), the 1st 2 hypotheses of the 4-D model were supported. In addition, within the PTSD sample, the 3rd hypothesis was supported. However, inconsistent with the 4th hypothesis, severity of childhood trauma history was not strongly associated with TRASC. We conclude that the hypotheses articulated by the 4-D model were generally supported, although further research in different trauma-related disorders is needed, and the role of childhood trauma history in the etiology of TRASC requires further research. PMID:24650122

  13. Relational Neural Evolution Approach to Bank Failure Prediction

    SciTech Connect

    Abudu, Bolanle; Markose, Sheri

    2007-12-26

    Relational neural networks as a concept offers a unique opportunity for improving classification accuracy by exploiting relational structure in data. The premise is that a relational classification technique, which uses information implicit in relationships, should classify more accurately than techniques that only examine objects in isolation. In this paper, we study the use of relational neural networks for predicting bank failure. Alongside classical financial ratios normally used as predictor variables, we introduced new relational variables for the network. The relational neural network structure, specified as a combination of feed forward and recurrent neural networks, is determined by bank data through neuro-evolution. We discuss empirical results comparing performance of the relational approach to standard propositional methods used for bank failure prediction.

  14. Relational Neural Evolution Approach to Bank Failure Prediction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abudu, Bolanle; Markose, Sheri

    2007-12-01

    Relational neural networks as a concept offers a unique opportunity for improving classification accuracy by exploiting relational structure in data. The premise is that a relational classification technique, which uses information implicit in relationships, should classify more accurately than techniques that only examine objects in isolation. In this paper, we study the use of relational neural networks for predicting bank failure. Alongside classical financial ratios normally used as predictor variables, we introduced new relational variables for the network. The relational neural network structure, specified as a combination of feed forward and recurrent neural networks, is determined by bank data through neuro-evolution. We discuss empirical results comparing performance of the relational approach to standard propositional methods used for bank failure prediction.

  15. [Correlations of consciousness and the default function of the brain].

    PubMed

    Gyulaházi, Judit; Varga, Katalin

    2014-01-30

    Neural correlation with consciousness represents a main topic of neuroscience studies. New results of consciousness researches proved that based on a coherent function in between its components the default mode network activity is the condition for awake consciousness. The subject of consciousness is self. Tasks related with the self were proving a high default mode network activity. Using connections inside the network, results which were related with self, could be considered to represent a polymodal integration system are they are participating in fine processing of the highly integrated associative information. It could be a result of the convergence of cognitive binding. There is a strong connection between the level of consciousness and praecuneal activation. It was proved that the network activity is changing during sleeping (normal condition), trauma or under drug induced altered consciousness. The default network activity can be considered as the neural correlate of consciousness. Further researches are warranted to answer the question: is the activity of the network the cause or is just accompanying the development of human consciousness?

  16. Distinct neural correlates of the preference-related valuation of supraliminally and subliminally presented faces.

    PubMed

    Ito, Ayahito; Abe, Nobuhito; Kawachi, Yousuke; Kawasaki, Iori; Ueno, Aya; Yoshida, Kazuki; Sakai, Shinya; Matsue, Yoshihiko; Fujii, Toshikatsu

    2015-08-01

    Recent neuroimaging studies have investigated the neural substrates involved in the valuation of supraliminally presented targets and the subsequent preference decisions. However, the neural mechanisms of the valuation of subliminally presented targets, which can guide subsequent preference decisions, remain to be explored. In the present study, we determined whether the neural systems associated with the valuation of supraliminally presented faces are involved in the valuation of subliminally presented faces. The subjects were supraliminally and subliminally presented with faces during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Following fMRI, the subjects were presented with pairs of faces and were asked to choose which face they preferred. We analyzed brain activation by back-sorting the fMRI data according to the subjects' choices. The present study yielded two main findings. First, the ventral striatum and the ventromedial prefrontal cortex predict preferences only for supraliminally presented faces. Second, the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex may predict preferences for subliminally presented faces. These findings indicate that neural correlates of the preference-related valuation of faces are dissociable, contingent upon whether the subjects consciously perceive the faces.

  17. Consciousness, information integration, and the brain.

    PubMed

    Tononi, Giulio

    2005-01-01

    Clinical observations have established that certain parts of the brain are essential for consciousness whereas other parts are not. For example, different areas of the cerebral cortex contribute different modalities and submodalities of consciousness, whereas the cerebellum does not, despite having even more neurons. It is also well established that consciousness depends on the way the brain functions. For example, consciousness is much reduced during slow wave sleep and generalized seizures, even though the levels of neural activity are comparable or higher than in wakefulness. To understand why this is so, empirical observations on the neural correlates of consciousness need to be complemented by a principled theoretical approach. Otherwise, it is unlikely that we could ever establish to what extent consciousness is present in neurological conditions such as akinetic mutism, psychomotor seizures, or sleepwalking, and to what extent it is present in newborn babies and animals. A principled approach is provided by the information integration theory of consciousness. This theory claims that consciousness corresponds to a system's capacity to integrate information, and proposes a way to measure such capacity. The information integration theory can account for several neurobiological observations concerning consciousness, including: (i) the association of consciousness with certain neural systems rather than with others; (ii) the fact that neural processes underlying consciousness can influence or be influenced by neural processes that remain unconscious; (iii) the reduction of consciousness during dreamless sleep and generalized seizures; and (iv) the time requirements on neural interactions that support consciousness.

  18. Assessing consciousness in coma and related states using transcranial magnetic stimulation combined with electroencephalography.

    PubMed

    Gosseries, O; Thibaut, A; Boly, M; Rosanova, M; Massimini, M; Laureys, S

    2014-02-01

    Thanks to advances in medical care, an increased number of patients recover from coma. However, some remain in vegetative/unresponsive wakefulness syndrome or in a minimally conscious state. Detection of awareness in severely brain-injured patients is challenging because it relies on behavioral assessments, which can be affected by motor, sensory and cognitive impairments of the patients. Other means of evaluation are needed to improve the accuracy of the diagnosis in this challenging population. We will here review the different altered states of consciousness occurring after severe brain damage, and explain the difficulties associated with behavioral assessment of consciousness. We will then describe a non-invasive technique, transcranial magnetic stimulation combined with high-density electroencephalography (TMS-EEG), which has allowed us to detect the presence or absence of consciousness in different physiological, pathological and pharmacological states. Some potential underlying mechanisms of the loss of consciousness will then be discussed. In conclusion, TMS-EEG is highly promising in identifying markers of consciousness at the individual level and might be of great value for clinicians in the assessment of consciousness.

  19. Predictable internal brain dynamics in EEG and its relation to conscious states

    PubMed Central

    Yoo, Jaewook; Kwon, Jaerock; Choe, Yoonsuck

    2014-01-01

    Consciousness is a complex and multi-faceted phenomenon defying scientific explanation. Part of the reason why this is the case is due to its subjective nature. In our previous computational experiments, to avoid such a subjective trap, we took a strategy to investigate objective necessary conditions of consciousness. Our basic hypothesis was that predictive internal dynamics serves as such a condition. This is in line with theories of consciousness that treat retention (memory), protention (anticipation), and primary impression as the tripartite temporal structure of consciousness. To test our hypothesis, we analyzed publicly available sleep and awake electroencephalogram (EEG) data. Our results show that EEG signals from awake or rapid eye movement (REM) sleep states have more predictable dynamics compared to those from slow-wave sleep (SWS). Since awakeness and REM sleep are associated with conscious states and SWS with unconscious or less consciousness states, these results support our hypothesis. The results suggest an intricate relationship among prediction, consciousness, and time, with potential applications to time perception and neurorobotics. PMID:24917813

  20. Effect of Gender on Students' Emotion with Gender-Related Public Self-Consciousness as a Moderator in Mixed-Gender Physical Education Classes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moon, Minkwon; Jeon, Hyunsoo; Kwon, Sungho

    2016-01-01

    The present study investigates whether gender-related public self-consciousness moderates the relationship between students' gender and emotions in mixed-gender physical education classes. The Positive and Negative Affect Scales and the Gender-related Public Self-Consciousness Scale were administered to 380 middle-school students in South Korea.…

  1. Sleep in disorders of consciousness.

    PubMed

    Cologan, Victor; Schabus, Manvel; Ledoux, Didier; Moonen, Gustave; Maquet, Pierre; Laureys, Steven

    2010-04-01

    From a behavioral as well as neurobiological point of view, sleep and consciousness are intimately connected. A better understanding of sleep cycles and sleep architecture of patients suffering from disorders of consciousness (DOC) might therefore improve the clinical care for these patients as well as our understanding of the neural correlations of consciousness. Defining sleep in severely brain-injured patients is however problematic as both their electrophysiological and sleep patterns differ in many ways from healthy individuals. This paper discusses the concepts involved in the study of sleep of patients suffering from DOC and critically assesses the applicability of standard sleep criteria in these patients. The available literature on comatose and vegetative states as well as that on locked-in and related states following traumatic or non-traumatic severe brain injury will be reviewed. A wide spectrum of sleep disturbances ranging from almost normal patterns to severe loss and architecture disorganization are reported in cases of DOC and some patterns correlate with diagnosis and prognosis. At the present time the interactions of sleep and consciousness in brain-injured patients are a little studied subject but, the authors suggest, a potentially very interesting field of research.

  2. Consumers' environmental and ethical consciousness and the use of the related food products information: The role of perceived consumer effectiveness.

    PubMed

    Ghvanidze, Sophie; Velikova, Natalia; Dodd, Tim H; Oldewage-Theron, Wilna

    2016-12-01

    Consumers can be important active contributors to a sustainable society by selecting food choices that are both healthy and produced respecting environmental and socially ethical standards. The current study investigates five consumer behavioural factors - namely, perceived consumer effectiveness (PCE); environmental conscious behaviour; concerns for ethical food production; health conscious lifestyle; and healthy dietary patterns. The key interest of the study lies in exploring the moderating role of PCE - the extent to which the consumer believes that his/her own efforts can make a difference - in these interrelationships. The empirical analysis was conducted through an online survey of food consumers implemented in three markets - the US, the UK and Germany. Findings indicate that for individuals with higher levels of PCE, who are environmental conscious and ethically concerned, information on food labels relating to environmental and social issues represents value by itself. Interestingly, health and nutrition information on food labels was not perceived valuable by consumers with high PCE. The predictive effects of various socio-demographic variables on PCE, consumer environmental and health consciousness are discussed. Cross-cultural differences are also outlined. The results of this research may contribute to the development of environmental policies and communication strategies of the food industry to enhance perceived consumer effectiveness among consumers. Improved PCE, in turn, may catalyze consumers' environmental behaviour and ethical concerns in relation to consumption of food products with environmental and social information.

  3. Computational correlates of consciousness.

    PubMed

    Cleeremans, Axel

    2005-01-01

    Over the past few years numerous proposals have appeared that attempt to characterize consciousness in terms of what could be called its computational correlates: Principles of information processing with which to characterize the differences between conscious and unconscious processing. Proposed computational correlates include architectural specialization (such as the involvement of specific regions of the brain in conscious processing), properties of representations (such as their stability in time or their strength), and properties of specific processes (such as resonance, synchrony, interactivity, or information integration). In exactly the same way as one can engage in a search for the neural correlates of consciousness, one can thus search for the computational correlates of consciousness. The most direct way of doing is to contrast models of conscious versus unconscious information processing. In this paper, I review these developments and illustrate how computational modeling of specific cognitive processes can be useful in exploring and in formulating putative computational principles through which to capture the differences between conscious and unconscious cognition. What can be gained from such approaches to the problem of consciousness is an understanding of the function it plays in information processing and of the mechanisms that subtend it. Here, I suggest that the central function of consciousness is to make it possible for cognitive agents to exert flexible, adaptive control over behavior. From this perspective, consciousness is best characterized as involving (1) a graded continuum defined over quality of representation, such that availability to consciousness and to cognitive control correlates with properties of representation, and (2) the implication of systems of meta-representations.

  4. Electrical stimulation of a small brain area reversibly disrupts consciousness.

    PubMed

    Koubeissi, Mohamad Z; Bartolomei, Fabrice; Beltagy, Abdelrahman; Picard, Fabienne

    2014-08-01

    The neural mechanisms that underlie consciousness are not fully understood. We describe a region in the human brain where electrical stimulation reproducibly disrupted consciousness. A 54-year-old woman with intractable epilepsy underwent depth electrode implantation and electrical stimulation mapping. The electrode whose stimulation disrupted consciousness was between the left claustrum and anterior-dorsal insula. Stimulation of electrodes within 5mm did not affect consciousness. We studied the interdependencies among depth recording signals as a function of time by nonlinear regression analysis (h(2) coefficient) during stimulations that altered consciousness and stimulations of the same electrode at lower current intensities that were asymptomatic. Stimulation of the claustral electrode reproducibly resulted in a complete arrest of volitional behavior, unresponsiveness, and amnesia without negative motor symptoms or mere aphasia. The disruption of consciousness did not outlast the stimulation and occurred without any epileptiform discharges. We found a significant increase in correlation for interactions affecting medial parietal and posterior frontal channels during stimulations that disrupted consciousness compared with those that did not. Our findings suggest that the left claustrum/anterior insula is an important part of a network that subserves consciousness and that disruption of consciousness is related to increased EEG signal synchrony within frontal-parietal networks.

  5. Timing and awareness of movement decisions: does consciousness really come too late?

    PubMed Central

    Guggisberg, Adrian G.; Mottaz, Anaïs

    2013-01-01

    Since Libet's seminal observation that a brain potential related to movement preparation occurs before participants report to be aware of their movement intention, it has been debated whether consciousness has causal influence on movement decisions. Here we review recent advances that provide new insights into the dynamics of human decision-making and question the validity of different markers used for determining the onset of neural and conscious events. Motor decisions involve multiple stages of goal evaluation, intention formation, and action execution. While the validity of the Bereitschaftspotential (BP) as index of neural movement preparation is controversial, improved neural markers are able to predict decision outcome even at early stages. Participants report being conscious of their decisions only at the time of final intention formation, just before the primary motor cortex starts executing the chosen action. However, accumulating evidence suggests that this is an artifact of Libet's clock method used for assessing consciousness. More refined methods suggest that intention consciousness does not appear instantaneously but builds up progressively. In this view, early neural markers of decision outcome are not unconscious but simply reflect conscious goal evaluation stages which are not final yet and therefore not reported with the clock method. Alternatives to the Libet clock are discussed that might allow for assessment of consciousness during decision making with improved sensitivity to early decision stages and with less influence from meta-conscious and perceptual inferences. PMID:23966921

  6. Consciousness, Plasticity, and Connectomics: The Role of Intersubjectivity in Human Cognition

    PubMed Central

    Allen, Micah; Williams, Gary

    2011-01-01

    Consciousness is typically construed as being explainable purely in terms of either private, raw feels or higher-order, reflective representations. In contrast to this false dichotomy, we propose a new view of consciousness as an interactive, plastic phenomenon open to sociocultural influence. We take up our account of consciousness from the observation of radical cortical neuroplasticity in human development. Accordingly, we draw upon recent research on macroscopic neural networks, including the “default mode,” to illustrate cases in which an individual's particular “connectome” is shaped by encultured social practices that depend upon and influence phenomenal and reflective consciousness. On our account, the dynamically interacting connectivity of these networks bring about important individual differences in conscious experience and determine what is “present” in consciousness. Further, we argue that the organization of the brain into discrete anti-correlated networks supports the phenomenological distinction of prereflective and reflective consciousness, but we emphasize that this finding must be interpreted in light of the dynamic, category-resistant nature of consciousness. Our account motivates philosophical and empirical hypotheses regarding the appropriate time-scale and function of neuroplastic adaptation, the relation of high and low-frequency neural activity to consciousness and cognitive plasticity, and the role of ritual social practices in neural development and cognitive function. PMID:21687435

  7. Non-conscious processes in changing health-related behaviour: a conceptual analysis and framework.

    PubMed

    Hollands, Gareth J; Marteau, Theresa M; Fletcher, Paul C

    2016-12-01

    Much of the global burden of non-communicable disease is caused by unhealthy behaviours that individuals enact even when informed of their health-harming consequences. A key insight is that these behaviours are not predominantly driven by deliberative conscious decisions, but occur directly in response to environmental cues and without necessary representation of their consequences. Consequently, interventions that target non-conscious rather than conscious processes to change health behaviour may have significant potential, but this important premise remains largely untested. This is in part due to the lack of a practicable conceptual framework that can be applied to better describe and assess these interventions. We propose a framework for describing or categorising interventions to change health behaviour by the degree to which their effects may be considered non-conscious. Potential practical issues with applying such a framework are discussed, as are the implications for further research to inform the testing and development of interventions. A pragmatic means of conceptualising interventions targeted at non-conscious processes is a necessary prelude to testing the potency of such interventions. This can ultimately inform the development of interventions with the potential to shape healthier behaviours across populations.

  8. Non-conscious processes in changing health-related behaviour: a conceptual analysis and framework

    PubMed Central

    Hollands, Gareth J.; Marteau, Theresa M.; Fletcher, Paul C.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Much of the global burden of non-communicable disease is caused by unhealthy behaviours that individuals enact even when informed of their health-harming consequences. A key insight is that these behaviours are not predominantly driven by deliberative conscious decisions, but occur directly in response to environmental cues and without necessary representation of their consequences. Consequently, interventions that target non-conscious rather than conscious processes to change health behaviour may have significant potential, but this important premise remains largely untested. This is in part due to the lack of a practicable conceptual framework that can be applied to better describe and assess these interventions. We propose a framework for describing or categorising interventions to change health behaviour by the degree to which their effects may be considered non-conscious. Potential practical issues with applying such a framework are discussed, as are the implications for further research to inform the testing and development of interventions. A pragmatic means of conceptualising interventions targeted at non-conscious processes is a necessary prelude to testing the potency of such interventions. This can ultimately inform the development of interventions with the potential to shape healthier behaviours across populations. PMID:26745243

  9. Conscious, but not unconscious, logo priming of brands and related words.

    PubMed

    Brintazzoli, Gigliola; Soetens, Eric; Deroost, Natacha; Van den Bussche, Eva

    2012-06-01

    This study assessed whether real-life stimulus material can elicit conscious and unconscious priming. A typical masked priming paradigm was used, with brand logo primes. We used a rigorous method to assess participants' awareness of the subliminal information. Our results show that shortly presented and masked brand logos (e.g., logo of McDonald's) have the power to prime their brand names (e.g., "McDonald's") and, remarkably, words associated to the brand (e.g., "hamburger"). However, this only occurred when the logos could be categorized clearly above the consciousness threshold. Once the primes were presented close to the consciousness threshold, no subliminal influences on behavior were observed.

  10. Hippocampus Is Place of Interaction between Unconscious and Conscious Memories

    PubMed Central

    Züst, Marc Alain; Colella, Patrizio; Reber, Thomas Peter; Vuilleumier, Patrik; Hauf, Martinus; Ruch, Simon; Henke, Katharina

    2015-01-01

    Recent evidence suggests that humans can form and later retrieve new semantic relations unconsciously by way of hippocampus—the key structure also recruited for conscious relational (episodic) memory. If the hippocampus subserves both conscious and unconscious relational encoding/retrieval, one would expect the hippocampus to be place of unconscious-conscious interactions during memory retrieval. We tested this hypothesis in an fMRI experiment probing the interaction between the unconscious and conscious retrieval of face-associated information. For the establishment of unconscious relational memories, we presented subliminal (masked) combinations of unfamiliar faces and written occupations (“actor” or “politician”). At test, we presented the former subliminal faces, but now supraliminally, as cues for the reactivation of the unconsciously associated occupations. We hypothesized that unconscious reactivation of the associated occupation—actor or politician—would facilitate or inhibit the subsequent conscious retrieval of a celebrity’s occupation, which was also actor or politician. Depending on whether the reactivated unconscious occupation was congruent or incongruent to the celebrity’s occupation, we expected either quicker or delayed conscious retrieval process. Conscious retrieval was quicker in the congruent relative to a neutral baseline condition but not delayed in the incongruent condition. fMRI data collected during subliminal face-occupation encoding confirmed previous evidence that the hippocampus was interacting with neocortical storage sites of semantic knowledge to support relational encoding. fMRI data collected at test revealed that the facilitated conscious retrieval was paralleled by deactivations in the hippocampus and neocortical storage sites of semantic knowledge. We assume that the unconscious reactivation has pre-activated overlapping relational representations in the hippocampus reducing the neural effort for conscious

  11. Trauma-Related Altered States of Consciousness (TRASC) and Functional Impairment II: Perceived Causal Relationships in an Online Sample.

    PubMed

    Tzannidakis, Nicole C A; Frewen, Paul

    2015-01-01

    Research supports the existence of a dissociative subtype of posttraumatic stress disorder, although studies have not directly compared the perceived impact of dissociative versus nondissociative posttraumatic symptoms on social and occupational functioning. In addition, research is beginning to differentiate between posttraumatic distress associated with normal waking consciousness (NWC) and dissociative experiences of trauma-related altered states of consciousness (TRASC) along multiple phenomenological dimensions. The current study investigated perceived causal relationships between posttraumatic symptoms associated with NWC-distress and TRASC on the one hand and interpersonal and occupational functioning on the other. Although both TRASC and NWC-distress independently accounted for variance in self-reported interpersonal and occupational problems, perceived causal relationship results showed that individuals tended to attribute their social and work-related problems more strongly to NWC-distress than to TRASC. Future research directions are discussed.

  12. Attentional networks and consciousness.

    PubMed

    Posner, Michael I

    2012-01-01

    The term consciousness is an important one in the vernacular of the western literature in many fields. It is no wonder that scientists have assumed that consciousness will be found as a component of the human brain and that we will come to understand its neural basis. However, there is rather little in common between consciousness as the neurologist would use it to diagnose the vegetative state, how the feminist would use it to support raising male consciousness of the economic plight of women and as the philosopher would use it when defining the really hard question of the subjective state of awareness induced by sensory qualities. When faced with this kind of problem it is usual to subdivide the term into more manageable perhaps partly operational definitions. Three meanings that capture aspects of consciousness are: (1) the neurology of the state of mind allowing coherent orientation to time and place (2) the selection of sensory or memorial information for awareness and (3) the voluntary control over overt responses. In each of these cases the mechanisms of consciousness overlap with one or more of the attentional networks that have been studied with the methods of cognitive neuroscience. In this paper we explore the overlap and discuss how to exploit the growing knowledge of attentional networks to constrain ideas of consciousness.

  13. Mestiza Consciousness in Relation to Sustained Political Solidarity: A Chicana Feminist Interpretation of the Farmworker Movement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barvosa, Edwina

    2011-01-01

    Two of the most significant themes in Chicana feminist thought are the character of mestiza consciousness and the view that political solidarity--that is, the uniting of diverse people in common cause--should build upon diversity among peoples rather than on a single shared identity. Numerous Chicana and Latina feminists have connected these two…

  14. Conscious auditory perception related to long-range synchrony of gamma oscillations.

    PubMed

    Steinmann, Saskia; Leicht, Gregor; Ertl, Matthias; Andreou, Christina; Polomac, Nenad; Westerhausen, René; Friederici, Angela D; Mulert, Christoph

    2014-10-15

    While the role of synchronized oscillatory activity in the gamma-band frequency range for conscious perception is well established in the visual domain, there is limited evidence concerning neurophysiological mechanisms in conscious auditory perception. In the current study, we addressed this issue with 64-channel EEG and a dichotic listening (DL) task in twenty-five healthy participants. The typical finding of DL is a more frequent conscious perception of the speech syllable presented to the right ear (RE), which is attributed to the supremacy of the contralateral pathways running from the RE to the speech-dominant left hemisphere. In contrast, the left ear (LE) input initially accesses the right hemisphere and needs additional transfer via interhemispheric pathways before it is processed in the left hemisphere. Using lagged phase synchronization (LPS) analysis and eLORETA source estimation we examined the functional connectivity between right and left primary and secondary auditory cortices in the main frequency bands (delta, theta, alpha, beta, gamma) during RE/LE-reports. Interhemispheric LPS between right and left primary and secondary auditory cortices was specifically increased in the gamma-band range, when participants consciously perceived the syllable presented to the LE. Our results suggest that synchronous gamma oscillations are involved in interhemispheric transfer of auditory information.

  15. Aging Affects Neural Synchronization to Speech-Related Acoustic Modulations

    PubMed Central

    Goossens, Tine; Vercammen, Charlotte; Wouters, Jan; van Wieringen, Astrid

    2016-01-01

    As people age, speech perception problems become highly prevalent, especially in noisy situations. In addition to peripheral hearing and cognition, temporal processing plays a key role in speech perception. Temporal processing of speech features is mediated by synchronized activity of neural oscillations in the central auditory system. Previous studies indicate that both the degree and hemispheric lateralization of synchronized neural activity relate to speech perception performance. Based on these results, we hypothesize that impaired speech perception in older persons may, in part, originate from deviances in neural synchronization. In this study, auditory steady-state responses that reflect synchronized activity of theta, beta, low and high gamma oscillations (i.e., 4, 20, 40, and 80 Hz ASSR, respectively) were recorded in young, middle-aged, and older persons. As all participants had normal audiometric thresholds and were screened for (mild) cognitive impairment, differences in synchronized neural activity across the three age groups were likely to be attributed to age. Our data yield novel findings regarding theta and high gamma oscillations in the aging auditory system. At an older age, synchronized activity of theta oscillations is increased, whereas high gamma synchronization is decreased. In contrast to young persons who exhibit a right hemispheric dominance for processing of high gamma range modulations, older adults show a symmetrical processing pattern. These age-related changes in neural synchronization may very well underlie the speech perception problems in aging persons. PMID:27378906

  16. Neural co-activation as a yardstick of implicit motor learning and the propensity for conscious control of movement.

    PubMed

    Zhu, F F; Poolton, J M; Wilson, M R; Maxwell, J P; Masters, R S W

    2011-04-01

    Two studies examined EEG co-activation (coherence) between the verbal-analytical (T3) and motor planning (Fz) regions during a golf putting task. In Study 1, participants with a strong propensity to consciously monitor and control their movements, determined psychometrically by high scores on a movement specific Reinvestment Scale, displayed more alpha2 T3-Fz co-activation than participants with a weak propensity. In Study 2, participants who practiced a golf putting task implicitly (via an errorless learning protocol) displayed less alpha2 T3-Fz co-activation than those who practiced explicitly (by errorful learning). In addition, explicit but not implicit motor learners displayed more T3-Fz co-activation during golf putting under pressure, implying that verbal-analytical processing of putting movements increased under pressure. These findings provide neuropsychological evidence that supports claims that implicit motor learning can be used to limit movement specific reinvestment.

  17. Consciousness, brain, neuroplasticity

    PubMed Central

    Askenasy, Jean; Lehmann, Joseph

    2013-01-01

    Subjectivity, intentionality, self-awareness and will are major components of consciousness in human beings. Changes in consciousness and its content following different brain processes and malfunction have long been studied. Cognitive sciences assume that brain activities have an infrastructure, but there is also evidence that consciousness itself may change this infrastructure. The two-way influence between brain and consciousness has been at the center of philosophy and less so, of science. This so-called bottom-up and top-down interrelationship is controversial and is the subject of our article. We would like to ask: how does it happen that consciousness may provoke structural changes in the brain? The living brain means continuous changes at the synaptic level with every new experience, with every new process of learning, memorizing or mastering new and existing skills. Synapses are generated and dissolved, while others are preserved, in an ever-changing process of so-called neuroplasticity. Ongoing processes of synaptic reinforcements and decay occur during wakefulness when consciousness is present, but also during sleep when it is mostly absent. We suggest that consciousness influences brain neuroplasticity both during wakefulness as well as sleep in a top-down way. This means that consciousness really activates synaptic flow and changes brain structures and functional organization. The dynamic impact of consciousness on brain never stops despite the relative stationary structure of the brain. Such a process can be a target for medical intervention, e.g., by cognitive training. PMID:23847580

  18. Consciousness, brain, neuroplasticity.

    PubMed

    Askenasy, Jean; Lehmann, Joseph

    2013-01-01

    Subjectivity, intentionality, self-awareness and will are major components of consciousness in human beings. Changes in consciousness and its content following different brain processes and malfunction have long been studied. Cognitive sciences assume that brain activities have an infrastructure, but there is also evidence that consciousness itself may change this infrastructure. The two-way influence between brain and consciousness has been at the center of philosophy and less so, of science. This so-called bottom-up and top-down interrelationship is controversial and is the subject of our article. We would like to ask: how does it happen that consciousness may provoke structural changes in the brain? The living brain means continuous changes at the synaptic level with every new experience, with every new process of learning, memorizing or mastering new and existing skills. Synapses are generated and dissolved, while others are preserved, in an ever-changing process of so-called neuroplasticity. Ongoing processes of synaptic reinforcements and decay occur during wakefulness when consciousness is present, but also during sleep when it is mostly absent. We suggest that consciousness influences brain neuroplasticity both during wakefulness as well as sleep in a top-down way. This means that consciousness really activates synaptic flow and changes brain structures and functional organization. The dynamic impact of consciousness on brain never stops despite the relative stationary structure of the brain. Such a process can be a target for medical intervention, e.g., by cognitive training.

  19. P3b, consciousness, and complex unconscious processing.

    PubMed

    Silverstein, Brian H; Snodgrass, Michael; Shevrin, Howard; Kushwaha, Ramesh

    2015-12-01

    How can perceptual consciousness be indexed in humans? Recent work with ERPs suggests that P3b, a relatively late component, may be a neural correlate of consciousness (NCC). This proposal dovetails with currently prevailing cognitive theory regarding the nature of conscious versus unconscious processes, which holds that the latter are simple and very brief, whereas consciousness is ostensibly required for more durable, complex cognitive processing. Using a P3b oddball paradigm, we instead show that P3b and even later, related slow wave activity occur under rigorously subliminal conditions. Additional principal component analysis (PCA) further differentiated the presence of both P3a and P3b components, demonstrating that the latter indeed occurred subliminally. Collectively, our results suggest that complex, sustained cognitive processing can occur unconsciously and that P3b is not an NCC after all.

  20. Age-Related Changes in 1/f Neural Electrophysiological Noise.

    PubMed

    Voytek, Bradley; Kramer, Mark A; Case, John; Lepage, Kyle Q; Tempesta, Zechari R; Knight, Robert T; Gazzaley, Adam

    2015-09-23

    Aging is associated with performance decrements across multiple cognitive domains. The neural noise hypothesis, a dominant view of the basis of this decline, posits that aging is accompanied by an increase in spontaneous, noisy baseline neural activity. Here we analyze data from two different groups of human subjects: intracranial electrocorticography from 15 participants over a 38 year age range (15-53 years) and scalp EEG data from healthy younger (20-30 years) and older (60-70 years) adults to test the neural noise hypothesis from a 1/f noise perspective. Many natural phenomena, including electrophysiology, are characterized by 1/f noise. The defining characteristic of 1/f is that the power of the signal frequency content decreases rapidly as a function of the frequency (f) itself. The slope of this decay, the noise exponent (χ), is often <-1 for electrophysiological data and has been shown to approach white noise (defined as χ = 0) with increasing task difficulty. We observed, in both electrophysiological datasets, that aging is associated with a flatter (more noisy) 1/f power spectral density, even at rest, and that visual cortical 1/f noise statistically mediates age-related impairments in visual working memory. These results provide electrophysiological support for the neural noise hypothesis of aging. Significance statement: Understanding the neurobiological origins of age-related cognitive decline is of critical scientific, medical, and public health importance, especially considering the rapid aging of the world's population. We find, in two separate human studies, that 1/f electrophysiological noise increases with aging. In addition, we observe that this age-related 1/f noise statistically mediates age-related working memory decline. These results significantly add to this understanding and contextualize a long-standing problem in cognition by encapsulating age-related cognitive decline within a neurocomputational model of 1/f noise-induced deficits in

  1. Neural Alterations in Acquired Age-Related Hearing Loss.

    PubMed

    Mudar, Raksha A; Husain, Fatima T

    2016-01-01

    Hearing loss is one of the most prevalent chronic health conditions in older adults. Growing evidence suggests that hearing loss is associated with reduced cognitive functioning and incident dementia. In this mini-review, we briefly examine literature on anatomical and functional alterations in the brains of adults with acquired age-associated hearing loss, which may underlie the cognitive consequences observed in this population, focusing on studies that have used structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging, diffusion tensor imaging, and event-related electroencephalography. We discuss structural and functional alterations observed in the temporal and frontal cortices and the limbic system. These neural alterations are discussed in the context of common cause, information-degradation, and sensory-deprivation hypotheses, and we suggest possible rehabilitation strategies. Although, we are beginning to learn more about changes in neural architecture and functionality related to age-associated hearing loss, much work remains to be done. Understanding the neural alterations will provide objective markers for early identification of neural consequences of age-associated hearing loss and for evaluating benefits of intervention approaches.

  2. The Neurogenetic Correlates of Consciousness

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grandy, John K.

    2013-09-01

    The neurogenetic correlates of consciousness (NgCC) is a new field of consciousness studies that focuses on genes that have an effect on or are involved in the continuum of neuron-based consciousness. A framework of consciousness based on the neural correlates of consciousness (NCC) has already been established by Francis Crick and Christof Kock. In this work I propose that there are NgCC underlying the NCC which are both active during the conscious experience. So how are genes involved? There are two significant connections between DNA and neurons that are involved in the conscious experience. First, any brain system can be adversely affected by underlying genetic abnormalities which can be expressed in an individual at birth, in adulthood, or later in life. Second, the DNA molecule does not lay dormant while the neuron runs on autopilot. DNA is active in translating and transcribing RNA and protein products that are utilized during neuron functioning. Without these products being continuously produced by the DNA during a conscious experience the neurons would cease to function correctly and be rendered unable to provide a continuum of human consciousness. Consequently, in addition to NCC, NgCC must be factored in when appreciating a conscious event. In this work I will discuss and explain some NgCC citing several examples.

  3. Non-conscious visual cues related to affect and action alter perception of effort and endurance performance

    PubMed Central

    Blanchfield, Anthony; Hardy, James; Marcora, Samuele

    2014-01-01

    The psychobiological model of endurance performance proposes that endurance performance is determined by a decision-making process based on perception of effort and potential motivation. Recent research has reported that effort-based decision-making during cognitive tasks can be altered by non-conscious visual cues relating to affect and action. The effects of these non-conscious visual cues on effort and performance during physical tasks are however unknown. We report two experiments investigating the effects of subliminal priming with visual cues related to affect and action on perception of effort and endurance performance. In Experiment 1 thirteen individuals were subliminally primed with happy or sad faces as they cycled to exhaustion in a counterbalanced and randomized crossover design. A paired t-test (happy vs. sad faces) revealed that individuals cycled significantly longer (178 s, p = 0.04) when subliminally primed with happy faces. A 2 × 5 (condition × iso-time) ANOVA also revealed a significant main effect of condition on rating of perceived exertion (RPE) during the time to exhaustion (TTE) test with lower RPE when subjects were subliminally primed with happy faces (p = 0.04). In Experiment 2, a single-subject randomization tests design found that subliminal priming with action words facilitated a significantly longer TTE (399 s, p = 0.04) in comparison to inaction words. Like Experiment 1, this greater TTE was accompanied by a significantly lower RPE (p = 0.03). These experiments are the first to show that subliminal visual cues relating to affect and action can alter perception of effort and endurance performance. Non-conscious visual cues may therefore influence the effort-based decision-making process that is proposed to determine endurance performance. Accordingly, the findings raise notable implications for individuals who may encounter such visual cues during endurance competitions, training, or health related exercise. PMID:25566014

  4. Consciousness, the brain, and spacetime geometry.

    PubMed

    Hameroff, S

    2001-04-01

    What is consciousness? Conventional approaches see it as an emergent property of complex interactions among individual neurons; however these approaches fail to address enigmatic features of consciousness. Accordingly, some philosophers have contended that "qualia," or an experiential medium from which consciousness is derived, exists as a fundamental component of reality. Whitehead, for example, described the universe as being composed of "occasions of experience." To examine this possibility scientifically, the very nature of physical reality must be re-examined. We must come to terms with the physics of spacetime--as described by Einstein's general theory of relativity, and its relation to the fundamental theory of matter--as described by quantum theory. Roger Penrose has proposed a new physics of objective reduction: "OR," which appeals to a form of quantum gravity to provide a useful description of fundamental processes at the quantum/classical borderline. Within the OR scheme, we consider that consciousness occurs if an appropriately organized system is able to develop and maintain quantum coherent superposition until a specific "objective" criterion (a threshold related to quantum gravity) is reached; the coherent system then self-reduces (objective reduction: OR). We contend that this type of objective self-collapse introduces non-computability, an essential feature of consciousness which distinguishes our minds from classical computers. Each OR is taken as an instantaneous event--the climax of a self-organizing process in fundamental spacetime--and a candidate for a conscious Whitehead "occasion of experience." How could an OR process occur in the brain, be coupled to neural activities, and account for other features of consciousness? We nominate a quantum computational OR process with the requisite characteristics to be occurring in cytoskeletal micro-tubules within the brain's neurons. In this model, quantum-superposed states develop in microtubule

  5. Job satisfaction in relation to energy resource consciousness and perceptions of energy utilization in selected Illinois manufacturing firms

    SciTech Connect

    Haynes, T.S.

    1986-01-01

    This study was developed through a synthesis and review of literature and research related to the current status of job satisfaction, energy resources, and perceptions of how energy is utilized in the manufacturing work environment. This synthesis and review revolved around several proven contributing factors of job satisfaction, such as age, education, and challenge from work itself. Quality of work life programs and their components are discussed in relation to their impact on job satisfaction. The nature of energy resource utilization is traced back through history with an emphasis on the limitations of current resources and options for the future. The review highlights the current debate over what should be the future path of energy resource development. The concept of satisfaction of human needs is reviewed and related to job satisfaction and energy resources. The purpose of this research study was to contribute to the understanding of how perceptions of energy resources relate to job satisfaction. Results of the study indicated that there were no significant differences between an individual's energy resource consciousness and perceptions of energy utilization in the work place, energy resource consciousness and job satisfaction, and job satisfaction and perceptions of energy utilization in the workplace.

  6. How can we construct a science of consciousness?

    PubMed

    Chalmers, David J

    2013-11-01

    This chapter gives an overview of the projects facing a science of consciousness. Such a science must integrate third-person data about behavior and brain processes with first-person data about conscious experience. Empirical projects for integrating these data include those of contrasting conscious and unconscious processes, investigating the contents of consciousness, finding neural correlates of consciousness, and eventually inferring underlying principles connecting consciousness with physical processes. These projects are discussed with reference to current experimental research on consciousness. Some obstacles that a science of consciousness faces are also discussed.

  7. Single units and conscious vision.

    PubMed Central

    Logothetis, N K

    1998-01-01

    Figures that can be seen in more than one way are invaluable tools for the study of the neural basis of visual awareness, because such stimuli permit the dissociation of the neural responses that underlie what we perceive at any given time from those forming the sensory representation of a visual pattern. To study the former type of responses, monkeys were subjected to binocular rivalry, and the response of neurons in a number of different visual areas was studied while the animals reported their alternating percepts by pulling levers. Perception-related modulations of neural activity were found to occur to different extents in different cortical visual areas. The cells that were affected by suppression were almost exclusively binocular, and their proportion was found to increase in the higher processing stages of the visual system. The strongest correlations between neural activity and perception were observed in the visual areas of the temporal lobe. A strikingly large number of neurons in the early visual areas remained active during the perceptual suppression of the stimulus, a finding suggesting that conscious visual perception might be mediated by only a subset of the cells exhibiting stimulus selective responses. These physiological findings, together with a number of recent psychophysical studies, offer a new explanation of the phenomenon of binocular rivalry. Indeed, rivalry has long been considered to be closely linked with binocular fusion and stereopsis, and the sequences of dominance and suppression have been viewed as the result of competition between the two monocular channels. The physiological data presented here are incompatible with this interpretation. Rather than reflecting interocular competition, the rivalry is most probably between the two different central neural representations generated by the dichoptically presented stimuli. The mechanisms of rivalry are probably the same as, or very similar to, those underlying multistable perception in

  8. Dynamic Neural Processing of Linguistic Cues Related to Death

    PubMed Central

    Ma, Yina; Qin, Jungang; Han, Shihui

    2013-01-01

    Behavioral studies suggest that humans evolve the capacity to cope with anxiety induced by the awareness of death’s inevitability. However, the neurocognitive processes that underlie online death-related thoughts remain unclear. Our recent functional MRI study found that the processing of linguistic cues related to death was characterized by decreased neural activity in human insular cortex. The current study further investigated the time course of neural processing of death-related linguistic cues. We recorded event-related potentials (ERP) to death-related, life-related, negative-valence, and neutral-valence words in a modified Stroop task that required color naming of words. We found that the amplitude of an early frontal/central negativity at 84–120 ms (N1) decreased to death-related words but increased to life-related words relative to neutral-valence words. The N1 effect associated with death-related and life-related words was correlated respectively with individuals’ pessimistic and optimistic attitudes toward life. Death-related words also increased the amplitude of a frontal/central positivity at 124–300 ms (P2) and of a frontal/central positivity at 300–500 ms (P3). However, the P2 and P3 modulations were observed for both death-related and negative-valence words but not for life-related words. The ERP results suggest an early inverse coding of linguistic cues related to life and death, which is followed by negative emotional responses to death-related information. PMID:23840787

  9. Trauma-related altered states of consciousness in women with BPD with or without co-occurring PTSD

    PubMed Central

    Frewen, Paul; Kleindienst, Nikolaus; Lanius, Ruth; Schmahl, Christian

    2014-01-01

    Background A “4-D model” was recently described as a theoretical framework for categorizing trauma-related symptoms into four phenomenological dimensions (the experience of time, thought, body, and emotion) that can present either in the form of normal waking consciousness (NWC) or as dissociative experiences, that is, trauma-related altered states of consciousness (TRASC). Methods The present study examined the predictions of the 4-D model in 258 persons with borderline personality disorder (BPD) with (n=126) versus without (n=132) posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Results As measured by the Borderline Symptom List, consistent with the predictions of the 4-D model, in comparison with symptom endorsements theorized to be associated with NWC, measures of TRASC were less frequent, and more strongly correlated with both Dissociative Experience Scale scores and severity of childhood emotional neglect, particularly in persons with both BPD and PTSD. Our prediction that symptoms of TRASC would be less intercorrelated in comparison with distress associated with NWC symptoms, however, was not supported. Conclusions Findings are discussed as they pertain to the symptomatology of BPD, PTSD, and dissociation. PMID:25206942

  10. Consciousness in dreams.

    PubMed

    Kahn, David; Gover, Tzivia

    2010-01-01

    This chapter argues that dreaming is an important state of consciousness and that it has many features that complement consciousness in the wake state. The chapter discusses consciousness in dreams and how it comes about. It discusses the changes that occur in the neuromodulatory environment and in the neuronal connectivity of the brain as we fall asleep and begin our night journeys. Dreams evolve from internal sources though the dream may look different than any one of these since something entirely new may emerge through self-organizing processes. The chapter also explores characteristics of dreaming consciousness such as acceptance of implausibility and how that might lead to creative insight. Examples of studies, which have shown creativity in dream sleep, are provided to illustrate important characteristics of dreaming consciousness. The chapter also discusses the dream body and how it relates to our consciousness while dreaming. Differences and similarities between wake, lucid, non-lucid and day dreaming are explored and the chapter concludes with a discussion on what we can learn from each of these expressions of consciousness.

  11. Harnessing anesthesia and brain imaging for the study of human consciousness.

    PubMed

    Långsjo, Jaakko W; Revonsuo, Antti; Scheinin, Harry

    2014-01-01

    Philosophers have been trying to solve the mind-body problem for hundreds of years. Consciousness is the core of this problem: How do subjective conscious sensations, perceptions, feelings, and thoughts arise out of objective physical brain activities? How is this subjective conscious world in causal interaction with the objective sensory and motor mechanisms of the brain and the body? Although we witness the seamless interaction of the mental and the physical worlds in our everyday lives, no scientific theory can yet fully describe or explain it. The hard problem of consciousness, the question why and how any brain activity should be accompanied by any subjective experiences at all, remains a mystery and a challenge for modern science. Anesthesia offers a unique and safe way to directly manipulate the state of consciousness and can, thus, be used as a tool in consciousness research. With neuroimaging, such as positron emission tomography (PET) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) performed at different states of consciousness, it is possible to visualize the state-related changes and pinpoint the brain structures or neural mechanisms related to changes in consciousness. With these tools, neurosciences now show promise in disentangling the eternal enigma of human consciousness. In this article, we will review the recent advancements in the field.

  12. Conscious Leadership.

    PubMed

    Ward, Suzanne F; Haase, Beth

    2016-11-01

    Health care leaders need to use leadership methodologies that support safe patient care, satisfy employees, and improve the bottom line. Conscious leaders help create desirable personal and professional life experiences for themselves using specific tools that include mindfulness, context, and the observer-self, and they strive to help their employees learn to use these tools as well. In perioperative nursing, conscious leaders create an environment in which nurses are supported in their aim to provide the highest level of patient care and in which transformations are encouraged to take place; this environment ultimately promotes safety, contributes to fulfilling and meaningful work, and enhances a facility's financial viability. This article discusses some of the key concepts behind conscious leadership, how perioperative leaders can reach and maintain expanded consciousness, and how they can best assist their staff members in their own evolution to a more mindful state.

  13. [Individual consciousness].

    PubMed

    Chaĭlakhian, L M

    2009-01-01

    The main modern concepts on the consciousness nature are considered. Together with the dualistic concepts, there exist concepts the adherents of which find it possible to get to know the origin of consciousness on the basis of natural science. A critical analysis of those concepts brings the author to the conclusion that they do not solve the main problem of individual consciousness: how subjective elements of consciousness arise in the brain as a result of objectively registered processes. The main reason of failures to solve said problem is considered by the author in the fact that the subjective categories of consciousness are not really subject to science. Nevertheless, it does not mean the dualism is to be inevitably accepted. In fact, the subjective categories arise in the limits of a life the area of which is substantially wider than that of science. An original information and physical hypothesis is being set up that provides for necessary premises and conditions enabling the origination of subjective categories of consciousness during the progressive natural evolution of living systems.

  14. Multichannel Convolutional Neural Network for Biological Relation Extraction

    PubMed Central

    Quan, Chanqin; Sun, Xiao; Bai, Wenjun

    2016-01-01

    The plethora of biomedical relations which are embedded in medical logs (records) demands researchers' attention. Previous theoretical and practical focuses were restricted on traditional machine learning techniques. However, these methods are susceptible to the issues of “vocabulary gap” and data sparseness and the unattainable automation process in feature extraction. To address aforementioned issues, in this work, we propose a multichannel convolutional neural network (MCCNN) for automated biomedical relation extraction. The proposed model has the following two contributions: (1) it enables the fusion of multiple (e.g., five) versions in word embeddings; (2) the need for manual feature engineering can be obviated by automated feature learning with convolutional neural network (CNN). We evaluated our model on two biomedical relation extraction tasks: drug-drug interaction (DDI) extraction and protein-protein interaction (PPI) extraction. For DDI task, our system achieved an overall f-score of 70.2% compared to the standard linear SVM based system (e.g., 67.0%) on DDIExtraction 2013 challenge dataset. And for PPI task, we evaluated our system on Aimed and BioInfer PPI corpus; our system exceeded the state-of-art ensemble SVM system by 2.7% and 5.6% on f-scores. PMID:28053977

  15. Neural activity during free association to conflict–related sentences

    PubMed Central

    Kehyayan, Aram; Best, Katrin; Schmeing, Jo-Birger; Axmacher, Nikolai; Kessler, Henrik

    2013-01-01

    Psychodynamic conflicts form an important construct to understand the genesis and maintenance of mental disorders. Conflict-related themes should therefore provoke strong reactions on the behavioral, physiological, and neural level. We confronted N = 18 healthy subjects with a vast array of sentences describing typical psychodynamic conflict themes in the fMRI scanner and let them associate spontaneously in reaction. The overt associations were then analyzed according to psychoanalytic theory and the system of operationalized psychodynamic diagnosis and used as a genuinely psychodynamic indicator, whether each potentially conflict-related sentence actually touched a conflict theme of the individual. Behavioral, physiological, and neural reactions were compared between those subjects with an “apparent conflict” and those with “absent conflicts.” The first group reported stronger agreement with the conflict-related sentences, more negative valence in reaction, had higher levels of skin conductance reactivity and exhibited stronger activation in the anterior cingulate cortex, amongst other functions involved in emotion processing and conflict-monitoring. In conjunction, we interpret this activity as a possible correlate of subjects’ inherent reactions and regulatory processes evoked by conflict themes. This study makes a point for the fruitfulness of the neuropsychoanalytic endeavor by using free association, the classical technique most commonly used in psychoanalysis, to investigate aspects of conflict processing in neuroimaging. PMID:24298244

  16. Neural Basis of Visual Distraction

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kim, So-Yeon; Hopfinger, Joseph B.

    2010-01-01

    The ability to maintain focus and avoid distraction by goal-irrelevant stimuli is critical for performing many tasks and may be a key deficit in attention-related problems. Recent studies have demonstrated that irrelevant stimuli that are consciously perceived may be filtered out on a neural level and not cause the distraction triggered by…

  17. Mind-brain and consciousness in psychoanalysis.

    PubMed

    Meissner, W W

    2008-01-01

    Understanding how the brain produces conscious mentation is vital to the prospective integration of psychoanalytic and neuroscientific study of the mind-brain relation. This essay explores some of the current opinions, based on recent neuroscientific research, regarding origins of consciousness in the brain. Areas explored include levels of consciousness, waking versus dream consciousness, and issues of consciousness and self-organization in split-brain studies. Some tentative suggestions are made regarding clinical implications of this perspective.

  18. Neural correlates related to action observation in expert archers.

    PubMed

    Kim, Yang-Tae; Seo, Jee-Hye; Song, Hui-Jin; Yoo, Done-Sik; Lee, Hui Joong; Lee, Jongmin; Lee, Gunyoung; Kwon, Eunjin; Kim, Jin Goo; Chang, Yongmin

    2011-10-01

    A growing body of evidence suggests that activity of the mirror neuron system is dependent on the observer's motor experience of a given action. It remains unclear, however, whether activity of the mirror neuron system is also associated with the observer's motor experience in sports game. Therefore, the aim of the present study is to investigate differences in activation of the mirror neuron system during action observation between experts and non-archer control subjects. We used video of Western-style archery in which participants were asked to watch the archery movements. Hyperactivation of the premotor and inferior parietal cortex in expert archers relative to non-archer control subjects suggests that the human mirror neuron system could contain and expand representations of the motor repertoire. The fact that dorsomedial prefrontal cortex was more active in expert archers than in non-archer control subjects indicates a spontaneous engagement of theory of mind in experts when watching video of Western-style archery. Compared with the non-archer control subjects, expert archers showed greater activation in the neural system in regions associated with episodic recall from familiar and meaningful information, including the cingulate cortex, retrosplenial cortex, and parahippocampal gyrus. The results demonstrate that expertise effects stimulate brain activity not only in the mirror neuron system but also in the neural networks related to theory of mind and episodic memory.

  19. NrCAM regulating neural systems and addiction related behaviors

    PubMed Central

    Ishiguro, Hiroki; Hall, Frank S.; Horiuchi, Yasue; Sakurai, Takeshi; Hishimoto, Akitoyo; Grumet, Martin; Uhl, George R.; Onaivi, Emmanuel S.; Arinami, Tadao

    2012-01-01

    We have previously shown that a haplotype associated with decreased NrCAM expression in brain is protective against addiction vulnerability for polysubstance abuse in humans and that Nrcam knockout mice do not develop conditioned place preferences for morphine, cocaine, or amphetamine. In order to gain insight into NrCAM involvement in addiction vulnerability, which may involve specific neural circuits underlying behavioral characteristics relevant to addiction, we evaluated several behavioral phenotypes in Nrcam knockout mice. Consistent with a potential general reduction in motivational function, Nrcam knockout mice demonstrated less curiosity for novel objects and for an unfamiliar conspecific, showed also less anxiety in the zero maze. Nrcam heterozygote knockout mice reduced alcohol preference and buried fewer marbles in home cage. These observations provide further support for a role of NrCAM in substance abuse including alcoholism vulnerability, possibly through its effects on behavioral traits that may affect addiction vulnerability, including novelty seeking, obsessive compulsion and responses to aversive or anxiety-provoking stimuli. Additionally, in order to prove glutamate homeostasis hypothesis of addiction, we analyzed glutamatergic molecules regulated by NRCAM. Glutaminase appears to be involved in NrCAM-related molecular pathway in two different tissues from human and mouse. An inhibitor of the enzyme, PLG, treatment produced, at least, some of the phenotypes of mice shown in alcohol preference and in anxiety-like behavior. Thus, NrCAM could affect addiction-related behaviors via at least partial modulation of some glutamatargic pathways and neural function in brain. PMID:22780223

  20. The Use of Life History Collage to Explore Learning Related to the Enactment of Social Consciousness in Female Nonprofit Leaders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Seymour, Susan R.

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to consider the development of social consciousness in female nonprofit leaders. The problem undergirding the study is that we do not know enough about social consciousness to know how it is learned, if it can be taught, if it is stable over a lifetime, and what factors and life events shape its unique expression. A…

  1. ELT and Consciousness-Raising

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Al-Jardani, Khalid Salim Saif

    2012-01-01

    The paper highlights the concept of consciousness-raising. It relates it to different aspects of ELT such as explicit teaching, language awareness, language acquisition and practice. How these terms are related to the concept of consciousness-raising within the English Language teaching. Its main aim is to help learners to notice for themselves…

  2. Does socio-economic status and health consciousness influence how women respond to health related messages in media?

    PubMed

    Iversen, Anette Christine; Kraft, Pål

    2006-10-01

    During the past few decades, people have been increasingly exposed to health-related messages in the mass media, conveying recommendations for healthy lifestyles. The present study investigates whether these messages represent a stressor, and whether coping responses increase levels of motivation or levels of negative affect. A sample of 403 women aged 45 years were surveyed twice, at an interval of 4 weeks. A substantial proportion of the participants perceived the health messages to be stressful (increased levels of threat). Overall, the participants reported a greater use of adaptive than non-adaptive coping when exposed to the health messages. Socio-economic status (defined in educational terms) was negatively correlated with non-adaptive coping, while health consciousness was positively correlated with adaptive coping. Adaptive coping was positively related, and non-adaptive coping was negatively related, to intentions and behaviours. Non-adaptive coping was associated with stronger negative emotions. The results indicate that less-educated women tend to respond more non-adaptively to health messages than more-educated women; for the former group, this has negative consequences in terms of increased levels of negative emotions and decreased levels of motivation to engage in healthy behaviours.

  3. Raising consciousness.

    PubMed

    Hirsch, Joy

    2005-05-01

    The national debate over Terri Schiavo exposed a critical gap between emotional fervor about brain-injured patients and the medical science that informs standards of care for them. Some of the questions raised in the public and legal forums point to a need for research and enhanced understanding of the mechanisms of recovery from disorders of consciousness.

  4. Neural crest specification and migration independently require NSD3-related lysine methyltransferase activity

    PubMed Central

    Jacques-Fricke, Bridget T.; Gammill, Laura S.

    2014-01-01

    Neural crest precursors express genes that cause them to become migratory, multipotent cells, distinguishing them from adjacent stationary neural progenitors in the neurepithelium. Histone methylation spatiotemporally regulates neural crest gene expression; however, the protein methyltransferases active in neural crest precursors are unknown. Moreover, the regulation of methylation during the dynamic process of neural crest migration is unclear. Here we show that the lysine methyltransferase NSD3 is abundantly and specifically expressed in premigratory and migratory neural crest cells. NSD3 expression commences before up-regulation of neural crest genes, and NSD3 is necessary for expression of the neural plate border gene Msx1, as well as the key neural crest transcription factors Sox10, Snail2, Sox9, and FoxD3, but not gene expression generally. Nevertheless, only Sox10 histone H3 lysine 36 dimethylation requires NSD3, revealing unexpected complexity in NSD3-dependent neural crest gene regulation. In addition, by temporally limiting expression of a dominant negative to migratory stages, we identify a novel, direct requirement for NSD3-related methyltransferase activity in neural crest migration. These results identify NSD3 as the first protein methyltransferase essential for neural crest gene expression during specification and show that NSD3-related methyltransferase activity independently regulates migration. PMID:25318671

  5. Social power and approach-related neural activity.

    PubMed

    Boksem, Maarten A S; Smolders, Ruud; De Cremer, David

    2012-06-01

    It has been argued that power activates a general tendency to approach whereas powerlessness activates a tendency to inhibit. The assumption is that elevated power involves reward-rich environments, freedom and, as a consequence, triggers an approach-related motivational orientation and attention to rewards. In contrast, reduced power is associated with increased threat, punishment and social constraint and thereby activates inhibition-related motivation. Moreover, approach motivation has been found to be associated with increased relative left-sided frontal brain activity, while withdrawal motivation has been associated with increased right sided activations. We measured EEG activity while subjects engaged in a task priming either high or low social power. Results show that high social power is indeed associated with greater left-frontal brain activity compared to low social power, providing the first neural evidence for the theory that high power is associated with approach-related motivation. We propose a framework accounting for differences in both approach motivation and goal-directed behaviour associated with different levels of power.

  6. The compatibility between sociological and cognitive neuroscientific ideas on consciousness: is a neurosociology of consciousness possible?

    PubMed

    Shkurko, Yulia S

    2013-03-01

    This article considers the possibility of integrating sociological and cognitive neuroscience ideas on consciousness and developing a new research area: neurosociology of consciousnesses. Research was conducted taking into account the limited knowledge on consciousness produced in these disciplines and the necessity of finding ways to study the social roles concerning the neural correlates of consciousness. Applying several ideas on consciousness from these disciplines (intersubjectivity, close connection with collective forms representations, deriving awareness from the brain's processes, and so on), I show that it is difficult to reconcile the differences in the treatment of consciousness through the simple combination of the different ideas. The integration should be pursued in light of the neuroscientific findings concerning consciousness in different social contexts (role behavior, social interactions, and so on). In integrating the concepts, I predicted the role of time delay in conscious awareness in decision making, synchronization of neural oscillations under conscious perception, and the activations of certain brain zones in correspondence to different conscious cognitive processes for understanding in face-to-face situations. The study reveals that the optimal path for neurosociological research on consciousness is in its primary development without a rigid binding to either sociology or neuroscience.

  7. Empathy and stress related neural responses in maternal decision making

    PubMed Central

    Ho, S. Shaun; Konrath, Sara; Brown, Stephanie; Swain, James E.

    2014-01-01

    Mothers need to make caregiving decisions to meet the needs of children, which may or may not result in positive child feedback. Variations in caregivers' emotional reactivity to unpleasant child-feedback may be partially explained by their dispositional empathy levels. Furthermore, empathic response to the child's unpleasant feedback likely helps mothers to regulate their own stress. We investigated the relationship between maternal dispositional empathy, stress reactivity, and neural correlates of child feedback to caregiving decisions. In Part 1 of the study, 33 female participants were recruited to undergo a lab-based mild stressor, the Social Evaluation Test (SET), and then in Part 2 of the study, a subset of the participants, 14 mothers, performed a Parenting Decision Making Task (PDMT) in an fMRI setting. Four dimensions of dispositional empathy based on the Interpersonal Reactivity Index were measured in all participants—Personal Distress, Empathic Concern, Perspective Taking, and Fantasy. Overall, we found that the Personal Distress and Perspective Taking were associated with greater and lesser cortisol reactivity, respectively. The four types of empathy were distinctly associated with the negative (vs. positive) child feedback activation in the brain. Personal Distress was associated with amygdala and hypothalamus activation, Empathic Concern with the left ventral striatum, ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC), and supplemental motor area (SMA) activation, and Fantasy with the septal area, right SMA and VLPFC activation. Interestingly, hypothalamus-septal coupling during the negative feedback condition was associated with less PDMT-related cortisol reactivity. The roles of distinct forms of dispositional empathy in neural and stress responses are discussed. PMID:24971049

  8. Consciousness Lost and Found: Subjective Experiences in an Unresponsive State

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Noreika, Valdas; Jylhankangas, Leila; Moro, Levente; Valli, Katja; Kaskinoro, Kimmo; Aantaa, Riku; Scheinin, Harry; Revonsuo, Antti

    2011-01-01

    Anesthetic-induced changes in the neural activity of the brain have been recently utilized as a research model to investigate the neural mechanisms of phenomenal consciousness. However, the anesthesiologic definition of consciousness as "responsiveness to the environment" seems to sidestep the possibility that an unresponsive individual may have…

  9. General and specific consciousness: a first-order representationalist approach.

    PubMed

    Mehta, Neil; Mashour, George A

    2013-01-01

    It is widely acknowledged that a complete theory of consciousness should explain general consciousness (what makes a state conscious at all) and specific consciousness (what gives a conscious state its particular phenomenal quality). We defend first-order representationalism, which argues that consciousness consists of sensory representations directly available to the subject for action selection, belief formation, planning, etc. We provide a neuroscientific framework for this primarily philosophical theory, according to which neural correlates of general consciousness include prefrontal cortex, posterior parietal cortex, and non-specific thalamic nuclei, while neural correlates of specific consciousness include sensory cortex and specific thalamic nuclei. We suggest that recent data support first-order representationalism over biological theory, higher-order representationalism, recurrent processing theory, information integration theory, and global workspace theory.

  10. Relational psychophysiology: lessons from mother-infant physiology research on dyadically expanded states of consciousness.

    PubMed

    Ham, Jacob; Tronick, Ed

    2009-11-01

    The authors illustrate how their work on mother-infant "relational psychophysiology" might inform psychotherapy research. They examined psychophysiology in 18 mother-infant dyads (infants' age: 5 months) during normal interaction and a still-face perturbation. They measured respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) as an index of emotion regulation and explored whether skin conductance (SC) concordance, previously linked to therapist empathy, occurs in mothers and infants. During the still-face episode, SC concordance correlated to infant negative engagement. Upon reengagement, when mothers often soothe their infants, concordance instead correlated to behavioral synchrony, an index of maternal sensitivity. Furthermore, maternal RSA became correlated to infant negative engagement. These findings suggest that a mother trying to calm her infant calms herself physiologically and her sensitivity on a behavioral level becomes coherent physiologically. Implications for psychotherapy research are discussed.

  11. Environmentally conscious patent histories

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crouch, Dennis D.; Crouch, Henry L.

    2004-02-01

    There is a need for investigators, legislators, and business leaders to understand the magnitude of innovation and discovery in the field of environmentally conscious technologies (ECTs). Knowledge of the "big picture" is important to providing a national and global account of actual environmental stewardship over the last twenty-five years. A recitation of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) supported Acts which have been enacted into law reveals one facet of the multifaceted dynamic of environmental consciousness. The popular discussion and debate, as well as partisan lobbying, which created the political forces leading to environmentally conscious legislation is another facet. A third facet is the corporate response to the threats and opportunities predicted by CEO"s and others through environmental scanning. This paper examines changes in environmentally conscious inventive effort by comparing data from United States Patents issued from 1976 through 2003. Patents are useful tool for measuring technological innovation because they are publicly available records of innovative activity. Although not all inventions result in patent applications, the monopoly rights granted on the invention give the inventor a strong incentive to obtain patents on any viable product or process. Among the results, we found a significant increase in patents relating to environmentally conscious products and processes during the period in question. Specifically, a dramatic increase in patent activity was seen for the decade of the 1990"s. Surprisingly, the patenting rate from 2000 to 2003 seems to have stabilized. Additionally public discussion of ECTs appears to have a positive impact on patent filings.

  12. Consciousness and the Prefrontal Parietal Network: Insights from Attention, Working Memory, and Chunking

    PubMed Central

    Bor, Daniel; Seth, Anil K.

    2012-01-01

    Consciousness has of late become a “hot topic” in neuroscience. Empirical work has centered on identifying potential neural correlates of consciousness (NCCs), with a converging view that the prefrontal parietal network (PPN) is closely associated with this process. Theoretical work has primarily sought to explain how informational properties of this cortical network could account for phenomenal properties of consciousness. However, both empirical and theoretical research has given less focus to the psychological features that may account for the NCCs. The PPN has also been heavily linked with cognitive processes, such as attention. We describe how this literature is under-appreciated in consciousness science, in part due to the increasingly entrenched assumption of a strong dissociation between attention and consciousness. We argue instead that there is more common ground between attention and consciousness than is usually emphasized: although objects can under certain circumstances be attended to in the absence of conscious access, attention as a content selection and boosting mechanism is an important and necessary aspect of consciousness. Like attention, working memory and executive control involve the interlinking of multiple mental objects and have also been closely associated with the PPN. We propose that this set of cognitive functions, in concert with attention, make up the core psychological components of consciousness. One related process, chunking, exploits logical or mnemonic redundancies in a dataset so that it can be recoded and a given task optimized. Chunking has been shown to activate PPN particularly robustly, even compared with other cognitively demanding tasks, such as working memory or mental arithmetic. It is therefore possible that chunking, as a tool to detect useful patterns within an integrated set of intensely processed (attended) information, has a central role to play in consciousness. Following on from this, we suggest that a key

  13. Weight-related actual and ideal self-states, discrepancies, and shame, guilt, and pride: examining associations within the process model of self-conscious emotions.

    PubMed

    Castonguay, Andree L; Brunet, Jennifer; Ferguson, Leah; Sabiston, Catherine M

    2012-09-01

    The aim of this study was to examine the associations between women's actual:ideal weight-related self-discrepancies and experiences of weight-related shame, guilt, and authentic pride using self-discrepancy (Higgins, 1987) and self-conscious emotion (Tracy & Robins, 2004) theories as guiding frameworks. Participants (N=398) completed self-report questionnaires. Main analyses involved polynomial regressions, followed by the computation and evaluation of response surface values. Actual and ideal weight self-states were related to shame (R2 = .35), guilt (R2 = .25), and authentic pride (R2 = .08). When the discrepancy between actual and ideal weights increased, shame and guilt also increased, while authentic pride decreased. Findings provide partial support for self-discrepancy theory and the process model of self-conscious emotions. Experiencing weight-related self-discrepancies may be important cognitive appraisals related to shame, guilt, and authentic pride. Further research is needed exploring the relations between self-discrepancies and a range of weight-related self-conscious emotions.

  14. Neural correlates of obsessive-compulsive related dysfunctional beliefs.

    PubMed

    Alonso, Pino; Orbegozo, Arantxa; Pujol, Jesús; López-Solà, Clara; Fullana, Miquel Àngel; Segalàs, Cinto; Real, Eva; Subirà, Marta; Martínez-Zalacaín, Ignacio; Menchón, José M; Harrison, Ben J; Cardoner, Narcís; Soriano-Mas, Carles

    2013-12-02

    There have been few attempts to integrate neurobiological and cognitive models of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), although this might constitute a key approach to clarify the complex etiology of the disorder. Our study aimed to explore the neural correlates underlying dysfunctional beliefs hypothesized by cognitive models to be involved in the development and maintenance of OCD. We obtained a high-resolution magnetic resonance image from fifty OCD patients and 30 healthy controls, and correlated them, voxel-wise, with the severity of OC-related dysfunctional beliefs assessed by the Obsessive Beliefs Questionnaire-44. In healthy controls, significant negative correlations were observed between anterior temporal lobe (ATL) volume and scores on perfectionism/intolerance of uncertainty and overimportance/need to control thoughts. No significant correlations between OBQ-44 domains and regional gray matter volumes were observed in OCD patients. A post-hoc region-of-interest analysis detected that the ATLs was bilaterally smaller in OCD patients. On splitting subjects into high- and low-belief subgroups, we observed that such brain structural differences between OCD patients and healthy controls were explained by significantly larger ATL volumes among healthy subjects from the low-belief subgroup. Our results suggest a significant correlation between OC-related dysfunctional beliefs and morphometric variability in the anterior temporal lobe, a brain structure related to socio-emotional processing. Future studies should address the interaction of these correlations with environmental factors to fully characterize the bases of OC-related dysfunctional beliefs and to advance in the integration of biological and cognitive models of OCD.

  15. The Problem of Consciousness.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Crick, Francis; Koch, Christof

    1992-01-01

    Discusses approaches to the problem presented in understanding consciousness as a yet undiscovered process of interacting neuron activity. Presents the historical context of research in the area of human awareness and identifies research necessary to scientifically explain how the brain relates to the mind. (MCO)

  16. From affective blindsight to emotional consciousness.

    PubMed

    Celeghin, Alessia; de Gelder, Beatrice; Tamietto, Marco

    2015-11-01

    Following destruction or denervation of the primary visual cortex (V1) cortical blindness ensues. Affective blindsight refers to the uncanny ability of such patients to respond correctly, or above chance level, to visual emotional expressions presented to their blind fields. Fifteen years after its original discovery, affective blindsight still fascinates neuroscientists and philosophers alike, as it offers a unique window on the vestigial properties of our visual system that, though present in the intact brain, tend to be unnoticed or even actively inhibited by conscious processes. Here we review available studies on affective blindsight with the intent to clarify its functional properties, neural bases and theoretical implications. Evidence converges on the role of subcortical structures of old evolutionary origin such as the superior colliculus, the pulvinar and the amygdala in mediating affective blindsight and nonconscious perception of emotions. We conclude that approaching consciousness, and its absence, from the vantage point of emotion processing may uncover important relations between the two phenomena, as consciousness may have evolved as an evolutionary specialization to interact with others and become aware of their social and emotional expressions.

  17. Time to Loss of Consciousness and Its Relation to Behavior in Slaughter Pigs during Stunning with 80 or 95% Carbon Dioxide

    PubMed Central

    Verhoeven, Merel; Gerritzen, Marien; Velarde, Antonio; Hellebrekers, Ludo; Kemp, Bas

    2016-01-01

    Exposure to CO2 at high concentration is a much debated stunning method in pigs. Pigs respond aversively to high concentrations of CO2, and there is uncertainty about what behaviors occur before and after loss of consciousness. The aim was to assess timing of unconsciousness in pigs during exposure to high concentrations of CO2 based on changes in electroencephalogram (EEG) activity and the relation with the behaviors sniffing, retreat and escape attempts, lateral head movements, jumping, muscular contractions, loss of posture, and gasping. Pigs (108 ± 9 kg) were randomly assigned to 80% CO2 (80C, n = 24) or 95% CO2 (95C, n = 24). The time at which the gondola started descending into the well pre-filled with 80C or 95C was marked as T = 0. The CO2 exposure lasted 346 s after which the corneal reflex and breathing were assessed for 1 min. Visual assessment of changes in the amplitude and frequency of EEG traces after T = 0 was used to determine loss of consciousness. Time to loss of consciousness was longer in 80C pigs (47 ± 6 s) than in 95C pigs (33 ± 7 s). Time to an iso-electric EEG was similar in 80C pigs (75 ± 23 s) and 95C pigs (64 ± 32 s). When pigs descended into the well, the earlier entry of 95C pigs into high CO2 atmosphere rather than the concentration of CO2 by itself affected the latency of behavioral responses and decreasing brain activity. During exposure to the gas, 80C and 95C pigs exhibited sniffing, retreat attempts, lateral head movements, jumping, and gasping before loss of consciousness. 95C pigs exhibited all these behaviors on average earlier than 80C pigs after T = 0. But the interval between onset of these behaviors and loss of consciousness and the duration of these behaviors, except gasping, was similar for both treatments. Loss of posture was on average observed in both groups 10 s before EEG-based loss of consciousness. Furthermore, 88% of 80C pigs and 94% of 95C pigs

  18. The consciousness state space (CSS)—a unifying model for consciousness and self

    PubMed Central

    Berkovich-Ohana, Aviva; Glicksohn, Joseph

    2014-01-01

    Every experience, those we are aware of and those we are not, is embedded in a subjective timeline, is tinged with emotion, and inevitably evokes a certain sense of self. Here, we present a phenomenological model for consciousness and selfhood which relates time, awareness, and emotion within one framework. The consciousness state space (CSS) model is a theoretical one. It relies on a broad range of literature, hence has high explanatory and integrative strength, and helps in visualizing the relationship between different aspects of experience. Briefly, it is suggested that all phenomenological states fall into two categories of consciousness, core and extended (CC and EC, respectively). CC supports minimal selfhood that is short of temporal extension, its scope being the here and now. EC supports narrative selfhood, which involves personal identity and continuity across time, as well as memory, imagination and conceptual thought. The CSS is a phenomenological space, created by three dimensions: time, awareness and emotion. Each of the three dimensions is shown to have a dual phenomenological composition, falling within CC and EC. The neural spaces supporting each of these dimensions, as well as CC and EC, are laid out based on the neuroscientific literature. The CSS dynamics include two simultaneous trajectories, one in CC and one in EC, typically antagonistic in normal experiences. However, this characteristic behavior is altered in states in which a person experiences an altered sense of self. Two examples are laid out, flow and meditation. The CSS model creates a broad theoretical framework with explanatory and unificatory power. It constructs a detailed map of the consciousness and selfhood phenomenology, which offers constraints for the science of consciousness. We conclude by outlining several testable predictions raised by the CSS model. PMID:24808870

  19. The consciousness state space (CSS)-a unifying model for consciousness and self.

    PubMed

    Berkovich-Ohana, Aviva; Glicksohn, Joseph

    2014-01-01

    Every experience, those we are aware of and those we are not, is embedded in a subjective timeline, is tinged with emotion, and inevitably evokes a certain sense of self. Here, we present a phenomenological model for consciousness and selfhood which relates time, awareness, and emotion within one framework. The consciousness state space (CSS) model is a theoretical one. It relies on a broad range of literature, hence has high explanatory and integrative strength, and helps in visualizing the relationship between different aspects of experience. Briefly, it is suggested that all phenomenological states fall into two categories of consciousness, core and extended (CC and EC, respectively). CC supports minimal selfhood that is short of temporal extension, its scope being the here and now. EC supports narrative selfhood, which involves personal identity and continuity across time, as well as memory, imagination and conceptual thought. The CSS is a phenomenological space, created by three dimensions: time, awareness and emotion. Each of the three dimensions is shown to have a dual phenomenological composition, falling within CC and EC. The neural spaces supporting each of these dimensions, as well as CC and EC, are laid out based on the neuroscientific literature. The CSS dynamics include two simultaneous trajectories, one in CC and one in EC, typically antagonistic in normal experiences. However, this characteristic behavior is altered in states in which a person experiences an altered sense of self. Two examples are laid out, flow and meditation. The CSS model creates a broad theoretical framework with explanatory and unificatory power. It constructs a detailed map of the consciousness and selfhood phenomenology, which offers constraints for the science of consciousness. We conclude by outlining several testable predictions raised by the CSS model.

  20. Consciousness, accessibility, and the mesh between psychology and neuroscience.

    PubMed

    Block, Ned

    2007-12-01

    How can we disentangle the neural basis of phenomenal consciousness from the neural machinery of the cognitive access that underlies reports of phenomenal consciousness? We see the problem in stark form if we ask how we can tell whether representations inside a Fodorian module are phenomenally conscious. The methodology would seem straightforward: Find the neural natural kinds that are the basis of phenomenal consciousness in clear cases--when subjects are completely confident and we have no reason to doubt their authority--and look to see whether those neural natural kinds exist within Fodorian modules. But a puzzle arises: Do we include the machinery underlying reportability within the neural natural kinds of the clear cases? If the answer is "Yes," then there can be no phenomenally conscious representations in Fodorian modules. But how can we know if the answer is "Yes"? The suggested methodology requires an answer to the question it was supposed to answer! This target article argues for an abstract solution to the problem and exhibits a source of empirical data that is relevant, data that show that in a certain sense phenomenal consciousness overflows cognitive accessibility. I argue that we can find a neural realizer of this overflow if we assume that the neural basis of phenomenal consciousness does not include the neural basis of cognitive accessibility and that this assumption is justified (other things being equal) by the explanations it allows.

  1. Dogs cannot bark: event-related brain responses to true and false negated statements as indicators of higher-order conscious processing.

    PubMed

    Herbert, Cornelia; Kübler, Andrea

    2011-01-01

    The present study investigated event-related brain potentials elicited by true and false negated statements to evaluate if discrimination of the truth value of negated information relies on conscious processing and requires higher-order cognitive processing in healthy subjects across different levels of stimulus complexity. The stimulus material consisted of true and false negated sentences (sentence level) and prime-target expressions (word level). Stimuli were presented acoustically and no overt behavioral response of the participants was required. Event-related brain potentials to target words preceded by true and false negated expressions were analyzed both within group and at the single subject level. Across the different processing conditions (word pairs and sentences), target words elicited a frontal negativity and a late positivity in the time window from 600-1000 msec post target word onset. Amplitudes of both brain potentials varied as a function of the truth value of the negated expressions. Results were confirmed at the single-subject level. In sum, our results support recent suggestions according to which evaluation of the truth value of a negated expression is a time- and cognitively demanding process that cannot be solved automatically, and thus requires conscious processing. Our paradigm provides insight into higher-order processing related to language comprehension and reasoning in healthy subjects. Future studies are needed to evaluate if our paradigm also proves sensitive for the detection of consciousness in non-responsive patients.

  2. The neurocognitive bases of human multimodal food perception: consciousness

    PubMed Central

    Verhagen, Justus V.

    2007-01-01

    This review explores how we become aware of the (integrated) flavor of food. In recent years progress has been made understanding the neural correlates of consciousness. Experimental and computational data has been largely based on the visual system. Contemporary neurobiological frameworks of consciousness are reviewed, concluding that neural reverberation among forward- and back-projecting neural ensembles across brain areas is a common theme. In an attempt to extrapolate these concepts to the oral-sensory and olfactory systems involved with multimodal flavor perception, the integration of the sensory information of which into a flavor gestalt has been reviewed elsewhere (Verhagen and Engelen 2006), I reconceptualize the flavor-sensory system by integrating it into a larger neural system termed the Homeostatic Interoceptive System (HIS). This system consists of an oral (taste, oral touch, etc.) and non-oral part (non oral-thermosensation, pain, etc) which are anatomically and functionaly highly similar. Consistent with this new concept and with a large volume of experimental data, I propose that awareness of intraoral food is related to the concomitant reverberant self-sustained activation of a coalition of neuronal subsets in agranular insula and orbitorfrontal cortex (affect, hedonics) and agranular insula and perirhinal cortex (food identity), as well as the amygdala (affect and identity) in humans. I further discuss the functional anatomy in relation essential nodes. These formulations are by necessity to some extent speculative. PMID:17027988

  3. The neurocognitive bases of human multimodal food perception: consciousness.

    PubMed

    Verhagen, Justus V

    2007-02-01

    This review explores how we become aware of the (integrated) flavor of food. In recent years, progress has been made understanding the neural correlates of consciousness. Experimental and computational data have been largely based on the visual system. Contemporary neurobiological frameworks of consciousness are reviewed, concluding that neural reverberation among forward- and back-projecting neural ensembles across brain areas is a common theme. In an attempt to extrapolate these concepts to the oral-sensory and olfactory systems involved with multimodal flavor perception, the integration of the sensory information of which into a flavor gestalt has been reviewed elsewhere (Verhagen, J.V., Engelen, L., 2006. The neurocognitive bases of human multimodal food perception: Sensory integration. Neurosci. Biobehav. Rev. 30(5): 613_650), I reconceptualize the flavor-sensory system by integrating it into a larger neural system termed the Homeostatic Interoceptive System (HIS). This system consists of an oral (taste, oral touch, etc.) and non-oral part (non oral-thermosensation, pain, etc.) which are anatomically and functionally highly similar. Consistent with this new concept and with a large volume of experimental data, I propose that awareness of intraoral food is related to the concomitant reverberant self-sustained activation of a coalition of neuronal subsets in agranular insula and orbitofrontal cortex (affect, hedonics) and agranular insula and perirhinal cortex (food identity), as well as the amygdala (affect and identity) in humans. I further discuss the functional anatomy in relation essential nodes. These formulations are by necessity to some extent speculative.

  4. Conscious attention, meditation, and bilateral information transfer.

    PubMed

    Bob, Petr; Zimmerman, Elizabeth M; Hamilton, Elizabeth A; Sheftel, Jenna G; Bajo, Stephanie D; Raboch, Jiri; Golla, Megan; Konopka, Lukasz M

    2013-01-01

    Recent findings indicate that conscious attention is related to large-scale information integration of various brain regions, including both hemispheres, that enables integration of parallel distributed modalities of processed information. There is also evidence that the level of information transference related to integration or splitting among brain regions, and between hemispheres, establishes a certain level of efficiency of the information processing. The level of information transference also may have modulatory influences on attentional capacity that are closely linked to the emotional arousal and autonomic response related to a stimulus. These findings suggest a hypothesis that changes in conscious attention, specifically during meditation could be reflected in the autonomic activity as the left-right information transference calculated from bilateral electrodermal activity (EDA). With the aim to compare conscious attention during meditation with other attentional states (resting state, Stroop task, and memory task), we performed bilateral EDA measurement in 7 healthy persons during resting state, Stroop task, neurofeedback memory test, and meditation. The results indicate that the information transference (ie, transinformation) is able to distinguish those attentional states, and that the highest level of the transinformation has been found during attentional processing related to meditation, indicating higher level of connectivity between left and right sides. Calculations other than pointwise transinformation (PTI) performed on EDA records, such as mean skin conductance level or laterality index, were not able to distinguish attentional states. The results suggest that PTI may present an interesting method useful for the assessment of information flow, related to neural functioning, that in the case of meditation may reflect typical integrative changes in the autonomic nervous system related to brain functions and focused attentional processing.

  5. Theories and measures of consciousness: an extended framework.

    PubMed

    Seth, Anil K; Izhikevich, Eugene; Reeke, George N; Edelman, Gerald M

    2006-07-11

    A recent theoretical emphasis on complex interactions within neural systems underlying consciousness has been accompanied by proposals for the quantitative characterization of these interactions. In this article, we distinguish key aspects of consciousness that are amenable to quantitative measurement from those that are not. We carry out a formal analysis of the strengths and limitations of three quantitative measures of dynamical complexity in the neural systems underlying consciousness: neural complexity, information integration, and causal density. We find that no single measure fully captures the multidimensional complexity of these systems, and all of these measures have practical limitations. Our analysis suggests guidelines for the specification of alternative measures which, in combination, may improve the quantitative characterization of conscious neural systems. Given that some aspects of consciousness are likely to resist quantification altogether, we conclude that a satisfactory theory is likely to be one that combines both qualitative and quantitative elements.

  6. Word Vectorization Using Relations among Words for Neural Network

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hotta, Hajime; Kittaka, Masanobu; Hagiwara, Masafumi

    In this paper, we propose a new vectorization method for a new generation of computational intelligence including neural networks and natural language processing. In recent years, various techniques of word vectorization have been proposed, many of which rely on the preparation of dictionaries. However, these techniques don't consider the symbol grounding problem for unknown types of data, which is one of the most fundamental issues on artificial intelligence. In order to avoid the symbol-grounding problem, pattern processing based methods, such as neural networks, are often used in various studies on self-directive systems and algorithms, and the merit of neural network is not exception in the natural language processing. The proposed method is a converter from one word input to one real-valued vector, whose algorithm is inspired by neural network architecture. The merits of the method are as follows: (1) the method requires no specific knowledge of linguistics e.g. word classes or grammatical one; (2) the method is a sequence learning technique and it can learn additional knowledge. The experiment showed the efficiency of word vectorization in terms of similarity measurement.

  7. Science of consciousness and the hard problem

    SciTech Connect

    Stapp, H.P.

    1996-05-22

    Quantum theory is essentially a rationally coherent theory of the interaction of mind and matter, and it allows our conscious thoughts to play a causally efficacious and necessary role in brain dynamics. It therefore provides a natural basis, created by scientists, for the science of consciousness. As an illustration it is explained how the interaction of brain and consciousness can speed up brain processing, and thereby enhance the survival prospects of conscious organisms, as compared to similar organisms that lack consciousness. As a second illustration it is explained how, within the quantum framework, the consciously experienced {open_quotes}I{close_quotes} directs the actions of a human being. It is concluded that contemporary science already has an adequate framework for incorporating causally efficacious experimential events into the physical universe in a manner that: (1) puts the neural correlates of consciousness into the theory in a well defined way, (2) explains in principle how the effects of consciousness, per se, can enhance the survival prospects of organisms that possess it, (3) allows this survival effect to feed into phylogenetic development, and (4) explains how the consciously experienced {open_quotes}I{close_quotes} can direct human behaviour.

  8. Consciousness and Attention: On Sufficiency and Necessity

    PubMed Central

    van Boxtel, Jeroen J. A.; Tsuchiya, Naotsugu; Koch, Christof

    2010-01-01

    Recent research has slowly corroded a belief that selective attention and consciousness are so tightly entangled that they cannot be individually examined. In this review, we summarize psychophysical and neurophysiological evidence for a dissociation between top-down attention and consciousness. The evidence includes recent findings that show subjects can attend to perceptually invisible objects. More contentious is the finding that subjects can become conscious of an isolated object, or the gist of the scene in the near absence of top-down attention; we critically re-examine the possibility of “complete” absence of top-down attention. We also cover the recent flurry of studies that utilized independent manipulation of attention and consciousness. These studies have shown paradoxical effects of attention, including examples where top-down attention and consciousness have opposing effects, leading us to strengthen and revise our previous views. Neuroimaging studies with EEG, MEG, and fMRI are uncovering the distinct neuronal correlates of selective attention and consciousness in dissociative paradigms. These findings point to a functional dissociation: attention as analyzer and consciousness as synthesizer. Separating the effects of selective visual attention from those of visual consciousness is of paramount importance to untangle the neural substrates of consciousness from those for attention. PMID:21833272

  9. Increased functional connectivity between superior colliculus and brain regions implicated in bodily self-consciousness during the rubber hand illusion.

    PubMed

    Olivé, Isadora; Tempelmann, Claus; Berthoz, Alain; Heinze, Hans-Joachim

    2015-02-01

    Bodily self-consciousness refers to bodily processes operating at personal, peripersonal, and extrapersonal spatial dimensions. Although the neural underpinnings of representations of personal and peripersonal space associated with bodily self-consciousness were thoroughly investigated, relatively few is known about the neural underpinnings of representations of extrapersonal space relevant for bodily self-consciousness. In the search to unravel brain structures generating a representation of the extrapersonal space relevant for bodily self-consciousness, we developed a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study to investigate the implication of the superior colliculus (SC) in bodily illusions, and more specifically in the rubber hand illusion (RHi), which constitutes an established paradigm to study the neural underpinnings of bodily self-consciousness. We observed activation of the colliculus ipsilateral to the manipulated hand associated with eliciting of RHi. A generalized form of context-dependent psychophysiological interaction analysis unravelled increased illusion-dependent functional connectivity between the SC and some of the main brain areas previously involved in bodily self-consciousness: right temporoparietal junction (rTPJ), bilateral ventral premotor cortex (vPM), and bilateral postcentral gyrus. We hypothesize that the collicular map of the extrapersonal space interacts with maps of the peripersonal and personal space generated at rTPJ, vPM and the postcentral gyrus, producing a unified representation of space that is relevant for bodily self-consciousness. We suggest that processes of multisensory integration of bodily-related sensory inputs located in this unified representation of space constitute one main factor underpinning emergence of bodily self-consciousness.

  10. The neurophysics of consciousness.

    PubMed

    John, E Roy

    2002-06-01

    Consciousness combines information about attributes of the present multimodal sensory environment with relevant elements of the past. Information from each modality is continuously fractionated into distinct features, processed locally by different brain regions relatively specialized for extracting these disparate components and globally by interactions among these regions. Information is represented by levels of synchronization within neuronal populations and of coherence among multiple brain regions that deviate from random fluctuations. Significant deviations constitute local and global negative entropy, or information. Local field potentials reflect the degree of synchronization among the neurons of the local ensembles. Large-scale integration, or 'binding', is proposed to involve oscillations of local field potentials that play an important role in facilitating synchronization and coherence, assessed by neuronal coincidence detectors, and parsed into perceptual frames by cortico-thalamo-cortical loops. The most probable baseline levels of local synchrony, coherent interactions among brain regions, and frame durations have been quantitatively described in large studies of their age-appropriate normative distributions and are considered as an approximation to a conscious 'ground state'. The level of consciousness during anesthesia can be accurately predicted by the magnitude and direction of reversible multivariate deviations from this ground state. An invariant set of changes takes place during anesthesia, independent of the particular anesthetic agent. Evidence from a variety of neuroscience areas supporting these propositions, together with the invariant reversible electrophysiological changes observed with loss and return of consciousness, are used to provide a foundation for this theory of consciousness. This paper illustrates the increasingly recognized need to consider global as well as local processes in the search for better explanations of how the

  11. Volition and the Function of Consciousness

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lau, Hakwan C.

    What are the psychological functions that could only be performed consciously? People have intuitively assumed that many acts of volition are not influenced by unconscious information. These acts range from simple examples such as making a spontaneous motor movement, to higher cognitive control. How ever, the available evidence suggests that under suitable conditions, unconscious information can influence these behaviors and the underlying neural mechanisms. One possibility is that stimuli that are consciously perceived tend to yield strong signals in the brain, which makes us think that consciousness has the function of such strong signals. However, if we could create conditions where the stimuli could yield strong signals but not the conscious experience of perception, perhaps we would find that such stimuli are just as effective in influencing volitional be havior. Future studies that focus on clarifying this issue may tell us what the defining functions of consciousness are.

  12. Conscious, preconscious, and subliminal processing: a testable taxonomy.

    PubMed

    Dehaene, Stanislas; Changeux, Jean-Pierre; Naccache, Lionel; Sackur, Jérôme; Sergent, Claire

    2006-05-01

    Of the many brain events evoked by a visual stimulus, which are specifically associated with conscious perception, and which merely reflect non-conscious processing? Several recent neuroimaging studies have contrasted conscious and non-conscious visual processing, but their results appear inconsistent. Some support a correlation of conscious perception with early occipital events, others with late parieto-frontal activity. Here we attempt to make sense of these dissenting results. On the basis of the global neuronal workspace hypothesis, we propose a taxonomy that distinguishes between vigilance and access to conscious report, as well as between subliminal, preconscious and conscious processing. We suggest that these distinctions map onto different neural mechanisms, and that conscious perception is systematically associated with surges of parieto-frontal activity causing top-down amplification.

  13. Visual perception from the perspective of a representational, non-reductionistic, level-dependent account of perception and conscious awareness.

    PubMed

    Overgaard, Morten; Mogensen, Jesper

    2014-05-05

    This article proposes a new model to interpret seemingly conflicting evidence concerning the correlation of consciousness and neural processes. Based on an analysis of research of blindsight and subliminal perception, the reorganization of elementary functions and consciousness framework suggests that mental representations consist of functions at several different levels of analysis, including truly localized perceptual elementary functions and perceptual algorithmic modules, which are interconnections of the elementary functions. We suggest that conscious content relates to the 'top level' of analysis in a 'situational algorithmic strategy' that reflects the general state of an individual. We argue that conscious experience is intrinsically related to representations that are available to guide behaviour. From this perspective, we find that blindsight and subliminal perception can be explained partly by too coarse-grained methodology, and partly by top-down enhancing of representations that normally would not be relevant to action.

  14. Delirium: a disorder of consciousness?

    PubMed

    Eeles, E M; Pandy, S; Ray, J L

    2013-04-01

    Delirium is recognised as a disorder of consciousness, however, no evidence has been previously generated to specifically address this premise. In order to evaluate this established notion, we have attempted to review consciousness, the components of consciousness and the emerging evidence for neuroanatomical correlates and then relate this to the recognized features of delirium. We have established that the level of awareness is modulated by alertness and arousal, focused by attention and has the ability to switch between the personal resonances of the experience to the precision of cognition. We have discussed consciousness's relationship with delirium and how the degree of integration of CNS function is mandatory for realisation of higher order function and this has implications for the conceptualisation and management of delirium. We have explored the understanding of downstream, components of consciousness as not giving rise to the full condition of delirium but as a subsyndromal state. We have argued that there is a need for future diagnostic criteria, such as DSM-V, to operationalize disturbance of consciousness together with non-cognitive manifestations of delirium. Intervention studies in delirium have focussed on drugs that improve memory (cholinesterase inhibitors). If memory is only one element of consciousness then we reason instead on evaluating the determinants of consciousness that may be modifiable, such as awareness. Reinforcement of environmental awareness by managing a patient within a low stimulus or familiar surrounding may therefore offer a therapeutic intervention. Overall there seemed support for, or no evidence against, the belief that delirium is a disorder of consciousness. From Descartes 'I think therefore I am' we can say 'I am aware not therefore delirious I am'.

  15. An Essay on Consciousness.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Webb, Wise B.

    1981-01-01

    Reviews the role of consciousness within the discipline of psychology (including psychology research and textbooks). Presents information on the nature of consciousness, problems with consciousness, the mind/ matter controversy, and the state of the art of consciousness within psychology today. Concludes that there is a shift in psychology toward…

  16. Ecological Consciousness and Curriculum

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Morris, Marla

    2002-01-01

    This paper explores competing stories around consciousness, ecology and education, with particular reference to conceptual refinement of the idea of an "ecological consciousness." Phenomenological and functional models of consciousness are examined in terms of their implications for developing ecological consciousness in and for education.…

  17. [Functional pathophysiology of consciousness].

    PubMed

    Jellinger, Kurt A

    2009-01-01

    from important somatic and sensory pathways and acts as a control system of neuronal activities of the cerebral cortex. The principal function of the ARAS is to focus our alertness on specific stimuli or internal processes, which run via complex neuronal cell groups and numerous neurotransmitters that influence various aspects of consciousness and wakefulness. Stimulation of the ARAS produces an arousal reaction as the electric correlate of consciousness; its destruction causes coma and related states. The highest level are cortical (prefrontal and association) networks for recognition, motor activity, longterm memory and attention, the left hemisphere being considered as the dominant one. Different levels of consciousness are distinguished: 1. hyperalertness, 2. alertness (normal state of wakefulness), 3. somnolence or lethargy, 4. obtundation with tendency to fall asleep, 5. stupor, 6. coma and its subtypes, like akinetic mutism, apallic syndrome or persistent vegative state, locked-in syndrome, delirium, and catatonia. They are caused by damages in various functional levels of the brain, by psychogenic factors or experimentally, and are accompanied by characteristic neurological and psychiatric disorders. The relevant morphological lesions can be detected by electrophysiological and imaging studies. The bases of functional anatomy and pathophysiology of consciousness, its cognitive aspects and its major disorders, their causes and functional substrates with reference to sleep and both spontaneous and iatrogenic disorders of consciousness are critically summarized.

  18. Consciousness without a cerebral cortex: a challenge for neuroscience and medicine.

    PubMed

    Merker, Bjorn

    2007-02-01

    A broad range of evidence regarding the functional organization of the vertebrate brain - spanning from comparative neurology to experimental psychology and neurophysiology to clinical data - is reviewed for its bearing on conceptions of the neural organization of consciousness. A novel principle relating target selection, action selection, and motivation to one another, as a means to optimize integration for action in real time, is introduced. With its help, the principal macrosystems of the vertebrate brain can be seen to form a centralized functional design in which an upper brain stem system organized for conscious function performs a penultimate step in action control. This upper brain stem system retained a key role throughout the evolutionary process by which an expanding forebrain - culminating in the cerebral cortex of mammals - came to serve as a medium for the elaboration of conscious contents. This highly conserved upper brainstem system, which extends from the roof of the midbrain to the basal diencephalon, integrates the massively parallel and distributed information capacity of the cerebral hemispheres into the limited-capacity, sequential mode of operation required for coherent behavior. It maintains special connective relations with cortical territories implicated in attentional and conscious functions, but is not rendered nonfunctional in the absence of cortical input. This helps explain the purposive, goal-directed behavior exhibited by mammals after experimental decortication, as well as the evidence that children born without a cortex are conscious. Taken together these circumstances suggest that brainstem mechanisms are integral to the constitution of the conscious state, and that an adequate account of neural mechanisms of conscious function cannot be confined to the thalamocortical complex alone.

  19. Who Am I: The Conscious and the Unconscious Self

    PubMed Central

    Schaefer, Michael; Northoff, Georg

    2017-01-01

    Who am I? What is the self and where does it come from? This may be one of the oldest problems in philosophy. Beyond traditional philosophy, only very recently approaches from neuroscience (in particular imaging studies) have tried to address these questions, too. So what are neural substrates of our self? An increasing body of evidence has demonstrated that a set of structures labeled as cortical midline structures are fundamental components to generate a conscious self. Moreover, recent theories on embodied cognition propose that this conscious self might be supplemented by additional structures, for example, in the somatosensory cortices, which enable our brain to create an “embodied mind”. While the self based on cortical midline structures may be related to a conscious self, we here propose that the embodied facet of the self may be linked to something we call unconscious self. In this article we describe problems of this model of a conscious and unconscious self and discuss possible solutions from a theoretical point of view. PMID:28367120

  20. Who Am I: The Conscious and the Unconscious Self.

    PubMed

    Schaefer, Michael; Northoff, Georg

    2017-01-01

    Who am I? What is the self and where does it come from? This may be one of the oldest problems in philosophy. Beyond traditional philosophy, only very recently approaches from neuroscience (in particular imaging studies) have tried to address these questions, too. So what are neural substrates of our self? An increasing body of evidence has demonstrated that a set of structures labeled as cortical midline structures are fundamental components to generate a conscious self. Moreover, recent theories on embodied cognition propose that this conscious self might be supplemented by additional structures, for example, in the somatosensory cortices, which enable our brain to create an "embodied mind". While the self based on cortical midline structures may be related to a conscious self, we here propose that the embodied facet of the self may be linked to something we call unconscious self. In this article we describe problems of this model of a conscious and unconscious self and discuss possible solutions from a theoretical point of view.

  1. Neural melanocortin receptors in obesity and related metabolic disorders.

    PubMed

    Girardet, Clemence; Butler, Andrew A

    2014-03-01

    Obesity is a global health issue, as it is associated with increased risk of developing chronic conditions associated with disorders of metabolism such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. A better understanding of how excessive fat accumulation develops and causes diseases of the metabolic syndrome is urgently needed. The hypothalamic melanocortin system is an important point of convergence connecting signals of metabolic status with the neural circuitry that governs appetite and the autonomic and neuroendocrine system controling metabolism. This system has a critical role in the defense of body weight and maintenance of homeostasis. Two neural melanocortin receptors, melanocortin 3 and 4 receptors (MC3R and MC4R), play crucial roles in the regulation of energy balance. Mutations in the MC4R gene are the most common cause of monogenic obesity in humans, and a large literature indicates a role in regulating both energy intake through the control of satiety and energy expenditure. In contrast, MC3Rs have a more subtle role in energy homeostasis. Results from our lab indicate an important role for MC3Rs in synchronizing rhythms in foraging behavior with caloric cues and maintaining metabolic homeostasis during periods of nutrient scarcity. However, while deletion of the Mc3r gene in mice alters nutrient partitioning to favor accumulation of fat mass no obvious role for MC3R haploinsufficiency in human obesity has been reported. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Modulation of Adipose Tissue in Health and Disease.

  2. Event-Related Potentials Index Neural Response to Eye Contact.

    PubMed

    Naples, Adam J; Wu, Jia; Mayes, Linda C; McPartland, James C

    2017-04-07

    Sensitivity to eye-contact is a foundation upon which social cognition is built. However, there are no known neural markers characterizing response to reciprocal gaze. Using co-registered EEG and eye-tracking, we measured brain activity while participants viewed faces that responded to their looking patterns. Contingent upon participant gaze, onscreen faces opened their eyes or mouths; in this way we measured brain response to reciprocal eye-contact. We identified two ERP components that were largest in response to reciprocal eye-contact: the N170 and the P300. The magnitude of the components' differences between reciprocal eye-contact and mouth movement predicted self-reported social function. Individuals with greater brain response to reciprocal eye-contact reported more normative scores on measures of autistic traits. These results present the first neural markers of eye-contact, revealing that reciprocal eye-contact is identified in less than 500ms. Furthermore, individual differences in brain response to eye-contact predict meaningful variability in self-reports of social performance.

  3. How Do Theories of Cognition and Consciousness in Ancient Indian Thought Systems Relate to Current Western Theorizing and Research?

    PubMed Central

    Sedlmeier, Peter; Srinivas, Kunchapudi

    2016-01-01

    Unknown to most Western psychologists, ancient Indian scriptures contain very rich, empirically derived psychological theories that are, however, intertwined with religious and philosophical content. This article represents our attempt to extract the psychological theory of cognition and consciousness from a prominent ancient Indian thought system: Samkhya-Yoga. We derive rather broad hypotheses from this approach that may complement and extend Western mainstream theorizing. These hypotheses address an ancient personality theory, the effects of practicing the applied part of Samkhya-Yoga on normal and extraordinary cognition, as well as different ways of perceiving reality. We summarize empirical evidence collected (mostly without reference to the Indian thought system) in diverse fields of research that allows for making judgments about the hypotheses, and suggest more specific hypotheses to be examined in future research. We conclude that the existing evidence for the (broad) hypotheses is substantial but that there are still considerable gaps in theory and research to be filled. Theories of cognition contained in the ancient Indian systems have the potential to modify and complement existing Western mainstream accounts of cognition. In particular, they might serve as a basis for arriving at more comprehensive theories for several research areas that, so far, lack strong theoretical grounding, such as meditation research or research on aspects of consciousness. PMID:27014150

  4. Consciousness, cognition and brain networks: New perspectives.

    PubMed

    Aldana, E M; Valverde, J L; Fábregas, N

    2016-10-01

    A detailed analysis of the literature on consciousness and cognition mechanisms based on the neural networks theory is presented. The immune and inflammatory response to the anesthetic-surgical procedure induces modulation of neuronal plasticity by influencing higher cognitive functions. Anesthetic drugs can cause unconsciousness, producing a functional disruption of cortical and thalamic cortical integration complex. The external and internal perceptions are processed through an intricate network of neural connections, involving the higher nervous activity centers, especially the cerebral cortex. This requires an integrated model, formed by neural networks and their interactions with highly specialized regions, through large-scale networks, which are distributed throughout the brain collecting information flow of these perceptions. Functional and effective connectivity between large-scale networks, are essential for consciousness, unconsciousness and cognition. It is what is called the "human connectome" or map neural networks.

  5. Occipital MEG Activity in the Early Time Range (<300 ms) Predicts Graded Changes in Perceptual Consciousness.

    PubMed

    Andersen, Lau M; Pedersen, Michael N; Sandberg, Kristian; Overgaard, Morten

    2016-06-01

    Two electrophysiological components have been extensively investigated as candidate neural correlates of perceptual consciousness: An early, occipitally realized component occurring 130-320 ms after stimulus onset and a late, frontally realized component occurring 320-510 ms after stimulus onset. Recent studies have suggested that the late component may not be uniquely related to perceptual consciousness, but also to sensory expectations, task associations, and selective attention. We conducted a magnetoencephalographic study; using multivariate analysis, we compared classification accuracies when decoding perceptual consciousness from the 2 components using sources from occipital and frontal lobes. We found that occipital sources during the early time range were significantly more accurate in decoding perceptual consciousness than frontal sources during both the early and late time ranges. These results are the first of its kind where the predictive values of the 2 components are quantitatively compared, and they provide further evidence for the primary importance of occipital sources in realizing perceptual consciousness. The results have important consequences for current theories of perceptual consciousness, especially theories emphasizing the role of frontal sources.

  6. The neurophysical basis of mind and consciousness

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beichler, James

    2012-04-01

    A living body is just a complex pattern of energetic particle exchanges to physicists when compared to the biochemical processes studied by chemists and biologists. New research has centered more upon the electric, magnetic and electromagnetic characteristics of life. It is easy to model mind and consciousness as the electric and magnetic counterparts of living organisms. Mind is an extremely complex electric scalar field pattern and consciousness is the corresponding magnetic vector potential field pattern. As humans, we may have the most complex and advanced mind and consciousness known, but all living organisms display mind and consciousness at various lower levels than our human mind and consciousness. Mind and consciousness have mistakenly become associated with the brain and no other part of the body because of the dense concentration of neurons in the brain. A strict study of the magnetic vector potential field patterns associated with neural microtubules, neurons and neural nets demonstrates how thoughts and streams of thought originate in the brain and are stored magnetically. Microtubules, which act as magnetic induction coils, are the primary structural bio-unit used for building, storing and retrieving memories in the mind.

  7. Differential neural activity patterns for spatial relations in humans: a MEG study.

    PubMed

    Scott, Nicole M; Leuthold, Arthur; Sera, Maria D; Georgopoulos, Apostolos P

    2016-02-01

    Children learn the words for above-below relations earlier than for left-right relations, despite treating these equally well in a simple visual categorization task. Even as adults--conflicts in congruency, such as when a stimulus is depicted in a spatially incongruent manner with respect to salient global cues--can be challenging. Here we investigated the neural correlates of encoding and maintaining in working memory above-below and left-right relational planes in 12 adults using magnetoencephalography in order to discover whether above-below relations are represented by the brain differently than left-right relations. Adults performed perfectly on the task behaviorally, so any differences in neural activity were attributed to the stimuli's cognitive attributes. In comparing above-below to left-right relations during stimulus encoding, we found the greatest differences in neural activity in areas associated with space and movement. In comparing congruent to incongruent trials, we found the greatest differential activity in premotor areas. For both contrasts, brain areas involved in the encoding phase were also involved in the maintenance phase, which provides evidence that those brain areas are particularly important in representing the relational planes or congruency types throughout the trial. When comparing neural activity associated with the relational planes during working memory, additional right posterior areas were implicated, whereas the congruent-incongruent contrast implicated additional bilateral frontal and temporal areas. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis left-right relations are represented differently than above-below relations.

  8. A systematic review of the neural bases of psychotherapy for anxiety and related disorders.

    PubMed

    Brooks, Samantha J; Stein, Dan J

    2015-09-01

    Brain imaging studies over two decades have delineated the neural circuitry of anxiety and related disorders, particularly regions involved in fear processing and in obsessive-compulsive symptoms. The neural circuitry of fear processing involves the amygdala, anterior cingulate, and insular cortex, while cortico-striatal-thalamic circuitry plays a key role in obsessive-compulsive disorder. More recently, neuroimaging studies have examined how psychotherapy for anxiety and related disorders impacts on these neural circuits. Here we conduct a systematic review of the findings of such work, which yielded 19 functional magnetic resonance imaging studies examining the neural bases of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) in 509 patients with anxiety and related disorders. We conclude that, although each of these related disorders is mediated by somewhat different neural circuitry, CBT may act in a similar way to increase prefrontal control of subcortical structures. These findings are consistent with an emphasis in cognitive-affective neuroscience on the potential therapeutic value of enhancing emotional regulation in various psychiatric conditions.

  9. Neural mirroring and social interaction: Motor system involvement during action observation relates to early peer cooperation.

    PubMed

    Endedijk, H M; Meyer, M; Bekkering, H; Cillessen, A H N; Hunnius, S

    2017-01-07

    Whether we hand over objects to someone, play a team sport, or make music together, social interaction often involves interpersonal action coordination, both during instances of cooperation and entrainment. Neural mirroring is thought to play a crucial role in processing other's actions and is therefore considered important for social interaction. Still, to date, it is unknown whether interindividual differences in neural mirroring play a role in interpersonal coordination during different instances of social interaction. A relation between neural mirroring and interpersonal coordination has particularly relevant implications for early childhood, since successful early interaction with peers is predictive of a more favorable social development. We examined the relation between neural mirroring and children's interpersonal coordination during peer interaction using EEG and longitudinal behavioral data. Results showed that 4-year-old children with higher levels of motor system involvement during action observation (as indicated by lower beta-power) were more successful in early peer cooperation. This is the first evidence for a relation between motor system involvement during action observation and interpersonal coordination during other instances of social interaction. The findings suggest that interindividual differences in neural mirroring are related to interpersonal coordination and thus successful social interaction.

  10. A systematic review of the neural bases of psychotherapy for anxiety and related disorders

    PubMed Central

    Brooks, Samantha J.; Stein, Dan J.

    2015-01-01

    Brain imaging studies over two decades have delineated the neural circuitry of anxiety and related disorders, particularly regions involved in fear processing and in obsessive-compulsive symptoms. The neural circuitry of fear processing involves the amygdala, anterior cingulate, and insular cortex, while cortico-striatal-thalamic circuitry plays a key role in obsessive-compulsive disorder. More recently, neuroimaging studies have examined how psychotherapy for anxiety and related disorders impacts on these neural circuits. Here we conduct a systematic review of the findings of such work, which yielded 19 functional magnetic resonance imaging studies examining the neural bases of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) in 509 patients with anxiety and related disorders. We conclude that, although each of these related disorders is mediated by somewhat different neural circuitry, CBT may act in a similar way to increase prefrontal control of subcortical structures. These findings are consistent with an emphasis in cognitive-affective neuroscience on the potential therapeutic value of enhancing emotional regulation in various psychiatric conditions. PMID:26487807

  11. Extending Gurwitsch's field theory of consciousness.

    PubMed

    Yoshimi, Jeff; Vinson, David W

    2015-07-01

    Aron Gurwitsch's theory of the structure and dynamics of consciousness has much to offer contemporary theorizing about consciousness and its basis in the embodied brain. On Gurwitsch's account, as we develop it, the field of consciousness has a variable sized focus or "theme" of attention surrounded by a structured periphery of inattentional contents. As the field evolves, its contents change their status, sometimes smoothly, sometimes abruptly. Inner thoughts, a sense of one's body, and the physical environment are dominant field contents. These ideas can be linked with (and help unify) contemporary theories about the neural correlates of consciousness, inattention, the small world structure of the brain, meta-stable dynamics, embodied cognition, and predictive coding in the brain.

  12. Differences in Feedback- and Inhibition-Related Neural Activity in Adult ADHD

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dibbets, Pauline; Evers, Lisbeth; Hurks, Petra; Marchetta, Natalie; Jolles, Jelle

    2009-01-01

    The objective of this study was to examine response inhibition- and feedback-related neural activity in adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) using event-related functional MRI. Sixteen male adults with ADHD and 13 healthy/normal controls participated in this study and performed a modified Go/NoGo task. Behaviourally,…

  13. Feminist Consciousness and Objectified Body Consciousness

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McKinley, Nita Mary

    2011-01-01

    The author has been asked to write about how her article "The Objectified Body Consciousness Scale: Development and Validation" (McKinley & Hyde, 1996) came to be published in "Psychology of Women Quarterly" ("PWQ"). In this article, she recalls the contexts in which she developed her ideas about objectified body consciousness (OBC), the process…

  14. Nutri-epigenomic Studies Related to Neural Tube Defects: Does Folate Affect Neural Tube Closure Via Changes in DNA Methylation?

    PubMed

    Rochtus, Anne; Jansen, Katrien; Van Geet, Chris; Freson, Kathleen

    2015-01-01

    Neural tube defects (NTDs), affecting 1-2 per 1000 pregnancies, are severe congenital malformations that arise from the failure of neurulation during early embryonic development. The methylation hypothesis suggests that folate prevents NTDs by stimulating cellular methylation reactions. Folate is central to the one-carbon metabolism that produces pyrimidines and purines for DNA synthesis and for the generation of the methyldonor S-adenosyl-methionine. This review focuses on the relation between the folate-mediated one-carbon metabolism, DNA methylation and NTDs. Studies will be discussed that investigated global or locus-specific DNA methylation differences in patients with NTDs. Folate deficiency may increase NTD risk by decreasing DNA methylation, but to date, human studies vary widely in study design in terms of analyzing different clinical subtypes of NTDs, using different methylation quantification assays and using DNA isolated from diverse types of tissues. Some studies have focused mainly on global DNA methylation differences while others have quantified specific methylation differences for imprinted genes, transposable elements and DNA repair enzymes. Findings of global DNA hypomethylation and LINE-1 hypomethylation suggest that epigenetic alterations may disrupt neural tube closure. However, current research does not support a linear relation between red blood cell folate concentration and DNA methylation. Further studies are required to better understand the interaction between folate, DNA methylation changes and NTDs.

  15. Research on Experiences Related to the Possibility of Consciousness Beyond the Brain: A Bibliometric Analysis of Global Scientific Output.

    PubMed

    Daher, Jorge Cecílio; Damiano, Rodolfo Furlan; Lucchetti, Alessandra Lamas Granero; Moreira-Almeida, Alexander; Lucchetti, Giancarlo

    2017-01-01

    This study aims to conduct a search of publications investigating experiences commonly associated with the possibility of the existence of a consciousness independent of the brain held on the main scientific databases (Pubmed, Web of Knowledge, PsycINFO, Science Direct, and Scopus). Of the 9065 articles retrieved, 1954 were included (598 near-death experiences, 223 out-of-body experiences, 56 end-of-life experiences, 224 possession, 244 memories suggestive of past lives, 565 mediumship, 44 others). Over the decades, there was an evident increase in the number of articles on all the areas of the field, with the exception of studies on mediumship that showed a decline during the late 20th century and subsequent rise in the early 21st century. Regarding the types of articles found, with the exception of past-life memories and end-of-life experiences (mostly original studies), publications were predominantly review articles. The articles were published in journals with an impact factor similar to other areas of science.

  16. Nonneurocognitive Extended Consciousness

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wojcik, Kevin; Chemero, Anthony

    2012-01-01

    One of the attributes necessary for Watson to be considered human is that it must be conscious. From Rachlin's (2012) point of view, that of teleological behaviorism, consciousness refers to the organization of behavioral complexity in which overt behavior is distributed widely over time. Consciousness is something that humans do, or achieve, in…

  17. Spectral parameters modulation and source localization of blink-related alpha and low-beta oscillations differentiate minimally conscious state from vegetative state/unresponsive wakefulness syndrome.

    PubMed

    Bonfiglio, Luca; Piarulli, Andrea; Olcese, Umberto; Andre, Paolo; Arrighi, Pieranna; Frisoli, Antonio; Rossi, Bruno; Bergamasco, Massimo; Carboncini, Maria Chiara

    2014-01-01

    Recently, the cortical source of blink-related delta oscillations (delta BROs) in resting healthy subjects has been localized in the posterior cingulate cortex/precuneus (PCC/PCu), one of the main core-hubs of the default-mode network. This has been interpreted as the electrophysiological signature of the automatic monitoring of the surrounding environment while subjects are immersed in self-reflecting mental activities. Although delta BROs were directly correlated to the degree of consciousness impairment in patients with disorders of consciousness, they failed to differentiate vegetative state/unresponsive wakefulness syndrome (VS/UWS) from minimally conscious state (MCS). In the present study, we have extended the analysis of BROs to frequency bands other than delta in the attempt to find a biological marker that could support the differential diagnosis between VS/UWS and MCS. Four patients with VS/UWS, 5 patients with MCS, and 12 healthy matched controls (CTRL) underwent standard 19-channels EEG recordings during resting conditions. Three-second-lasting EEG epochs centred on each blink instance were submitted to time-frequency analyses in order to extract the normalized Blink-Related Synchronization/Desynchronization (nBRS/BRD) of three bands of interest (low-alpha, high-alpha and low-beta) in the time-window of 50-550 ms after the blink-peak and to estimate the corresponding cortical sources of electrical activity. VS/UWS nBRS/BRD levels of all three bands were lower than those related to both CTRL and MCS, thus enabling the differential diagnosis between MCS and VS/UWS. Furthermore, MCS showed an intermediate signal intensity on PCC/PCu between CTRL and VS/UWS and a higher signal intensity on the left temporo-parieto-occipital junction and inferior occipito-temporal regions when compared to VS/UWS. This peculiar pattern of activation leads us to hypothesize that resting MCS patients have a bottom-up driven activation of the task positive network and thus are

  18. Spectral Parameters Modulation and Source Localization of Blink-Related Alpha and Low-Beta Oscillations Differentiate Minimally Conscious State from Vegetative State/Unresponsive Wakefulness Syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Bonfiglio, Luca; Piarulli, Andrea; Olcese, Umberto; Andre, Paolo; Arrighi, Pieranna; Frisoli, Antonio; Rossi, Bruno; Bergamasco, Massimo; Carboncini, Maria Chiara

    2014-01-01

    Recently, the cortical source of blink-related delta oscillations (delta BROs) in resting healthy subjects has been localized in the posterior cingulate cortex/precuneus (PCC/PCu), one of the main core-hubs of the default-mode network. This has been interpreted as the electrophysiological signature of the automatic monitoring of the surrounding environment while subjects are immersed in self-reflecting mental activities. Although delta BROs were directly correlated to the degree of consciousness impairment in patients with disorders of consciousness, they failed to differentiate vegetative state/unresponsive wakefulness syndrome (VS/UWS) from minimally conscious state (MCS). In the present study, we have extended the analysis of BROs to frequency bands other than delta in the attempt to find a biological marker that could support the differential diagnosis between VS/UWS and MCS. Four patients with VS/UWS, 5 patients with MCS, and 12 healthy matched controls (CTRL) underwent standard 19-channels EEG recordings during resting conditions. Three-second-lasting EEG epochs centred on each blink instance were submitted to time-frequency analyses in order to extract the normalized Blink-Related Synchronization/Desynchronization (nBRS/BRD) of three bands of interest (low-alpha, high-alpha and low-beta) in the time-window of 50–550 ms after the blink-peak and to estimate the corresponding cortical sources of electrical activity. VS/UWS nBRS/BRD levels of all three bands were lower than those related to both CTRL and MCS, thus enabling the differential diagnosis between MCS and VS/UWS. Furthermore, MCS showed an intermediate signal intensity on PCC/PCu between CTRL and VS/UWS and a higher signal intensity on the left temporo-parieto-occipital junction and inferior occipito-temporal regions when compared to VS/UWS. This peculiar pattern of activation leads us to hypothesize that resting MCS patients have a bottom-up driven activation of the task positive network and thus

  19. Two theories of consciousness: Semantic pointer competition vs. information integration.

    PubMed

    Thagard, Paul; Stewart, Terrence C

    2014-11-01

    Consciousness results from three mechanisms: representation by firing patterns in neural populations, binding of representations into more complex representations called semantic pointers, and competition among semantic pointers to capture the most important aspects of an organism's current state. We contrast the semantic pointer competition (SPC) theory of consciousness with the hypothesis that consciousness is the capacity of a system to integrate information (IIT). We describe computer simulations to show that SPC surpasses IIT in providing better explanations of key aspects of consciousness: qualitative features, onset and cessation, shifts in experiences, differences in kinds across different organisms, unity and diversity, and storage and retrieval.

  20. Contributions of magno- and parvocellular channels to conscious and non-conscious vision.

    PubMed

    Breitmeyer, Bruno G

    2014-05-05

    The dorsal and ventral cortical pathways, driven predominantly by magnocellular (M) and parvocellular (P) inputs, respectively, assume leading roles in models of visual information processing. Although in prior proposals, the dorsal and ventral pathways support non-conscious and conscious vision, respectively, recent modelling and empirical developments indicate that each pathway plays important roles in both non-conscious and conscious vision. In these models, the ventral P-pathway consists of one subpathway processing an object's contour features, e.g. curvature, the other processing its surface attributes, e.g. colour. Masked priming studies have shown that feed-forward activity in the ventral P-pathway on its own supports non-conscious processing of contour and surface features. The dorsal M-pathway activity contributes directly to conscious vision of motion and indirectly to object vision by projecting to prefrontal cortex, which in turn injects top-down neural activity into the ventral P-pathway and there 'ignites' feed-forward-re-entrant loops deemed necessary for conscious vision. Moreover, an object's shape or contour remains invisible without the prior conscious registration of its surface properties, which for that reason are taken to comprise fundamental visual qualia. Besides suggesting avenues for future research, these developments bear on several recent and past philosophical issues.

  1. Contributions of magno- and parvocellular channels to conscious and non-conscious vision

    PubMed Central

    Breitmeyer, Bruno G.

    2014-01-01

    The dorsal and ventral cortical pathways, driven predominantly by magnocellular (M) and parvocellular (P) inputs, respectively, assume leading roles in models of visual information processing. Although in prior proposals, the dorsal and ventral pathways support non-conscious and conscious vision, respectively, recent modelling and empirical developments indicate that each pathway plays important roles in both non-conscious and conscious vision. In these models, the ventral P-pathway consists of one subpathway processing an object's contour features, e.g. curvature, the other processing its surface attributes, e.g. colour. Masked priming studies have shown that feed-forward activity in the ventral P-pathway on its own supports non-conscious processing of contour and surface features. The dorsal M-pathway activity contributes directly to conscious vision of motion and indirectly to object vision by projecting to prefrontal cortex, which in turn injects top-down neural activity into the ventral P-pathway and there ‘ignites’ feed-forward–re-entrant loops deemed necessary for conscious vision. Moreover, an object's shape or contour remains invisible without the prior conscious registration of its surface properties, which for that reason are taken to comprise fundamental visual qualia. Besides suggesting avenues for future research, these developments bear on several recent and past philosophical issues. PMID:24639584

  2. Toward physics of the mind: Concepts, emotions, consciousness, and symbols

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perlovsky, Leonid I.

    2006-03-01

    Mathematical approaches to modeling the mind since the 1950s are reviewed, including artificial intelligence, pattern recognition, and neural networks. I analyze difficulties faced by these algorithms and neural networks and relate them to the fundamental inconsistency of logic discovered by Gödel. Mathematical discussions are related to those in neurobiology, psychology, cognitive science, and philosophy. Higher cognitive functions are reviewed including concepts, emotions, instincts, understanding, imagination, intuition, consciousness. Then, I describe a mathematical formulation, unifying the mind mechanisms in a psychologically and neuro-biologically plausible system. A mechanism of the knowledge instinct drives our understanding of the world and serves as a foundation for higher cognitive functions. This mechanism relates aesthetic emotions and perception of beauty to “everyday” functioning of the mind. The article reviews mechanisms of human symbolic ability. I touch on future directions: joint evolution of the mind, language, consciousness, and cultures; mechanisms of differentiation and synthesis; a manifold of aesthetic emotions in music and differentiated instinct for knowledge. I concentrate on elucidating the first principles; review aspects of the theory that have been proven in laboratory research, relationships between the mind and brain; discuss unsolved problems, and outline a number of theoretical predictions, which will have to be tested in future mathematical simulations and neuro-biological research.

  3. Neural mechanisms underlying ecstasy-related attentional bias.

    PubMed

    Roberts, Gloria M P; Garavan, Hugh

    2013-08-30

    Conditioned responses to cues associated with drug taking play a pivotal role in a number of theories of drug addiction. This study examined whether attentional biases towards drug-related cues exist in recreational drug users who predominantly used ecstasy (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine). Experiment 1 compared 30 ecstasy users, 25 cannabis users, and 30 controls in an attentional distraction task in which neutral, evocative, and ecstasy-related pictures were presented within a coloured border, requiring participants to respond as quickly as possible to the border colour. Experiment 2 employed functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and the attentional distraction task and tested 20 ecstasy users and 20 controls. Experiment 1 revealed significant response speed interference by the ecstasy-related pictures in the ecstasy users only. Experiment 2 revealed increased prefrontal and occipital activity in ecstasy users in all conditions. Activations in response to the ecstasy stimuli in these regions showed an apparent antagonism whereby ecstasy users, relative to controls, showed increased occipital but decreased right prefrontal activation. These results are interpreted to reflect increased visual processing of, and decreased prefrontal control over, the irrelevant but salient ecstasy-related stimuli. These results suggest that right inferior frontal cortex may play an important role in controlling drug-related attentional biases and may thus play an important role in mediating control over drug usage.

  4. Neural correlates of mindfulness meditation-related anxiety relief.

    PubMed

    Zeidan, Fadel; Martucci, Katherine T; Kraft, Robert A; McHaffie, John G; Coghill, Robert C

    2014-06-01

    Anxiety is the cognitive state related to the inability to control emotional responses to perceived threats. Anxiety is inversely related to brain activity associated with the cognitive regulation of emotions. Mindfulness meditation has been found to regulate anxiety. However, the brain mechanisms involved in meditation-related anxiety relief are largely unknown. We employed pulsed arterial spin labeling MRI to compare the effects of distraction in the form of attending to the breath (ATB; before meditation training) to mindfulness meditation (after meditation training) on state anxiety across the same subjects. Fifteen healthy subjects, with no prior meditation experience, participated in 4 d of mindfulness meditation training. ATB did not reduce state anxiety, but state anxiety was significantly reduced in every session that subjects meditated. Meditation-related anxiety relief was associated with activation of the anterior cingulate cortex, ventromedial prefrontal cortex and anterior insula. Meditation-related activation in these regions exhibited a strong relationship to anxiety relief when compared to ATB. During meditation, those who exhibited greater default-related activity (i.e. posterior cingulate cortex) reported greater anxiety, possibly reflecting an inability to control self-referential thoughts. These findings provide evidence that mindfulness meditation attenuates anxiety through mechanisms involved in the regulation of self-referential thought processes.

  5. Progress in machine consciousness.

    PubMed

    Gamez, David

    2008-09-01

    This paper is a review of the work that has been carried out on machine consciousness. A clear overview of this diverse field is achieved by breaking machine consciousness down into four different areas, which are used to understand its aims, discuss its relationship with other subjects and outline the work that has been carried out so far. The criticisms that have been made against machine consciousness are also covered, along with its potential benefits, and the work that has been done on analysing systems for signs of consciousness. Some of the social and ethical issues raised by machine consciousness are examined at the end of the paper.

  6. Slow cortical potentials and "inner time consciousness" - A neuro-phenomenal hypothesis about the "width of present".

    PubMed

    Northoff, Georg

    2016-05-01

    William James postulated a "stream of consciousness" that presupposes temporal continuity. The neuronal mechanisms underlying the construction of such temporal continuity remain unclear, however, in my contribution, I propose a neuro-phenomenal hypothesis that is based on slow cortical potentials and their extension of the present moment as described in the phenomenal term of "width of present". More specifically, I focus on the way the brain's neural activity needs to be encoded in order to make possible the "stream of consciousness." This leads us again to the low-frequency fluctuations of the brain's neural activity and more specifically to slow cortical potentials (SCPs). Due to their long phase duration as low-frequency fluctuations, SCPs can integrate different stimuli and their associated neural activity from different regions in one converging region. Such integration may be central for consciousness to occur, as it was recently postulated by He and Raichle. They leave open, however, the question of the exact neuronal mechanisms, like the encoding strategy, that make possible the association of the otherwise purely neuronal SCP with consciousness and its phenomenal features. I hypothesize that SCPs allow for linking and connecting different discrete points in physical time by encoding their statistically based temporal differences rather than the single discrete time points by themselves. This presupposes difference-based coding rather than stimulus-based coding. The encoding of such statistically based temporal differences makes it possible to "go beyond" the merely physical features of the stimuli; that is, their single discrete time points and their conduction delays (as related to their neural processing in the brain). This, in turn, makes possible the constitution of "local temporal continuity" of neural activity in one particular region. The concept of "local temporal continuity" signifies the linkage and integration of different discrete time points

  7. Structural qualia: a solution to the hard problem of consciousness

    PubMed Central

    Loorits, Kristjan

    2014-01-01

    The hard problem of consciousness has been often claimed to be unsolvable by the methods of traditional empirical sciences. It has been argued that all the objects of empirical sciences can be fully analyzed in structural terms but that consciousness is (or has) something over and above its structure. However, modern neuroscience has introduced a theoretical framework in which also the apparently non-structural aspects of consciousness, namely the so called qualia or qualitative properties, can be analyzed in structural terms. That framework allows us to see qualia as something compositional with internal structures that fully determine their qualitative nature. Moreover, those internal structures can be identified which certain neural patterns. Thus consciousness as a whole can be seen as a complex neural pattern that misperceives some of its own highly complex structural properties as monadic and qualitative. Such neural pattern is analyzable in fully structural terms and thereby the hard problem is solved. PMID:24672510

  8. Acute loss of consciousness.

    PubMed

    Tristán, Bekinschtein; Gleichgerrcht, Ezequiel; Manes, Facundo

    2015-01-01

    Acute loss of consciousness poses a fascinating scenario for theoretical and clinical research. This chapter introduces a simple yet powerful framework to investigate altered states of consciousness. We then explore the different disorders of consciousness that result from acute brain injury, and techniques used in the acute phase to predict clinical outcome in different patient populations in light of models of acute loss of consciousness. We further delve into post-traumatic amnesia as a model for predicting cognitive sequels following acute loss of consciousness. We approach the study of acute loss of consciousness from a theoretical and clinical perspective to conclude that clinicians in acute care centers must incorporate new measurements and techniques besides the classic coma scales in order to assess their patients with loss of consciousness.

  9. The Role of Personal Experience in the Neural Processing of Action-Related Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lyons, Ian M.; Mattarella-Micke, Andrew; Cieslak, Matthew; Nusbaum, Howard C.; Small, Steven L.; Beilock, Sian L.

    2010-01-01

    We investigated how auditory language processing is modified by a listener's previous experience with the specific activities mentioned in the speech. In particular, we asked whether neural responses related to language processing depend on one's experience with the action-based content of this language. Ice-hockey players and novices passively…

  10. Transient and sustained neural responses to death-related linguistic cues.

    PubMed

    Shi, Zhenhao; Han, Shihui

    2013-06-01

    Recent research showed that perception of death-related vs death-unrelated linguistic cues produced increased frontoparietal activity but decreased insular activity. This study investigated (i) whether the increased frontoparietal and decreased insular activities are, respectively, associated with transient trial-specific processes of death-related linguistic cues and sustained death-related thought during death-relevance judgments on linguistic cues and (ii) whether the neural activity underlying death-related thought can predict individuals' dispositional death anxiety. Participants were presented with death-related/unrelated words, life-related/unrelated words, and negative-valence/neutral words in separate sessions. Participants were scanned using functional magnetic resonance imaging while performing death-relevance, life-relevance, and valence judgments on the words, respectively. The contrast of death-related vs death-unrelated words during death-relevance judgments revealed transient increased activity in the left inferior parietal lobule, the right frontal eye field, and the right superior parietal lobule. The contrast of death-relevance judgments vs life-relevance/valence judgments showed decreased activity in the bilateral insula. The sustained insular activity was correlated with dispositional death anxiety, but only in those with weak transient frontoparietal responses to death-related words. Our results dissociate the transient and sustained neural responses to death-related linguistic cues and suggest that the combination of the transient and sustained neural activities can predict dispositional death anxiety.

  11. Music and Consciousness: A Continuing Project

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Clarke, David; Clarke, Eric

    2014-01-01

    If there is a topic on which the humanities might make a distinctive claim, it is that of consciousness--an essential aspect of human being. And within the humanities, music might make its own claims in relation to both consciousness and being human. To investigate this connection, David Clarke and Eric Clarke brought together a wide variety of…

  12. Theories of Impaired Consciousness in Epilepsy

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Lissa; Blumenfeld, Hal

    2015-01-01

    Although the precise mechanisms for control of consciousness are not fully understood, emerging data show that conscious information processing depends on the activation of certain networks in the brain and that the impairment of consciousness is related to abnormal activity in these systems. Epilepsy can lead to transient impairment of consciousness, providing a window into the mechanisms necessary for normal consciousness. Thus, despite differences in behavioral manifestations, cause, and electrophysiology, generalized tonic–clonic, absence, and partial seizures engage similar anatomical structures and pathways. We review prior concepts of impaired consciousness in epilepsy, focusing especially on temporal lobe complex partial seizures, which are a common and debilitating form of epileptic unconsciousness. We discuss a “network inhibition hypothesis” in which focal temporal lobe seizure activity disrupts normal cortical–subcortical interactions, leading to depressed neocortical function and impaired consciousness. This review of the major prior theories of impaired consciousness in epilepsy allows us to put more recent data into context and to reach a better understanding of the mechanisms important for normal consciousness. PMID:19351355

  13. The corollary discharge in humans is related to synchronous neural oscillations

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Chi-Ming A.; Mathalon, Daniel H.; Roach, Brian J.; Cavus, Idil; Spencer, Dennis D.; Ford, Judith M.

    2014-01-01

    How do animals distinguish between sensations coming from external sources and those resulting from their own actions? A corollary discharge system has evolved that involves the transmission of a copy of motor commands to sensory cortex, where the expected sensation is generated. Through this mechanism, sensations are tagged as coming from self, and responsiveness to them is minimized. The present study investigated whether neural phase synchrony between motor command and auditory cortical areas is related to the suppression of the auditory cortical response. We recorded electrocorticograms from the human brain during a vocalizing/listening task. Neural phase synchrony between Broca’s area and auditory cortex in the gamma band (35 Hz to ~50 Hz) in the 50 ms time window preceding speech onset was greater during vocalizing than listening to a playback of the same spoken sounds. Because pre-speech neural synchrony was correlated (r = −0.83, p = 0.006) with the subsequent suppression of the auditory cortical response to the spoken sound, we hypothesize that phase synchrony in the gamma band between Broca’s area and auditory cortex is the neural instantiation of the transmission of a copy of motor commands. We suggest that neural phase synchrony of gamma frequencies may contribute to transmission of corollary discharges in humans. PMID:20946054

  14. Environmental influences on neural systems of relational complexity

    PubMed Central

    Kalbfleisch, M. Layne; deBettencourt, Megan T.; Kopperman, Rebecca; Banasiak, Meredith; Roberts, Joshua M.; Halavi, Maryam

    2013-01-01

    Constructivist learning theory contends that we construct knowledge by experience and that environmental context influences learning. To explore this principle, we examined the cognitive process relational complexity (RC), defined as the number of visual dimensions considered during problem solving on a matrix reasoning task and a well-documented measure of mature reasoning capacity. We sought to determine how the visual environment influences RC by examining the influence of color and visual contrast on RC in a neuroimaging task. To specify the contributions of sensory demand and relational integration to reasoning, our participants performed a non-verbal matrix task comprised of color, no-color line, or black-white visual contrast conditions parametrically varied by complexity (relations 0, 1, 2). The use of matrix reasoning is ecologically valid for its psychometric relevance and for its potential to link the processing of psychophysically specific visual properties with various levels of RC during reasoning. The role of these elements is important because matrix tests assess intellectual aptitude based on these seemingly context-less exercises. This experiment is a first step toward examining the psychophysical underpinnings of performance on these types of problems. The importance of this is increased in light of recent evidence that intelligence can be linked to visual discrimination. We submit three main findings. First, color and black-white visual contrast (BWVC) add demand at a basic sensory level, but contributions from color and from BWVC are dissociable in cortex such that color engages a “reasoning heuristic” and BWVC engages a “sensory heuristic.” Second, color supports contextual sense-making by boosting salience resulting in faster problem solving. Lastly, when visual complexity reaches 2-relations, color and visual contrast relinquish salience to other dimensions of problem solving. PMID:24133465

  15. Neural correlates of mental state decoding in human adults: an event-related potential study.

    PubMed

    Sabbagh, Mark A; Moulson, Margaret C; Harkness, Kate L

    2004-04-01

    Successful negotiation of human social interactions rests on having a theory of mind - an understanding of how others' behaviors can be understood in terms of internal mental states, such as beliefs, desires, intentions, and emotions. A core theory-of-mind skill is the ability to decode others' mental states on the basis of observable information, such as facial expressions. Although several recent studies have focused on the neural correlates of reasoning about mental states, no research has addressed the question of what neural systems underlie mental state decoding. We used dense-array event-related potentials (ERP) to show that decoding mental states from pictures of eyes is associated with an N270-400 component over inferior frontal and anterior temporal regions of the right hemisphere. Source estimation procedures suggest that orbitofrontal and medial temporal regions may underlie this ERP effect. These findings suggest that different components of everyday theory-of-mind skills may rely on dissociable neural mechanisms.

  16. Resting state activity and the "stream of consciousness" in schizophrenia--neurophenomenal hypotheses.

    PubMed

    Northoff, Georg

    2015-01-01

    Schizophrenia is a multifaceted disorder with various symptoms including auditory hallucinations, egodisturbances, passivity phenomena, and delusions. Recent neurobiological approaches have focused on, especially, the abnormal contents of consciousness, the "substantive parts" as James said, to associate them with the neural mechanisms related to sensory, motor, and cognitive functions, and the brain's underlying stimulus-induced or task-evoked activity. This leaves open, however, the neural mechanisms that provide the temporal linkage or glue between the various contents, the transitive parts that makes possible the "stream of consciousness." Interestingly, schizophrenic patients seem to suffer from abnormalities specifically in the "transitive parts" when they experience contents as temporally disconnected or fragmented which in phenomenological psychiatry has been described as "temporal fragmentation." The aim of this article is to develop so-called neurophenomenal hypothesis about the direct relationship between phenomenal features of the "stream of consciousness," the "transitive parts," and the specific neuronal mechanisms in schizophrenia as based on healthy subjects. Rather than emphasizing stimulus-induced and task-evoked activity and sensory and lateral prefrontal cortical regions as in neurocognitive approaches with their focus on the "substantive parts," the focus shifts here to the brain's intrinsic activity, its resting state activity, which may account for the temporal linkage or glue between the contents of consciousness, the transitive parts.

  17. Complexin2 modulates working memory-related neural activity in patients with schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Hass, Johanna; Walton, Esther; Kirsten, Holger; Turner, Jessica; Wolthusen, Rick; Roessner, Veit; Sponheim, Scott R; Holt, Daphne; Gollub, Randy; Calhoun, Vince D; Ehrlich, Stefan

    2015-03-01

    The specific contribution of risk or candidate gene variants to the complex phenotype of schizophrenia is largely unknown. Studying the effects of such variants on brain function can provide insight into disease-associated mechanisms on a neural systems level. Previous studies found common variants in the complexin2 (CPLX2) gene to be highly associated with cognitive dysfunction in schizophrenia patients. Similarly, cognitive functioning was found to be impaired in Cplx2 gene-deficient mice if they were subjected to maternal deprivation or mild brain trauma during puberty. Here, we aimed to study seven common CPLX2 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and their neurogenetic risk mechanisms by investigating their relationship to a schizophrenia-related functional neuroimaging intermediate phenotype. We examined functional MRI and genotype data collected from 104 patients with DSM-IV-diagnosed schizophrenia and 122 healthy controls who participated in the Mind Clinical Imaging Consortium study of schizophrenia. Seven SNPs distributed over the whole CPLX2 gene were tested for association with working memory-elicited neural activity in a frontoparietal neural network. Three CPLX2 SNPs were significantly associated with increased neural activity in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and intraparietal sulcus in the schizophrenia sample, but showed no association in healthy controls. Since increased working memory-related neural activity in individuals with or at risk for schizophrenia has been interpreted as 'neural inefficiency,' these findings suggest that certain variants of CPLX2 may contribute to impaired brain function in schizophrenia, possibly combined with other deleterious genetic variants, adverse environmental events, or developmental insults.

  18. Complexin2 modulates working memory-related neural activity in patients with schizophrenia

    SciTech Connect

    Hass, Johanna; Walton, Esther; Kirsten, Holger; Turner, Jessica; Wolthusen, Rick; Roessner, Veit; Sponheim, Scott R.; Holt, Daphne; Gollub, Randy; Calhoun, Vince D.; Ehrlich, Stefan

    2014-10-09

    The specific contribution of risk or candidate gene variants to the complex phenotype of schizophrenia is largely unknown. Studying the effects of such variants on brain function can provide insight into disease-associated mechanisms on a neural systems level. Previous studies found common variants in the complexin2 (CPLX2) gene to be highly associated with cognitive dysfunction in schizophrenia patients. Similarly, cognitive functioning was found to be impaired in Cplx2 gene-deficient mice if they were subjected to maternal deprivation or mild brain trauma during puberty. Here, we aimed to study seven common CPLX2 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and their neurogenetic risk mechanisms by investigating their relationship to a schizophrenia-related functional neuroimaging intermediate phenotype. In this paper, we examined functional MRI and genotype data collected from 104 patients with DSM-IV-diagnosed schizophrenia and 122 healthy controls who participated in the Mind Clinical Imaging Consortium study of schizophrenia. Seven SNPs distributed over the whole CPLX2 gene were tested for association with working memory-elicited neural activity in a frontoparietal neural network. Three CPLX2 SNPs were significantly associated with increased neural activity in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and intraparietal sulcus in the schizophrenia sample, but showed no association in healthy controls. Finally, since increased working memory-related neural activity in individuals with or at risk for schizophrenia has been interpreted as ‘neural inefficiency,’ these findings suggest that certain variants of CPLX2 may contribute to impaired brain function in schizophrenia, possibly combined with other deleterious genetic variants, adverse environmental events, or developmental insults.

  19. Complexin2 modulates working memory-related neural activity in patients with schizophrenia

    DOE PAGES

    Hass, Johanna; Walton, Esther; Kirsten, Holger; ...

    2014-10-09

    The specific contribution of risk or candidate gene variants to the complex phenotype of schizophrenia is largely unknown. Studying the effects of such variants on brain function can provide insight into disease-associated mechanisms on a neural systems level. Previous studies found common variants in the complexin2 (CPLX2) gene to be highly associated with cognitive dysfunction in schizophrenia patients. Similarly, cognitive functioning was found to be impaired in Cplx2 gene-deficient mice if they were subjected to maternal deprivation or mild brain trauma during puberty. Here, we aimed to study seven common CPLX2 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and their neurogenetic risk mechanisms bymore » investigating their relationship to a schizophrenia-related functional neuroimaging intermediate phenotype. In this paper, we examined functional MRI and genotype data collected from 104 patients with DSM-IV-diagnosed schizophrenia and 122 healthy controls who participated in the Mind Clinical Imaging Consortium study of schizophrenia. Seven SNPs distributed over the whole CPLX2 gene were tested for association with working memory-elicited neural activity in a frontoparietal neural network. Three CPLX2 SNPs were significantly associated with increased neural activity in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and intraparietal sulcus in the schizophrenia sample, but showed no association in healthy controls. Finally, since increased working memory-related neural activity in individuals with or at risk for schizophrenia has been interpreted as ‘neural inefficiency,’ these findings suggest that certain variants of CPLX2 may contribute to impaired brain function in schizophrenia, possibly combined with other deleterious genetic variants, adverse environmental events, or developmental insults.« less

  20. Phase of neural excitation relative to basilar membrane motion in the organ of Corti: Theoretical considerations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andoh, Masayoshi; Nakajima, Chihiro; Wada, Hiroshi

    2005-09-01

    Although the auditory transduction process is dependent on neural excitation of the auditory nerve in relation to motion of the basilar membrane (BM) in the organ of Corti (OC), specifics of this process are unclear. In this study, therefore, an attempt was made to estimate the phase of the neural excitation relative to the BM motion using a finite-element model of the OC at the basal turn of the gerbil, including the fluid-structure interaction with the lymph fluid. It was found that neural excitation occurs when the BM exhibits a maximum velocity toward the scala vestibuli at 10 Hz and shows a phase delay relative to the BM motion with increasing frequency up to 800 Hz. It then shows a phase advance until the frequency reaches 2 kHz. From 2 kHz, neural excitation again shows a phase delay with increasing frequency. From 800 Hz up to 2 kHz, the phase advances because the dominant force exerted on the hair bundle shifts from a velocity-dependent Couette flow-induced force to a displacement-dependent force induced by the pressure difference. The phase delay that occurs from 2 kHz is caused by the resonance process of the hair bundle of the IHC.

  1. Brain and conscious experience.

    PubMed

    Gazzaniga, M S

    1998-01-01

    brain possesses, the greater the awareness of capacities. Think of the variations in capacity within our own species; they are not unlike the vast differences between species. Years of split-brain research have informed us that the left hemisphere has many more mental capacities than the right one. The left is capable of logical feats that the right hemisphere cannot manage. Although the right has capacities such as facial recognition systems, it is a distant second with problem-solving skills. In short, the right hemisphere's level of awareness is limited. It knows precious little about a lot of things, but the limits to human capacity are everywhere in the population. No one need be offended to realize that just as someone with normal intelligence can understand Ohm's law, others, like yours truly, are clueless about Kepler's laws. I am ignorant about them and will remain so. I am unable to be aware about what they mean for the universe. The circuits that enable me to understand these things are not present in my brain. By emphasizing specialized circuits that arise from natural selection, we see that the brain is not a unified neural net that supports a general problem-solving device. With this being understood, we can concentrate on the possibility that smaller, more manageable circuits produce awareness of a species' capacities. Holding fast to the notion of a unified neural net means we can understand human conscious experience only by figuring out the interactions of billions of neurons. That task is hopeless. My scheme is not. Hence step 3. The very same split-brain research that exposed shocking differences between the two hemispheres also showed that the human left hemisphere has the interpreter. The left brain interpreter's job is to interpret our behavior and our responses, whether cognitive or emotional, to environmental challenges. It constantly establishes a running narrative of our actions, emotions, thoughts, and dreams. It is the glue that keeps our

  2. Experimental and theoretical approaches to conscious processing.

    PubMed

    Dehaene, Stanislas; Changeux, Jean-Pierre

    2011-04-28

    Recent experimental studies and theoretical models have begun to address the challenge of establishing a causal link between subjective conscious experience and measurable neuronal activity. The present review focuses on the well-delimited issue of how an external or internal piece of information goes beyond nonconscious processing and gains access to conscious processing, a transition characterized by the existence of a reportable subjective experience. Converging neuroimaging and neurophysiological data, acquired during minimal experimental contrasts between conscious and nonconscious processing, point to objective neural measures of conscious access: late amplification of relevant sensory activity, long-distance cortico-cortical synchronization at beta and gamma frequencies, and "ignition" of a large-scale prefronto-parietal network. We compare these findings to current theoretical models of conscious processing, including the Global Neuronal Workspace (GNW) model according to which conscious access occurs when incoming information is made globally available to multiple brain systems through a network of neurons with long-range axons densely distributed in prefrontal, parieto-temporal, and cingulate cortices. The clinical implications of these results for general anesthesia, coma, vegetative state, and schizophrenia are discussed.

  3. Exploring self-compassion as a refuge against recalling the body-related shaming of caregiver eating messages on dimensions of objectified body consciousness in college women.

    PubMed

    Daye, Chesnee A; Webb, Jennifer B; Jafari, Nadia

    2014-09-01

    Guided by an overarching body-related shame regulation framework, the present investigation examined the associations between caregiver eating messages and dimensions of objectified body consciousness and further explored whether self-compassion moderated these links in a sample of 322 U.S. college women. Correlational findings indicated that retrospective accounts of restrictive/critical caregiver eating messages were positively related to body shame and negatively related to self-compassion and appearance control beliefs. Recollections of experiencing pressure to eat from caregivers were positively correlated with body shame and inversely associated with appearance control beliefs. Higher self-compassion was associated with lower body shame and body surveillance. Self-compassion attenuated the associations between restrictive/critical caregiver eating messages and both body surveillance and body shame. Implications for advancing our understanding of the adaptive properties of a self-compassionate self-regulatory style in mitigating recall of familial body-related shaming on the internalized body-related shame regulating processes of body objectification in emerging adulthood are discussed.

  4. The Influence of Consciousness Research

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Exceptional Children, 1978

    1978-01-01

    Presented is a conversation with Stanley Krippner, Program Planning Coordinator at the Humanistic Psychology Institute (San Francisco, California), on the field of psychoenergetics (the interdisciplinary investigation of the relationships among consciousness, energy, and matter) and its relation to special education. (SBH)

  5. Modulation in voluntary neural drive in relation to muscle soreness

    PubMed Central

    Bringard, A.; Puchaux, K.; Noakes, T. D.; Perrey, S.

    2007-01-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate whether (1) spinal modulation would change after non-exhausting eccentric exercise of the plantar flexor muscles that produced muscle soreness and (2) central modulation of the motor command would be linked to the development of muscle soreness. Ten healthy subjects volunteered to perform a single bout of backward downhill walking exercise (duration 30 min, velocity 1 ms−1, negative grade −25%, load 12% of body weight). Neuromuscular test sessions [H-reflex, M-wave, maximal voluntary torque (MVT)] were performed before, immediately after, as well as 1–3 days after the exercise bout. Immediately after exercise there was a −15% decrease in MVT of the plantar flexors partly attributable to an alteration in contractile properties (−23% in electrically evoked mechanical twitch). However, MVT failed to recover before the third day whereas the contractile properties had significantly recovered within the first day. This delayed recovery of MVT was likely related to a decrement in voluntary muscle drive. The decrease in voluntary activation occurred in the absence of any variation in spinal modulation estimated from the H-reflex. Our findings suggest the development of a supraspinal modulation perhaps linked to the presence of muscle soreness. PMID:17978834

  6. Working Memory-Related Neural Activity Predicts Future Smoking Relapse

    PubMed Central

    Loughead, James; Wileyto, E Paul; Ruparel, Kosha; Falcone, Mary; Hopson, Ryan; Gur, Ruben; Lerman, Caryn

    2015-01-01

    Brief abstinence from smoking impairs cognition, particularly executive function, and this has a role in relapse to smoking. This study examined whether working memory-related brain activity predicts subsequent smoking relapse above and beyond standard clinical and behavioral measures. Eighty treatment-seeking smokers completed two functional magnetic resonance imaging sessions (smoking satiety vs 24 h abstinence challenge) during performance of a visual N-back task. Brief counseling and a short-term quit attempt followed. Relapse during the first 7 days was biochemically confirmed by the presence of the nicotine metabolite cotinine. Mean percent blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) signal change was extracted from a priori regions of interest: bilateral dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), medial frontal/cingulate gyrus, posterior cingulate cortex (PCC), and ventromedial prefrontal cortex. Signal from these brain regions and additional clinical measures were used to model outcome status, which was then validated with resampling techniques. Relapse to smoking was predicted by increased withdrawal symptoms, decreased left DLPFC and increased PCC BOLD percent signal change (abstinence vs smoking satiety). Receiver operating characteristic analysis demonstrated 81% area under the curve using these predictors, a significant improvement over the model with clinical variables only. The combination of abstinence-induced decreases in left DLPFC activation and reduced suppression of PCC may be a prognostic marker for poor outcome, specifically early smoking relapse. PMID:25469682

  7. Brain Dynamics Underlying the Nonlinear Threshold for Access to Consciousness

    PubMed Central

    Del Cul, Antoine; Baillet, Sylvain; Dehaene, Stanislas

    2007-01-01

    When a flashed stimulus is followed by a backward mask, subjects fail to perceive it unless the target-mask interval exceeds a threshold duration of about 50 ms. Models of conscious access postulate that this threshold is associated with the time needed to establish sustained activity in recurrent cortical loops, but the brain areas involved and their timing remain debated. We used high-density recordings of event-related potentials (ERPs) and cortical source reconstruction to assess the time course of human brain activity evoked by masked stimuli and to determine neural events during which brain activity correlates with conscious reports. Target-mask stimulus onset asynchrony (SOA) was varied in small steps, allowing us to ask which ERP events show the characteristic nonlinear dependence with SOA seen in subjective and objective reports. The results separate distinct stages in mask-target interactions, indicating that a considerable amount of subliminal processing can occur early on in the occipito-temporal pathway (<250 ms) and pointing to a late (>270 ms) and highly distributed fronto-parieto-temporal activation as a correlate of conscious reportability. PMID:17896866

  8. Neural and Behavioral Sequelae of Blast-Related Traumatic Brain Injury

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-09-01

    effective pharmacological and neurorehabilitation interventions. In this cross-sectional study, we applied neurobehavioral testing and advanced MRI...the completion of the project in Houston can be summarized as: • Chronic effects of blast related mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) in Veterans...further analysis of our data and replication, these findings on the Sternberg indicate distinct effects of blast related mTBI on the neural network

  9. Neural and Behavioral Sequelae of Blast-Related Traumatic Brain Injury

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2009-09-30

    ABSTRACT Traumatic brain injuries ( TBI ) are a common occurrence from roadside blasts of improvised explosive devices (IEDs). In the proposed cross...years, we will enroll the planned 120 subjects across the two study sites. 15. SUBJECT TERMS Blast-related traumatic brain injury ( TBI ), fMRI, DTI...TITLE: Neural and Behavioral Sequelae of Blast-Related Traumatic Brain Injury PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Stephen M. Rao, Ph.D

  10. Cognitive flexibility modulates maturation and music-training-related changes in neural sound discrimination.

    PubMed

    Saarikivi, Katri; Putkinen, Vesa; Tervaniemi, Mari; Huotilainen, Minna

    2016-07-01

    Previous research has demonstrated that musicians show superior neural sound discrimination when compared to non-musicians, and that these changes emerge with accumulation of training. Our aim was to investigate whether individual differences in executive functions predict training-related changes in neural sound discrimination. We measured event-related potentials induced by sound changes coupled with tests for executive functions in musically trained and non-trained children aged 9-11 years and 13-15 years. High performance in a set-shifting task, indexing cognitive flexibility, was linked to enhanced maturation of neural sound discrimination in both musically trained and non-trained children. Specifically, well-performing musically trained children already showed large mismatch negativity (MMN) responses at a young age as well as at an older age, indicating accurate sound discrimination. In contrast, the musically trained low-performing children still showed an increase in MMN amplitude with age, suggesting that they were behind their high-performing peers in the development of sound discrimination. In the non-trained group, in turn, only the high-performing children showed evidence of an age-related increase in MMN amplitude, and the low-performing children showed a small MMN with no age-related change. These latter results suggest an advantage in MMN development also for high-performing non-trained individuals. For the P3a amplitude, there was an age-related increase only in the children who performed well in the set-shifting task, irrespective of music training, indicating enhanced attention-related processes in these children. Thus, the current study provides the first evidence that, in children, cognitive flexibility may influence age-related and training-related plasticity of neural sound discrimination.

  11. Natural and Artificial Intelligence, Language, Consciousness, Emotion, and Anticipation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dubois, Daniel M.

    2010-11-01

    The classical paradigm of the neural brain as the seat of human natural intelligence is too restrictive. This paper defends the idea that the neural ectoderm is the actual brain, based on the development of the human embryo. Indeed, the neural ectoderm includes the neural crest, given by pigment cells in the skin and ganglia of the autonomic nervous system, and the neural tube, given by the brain, the spinal cord, and motor neurons. So the brain is completely integrated in the ectoderm, and cannot work alone. The paper presents fundamental properties of the brain as follows. Firstly, Paul D. MacLean proposed the triune human brain, which consists to three brains in one, following the species evolution, given by the reptilian complex, the limbic system, and the neo-cortex. Secondly, the consciousness and conscious awareness are analysed. Thirdly, the anticipatory unconscious free will and conscious free veto are described in agreement with the experiments of Benjamin Libet. Fourthly, the main section explains the development of the human embryo and shows that the neural ectoderm is the whole neural brain. Fifthly, a conjecture is proposed that the neural brain is completely programmed with scripts written in biological low-level and high-level languages, in a manner similar to the programmed cells by the genetic code. Finally, it is concluded that the proposition of the neural ectoderm as the whole neural brain is a breakthrough in the understanding of the natural intelligence, and also in the future design of robots with artificial intelligence.

  12. The temporal structure of resting-state brain activity in the medial prefrontal cortex predicts self-consciousness.

    PubMed

    Huang, Zirui; Obara, Natsuho; Davis, Henry Hap; Pokorny, Johanna; Northoff, Georg

    2016-02-01

    Recent studies have demonstrated an overlap between the neural substrate of resting-state activity and self-related processing in the cortical midline structures (CMS). However, the neural and psychological mechanisms mediating this so-called "rest-self overlap" remain unclear. To investigate the neural mechanisms, we estimated the temporal structure of spontaneous/resting-state activity, e.g. its long-range temporal correlations or self-affinity across time as indexed by the power-law exponent (PLE). The PLE was obtained in resting-state activity in the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) and the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) in 47 healthy subjects by functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). We performed correlation analyses of the PLE and Revised Self-Consciousness Scale (SCSR) scores, which enabled us to access different dimensions of self-consciousness and specified rest-self overlap in a psychological regard. The PLE in the MPFC's resting-state activity correlated with private self-consciousness scores from the SCSR. Conversely, we found no correlation between the PLE and the other subscales of the SCSR (public, social) or between other resting-state measures, including functional connectivity, and the SCSR subscales. This is the first evidence for the association between the scale-free dynamics of resting-state activity in the CMS and the private dimension of self-consciousness. This finding implies the relationship of especially the private dimension of self with the temporal structure of resting-state activity.

  13. Does perceptual learning require consciousness or attention?

    PubMed

    Meuwese, Julia D I; Post, Ruben A G; Scholte, H Steven; Lamme, Victor A F

    2013-10-01

    It has been proposed that visual attention and consciousness are separate [Koch, C., & Tsuchiya, N. Attention and consciousness: Two distinct brain processes. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 11, 16-22, 2007] and possibly even orthogonal processes [Lamme, V. A. F. Why visual attention and awareness are different. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 7, 12-18, 2003]. Attention and consciousness converge when conscious visual percepts are attended and hence become available for conscious report. In such a view, a lack of reportability can have two causes: the absence of attention or the absence of a conscious percept. This raises an important question in the field of perceptual learning. It is known that learning can occur in the absence of reportability [Gutnisky, D. A., Hansen, B. J., Iliescu, B. F., & Dragoi, V. Attention alters visual plasticity during exposure-based learning. Current Biology, 19, 555-560, 2009; Seitz, A. R., Kim, D., & Watanabe, T. Rewards evoke learning of unconsciously processed visual stimuli in adult humans. Neuron, 61, 700-707, 2009; Seitz, A. R., & Watanabe, T. Is subliminal learning really passive? Nature, 422, 36, 2003; Watanabe, T., Náñez, J. E., & Sasaki, Y. Perceptual learning without perception. Nature, 413, 844-848, 2001], but it is unclear which of the two ingredients-consciousness or attention-is not necessary for learning. We presented textured figure-ground stimuli and manipulated reportability either by masking (which only interferes with consciousness) or with an inattention paradigm (which only interferes with attention). During the second session (24 hr later), learning was assessed neurally and behaviorally, via differences in figure-ground ERPs and via a detection task. Behavioral and neural learning effects were found for stimuli presented in the inattention paradigm and not for masked stimuli. Interestingly, the behavioral learning effect only became apparent when performance feedback was given on the task to measure learning

  14. Towards solving the hard problem of consciousness: The varieties of brain resonances and the conscious experiences that they support.

    PubMed

    Grossberg, Stephen

    2017-03-01

    The hard problem of consciousness is the problem of explaining how we experience qualia or phenomenal experiences, such as seeing, hearing, and feeling, and knowing what they are. To solve this problem, a theory of consciousness needs to link brain to mind by modeling how emergent properties of several brain mechanisms interacting together embody detailed properties of individual conscious psychological experiences. This article summarizes evidence that Adaptive Resonance Theory, or ART, accomplishes this goal. ART is a cognitive and neural theory of how advanced brains autonomously learn to attend, recognize, and predict objects and events in a changing world. ART has predicted that "all conscious states are resonant states" as part of its specification of mechanistic links between processes of consciousness, learning, expectation, attention, resonance, and synchrony. It hereby provides functional and mechanistic explanations of data ranging from individual spikes and their synchronization to the dynamics of conscious perceptual, cognitive, and cognitive-emotional experiences. ART has reached sufficient maturity to begin classifying the brain resonances that support conscious experiences of seeing, hearing, feeling, and knowing. Psychological and neurobiological data in both normal individuals and clinical patients are clarified by this classification. This analysis also explains why not all resonances become conscious, and why not all brain dynamics are resonant. The global organization of the brain into computationally complementary cortical processing streams (complementary computing), and the organization of the cerebral cortex into characteristic layers of cells (laminar computing), figure prominently in these explanations of conscious and unconscious processes. Alternative models of consciousness are also discussed.

  15. Distinct Neural Substrates for Maintaining Locations and Spatial Relations in Working Memory

    PubMed Central

    Blacker, Kara J.; Courtney, Susan M.

    2016-01-01

    Previous work has demonstrated a distinction between maintenance of two types of spatial information in working memory (WM): spatial locations and spatial relations. While a body of work has investigated the neural mechanisms of sensory-based information like spatial locations, little is known about how spatial relations are maintained in WM. In two experiments, we used fMRI to investigate the involvement of early visual cortex in the maintenance of spatial relations in WM. In both experiments, we found less quadrant-specific BOLD activity in visual cortex when a single spatial relation, compared to a single spatial location, was held in WM. Also across both experiments, we found a consistent set of brain regions that were differentially activated during maintenance of locations vs. relations. Maintaining a location, compared to a relation, was associated with greater activity in typical spatial WM regions like posterior parietal cortex and prefrontal regions. Whereas maintaining a relation, compared to a location, was associated with greater activity in the parahippocampal gyrus and precuneus/retrosplenial cortex. Further, in Experiment 2 we manipulated WM load and included trials where participants had to maintain three spatial locations or relations. Under this high load condition, the regions sensitive to locations vs. relations were somewhat different than under low load. We also identified regions that were sensitive to load specifically for location or relation maintenance, as well as overlapping regions sensitive to load more generally. These results suggest that the neural substrates underlying WM maintenance of spatial locations and relations are distinct from one another and that the neural representations of these distinct types of spatial information change with load. PMID:27932963

  16. Consciousness and hallucinations in schizophrenia: the role of synapse regression.

    PubMed

    Bennett A O, Maxwell R

    2008-11-01

    Consciousness takes two forms, transitive and intransitive. Transitive consciousness is a matter of being conscious of something or other whereas intransitive consciousness has no object, as being conscious or awake. Of the different forms of transitive consciousness, perceptual, somatic, kinaesthetic and so on, cognitive neuroscience has concentrated on determining the neural concomitants of perceptual consciousness. To be conscious of a percept is to be aware of it and this requires attending to it. This work sets out a hypothesis as to what brain areas are involved in a schizophrenia subject attending and becoming aware of hallucinations. First, the different areas of cortex that support different visual and auditory illusions of percepts are considered. Next it is argued that endogenous activity in these areas of cortex give rise to hallucinations of percepts that are similar to the percepts that these same areas support during illusions. The basis of such endogenous activity, it is suggested, is to be found in the paucity of afferent synapses to these cortical areas. This may occur as a consequence of loss and regression of synapses due to a degenerative disease or because of abnormal synapse formation and regression during childhood and adolescence, as is likely to be the case in schizophrenia. Finally the neural basis of attention and awareness of these hallucinations are considered for subjects suffering from schizophrenia, and a set of important questions posed that await elucidation through future experimental studies.

  17. Neural Basis of Intrinsic Motivation: Evidence from Event-Related Potentials.

    PubMed

    Jin, Jia; Yu, Liping; Ma, Qingguo

    2015-01-01

    Human intrinsic motivation is of great importance in human behavior. However, although researchers have focused on this topic for decades, its neural basis was still unclear. The current study employed event-related potentials to investigate the neural disparity between an interesting stop-watch (SW) task and a boring watch-stop task (WS) to understand the neural mechanisms of intrinsic motivation. Our data showed that, in the cue priming stage, the cue of the SW task elicited smaller N2 amplitude than that of the WS task. Furthermore, in the outcome feedback stage, the outcome of the SW task induced smaller FRN amplitude and larger P300 amplitude than that of the WS task. These results suggested that human intrinsic motivation did exist and that it can be detected at the neural level. Furthermore, intrinsic motivation could be quantitatively indexed by the amplitude of ERP components, such as N2, FRN, and P300, in the cue priming stage or feedback stage. Quantitative measurements would also be convenient for intrinsic motivation to be added as a candidate social factor in the construction of a machine learning model.

  18. Neural dissociation of food- and money-related reward processing using an abstract incentive delay task.

    PubMed

    Simon, Joe J; Skunde, Mandy; Wu, Mudan; Schnell, Knut; Herpertz, Sabine C; Bendszus, Martin; Herzog, Wolfgang; Friederich, Hans-Christoph

    2015-08-01

    Food is an innate reward stimulus related to energy homeostasis and survival, whereas money is considered a more general reward stimulus that gains a rewarding value through learning experiences. Although the underlying neural processing for both modalities of reward has been investigated independently from one another, a more detailed investigation of neural similarities and/or differences between food and monetary reward is still missing. Here, we investigated the neural processing of food compared with monetary-related rewards in 27 healthy, normal-weight women using functional magnetic resonance imaging. We developed a task distinguishing between the anticipation and the receipt of either abstract food or monetary reward. Both tasks activated the ventral striatum during the expectation of a reward. Compared with money, greater food-related activations were observed in prefrontal, parietal and central midline structures during the anticipation and lateral orbitofrontal cortex (lOFC) during the receipt of food reward. Furthermore, during the receipt of food reward, brain activation in the secondary taste cortex was positively related to the body mass index. These results indicate that food-dependent activations encompass to a greater extent brain regions involved in self-control and self-reflection during the anticipation and phylogenetically older parts of the lOFC during the receipt of reward.

  19. Neural dissociation of food- and money-related reward processing using an abstract incentive delay task

    PubMed Central

    Skunde, Mandy; Wu, Mudan; Schnell, Knut; Herpertz, Sabine C.; Bendszus, Martin; Herzog, Wolfgang; Friederich, Hans-Christoph

    2015-01-01

    Food is an innate reward stimulus related to energy homeostasis and survival, whereas money is considered a more general reward stimulus that gains a rewarding value through learning experiences. Although the underlying neural processing for both modalities of reward has been investigated independently from one another, a more detailed investigation of neural similarities and/or differences between food and monetary reward is still missing. Here, we investigated the neural processing of food compared with monetary-related rewards in 27 healthy, normal-weight women using functional magnetic resonance imaging. We developed a task distinguishing between the anticipation and the receipt of either abstract food or monetary reward. Both tasks activated the ventral striatum during the expectation of a reward. Compared with money, greater food-related activations were observed in prefrontal, parietal and central midline structures during the anticipation and lateral orbitofrontal cortex (lOFC) during the receipt of food reward. Furthermore, during the receipt of food reward, brain activation in the secondary taste cortex was positively related to the body mass index. These results indicate that food-dependent activations encompass to a greater extent brain regions involved in self-control and self-reflection during the anticipation and phylogenetically older parts of the lOFC during the receipt of reward. PMID:25552570

  20. Elevated reward-related neural activation as a unique biological marker of bipolar disorder: assessment and treatment implications.

    PubMed

    Nusslock, Robin; Young, Christina B; Damme, Katherine S F

    2014-11-01

    Growing evidence indicates that risk for bipolar disorder is characterized by elevated activation in a fronto-striatal reward neural circuit involving the ventral striatum and orbitofrontal cortex, among other regions. It is proposed that individuals with abnormally elevated reward-related neural activation are at risk for experiencing an excessive increase in approach-related motivation during life events involving rewards or goal striving and attainment. In the extreme, this increase in motivation is reflected in hypomanic/manic symptoms. By contrast, unipolar depression (without a history of hypomania/mania) is characterized by decreased reward responsivity and decreased reward-related neural activation. Collectively, this suggests that risk for bipolar disorder and unipolar depression are characterized by distinct and opposite profiles of reward processing and reward-related neural activation. The objective of the present paper is threefold. First, we review the literature on reward processing and reward-related neural activation in bipolar disorder, and in particular risk for hypomania/mania. Second, we propose that reward-related neural activation reflects a biological marker of differential risk for bipolar disorder versus unipolar depression that may help facilitate psychiatric assessment and differential diagnosis. We also discuss, however, the challenges to using neuroscience techniques and biological markers in a clinical setting for assessment and diagnostic purposes. Lastly, we address the pharmacological and psychosocial treatment implications of research on reward-related neural activation in bipolar disorder.

  1. Relationship between Alcohol Dependence, Escape Drinking, and Early Neural Attention to Alcohol-Related Cuess

    PubMed Central

    Dickter, Cheryl L.; Forestell, Catherine A.; Hammett, Patrick J.; Young, Chelsie M.

    2014-01-01

    Rationale Previous work has indicated that implicit attentional biases to alcohol-related cues are indicative of susceptibility to alcohol dependence and escape drinking, or drinking to avoid dysphoric mood or emotions. Objective The goal of the current study was to examine whether alcohol dependence and escape drinking were associated with early neural attentional biases to alcohol cues. Methods EEG data were recorded from 54 college students who reported that they regularly drank alcohol, while they viewed alcohol and control pictures that contained human content (active) or no human content (inactive). Results Those who were alcohol dependent showed more neural attentional bias to the active alcohol-related stimuli than to the matched control stimuli early in processing, as indicated by N1 amplitude. Escape drinkers showed greater neural attention to the active alcohol cues than non-escape drinkers, as measured by larger N2 amplitudes. Conclusions While alcohol dependence is associated with enhanced automatic attentional biases early in processing, escape drinking is associated with more controlled attentional biases to active alcohol cues during a relatively later stage in processing. These findings reveal important information about the time-course of attentional processing in problem drinkers and have important implications for addiction models and treatment. PMID:24292342

  2. Midfrontal conflict-related theta-band power reflects neural oscillations that predict behavior.

    PubMed

    Cohen, Michael X; Donner, Tobias H

    2013-12-01

    Action monitoring and conflict resolution require the rapid and flexible coordination of activity in multiple brain regions. Oscillatory neural population activity may be a key physiological mechanism underlying such rapid and flexible network coordination. EEG power modulations of theta-band (4-8 Hz) activity over the human midfrontal cortex during response conflict have been proposed to reflect neural oscillations that support conflict detection and resolution processes. However, it has remained unclear whether this frequency-band-specific activity reflects neural oscillations or nonoscillatory responses (i.e., event-related potentials). Here, we show that removing the phase-locked component of the EEG did not reduce the strength of the conflict-related modulation of the residual (i.e., non-phase-locked) theta power over midfrontal cortex. Furthermore, within-subject regression analyses revealed that the non-phase-locked theta power was a significantly better predictor of the conflict condition than was the time-domain phase-locked EEG component. Finally, non-phase-locked theta power showed robust and condition-specific (high- vs. low-conflict) cross-trial correlations with reaction time, whereas the phase-locked component did not. Taken together, our results indicate that most of the conflict-related and behaviorally relevant midfrontal EEG signal reflects a modulation of ongoing theta-band oscillations that occurs during the decision process but is not phase-locked to the stimulus or to the response.

  3. Does Socio-Economic Status and Health Consciousness Influence How Women Respond to Health Related Messages in Media?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Iversen, Anette Christine; Kraft, Pal

    2006-01-01

    During the past few decades, people have been increasingly exposed to health-related messages in the mass media, conveying recommendations for healthy lifestyles. The present study investigates whether these messages represent a stressor, and whether coping responses increase levels of motivation or levels of negative affect. A sample of 403 women…

  4. Perceptual Salience and Reward Both Influence Feedback-Related Neural Activity Arising from Choice

    PubMed Central

    Lou, Bin; Hsu, Wha-Yin

    2015-01-01

    For day-to-day decisions, multiple factors influence our choice between alternatives. Two dimensions of decision making that substantially affect choice are the objective perceptual properties of the stimulus (e.g., salience) and its subjective value. Here we measure EEGs in human subjects to relate their feedback-evoked EEG responses to estimates of prediction error given a neurally derived expected value for each trial. Unlike in traditional reinforcement learning paradigms, in our experiment the reward itself is not probabilistic; rather, it is a fixed value, which, when combined with the variable stimulus salience, yields uncertainty in the choice. We find that feedback-evoked event-related potentials (ERPs), specifically those classically termed feedback-related negativity, are modulated by both the reward level and stimulus salience. Using single-trial analysis of the EEG, we show stimulus-locked EEG components reflecting perceived stimulus salience can be combined with the level of reward to create an estimate of expected reward. This expected reward is used to form a prediction error that correlates with the trial-by-trial variability of the feedback ERPs for negative, but not positive, feedback. This suggests that the valence of prediction error is more important than the valence of the actual feedback, since only positive rewards were delivered in the experiment (no penalty or loss). Finally, we show that these subjectively defined prediction errors are informative of the riskiness of the subject's choice on the subsequent trial. In summary, our work shows that neural correlates of stimulus salience interact with value information to yield neural representations of subjective expected reward. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT How we make perceptual decisions depends on sensory evidence and the value of our options. These two factors often interact to yield subjective decisions; i.e., individuals integrate sensory evidence and value to form their own estimates of

  5. Neural Connectivity and Immunocytochemical Studies of Anatomical Sites Related to Nauseogenic and Emetic Reflexes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fox, Robert A. (Principal Investigator)

    1992-01-01

    The studies conducted in this research project examined several aspects of neuroanatomical structures and neurochemical processes related to motion sickness in animal models. A principle objective of these studies was to investigate neurochemical changes in the central nervous system that are related to motion sickness with the objective of defining neural mechanisms important to this malady. For purposes of exposition, the studies and research finding have been classified into five categories. These are: immunoreactivity in the brainstem, vasopressin effects, lesion studies of area postrema, role of the vagus nerve, and central nervous system structure related to adaptation to microgravity.

  6. Consciousness and Listening.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McMaster, Michele

    To understand the demands and restrictions of human consciousness will allow teachers and students alike to actually "be" listeners. It is speculated (by K. Wilber, E. Neumann, J. Gebser and others) that human consciousness, in the course of human existence, has gone through several changes, different modes or structures, so to speak,…

  7. Consciousness and psychotherapy.

    PubMed

    Ryle, A

    1994-06-01

    The origins and resistance to change of neurotic procedures are considered with particular reference to the nature and role of consciousness. It is argued that the traditional opposition between conscious and unconscious systems provides an unsatisfactory model. The crucial role of language in the formation of human self-consciousness is emphasized. The restricted procedural repertoire of neurotic subjects, and their deficient self-consciousness, can be attributed to a number of factors. It is argued that the main use of consciousness in therapy should be to heighten the patient's awareness of his or her damaging or restricting procedural repertoire through the process of reformulation, which allows recognition, and in due course revision to be achieved.

  8. The evolution of consciousness

    SciTech Connect

    Stapp, H.P.

    1996-08-16

    It is argued that the principles of classical physics are inimical to the development of an adequate science of consciousness. The problem is that insofar as the classical principles are valid consciousness can have no effect on the behavior, and hence on the survival prospects, of the organisms in which it inheres. Thus within the classical framework it is not possible to explain in natural terms the development of consciousness to the high-level form found in human beings. In quantum theory, on the other hand, consciousness can be dynamically efficacious: quantum theory does allow consciousness to influence behavior, and thence to evolve in accordance with the principles of natural selection. However, this evolutionary requirement places important constraints upon the details of the formulation of the quantum dynamical principles.

  9. Folate-related gene variants in Irish families affected by neural tube defects.

    PubMed

    Fisk Green, Ridgely; Byrne, Julianne; Crider, Krista S; Gallagher, Margaret; Koontz, Deborah; Berry, Robert J

    2013-01-01

    Periconceptional folic acid use can often prevent neural tube defects (NTDs). Variants of genes involved in folate metabolism in mothers and children have been associated with occurrence of NTDs. We identified Irish families with individuals affected by neural tube defects. In these families, we observed that neural tube defects and birth defects overall occurred at a higher rate in the maternal lineage compared with the paternal lineage. The goal of this study was to look for evidence for genetic effects that could explain the discrepancy in the occurrence of these birth defects in the maternal vs. paternal lineage. We genotyped blood samples from 322 individuals from NTD-affected Irish families, identified through their membership in spina bifida associations. We looked for differences in distribution in maternal vs. paternal lineages of five genetic polymorphisms: the DHFR 19 bp deletion, MTHFD1 1958G>A, MTHFR 1298A>C, MTHFR 677C>T, and SLC19A1 80A>G. In addition to looking at genotypes individually, we determined the number of genotypes associated with decreased folate metabolism in each relative ("risk genotypes") and compared the distribution of these genotypes in maternal vs. paternal relatives. Overall, maternal relatives had a higher number of genotypes associated with lower folate metabolism than paternal relatives (p = 0.017). We expected that relatives would share the same risk genotype as the individuals with NTDs and/or their mothers. However, we observed that maternal relatives had an over-abundance of any risk genotype, rather than one specific genotype. The observed genetic effects suggest an epigenetic mechanism in which decreased folate metabolism results in epigenetic alterations related to the increased rate of NTDs and other birth defects seen in the maternal lineage. Future studies on the etiology of NTDs and other birth defects could benefit from including multigenerational extended families, in order to explore potential epigenetic

  10. Sex-related similarities and differences in the neural correlates of beauty

    PubMed Central

    Cela-Conde, Camilo J.; Ayala, Francisco J.; Munar, Enric; Maestú, Fernando; Nadal, Marcos; Capó, Miguel A.; del Río, David; López-Ibor, Juan J.; Ortiz, Tomás; Mirasso, Claudio; Marty, Gisèle

    2009-01-01

    The capacity to appreciate beauty is one of our species' most remarkable traits. Although knowledge about its neural correlates is growing, little is known about any gender-related differences. We have explored possible differences between men and women's neural correlates of aesthetic preference. We have used magnetoencephalography to record the brain activity of 10 male and 10 female participants while they decided whether or not they considered examples of artistic and natural visual stimuli to be beautiful. Our results reveal significantly different activity between the sexes in parietal regions when participants judged the stimuli as beautiful. Activity in this region was bilateral in women, whereas it was lateralized to the right hemisphere in men. It is known that the dorsal visual processing stream, which encompasses the superior parietal areas, has been significantly modified throughout human evolution. We posit that the observed gender-related differences are the result of evolutionary processes that occurred after the splitting of the human and chimpanzee lineages. In view of previous results on gender differences with respect to the neural correlates of coordinate and categorical spatial strategies, we infer that the different strategies used by men and women in assessing aesthetic preference may reflect differences in the strategies associated with the division of labor between our male and female hunter-gatherer hominin ancestors. PMID:19237562

  11. Defective neural crest migration revealed by a Zebrafish model of Alx1-related frontonasal dysplasia.

    PubMed

    Dee, Chris T; Szymoniuk, Christoph R; Mills, Peter E D; Takahashi, Tokiharu

    2013-01-15

    Frontonasal dysplasia (FND) refers to a class of midline facial malformations caused by abnormal development of the facial primordia. The term encompasses a spectrum of severities but characteristic features include combinations of ocular hypertelorism, malformations of the nose and forehead and clefting of the facial midline. Several recent studies have drawn attention to the importance of Alx homeobox transcription factors during craniofacial development. Most notably, loss of Alx1 has devastating consequences resulting in severe orofacial clefting and extreme microphthalmia. In contrast, mutations of Alx3 or Alx4 cause milder forms of FND. Whilst Alx1, Alx3 and Alx4 are all known to be expressed in the facial mesenchyme of vertebrate embryos, little is known about the function of these proteins during development. Here, we report the establishment of a zebrafish model of Alx-related FND. Morpholino knock-down of zebrafish alx1 expression causes a profound craniofacial phenotype including loss of the facial cartilages and defective ocular development. We demonstrate for the first time that Alx1 plays a crucial role in regulating the migration of cranial neural crest (CNC) cells into the frontonasal primordia. Abnormal neural crest migration is coincident with aberrant expression of foxd3 and sox10, two genes previously suggested to play key roles during neural crest development, including migration, differentiation and the maintenance of progenitor cells. This novel function is specific to Alx1, and likely explains the marked clinical severity of Alx1 mutation within the spectrum of Alx-related FND.

  12. A unified 3D default space consciousness model combining neurological and physiological processes that underlie conscious experience.

    PubMed

    Jerath, Ravinder; Crawford, Molly W; Barnes, Vernon A

    2015-01-01

    The Global Workspace Theory and Information Integration Theory are two of the most currently accepted consciousness models; however, these models do not address many aspects of conscious experience. We compare these models to our previously proposed consciousness model in which the thalamus fills-in processed sensory information from corticothalamic feedback loops within a proposed 3D default space, resulting in the recreation of the internal and external worlds within the mind. This 3D default space is composed of all cells of the body, which communicate via gap junctions and electrical potentials to create this unified space. We use 3D illustrations to explain how both visual and non-visual sensory information may be filled-in within this dynamic space, creating a unified seamless conscious experience. This neural sensory memory space is likely generated by baseline neural oscillatory activity from the default mode network, other salient networks, brainstem, and reticular activating system.

  13. A unified 3D default space consciousness model combining neurological and physiological processes that underlie conscious experience

    PubMed Central

    Jerath, Ravinder; Crawford, Molly W.; Barnes, Vernon A.

    2015-01-01

    The Global Workspace Theory and Information Integration Theory are two of the most currently accepted consciousness models; however, these models do not address many aspects of conscious experience. We compare these models to our previously proposed consciousness model in which the thalamus fills-in processed sensory information from corticothalamic feedback loops within a proposed 3D default space, resulting in the recreation of the internal and external worlds within the mind. This 3D default space is composed of all cells of the body, which communicate via gap junctions and electrical potentials to create this unified space. We use 3D illustrations to explain how both visual and non-visual sensory information may be filled-in within this dynamic space, creating a unified seamless conscious experience. This neural sensory memory space is likely generated by baseline neural oscillatory activity from the default mode network, other salient networks, brainstem, and reticular activating system. PMID:26379573

  14. ERPS to Monitor Non-conscious Mentation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Donchin, E.

    1984-01-01

    Event Related Brain Potentials (or ERPs) are extracted from the EEG that can be recorded between a pair of electrodes placed on a person's scalp. The EEG is recorded as a continual fluctuation in voltage. It is the results of the integration of the potential fields generated by a multitude of neuronal ensembles that are active as the brain goes about its business. Within this ongoing signal it is possible to distinguish voltage fluctuations that are triggered in neural structures by the occurrence of specific events. This activity, evoked as it is by an external event, is known as the Evoked, or Event Related, Potential. The ERPs provide a unique opportunity to monitor non-conscious mentation. The inferences that can be based on ERP data are described and the limits of these inferences are emphasized. This, however, will not be an exhaustive review of the use of ERPs in Engineering Psychology. The application, its scope, and its limitations will be illustrated by means of one example. This example is preceded by a brief technical introduction to the methodology used in the study of ERPs. The manner in which ERPs are used to study cognition is described.

  15. Relations among pure-tone sound stimuli, neural activity, and the loudness sensation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Howes, W. L.

    1972-01-01

    Both the physiological and psychological responses to pure-tone sound stimuli are used to derive formulas which: (1) relate the loudness, loudness level, and sound-pressure level of pure tones; (2) apply continuously over most of the acoustic regime, including the loudness threshold; and (3) contain no undetermined coefficients. Some of the formulas are fundamental for calculating the loudness of any sound. Power-law formulas relating the pure-tone sound stimulus, neural activity, and loudness are derived from published data.

  16. Age-related changes to the neural correlates of working memory which emerge after midlife.

    PubMed

    Macpherson, Helen N; White, David J; Ellis, Kathryn A; Stough, Con; Camfield, David; Silberstein, Richard; Pipingas, Andrew

    2014-01-01

    Previous research has indicated that the neural processes which underlie working memory change with age. Both age-related increases and decreases to cortical activity have been reported. This study investigated which stages of working memory are most vulnerable to age-related changes after midlife. To do this we examined age-differences in the 13 Hz steady state visually evoked potential (SSVEP) associated with a spatial working memory delayed response task. Participants were 130 healthy adults separated into a midlife (40-60 years) and an older group (61-82 years). Relative to the midlife group, older adults demonstrated greater bilateral frontal activity during encoding and this pattern of activity was related to better working memory performance. In contrast, evidence of age-related under activation was identified over left frontal regions during retrieval. Findings from this study suggest that after midlife, under-activation of frontal regions during retrieval contributes to age-related decline in working memory performance.

  17. Postmodern consciousness in psychotherapy.

    PubMed

    Kawai, Toshio

    2006-06-01

    Modern consciousness is a cultural and historical achievement in the West and a developmental task for each person now. Modern consciousness consists in the emancipation from the power of community, animistic nature and the unconscious. It is connected with neurosis and psychotherapy because it has to do with inner conflicts. But today there is an increasing number of cases which are characterized by dissociation and acting out, without the feeling of conflicts. Consciousness seems to be changing toward a new conception which might be called 'postmodern consciousness'. The essence of postmodern consciousness is shown by interpreting two dreams internally. The first dream from a case of depersonalization indicates that it is not necessary to be entangled with the object. There is a different kind of coniunctio in the mode of seeing. The second dream from a case of dissociative disorder shows a world which has neither traces of pre-modern cosmology-high and low, here and the beyond-nor modern interiority. There is only surface and self-reflection without content. The discussion of dreams suggests that postmodern consciousness is not to be understood as premature and pathological. It is therapeutically important to refine and deepen postmodern consciousness.

  18. Consciousness during dreams.

    PubMed

    Cicogna, P C; Bosinelli, M

    2001-03-01

    Two aspects of consciousness are first considered: consciousness as awareness (phenomenological meaning) and consciousness as strategic control (functional meaning). As to awareness, three types can be distinguished: first, awareness as the phenomenal experiences of objects and events; second, awareness as meta-awareness, i.e., the awareness of mental life itself; third, awareness as self-awareness, i.e., the awareness of being oneself. While phenomenal experience and self-awareness are usually present during dreaming (even if many modifications are possible), meta-awareness is usually absent (apart from some particular experiences of self-reflectiveness) with the major exception of lucid dreaming. Consciousness as strategic control may also be present in dreams. The functioning of consciousness is then analyzed, following a cognitive model of dream production. In such a model, the dream is supposed to be the product of the interaction of three components: (a) the bottom-up activation of mnemonic elements coming from LTM systems, (b) interpretative and elaborative top-down processes, and (c) monitoring of phenomenal experience. A feedback circulation is activated among the components, where the top-down interpretative organization and the conscious monitoring of the oneiric scene elicitates other mnemonic contents, according to the requirements of the dream plot. This dream productive activity is submitted to unconscious and conscious processes.

  19. Cell cycle-related genes p57kip2, Cdk5 and Spin in the pathogenesis of neural tube defects.

    PubMed

    Li, Xinjun; Yang, Zhong; Zeng, Yi; Xu, Hong; Li, Hongli; Han, Yangyun; Long, Xiaodong; You, Chao

    2013-07-15

    In the field of developmental neurobiology, accurate and ordered regulation of the cell cycle and apoptosis are crucial factors contributing to the normal formation of the neural tube. Preliminary studies identified several genes involved in the development of neural tube defects. In this study, we established a model of developmental neural tube defects by administration of retinoic acid to pregnant rats. Gene chip hybridization analysis showed that genes related to the cell cycle and apoptosis, signal transduction, transcription and translation regulation, energy and metabolism, heat shock, and matrix and cytoskeletal proteins were all involved in the formation of developmental neural tube defects. Among these, cell cycle-related genes were predominant. Retinoic acid ment caused differential expression of three cell cycle-related genes p57kip2, Cdk5 and Spin, the expression levels of which were downregulated by retinoic acid and upregulated during normal neural tube formation. The results of this study indicate that cell cycle-related genes play an important role in the formation of neural tube defects. P57kip2, Cdk5 and Spin may be critical genes in the pathogenesis of neural tube defects.

  20. On the Character of Consciousness

    PubMed Central

    Annila, Arto

    2016-01-01

    The human brain is a particularly demanding system to infer its nature from observations. Thus, there is on one hand plenty of room for theorizing and on the other hand a pressing need for a rigorous theory. We apply statistical mechanics of open systems to describe the brain as a hierarchical system in consuming free energy in least time. This holistic tenet accounts for cellular metabolism, neuronal signaling, cognitive processes all together, or any other process by a formal equation of motion that extends down to the ultimate precision of one quantum of action. According to this general thermodynamic theory cognitive processes are no different by their operational and organizational principle from other natural processes. Cognition too will emerge and evolve along path-dependent and non-determinate trajectories by consuming free energy in least time to attain thermodynamic balance within the nervous system itself and with its surrounding systems. Specifically, consciousness can be ascribed to a natural process that integrates various neural networks for coherent consumption of free energy, i.e., for meaningful deeds. The whole hierarchy of integrated systems can be formally summed up to thermodynamic entropy. The holistic tenet provides insight to the character of consciousness also by acknowledging awareness in other systems at other levels of nature's hierarchy. PMID:27065819

  1. Sigmund Freud and the Crick-Koch hypothesis. A footnote to the history of consciousness studies.

    PubMed

    Smith, D L

    1999-06-01

    The author describes Crick and Koch's recently developed theory of the neurophysiological basis of consciousness as synchronised neural oscillations. The thesis that neural oscillations provide the neurophysiological basis for consciousness was anticipated by Sigmund Freud in his 1895 'Project for a scientific psychology'. Freud attempted to solve his neuropsychological 'problem of quality' by means of the hypothesis that information concerning conscious sensory qualities is transmitted through the mental apparatus by means of neural 'periods'. Freud believed that information carried by neural oscillations would proliferate across 'contact-barriers' (synapses) without inhibition. Freud's theory thus appears to imply that synchronised neural oscillations are an important component of the neurophysiological basis of consciousness. It is possible that Freud's thesis was developed in response to the experimental research of the American neuroscientist M. M. Garver.

  2. How to study consciousness scientifically.

    PubMed Central

    Searle, J R

    1998-01-01

    The neurosciences have advanced to the point that we can now treat consciousness as a scientific problem like any other. The problem is to explain how brain processes cause consciousness and how consciousness is realized in the brain. Progress is impeded by a number of philosophical mistakes, and the aim of this paper is to remove nine of those mistakes: (i) consciousness cannot be defined; (ii) consciousness is subjective but science is objective; (iii) brain processes cannot explain consciousness; (iv) the problem of 'qualia' should be set aside; (v) consciousness is epiphenomenal; (vi) consciousness has no evolutionary function; (vii) a causal account of consciousness is necessarily dualistic; (viii) science is reductionistic, so a scientific account of consciousness would show it reducible to something else; and (ix) an account of consciousness must be an information processing account. PMID:9854266

  3. Science, conscience, consciousness.

    PubMed

    Hennig, Boris

    2010-01-01

    Descartes' metaphysics lays the foundation for the special sciences, and the notion of consciousness ("conscientia") belongs to metaphysics rather than to psychology. I argue that as a metaphysical notion, "consciousness" refers to an epistemic version of moral conscience. As a consequence, the activity on which science is based turns out to be conscientious thought. The consciousness that makes science possible is a double awareness: the awareness of what one is thinking, of what one should be doing, and of the possibility of a gap between the two.

  4. Conscious Control over Action.

    PubMed

    Shepherd, Joshua

    2015-06-01

    The extensive involvement of nonconscious processes in human behaviour has led some to suggest that consciousness is much less important for the control of action than we might think. In this article I push against this trend, developing an understanding of conscious control that is sensitive to our best models of overt (that is, bodily) action control. Further, I assess the cogency of various zombie challenges-challenges that seek to demote the importance of conscious control for human agency. I argue that though nonconscious contributions to action control are evidently robust, these challenges are overblown.

  5. Conscious Control over Action

    PubMed Central

    Shepherd, Joshua

    2015-01-01

    The extensive involvement of nonconscious processes in human behaviour has led some to suggest that consciousness is much less important for the control of action than we might think. In this article I push against this trend, developing an understanding of conscious control that is sensitive to our best models of overt (that is, bodily) action control. Further, I assess the cogency of various zombie challenges—challenges that seek to demote the importance of conscious control for human agency. I argue that though nonconscious contributions to action control are evidently robust, these challenges are overblown. PMID:26113753

  6. Common neural circuitry supporting volitional saccades and its disruption in schizophrenia patients and relatives

    PubMed Central

    Camchong, Jazmin; Dyckman, Kara A.; Austin, Benjamin P.; Clementz, Brett A.; McDowell, Jennifer E.

    2012-01-01

    BACKGROUND People with schizophrenia and their biological relatives have deficits in executive control processes such as inhibition and working memory as evidenced by performance abnormalities on antisaccade (AS) and ocular motor delayed response (ODR) tasks. METHODS The present functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study was conducted to investigate brain activity associated with these putative indices of schizophrenia risk by (i) directly comparing neural functioning in 15 schizophrenia patients, 13 of their first-degree biological relatives (primarily siblings), and 14 healthy participants, and (ii) assessing executive function associated with volitional saccades by using a combination of AS and ODR tasks. RESULTS Behavioral data showed that patients and relatives both made more volitional saccade errors. Imaging data demonstrated that within the context of preserved activity in some neural regions in patients and relatives, there were two distinct patterns of disruptions in other regions. First, there were deficits observed only in the schizophrenia group (decreased activity in lateral FEF and SEF), suggesting a change associated with disease manifestation. Second, there were deficits observed in both patients and relatives (decreased activity in middle occipital gyrus, insula, cuneus, anterior cingulate, and BA10 in prefrontal cortex), indicating a potential association with disease risk. CONCLUSIONS Results indicate that decreased brain activation in regions involved in managing and evaluating early sensory and attention processing may be associated with poor volitional saccade control and risk for developing schizophrenia. PMID:18692173

  7. When your friends make you cringe: social closeness modulates vicarious embarrassment-related neural activity

    PubMed Central

    Müller-Pinzler, Laura; Rademacher, Lena; Paulus, Frieder M.

    2016-01-01

    Social closeness is a potent moderator of vicarious affect and specifically vicarious embarrassment. The neural pathways of how social closeness to another person affects our experience of vicarious embarrassment for the other’s public flaws, failures and norm violations are yet unknown. To bridge this gap, we examined the neural response of participants while witnessing threats to either a friend’s or a stranger’s social integrity. The results show consistent responses of the anterior insula (AI) and anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), shared circuits of the aversive quality of affect, as well as the medial prefrontal cortex and temporal pole, central structures of the mentalizing network. However, the ACC/AI network activation was increased during vicarious embarrassment in response to a friend’s failures. At the same time, the precuneus, a brain region associated with self-related thoughts, showed a specific activation and an increase in functional connectivity with the shared circuits in the frontal lobe while observing friends. This might indicate a neural systems mechanism for greater affective sharing and self-involvement while people interact with close others that are relevant to oneself. PMID:26516170

  8. Power to Punish Norm Violations Affects the Neural Processes of Fairness-Related Decision Making

    PubMed Central

    Cheng, Xuemei; Zheng, Li; Li, Lin; Guo, Xiuyan; Wang, Qianfeng; Lord, Anton; Hu, Zengxi; Yang, Guang

    2015-01-01

    Punishing norm violations is considered an important motive during rejection of unfair offers in the ultimatum game (UG). The present study investigates the impact of the power to punish norm violations on people’s responses to unfairness and associated neural correlates. In the UG condition participants had the power to punish norm violations, while an alternate condition, the impunity game (IG), was presented where participants had no power to punish norm violations since rejection only reduced the responder’s income to zero. Results showed that unfair offers were rejected more often in UG compared to IG. At the neural level, anterior insula and dorsal anterior cingulate cortex were more active when participants received and rejected unfair offers in both UG and IG. Moreover, greater dorsolateral prefrontal cortex activity was observed when participants rejected than accepted unfair offers in UG but not in IG. Ventromedial prefrontal cortex activation was higher in UG than IG when unfair offers were accepted as well as when rejecting unfair offers in IG as opposed to UG. Taken together, our results demonstrate that the power to punish norm violations affects not only people’s behavioral responses to unfairness but also the neural correlates of the fairness-related social decision-making process. PMID:26696858

  9. Transient Global Amnesia following Neural and Cardiac Angiography May Be Related to Ischemia

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Yang; Chen, Ming; Bao, Shengde

    2016-01-01

    Introduction. Transient global amnesia (TGA) following angiography is rare, and the pathogenesis has not been illustrated clearly till now. The aim of this research is to explore the pathogenesis of TGA following angiography by analyzing our data and reviewing the literature. Methods. We retrospectively studied 20836 cases with angiography in our hospital between 2007 and 2015 and found 9 cases with TGA following angiography. The data of these 9 cases were analyzed. Results. We found all 9 cases with TGA following neural angiography (5 in 4360) or cardiac angiography (4 in 8817) and no case with TGA following peripheral angiography (0 in 7659). Statistical difference was found when comparing the neural and cardiac angiography group with peripheral group (p = 0.022). Two cases with TGA were confirmed with small acute infarctions in hippocampus after angiography. This might be related to the microemboli which were rushed into vertebral artery following blood flow during neural angiography or cardiac angiography. There was no statistical difference when comparing the different approaches for angiography (p = 0.82) and different contrast agents (p = 0.619). Conclusion. Based on the positive findings of imaging study and our analysis, we speculate that ischemia in the medial temporal lobe with the involvement of the hippocampus might be an important reason of TGA following angiography. PMID:27419129

  10. Dopamine neurons modulate neural encoding and expression of depression-related behaviour

    PubMed Central

    Ferenczi, Emily A.; Tsai, Hsing-Chen; Finkelstein, Joel; Kim, Sung-Yon; Adhikari, Avishek; Thompson, Kimberly R.; Andalman, Aaron S.; Gunaydin, Lisa A.; Witten, Ilana B.; Deisseroth, Karl

    2014-01-01

    Major depression is characterized by diverse debilitating symptoms that include hopelessness and anhedonia1. Dopamine neurons involved in reward and motivation2–9 are among many neural populations that have been hypothesized to be relevant10, and certain antidepressant treatments, including medications and brain stimulation therapies, can influence the complex dopamine system. Until now it has not been possible to test this hypothesis directly, even in animal models, as existing therapeutic interventions are unable to specifically target dopamine neurons. Here we investigated directly the causal contributions of defined dopamine neurons to multidimensional depression-like phenotypes induced by chronic mild stress, by integrating behavioural, pharmacological, optogenetic and electrophysiological methods in freely moving rodents. We found that bidirectional control (inhibition or excitation) of specified midbrain dopamine neurons immediately and bidirectionally modulates (induces or relieves) multiple independent depression symptoms caused by chronic stress. By probing the circuit implementation of these effects, we observed that optogenetic recruitment of these dopamine neurons potently alters the neural encoding of depression-related behaviours in the downstream nucleus accumbens of freely moving rodents, suggesting that processes affecting depression symptoms may involve alterations in the neural encoding of action in limbic circuitry. PMID:23235822

  11. Relation of obesity to neural activation in response to food commercials

    PubMed Central

    Yokum, Sonja; Stice, Eric; Harris, Jennifer L.; Brownell, Kelly D.

    2014-01-01

    Adolescents view thousands of food commercials annually, but the neural response to food advertising and its association with obesity is largely unknown. This study is the first to examine how neural response to food commercials differs from other stimuli (e.g. non-food commercials and television show) and to explore how this response may differ by weight status. The blood oxygen level-dependent functional magnetic resonance imaging activation was measured in 30 adolescents ranging from lean to obese in response to food and non-food commercials imbedded in a television show. Adolescents exhibited greater activation in regions implicated in visual processing (e.g. occipital gyrus), attention (e.g. parietal lobes), cognition (e.g. temporal gyrus and posterior cerebellar lobe), movement (e.g. anterior cerebellar cortex), somatosensory response (e.g. postcentral gyrus) and reward [e.g. orbitofrontal cortex and anterior cingulate cortex (ACC)] during food commercials. Obese participants exhibited less activation during food relative to non-food commercials in neural regions implicated in visual processing (e.g. cuneus), attention (e.g. posterior cerebellar lobe), reward (e.g. ventromedial prefrontal cortex and ACC) and salience detection (e.g. precuneus). Obese participants did exhibit greater activation in a region implicated in semantic control (e.g. medial temporal gyrus). These findings may inform current policy debates regarding the impact of food advertising to minors. PMID:23576811

  12. The role of consciousness in cognitive control and decision making

    PubMed Central

    van Gaal, Simon; de Lange, Floris P.; Cohen, Michael X

    2012-01-01

    Here we review studies on the complexity and strength of unconscious information processing. We focus on empirical evidence that relates awareness of information to cognitive control processes (e.g., response inhibition, conflict resolution, and task-switching), the life-time of information maintenance (e.g., working memory) and the possibility to integrate multiple pieces of information across space and time. Overall, the results that we review paint a picture of local and specific effects of unconscious information on various (high-level) brain regions, including areas in the prefrontal cortex. Although this neural activation does not elicit any conscious experience, it is functional and capable of influencing many perceptual, cognitive (control) and decision-related processes, sometimes even for relatively long periods of time. However, recent evidence also points out interesting dissociations between conscious and unconscious information processing when it comes to the duration, flexibility and the strategic use of that information for complex operations and decision-making. Based on the available evidence, we conclude that the role of task-relevance of subliminal information and meta-cognitive factors in unconscious cognition need more attention in future work. PMID:22586386

  13. Computational studies of consciousness.

    PubMed

    Aleksander, Igor; Morton, Helen

    2008-01-01

    In this chapter we present a computational architecture intended to add clarity to the concept of consciousness. We briefly review some of the motivations of work done in this area in various institutes around the world and looks closely at our own work which specifically includes phenomenology, the sense of a self in a perceptual world. This breaks consciousness into five axioms: presence, imagination, attention, volition and emotions. It develops plausible mechanisms of each and how they interact to give a single sensation. An abstract architecture, the kernel architecture, is introduced as a starting point for building computational models. It is shown that through this architecture it is possible to discuss puzzling aspects of consciousness, for example are animals conscious? What happens when we dream? What goes on when we experience an illusion? This paper is intended to elucidate and update some concepts introduced in Aleksander (2005).

  14. Altered states of consciousness in small animals.

    PubMed

    Platt, Simon

    2014-11-01

    Impaired states of consciousness can be relatively easily identified, although it can occasionally be difficult to assess whether there is a pure disorder of wakefulness or awareness. Regardless, such impairments represent dysfunction of the brainstem and or cerebrum. Acute and severe impairments of consciousness can require immediate assessment, in part currently performed using the modified Glasgow coma scoring system, and emergency stabilization. The prognosis is always guarded and highly sensitive to the underlying etiology.

  15. Are We Explaining Consciousness Yet?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dennett, Daniel

    2001-01-01

    Maintains that theorists are converging on a version of the global neuronal workspace model of consciousness, but that there are residual confusions to be dissolved. Asserts that global accessibility is not the "cause" of consciousness, it "is" consciousness. Argues that like fame, consciousness is not a momentary condition or…

  16. Self-consciousness, friendship quality, and adolescent internalizing problems

    PubMed Central

    Bowker, Julie C.; Rubin, Kenneth H.

    2013-01-01

    The correlates between public and private self-consciousness and internalizing difficulties were examined during early adolescence. Friendship quality was assessed as a possible moderator of the relation between self-consciousness and maladjustment. One hundred and thirty-seven young adolescents (N = 87 girls; M age = 13.98 years) reported on their self-consciousness, internalizing problems, and the quality of their best friendship. Results indicated stronger associations between private self-consciousness and internalizing correlates than between public self-consciousness and internalizing problems, suggesting that private self-consciousness may be a stronger risk factor during adolescence. Contrary to expectations, evidence revealed that positive friendship quality may exacerbate some difficulties associated with self-consciousness. Results pertaining to friendship quality add to the growing literature on the ways in which friendships can contribute to adjustment difficulties. PMID:19998530

  17. Conscious thoughts from reflex-like processes: a new experimental paradigm for consciousness research.

    PubMed

    Allen, Allison K; Wilkins, Kevin; Gazzaley, Adam; Morsella, Ezequiel

    2013-12-01

    The contents of our conscious mind can seem unpredictable, whimsical, and free from external control. When instructed to attend to a stimulus in a work setting, for example, one might find oneself thinking about household chores. Conscious content thus appears different in nature from reflex action. Under the appropriate conditions, reflexes occur predictably, reliably, and via external control. Despite these intuitions, theorists have proposed that, under certain conditions, conscious content resembles reflexes and arises reliably via external control. We introduce the Reflexive Imagery Task, a paradigm in which, as a function of external control, conscious content is triggered reliably and unintentionally: When instructed to not subvocalize the name of a stimulus object, participants reliably failed to suppress the set-related imagery. This stimulus-elicited content is considered 'high-level' content and, in terms of stages of processing, occurs late in the processing stream. We discuss the implications of this paradigm for consciousness research.

  18. Neural mechanisms regulating different forms of risk-related decision-making: Insights from animal models.

    PubMed

    Orsini, Caitlin A; Moorman, David E; Young, Jared W; Setlow, Barry; Floresco, Stan B

    2015-11-01

    Over the past 20 years there has been a growing interest in the neural underpinnings of cost/benefit decision-making. Recent studies with animal models have made considerable advances in our understanding of how different prefrontal, striatal, limbic and monoaminergic circuits interact to promote efficient risk/reward decision-making, and how dysfunction in these circuits underlies aberrant decision-making observed in numerous psychiatric disorders. This review will highlight recent findings from studies exploring these questions using a variety of behavioral assays, as well as molecular, pharmacological, neurophysiological, and translational approaches. We begin with a discussion of how neural systems related to decision subcomponents may interact to generate more complex decisions involving risk and uncertainty. This is followed by an overview of interactions between prefrontal-amygdala-dopamine and habenular circuits in regulating choice between certain and uncertain rewards and how different modes of dopamine transmission may contribute to these processes. These data will be compared with results from other studies investigating the contribution of some of these systems to guiding decision-making related to rewards vs. punishment. Lastly, we provide a brief summary of impairments in risk-related decision-making associated with psychiatric disorders, highlighting recent translational studies in laboratory animals.

  19. Handedness is related to neural mechanisms underlying hemispheric lateralization of face processing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frässle, Stefan; Krach, Sören; Paulus, Frieder Michel; Jansen, Andreas

    2016-06-01

    While the right-hemispheric lateralization of the face perception network is well established, recent evidence suggests that handedness affects the cerebral lateralization of face processing at the hierarchical level of the fusiform face area (FFA). However, the neural mechanisms underlying differential hemispheric lateralization of face perception in right- and left-handers are largely unknown. Using dynamic causal modeling (DCM) for fMRI, we aimed to unravel the putative processes that mediate handedness-related differences by investigating the effective connectivity in the bilateral core face perception network. Our results reveal an enhanced recruitment of the left FFA in left-handers compared to right-handers, as evidenced by more pronounced face-specific modulatory influences on both intra- and interhemispheric connections. As structural and physiological correlates of handedness-related differences in face processing, right- and left-handers varied with regard to their gray matter volume in the left fusiform gyrus and their pupil responses to face stimuli. Overall, these results describe how handedness is related to the lateralization of the core face perception network, and point to different neural mechanisms underlying face processing in right- and left-handers. In a wider context, this demonstrates the entanglement of structurally and functionally remote brain networks, suggesting a broader underlying process regulating brain lateralization.

  20. Handedness is related to neural mechanisms underlying hemispheric lateralization of face processing

    PubMed Central

    Frässle, Stefan; Krach, Sören; Paulus, Frieder Michel; Jansen, Andreas

    2016-01-01

    While the right-hemispheric lateralization of the face perception network is well established, recent evidence suggests that handedness affects the cerebral lateralization of face processing at the hierarchical level of the fusiform face area (FFA). However, the neural mechanisms underlying differential hemispheric lateralization of face perception in right- and left-handers are largely unknown. Using dynamic causal modeling (DCM) for fMRI, we aimed to unravel the putative processes that mediate handedness-related differences by investigating the effective connectivity in the bilateral core face perception network. Our results reveal an enhanced recruitment of the left FFA in left-handers compared to right-handers, as evidenced by more pronounced face-specific modulatory influences on both intra- and interhemispheric connections. As structural and physiological correlates of handedness-related differences in face processing, right- and left-handers varied with regard to their gray matter volume in the left fusiform gyrus and their pupil responses to face stimuli. Overall, these results describe how handedness is related to the lateralization of the core face perception network, and point to different neural mechanisms underlying face processing in right- and left-handers. In a wider context, this demonstrates the entanglement of structurally and functionally remote brain networks, suggesting a broader underlying process regulating brain lateralization. PMID:27250879

  1. Brain functional integration decreases during propofol-induced loss of consciousness.

    PubMed

    Schrouff, Jessica; Perlbarg, Vincent; Boly, Mélanie; Marrelec, Guillaume; Boveroux, Pierre; Vanhaudenhuyse, Audrey; Bruno, Marie-Aurélie; Laureys, Steven; Phillips, Christophe; Pélégrini-Issac, Mélanie; Maquet, Pierre; Benali, Habib

    2011-07-01

    Consciousness has been related to the amount of integrated information that the brain is able to generate. In this paper, we tested the hypothesis that the loss of consciousness caused by propofol anesthesia is associated with a significant reduction in the capacity of the brain to integrate information. To assess the functional structure of the whole brain, functional integration and partial correlations were computed from fMRI data acquired from 18 healthy volunteers during resting wakefulness and propofol-induced deep sedation. Total integration was significantly reduced from wakefulness to deep sedation in the whole brain as well as within and between its constituent networks (or systems). Integration was systematically reduced within each system (i.e., brain or networks), as well as between networks. However, the ventral attentional network maintained interactions with most other networks during deep sedation. Partial correlations further suggested that functional connectivity was particularly affected between parietal areas and frontal or temporal regions during deep sedation. Our findings suggest that the breakdown in brain integration is the neural correlate of the loss of consciousness induced by propofol. They stress the important role played by parietal and frontal areas in the generation of consciousness.

  2. Different effects of executive and visuospatial working memory on visual consciousness.

    PubMed

    De Loof, Esther; Poppe, Louise; Cleeremans, Axel; Gevers, Wim; Van Opstal, Filip

    2015-11-01

    Consciousness and working memory are two widely studied cognitive phenomena. Although they have been closely tied on a theoretical and neural level, empirical work that investigates their relation is largely lacking. In this study, the relationship between visual consciousness and different working memory components is investigated by using a dual-task paradigm. More specifically, while participants were performing a visual detection task to measure their visual awareness threshold, they had to concurrently perform either an executive or visuospatial working memory task. We hypothesized that visual consciousness would be hindered depending on the type and the size of the load in working memory. Results showed that maintaining visuospatial content in working memory hinders visual awareness, irrespective of the amount of information maintained. By contrast, the detection threshold was progressively affected under increasing executive load. Interestingly, increasing executive load had a generic effect on detection speed, calling into question whether its obstructing effect is specific to the visual awareness threshold. Together, these results indicate that visual consciousness depends differently on executive and visuospatial working memory.

  3. Promoting the use of personally relevant stimuli for investigating patients with disorders of consciousness

    PubMed Central

    Perrin, Fabien; Castro, Maïté; Tillmann, Barbara; Luauté, Jacques

    2015-01-01

    Sensory stimuli are used to evaluate and to restore cognitive functions and consciousness in patients with a disorder of consciousness (DOC) following a severe brain injury. Although sophisticated protocols can help assessing higher order cognitive functions and awareness, one major drawback is their lack of sensitivity. The aim of the present review is to show that stimulus selection is crucial for an accurate evaluation of the state of patients with disorders of consciousness as it determines the levels of processing that the patient can have with stimulation from his/her environment. The probability to observe a behavioral response or a cerebral response is increased when her/his personal history and/or her/his personal preferences are taken into account. We show that personally relevant stimuli (i.e., with emotional, autobiographical, or self-related characteristics) are associated with clearer signs of perception than are irrelevant stimuli in patients with DOC. Among personally relevant stimuli, music appears to be a promising clinical tool as it boosts perception and cognition in patients with DOC and could also serve as a prognostic tool. We suggest that the effect of music on cerebral processes in patients might reflect the music’s capacity to act both on the external and internal neural networks supporting consciousness. PMID:26284020

  4. Promoting the use of personally relevant stimuli for investigating patients with disorders of consciousness.

    PubMed

    Perrin, Fabien; Castro, Maïté; Tillmann, Barbara; Luauté, Jacques

    2015-01-01

    Sensory stimuli are used to evaluate and to restore cognitive functions and consciousness in patients with a disorder of consciousness (DOC) following a severe brain injury. Although sophisticated protocols can help assessing higher order cognitive functions and awareness, one major drawback is their lack of sensitivity. The aim of the present review is to show that stimulus selection is crucial for an accurate evaluation of the state of patients with disorders of consciousness as it determines the levels of processing that the patient can have with stimulation from his/her environment. The probability to observe a behavioral response or a cerebral response is increased when her/his personal history and/or her/his personal preferences are taken into account. We show that personally relevant stimuli (i.e., with emotional, autobiographical, or self-related characteristics) are associated with clearer signs of perception than are irrelevant stimuli in patients with DOC. Among personally relevant stimuli, music appears to be a promising clinical tool as it boosts perception and cognition in patients with DOC and could also serve as a prognostic tool. We suggest that the effect of music on cerebral processes in patients might reflect the music's capacity to act both on the external and internal neural networks supporting consciousness.

  5. Lack of guilt, guilt, and shame: a multi-informant study on the relations between self-conscious emotions and psychopathology in clinically referred children and adolescents.

    PubMed

    Muris, Peter; Meesters, Cor; Heijmans, Jolina; van Hulten, Sandra; Kaanen, Linsy; Oerlemans, Birgit; Stikkelbroeck, Tessa; Tielemans, Tim

    2016-04-01

    The present study examined the relationships between dysregulations in self-conscious emotions and psychopathology in clinically referred children and adolescents. For this purpose, parent-, teacher-, and self-report Achenbach System of Empirically Based Assessment data of 1000 youth aged 4-18 years was analyzed as this instrument not only provides information on the intensity levels of lack of guilt, guilt, and shame, but also on the severity of various types of psychopathology. The results first of all indicated that dysregulations of self-conscious emotions were more common in this clinical sample than in the general population. Further, a consistent pattern was found with regard to the relationships between self-conscious emotions and childhood psychopathology. That is, lack of guilt was predominantly associated with oppositional defiant and conduct (i.e., externalizing) problems, while guilt and shame were primarily linked with affective and anxiety (i.e., internalizing) problems. By and large, these findings confirm what has been found in non-clinical youth, and suggest that self-conscious emotions play a small but significant role in the psychopathology of children and adolescents.

  6. Neural activations are related to body-shape, anxiety, and outcomes in adolescent anorexia nervosa.

    PubMed

    Xu, Jie; Harper, Jessica A; Van Enkevort, Erin A; Latimer, Kelsey; Kelley, Urszula; McAdams, Carrie J

    2017-04-01

    Anorexia nervosa (AN) is an illness that frequently begins during adolescence and involves weight loss. Two groups of adolescent girls (AN-A, weight-recovered following AN) and (HC-A, healthy comparison) completed a functional magnetic resonance imaging task involving social evaluations, allowing comparison of neural activations during self-evaluations, friend-evaluations, and perspective-taking self-evaluations. Although the two groups were not different in their whole-brain activations, anxiety and body shape concerns were correlated with neural activity in a priori regions of interest. A cluster in medial prefrontal cortex and the dorsal anterior cingulate correlated with the body shape questionnaire; subjects with more body shape concerns used this area less during self than friend evaluations. A cluster in medial prefrontal cortex and the cingulate also correlated with anxiety such that more anxiety was associated with engagement when disagreeing rather than agreeing with social terms during self-evaluations. This data suggests that differences in the utilization of frontal brain regions during social evaluations may contribute to both anxiety and body shape concerns in adolescents with AN. Clinical follow-up was obtained, allowing exploration of whether brain function early in course of disease relates to illness trajectory. The adolescents successful in recovery used the posterior cingulate and precuneus more for friend than self evaluations than the adolescents that remained ill, suggesting that neural differences related to social evaluations may provide clinical predictive value. Utilization of both MPFC and the precuneus during social and self evaluations may be a key biological component for achieving sustained weight-recovery in adolescents with AN.

  7. Using multivariate decoding to go beyond contrastive analyses in consciousness research.

    PubMed

    Sandberg, Kristian; Andersen, Lau M; Overgaard, Morten

    2014-01-01

    Contrasting conditions with and without awareness has been the preferred method for investigating the neural correlates of consciousness (NCC) for decades, yet recently it has been suggested that further insights can be made by moving beyond this method, specifically by meticulously controlling that potential precursors and consequences of the NCC are not mistaken for an NCC. Here, we briefly review the advantages and potential pitfalls of existing paradigms going beyond the contrastive method, and we propose multivariate decoding of neural activity patterns as a supplement to other methods. Specifically, we emphasize the ability of multivariate decoding to detect which patterns of neural activity are consistently predictive of conscious experiences at the single trial level. This is relevant as the "NCC proper" is expected to be consistently predictive whereas processes that are consequences of consciousness may not occur on every trial (making them less predictive) and prerequisites of consciousness may be present on some trials without conscious experience (making them less predictive).

  8. Age-related effects on the neural correlates of autobiographical memory retrieval.

    PubMed

    St Jacques, Peggy L; Rubin, David C; Cabeza, Roberto

    2012-07-01

    Older adults recall less episodically rich autobiographical memories (AM), however, the neural basis of this effect is not clear. Using functional MRI, we examined the effects of age during search and elaboration phases of AM retrieval. Our results suggest that the age-related attenuation in the episodic richness of AMs is associated with difficulty in the strategic retrieval processes underlying recovery of information during elaboration. First, age effects on AM activity were more pronounced during elaboration than search, with older adults showing less sustained recruitment of the hippocampus and ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC) for less episodically rich AMs. Second, there was an age-related reduction in the modulation of top-down coupling of the VLPFC on the hippocampus for episodically rich AMs. In sum, the present study shows that changes in the sustained response and coupling of the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex (PFC) underlie age-related reductions in episodic richness of the personal past.

  9. EPR, Biology, and Consciousness

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goradia, Shantilal

    2006-03-01

    It seems that Darwin, in his concluding remark (1859, p490) ruled out the possibility of cosmic connection to evolution based on the fixed law of gravity, known then. More recent Dirac’s Large Number Hypothesis as described in http://www.arXiv.org/pdf/physics/0210040 v1 raises a possibility that the universal constant of gravity is decreasing and all coupling constants are increasing with time, so reported by some observations. Deeper investigation of the connection between evolution and the variation of the universal constant of gravity seems worthwhile to see if it impacts the passage of time in a stronger (gravitational according to the spirit of the above archive) field and affects the aging process, and explains locality and causality in random evolutionary mutations. If there is no physical locality and causality consistent with the special theory of relativity, there must be some spiritual locality and causality at superluminal speeds to explain the implicit hidden variables. Then there is a question of how to test spiritual locality and causality. Psychic effects and dream signals look promising, if they exist and can be tested with space age technology. This is neither about religion nor about Einstein’s orthodoxy in light of the spirit of EPR. This is about frontiers of science of the new millennium: biology, and consciousness.

  10. Striatal Activity and Reward Relativity: Neural Signals Encoding Dynamic Outcome Valuation

    PubMed Central

    Webber, Emily S.; Mankin, David E.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract The striatum is a key brain region involved in reward processing. Striatal activity has been linked to encoding reward magnitude and integrating diverse reward outcome information. Recent work has supported the involvement of striatum in the valuation of outcomes. The present work extends this idea by examining striatal activity during dynamic shifts in value that include different levels and directions of magnitude disparity. A novel task was used to produce diverse relative reward effects on a chain of instrumental action. Rats (Rattus norvegicus) were trained to respond to cues associated with specific outcomes varying by food pellet magnitude. Animals were exposed to single-outcome sessions followed by mixed-outcome sessions, and neural activity was compared among identical outcome trials from the different behavioral contexts. Results recording striatal activity show that neural responses to different task elements reflect incentive contrast as well as other relative effects that involve generalization between outcomes or possible influences of outcome variety. The activity that was most prevalent was linked to food consumption and post-food consumption periods. Relative encoding was sensitive to magnitude disparity. A within-session analysis showed strong contrast effects that were dependent upon the outcome received in the immediately preceding trial. Significantly higher numbers of responses were found in ventral striatum linked to relative outcome effects. Our results support the idea that relative value can incorporate diverse relationships, including comparisons from specific individual outcomes to general behavioral contexts. The striatum contains these diverse relative processes, possibly enabling both a higher information yield concerning value shifts and a greater behavioral flexibility. PMID:27822506

  11. DNA methyltransferase activity is required for memory-related neural plasticity in the lateral amygdala.

    PubMed

    Maddox, Stephanie A; Watts, Casey S; Schafe, Glenn E

    2014-01-01

    We have previously shown that auditory Pavlovian fear conditioning is associated with an increase in DNA methyltransferase (DNMT) expression in the lateral amygdala (LA) and that intra-LA infusion or bath application of an inhibitor of DNMT activity impairs the consolidation of an auditory fear memory and long-term potentiation (LTP) at thalamic and cortical inputs to the LA, in vitro. In the present study, we use awake behaving neurophysiological techniques to examine the role of DNMT activity in memory-related neurophysiological changes accompanying fear memory consolidation and reconsolidation in the LA, in vivo. We show that auditory fear conditioning results in a training-related enhancement in the amplitude of short-latency auditory-evoked field potentials (AEFPs) in the LA. Intra-LA infusion of a DNMT inhibitor impairs both fear memory consolidation and, in parallel, the consolidation of training-related neural plasticity in the LA; that is, short-term memory (STM) and short-term training-related increases in AEFP amplitude in the LA are intact, while long-term memory (LTM) and long-term retention of training-related increases in AEFP amplitudes are impaired. In separate experiments, we show that intra-LA infusion of a DNMT inhibitor following retrieval of an auditory fear memory has no effect on post-retrieval STM or short-term retention of training-related changes in AEFP amplitude in the LA, but significantly impairs both post-retrieval LTM and long-term retention of AEFP amplitude changes in the LA. These findings are the first to demonstrate the necessity of DNMT activity in the consolidation and reconsolidation of memory-associated neural plasticity, in vivo.

  12. Striatal Activity and Reward Relativity: Neural Signals Encoding Dynamic Outcome Valuation.

    PubMed

    Webber, Emily S; Mankin, David E; Cromwell, Howard C

    2016-01-01

    The striatum is a key brain region involved in reward processing. Striatal activity has been linked to encoding reward magnitude and integrating diverse reward outcome information. Recent work has supported the involvement of striatum in the valuation of outcomes. The present work extends this idea by examining striatal activity during dynamic shifts in value that include different levels and directions of magnitude disparity. A novel task was used to produce diverse relative reward effects on a chain of instrumental action. Rats (Rattus norvegicus) were trained to respond to cues associated with specific outcomes varying by food pellet magnitude. Animals were exposed to single-outcome sessions followed by mixed-outcome sessions, and neural activity was compared among identical outcome trials from the different behavioral contexts. Results recording striatal activity show that neural responses to different task elements reflect incentive contrast as well as other relative effects that involve generalization between outcomes or possible influences of outcome variety. The activity that was most prevalent was linked to food consumption and post-food consumption periods. Relative encoding was sensitive to magnitude disparity. A within-session analysis showed strong contrast effects that were dependent upon the outcome received in the immediately preceding trial. Significantly higher numbers of responses were found in ventral striatum linked to relative outcome effects. Our results support the idea that relative value can incorporate diverse relationships, including comparisons from specific individual outcomes to general behavioral contexts. The striatum contains these diverse relative processes, possibly enabling both a higher information yield concerning value shifts and a greater behavioral flexibility.

  13. Altered neural basis of the reality processing and its relation to cognitive insight in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Lee, Jung Suk; Chun, Ji Won; Lee, Sang-Hoon; Kim, Eosu; Lee, Seung-Koo; Kim, Jae-Jin

    2015-01-01

    It has been reported that reality evaluation and recognition are impaired in patients with schizophrenia and these impairments are related to the severity of psychotic symptoms. The current study aimed to investigate the neural basis of impairments in reality evaluation and recognition and their relationships with cognitive insight in schizophrenia. During functional magnetic resonance imaging, 20 patients with schizophrenia and 20 healthy controls performed a set of reality evaluation and recognition tasks, in which subjects judged whether scenes in a series of drawings were real or unreal and whether they were familiar or novel. During reality evaluation, patients showed decreased activity in various regions including the inferior parietal lobule, retrosplenial cortex and parahippocampal gyrus, compared with controls. Particularly, parahippocampal gyrus activity was correlated with the severity of positive symptoms in patients. During recognition, patients also exhibited decreased activity in various regions, including the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, inferior parietal lobule and posterior cingulate cortex. Particularly, inferior parietal lobule activity and posterior cingulate cortex activity were correlated with cognitive insight in patients. These findings provide evidence that neural impairments in reality evaluation and recognition are related to psychotic symptoms. Anomalous appraisal of context by dysfunctions in the context network may contribute to impairments in the reality processing in schizophrenia, and abnormal declarative memory processes may be involved in cognitive insight in patients with schizophrenia.

  14. A face a mother could love: depression-related maternal neural responses to infant emotion faces.

    PubMed

    Laurent, Heidemarie K; Ablow, Jennifer C

    2013-01-01

    Depressed mothers show negatively biased responses to their infants' emotional bids, perhaps due to faulty processing of infant cues. This study is the first to examine depression-related differences in mothers' neural response to their own infant's emotion faces, considering both effects of perinatal depression history and current depressive symptoms. Primiparous mothers (n = 22), half of whom had a history of major depressive episodes (with one episode occurring during pregnancy and/or postpartum), were exposed to images of their own and unfamiliar infants' joy and distress faces during functional neuroimaging. Group differences (depression vs. no-depression) and continuous effects of current depressive symptoms were tested in relation to neural response to own infant emotion faces. Compared to mothers with no psychiatric diagnoses, those with depression showed blunted responses to their own infant's distress faces in the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex. Mothers with higher levels of current symptomatology showed reduced responses to their own infant's joy faces in the orbitofrontal cortex and insula. Current symptomatology also predicted lower responses to own infant joy-distress in left-sided prefrontal and insula/striatal regions. These deficits in self-regulatory and motivational response circuits may help explain parenting difficulties in depressed mothers.

  15. On the wrong side of the trolley track: neural correlates of relative social valuation

    PubMed Central

    Farnsworth, Rachel A.; Harris, Lasana T.; Fiske, Susan T.

    2010-01-01

    Using moral dilemmas, we (i) investigate whether stereotypes motivate people to value ingroup lives over outgroup lives and (ii) examine the neurobiological correlates of relative social valuation using fMRI. Saving ingroup members, who seem warm and competent (e.g. Americans), was most morally acceptable in the context of a dilemma where one person was killed to save five people. Extreme outgroup members, who seem neither warm nor competent (e.g. homeless), were the worst off; it was most morally acceptable to sacrifice them and least acceptable to save them. Sacrificing these low-warmth, low-competence targets to save ingroup targets, specifically, activated a neural network associated with resolving complex tradeoffs: medial PFC (BA 9, extending caudally to include ACC), left lateral OFC (BA 47) and left dorsolateral PFC (BA 10). These brain regions were recruited for dilemmas that participants ultimately rated as relatively more acceptable. We propose that participants, though ambivalent, overrode general aversion to these tradeoffs when the cost of sacrificing a low-warmth, low-competence target was pitted against the benefit of saving ingroup targets. Moral decisions are not made in a vacuum; intergroup biases and stereotypes weigh heavily on neural systems implicated in moral decision making. PMID:20150342

  16. Genetic dyslexia risk variant is related to neural connectivity patterns underlying phonological awareness in children.

    PubMed

    Skeide, Michael A; Kirsten, Holger; Kraft, Indra; Schaadt, Gesa; Müller, Bent; Neef, Nicole; Brauer, Jens; Wilcke, Arndt; Emmrich, Frank; Boltze, Johannes; Friederici, Angela D

    2015-09-01

    Phonological awareness is the best-validated predictor of reading and spelling skill and therefore highly relevant for developmental dyslexia. Prior imaging genetics studies link several dyslexia risk genes to either brain-functional or brain-structural factors of phonological deficits. However, coherent evidence for genetic associations with both functional and structural neural phenotypes underlying variation in phonological awareness has not yet been provided. Here we demonstrate that rs11100040, a reported modifier of SLC2A3, is related to the functional connectivity of left fronto-temporal phonological processing areas at resting state in a sample of 9- to 12-year-old children. Furthermore, we provide evidence that rs11100040 is related to the fractional anisotropy of the arcuate fasciculus, which forms the structural connection between these areas. This structural connectivity phenotype is associated with phonological awareness, which is in turn associated with the individual retrospective risk scores in an early dyslexia screening as well as to spelling. These results suggest a link between a dyslexia risk genotype and a functional as well as a structural neural phenotype, which is associated with a phonological awareness phenotype. The present study goes beyond previous work by integrating genetic, brain-functional and brain-structural aspects of phonological awareness within a single approach. These combined findings might be another step towards a multimodal biomarker for developmental dyslexia.

  17. On the inter-relations between artificial and physiological neural networks.

    PubMed

    Graupe, D; Vern, B

    2001-07-01

    This paper discusses the inter-relations between findings on the physiological neural network (PNN) and artificial neural networks (ANN). It discusses the interaction of progress in both PNN and ANN for the purpose of borrowing from ANN's mathematical understandings to establish pointers for further explorations to better understand the PNN, and also for the reciprocal transferring of knowledge from PNN findings to improve ANN schemes. Such improvements in ANN are essential for better handling the needs of the information technology (IT) explosion in dealing with huge data bases and where data often defy analysis and are incomplete and fuzzy. On the other hand, principles and elements of ANN designs that appear to be important and successful can serve as guides for identifying them in the PNN, to be subsequently confirmed by bioanalytical tests. Hence progress in PNN is obviously essential for progress in ANN, as is progress in ANN helpful in PNN modeling, though its laboratory confirmation is still a far lengthier process. We discuss certain specific ANN schemes with respect to the above inter-relations with PNN. We feel that the progress in both PNN and ANN research provides a major link between the thrust in information technology developments and the thrust in biological science research, which are most probably the two major focus areas of research at the dawn of the 21st century.

  18. Neural correlates of conceptual object priming in young and older adults: An event-related fMRI study

    PubMed Central

    Ballesteros, Soledad; Bischof, Gérard N.; Goh, Joshua O.; Park, Denise C.

    2012-01-01

    In this event-related fMRI study, we investigated age-related differences in brain activity associated with conceptual repetition priming in young and older adults. Participants performed a speeded “living/non-living” classification task with three repetitions of familiar objects. Both young and older adults showed a similar magnitude of behavioral priming to repeated objects and evidencing repetition-related activation reductions in fusiform gyrus, superior occipital, middle and inferior temporal cortex, as well as inferior frontal and insula regions. The neural priming effect in young adults was extensive and continued through both the second and third stimulus repetitions, whereas neural priming in older adults was markedly attenuated and reached floor at the second repetition. In young adults, greater neural priming in multiple brain regions correlated with greater behavioral facilitation whereas in older adults, only activation reduction in the left inferior frontal correlated with faster behavioral responses. These findings provide evidence for altered neural priming in older adults despite preserved behavioral priming, and suggest the possibility that age-invariant behavioral priming is observed as a result of more sustained neural processing of stimuli in older adults which may be a form of compensatory neural activity. PMID:23102512

  19. Neural correlates of conceptual object priming in young and older adults: an event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging study.

    PubMed

    Ballesteros, Soledad; Bischof, Gérard N; Goh, Joshua O; Park, Denise C

    2013-04-01

    In this event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging study, we investigated age-related differences in brain activity associated with conceptual repetition priming in young and older adults. Participants performed a speeded "living/nonliving" classification task with 3 repetitions of familiar objects. Both young and older adults showed a similar magnitude of behavioral priming to repeated objects and evidenced repetition-related activation reductions in fusiform gyrus, superior occipital, middle, and inferior temporal cortex, and inferior frontal and insula regions. The neural priming effect in young adults was extensive and continued through both the second and third stimulus repetitions, and neural priming in older adults was markedly attenuated and reached floor at the second repetition. In young adults, greater neural priming in multiple brain regions correlated with greater behavioral facilitation and in older adults, only activation reduction in the left inferior frontal correlated with faster behavioral responses. These findings provide evidence for altered neural priming in older adults despite preserved behavioral priming, and suggest the possibility that age-invariant behavioral priming is observed as a result of more sustained neural processing of stimuli in older adults which might be a form of compensatory neural activity.

  20. Odd-skipped related-1 controls neural crest chondrogenesis during tongue development.

    PubMed

    Liu, Han; Lan, Yu; Xu, Jingyue; Chang, Ching-Fang; Brugmann, Samantha A; Jiang, Rulang

    2013-11-12

    The tongue is a critical element of the feeding system in tetrapod animals for their successful adaptation to terrestrial life. Whereas the oral part of the mammalian tongue contains soft tissues only, the avian tongue has an internal skeleton extending to the anterior tip. The mechanisms underlying the evolutionary divergence in tongue skeleton formation are completely unknown. We show here that the odd-skipped related-1 (Osr1) transcription factor is expressed throughout the neural crest-derived tongue mesenchyme in mouse, but not in chick, embryos during early tongue morphogenesis. Neural crest-specific inactivation of Osr1 resulted in formation of an ectopic cartilage in the mouse tongue, reminiscent in shape and developmental ontogeny of the anterior tongue cartilage in chick. SRY-box containing gene-9 (Sox9), the master regulator of chondrogenesis, is widely expressed in the nascent tongue mesenchyme at the onset of tongue morphogenesis but its expression is dramatically down-regulated concomitant with activation of Osr1 expression in the developing mouse tongue. In Osr1 mutant mouse embryos, expression of Sox9 persisted in the developing tongue mesenchyme where chondrogenesis is subsequently activated to form the ectopic cartilage. Furthermore, we show that Osr1 binds to the Sox9 gene promoter and that overexpression of Osr1 suppressed expression of endogenous Sox9 mRNAs and Sox9 promoter-driven reporter. These data indicate that Osr1 normally prevents chondrogenesis in the mammalian tongue through repression of Sox9 expression and suggest that changes in regulation of Osr1 expression in the neural crest-derived tongue mesenchyme underlie the evolutionary divergence of birds from other vertebrates in tongue morphogenesis.

  1. The asynchrony of consciousness.

    PubMed Central

    Zeki, S; Bartels, A

    1998-01-01

    We present below a simple hypothesis on what we believe is a characteristic of visual consciousness. It is derived from facts about the visual brain revealed in the past quarter of a century, but it relies most especially on psychophysical evidence which shows that different attributes of the visual scene are consciously perceived at different times. This temporal asynchrony in visual perception reveals, we believe, a plurality of visual consciousnesses that are asynchronous with respect to each other, reflecting the modular organization of the visual brain. We further hypothesize that when two attributes (e.g. colour and motion) are presented simultaneously, the activity of cells in a given processing system is sufficient to create a conscious experience of the corresponding attribute (e.g. colour), without the necessity for interaction with the activities of cells in other processing systems (e.g. motion). Thus, any binding of the activity of cells in different systems should be more properly thought of as a binding of the conscious experiences generated in each system. PMID:9744110

  2. Measuring consciousness in dreams: the lucidity and consciousness in dreams scale.

    PubMed

    Voss, Ursula; Schermelleh-Engel, Karin; Windt, Jennifer; Frenzel, Clemens; Hobson, Allan

    2013-03-01

    In this article, we present results from an interdisciplinary research project aimed at assessing consciousness in dreams. For this purpose, we compared lucid dreams with normal non-lucid dreams from REM sleep. Both lucid and non-lucid dreams are an important contrast condition for theories of waking consciousness, giving valuable insights into the structure of conscious experience and its neural correlates during sleep. However, the precise differences between lucid and non-lucid dreams remain poorly understood. The construction of the Lucidity and Consciousness in Dreams scale (LuCiD) was based on theoretical considerations and empirical observations. Exploratory factor analysis of the data from the first survey identified eight factors that were validated in a second survey using confirmatory factor analysis: INSIGHT, CONTROL, THOUGHT, REALISM, MEMORY, DISSOCIATION, NEGATIVE EMOTION, and POSITIVE EMOTION. While all factors are involved in dream consciousness, realism and negative emotion do not differentiate between lucid and non-lucid dreams, suggesting that lucid insight is separable from both bizarreness in dreams and a change in the subjectively experienced realism of the dream.

  3. Stress-related noradrenergic activity prompts large-scale neural network reconfiguration.

    PubMed

    Hermans, Erno J; van Marle, Hein J F; Ossewaarde, Lindsey; Henckens, Marloes J A G; Qin, Shaozheng; van Kesteren, Marlieke T R; Schoots, Vincent C; Cousijn, Helena; Rijpkema, Mark; Oostenveld, Robert; Fernández, Guillén

    2011-11-25

    Acute stress shifts the brain into a state that fosters rapid defense mechanisms. Stress-related neuromodulators are thought to trigger this change by altering properties of large-scale neural populations throughout the brain. We investigated this brain-state shift in humans. During exposure to a fear-related acute stressor, responsiveness and interconnectivity within a network including cortical (frontoinsular, dorsal anterior cingulate, inferotemporal, and temporoparietal) and subcortical (amygdala, thalamus, hypothalamus, and midbrain) regions increased as a function of stress response magnitudes. β-adrenergic receptor blockade, but not cortisol synthesis inhibition, diminished this increase. Thus, our findings reveal that noradrenergic activation during acute stress results in prolonged coupling within a distributed network that integrates information exchange between regions involved in autonomic-neuroendocrine control and vigilant attentional reorienting.

  4. Body posture and gender impact neural processing of power-related words.

    PubMed

    Bailey, April H; Kelly, Spencer D

    2016-09-29

    Judging others' power facilitates successful social interaction. Both gender and body posture have been shown to influence judgments of another's power. However, little is known about how these two cues interact when they conflict or how they influence early processing. The present study investigated this question during very early processing of power-related words using event-related potentials (ERPs). Participants viewed images of women and men in dominant and submissive postures that were quickly followed by dominant or submissive words. Gender and posture both modulated neural responses in the N2 latency range to dominant words, but for submissive words they had little impact. Thus, in the context of dual-processing theories of person perception, information extracted from both behavior (i.e., posture) and from category membership (i.e., gender) are recruited side-by-side to impact word processing.

  5. Estimation of relative humidity based on artificial neural network approach in the Aegean Region of Turkey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yasar, Abdulkadir; Simsek, Erdoğan; Bilgili, Mehmet; Yucel, Ahmet; Ilhan, Ilhami

    2012-01-01

    The aim of this study is to estimate the monthly mean relative humidity (MRH) values in the Aegean Region of Turkey with the help of the topographical and meteorological parameters based on artificial neural network (ANN) approach. The monthly MRH values were calculated from the measurement in the meteorological observing stations established in Izmir, Mugla, Aydin, Denizli, Usak, Manisa, Kutahya and Afyonkarahisar provinces between 2000 and 2006. Latitude, longitude, altitude, precipitation and months of the year were used in the input layer of the ANN network, while the MRH was used in output layer of the network. The ANN model was developed using MATLAB software, and then actual values were compared with those obtained by ANN and multi-linear regression methods. It seemed that the obtained values were in the acceptable error limits. It is concluded that the determination of relative humidity values is possible at any target point of the region where the measurement cannot be performed.

  6. EEG based patient emotion monitoring using relative wavelet energy feature and Back Propagation Neural Network.

    PubMed

    Purnamasari, Prima Dewi; Ratna, Anak Agung Putri; Kusumoputro, Benyamin

    2015-08-01

    In EEG-based emotion recognition, feature extraction is as important as the classification algorithm. A good choice of features results in higher recognition rate. However, there is no standard method for feature extraction in EEG-based emotion recognition, especially for real time monitoring, where speed of computation is crucial. In this work, we assess the use of relative wavelet energy as features and Back Propagation Neural Network (BPNN) as classifier for emotion recognition. This method was implemented in simulated real time emotion recognition by using a publicly accessible database. The results showed that relative wavelet energy and BPNN achieved an average recognition rate of 92.03%. The highest average recognition rate was achieved when the time window was 30s.

  7. Consciousness and anesthesia.

    PubMed

    Alkire, Michael T; Hudetz, Anthony G; Tononi, Giulio

    2008-11-07

    When we are anesthetized, we expect consciousness to vanish. But does it always? Although anesthesia undoubtedly induces unresponsiveness and amnesia, the extent to which it causes unconsciousness is harder to establish. For instance, certain anesthetics act on areas of the brain's cortex near the midline and abolish behavioral responsiveness, but not necessarily consciousness. Unconsciousness is likely to ensue when a complex of brain regions in the posterior parietal area is inactivated. Consciousness vanishes when anesthetics produce functional disconnection in this posterior complex, interrupting cortical communication and causing a loss of integration; or when they lead to bistable, stereotypic responses, causing a loss of information capacity. Thus, anesthetics seem to cause unconsciousness when they block the brain's ability to integrate information.

  8. Cajal and consciousness. Introduction.

    PubMed

    Marijuán, P C

    2001-04-01

    One hundred years after Santiago Ramón Cajal established the bases of modern neuroscience in his masterpiece Textura del sistema nervioso del hombre y de los vertebrados, the question is stated again: What is the status of consciousness today? The responses in this book, by contemporary leading figures of neuroscience, evolution, molecular biology, computer science, and quantum physics, collectively compose a fascinating conceptual landscape. Both the evolutionary emergence of consciousness and its development towards the highest level may be analyzed by a wealth of new theories and hypotheses, including Cajal's prescient ones. Some noticeable gaps remain, however. Celebrating the centennial of Textura is a timely occasion to reassess how close--and how far--our system of the sciences is to explaining consciousness.

  9. Conscious Vision in Action.

    PubMed

    Briscoe, Robert; Schwenkler, John

    2015-09-01

    It is natural to assume that the fine-grained and highly accurate spatial information present in visual experience is often used to guide our bodily actions. Yet this assumption has been challenged by proponents of the Two Visual Systems Hypothesis (TVSH), according to which visuomotor programming is the responsibility of a "zombie" processing stream whose sources of bottom-up spatial information are entirely non-conscious (Clark, 2007, 2009; Goodale & Milner, 1992, 2004a; Milner & Goodale, 1995/2006, 2008). In many formulations of TVSH, the role of conscious vision in action is limited to "recognizing objects, selecting targets for action, and determining what kinds of action, broadly speaking, to perform" (Clark, 2007, p. 570). Our aim in this study is to show that the available evidence not only fails to support this dichotomous view but actually reveals a significant role for conscious vision in motor programming, especially for actions that require deliberate attention.

  10. Lead-Induced Impairments in the Neural Processes Related to Working Memory Function

    PubMed Central

    Jin, Seong-Uk; Park, Jang Woo; Kim, Yang-Tae; Ryeom, Hun-Kyu; Lee, Jongmin; Suh, Kyung Jin; Kim, Suk Hwan; Park, Sin-Jae; Jeong, Kyoung Sook; Ham, Jung-O; Kim, Yangho; Chang, Yongmin

    2014-01-01

    Background It is well known that lead exposure induces neurotoxic effects, which can result in a variety of neurocognitive dysfunction. Especially, occupational lead exposures in adults are associated with decreases in cognitive performance including working memory. Despite recent advances in human neuroimaging techniques, the neural correlates of lead-exposed cognitive impairment remain unclear. Therefore, this study was aimed to compare the neural activations in relation to working memory function between the lead-exposed subjects and healthy controls. Methodology/Principal Findings Thirty-one lead-exposed subjects and 34 healthy subjects performed an n-back memory task during MRI scan. We performed fMRI using the 1-back and 2-back memory tasks differing in cognitive demand. Functional MRI data were analyzed using within- and between-group analysis. We found that the lead-exposed subjects showed poorer working memory performance during high memory loading task than the healthy subjects. In addition, between-group analyses revealed that the lead-exposed subjects showed reduced activation in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, ventrolateral prefrontal cortex, pre supplementary motor areas, and inferior parietal cortex. Conclusions/Significance Our findings suggest that functional abnormalities in the frontoparietal working memory network might contribute to impairments in maintenance and manipulation of working memory in the lead-exposed subjects. PMID:25141213

  11. Trait self-esteem and neural activities related to self-evaluation and social feedback

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Juan; Xu, Xiaofan; Chen, Yu; Shi, Zhenhao; Han, Shihui

    2016-01-01

    Self-esteem has been associated with neural responses to self-reflection and attitude toward social feedback but in different brain regions. The distinct associations might arise from different tasks or task-related attitudes in the previous studies. The current study aimed to clarify these by investigating the association between self-esteem and neural responses to evaluation of one’s own personality traits and of others’ opinion about one’s own personality traits. We scanned 25 college students using functional MRI during evaluation of oneself or evaluation of social feedback. Trait self-esteem was measured using the Rosenberg self-esteem scale after scanning. Whole-brain regression analyses revealed that trait self-esteem was associated with the bilateral orbitofrontal activity during evaluation of one’s own positive traits but with activities in the medial prefrontal cortex, posterior cingulate, and occipital cortices during evaluation of positive social feedback. Our findings suggest that trait self-esteem modulates the degree of both affective processes in the orbitofrontal cortex during self-reflection and cognitive processes in the medial prefrontal cortex during evaluation of social feedback. PMID:26842975

  12. Objects of consciousness

    PubMed Central

    Hoffman, Donald D.; Prakash, Chetan

    2014-01-01

    Current models of visual perception typically assume that human vision estimates true properties of physical objects, properties that exist even if unperceived. However, recent studies of perceptual evolution, using evolutionary games and genetic algorithms, reveal that natural selection often drives true perceptions to extinction when they compete with perceptions tuned to fitness rather than truth: Perception guides adaptive behavior; it does not estimate a preexisting physical truth. Moreover, shifting from evolutionary biology to quantum physics, there is reason to disbelieve in preexisting physical truths: Certain interpretations of quantum theory deny that dynamical properties of physical objects have definite values when unobserved. In some of these interpretations the observer is fundamental, and wave functions are compendia of subjective probabilities, not preexisting elements of physical reality. These two considerations, from evolutionary biology and quantum physics, suggest that current models of object perception require fundamental reformulation. Here we begin such a reformulation, starting with a formal model of consciousness that we call a “conscious agent.” We develop the dynamics of interacting conscious agents, and study how the perception of objects and space-time can emerge from such dynamics. We show that one particular object, the quantum free particle, has a wave function that is identical in form to the harmonic functions that characterize the asymptotic dynamics of conscious agents; particles are vibrations not of strings but of interacting conscious agents. This allows us to reinterpret physical properties such as position, momentum, and energy as properties of interacting conscious agents, rather than as preexisting physical truths. We sketch how this approach might extend to the perception of relativistic quantum objects, and to classical objects of macroscopic scale. PMID:24987382

  13. Cephalopod consciousness: behavioural evidence.

    PubMed

    Mather, Jennifer A

    2008-03-01

    Behavioural evidence suggests that cephalopod molluscs may have a form of primary consciousness. First, the linkage of brain to behaviour seen in lateralization, sleep and through a developmental context is similar to that of mammals and birds. Second, cephalopods, especially octopuses, are heavily dependent on learning in response to both visual and tactile cues, and may have domain generality and form simple concepts. Third, these animals are aware of their position, both within themselves and in larger space, including having a working memory of foraging areas in the recent past. Thus if using a 'global workspace' which evaluates memory input and focuses attention is the criterion, cephalopods appear to have primary consciousness.

  14. Reward expectancy-related prefrontal neuronal activities: are they neural substrates of "affective" working memory?

    PubMed

    Watanabe, Masataka; Hikosaka, Kazuo; Sakagami, Masamichi; Shirakawa, Shu-ichiro

    2007-01-01

    Primate prefrontal delay neurons are involved in retaining task-relevant cognitive information in working memory (WM). Recent studies have also revealed primate prefrontal delay neurons that are related to reward/omission-of-reward expectancy. Such reward-related delay activities might constitute "affective WM" (Davidson, 2002). "Affective" and "cognitive" WM are both concerned with representing not what is currently being presented, but rather what was presented previously or might be presented in the future. However, according to the original and widely accepted definition, WM is the "temporary storage and manipulation of information for complex cognitive tasks". Reward/omission-of-reward expectancy-related neuronal activity is neither prerequisite nor essential for accurate task performance; thus, such activity is not considered to comprise the neural substrates of WM. Also, "affective WM" might not be an appropriate usage of the term "WM". We propose that WM- and reward/omission-of-reward expectancy-related neuronal activity are concerned with representing which response should be performed in order to attain a goal (reward) and the goal of the response, respectively. We further suggest that the prefrontal cortex (PFC) plays a crucial role in the integration of cognitive (for example, WM-related) and motivational (for example, reward expectancy-related) operations for goal-directed behaviour. The PFC could then send this integrated information to other brain areas to control the behaviour.

  15. The Neural Bases of Taxonomic and Thematic Conceptual Relations: An MEG Study

    PubMed Central

    Lewis, Gwyneth A.; Poeppel, David; Murphy, Gregory L.

    2015-01-01

    Converging evidence from behavioral and neuroimaging studies of human concepts indicate distinct neural systems for taxonomic and thematic knowledge. A recent study of naming in aphasia found involvement of the anterior temporal lobe (ATL) during taxonomic (feature-based) processing, and involvement of the temporoparietal junction (TPJ) during thematic (function-based) processing. We conducted an online magnetoencephalography (MEG) study to examine the spatio-temporal nature of taxonomic and thematic relations. We measured participants’ brain responses to words preceded by either a taxonomically or thematically related item (e.g., cottage→castle, king→castle). In a separate experiment we collected relatedness ratings of the word pairs from participants. We examined effects of relatedness and relation type on activation in ATL and TPJ regions of interest (ROIs) using permutation t-tests to identify differences in ROI activation between conditions as well as single-trial correlational analyses to examine the millisecond-by-millisecond influence of the stimulus variables on the ROIs. Taxonomic relations strongly predicted ATL activation, and both kinds of relations influenced the TPJ. Our results further strengthen the view of the ATL's importance to taxonomic knowledge. Moreover, they provide a nuanced view of thematic relations as involving taxonomic knowledge. PMID:25582406

  16. Model predictions of features in microsaccade-related neural responses in a feedforward network with short-term synaptic depression

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, Jian-Fang; Yuan, Wu-Jie; Zhou, Zhao; Zhou, Changsong

    2016-02-01

    Recently, the significant microsaccade-induced neural responses have been extensively observed in experiments. To explore the underlying mechanisms of the observed neural responses, a feedforward network model with short-term synaptic depression has been proposed [Yuan, W.-J., Dimigen, O., Sommer, W. and Zhou, C. Front. Comput. Neurosci. 7, 47 (2013)]. The depression model not only gave an explanation for microsaccades in counteracting visual fading, but also successfully reproduced several microsaccade-related features in experimental findings. These results strongly suggest that, the depression model is very useful to investigate microsaccade-related neural responses. In this paper, by using the model, we extensively study and predict the dependance of microsaccade-related neural responses on several key parameters, which could be tuned in experiments. Particularly, we provide a significant prediction that microsaccade-related neural response also complies with the property “sharper is better” observed in many contexts in neuroscience. Importantly, the property exhibits a power-law relationship between the width of input signal and the responsive effectiveness, which is robust against many parameters in the model. By using mean field theory, we analytically investigate the robust power-law property. Our predictions would give theoretical guidance for further experimental investigations of the functional role of microsaccades in visual information processing.

  17. [Francisco Varela's neurophenomenology of time: temporality of consciousness explained?].

    PubMed

    Vargas, Esteban; Canales-Johnson, Andrés; Claudio Fuentes, B

    2013-01-01

    This article attempts to clarify Francisco Varela's proposal of a neurophenomenology of time consciousness in the light of distinctions based on the philosophical literature of phenomenology and recent advances of neurobiology. The analysis is carried out considering three aspects. In the first of them, we discuss the phenomenological aspect of consciousness, accessible in first-person, which describes time as a structure with three inseparable moments (past-present-future) and three levels of temporality, and not merely as the chronometric time or clock time. In the second one, we analyze the neurobiological aspect of consciousness that tends to "explain" the phenomenological time in terms of three possible levels of neuronal integration. Thus, we propose a correspondence between the levels of phenomenological time and neural integration processes. Finally, we try to analyze this "correspondence" and the issues that follow from this by considering that the notion of time in this correspondence is, in essence, the clock time and not the phenomenological time consciousness.

  18. Activational and effort-related aspects of motivation: neural mechanisms and implications for psychopathology.

    PubMed

    Salamone, John D; Yohn, Samantha E; López-Cruz, Laura; San Miguel, Noemí; Correa, Mercè

    2016-05-01

    Motivation has been defined as the process that allows organisms to regulate their internal and external environment, and control the probability, proximity and availability of stimuli. As such, motivation is a complex process that is critical for survival, which involves multiple behavioural functions mediated by a number of interacting neural circuits. Classical theories of motivation suggest that there are both directional and activational aspects of motivation, and activational aspects (i.e. speed and vigour of both the instigation and persistence of behaviour) are critical for enabling organisms to overcome work-related obstacles or constraints that separate them from significant stimuli. The present review discusses the role of brain dopamine and related circuits in behavioural activation, exertion of effort in instrumental behaviour, and effort-related decision-making, based upon both animal and human studies. Impairments in behavioural activation and effort-related aspects of motivation are associated with psychiatric symptoms such as anergia, fatigue, lassitude and psychomotor retardation, which cross multiple pathologies, including depression, schizophrenia, and Parkinson's disease. Therefore, this review also attempts to provide an interdisciplinary approach that integrates findings from basic behavioural neuroscience, behavioural economics, clinical neuropsychology, psychiatry, and neurology, to provide a coherent framework for future research and theory in this critical field. Although dopamine systems are a critical part of the brain circuitry regulating behavioural activation, exertion of effort, and effort-related decision-making, mesolimbic dopamine is only one part of a distributed circuitry that includes multiple neurotransmitters and brain areas. Overall, there is a striking similarity between the brain areas involved in behavioural activation and effort-related processes in rodents and in humans. Animal models of effort-related decision

  19. A Framework for Relating Cognitive to Neural Systems. Cognitive Science Program, Technical Report No. 84-2.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Posner, Michael I.

    This paper reviews the aspects of cognitive science that relate best to using electrical and magnetic recording to understand the function of brain systems. It outlines a framework for relating cognitive activities of daily life (typing, reading) to underlying neural systems. The framework uses five levels of analysis: task, elementary operations,…

  20. Parental Socioeconomic Status and the Neural Basis of Arithmetic: Differential Relations to Verbal and Visuo-Spatial Representations

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Demir, Özlem Ece; Prado, Jérôme; Booth, James R.

    2015-01-01

    We examined the relation of parental socioeconomic status (SES) to the neural bases of subtraction in school-age children (9- to 12-year-olds). We independently localized brain regions subserving verbal versus visuo-spatial representations to determine whether the parental SES-related differences in children's reliance on these neural…

  1. Do cortical midline variability and low frequency fluctuations mediate William James' "Stream of Consciousness"? "Neurophenomenal Balance Hypothesis" of "Inner Time Consciousness".

    PubMed

    Northoff, Georg

    2014-11-01

    William James famously characterized consciousness by 'stream of consciousness' which describes the temporal continuity and flow of the contents of consciousness in our 'inner time consciousness'. More specifically he distinguished between "substantive parts", the contents of consciousness, and "transitive parts", the linkages between different contents. While much research has recently focused on the substantive parts, the neural mechanisms underlying the transitive parts and their characterization by the balance between 'sensible continuity' and 'continuous change' remain unclear. The aim of this paper is to develop so-called neuro-phenomenal hypothesis about specifically the transitive parts and their two phenomenal hallmark features, sensible continuity and continuous change in 'inner time consciousness'. Based on recent findings, I hypothesize that the cortical midline structures and their high degree of variability and strong low frequency fluctuations play an essential role in mediating the phenomenal balance between sensible continuity and continuous change.

  2. Afference copy as a quantitative neurophysiological model for consciousness.

    PubMed

    Cornelis, Hugo; Coop, Allan D

    2014-06-01

    Consciousness is a topic of considerable human curiosity with a long history of philosophical analysis and debate. We consider there is nothing particularly complicated about consciousness when viewed as a necessary process of the vertebrate nervous system. Here, we propose a physiological "explanatory gap" is created during each present moment by the temporal requirements of neuronal activity. The gap extends from the time exteroceptive and proprioceptive stimuli activate the nervous system until they emerge into consciousness. During this "moment", it is impossible for an organism to have any conscious knowledge of the ongoing evolution of its environment. In our schematic model, a mechanism of "afference copy" is employed to bridge the explanatory gap with consciously experienced percepts. These percepts are fabricated from the conjunction of the cumulative memory of previous relevant experience and the given stimuli. They are structured to provide the best possible prediction of the expected content of subjective conscious experience likely to occur during the period of the gap. The model is based on the proposition that the neural circuitry necessary to support consciousness is a product of sub/preconscious reflexive learning and recall processes. Based on a review of various psychological and neurophysiological findings, we develop a framework which contextualizes the model and briefly discuss further implications.

  3. General Markers of Conscious Visual Perception and Their Timing

    PubMed Central

    Rutiku, Renate; Aru, Jaan; Bachmann, Talis

    2016-01-01

    Previous studies have observed different onset times for the neural markers of conscious perception. This variability could be attributed to procedural differences between studies. Here we show that the onset times for the markers of conscious visual perception can strongly vary even within a single study. A heterogeneous stimulus set was presented at threshold contrast. Trials with and without conscious perception were contrasted on 100 balanced subsets of the data. Importantly, the 100 subsets with heterogeneous stimuli did not differ in stimulus content, but only with regard to specific trials used. This approach enabled us to study general markers of conscious visual perception independent of stimulus content, characterize their onset and its variability within one study. N200 and P300 were the two reliable markers of conscious visual perception common to all perceived stimuli and absent for all non-perceived stimuli. The estimated mean onset latency for both markers was shortly after 200 ms. However, the onset latency of these markers was associated with considerable variability depending on which subsets of the data were considered. We show that it is first and foremost the amplitude fluctuation in the condition without conscious perception that explains the observed variability in onset latencies of the markers of conscious visual perception. PMID:26869905

  4. Neural correlates of fixation duration in natural reading: Evidence from fixation-related fMRI.

    PubMed

    Henderson, John M; Choi, Wonil; Luke, Steven G; Desai, Rutvik H

    2015-10-01

    A key assumption of current theories of natural reading is that fixation duration reflects underlying attentional, language, and cognitive processes associated with text comprehension. The neurocognitive correlates of this relationship are currently unknown. To investigate this relationship, we compared neural activation associated with fixation duration in passage reading and a pseudo-reading control condition. The results showed that fixation duration was associated with activation in oculomotor and language areas during text reading. Fixation duration during pseudo-reading, on the other hand, showed greater involvement of frontal control regions, suggesting flexibility and task dependency of the eye movement network. Consistent with current models, these results provide support for the hypothesis that fixation duration in reading reflects attentional engagement and language processing. The results also demonstrate that fixation-related fMRI provides a method for investigating the neurocognitive bases of natural reading.

  5. A neurally plausible parallel distributed processing model of event-related potential word reading data.

    PubMed

    Laszlo, Sarah; Plaut, David C

    2012-03-01

    The Parallel Distributed Processing (PDP) framework has significant potential for producing models of cognitive tasks that approximate how the brain performs the same tasks. To date, however, there has been relatively little contact between PDP modeling and data from cognitive neuroscience. In an attempt to advance the relationship between explicit, computational models and physiological data collected during the performance of cognitive tasks, we developed a PDP model of visual word recognition which simulates key results from the ERP reading literature, while simultaneously being able to successfully perform lexical decision-a benchmark task for reading models. Simulations reveal that the model's success depends on the implementation of several neurally plausible features in its architecture which are sufficiently domain-general to be relevant to cognitive modeling more generally.

  6. The neural basis of desire reasoning for self and others: an event-related potential study.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Qin; Li, Peng; Li, Fuhong; Wang, Qi; Cao, Bihua; Li, Hong

    2016-01-20

    Theory of mind refers to the ability to attribute mental states to self and others, and predict actions in terms of mental states. It is still unclear how certain kinds of processing occur in theory of mind operation. The present study compared neural activities elicited by desire reasoning for self and for others under consistent or inconsistent conditions using the event-related potential method. The results showed that the late positive component (LPC) associated with desire reasoning was larger during the 450-550 ms time period in the condition of reasoning for self than that for others when desires were inconsistent. A left hemisphere effect on the scalp distribution was observed for the LPC component. The present study showed that a left frontal LPC component might reflect the subjective categorization process in desire reasoning.

  7. Object recognition using neural networks and high-order perspective-invariant relational descriptions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miller, Kenyon R.; Gilmore, John F.

    1992-02-01

    The task of 3-D object recognition can be viewed as consisting of four modules: extraction of structural descriptions, hypothesis generation, pose estimation, and hypothesis verification. The recognition time is determined by the efficiency of each of the four modules, but particularly on the hypothesis generation module which determines how many pose estimates and verifications must be done to recognize the object. In this paper, a set of high-order perspective-invariant relations are defined which can be used with a neural network algorithm to obtain a high-quality set of model-image matches between a model and image of a robot workstation. Using these matches, the number of hypotheses which must be generated to find a correct pose is greatly reduced.

  8. Answering questions about consciousness by modeling perception as covert behavior

    PubMed Central

    Markkula, Gustav

    2015-01-01

    Two main open questions in current consciousness research concern (i) the neural correlates of consciousness (NCC) and (ii) the relationship between neural activity and first-person, subjective experience. Here, possible answers are sketched for both of these, by means of a model-based analysis of what is required for one to admit having a conscious experience. To this end, a model is proposed that allows reasoning, albeit necessarily in a simplistic manner, about all of the so called “easy problems” of consciousness, from discrimination of stimuli to control of behavior and language. First, it is argued that current neuroscientific knowledge supports the view of perception and action selection as two examples of the same basic phenomenon, such that one can meaningfully refer to neuronal activations involved in perception as covert behavior. Building on existing neuroscientific and psychological models, a narrative behavior model is proposed, outlining how the brain selects covert (and sometimes overt) behaviors to construct a complex, multi-level narrative about what it is like to be the individual in question. It is hypothesized that we tend to admit a conscious experience of X if, at the time of judging consciousness, we find ourselves acceptably capable of performing narrative behavior describing X. It is argued that the proposed account reconciles seemingly conflicting empirical results, previously presented as evidence for competing theories of consciousness, and suggests that well-defined, experiment-independent NCCs are unlikely to exist. Finally, an analysis is made of what the modeled narrative behavior machinery is and is not capable of. It is discussed how an organism endowed with such a machinery could, from its first-person perspective, come to adopt notions such as “subjective experience,” and of there being “hard problems,” and “explanatory gaps” to be addressed in order to understand consciousness. PMID:26136704

  9. Implications of Ongoing Neural Development for the Measurement of the Error-Related Negativity in Childhood

    PubMed Central

    DuPuis, David; Ram, Nilam; Willner, Cynthia J.; Karalunas, Sarah; Segalowitz, Sidney J.; Gatzke-Kopp, Lisa M.

    2014-01-01

    Event-related potentials (ERPs) have been proposed as biomarkers capable of reflecting individual differences in neural processing not necessarily detectable at the behavioral level. However, the role of ERPs in developmental research could be hampered by current methodological approaches to quantification. ERPs are extracted as an average waveform over many trials, however, actual amplitudes would be misrepresented by an average if there was high trial-to-trial variability in signal latency. Low signal temporal consistency is thought to be a characteristic of immature neural systems, although consistency is not routinely measured in ERP research. The present study examined the differential contributions of signal strength and temporal consistency across trials in the error-related negativity (ERN) in 6-year-old children, as well as the developmental changes that occur in these measures. The 234 children were assessed annually in kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grade. At all assessments signal strength and temporal consistency were highly correlated with the average ERN amplitude, and were not correlated with each other. Consistent with previous findings, ERN deflections in the averaged waveform increased with age. This was found to be a function of developmental increases in signal temporal consistency, whereas signal strength showed a significant decline across this time period. Additionally, average ERN amplitudes showed low-to-moderate stability across the three assessments whereas signal strength was highly stable. In contrast, signal temporal consistency did not evidence rank order stability across these ages. Signal strength appears to reflect a stable individual trait whereas developmental changes in temporal consistency may be experientially influenced. PMID:25209462

  10. Neural basis of psychosis-related behaviour in the infection model of schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Meyer, Urs; Feldon, Joram

    2009-12-07

    Maternal infection during pregnancy is a notable risk factor for the offspring to develop severe neuropsychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia. One prevalent hypothesis suggests that infection-induced disruption of early prenatal brain development predisposes the organism for long-lasting structural and functional brain abnormalities, leading to the emergence of psychopathological behaviour in adulthood. The feasibility of this causal link has received considerable support from several experimental models established in both rats and mice. In this review, we provide an integrative summary of the long-term neuropathological consequences of prenatal exposure to infection and/or inflammation as identified in various experimental models of prenatal immune challenge. In addition, we highlight how abnormalities in distinct brain areas and neurotransmitter systems following prenatal immune activation may provide a neural basis for the emergence of specific forms of psychosis-related behaviour. Specifically, we suggest that prenatal infection-induced imbalances in the mesolimibic and mesocortical dopamine pathways may constitute critical neural mechanisms for disturbances in sensorimotor gating, abnormalities in selective associative learning and hypersensitivity to psychostimulant drugs. On the other hand, the emergence of working memory deficiency following prenatal immune challenge may be crucially linked to the concomitant disruption of GABAergic and glutamatergic functions in prefrontal cortical and hippocampal structures. Notably, many of the identified neuronal abnormalities are directly implicated in the neuropathology of schizophrenia. The findings from prenatal infection models of schizophrenia thus provide considerable experimental evidence for the assumption that prenatal exposure to infection and/or inflammation is a relevant environmental link to specific neuronal abnormalities underlying psychosis-related behaviour in humans.

  11. Consciousness and the Brainstem.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Parvizi, Josef; Damasio, Antonio

    2001-01-01

    Summarizes a theoretical framework and set of hypotheses aimed at accounting for consciousness in neurobiological terms. Discusses the functional neuroanatomy of nuclei in the brainstem reticular formation. Notes that the views presented are compatible with the idea that the reticular formation modulates the electrophysiological activity of the…

  12. Cybernetics and consciousness.

    PubMed

    Trabka, J

    1999-01-01

    This paper is a review of hypotheses of consciousness which arose from application of the theory of information and regulation and the cybernetic theory of mathematical machines in medicine. The author presents these hypotheses on the examples of his own works.

  13. States of Consciousness

    PubMed Central

    Bell, Carl C.

    1980-01-01

    The art of psychiatry offers many different viewpoints from which to catalog behavior and thinking styles and, therefore, many physicians tend to have difficulty in conceptualizing features of behavioral medicine. A classification of states of consciousness with clinical examples of such states is presented to aid in a more clear understanding of human behavior. PMID:7365821

  14. The evolutionary and genetic origins of consciousness in the Cambrian Period over 500 million years ago

    PubMed Central

    Feinberg, Todd E.; Mallatt, Jon

    2013-01-01

    Vertebrates evolved in the Cambrian Period before 520 million years ago, but we do not know when or how consciousness arose in the history of the vertebrate brain. Here we propose multiple levels of isomorphic or somatotopic neural representations as an objective marker for sensory consciousness. All extant vertebrates have these, so we deduce that consciousness extends back to the group's origin. The first conscious sense may have been vision. Then vision, coupled with additional sensory systems derived from ectodermal placodes and neural crest, transformed primitive reflexive systems into image forming brains that map and perceive the external world and the body's interior. We posit that the minimum requirement for sensory consciousness and qualia is a brain including a forebrain (but not necessarily a developed cerebral cortex/pallium), midbrain, and hindbrain. This brain must also have (1) hierarchical systems of intercommunicating, isomorphically organized, processing nuclei that extensively integrate the different senses into representations that emerge in upper levels of the neural hierarchy; and (2) a widespread reticular formation that integrates the sensory inputs and contributes to attention, awareness, and neural synchronization. We propose a two-step evolutionary history, in which the optic tectum was the original center of multi-sensory conscious perception (as in fish and amphibians: step 1), followed by a gradual shift of this center to the dorsal pallium or its cerebral cortex (in mammals, reptiles, birds: step 2). We address objections to the hypothesis and call for more studies of fish and amphibians. In our view, the lamprey has all the neural requisites and is likely the simplest extant vertebrate with sensory consciousness and qualia. Genes that pattern the proposed elements of consciousness (isomorphism, neural crest, placodes) have been identified in all vertebrates. Thus, consciousness is in the genes, some of which are already known. PMID

  15. The evolutionary and genetic origins of consciousness in the Cambrian Period over 500 million years ago.

    PubMed

    Feinberg, Todd E; Mallatt, Jon

    2013-01-01

    Vertebrates evolved in the Cambrian Period before 520 million years ago, but we do not know when or how consciousness arose in the history of the vertebrate brain. Here we propose multiple levels of isomorphic or somatotopic neural representations as an objective marker for sensory consciousness. All extant vertebrates have these, so we deduce that consciousness extends back to the group's origin. The first conscious sense may have been vision. Then vision, coupled with additional sensory systems derived from ectodermal placodes and neural crest, transformed primitive reflexive systems into image forming brains that map and perceive the external world and the body's interior. We posit that the minimum requirement for sensory consciousness and qualia is a brain including a forebrain (but not necessarily a developed cerebral cortex/pallium), midbrain, and hindbrain. This brain must also have (1) hierarchical systems of intercommunicating, isomorphically organized, processing nuclei that extensively integrate the different senses into representations that emerge in upper levels of the neural hierarchy; and (2) a widespread reticular formation that integrates the sensory inputs and contributes to attention, awareness, and neural synchronization. We propose a two-step evolutionary history, in which the optic tectum was the original center of multi-sensory conscious perception (as in fish and amphibians: step 1), followed by a gradual shift of this center to the dorsal pallium or its cerebral cortex (in mammals, reptiles, birds: step 2). We address objections to the hypothesis and call for more studies of fish and amphibians. In our view, the lamprey has all the neural requisites and is likely the simplest extant vertebrate with sensory consciousness and qualia. Genes that pattern the proposed elements of consciousness (isomorphism, neural crest, placodes) have been identified in all vertebrates. Thus, consciousness is in the genes, some of which are already known.

  16. Temperature and relative humidity estimation and prediction in the tobacco drying process using Artificial Neural Networks.

    PubMed

    Martínez-Martínez, Víctor; Baladrón, Carlos; Gomez-Gil, Jaime; Ruiz-Ruiz, Gonzalo; Navas-Gracia, Luis M; Aguiar, Javier M; Carro, Belén

    2012-10-17

    This paper presents a system based on an Artificial Neural Network (ANN) for estimating and predicting environmental variables related to tobacco drying processes. This system has been validated with temperature and relative humidity data obtained from a real tobacco dryer with a Wireless Sensor Network (WSN). A fitting ANN was used to estimate temperature and relative humidity in different locations inside the tobacco dryer and to predict them with different time horizons. An error under 2% can be achieved when estimating temperature as a function of temperature and relative humidity in other locations. Moreover, an error around 1.5 times lower than that obtained with an interpolation method can be achieved when predicting the temperature inside the tobacco mass as a function of its present and past values with time horizons over 150 minutes. These results show that the tobacco drying process can be improved taking into account the predicted future value of the monitored variables and the estimated actual value of other variables using a fitting ANN as proposed.

  17. Relative importance of parameters affecting wind speed prediction using artificial neural networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ghorbani, M. A.; Khatibi, R.; Hosseini, B.; Bilgili, M.

    2013-10-01

    In traditional artificial neural networks (ANN) models, the relative importance of the individual meteorological input variables is often overlooked. A case study is presented in this paper to model monthly wind speed values using meteorological data (air pressure, air temperature, relative humidity, and precipitation), where the study also includes an estimate of the relative importance of these variables. Recorded monthly mean data are available at a gauging site in Tabriz, Azerbaijan, Iran, for the period from 2000 to 2005, gauged in the city at the outskirt of alluvial funneling mountains with an established microclimatic conditions and a diurnal wind regime. This provides a sufficiently severe test for the ANN model with a good predictive capability of 1 year of lead time but without any direct approach to refer the predicted results to local microclimatic conditions. A method is used in this paper to calculate the relative importance of each meteorological input parameters affecting wind speed, showing that air pressure and precipitation are the most and least influential parameters with approximate values of 40 and 10 %, respectively. This gained knowledge corresponds to the local knowledge of the microclimatic and geomorphologic conditions surrounding Tabriz.

  18. Temperature and Relative Humidity Estimation and Prediction in the Tobacco Drying Process Using Artificial Neural Networks

    PubMed Central

    Martínez-Martínez, Víctor; Baladrón, Carlos; Gomez-Gil, Jaime; Ruiz-Ruiz, Gonzalo; Navas-Gracia, Luis M.; Aguiar, Javier M.; Carro, Belén

    2012-01-01

    This paper presents a system based on an Artificial Neural Network (ANN) for estimating and predicting environmental variables related to tobacco drying processes. This system has been validated with temperature and relative humidity data obtained from a real tobacco dryer with a Wireless Sensor Network (WSN). A fitting ANN was used to estimate temperature and relative humidity in different locations inside the tobacco dryer and to predict them with different time horizons. An error under 2% can be achieved when estimating temperature as a function of temperature and relative humidity in other locations. Moreover, an error around 1.5 times lower than that obtained with an interpolation method can be achieved when predicting the temperature inside the tobacco mass as a function of its present and past values with time horizons over 150 minutes. These results show that the tobacco drying process can be improved taking into account the predicted future value of the monitored variables and the estimated actual value of other variables using a fitting ANN as proposed. PMID:23202032

  19. Neuronal integration in visual cortex elevates face category tuning to conscious face perception.

    PubMed

    Fahrenfort, Johannes J; Snijders, Tineke M; Heinen, Klaartje; van Gaal, Simon; Scholte, H Steven; Lamme, Victor A F

    2012-12-26

    The human brain has the extraordinary capability to transform cluttered sensory input into distinct object representations. For example, it is able to rapidly and seemingly without effort detect object categories in complex natural scenes. Surprisingly, category tuning is not sufficient to achieve conscious recognition of objects. What neural process beyond category extraction might elevate neural representations to the level where objects are consciously perceived? Here we show that visible and invisible faces produce similar category-selective responses in the ventral visual cortex. The pattern of neural activity evoked by visible faces could be used to decode the presence of invisible faces and vice versa. However, only visible faces caused extensive response enhancements and changes in neural oscillatory synchronization, as well as increased functional connectivity between higher and lower visual areas. We conclude that conscious face perception is more tightly linked to neural processes of sustained information integration and binding than to processes accommodating face category tuning.

  20. Brain Damage and the Moral Significance of Consciousness

    PubMed Central

    kahane, Guy

    2009-01-01

    Neuroimaging studies of brain-damaged patients diagnosed as in the vegetative state suggest that the patients might be conscious. This might seem to raise no new ethical questions given that in related disputes both sides agree that evidence for consciousness gives strong reason to preserve life. We question this assumption. We clarify the widely held but obscure principle that consciousness is morally significant. It is hard to apply this principle to difficult cases given that philosophers of mind distinguish between a range of notions of consciousness and that is unclear which of these is assumed by the principle. We suggest that the morally relevant notion is that of phenomenal consciousness and then use our analysis to interpret cases of brain damage. We argue that enjoyment of consciousness might actually give stronger moral reasons not to preserve a patient's life and, indeed, that these might be stronger when patients retain significant cognitive function. PMID:19193694

  1. Long-lasting effects of performance-contingent unconscious and conscious reward incentives during cued task-switching.

    PubMed

    Capa, Rémi L; Bouquet, Cédric A; Dreher, Jean-Claude; Dufour, André

    2013-01-01

    Motivation is often thought to interact consciously with executive control, although recent studies have indicated that motivation can also be unconscious. To date, however, the effects of unconscious motivation on high-order executive control functions have not been explored. Only a few studies using subliminal stimuli (i.e., those not related to motivation, such as an arrow to prime a response) have reported short-lived effects on high-order executive control functions. Here, building on research on unconscious motivation, in which a behavior of perseverance is induced to attain a goal, we hypothesized that subliminal motivation can have long-lasting effects on executive control processes. We investigated the impact of unconscious/conscious monetary reward incentives on evoked potentials and neural activity dynamics during cued task-switching performance. Participants performed long runs of task-switching. At the beginning of each run, a reward (50 cents or 1 cent) was displayed, either subliminally or supraliminally. Participants earned the reward contingent upon their correct responses to each trial of the run. A higher percentage of runs was achieved with higher (conscious and unconscious) than lower rewards, indicating that unconscious high rewards have long-lasting behavioral effects. Event-related potential (ERP) results indicated that unconscious and conscious rewards influenced preparatory effort in task preparation, as suggested by a greater fronto-central contingent negative variation (CNV) starting at cue-onset. However, a greater parietal P3 associated with better reaction times (RTs) was observed only under conditions of conscious high reward, suggesting a larger amount of working memory invested during task performance. Together, these results indicate that unconscious and conscious motivations are similar at early stages of task-switching preparation but differ during task performance.

  2. A BOLD Perspective on Age-Related Neurometabolic-Flow Coupling and Neural Efficiency Changes in Human Visual Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Hutchison, Joanna Lynn; Shokri-Kojori, Ehsan; Lu, Hanzhang; Rypma, Bart

    2013-01-01

    Age-related performance declines in visual tasks have been attributed to reductions in processing efficiency. The neural basis of these declines has been explored by comparing the blood-oxygen-level-dependent (BOLD) index of neural activity in older and younger adults during visual task performance. However, neural activity is one of many factors that change with age and lead to BOLD signal differences. We investigated the origin of age-related BOLD changes by comparing blood flow and oxygen metabolic constituents of BOLD signal. Subjects periodically viewed flickering annuli and pressed a button when detecting luminance changes in a central fixation cross. Using magnetic resonance dual-echo arterial spin labeling and CO2 ingestion, we observed age-equivalent (i.e., similar in older and younger groups) fractional cerebral blood flow (ΔCBF) in the presence of age-related increases in fractional cerebral metabolic rate of oxygen (ΔCMRO2). Reductions in ΔCBF responsiveness to increased ΔCMRO2 in elderly led to paradoxical age-related BOLD decreases. Age-related ΔCBF/ΔCMRO2 ratio decreases were associated with reaction times, suggesting that age-related slowing resulted from less efficient neural activity. We hypothesized that reduced vascular responsiveness to neural metabolic demand would lead to a reduction in ΔCBF/ΔCMRO2. A simulation of BOLD relative to ΔCMRO2 for lower and higher neurometabolic-flow coupling ratios (approximating those for old and young, respectively) indicated less BOLD signal change in old than young in relatively lower CMRO2 ranges, as well as greater BOLD signal change in young compared to old in relatively higher CMRO2 ranges. These results suggest that age-comparative studies relying on BOLD signal might be misinterpreted, as age-related BOLD changes do not merely reflect neural activity changes. Age-related declines in neurometabolic-flow coupling might lead to neural efficiency reductions that can adversely affect visual task

  3. Episodic Recollection Difficulties in ASD Result from Atypical Relational Encoding: Behavioral and Neural Evidence

    PubMed Central

    Bowler, Dermot M.; Ecker, Christine; Calvo‐Merino, Beatriz; Murphy, Declan G.

    2015-01-01

    Memory functioning in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is characterized by impairments in the encoding of relational but not item information and difficulties in the recollection of contextually rich episodic memories but not in the retrieval of relatively context‐free memories through processes of familiarity. The neural underpinnings of this profile and the extent to which encoding difficulties contribute to retrieval difficulties in ASD remain unclear. Using a paradigm developed by Addis and McAndrews [2006; Neuroimage, 33, 1194–1206] we asked adults with and without a diagnosis of ASD to study word‐triplets during functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) scanning that varied in the number of category relations amongst component words. Performance at test confirmed attenuated recollection in the context of preserved familiarity based retrieval in ASD. The results also showed that recollection but not familiarity based retrieval increases as a function of category relations in word triads for both groups, indicating a close link between the encoding of relational information and recollection. This link was further supported by the imaging results, where blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) signal responses in overlapping regions of the inferior prefrontal cortex were sensitive to the relational encoding manipulation as well as the contrast between recollection versus familiarity based retrieval. Interestingly, however, there was no evidence of prefrontal signal differentiation for this latter contrast in the ASD group for whom signal changes in a left hippocampal region were also marginally attenuated. Together, these observations suggest that attenuated levels of episodic recollection in ASD are, at least in part, attributable to anomalies in relational encoding processes. Autism Res 2015, 8: 317–327. © 2015 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:25630307

  4. Neural correlates of relational reasoning and the symbolic distance effect: involvement of parietal cortex.

    PubMed

    Hinton, E C; Dymond, S; von Hecker, U; Evans, C J

    2010-06-16

    A novel, five-term relational reasoning paradigm was employed during functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate neural correlates of the symbolic distance effect (SDE). Prior to scanning, participants learned a series of more-than (E>D>C>B>A) or less-than (AA) and nonadjacent one-step (AA, D>B and E>C) and two-step (AA and E>B) combinatorial entailed tasks. In terms of brain activation, the SDE was identified in the inferior frontal cortex, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, and bilateral parietal cortex with a graded activation pattern from adjacent to one-step and two-step relations. We suggest that this captures the behavioural SDE of increased accuracy and decreased reaction time from adjacent to two-step relations. One-step relations involving endpoints A or E resulted in greater parietal activation compared to one-step relations without endpoints. Novel contrasts found enhanced activation in right parietal and prefrontal cortices during mutually entailed tasks only for participants who had learned all less-than relations. Increased parietal activation was found for one-step tasks that were inconsistent with prior training. Overall, the findings demonstrate a crucial role for parietal cortex during relational reasoning with a spatially ordered array.

  5. Fluid Intelligence and Automatic Neural Processes in Facial Expression Perception: An Event-Related Potential Study

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Tongran; Xiao, Tong; Li, Xiaoyan; Shi, Jiannong

    2015-01-01

    The relationship between human fluid intelligence and social-emotional abilities has been a topic of considerable interest. The current study investigated whether adolescents with different intellectual levels had different automatic neural processing of facial expressions. Two groups of adolescent males were enrolled: a high IQ group and an average IQ group. Age and parental socioeconomic status were matched between the two groups. Participants counted the numbers of the central cross changes while paired facial expressions were presented bilaterally in an oddball paradigm. There were two experimental conditions: a happy condition, in which neutral expressions were standard stimuli (p = 0.8) and happy expressions were deviant stimuli (p = 0.2), and a fearful condition, in which neutral expressions were standard stimuli (p = 0.8) and fearful expressions were deviant stimuli (p = 0.2). Participants were required to concentrate on the primary task of counting the central cross changes and to ignore the expressions to ensure that facial expression processing was automatic. Event-related potentials (ERPs) were obtained during the tasks. The visual mismatch negativity (vMMN) components were analyzed to index the automatic neural processing of facial expressions. For the early vMMN (50–130 ms), the high IQ group showed more negative vMMN amplitudes than the average IQ group in the happy condition. For the late vMMN (320–450 ms), the high IQ group had greater vMMN responses than the average IQ group over frontal and occipito-temporal areas in the fearful condition, and the average IQ group evoked larger vMMN amplitudes than the high IQ group over occipito-temporal areas in the happy condition. The present study elucidated the close relationships between fluid intelligence and pre-attentive change detection on social-emotional information. PMID:26375031

  6. Long-Range Temporal Correlations, Multifractality, and the Causal Relation between Neural Inputs and Movements

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Jing; Zheng, Yi; Gao, Jianbo

    2013-01-01

    Understanding the causal relation between neural inputs and movements is very important for the success of brain-machine interfaces (BMIs). In this study, we analyze 104 neurons’ firings using statistical, information theoretic, and fractal analysis. The latter include Fano factor analysis, multifractal adaptive fractal analysis (MF-AFA), and wavelet multifractal analysis. We find neuronal firings are highly non-stationary, and Fano factor analysis always indicates long-range correlations in neuronal firings, irrespective of whether those firings are correlated with movement trajectory or not, and thus does not reveal any actual correlations between neural inputs and movements. On the other hand, MF-AFA and wavelet multifractal analysis clearly indicate that when neuronal firings are not well correlated with movement trajectory, they do not have or only have weak temporal correlations. When neuronal firings are well correlated with movements, they are characterized by very strong temporal correlations, up to a time scale comparable to the average time between two successive reaching tasks. This suggests that neurons well correlated with hand trajectory experienced a “re-setting” effect at the start of each reaching task, in the sense that within the movement correlated neurons the spike trains’ long-range dependences persisted about the length of time the monkey used to switch between task executions. A new task execution re-sets their activity, making them only weakly correlated with their prior activities on longer time scales. We further discuss the significance of the coalition of those important neurons in executing cortical control of prostheses. PMID:24130549

  7. Fluid Intelligence and Automatic Neural Processes in Facial Expression Perception: An Event-Related Potential Study.

    PubMed

    Liu, Tongran; Xiao, Tong; Li, Xiaoyan; Shi, Jiannong

    2015-01-01

    The relationship between human fluid intelligence and social-emotional abilities has been a topic of considerable interest. The current study investigated whether adolescents with different intellectual levels had different automatic neural processing of facial expressions. Two groups of adolescent males were enrolled: a high IQ group and an average IQ group. Age and parental socioeconomic status were matched between the two groups. Participants counted the numbers of the central cross changes while paired facial expressions were presented bilaterally in an oddball paradigm. There were two experimental conditions: a happy condition, in which neutral expressions were standard stimuli (p = 0.8) and happy expressions were deviant stimuli (p = 0.2), and a fearful condition, in which neutral expressions were standard stimuli (p = 0.8) and fearful expressions were deviant stimuli (p = 0.2). Participants were required to concentrate on the primary task of counting the central cross changes and to ignore the expressions to ensure that facial expression processing was automatic. Event-related potentials (ERPs) were obtained during the tasks. The visual mismatch negativity (vMMN) components were analyzed to index the automatic neural processing of facial expressions. For the early vMMN (50-130 ms), the high IQ group showed more negative vMMN amplitudes than the average IQ group in the happy condition. For the late vMMN (320-450 ms), the high IQ group had greater vMMN responses than the average IQ group over frontal and occipito-temporal areas in the fearful condition, and the average IQ group evoked larger vMMN amplitudes than the high IQ group over occipito-temporal areas in the happy condition. The present study elucidated the close relationships between fluid intelligence and pre-attentive change detection on social-emotional information.

  8. Consciousness loss during epileptogenesis: implication for VLPO-PnO circuits

    PubMed Central

    Feng, Maohui; He, Zhigang; Liu, Baowen; Li, Zhixiao; Tao, Guorong; Wu, Duozhi; Xiang, Hongbing

    2017-01-01

    There is a growing concern about consciousness loss during epileptic seizures. Understanding neural mechanisms could lead to a better comprehension of cerebral circuit function in the control of consciousness loss in intractable epilepsy. We propose that ventrolateral preoptic area (VLPO)- PnO (nucleus pontis oralis) circuits may serve a major role in the loss of consciousness in drug-refractory epilepsy. Future behavioural and neuroimaging studies are clearly needed to understand the functional connectivity between the VLPO and PnO during loss of consciousness in drug-refractory epilepsy, to greatly prevent unconsciousness in this disorder and improve the quality of life in patients with intractable epilepsy. PMID:28337311

  9. Synthetic consciousness: the distributed adaptive control perspective.

    PubMed

    Verschure, Paul F M J

    2016-08-19

    Understanding the nature of consciousness is one of the grand outstanding scientific challenges. The fundamental methodological problem is how phenomenal first person experience can be accounted for in a third person verifiable form, while the conceptual challenge is to both define its function and physical realization. The distributed adaptive control theory of consciousness (DACtoc) proposes answers to these three challenges. The methodological challenge is answered relative to the hard problem and DACtoc proposes that it can be addressed using a convergent synthetic methodology using the analysis of synthetic biologically grounded agents, or quale parsing. DACtoc hypothesizes that consciousness in both its primary and secondary forms serves the ability to deal with the hidden states of the world and emerged during the Cambrian period, affording stable multi-agent environments to emerge. The process of consciousness is an autonomous virtualization memory, which serializes and unifies the parallel and subconscious simulations of the hidden states of the world that are largely due to other agents and the self with the objective to extract norms. These norms are in turn projected as value onto the parallel simulation and control systems that are driving action. This functional hypothesis is mapped onto the brainstem, midbrain and the thalamo-cortical and cortico-cortical systems and analysed with respect to our understanding of deficits of consciousness. Subsequently, some of the implications and predictions of DACtoc are outlined, in particular, the prediction that normative bootstrapping of conscious agents is predicated on an intentionality prior. In the view advanced here, human consciousness constitutes the ultimate evolutionary transition by allowing agents to become autonomous with respect to their evolutionary priors leading to a post-biological Anthropocene.This article is part of the themed issue 'The major synthetic evolutionary transitions'.

  10. Age and experience shape developmental changes in the neural basis of language-related learning.

    PubMed

    McNealy, Kristin; Mazziotta, John C; Dapretto, Mirella

    2011-11-01

    Very little is known about the neural underpinnings of language learning across the lifespan and how these might be modified by maturational and experiential factors. Building on behavioral research highlighting the importance of early word segmentation (i.e. the detection of word boundaries in continuous speech) for subsequent language learning, here we characterize developmental changes in brain activity as this process occurs online, using data collected in a mixed cross-sectional and longitudinal design. One hundred and fifty-six participants, ranging from age 5 to adulthood, underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) while listening to three novel streams of continuous speech, which contained either strong statistical regularities, strong statistical regularities and speech cues, or weak statistical regularities providing minimal cues to word boundaries. All age groups displayed significant signal increases over time in temporal cortices for the streams with high statistical regularities; however, we observed a significant right-to-left shift in the laterality of these learning-related increases with age. Interestingly, only the 5- to 10-year-old children displayed significant signal increases for the stream with low statistical regularities, suggesting an age-related decrease in sensitivity to more subtle statistical cues. Further, in a sample of 78 10-year-olds, we examined the impact of proficiency in a second language and level of pubertal development on learning-related signal increases, showing that the brain regions involved in language learning are influenced by both experiential and maturational factors.

  11. Neural Computation of Surface Border Ownership and Relative Surface Depth from Ambiguous Contrast Inputs

    PubMed Central

    Dresp-Langley, Birgitta; Grossberg, Stephen

    2016-01-01

    The segregation of image parts into foreground and background is an important aspect of the neural computation of 3D scene perception. To achieve such segregation, the brain needs information about border ownership; that is, the belongingness of a contour to a specific surface represented in the image. This article presents psychophysical data derived from 3D percepts of figure and ground that were generated by presenting 2D images composed of spatially disjoint shapes that pointed inward or outward relative to the continuous boundaries that they induced along their collinear edges. The shapes in some images had the same contrast (black or white) with respect to the background gray. Other images included opposite contrasts along each induced continuous boundary. Psychophysical results demonstrate conditions under which figure-ground judgment probabilities in response to these ambiguous displays are determined by the orientation of contrasts only, not by their relative contrasts, despite the fact that many border ownership cells in cortical area V2 respond to a preferred relative contrast. Studies are also reviewed in which both polarity-specific and polarity-invariant properties obtain. The FACADE and 3D LAMINART models are used to explain these data. PMID:27516746

  12. Time spent with friends in adolescence relates to less neural sensitivity to later peer rejection.

    PubMed

    Masten, Carrie L; Telzer, Eva H; Fuligni, Andrew J; Lieberman, Matthew D; Eisenberger, Naomi I

    2012-01-01

    Involvement with friends carries many advantages for adolescents, including protection from the detrimental effects of being rejected by peers. However, little is known about the mechanisms through which friendships may serve their protective role at this age, or the potential benefit of these friendships as adolescents transition to adulthood. As such, this investigation tested whether friend involvement during adolescence related to less neural sensitivity to social threats during young adulthood. Twenty-one adolescents reported the amount of time they spent with friends outside of school using a daily diary. Two years later they underwent an fMRI scan, during which they were ostensibly excluded from an online ball-tossing game by two same-age peers. Findings from region of interest and whole brain analyses revealed that spending more time with friends during adolescence related to less activity in the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex and anterior insula--regions previously linked with negative affect and pain processing--during an experience of peer rejection 2 years later. These findings are consistent with the notion that positive relationships during adolescence may relate to individuals being less sensitive to negative social experiences later on.

  13. Is Consciousness Reality or Illusion ? A Non-Dualist Interpretation of Consciousness

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schwarz, Eric

    2004-08-01

    This paper proposes a way to approach the "hard problem" of consciousness. First, we present a typology of the main models developed in the litterature to understand consciousness. Most of them adopt a physicalist ontology and a functionalist epistemology. We then present the main features of a metamodel we have elaborated to interpret nonlinear systems evolving toward complexity and autonomy. This systemic metamodel is a general framework that can later be used to make models of specific systems. As an extension of the mechanist paradigm, it is based on three primordial categories objects, relations and wholes or systems. In the last part, we apply it to the cases of the logic of life and the nature of consciousness. Both can be interpreted by the metamodel, in particular, by the autopoiesis proposed by Maturana and Varela for life and self-reference for consciousness.

  14. Language and Cognition Interaction Neural Mechanisms

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-06-01

    cognition and consciousness,” in Neurodynamics of Cognition and Consciousness, L. Perlovsky and R. Kozma, Eds., Springer, Heidelberg, Germany, 2007. [31] L...115, 1987. [43] L. I. Perlovsky, “Neural dynamic logic of consciousness: the knowledge instinct,” in Neurodynamics of Higher-Level Cognition and...Brain, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass, USA, 2000. [58] L. I. Perlovsky and R. Kozma, Eds., Neurodynamics of Higher- Level Cognition and

  15. Neural Correlates of Abstract Rule Learning: An Event-Related Potential Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sun, Fang; Hoshi-Shiba, Reiko; Abla, Dilshat; Okanoya, Kazuo

    2012-01-01

    Abstract rule learning is a fundamental aspect of human cognition, and is essential for language acquisition. However, despite its importance, the neural mechanisms underlying abstract rule learning are still largely unclear. In this study, we investigated the neural correlates of abstract rule learning by recording auditory event-related…

  16. Early processing in primary visual cortex is necessary for conscious and unconscious vision while late processing is necessary only for conscious vision in neurologically healthy humans.

    PubMed

    Hurme, Mikko; Koivisto, Mika; Revonsuo, Antti; Railo, Henry

    2017-02-22

    The neural mechanisms underlying conscious and unconscious visual processes remain controversial. Blindsight patients may process visual stimuli unconsciously despite their V1 lesion, promoting anatomical models, which suggest that pathways bypassing the V1 support unconscious vision. On the other hand, physiological models argue that the major geniculostriate pathway via V1 is involved in both unconscious and conscious vision, but in different time windows and in different types of neural activity. According to physiological models, feedforward activity via V1 to higher areas mediates unconscious processes whereas feedback loops of recurrent activity from higher areas back to V1 support conscious vision. With transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) it is possible to study the causal role of a brain region during specific time points in neurologically healthy participants. In the present study, we measured unconscious processing with redundant target effect, a phenomenon where participants respond faster to two stimuli than one even when one of the stimuli is not consciously perceived. We tested the physiological feedforward-feedback model of vision by suppressing conscious vision by interfering selectively either with early or later V1 activity with TMS. Our results show that early V1 activity (60ms) is necessary for both unconscious and conscious vision. During later processing stages (90ms), V1 contributes selectively to conscious vision. These findings support the feedforward-feedback-model of consciousness.

  17. Food-Related Neural Circuitry in Prader-Willi Syndrome: Response to High- versus Low-Calorie Foods

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dimitropoulos, Anastasia; Schultz, Robert T.

    2008-01-01

    Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by hyperphagia and food preoccupations. Although dysfunction of the hypothalamus likely has a critical role in hyperphagia, it is only one of several regions involved in the regulation of eating. The purpose of this research was to examine food-related neural circuitry…

  18. Gaze Direction Modulates the Relation between Neural Responses to Faces and Visual Awareness.

    PubMed

    Madipakkam, Apoorva Rajiv; Rothkirch, Marcus; Guggenmos, Matthias; Heinz, Andreas; Sterzer, Philipp

    2015-09-30

    Gaze direction and especially direct gaze is a powerful nonverbal cue that plays an important role in social interactions. Here we studied the neural mechanisms underlying the privileged access of direct gaze to visual awareness. We performed functional magnetic resonance imaging in healthy human volunteers who were exposed to faces with direct or averted gaze under continuous flash suppression, thereby manipulating their awareness of the faces. A gaze processing network comprising fusiform face area (FFA), superior temporal sulcus, amygdala, and intraparietal sulcus showed overall reduced neural responses when participants reported to be unaware of the faces. Interestingly, direct gaze elicited greater responses than averted gaze when participants were aware of the faces, but smaller responses when they were unaware. Additional between-subject correlation and single-trial analyses indicated that this pattern of results was due to a modulation of the relationship between neural responses and awareness by gaze direction: with increasing neural activation in the FFA, direct-gaze faces entered awareness more readily than averted-gaze faces. These findings suggest that for direct gaze, lower levels of neural activity are sufficient to give rise to awareness than for averted gaze, thus providing a neural basis for privileged access of direct gaze to awareness. Significance statement: Another person's eye gaze directed at oneself is a powerful social signal acting as a catalyst for further communication. Here, we studied the neural mechanisms underlying the prioritized access of direct gaze to visual awareness in healthy human volunteers and show that with increasing neural activation, direct-gaze faces enter awareness more readily than averted-gaze faces. This suggests that for a socially highly relevant cue like direct gaze, lower levels of neural activity are sufficient to give rise to awareness compared with averted gaze, possibly because the human brain is attuned

  19. Natural evolution and human consciousness.

    PubMed

    Holmgren, Jan

    2014-01-01

    A visual conscious experience is my empirical basis. All that we know comes to us through conscious experiences. Thanks to natural evolution, we have nearly direct perception, and can largely trust the information we attain. There is full integration, with no gaps, of organisms in the continuous world. Human conscious experiences, on the other hand, are discrete. Consciousness has certain limits for its resolution. This is illustrated by the so-called light-cone, with consequences for foundations in physics. Traditional universals are replaced by feels and distributions. Conscious experiences can be ordered within a framework of conceptual spaces. Triple Aspect Monism (TAM) can represent the dynamics of conscious systems. However, to fully represent the creative power of human consciousness, an all-inclusive view is suggested: Multi Aspect Monism (MAM).

  20. Consciousness and cognitive control

    PubMed Central

    Kunde, Wilfried; Reuss, Heiko; Kiesel, Andrea

    2012-01-01

    The implementation or change of information processing routines, known as cognitive control, is traditionally believed to be closely linked to consciousness. It seems that we exert control over our behavior if we know the reasons for, and consequences of, doing so. Recent research suggests, however, that several behavioral phenomena that have been construed as instances of cognitive control can be prompted by events of which actors are not aware. Here we give a brief review of this research, discuss possible reasons for inconsistencies in the empirical evidence, and suggest some lines of future research. Specifically, we suggest to differentiate cognitive control evoked either because of explicit or because of implicit control cues. While the former type of control seems to work outside of awareness, the latter type of control seems to be restricted to consciously registered events that call for control. PMID:22419962

  1. A Neural Region of Abstract Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cowan, Nelson; Li, Dawei; Moffitt, Amanda; Becker, Theresa M.; Martin, Elizabeth A.; Saults, J. Scott; Christ, Shawn E.

    2011-01-01

    Over 350 years ago, Descartes proposed that the neural basis of consciousness must be a brain region in which sensory inputs are combined. Using fMRI, we identified at least one such area for working memory, the limited information held in mind, described by William James as the trailing edge of consciousness. Specifically, a region in the left…

  2. Neural Correlates to Food-Related Behavior in Normal-Weight and Overweight/Obese Participants

    PubMed Central

    Ho, Alan; Kennedy, James; Dimitropoulos, Anastasia

    2012-01-01

    Two thirds of US adults are either obese or overweight and this rate is rising. Although the etiology of obesity is not yet fully understood, neuroimaging studies have demonstrated that the central nervous system has a principal role in regulating eating behavior. In this study, functional magnetic resonance imaging and survey data were evaluated for correlations between food-related problem behaviors and the neural regions underlying responses to visual food cues before and after eating in normal-weight individuals and overweight/obese individuals. In normal-weight individuals, activity in the left amygdala in response to high-calorie food vs. nonfood object cues was positively correlated with impaired satiety scores during fasting, suggesting that those with impaired satiety scores may have an abnormal anticipatory reward response. In overweight/obese individuals, activity in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) in response to low-calorie food cues was negatively correlated with impaired satiety during fasting, suggesting that individuals scoring lower in satiety impairment were more likely to activate the DLPFC inhibitory system. After eating, activity in both the putamen and the amygdala was positively correlated with impaired satiety scores among obese/overweight participants. While these individuals may volitionally suggest they are full, their functional response to food cues suggests food continues to be salient. These findings suggest brain regions involved in the evaluation of visual food cues may be mediated by satiety-related problems, dependent on calorie content, state of satiation, and body mass index. PMID:23028988

  3. Disentangling the neural mechanisms involved in Hinduism- and Buddhism-related meditations.

    PubMed

    Tomasino, Barbara; Chiesa, Alberto; Fabbro, Franco

    2014-10-01

    The most diffuse forms of meditation derive from Hinduism and Buddhism spiritual traditions. Different cognitive processes are set in place to reach these meditation states. According to an historical-philological hypothesis (Wynne, 2009) the two forms of meditation could be disentangled. While mindfulness is the focus of Buddhist meditation reached by focusing sustained attention on the body, on breathing and on the content of the thoughts, reaching an ineffable state of nothigness accompanied by a loss of sense of self and duality (Samadhi) is the main focus of Hinduism-inspired meditation. It is possible that these different practices activate separate brain networks. We tested this hypothesis by conducting an activation likelihood estimation (ALE) meta-analysis of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies. The network related to Buddhism-inspired meditation (16 experiments, 263 subjects, and 96 activation foci) included activations in some frontal lobe structures associated with executive attention, possibly confirming the fundamental role of mindfulness shared by many Buddhist meditations. By contrast, the network related to Hinduism-inspired meditation (8 experiments, 54 activation foci and 66 subjects) triggered a left lateralized network of areas including the postcentral gyrus, the superior parietal lobe, the hippocampus and the right middle cingulate cortex. The dissociation between anterior and posterior networks support the notion that different meditation styles and traditions are characterized by different patterns of neural activation.

  4. Implications of movement-related cortical potential for understanding neural adaptations in muscle strength tasks.

    PubMed

    Lattari, Eduardo; Arias-Carrión, Oscar; Monteiro-Junior, Renato Sobral; Mello Portugal, Eduardo Matta; Paes, Flávia; Menéndez-González, Manuel; Silva, Adriana Cardoso; Nardi, Antonio Egidio; Machado, Sergio

    2014-03-06

    This systematic review aims to provide information about the implications of the movement-related cortical potential (MRCP) in acute and chronic responses to the counter resistance training. The structuring of the methods of this study followed the proposals of the PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses). It was performed an electronically search in Pubmed/Medline and ISI Web of Knowledge data bases, from 1987 to 2013, besides the manual search in the selected references. The following terms were used: Bereitschaftspotential, MRCP, strength and force. The logical operator "AND" was used to combine descriptors and terms used to search publications. At the end, 11 studies attended all the eligibility criteria and the results demonstrated that the behavior of MRCP is altered because of different factors such as: force level, rate of force development, fatigue induced by exercise, and the specific phase of muscular action, leading to an increase in the amplitude in eccentric actions compared to concentric actions, in acute effects. The long-term adaptations demonstrated that the counter resistance training provokes an attenuation in the amplitude in areas related to the movement, which may be caused by neural adaptation occurred in the motor cortex.

  5. Learning from experience: Event-related potential correlates of reward processing, neural adaptation, and behavioral choice

    PubMed Central

    Walsh, Matthew M.; Anderson, John R.

    2012-01-01

    To behave adaptively, we must learn from the consequences of our actions. Studies using event-related potentials (ERPs) have been informative with respect to the question of how such learning occurs. These studies have revealed a frontocentral negativity termed the feedback-related negativity (FRN) that appears after negative feedback. According to one prominent theory, the FRN tracks the difference between the values of actual and expected outcomes, or reward prediction errors. As such, the FRN provides a tool for studying reward valuation and decision making. We begin this review by examining the neural significance of the FRN. We then examine its functional significance. To understand the cognitive processes that occur when the FRN is generated, we explore variables that influence its appearance and amplitude. Specifically, we evaluate four hypotheses: (1) the FRN encodes a quantitative reward prediction error; (2) the FRN is evoked by outcomes and by stimuli that predict outcomes; (3) the FRN and behavior change with experience; and (4) the system that produces the FRN is maximally engaged by volitional actions. PMID:22683741

  6. Implications of movement-related cortical potential for understanding neural adaptations in muscle strength tasks

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    This systematic review aims to provide information about the implications of the movement-related cortical potential (MRCP) in acute and chronic responses to the counter resistance training. The structuring of the methods of this study followed the proposals of the PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses). It was performed an electronically search in Pubmed/Medline and ISI Web of Knowledge data bases, from 1987 to 2013, besides the manual search in the selected references. The following terms were used: Bereitschaftspotential, MRCP, strength and force. The logical operator “AND” was used to combine descriptors and terms used to search publications. At the end, 11 studies attended all the eligibility criteria and the results demonstrated that the behavior of MRCP is altered because of different factors such as: force level, rate of force development, fatigue induced by exercise, and the specific phase of muscular action, leading to an increase in the amplitude in eccentric actions compared to concentric actions, in acute effects. The long-term adaptations demonstrated that the counter resistance training provokes an attenuation in the amplitude in areas related to the movement, which may be caused by neural adaptation occurred in the motor cortex. PMID:24602228

  7. Artificial perception and consciousness

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Caulfield, H. John; Johnson, John L.

    2000-06-01

    Perception has both unconscious and conscious aspects. In all cases, however, what we perceive is a model of reality. By brain construction through evolution, we divide the world into two parts--our body and the outside world. But the process is the same in both cases. We perceive a construct usually governed by sensed data but always involving memory, goals, fears, expectations, etc. As a first step toward Artificial Perception in man-made systems, we examine perception in general here.

  8. The emergence of consciousness: Science and ethics.

    PubMed

    Lagercrantz, Hugo

    2014-10-01

    The newborn human infant is conscious at a minimal level. It is aware of its body, itself and to some extent of the outside world. It recognizes faces and vowels to which it has been exposed. It expresses emotions like joy. Functional magnetic resonance imaging of the newborn brain shows highest activity in the somatosensory, auditory, and visual cortex but less activity in association area and the prefrontal cortex as compared with adults. There is an incomplete default mode network which is assumed to be related to consciousness. Although the fetus reacts to pain, maternal speaking, etc., it is probably not aware of this due to the low oxygen level and sedation. Assuming that consciousness is mainly localized in the cortex, consciousness cannot emerge before 24 gestational weeks when the thalamocortical connections from the sense organs are established. Thus the limit of legal abortion at 22-24 weeks in many countries makes sense. It should also be possible to withdraw or withhold life-saving therapy of extremely preterm infants, especially if they are severely brain-damaged. This may also apply to full-term infants with grade III hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, who show no signs of consciousness.

  9. Quantum effects in the understanding of consciousness.

    PubMed

    Hameroff, Stuart R; Craddock, Travis J A; Tuszynski, Jack A

    2014-06-01

    This paper presents a historical perspective on the development and application of quantum physics methodology beyond physics, especially in biology and in the area of consciousness studies. Quantum physics provides a conceptual framework for the structural aspects of biological systems and processes via quantum chemistry. In recent years individual biological phenomena such as photosynthesis and bird navigation have been experimentally and theoretically analyzed using quantum methods building conceptual foundations for quantum biology. Since consciousness is attributed to human (and possibly animal) mind, quantum underpinnings of cognitive processes are a logical extension. Several proposals, especially the Orch OR hypothesis, have been put forth in an effort to introduce a scientific basis to the theory of consciousness. At the center of these approaches are microtubules as the substrate on which conscious processes in terms of quantum coherence and entanglement can be built. Additionally, Quantum Metabolism, quantum processes in ion channels and quantum effects in sensory stimulation are discussed in this connection. We discuss the challenges and merits related to quantum consciousness approaches as well as their potential extensions.

  10. Self-Consciousness, Friendship Quality, and Adolescent Internalizing Problems

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bowker, Julie C.; Rubin, Kenneth H.

    2009-01-01

    The correlates between public and private self-consciousness and internalizing difficulties were examined during early adolescence. Friendship quality was assessed as a possible moderator of the relation between self-consciousness and maladjustment. One hundred and thirty-seven young adolescents (N = 87 girls; M age = 13.98 years) reported on…

  11. A network approach to assessing cognition in disorders of consciousness(e–Pub ahead of print)(CME)

    PubMed Central

    Rodriguez Moreno, D.; Schiff, N.D.; Giacino, J.; Kalmar, K.; Hirsch, J.

    2010-01-01

    Objective: Conventional assessments of consciousness rely on motor responses to indicate awareness. However, overt behaviors may be absent or ambiguous in patients with disorders of consciousness (DOC) resulting in underrating capacity for cognition. fMRI during a silent picture-naming task was evaluated as an indicator of command following when conventional methods are not sufficient. Methods: A total of 10 patients with and without conventional evidence of awareness, who met diagnostic criteria for the minimally conscious state (MCS) (n = 5), vegetative state (VS) (n = 3), emerged from MCS (EMCS) (n = 1), and locked-in syndrome (LIS) (n = 1), participated in this observational fMRI study. Results: The LIS and EMCS patients engaged a complete network of essential language-related regions during the object-naming task. The MCS and 2 of the VS patients demonstrated both complete and partial preservation of the object-naming system. Patients who engaged a complete network scored highest on the Coma Recovery Scale-Revised. Conclusions: This study supports the view that fMRI during object naming can elicit brain activations in patients with DOC similar to those observed in healthy subjects during command following, and patients can be stratified by completeness of the engaged neural system. These results suggest that activity of the language network may serve as an indicator of high-level cognition and possibly volitional processes that cannot be discerned through conventional behavioral assessment alone. GLOSSARY BA = Brodmann area; BOLD = blood oxygenation level–dependent; CRS-R = Coma Recovery Scale-Revised; DOC = disorders of consciousness; EMCS = emerged from minimally conscious state; GFi(d) = dorsal inferior frontal gyrus; GFi(v) = ventral inferior frontal gyrus; hrf = hemodynamic response function; LIS = locked-in syndrome; MCS = minimally conscious state; preSMA = pre-supplementary motor area; STG = superior temporal gyrus; VS = vegetative state. PMID

  12. Information sharing in the brain indexes consciousness in noncommunicative patients.

    PubMed

    King, Jean-Rémi; Sitt, Jacobo D; Faugeras, Frédéric; Rohaut, Benjamin; El Karoui, Imen; Cohen, Laurent; Naccache, Lionel; Dehaene, Stanislas

    2013-10-07

    Neuronal theories of conscious access tentatively relate conscious perception to the integration and global broadcasting of information across distant cortical and thalamic areas. Experiments contrasting visible and invisible stimuli support this view and suggest that global neuronal communication may be detectable using scalp electroencephalography (EEG). However, whether global information sharing across brain areas also provides a specific signature of conscious state in awake but noncommunicating patients remains an active topic of research. We designed a novel measure termed "weighted symbolic mutual information" (wSMI) and applied it to 181 high-density EEG recordings of awake patients recovering from coma and diagnosed in various states of consciousness. The results demonstrate that this measure of information sharing systematically increases with consciousness state, particularly across distant sites. This effect sharply distinguishes patients in vegetative state (VS), minimally conscious state (MCS), and conscious state (CS) and is observed regardless of etiology and delay since insult. The present findings support distributed theories of conscious processing and open up the possibility of an automatic detection of conscious states, which may be particularly important for the diagnosis of awake but noncommunicating patients.

  13. Consciousness of subjective time in the brain.

    PubMed

    Nyberg, Lars; Kim, Alice S N; Habib, Reza; Levine, Brian; Tulving, Endel

    2010-12-21

    "Mental time travel" refers to conscious experience of remembering the personal past and imagining the personal future. Little is known about its neural correlates. Here, using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we explored the hypothesis that mental time travel into "nonpresent" times (past and future) is enabled by a special conscious state (chronesthesia). Well-trained subjects repeatedly imagined taking one and the same short walk in a familiar environment, doing so either in the imagined past, present, or future. In an additional condition, they recollected an instance in which they actually performed the same short walk in the same familiar setting. This design allowed us to measure brain activity correlated with "pure" conscious states of different moments of subjective time. The results showed that the left lateral parietal cortex was differentially activated by nonpresent subjective times compared with the present (past and future > present). A similar pattern was observed in the left frontal cortex, cerebellum, and thalamus. There was no evidence that the hippocampal region is involved in subjective time travel. These findings provide support for theoretical ideas concerning chronesthesia and mental time travel.

  14. The rise of machine consciousness: studying consciousness with computational models.

    PubMed

    Reggia, James A

    2013-08-01

    Efforts to create computational models of consciousness have accelerated over the last two decades, creating a field that has become known as artificial consciousness. There have been two main motivations for this controversial work: to develop a better scientific understanding of the nature of human/animal consciousness and to produce machines that genuinely exhibit conscious awareness. This review begins by briefly explaining some of the concepts and terminology used by investigators working on machine consciousness, and summarizes key neurobiological correlates of human consciousness that are particularly relevant to past computational studies. Models of consciousness developed over the last twenty years are then surveyed. These models are largely found to fall into five categories based on the fundamental issue that their developers have selected as being most central to consciousness: a global workspace, information integration, an internal self-model, higher-level representations, or attention mechanisms. For each of these five categories, an overview of past work is given, a representative example is presented in some detail to illustrate the approach, and comments are provided on the contributions and limitations of the methodology. Three conclusions are offered about the state of the field based on this review: (1) computational modeling has become an effective and accepted methodology for the scientific study of consciousness, (2) existing computational models have successfully captured a number of neurobiological, cognitive, and behavioral correlates of conscious information processing as machine simulations, and (3) no existing approach to artificial consciousness has presented a compelling demonstration of phenomenal machine consciousness, or even clear evidence that artificial phenomenal consciousness will eventually be possible. The paper concludes by discussing the importance of continuing work in this area, considering the ethical issues it raises

  15. Event-related potential study of dynamic neural mechanisms of semantic organizational strategies in verbal learning.

    PubMed

    Blanchet, Sophie; Gagnon, Geneviève; Bastien, Célyne

    2007-09-19

    Neuroimaging and neuropsychological data indicate that the frontal regions are implicated in semantic organizational strategies in verbal learning. Whereas these approaches tend to adopt a localizationist view, we used event-related potentials (ERPs) to investigate the dynamic neural mechanisms involved in these strategies. We recorded ERPs using a 128-channel system in 12 young adults (23.75+/-3.02 years) during 3 encoding conditions that manipulated the levels of semantic organization demands. In the Unrelated condition, the words to encode did not share any semantic attributes. For both Spontaneous and Guided conditions, the words in each list were drawn from four semantic categories. In the Spontaneous condition, participants were not informed about the semantic relationship between items. In contrast, in the Guided condition, participants were instructed to improve their subsequent recall by mentally regrouping related items with the aid of category labels. Results indicated that the P200 amplitude increased with the greater organizational demand of semantic strategies. In contrast, the late positive component (LPC) amplitude was larger in both encoding conditions with semantic related words regardless of their instructions as compared to the Unrelated condition. Finally, there was greater right frontal sustained activity in the Spontaneous condition than in the Unrelated condition. Thus, our data indicate that the P200 is sensitive to attentional processes that increase with the organizational semantic demand. The LPC indexes associative processes voluntarily involved in linking related items together. Finally, the right frontal region appears to play an important role in the self-initiation of semantic organizational strategies.

  16. Investigating age-related changes in anterior and posterior neural activity throughout the information processing stream

    PubMed Central

    Alperin, Brittany R.; Tusch, Erich S.; Mott, Katherine K.; Holcomb, Phillip J.; Daffner, Kirk R.

    2015-01-01

    Event-related potential (ERP) and other functional imaging studies often demonstrate age-related increases in anterior neural activity and decreases in posterior activity while subjects carry out task demands. It remains unclear whether this “anterior shift” is limited to late cognitive operations like those indexed by the P3 component, or is evident during other stages of information processing. The temporal resolution of ERPs provided an opportunity to address this issue. Temporospatial principal component analysis (PCA) was used to identify underlying components that may be obscured by overlapping ERP waveforms. ERPs were measured during a visual oddball task in 26 young, 26 middle-aged, and 29 old subjects who were well-matched for IQ, executive function, education, and task performance. PCA identified six anterior factors peaking between ~140 ms and 810 ms, and four posterior factors peaking between ~300 ms and 810 ms. There was an age-related increase in the amplitude of anterior factors between ~200 and 500 ms, and an age-associated decrease in amplitude of posterior factors after ~ 500 ms. The increase in anterior processing began as early as middle-age, was sustained throughout old age, and appeared to be linear in nature. These results suggest that age-associated increases in anterior activity occur after early sensory processing has taken place, and are most prominent during a period in which attention is being marshaled to evaluate a stimulus. In contrast, age-related decreases in posterior activity manifest during operations involved in stimulus categorization, post-decision monitoring, and preparation for an upcoming event. PMID:26295684

  17. Object of desire self-consciousness theory.

    PubMed

    Bogaert, Anthony F; Brotto, Lori A

    2014-01-01

    In this article, the authors discuss the construct of object of desire self-consciousness, the perception that one is romantically and sexually desirable in another's eyes. The authors discuss the nature of the construct, variations in its expression, and how it may function as part of a self-schemata or script related to romance and sexuality. The authors suggest that object of desire self-consciousness may be an adaptive, evolved psychological mechanism allowing sexual and romantic tactics suitable to one's mate value. The authors also suggest that it can act as a signal that one has high mate value in the sexual marketplace. The authors then review literature (e.g., on fantasies, on sexual activity preferences, on sexual dysfunctions, on language) suggesting that object of desire self-consciousness plays a particularly important role in heterosexual women's sexual/romantic functioning and desires.

  18. Dreams and the temporality of consciousness.

    PubMed

    MacDuffie, Katherine; Mashour, George A

    2010-01-01

    Understanding dreams has long been considered fundamental to the development of a theory of consciousness. Evidence from neurobiology and neuroimaging research has paved the way for new theories of dreaming that are empirically supported. In this article we argue that dreaming is a unique state of consciousness that incorporates 3 temporal dimensions: experience of the present, processing of the past, and preparation for the future. The temporal complexity of dreams is made possible in part by the unique neurobiological environment of sleep, in which stimuli are internally generated and many of the restrictions associated with waking thought are absent. Because dream consciousness is not determined by sensory stimuli, a flexible integration of past experiences and the forging of novel connections are possible. We argue that disparate dream theories may not be mutually exclusive but rather relate to different temporal domains of the dream state.

  19. Time-lapse live imaging of clonally related neural progenitor cells in the developing zebrafish forebrain.

    PubMed

    Dong, Zhiqiang; Wagle, Mahendra; Guo, Su

    2011-04-06

    Precise patterns of division, migration and differentiation of neural progenitor cells are crucial for proper brain development and function. To understand the behavior of neural progenitor cells in the complex in vivo environment, time-lapse live imaging of neural progenitor cells in an intact brain is critically required. In this video, we exploit the unique features of zebrafish embryos to visualize the development of forebrain neural progenitor cells in vivo. We use electroporation to genetically and sparsely label individual neural progenitor cells. Briefly, DNA constructs coding for fluorescent markers were injected into the forebrain ventricle of 22 hours post fertilization (hpf) zebrafish embryos and electric pulses were delivered immediately. Six hours later, the electroporated zebrafish embryos were mounted with low melting point agarose in glass bottom culture dishes. Fluorescently labeled neural progenitor cells were then imaged for 36 hours with fixed intervals under a confocal microscope using water dipping objective lens. The present method provides a way to gain insights into the in vivo development of forebrain neural progenitor cells and can be applied to other parts of the central nervous system of the zebrafish embryo.

  20. Brain Networks Maintain a Scale-Free Organization across Consciousness, Anesthesia, and Recovery: Evidence for Adaptive Reconfiguration

    PubMed Central

    Lee, UnCheol; Oh, GabJin; Kim, Seunghwan; Noh, GyuJung; Choi, ByungMoon

    2010-01-01

    Background Loss of consciousness is an essential feature of general anesthesia. Although alterations of neural networks during anesthesia have been identified in the spatial domain, there has been relatively little study of temporal organization. Methods Ten normal male volunteers were anesthetized with an induction dose of propofol on two separate occasions. The duration of network connections in the brain was analyzed by multichannel electroencephalography and the minimum spanning tree method. Entropy of the connections was calculated based on Shannon entropy. The global temporal configuration of networks was investigated by constructing the cumulative distribution function of connection times in different frequency bands and different states of consciousness. Results General anesthesia was associated with a significant reduction in the number of network connections, as well as significant alterations of their duration. These changes were most prominent in the delta bandwidth and were also associated with a significant reduction in entropy of the connection matrix. Despite these and other changes, a global “scale-free” organization was consistently preserved across multiple subjects, multiple anesthetic exposures, multiple states of consciousness and multiple frequencies of the electroencephalogram. Conclusions Our data suggest a fundamental principle of temporal organization of network connectivity that is maintained during both consciousness and anesthesia, despite local changes. These findings are consistent with a process of adaptive reconfiguration during general anesthesia. PMID:20881595

  1. The biological function of consciousness

    PubMed Central

    Earl, Brian

    2014-01-01

    This research is an investigation of whether consciousness—one's ongoing experience—influences one's behavior and, if so, how. Analysis of the components, structure, properties, and temporal sequences of consciousness has established that, (1) contrary to one's intuitive understanding, consciousness does not have an active, executive role in determining behavior; (2) consciousness does have a biological function; and (3) consciousness is solely information in various forms. Consciousness is associated with a flexible response mechanism (FRM) for decision-making, planning, and generally responding in nonautomatic ways. The FRM generates responses by manipulating information and, to function effectively, its data input must be restricted to task-relevant information. The properties of consciousness correspond to the various input requirements of the FRM; and when important information is missing from consciousness, functions of the FRM are adversely affected; both of which indicate that consciousness is the input data to the FRM. Qualitative and quantitative information (shape, size, location, etc.) are incorporated into the input data by a qualia array of colors, sounds, and so on, which makes the input conscious. This view of the biological function of consciousness provides an explanation why we have experiences; why we have emotional and other feelings, and why their loss is associated with poor decision-making; why blindsight patients do not spontaneously initiate responses to events in their blind field; why counter-habitual actions are only possible when the intended action is in mind; and the reason for inattentional blindness. PMID:25140159

  2. The conscious roots of selfless, unconscious goals.

    PubMed

    Moskowitz, Gordon B; Balcetis, Emily

    2014-04-01

    We counter Huang & Bargh's (H&B's) metaphoric description of the unconscious, selfish goal on three points. First, we argue, unconscious goals are rooted in conscious choices related to well-being. Second, unconscious goal pursuit occurs through early-stage orienting mechanisms that promote individuals' well-being. Third, unconscious goals work selflessly, resulting in their own demise.

  3. Distribution of language-related Cntnap2 protein in neural circuits critical for vocal learning.

    PubMed

    Condro, Michael C; White, Stephanie A

    2014-01-01

    Variants of the contactin associated protein-like 2 (Cntnap2) gene are risk factors for language-related disorders including autism spectrum disorder, specific language impairment, and stuttering. Songbirds are useful models for study of human speech disorders due to their shared capacity for vocal learning, which relies on similar cortico-basal ganglia circuitry and genetic factors. Here we investigate Cntnap2 protein expression in the brain of the zebra finch, a songbird species in which males, but not females, learn their courtship songs. We hypothesize that Cntnap2 has overlapping functions in vocal learning species, and expect to find protein expression in song-related areas of the zebra finch brain. We further expect that the distribution of this membrane-bound protein may not completely mirror its mRNA distribution due to the distinct subcellular localization of the two molecular species. We find that Cntnap2 protein is enriched in several song control regions relative to surrounding tissues, particularly within the adult male, but not female, robust nucleus of the arcopallium (RA), a cortical song control region analogous to human layer 5 primary motor cortex. The onset of this sexually dimorphic expression coincides with the onset of sensorimotor learning in developing males. Enrichment in male RA appears due to expression in projection neurons within the nucleus, as well as to additional expression in nerve terminals of cortical projections to RA from the lateral magnocellular nucleus of the nidopallium. Cntnap2 protein expression in zebra finch brain supports the hypothesis that this molecule affects neural connectivity critical for vocal learning across taxonomic classes.

  4. Understanding visual consciousness in autism spectrum disorders

    PubMed Central

    Yatziv, Tal; Jacobson, Hilla

    2015-01-01

    The paper focuses on the question of what the (visual) perceptual differences are between individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and typically developing (TD) individuals. We argue against the view that autistic subjects have a deficiency in the most basic form of perceptual consciousness—namely, phenomenal consciousness. Instead, we maintain, the perceptual atypicality of individuals with autism is of a more conceptual and cognitive sort—their perceptual experiences share crucial aspects with TD individuals. Our starting point is Ben Shalom’s (2005, 2009) three-level processing framework for explaining atypicality in several domains of processing among autistics, which we compare with two other tripartite models of perception—Jackendoff’s (1987) and Prinz’s (2000, 2005a, 2007) Intermediate Level Hypothesis and Lamme’s (2004, 2006, 2010) neural account of consciousness. According to these models, whereas the second level of processing is concerned with viewer-centered visual representations of basic visual properties and incorporates some early forms of integration, the third level is more cognitive and conceptual. We argue that the data suggest that the atypicality in autism is restricted mainly to the third level. More specifically, second-level integration, which is the mark of phenomenal consciousness, is typical, yet third-level integration of perceptual objects and concepts is atypical. Thus, the basic experiences of individuals with autism are likely to be similar to typical subjects’ experiences; the main difference lies in the sort of cognitive access the subjects have to their experiences. We conclude by discussing implications of the suggested analysis of experience in autism for conceptions of phenomenal consciousness. PMID:25954180

  5. Adolescent neural response to reward is related to participant sex and task motivation.

    PubMed

    Alarcón, Gabriela; Cservenka, Anita; Nagel, Bonnie J

    2017-02-01

    Risky decision making is prominent during adolescence, perhaps contributed to by heightened sensation seeking and ongoing maturation of reward and dopamine systems in the brain, which are, in part, modulated by sex hormones. In this study, we examined sex differences in the neural substrates of reward sensitivity during a risky decision-making task and hypothesized that compared with girls, boys would show heightened brain activation in reward-relevant regions, particularly the nucleus accumbens, during reward receipt. Further, we hypothesized that testosterone and estradiol levels would mediate this sex difference. Moreover, we predicted boys would make more risky choices on the task. While boys showed increased nucleus accumbens blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) response relative to girls, sex hormones did not mediate this effect. As predicted, boys made a higher percentage of risky decisions during the task. Interestingly, boys also self-reported more motivation to perform well and earn money on the task, while girls self-reported higher state anxiety prior to the scan session. Motivation to earn money partially mediated the effect of sex on nucleus accumbens activity during reward. Previous research shows that increased motivation and salience of reinforcers is linked with more robust striatal BOLD response, therefore psychosocial factors, in addition to sex, may play an important role in reward sensitivity. Elucidating neurobiological mechanisms that support adolescent sex differences in risky decision making has important implications for understanding individual differences that lead to advantageous and adverse behaviors that affect health outcomes.

  6. Event-related potentials and neural oscillations dissociate levels of cognitive control.

    PubMed

    Lu, Mingou; Doñamayor, Nuria; Münte, Thomas F; Bahlmann, Jörg

    2017-03-01

    Recent models of human behavior suggest a hierarchical organization of cognitive control processes. These models assume that different sub-goals of cognitive control processes are nested in each other, such that higher-level sub-goals can only be accomplished when lower-level sub-goals have been realized. While the neuroanatomical localization of this organizational principle has already been successfully tested, the exact temporal nature remains to be explored. The present study applied event-related potentials (ERPs) and investigated neural oscillations during performance of three different nested cognitive control tasks. Results demonstrated a parametric modulation of the P300 component as well as beta-band (13-25Hz) oscillations as a function of different levels of cognitive control. Moreover, conditions requiring flexible updating of information exhibited similar alpha-band (8-13Hz) oscillations, which differed from the condition without flexible updating (low-level). These results suggest dissociable mechanisms of flexible information updating and complexity of cognitive control processes indexed by different oscillatory effects.

  7. Brooding Is Related to Neural Alterations during Autobiographical Memory Retrieval in Aging

    PubMed Central

    Schneider, Sophia; Brassen, Stefanie

    2016-01-01

    Brooding rumination is considered a central aspect of depression in midlife. As older people tend to review their past, rumination tendency might be particularly crucial in late life since it might hinder older adults to adequately evaluate previous events. We scanned 22 non-depressed older adults with varying degrees of brooding tendency with functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) while they performed the construction and elaboration of autobiographical memories. Behavioral findings demonstrate that brooders reported lower mood states, needed more time for memory construction and rated their memories as less detailed and less positive. On the neural level, brooding tendency was related to increased amygdala activation during the search for specific memories and reduced engagement of cortical networks during elaboration. Moreover, coupling patterns of the subgenual cingulate cortex with the hippocampus (HC) and the amygdala predicted details and less positive valence of memories in brooders. Our findings support the hypothesis that ruminative thinking interferes with the search for specific memories while facilitating the uncontrolled retrieval of negatively biased self-schemes. The observed neurobehavioral dysfunctions might put older people with brooding tendency at high risk for becoming depressed when reviewing their past. Training of autobiographical memory ability might therefore be a promising approach to increase resilience against depression in late-life. PMID:27695414

  8. Modeling force-velocity relation in skeletal muscle isotonic contraction using an artificial neural network.

    PubMed

    Dariani, Sharareh; Keshavarz, Mansoor; Parviz, Mohsen; Raoufy, Mohammad Reza; Gharibzadeh, Shahriar

    2007-01-01

    The aim of this study is to design an artificial neural network (ANN) to model force-velocity relation in skeletal muscle isotonic contraction. We obtained the data set, including physiological and morphometric parameters, by myography and morphometric measurements on frog gastrocnemius muscle. Then, we designed a multilayer perceptron ANN, the inputs of which are muscle volume, muscle optimum length, tendon length, preload, and afterload. The output of the ANN is contraction velocity. The experimental data were divided randomly into two parts. The first part was used to train the ANN. In order to validate the model, the second part of experimental data, which was not used in training, was employed to the ANN and then, its output was compared with Hill model and the experimental data. The behavior of ANN in high forces was more similar to experimental data, but in low forces the Hill model had better results. Furthermore, extrapolation of ANN performance showed that our model is more or less able to simulate eccentric contraction. Our results indicate that ANNs represent a powerful tool to capture some essential features of muscle isotonic contraction.

  9. Behavioral and neural correlates of emotional intelligence: an event-related potentials (ERP) study.

    PubMed

    Raz, Sivan; Dan, Orrie; Arad, Hen; Zysberg, Leehu

    2013-08-14

    The present study was aimed at identifying potential behavioral and neural correlates of emotional intelligence (EI) by using scalp-recorded Event-Related Potentials (ERPs). EI levels were defined according to both self-report questionnaire and a performance-based test. We identified ERP correlates of emotional processing by comparing ERPs elicited in trials using pleasant, neutral and unpleasant pictures. The effects of these emotion-inducing pictures were then compared across groups with low and high EI levels. Behavioral results revealed a significant valence×EI group interaction effect since valence ratings were lower for unpleasant pictures and higher for pleasant pictures in the high EI group compared with the low EI group. The groups did not differ with respect to neutral picture ratings. The ERP results indicate that participants with high EI exhibited significantly greater mean amplitudes of the P2 (200-300ms post-stimulus) and P3 (310-450ms post-stimulus) ERP components in response to emotional and neutral pictures, at posterior-parietal as well as at frontal scalp locations. This may suggest greater recruitment of resources to process all emotional and non-emotional stimuli at early and late processing stages among individuals with higher EI. The present study also underscores the usefulness of ERP methodology as a sensitive measure for the study of emotional stimuli processing in the research field of EI.

  10. Neural stress reactivity relates to smoking outcomes and differentiates between mindfulness and cognitive-behavioral treatments.

    PubMed

    Kober, Hedy; Brewer, Judson A; Height, Keri L; Sinha, Rajita

    2016-09-28

    Stress and negative affect are known contributors to drug use and relapse, and several known treatments for addictions include strategies for managing them. In the current study, we administered a well-established stress provocation during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to 23 participants who completed either mindfulness training (MT; N=11) or the American Lung Association's Freedom From Smoking (FFS; N=12), which is a cognitive-behavioral treatment (CBT) for smoking cessation. Across the entire sample, we found that stress reactivity in several brain regions including the amygdala and anterior/mid insula was related to reductions in smoking after treatment, as well as at 3-month post-treatment follow-up. Moreover, conjunction analysis revealed that these same regions also differentiated between treatment groups such that the MT group showed lower stress-reactivity compared to the FFS/CBT group. This suggests that reduction in stress reactivity may be one of the mechanisms that underlie the efficacy of MT in reducing smoking over time. The findings have important implications for our understanding of stress, the neural and psychological mechanisms that underlie mindfulness-based treatments, and for smoking cessation treatments more broadly.

  11. Music training relates to the development of neural mechanisms of selective auditory attention.

    PubMed

    Strait, Dana L; Slater, Jessica; O'Connell, Samantha; Kraus, Nina

    2015-04-01

    Selective attention decreases trial-to-trial variability in cortical auditory-evoked activity. This effect increases over the course of maturation, potentially reflecting the gradual development of selective attention and inhibitory control. Work in adults indicates that music training may alter the development of this neural response characteristic, especially over brain regions associated with executive control: in adult musicians, attention decreases variability in auditory-evoked responses recorded over prefrontal cortex to a greater extent than in nonmusicians. We aimed to determine whether this musician-associated effect emerges during childhood, when selective attention and inhibitory control are under development. We compared cortical auditory-evoked variability to attended and ignored speech streams in musicians and nonmusicians across three age groups: preschoolers, school-aged children and young adults. Results reveal that childhood music training is associated with reduced auditory-evoked response variability recorded over prefrontal cortex during selective auditory attention in school-aged child and adult musicians. Preschoolers, on the other hand, demonstrate no impact of selective attention on cortical response variability and no musician distinctions. This finding is consistent with the gradual emergence of attention during this period and may suggest no pre-existing differences in this attention-related cortical metric between children who undergo music training and those who do not.

  12. Predicting length of stay for psychiatric diagnosis-related groups using neural networks.

    PubMed Central

    Lowell, W E; Davis, G E

    1994-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: To test the effect of diagnosis on training an artificial neural network (ANN) to predict length of stay (LOS) for psychiatric patients involuntarily admitted to a state hospital. DESIGN: A series of ANNs were trained representing schizophrenia, affective disorders, and diagnosis-related group (DRG) 430. In addition to diagnosis, variables used in training included demographics, severity of illness, and others identified to be significant in predicting LOS. RESULTS: Depending on diagnosis, ANN-predictions compared with actual LOS indicated accuracy rates ranging from 35% to 70%. The validity of ANN predictions was determined by comparing LOS estimates with the treatment team's predictions at 72 hours following admission, with the ANN predicting as well as or better than did the treatment team in all cases. CONCLUSIONS: One problem in traditional approaches to predicting LOS is the inability of a derived predictive model to maintain accuracy in other independently derived samples. The ANN reported here was capable of maintaining the same predictive efficiency in an independently derived cross-validation sample. The results of ANNs in a cross-validation sample are discussed and the application of this tool in augmenting clinical decision is presented. PMID:7850571

  13. Correspondence between stimulus encoding- and maintenance-related neural processes underlies successful working memory.

    PubMed

    Cohen, Jessica R; Sreenivasan, Kartik K; D'Esposito, Mark

    2014-03-01

    The ability to actively maintain information in working memory (WM) is vital for goal-directed behavior, but the mechanisms underlying this process remain elusive. We hypothesized that successful WM relies upon a correspondence between the neural processes associated with stimulus encoding and the neural processes associated with maintenance. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we identified regional activity and inter-regional connectivity during stimulus encoding and the maintenance of those stimuli when they were no longer present. We compared correspondence in these neural processes across encoding and maintenance epochs with WM performance. Critically, greater correspondence between encoding and maintenance in 1) regional activity in the lateral prefrontal cortex (PFC) and 2) connectivity between lateral PFC and extrastriate cortex was associated with increased performance. These findings suggest that the conservation of neural processes across encoding and maintenance supports the integrity of representations in WM.

  14. Parametric models to relate spike train and LFP dynamics with neural information processing

    PubMed Central

    Banerjee, Arpan; Dean, Heather L.; Pesaran, Bijan

    2012-01-01

    Spike trains and local field potentials (LFPs) resulting from extracellular current flows provide a substrate for neural information processing. Understanding the neural code from simultaneous spike-field recordings and subsequent decoding of information processing events will have widespread applications. One way to demonstrate an understanding of the neural code, with particular advantages for the development of applications, is to formulate a parametric statistical model of neural activity and its covariates. Here, we propose a set of parametric spike-field models (unified models) that can be used with existing decoding algorithms to reveal the timing of task or stimulus specific processing. Our proposed unified modeling framework captures the effects of two important features of information processing: time-varying stimulus-driven inputs and ongoing background activity that occurs even in the absence of environmental inputs. We have applied this framework for decoding neural latencies in simulated and experimentally recorded spike-field sessions obtained from the lateral intraparietal area (LIP) of awake, behaving monkeys performing cued look-and-reach movements to spatial targets. Using both simulated and experimental data, we find that estimates of trial-by-trial parameters are not significantly affected by the presence of ongoing background activity. However, including background activity in the unified model improves goodness of fit for predicting individual spiking events. Uncovering the relationship between the model parameters and the timing of movements offers new ways to test hypotheses about the relationship between neural activity and behavior. We obtained significant spike-field onset time correlations from single trials using a previously published data set where significantly strong correlation was only obtained through trial averaging. We also found that unified models extracted a stronger relationship between neural response latency and trial

  15. The “Id” Knows More than the “Ego” Admits: Neuropsychoanalytic and Primal Consciousness Perspectives on the Interface Between Affective and Cognitive Neuroscience

    PubMed Central

    Solms, Mark; Panksepp, Jaak

    2012-01-01

    It is commonly believed that consciousness is a higher brain function. Here we consider the likelihood, based on abundant neuroevolutionary data that lower brain affective phenomenal experiences provide the “energy” for the developmental construction of higher forms of cognitive consciousness. This view is concordant with many of the theoretical formulations of Sigmund Freud. In this reconceptualization, all of consciousness may be dependent on the original evolution of affective phenomenal experiences that coded survival values. These subcortical energies provided a foundation that could be used for the epigenetic construction of perceptual and other higher forms of consciousness. From this perspective, perceptual experiences were initially affective at the primary-process brainstem level, but capable of being elaborated by secondary learning and memory processes into tertiary-cognitive forms of consciousness. Within this view, although all individual neural activities are unconscious, perhaps along with secondary-process learning and memory mechanisms, the primal sub-neocortical networks of emotions and other primal affects may have served as the sentient scaffolding for the construction of resolved perceptual and higher mental activities within the neocortex. The data supporting this neuro-psycho-evolutionary vision of the emergence of mind is discussed in relation to classical psychoanalytical models. PMID:24962770

  16. The modulating effect of personality traits on neural error monitoring: evidence from event-related FMRI.

    PubMed

    Sosic-Vasic, Zrinka; Ulrich, Martin; Ruchsow, Martin; Vasic, Nenad; Grön, Georg

    2012-01-01

    The present study investigated the association between traits of the Five Factor Model of Personality (Neuroticism, Extraversion, Openness for Experiences, Agreeableness, and Conscientiousness) and neural correlates of error monitoring obtained from a combined Eriksen-Flanker-Go/NoGo task during event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging in 27 healthy subjects. Individual expressions of personality traits were measured using the NEO-PI-R questionnaire. Conscientiousness correlated positively with error signaling in the left inferior frontal gyrus and adjacent anterior insula (IFG/aI). A second strong positive correlation was observed in the anterior cingulate gyrus (ACC). Neuroticism was negatively correlated with error signaling in the inferior frontal cortex possibly reflecting the negative inter-correlation between both scales observed on the behavioral level. Under present statistical thresholds no significant results were obtained for remaining scales. Aligning the personality trait of Conscientiousness with task accomplishment striving behavior the correlation in the left IFG/aI possibly reflects an inter-individually different involvement whenever task-set related memory representations are violated by the occurrence of errors. The strong correlations in the ACC may indicate that more conscientious subjects were stronger affected by these violations of a given task-set expressed by individually different, negatively valenced signals conveyed by the ACC upon occurrence of an error. Present results illustrate that for predicting individual responses to errors underlying personality traits should be taken into account and also lend external validity to the personality trait approach suggesting that personality constructs do reflect more than mere descriptive taxonomies.

  17. Neural networks related to dysfunctional face processing in autism spectrum disorder

    PubMed Central

    Nickl-Jockschat, Thomas; Rottschy, Claudia; Thommes, Johanna; Schneider, Frank; Laird, Angela R.; Fox, Peter T.; Eickhoff, Simon B.

    2016-01-01

    One of the most consistent neuropsychological findings in autism spectrum disorders (ASD) is a reduced interest in and impaired processing of human faces. We conducted an activation likelihood estimation meta-analysis on 14 functional imaging studies on neural correlates of face processing enrolling a total of 164 ASD patients. Subsequently, normative whole-brain functional connectivity maps for the identified regions of significant convergence were computed for the task-independent (resting-state) and task-dependent (co-activations) state in healthy subjects. Quantitative functional decoding was performed by reference to the BrainMap database. Finally, we examined the overlap of the delineated network with the results of a previous meta-analysis on structural abnormalities in ASD as well as with brain regions involved in human action observation/imitation. We found a single cluster in the left fusiform gyrus showing significantly reduced activation during face processing in ASD across all studies. Both task-dependent and task-independent analyses indicated significant functional connectivity of this region with the temporo-occipital and lateral occipital cortex, the inferior frontal and parietal cortices, the thalamus and the amygdala. Quantitative reverse inference then indicated an association of these regions mainly with face processing, affective processing, and language-related tasks. Moreover, we found that the cortex in the region of right area V5 displaying structural changes in ASD patients showed consistent connectivity with the region showing aberrant responses in the context of face processing. Finally, this network was also implicated in the human action observation/imitation network. In summary, our findings thus suggest a functionally and structurally disturbed network of occipital regions related primarily to face (but potentially also language) processing, which interact with inferior frontal as well as limbic regions and may be the core of

  18. Global Workspace Dynamics: Cortical “Binding and Propagation” Enables Conscious Contents

    PubMed Central

    Baars, Bernard J.; Franklin, Stan; Ramsoy, Thomas Zoega

    2013-01-01

    A global workspace (GW) is a functional hub of binding and propagation in a population of loosely coupled signaling elements. In computational applications, GW architectures recruit many distributed, specialized agents to cooperate in resolving focal ambiguities. In the brain, conscious experiences may reflect a GW function. For animals, the natural world is full of unpredictable dangers and opportunities, suggesting a general adaptive pressure for brains to resolve focal ambiguities quickly and accurately. GW theory aims to understand the differences between conscious and unconscious brain events. In humans and related species the cortico-thalamic (C-T) core is believed to underlie conscious aspects of perception, thinking, learning, feelings of knowing (FOK), felt emotions, visual imagery, working memory, and executive control. Alternative theoretical perspectives are also discussed. The C-T core has many anatomical hubs, but conscious percepts are unitary and internally consistent at any given moment. Over time, conscious contents constitute a very large, open set. This suggests that a brain-based GW capacity cannot be localized in a single anatomical hub. Rather, it should be sought in a functional hub – a dynamic capacity for binding and propagation of neural signals over multiple task-related networks, a kind of neuronal cloud computing. In this view, conscious contents can arise in any region of the C-T core when multiple input streams settle on a winner-take-all equilibrium. The resulting conscious gestalt may ignite an any-to-many broadcast, lasting ∼100–200 ms, and trigger widespread adaptation in previously established networks. To account for the great range of conscious contents over time, the theory suggests an open repertoire of binding1 coalitions that can broadcast via theta/gamma or alpha/gamma phase coupling, like radio channels competing for a narrow frequency band. Conscious moments are thought to hold only 1–4 unrelated items; this

  19. Conscious Experience and Episodic Memory: Hippocampus at the Crossroads

    PubMed Central

    Behrendt, Ralf-Peter

    2013-01-01

    If an instance of conscious experience of the seemingly objective world around us could be regarded as a newly formed event memory, much as an instance of mental imagery has the content of a retrieved event memory, and if, therefore, the stream of conscious experience could be seen as evidence for ongoing formation of event memories that are linked into episodic memory sequences, then unitary conscious experience could be defined as a symbolic representation of the pattern of hippocampal neuronal firing that encodes an event memory – a theoretical stance that may shed light into the mind-body and binding problems in consciousness research. Exceedingly detailed symbols that describe patterns of activity rapidly self-organizing, at each cycle of the θ rhythm, in the hippocampus are instances of unitary conscious experience that jointly constitute the stream of consciousness. Integrating object information (derived from the ventral visual stream and orbitofrontal cortex) with contextual emotional information (from the anterior insula) and spatial environmental information (from the dorsal visual stream), the hippocampus rapidly forms event codes that have the informational content of objects embedded in an emotional and spatiotemporally extending context. Event codes, formed in the CA3-dentate network for the purpose of their memorization, are not only contextualized but also allocentric representations, similarly to conscious experiences of events and objects situated in a seemingly objective and observer-independent framework of phenomenal space and time. Conscious perception, creating the spatially and temporally extending world that we perceive around us, is likely to be evolutionarily related to more fleeting and seemingly internal forms of conscious experience, such as autobiographical memory recall, mental imagery, including goal anticipation, and to other forms of externalized conscious experience, namely dreaming and hallucinations; and evidence pointing

  20. Conscious experience and episodic memory: hippocampus at the crossroads.

    PubMed

    Behrendt, Ralf-Peter

    2013-01-01

    If an instance of conscious experience of the seemingly objective world around us could be regarded as a newly formed event memory, much as an instance of mental imagery has the content of a retrieved event memory, and if, therefore, the stream of conscious experience could be seen as evidence for ongoing formation of event memories that are linked into episodic memory sequences, then unitary conscious experience could be defined as a symbolic representation of the pattern of hippocampal neuronal firing that encodes an event memory - a theoretical stance that may shed light into the mind-body and binding problems in consciousness research. Exceedingly detailed symbols that describe patterns of activity rapidly self-organizing, at each cycle of the θ rhythm, in the hippocampus are instances of unitary conscious experience that jointly constitute the stream of consciousness. Integrating object information (derived from the ventral visual stream and orbitofrontal cortex) with contextual emotional information (from the anterior insula) and spatial environmental information (from the dorsal visual stream), the hippocampus rapidly forms event codes that have the informational content of objects embedded in an emotional and spatiotemporally extending context. Event codes, formed in the CA3-dentate network for the purpose of their memorization, are not only contextualized but also allocentric representations, similarly to conscious experiences of events and objects situated in a seemingly objective and observer-independent framework of phenomenal space and time. Conscious perception, creating the spatially and temporally extending world that we perceive around us, is likely to be evolutionarily related to more fleeting and seemingly internal forms of conscious experience, such as autobiographical memory recall, mental imagery, including goal anticipation, and to other forms of externalized conscious experience, namely dreaming and hallucinations; and evidence pointing to

  1. Environment Conscious Ceramics (Ecoceramics)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Singh, Mrityunjay; Levine, Stanley R. (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    Environment conscious ceramics (Ecoceramics) are a new class of materials, which can be produced with renewable natural resources (wood) or wood wastes (wood sawdust). Silicon carbide-based ecoceramics have been fabricated by reactive infiltration of carbonaceous preforms by molten silicon or silicon-refractory metal alloys. These carbonaceous preforms have been fabricated by pyrolysis of solid wood bodies at 1000 C. The fabrication approach, microstructure, and mechanical properties of SiC-based ecoceramics are presented. Ecoceramics have tailorable properties and behave like ceramic materials manufactured by conventional approaches.

  2. The Radical Plasticity Thesis: How the Brain Learns to be Conscious.

    PubMed

    Cleeremans, Axel

    2011-01-01

    In this paper, I explore the idea that consciousness is something that the brain learns to do rather than an intrinsic property of certain neural states and not others. Starting from the idea that neural activity is inherently unconscious, the question thus becomes: How does the brain learn to be conscious? I suggest that consciousness arises as a result of the brain's continuous attempts at predicting not only the consequences of its actions on the world and on other agents, but also the consequences of activity in one cerebral region on activity in other regions. By this account, the brain continuously and unconsciously learns to redescribe its own activity to itself, so developing systems of meta-representations that characterize and qualify the target first-order representations. Such learned redescriptions, enriched by the emotional value associated with them, form the basis of conscious experience. Learning and plasticity are thus central to consciousness, to the extent that experiences only occur in experiencers that have learned to know they possess certain first-order states and that have learned to care more about certain states than about others. This is what I call the "Radical Plasticity Thesis." In a sense thus, this is the enactive perspective, but turned both inwards and (further) outwards. Consciousness involves "signal detection on the mind"; the conscious mind is the brain's (non-conceptual, implicit) theory about itself. I illustrate these ideas through neural network models that simulate the relationships between performance and awareness in different tasks.

  3. High density ERP indices of conscious and unconscious semantic priming.

    PubMed

    Ruz, María; Madrid, Eduardo; Lupiáñez, Juan; Tudela, Pío

    2003-10-01

    The existence of differential brain mechanisms of conscious and unconscious processing is a matter of debate nowadays. The present experiment explores whether conscious and unconscious semantic priming in a lexical decision task at a long prime-target stimulus onset asynchrony (SOA) correlate with overlapping or different event related potential (ERP) effects. Results show that the N400 effect, which appeared when words were consciously perceived, completely disappeared when primes were masked at a level where the ability of participants to detect the prime was near chance. Instead, a rather different set of ERP effects was found to index unconscious semantic priming. This suggests that the processes at the basis of conscious and unconscious semantic analyses can under some circumstances be rather different. Moreover, our results support the notion that conscious and unconscious processes are at least partially separable in the brain.

  4. Fractal characterization of internally and externally generated conscious experiences.

    PubMed

    Ibáñez-Molina, A J; Iglesias-Parro, S

    2014-06-01

    Although there is an extensive literature on the study of the neural correlates of consciousness (NCC) this is a subject that is far from being considered over. In this paper we present a novel experimental paradigm, based on binocular rivalry, to study internally and externally generated conscious experiences. We called this procedure bimodal rivalry. In addition, and assuming the non-linear nature of the EEG signals, we propose the use of fractal dimension to characterize the complexity of the EEG signal associated with each percept. Analysis of the data showed a significant difference in complexity between the internally generated and externally generated percepts. Moreover, EEG complexity was dissimilar for externally generated auditory and visual percepts. These results support fractal dimension analyses as a new tool to characterize conscious perception.

  5. Dynamics of Dual Prism Adaptation: Relating Novel Experimental Results to a Minimalistic Neural Model

    PubMed Central

    Arévalo, Orlando; Bornschlegl, Mona A.; Eberhardt, Sven; Ernst, Udo; Pawelzik, Klaus; Fahle, Manfred

    2013-01-01

    In everyday life, humans interact with a dynamic environment often requiring rapid adaptation of visual perception and motor control. In particular, new visuo–motor mappings must be learned while old skills have to be kept, such that after adaptation, subjects may be able to quickly change between two different modes of generating movements (‘dual–adaptation’). A fundamental question is how the adaptation schedule determines the acquisition speed of new skills. Given a fixed number of movements in two different environments, will dual–adaptation be faster if switches (‘phase changes’) between the environments occur more frequently? We investigated the dynamics of dual–adaptation under different training schedules in a virtual pointing experiment. Surprisingly, we found that acquisition speed of dual visuo–motor mappings in a pointing task is largely independent of the number of phase changes. Next, we studied the neuronal mechanisms underlying this result and other key phenomena of dual–adaptation by relating model simulations to experimental data. We propose a simple and yet biologically plausible neural model consisting of a spatial mapping from an input layer to a pointing angle which is subjected to a global gain modulation. Adaptation is performed by reinforcement learning on the model parameters. Despite its simplicity, the model provides a unifying account for a broad range of experimental data: It quantitatively reproduced the learning rates in dual–adaptation experiments for both direct effect, i.e. adaptation to prisms, and aftereffect, i.e. behavior after removal of prisms, and their independence on the number of phase changes. Several other phenomena, e.g. initial pointing errors that are far smaller than the induced optical shift, were also captured. Moreover, the underlying mechanisms, a local adaptation of a spatial mapping and a global adaptation of a gain factor, explained asymmetric spatial transfer and generalization of

  6. Emotion regulation related neural predictors of cognitive behavioral therapy response in social anxiety disorder.

    PubMed

    Klumpp, Heide; Roberts, Julia; Kennedy, Amy E; Shankman, Stewart A; Langenecker, Scott A; Gross, James J; Phan, K Luan

    2017-04-03

    Social anxiety disorder (SAD) is characterized by aberrant prefrontal activity during reappraisal, an adaptive cognitive approach aimed at downregulating the automatic response evoked by a negative event. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is first-line psychotherapy for SAD, however, many remain symptomatic after treatment indicating baseline individual differences in neurofunctional activity may factor into CBT outcome. An emotion regulation strategy practiced in CBT is cognitive restructuring, a proxy for reappraisal. Therefore, neural response during reappraisal may serve as a brain-based predictor of CBT success. Prior to 12weeks of individual CBT, 34 patients with SAD completed a validated emotion regulation task during fMRI. Task instructions included 'Reappraise,' that is, use a cognitive approach to reduce affective state to a negative image, which was contrasted with looking at a negative image ('Look'). Regression results for Reappraise (vs. Look) revealed greater reduction in symptom severity was predicted by less pre-CBT activation in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). Regarding predictive validity, DLPFC significantly classified responder status. Post-hoc analysis revealed DLPFC activity, but not demographic data, baseline clinical measures, or reappraisal-related affective state during fMRI, significantly accounted for the variance in symptom reduction. Findings indicate patients with SAD are more likely to benefit from CBT if there is less pre-treatment DLPFC recruitment, a region strongly implicated in emotion regulation. Patients with reduced baseline frontal activation when reappraising negative stimuli may be especially helped by explicit cognitive interventions. Further research is necessary to establish DLPFC as a stable brain-based marker of treatment outcome.

  7. Low Density Lipoprotein Receptor Related Proteins as Regulators of Neural Stem and Progenitor Cell Function

    PubMed Central

    Landowski, Lila M.; Young, Kaylene M.

    2016-01-01

    The central nervous system (CNS) is a highly organised structure. Many signalling systems work in concert to ensure that neural stem cells are appropriately directed to generate progenitor cells, which in turn mature into functional cell types including projection neurons, interneurons, astrocytes, and oligodendrocytes. Herein we explore the role of the low density lipoprotein (LDL) receptor family, in particular family members LRP1 and LRP2, in regulating the behaviour of neural stem and progenitor cells during development and adulthood. The ability of LRP1 and LRP2 to bind a diverse and extensive range of ligands, regulate ligand endocytosis, recruit nonreceptor tyrosine kinases for direct signal transduction and signal in conjunction with other receptors, enables them to modulate many crucial neural cell functions. PMID:26949399

  8. Common and Segregated Neural Substrates for Automatic Conceptual and Affective Priming as Revealed by Event-Related Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Liu, Hongyan; Hu, Zhiguo; Peng, Danling; Yang, Yanhui; Li, Kuncheng

    2010-01-01

    The brain activity associated with automatic semantic priming has been extensively studied. Thus far there has been no prior study that directly contrasts the neural mechanisms of semantic and affective priming. The present study employed event-related fMRI to examine the common and distinct neural bases underlying conceptual and affective priming…

  9. Consciousness: individuated information in action.

    PubMed

    Jonkisz, Jakub

    2015-01-01

    Within theoretical and empirical enquiries, many different meanings associated with consciousness have appeared, leaving the term itself quite vague. This makes formulating an abstract and unifying version of the concept of consciousness - the main aim of this article -into an urgent theoretical imperative. It is argued that consciousness, characterized as dually accessible (cognized from the inside and the outside), hierarchically referential (semantically ordered), bodily determined (embedded in the working structures of an organism or conscious system), and useful in action (pragmatically functional), is a graded rather than an all-or-none phenomenon. A gradational approach, however, despite its explanatory advantages, can lead to some counterintuitive consequences and theoretical problems. In most such conceptions consciousness is extended globally (attached to primitive organisms or artificial systems), but also locally (connected to certain lower-level neuronal and bodily processes). For example, according to information integration theory (as introduced recently by Tononi and Koch, 2014), even such simple artificial systems as photodiodes possess miniscule amounts of consciousness. The major challenge for this article, then, is to establish reasonable, empirically justified constraints on how extended the range of a graded consciousness could be. It is argued that conscious systems are limited globally by the ability to individuate information (where individuated information is understood as evolutionarily embedded, socially altered, and private), whereas local limitations should be determined on the basis of a hypothesis about the action-oriented nature of the processes that select states of consciousness. Using these constraints, an abstract concept of consciousness is arrived at, hopefully contributing to a more unified state of play within consciousness studies itself.

  10. Consciousness: individuated information in action

    PubMed Central

    Jonkisz, Jakub

    2015-01-01

    Within theoretical and empirical enquiries, many different meanings associated with consciousness have appeared, leaving the term itself quite vague. This makes formulating an abstract and unifying version of the concept of consciousness – the main aim of this article –into an urgent theoretical imperative. It is argued that consciousness, characterized as dually accessible (cognized from the inside and the outside), hierarchically referential (semantically ordered), bodily determined (embedded in the working structures of an organism or conscious system), and useful in action (pragmatically functional), is a graded rather than an all-or-none phenomenon. A gradational approach, however, despite its explanatory advantages, can lead to some counterintuitive consequences and theoretical problems. In most such conceptions consciousness is extended globally (attached to primitive organisms or artificial systems), but also locally (connected to certain lower-level neuronal and bodily processes). For example, according to information integration theory (as introduced recently by Tononi and Koch, 2014), even such simple artificial systems as photodiodes possess miniscule amounts of consciousness. The major challenge for this article, then, is to establish reasonable, empirically justified constraints on how extended the range of a graded consciousness could be. It is argued that conscious systems are limited globally by the ability to individuate information (where individuated information is understood as evolutionarily embedded, socially altered, and private), whereas local limitations should be determined on the basis of a hypothesis about the action-oriented nature of the processes that select states of consciousness. Using these constraints, an abstract concept of consciousness is arrived at, hopefully contributing to a more unified state of play within consciousness studies itself. PMID:26283987

  11. The NHR domains of Neuralized and related proteins: Beyond Notch signalling.

    PubMed

    Liu, Sili; Boulianne, Gabrielle L

    2017-01-01

    Neuralized Homology Repeats (NHRs) were first identified in Neuralized, an E3-ubiquitin ligase that plays a key role in the Notch signalling pathway. Since their original discovery, NHR domains have been shown to regulate protein-protein interactions in a broad range of developmental processes and in a wide variety of species from flies to humans. The NHR family of proteins can be categorized into three groups: (1) those that contain a RING finger, (2) those that contain a SOCS box and, (3) those that only have NHR domains. Here we review the structure and function of NHR domains in various cellular and developmental processes.

  12. How and when the fMRI BOLD signal relates to underlying neural activity: The danger in dissociation

    PubMed Central

    Ekstrom, Arne

    2013-01-01

    Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has become the dominant means of measuring behavior-related neural activity in the human brain. Yet the relation between the blood oxygen-level dependent (BOLD) signal and underlying neural activity remains an open and actively researched question. A widely accepted model, established for sensory neo-cortex, suggests that the BOLD signal reflects peri-synaptic activity in the form of the local field potential rather than the spiking rate of individual neurons. Several recent experimental results, however, suggest situations in which BOLD, spiking, and the local field potential dissociate. Two different models are discussed, based on the literature reviewed to account for this dissociation, a circuitry-based and vascular-based explanation. Both models are found to account for existing data under some testing situations and in certain brain regions. Because both the vascular and local circuitry-based explanations challenge the BOLD-LFP coupling model, these models provide guidance in predicting when BOLD can be expected to reflect neural processing and when the underlying relation with BOLD may be more complex than a direct correspondence. PMID:20026191

  13. Neural correlates of age-related visual search decline: a combined ERP and sLORETA study.

    PubMed

    Lorenzo-López, Laura; Amenedo, Elena; Pascual-Marqui, Roberto D; Cadaveira, Fernando

    2008-06-01

    Differences in the neural systems underlying visual search processes for young (n=17, mean age 19.6+/-1.9) and older (n=22, mean age 68.5+/-6) subjects were investigated combining the Event-Related Potential (ERP) technique with standardized Low-Resolution brain Electromagnetic Tomography (sLORETA) analyses. Behavioral results showed an increase in mean reaction times (RTs) and a reduction in hit rates with age. The ERPs were significantly different between young and older subjects at the P3 component, showing longer latencies and lower amplitudes in older subjects. These ERP results suggest an age-related decline in the intensity and speed of visual processing during visual search that imply a reduction in attentional resources with normal aging. The sLORETA data revealed a significantly reduced neural differentiation in older subjects, who recruited bilateral prefrontal regions in a nonselective manner for the different search arrays. Finally, sLORETA between-group comparisons revealed that relative to young subjects, older subjects showed significantly reduced activity in anterior cingulate cortex as well as in numerous limbic and occipitotemporal regions contributing to visual search processes. These findings provide evidence that the neural circuit supporting this cognitive process is vulnerable to normal aging. All these attentional factors could contribute to poorer performance of older compared to young subjects in visual search tasks.

  14. Psychology Tomorrow: Explorations of Consciousness.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bancroft, Norris R.

    Psychology is again revitalizing efforts to explore the nature and extent of human consciousness. Although consciousness has always been the central subject matter of psychology, various metholodological and ideological "schools" have often quarreled as to exactly what constitutes the appropriate measure of the subject. What is most…

  15. Education for Critical Moral Consciousness

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mustakova-Possardt, Elena

    2004-01-01

    This paper proposes a lifespan developmental model of critical moral consciousness and examines its implications for education in childhood, adolescence and adulthood. Mature moral consciousness, central to negotiating the challenges of the 21st century, is characterized by a deepening lifelong integration of moral motivation, agency and critical…

  16. Connecting Conscious and Unconscious Processing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cleeremans, Axel

    2014-01-01

    Consciousness remains a mystery--"a phenomenon that people do not know how to think about--yet" (Dennett, D. C., 1991, p. 21). Here, I consider how the connectionist perspective on information processing may help us progress toward the goal of understanding the computational principles through which conscious and unconscious processing…

  17. The self-organizing consciousness.

    PubMed

    Perruchet, Pierre; Vinter, Annie

    2002-06-01

    We propose that the isomorphism generally observed between the representations composing our momentary phenomenal experience and the structure of the world is the end-product of a progressive organization that emerges thanks to elementary associative processes that take our conscious representations themselves as the stuff on which they operate, a thesis that we summarize in the concept of Self-Organizing Consciousness (SOC).

  18. Protective role and related mechanism of Gnaq in neural cells damaged by oxidative stress.

    PubMed

    Jia, Nannan; Li, Guoping; Huang, Pu; Guo, Jiazhi; Wei, Lugang; Lu, Di; Chen, Shaochun

    2017-03-22

    Gnaq is a member of G protein family and is rich in brain tissue. It has attracted the attention of many researchers in melanoma due to its high ratio of mutation. We have previously reported that the expression level of Gnaq in the mouse forebrain cortex was significantly decreased with age. Oxidative stress (OS) is the main cause leading to brain aging and related diseases. The roles and mechanisms of Gnaq in antioxidation in the brain have not been fully explored. In the present study, gene recombinant technique and lentivirus transfection technique were used to generate a Gnaq-overexpression cell model (Gnaq-SY5Y) coupled with H2O2 to build an OS model. The viability of cells, concentration of reactive oxygen species (ROS), apoptosis-related proteins (Bcl-2 and Bax), and signal pathways (NF-κB and Erk1/2) were compared between model cells and control cells. Results showed that the antioxidative ability of Gnaq-SY5Y cells was significantly improved. Concomitantly, the ROS level in Gnaq-SY5Y cells was significantly decreased whether the cells were subject to or not to H2O2 treatment. Anti-apoptotic protein Bcl-2 was up-regulated and apoptosis-promoting protein Bax was down-regulated in Gnaq-SY5Y cells after treatment with H2O2. NF-κB and phosphorylated Erk1/2 (p-Erk1/2) was significantly down-regulated in Gnaq-SY5Y cells. H2O2 treatment decreased Gnaq expression but increased NF-κB and p-Erk1/2 expressions in Gnaq-SY5Y cells. It is therefore concluded that Gnaq plays a pivotal role in antioxidation in neural cells. A possible mechanism for this would be that the overexpressed Gnaq inhibits the cellular damaging effect mediated by NF-κB and Erk1/2 signal pathways.

  19. Conscience and consciousness: a definition.

    PubMed

    Vithoulkas, G; Muresanu, D F

    2014-03-15

    While consciousness has been examined extensively in its different aspects, like in philosophy, psychiatry, neurophysiology, neuroplasticity, etc., conscience though it is an equal important aspect of the human existence, which remains an unknown to a great degree as an almost transcendental aspect of the human mind. It has not been examined as thoroughly as consciousness and largely remains a "terra incognita" for its neurophysiology, brain topography, etc. Conscience and consciousness are part of a system of information that governs our experience and decision making process. The intent of this paper is to define these terms, to discuss about consciousness from both neurological and quantum physics point of view, the relationship between the dynamics of consciousness and neuroplasticity and to highlight the relationship between conscience, stress and health.

  20. On the relation between conceptual priming, neural priming, and novelty assessment.

    PubMed

    Habib, R

    2001-07-01

    A consistently reported finding in functional neuroimaging studies which compare processing of new information to processing of old information is a reduction in blood flow, and hence neural activity, associated with the old condition. This deactivation has been labeled neural priming. Some investigators have hypothesized that neural priming is the physiological mechanism underlying conceptual priming--a facilitation in the semantic processing of repeated information. Others, however, have hypothesized that neural priming reflects novelty assessment--a mechanism which minimizes the probability that redundant information will be stored in long-term memory. In this paper, the conceptual priming and novelty assessment hypotheses are compared and contrasted in order to ask, and tentatively answer, the question: Are conceptual priming and novelty assessment cognitively and neurophysiologically distinct? Based on a review of the literature, it is suggested that whereas novelty assessment and conceptual priming are distinct cognitive entities, they cannot be presently separated neurophysiologically. That is, some novelty assessment deactivations may in fact reflect priming, and some priming deactivations may in fact reflect novelty assessment.

  1. Age and Experience Shape Developmental Changes in the Neural Basis of Language-Related Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McNealy, Kristin; Mazziotta, John C.; Dapretto, Mirella

    2011-01-01

    Very little is known about the neural underpinnings of language learning across the lifespan and how these might be modified by maturational and experiential factors. Building on behavioral research highlighting the importance of early word segmentation (i.e. the detection of word boundaries in continuous speech) for subsequent language learning,…

  2. Contemplative Neuroscience as an Approach to Volitional Consciousness

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thompson, Evan

    This chapter presents a methodological approach to volitional consciousness for cognitive neuroscience based on studying the voluntary self-generation and self-regulation of mental states in meditation. Called contemplative neuroscience, this approach views attention, awareness, and emotion regulation as flexible and trainable skills, and works with experimental participants who have undergone training in contemplative practices designed to hone these skills. Drawing from research on the dynamical neural correlates of contemplative mental states and theories of large-scale neural coordination dynamics, I argue for the importance of global system causation in brain activity and present an "interventionist" approach to intentional causation.

  3. Declarative Consciousness for Reconstruction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seymour, Leslie G.

    2013-12-01

    Existing information technology tools are harnessed and integrated to provide digital specification of human consciousness of individual persons. An incremental compilation technology is proposed as a transformation of LifeLog derived persona specifications into a Canonical representation of the neocortex architecture of the human brain. The primary purpose is to gain an understanding of the semantical allocation of the neocortex capacity. Novel neocortex content allocation simulators with browsers are proposed to experiment with various approaches of relieving the brain from overload conditions. An IT model of the neocortex is maintained, which is then updated each time new stimuli are received from the LifeLog data stream; new information is gained from brain signal measurements; and new functional dependencies are discovered between live persona consumed/produced signals

  4. Consciousness and the brain.

    PubMed

    Simonov, P V

    1994-01-01

    Following the advice of I.P. Pavlov to the effect that "it is important to understand psychologically before translating a phenomenon into physiological language", the author defines more precisely the content and origin of consciousness as a phenomenon of human higher nervous activity. The necessity of distinguishing two fundamentally different phenomena in the sphere of unconscious mental activity, defined as subconsciousness and superconsciousness, is substantiated. The emotional languages of superconsciousness are described, namely, the senses of beauty, humor, and conscience. The contradictory nature of objectively determined behavior along with subjectively experienced freedom of choice are regarded from the points of view of their initial supplementarity. It is asserted that the activity of superconsciousness, recombining previously accumulated experience, underlies the so-called self-determination of behavior, as a result of which decision options may arise that have never been encountered previously. In other words: the freedom that is maximally available to man is manifested in his creative activity.

  5. [Brain and consciousness].

    PubMed

    Fernández de Molina, Antonio

    2002-01-01

    The philosophical and biological concepts of consciousness are briefly reviewed, from Aristoteles to Descartes to the modern neurobiologist of the last 15 years. The CRICK's corticothalamic integration view, the Edelman's primary and higher order consciousness concept as well as the Edelman and Tononi's dynamic core concept were discussed. Then the corticothalamic resonance theory by Llinás was reported. Central to Llinás's theory is the existence of electrical intrinsic properties of neurones in the central nervous system that allows them to oscillate at different frequencies and if the membrane properties are suitable also to resonate at specific frequencies. From this oscillation and the neuronal connectivity result the corticothalamic dynamic loops specific and non specific. The dynamic corticothalamic loop of the specific thalamic nuclei connect directly as well as through the inhibitory interneurones in layer 4, with the pyramids in layer 5 and 6. The pyramids's rhythmic discharge excite the thalamic specific neurones and indirectly through the reticular neurones a rebound burst is also generated in the specific relay neurones. The oscillatory properties of cortical inhibitory interneurones initiates the action of the recurrent circuit whose function is to inform the cerebral cortex of the content of the sensory pathways. On the other side, the thalamocortical resonant loops of the non especific nuclei, particularly the intralaminar, connect with theapical dendrites of layer 1 pyramids whose discharge go to the thalamic relay neurones directly and through the reticular nucleus. The clinical and MEG data are consistent with the suggestion that the intralaminar nucleus works as providing the binding signal to the sensory specif le information conveyed by the specific pathways. In this way the non specific corticothalamic loop would act as the conjunction mechanism along the dendritic apical shaft with the specific sensory information. The specific loop will

  6. [A scientific model of consciousness: implications for neuropsychiatic diseases].

    PubMed

    Gaillard, Raphaël; Del Cul, Antoine

    2007-12-01

    Consciousness is an essential property of human cognition. According to the "Global neuronal workspace" hypothesis designed by Dehaene et al., consciousness results from amplification and synchronisation of distant processors. Frontoparietal loops play a crucial role in this large scale synchronisation. At any given time, many modular cerebral networks are active in parallel and process information unconsciously. An information becomes conscious, however, if the neural population that represents it is mobilized by top-down attentional amplification into a brain-scale state of coherent activity. This long-distance connectivity makes the information available to a variety of processes including perceptual categorization, long-term memorization, evaluation, and intentional action. Behavioral as well as neuroimaging studies using masked subliminal perception support this theoretical view. Among neuropsychiatric disorders, many neuroscientific studies have been devoted to schizophrenia. Some of them conclude on a global brain disconnectivity rather than on specific and localised perturbations. Hence conscious integration may be the core deficit in cognitive disabilities observed in schizophrenia. As shown in recent results, threshold for access to consciousness in schizophrenic patients compared with controls is elevated whereas unconscious processes, such as the ones involved in subliminal priming remain effective. We conclude on the potential use of the "global neuronal workspace" model in other neuropsychiatric diseases such as Alzheimer's disease or multiple sclerosis.

  7. Proteome map of the neural complex of the tunicate Ciona intestinalis, the closest living relative to vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Saxena, Sandeep; Dupont, Sam; Meghah, Vuppalapaty; Lakshmi, Mula G Meena; Singh, Sachin K; Swamy, Cherukuvada V Brahmendra; Idris, Mohammed M

    2013-03-01

    Ciona intestinalis (the common sea squirt) is the closest living chordate relative to vertebrates with cosmopolitan presence worldwide. It has a relatively simple nervous system and development, making it a widely studied alternative model system in neuroscience and developmental biology. The use of Ciona as a model organism has increased significantly after the draft genome was published. In this study, we describe the first proteome map of the neural complex of C. intestinalis. A total of 544 proteins were identified based on 1DE and 2DE FTMS/ITMSMS analyses. Proteins were annotated against the Ciona database and analyzed to predict their molecular functions, roles in biological processes, and position in constructed network pathways. The identified Ciona neural complex proteome was found to map onto vertebrate nervous system pathways, including cytoskeleton remodeling neurofilaments, cell adhesion through the histamine receptor signaling pathway, γ-aminobutyric acid-A receptor life cycle neurophysiological process, glycolysis, and amino acid metabolism. The proteome map of the Ciona neural complex is the first step toward a better understanding of several important processes, including the evolution and regeneration capacity of the Ciona nervous system.

  8. Tracking real-time neural activation of conceptual knowledge using single-trial event-related potentials.

    PubMed

    Amsel, Ben D

    2011-04-01

    Empirically derived semantic feature norms categorized into different types of knowledge (e.g., visual, functional, auditory) can be summed to create number-of-feature counts per knowledge type. Initial evidence suggests several such knowledge types may be recruited during language comprehension. The present study provides a more detailed understanding of the timecourse and intensity of influence of several such knowledge types on real-time neural activity. A linear mixed-effects model was applied to single trial event-related potentials for 207 visually presented concrete words measured on total number of features (semantic richness), imageability, and number of visual motion, color, visual form, smell, taste, sound, and function features. Significant influences of multiple feature types occurred before 200ms, suggesting parallel neural computation of word form and conceptual knowledge during language comprehension. Function and visual motion features most prominently influenced neural activity, underscoring the importance of action-related knowledge in computing word meaning. The dynamic time courses and topographies of these effects are most consistent with a flexible conceptual system wherein temporally dynamic recruitment of representations in modal and supramodal cortex are a crucial element of the constellation of processes constituting word meaning computation in the brain.

  9. Neural correlates of exposure to subliminal and supraliminal sexual cues

    PubMed Central

    Canterberry, Melanie

    2012-01-01

    Sexual arousal is thought to be the result of two levels of processing: conscious and unconscious. Whereas some research exists on the neural correlates related with conscious exposure to sexual stimuli, there are no parallel data regarding unconscious or subliminal exposure to such stimuli. In the present study, we therefore compared brain activation of 39 participants (20 women) as they were exposed to supraliminal vs subliminal sexual stimuli. Supraliminal exposure was associated with greater activation in areas that were previously associated with sexual arousal (e.g. caudate nucleus and thalamus) as well as areas that were previously associated with control (e.g. orbitofrontal cortex and cingulate cortex). In contrast, subliminal exposure was mainly related to activation in areas previously associated with sexual arousal. Men and women exhibited theoretically meaningful differences in patterns of activation associated with supra- and subliminal exposure. Findings are discussed with regard to sexual arousal and regulatory processes. PMID:22006991

  10. A perturbational approach for evaluating the brain's capacity for consciousness.

    PubMed

    Massimini, Marcello; Boly, Melanie; Casali, Adenauer; Rosanova, Mario; Tononi, Giulio

    2009-01-01

    How do we evaluate a brain's capacity to sustain conscious experience if the subject does not manifest purposeful behaviour and does not respond to questions and commands? What should we measure in this case? An emerging idea in theoretical neuroscience is that what really matters for consciousness in the brain is not activity levels, access to sensory inputs or neural synchronization per se, but rather the ability of different areas of the thalamocortical system to interact causally with each other to form an integrated whole. In particular, the information integration theory of consciousness (IITC) argues that consciousness is integrated information and that the brain should be able to generate consciousness to the extent that it has a large repertoire of available states (information), yet it cannot be decomposed into a collection of causally independent subsystems (integration). To evaluate the ability to integrate information among distributed cortical regions, it may not be sufficient to observe the brain in action. Instead, it is useful to employ a perturbational approach and examine to what extent different regions of the thalamocortical system can interact causally (integration) and produce specific responses (information). Thanks to a recently developed technique, transcranial magnetic stimulation and high-density electroencephalography (TMS/hd-EEG), one can record the immediate reaction of the entire thalamocortical system to controlled perturbations of different cortical areas. In this chapter, using sleep as a model of unconsciousness, we show that TMS/hd-EEG can detect clear-cut changes in the ability of the thalamocortical system to integrate information when the level of consciousness fluctuates across the sleep-wake cycle. Based on these results, we discuss the potential applications of this novel technique to evaluate objectively the brain's capacity for consciousness at the bedside of brain-injured patients.

  11. Adaptive skeletal muscle action requires anticipation and "conscious broadcasting".

    PubMed

    Poehlman, T Andrew; Jantz, Tiffany K; Morsella, Ezequiel

    2012-01-01

    Historically, the conscious and anticipatory processes involved in voluntary action have been associated with the loftiest heights of nervous function. Concepts like mental time travel, "theory of mind," and the formation of "the self" have been at the center of many attempts to determine the purpose of consciousness. Eventually, more reductionistic accounts of consciousness emerged, proposing rather that conscious states play a much more basic role in nervous function. Though the widely held integration consensus proposes that conscious states integrate information-processing structures and events that would otherwise be independent, Supramodular Interaction Theory (SIT) argues that conscious states are necessary for the integration of only certain kinds of information. As revealed in this selective review, this integration is related to what is casually referred to as "voluntary" action, which is intimately related to the skeletal muscle output system. Through a peculiar form of broadcasting, conscious integration often controls and guides action via "ideomotor" mechanisms, where anticipatory processes play a central role. Our selective review covers evidence (including findings from anesthesia research) for the integration consensus, SIT, and ideomotor theory.

  12. The relation between finger gnosis and mathematical ability: why redeployment of neural circuits best explains the finding

    PubMed Central

    Penner-Wilger, Marcie; Anderson, Michael L.

    2013-01-01

    This paper elaborates a novel hypothesis regarding the observed predictive relation between finger gnosis and mathematical ability. In brief, we suggest that these two cognitive phenomena have overlapping neural substrates, as the result of the re-use (“redeployment”) of part of the finger gnosis circuit for the purpose of representing numbers. We offer some background on the relation and current explanations for it; an outline of our alternate hypothesis; some evidence supporting redeployment over current views; and a plan for further research. PMID:24367341

  13. Quantum-holographic and classical Hopfield-like associative nnets: implications for modeling two cognitive modes of consciousness

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rakovic, D.; Dugic, M.

    2005-05-01

    Quantum bases of consciousness are considered with psychosomatic implications of three front lines of psychosomatic medicine (hesychastic spirituality, holistic Eastern medicine, and symptomatic Western medicine), as well as cognitive implications of two modes of individual consciousness (quantum-coherent transitional and altered states, and classically reduced normal states) alongside with conditions of transformations of one mode into another (considering consciousness quantum-coherence/classical-decoherence acupuncture system/nervous system interaction, direct and reverse, with and without threshold limits, respectively) - by using theoretical methods of associative neural networks and quantum neural holography combined with quantum decoherence theory.

  14. Consciousness: the radical plasticity thesis.

    PubMed

    Cleeremans, Axel

    2008-01-01

    In this chapter, I sketch a conceptual framework which takes it as a starting point that conscious and unconscious cognition are rooted in the same set of interacting learning mechanisms and representational systems. On this view, the extent to which a representation is conscious depends in a graded manner on properties such as its stability in time or its strength. Crucially, these properties are accrued as a result of learning, which is in turn viewed as a mandatory process that always accompanies information processing. From this perspective, consciousness is best characterized as involving (1) a graded continuum defined over "quality of representation", such that availability to consciousness and to cognitive control correlates with quality, and (2) the implication of systems of metarepresentations. A first implication of these ideas is that the main function of consciousness is to make flexible, adaptive control over behavior possible. A second, much more speculative implication, is that we learn to be conscious. This I call the "radical plasticity thesis"--the hypothesis that consciousness emerges in systems capable not only of learning about their environment, but also about their own internal representations of it.

  15. Functionally integrated neural processing of linguistic and talker information: An event-related fMRI and ERP study

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Caicai; Pugh, Kenneth R.; Mencl, W. Einar; Molfese, Peter J.; Frost, Stephen J.; Magnuson, James S.; Peng, Gang; Wang, William S-Y

    2016-01-01

    Speech signals contain information of both linguistic content and a talker’s voice. Conventionally, linguistic and talker processing are thought to be mediated by distinct neural systems in the left and right hemispheres respectively, but there is growing evidence that linguistic and talker processing interact in many ways. Previous studies suggest that talker-related vocal tract changes are processed integrally with phonetic changes in the bilateral posterior superior temporal gyrus/superior temporal sulcus (STG/STS), because the vocal tract parameter influences the perception of phonetic information. It is yet unclear whether the bilateral STG are also activated by the integral processing of another parameter – pitch, which influences the perception of lexical tone information and are related to talker differences in tone languages. In this study, we conducted separate functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and event-related potential (ERP) experiments to examine the spatial and temporal loci of interactions of lexical tone and talker-related pitch processing in Cantonese. We found that the STG was activated bilaterally during the processing of talker changes when listeners attended to lexical tone changes in the stimuli and during the processing of lexical tone changes when listeners attended to talker changes, suggesting that lexical tone and talker processing are functionally integrated in the bilateral STG. It extends the previous study, providing evidence for a general neural mechanism of integral phonetic and talker processing in the bilateral STG. The ERP results show interactions of lexical tone and talker processing 500–800 ms after auditory word onset (a simultaneous posterior P3b and a frontal negativity). Moreover, there is some asymmetry in the interaction, such that unattended talker changes affect linguistic processing more than vice versa, which may be related to the ambiguity that talker changes cause in speech perception and

  16. Drosophila intermediate neural progenitors produce lineage-dependent related series of diverse neurons

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Yu-Chun; Yang, Jacob S.; Johnston, Rebecca; Ren, Qingzhong; Lee, Ying-Jou; Luan, Haojiang; Brody, Thomas; Odenwald, Ward F.; Lee, Tzumin

    2014-01-01

    Drosophila type II neuroblasts (NBs), like mammalian neural stem cells, deposit neurons through intermediate neural progenitors (INPs) that can each produce a series of neurons. Both type II NBs and INPs exhibit age-dependent expression of various transcription factors, potentially specifying an array of diverse neurons by combinatorial temporal patterning. Not knowing which mature neurons are made by specific INPs, however, conceals the actual variety of neuron types and limits further molecular studies. Here we mapped neurons derived from specific type II NB lineages and found that sibling INPs produced a morphologically similar but temporally regulated series of distinct neuron types. This suggests a common fate diversification program operating within each INP that is modulated by NB age to generate slightly different sets of diverse neurons based on the INP birth order. Analogous mechanisms might underlie the expansion of neuron diversity via INPs in mammalian brain. PMID:24306106

  17. Transdifferentiation and survival of neural retina cells in relation to illumination.

    PubMed

    Pritchard, D J

    1984-12-01

    Cultures of chicken embryo neural retina cells were exposed to light of different intensities and colours, in order to identify the wavelengths that promote cell degeneration and transdifferentiation into pigment epithelium. Blue and green light caused cell death; blue, green and yellow light enhanced transdifferentiation; red light had no effect. The relevance of these findings to retinal degeneration in man and the possible mediation of rhodopsin, riboflavin and other chromophores are discussed.

  18. A Heuristic Model of Consciousness with Applications to the Development of Science and Society

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Curreri, Peter A.

    2010-01-01

    A working model of consciousness is fundamental to understanding of the interactions of the observer in science. This paper examines contemporary understanding of consciousness. A heuristic model of consciousness is suggested that is consistent with psycophysics measurements of bandwidth of consciousness relative to unconscious perception. While the self reference nature of consciousness confers a survival benefit by assuring the all points of view regarding a problem are experienced in sufficiently large population, conscious bandwidth is constrained by design to avoid chaotic behavior. The multiple hypotheses provided by conscious reflection enable the rapid progression of science and technology. The questions of free will and the problem of attention are discussed in relation to the model. Finally the combination of rapid technology growth with the assurance of many unpredictable points of view is considered in respect to contemporary constraints to the development of society.

  19. Conscious and Non-conscious Representations of Emotional Faces in Asperger's Syndrome.

    PubMed

    Chien, Vincent S C; Tsai, Arthur C; Yang, Han Hsuan; Tseng, Yi-Li; Savostyanov, Alexander N; Liou, Michelle

    2016-07-31

    Several neuroimaging studies have suggested that the low spatial frequency content in an emotional face mainly activates the amygdala, pulvinar, and superior colliculus especially with fearful faces(1-3). These regions constitute the limbic structure in non-conscious perception of emotions and modulate cortical activity either directly or indirectly(2). In contrast, the conscious representation of emotions is more pronounced in the anterior cingulate, prefrontal cortex, and somatosensory cortex for directing voluntary attention to details in faces(3,4). Asperger's syndrome (AS)(5,6) represents an atypical mental disturbance that affects sensory, affective and communicative abilities, without interfering with normal linguistic skills and intellectual ability. Several studies have found that functional deficits in the neural circuitry important for facial emotion recognition can partly explain social communication failure in patients with AS(7-9). In order to clarify the interplay between conscious and non-conscious representations of emotional faces in AS, an EEG experimental protocol is designed with two tasks involving emotionality evaluation of either photograph or line-drawing faces. A pilot study is introduced for selecting face stimuli that minimize the differences in reaction times and scores assigned to facial emotions between the pretested patients with AS and IQ/gender-matched healthy controls. Information from the pretested patients was used to develop the scoring system used for the emotionality evaluation. Research into facial emotions and visual stimuli with different spatial frequency contents has reached discrepant findings depending on the demographic characteristics of participants and task demands(2). The experimental protocol is intended to clarify deficits in patients with AS in processing emotional faces when compared with healthy controls by controlling for factors unrelated to recognition of facial emotions, such as task difficulty, IQ and

  20. Neural correlates of individual differences in pain-related fear and anxiety

    PubMed Central

    Ochsner, Kevin N.; Ludlow, David H.; Knierim, Kyle; Hanelin, Josh; Ramachandran, Tara; Glover, Gary C.; Mackey, Sean C.

    2010-01-01

    Although individual differences in fear and anxiety modulate the pain response and may even cause more suffering than the initiating physical stimulus, little is known about the neural systems mediating this relationship. The present study provided the first examination of the neural correlates of individual differences in the tendency to (1) feel anxious about the potentially negative implications of physical sensations, as measured by the anxiety sensitivity index (ASI), and (2) fear various types of physical pain, as indexed by the fear of pain questionnaire (FPQ). In separate sessions, participants completed these questionnaires and experienced alternating blocks of noxious thermal stimulation (45–50 °C) and neutral thermal stimulation (38 °C) during the collection of whole-brain fMRI data. Regression analyses demonstrated that during the experience of pain, ASI scores predicted activation of a medial prefrontal region associated with self-focused attention, whereas FPQ scores predicted activation of a ventral lateral frontal region associated with response regulation and anterior and posterior cingulate regions associated with monitoring and evaluation of affective responses. These functional relationships cannot be wholly explained by generalized anxiety (indexed by STAI-T scores), which did not significantly correlate with activation of any regions. The present findings may help clarify both the impact of individual differences in emotion on the neural correlates of pain, and the roles in anxiety, fear, and pain processing played by medial and orbitofrontal systems. PMID:16364548

  1. Relating functional connectivity in V1 neural circuits and 3D natural scenes using Boltzmann machines

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Yimeng; Li, Xiong; Samonds, Jason M.

    2015-01-01

    Bayesian theory has provided a compelling conceptualization for perceptual inference in the brain. Central to Bayesian inference is the notion of statistical priors. To understand the neural mechanisms of Bayesian inference, we need to understand the neural representation of statistical regularities in the natural environment. In this paper, we investigated empirically how statistical regularities in natural 3D scenes are represented in the functional connectivity of disparity-tuned neurons in the primary visual cortex of primates. We applied a Boltzmann machine model to learn from 3D natural scenes, and found that the units in the model exhibited cooperative and competitive interactions, forming a “disparity association field”, analogous to the contour association field. The cooperative and competitive interactions in the disparity association field are consistent with constraints of computational models for stereo matching. In addition, we simulated neurophysiological experiments on the model, and found the results to be consistent with neurophysiological data in terms of the functional connectivity measurements between disparity-tuned neurons in the macaque primary visual cortex. These findings demonstrate that there is a relationship between the functional connectivity observed in the visual cortex and the statistics of natural scenes. They also suggest that the Boltzmann machine can be a viable model for conceptualizing computations in the visual cortex and, as such, can be used to predict neural circuits in the visual cortex from natural scene statistics. PMID:26712581

  2. Neural network approaches to tracer identification as related to PIV research

    SciTech Connect

    Seeley, C.H. Jr.

    1992-12-01

    Neural networks have become very powerful tools in many fields of interest. This thesis examines the application of neural networks to another rapidly growing field flow visualization. Flow visualization research is used to experimentally determine how fluids behave and to verify computational results obtained analytically. A form of flow visualization, particle image velocimetry (PIV). determines the flow movement by tracking neutrally buoyant particles suspended in the fluid. PIV research has begun to improve rapidly with the advent of digital imagers, which can quickly digitize an image into arrays of grey levels. These grey level arrays are analyzed to determine the location of the tracer particles. Once the particles positions have been determined across multiple image frames, it is possible to track their movements, and hence, the flow of the fluid. This thesis explores the potential of several different neural networks to identify the positions of the tracer particles. Among these networks are Backpropagation, Kohonen (counter-propagation), and Cellular. Each of these algorithms were employed in their basic form, and training and testing were performed on a synthetic grey level array. Modifications were then made to them in attempts to improve the results.

  3. Relating functional connectivity in V1 neural circuits and 3D natural scenes using Boltzmann machines.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yimeng; Li, Xiong; Samonds, Jason M; Lee, Tai Sing

    2016-03-01

    Bayesian theory has provided a compelling conceptualization for perceptual inference in the brain. Central to Bayesian inference is the notion of statistical priors. To understand the neural mechanisms of Bayesian inference, we need to understand the neural representation of statistical regularities in the natural environment. In this paper, we investigated empirically how statistical regularities in natural 3D scenes are represented in the functional connectivity of disparity-tuned neurons in the primary visual cortex of primates. We applied a Boltzmann machine model to learn from 3D natural scenes, and found that the units in the model exhibited cooperative and competitive interactions, forming a "disparity association field", analogous to the contour association field. The cooperative and competitive interactions in the disparity association field are consistent with constraints of computational models for stereo matching. In addition, we simulated neurophysiological experiments on the model, and found the results to be consistent with neurophysiological data in terms of the functional connectivity measurements between disparity-tuned neurons in the macaque primary visual cortex. These findings demonstrate that there is a relationship between the functional connectivity observed in the visual cortex and the statistics of natural scenes. They also suggest that the Boltzmann machine can be a viable model for conceptualizing computations in the visual cortex and, as such, can be used to predict neural circuits in the visual cortex from natural scene statistics.

  4. The biological and electrical trade-offs related to the thickness of conducting polymers for neural applications.

    PubMed

    Baek, Sungchul; Green, Rylie A; Poole-Warren, Laura A

    2014-07-01

    Poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) (PEDOT) films have attracted substantial interest as coatings for platinum neuroprosthetic electrodes due to their excellent chemical stability and electrical properties. This study systematically examined PEDOT coatings formed with different amounts of charge and dopant ions, and investigated the combination of surface characteristics that were optimal for neural cell interactions. PEDOT samples were fabricated by varying the electrodeposition charge from 0.05 to 1 C cm(-2). Samples were doped with either poly(styrenesulfonate), tosylate (pTS) or perchlorate. Scanning electron micrographs revealed that both thickness and nodularity increased as the charge used to produce the sample was increased, and larger dopants produced smoother films across all thicknesses. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy confirmed that the amount of charge directly corresponded to the thickness and amount of dopant in the samples. Additionally, with increased thickness and nodularity, the electrochemical properties of all PEDOT coatings improved. However, neural cell adhesion and outgrowth assays revealed that there is a direct biological tradeoff related to the thickness and nodularity. Cell attachment, growth and differentiation was poorer on the thicker, rougher samples, but thin, less nodular PEDOT films exhibited significant improvements over bare platinum. PEDOT/pTS fabricated with a charge density of <0.1Ccm(-2) provided superior electrochemical and biological properties over conventional platinum electrodes and would be the most suitable conducting polymer for neural interface applications.

  5. There Are Conscious and Unconscious Agendas in the Brain and Both Are Important—Our Will Can Be Conscious as Well as Unconscious

    PubMed Central

    Deecke, Lüder

    2012-01-01

    I have been asked to write a few words on consciousness in this editorial issue. My thoughts on consciousness will focus on the relation between consciousness and will. Consciousness is not an epiphenomenon as some people believe—it is not a psychological construct either. Consciousness is a brain function. With deeper thought it is even more than that—a brain state. Writing this, I am in a conscious state, I hope at least. In every day philosophy, a close connection of consciousness with will is ventured, and is expressed in the term “conscious free will”. However, this does not mean that our will is totally determined and not free, be it conscious or unconscious. Total determinists postulate total freedom from nature in order to speak of free will. Absolute freedom from nature is an a priori impossibility; there is no way to escape from nature. However, we have relative freedom, graded freedom, freedom in degrees, enabling us to make responsible decisions and be captains of our own destiny. We are not totally determined. We can upregulate our degrees of freedom by self-management or we can downregulate them by self-mismanagement. In the present communication consciousness and the unconscious are discussed in their various aspects and interactions. PMID:24961200

  6. Conscious and unconscious performance monitoring: Evidence from patients with schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Charles, Lucie; Gaillard, Raphaël; Amado, Isabelle; Krebs, Marie-Odile; Bendjemaa, Narjes; Dehaene, Stanislas

    2017-01-01

    The ability to detect our own errors is an essential component of action monitoring. Using a masking paradigm in normal adults, we recently discovered that some error-detection processes can proceed without awareness, while other markers of performance monitoring such as the Error-Related Negativity (ERN) are tightly linked to conscious perception. Interestingly, research on cognitive deficit in schizophrenia has shown that the ERN is altered in these patients. In the present study, we therefore tested if the error detection impairment in schizophrenia is specific to conscious perception or is also found under non-conscious conditions, probing whether these performance monitoring processes are truly distinct. Thirteen patients with schizophrenia and thirteen age-matched healthy control subjects performed a speeded number comparison task on masked stimuli while EEG and MEG signals were recorded. Conscious perception and error-detection were assessed on a trial-by-trial basis using subjective reports of visibility and confidence. We found that patients with schizophrenia presented altered cingulate error-detection responses in conscious trials, as reflected by a decreased ERN. By contrast, on unconscious trials, both controls and schizophrenia patients performed above chance in evaluating the likelihood of having made an error. This dissociation confirms the existence of two distinct performance monitoring systems, and suggests that conscious metacognition in schizophrenia is specifically altered while non-conscious performance monitoring remains preserved.

  7. Photons, clocks, and consciousness

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brainard, George C.; Hanifin, John P.

    2005-01-01

    Light profoundly impacts human consciousness through the stimulation of the visual system and powerfully regulates the human circadian system, which, in turn, has a broad regulatory impact on virtually all tissues in the body. For more than 25 years, the techniques of action spectroscopy have yielded insights into the wavelength sensitivity of circadian input in humans and other mammalian species. The seminal discovery of melanopsin, the photopigment in intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells, has provided a significant turning point for understanding human circadian phototransduction. Action spectra in humans show that the peak wavelength sensitivity for this newly discovered sensory system is within the blue portion of the spectrum. This is fundamentally different from the three-cone photopic visual system, as well as the individual rod and cone photoreceptor peaks. Studies on rodents, nonhuman primates, and humans indicate that despite having a different wavelength fingerprint, these classic visual photoreceptors still provide an element of input to the circadian system. These findings open the door to innovations in light therapy for circadian and affective disorders, as well as possible architectural light applications.

  8. A non-invasive method to relate the timing of neural activity to white matter microstructural integrity.

    PubMed

    Stufflebeam, Steven M; Witzel, Thomas; Mikulski, Szymon; Hämäläinen, Matti S; Temereanca, Simona; Barton, Jason J S; Tuch, David S; Manoach, Dara S

    2008-08-15

    The neurophysiological basis of variability in the latency of evoked neural responses has been of interest for decades. We describe a method to identify white matter pathways that may contribute to inter-individual variability in the timing of neural activity. We investigated the relation of the latency of peak visual responses in occipital cortex as measured by magnetoencephalography (MEG) to fractional anisotropy (FA) in the entire brain as measured with diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) in eight healthy young adults. This method makes no assumptions about the anatomy of white matter connections. Visual responses were evoked during a saccadic paradigm and were time-locked to arrival at a saccadic goal. The latency of the peak visual response was inversely related to FA in bilateral parietal and right lateral frontal white matter adjacent to cortical regions that modulate early visual responses. These relations suggest that biophysical properties of white matter affect the timing of early visual responses. This preliminary report demonstrates a non-invasive, unbiased method to relate the timing information from evoked-response experiments to the biophysical properties of white matter measured with DTI.

  9. A non-invasive method to relate the timing of neural activity to white matter microstructural integrity

    PubMed Central

    Stufflebeam, Steven M.; Witzel, Thomas; Mikulski, Szymon; Hämäläinen, Matti S.; Temereanca, Simona; Barton, Jason J. S.; Tuch, David S.; Manoach, Dara S.

    2008-01-01

    The neurophysiological basis of variability in the latency of evoked neural responses has been of interest for decades. We describe a method to identify white matter pathways that may contribute to inter-individual variability in the timing of neural activity. We investigated the relation of the latency of peak visual responses in occipital cortex as measured by magnetoencephalography (MEG) to fractional anisotropy (FA) in the entire brain as measured with diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) in eight healthy young adults. This method makes no assumptions about the anatomy of white matter connections. Visual responses were evoked during a saccadic paradigm and were time-locked to arrival at a saccadic goal. The latency of the peak visual response was inversely related to FA in bilateral parietal and right lateral frontal white matter adjacent to cortical regions that modulate early visual responses. These relations suggest that biophysical properties of white matter affect the timing of early visual responses. This preliminary report demonstrates a non-invasive, unbiased method to relate the timing information from evoked-response experiments to the biophysical properties of white matter measured with DTI. PMID:18565766

  10. How Much We Think of Ourselves and How Little We Think of Others: An Investigation of the Neuronal Signature of Self-Consciousness between Different Personality Traits through an Event-Related Potential Study

    PubMed Central

    Hassan, Auwal Bello; Begum, Tahamina; Reza, Mohammed Faruque; Yusoff, Nasir

    2016-01-01

    Background Previous studies have revealed that self-related tasks (items) receive more attention than non-self-related, and that they elicit event-related potential (ERP) components with larger amplitudes. Since personality has been reported as one of the biological correlates influencing these components, as well as our behavioural differences, it is important to examine how it affects our self-consciousness in relation to tasks of varied relevance and the neurological basis. Methods A total of 33 male and female undergraduate Malaysian medical students of Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) participated in the study. The participants were divided into two groups, Ambivert (n = 18) and Extravert (n = 15) groups, using the USM personality inventory questionnaire. In the ERP experiment, squares containing standard stimuli of any word other than self and non-self-related nouns (e.g., Bola, Gigi, Anak, etc.; in English: Ball, Teeth, Kids, etc., respectively), those containing self-related pronouns (Saya, Kami or Kita; in English: I, Us or We, respectively), and non-self-related pronouns (Dia, Anda or Mereka; in English: He/She, You or They, respectively), were shown 58%, 21% and 21% of the time, respectively, in a three-stimulus visual oddball paradigm. All words were presented in Bahasa Melayu. The participants were instructed to press 1 for self and 2 for non-self, and ignore standard stimuli. Results Comparison of both N200 and P300 amplitudes for self-related and non-self-related pronouns in the Extravert group revealed significant differences at seven electrode sites, with self-related having larger amplitude at anterior electrodes and less at posterior. This was not seen in the Ambivert group. Conclusion The present study suggests that self-relevant pronouns are psychologically more important to extraverts than to ambiverts; hence, they have more self-awareness. This may be due to large amount of dopamine in the brains of extraverts, which is more concentrated in

  11. Expanding Thinking Through Consciousness Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Roberts, Thomas B.

    1981-01-01

    By encouraging students to use their minds in new ways, consciousness education enhances awareness and creativity. Examples include using guided cognitive imagery to introduce new material and using dreams for introducing students to poetry. (Author/MLF)

  12. Conscious sedation for surgical procedures

    MedlinePlus

    Anesthesia - conscious ... have, what medicines you are taking, and what anesthesia or sedation you have had before. You may ... M. Intravenous anesthetics. In: Miller RD, ed. Miller's Anesthesia . 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2015:chap ...

  13. Consciousness and body image: lessons from phantom limbs, Capgras syndrome and pain asymbolia.

    PubMed Central

    Ramachandran, V S

    1998-01-01

    Words such as 'consciousness' and 'self' actually encompass a number of distinct phenomena that are loosely lumped together. The study of neurological syndromes allows us to explore the neural mechanisms that might underlie different aspects of self, such as body image and emotional responses to sensory stimuli, and perhaps even laughter and humour. Mapping the 'functional logic' of the many different attributes of human nature on to specific neural circuits in the brain offers the best hope of understanding how the activity of neurons gives rise to conscious experience. We consider three neurological syndromes (phantom limbs, Capgras delusion and pain asymbolia) to illustrate this idea. PMID:9854257

  14. Organization of the sleep-related neural systems in the brain of the minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata).

    PubMed

    Dell, Leigh-Anne; Karlsson, Karl Ae; Patzke, Nina; Spocter, Muhammad A; Siegel, Jerome M; Manger, Paul R

    2016-07-01

    The current study analyzed the nuclear organization of the neural systems related to the control and regulation of sleep and wake in the basal forebrain, diencephalon, midbrain, and pons of the minke whale, a mysticete cetacean. While odontocete cetaceans sleep in an unusual manner, with unihemispheric slow wave sleep (USWS) and suppressed REM sleep, it is unclear whether the mysticete whales show a similar sleep pattern. Previously, we detailed a range of features in the odontocete brain that appear to be related to odontocete-type sleep, and here present our analysis of these features in the minke whale brain. All neural elements involved in sleep regulation and control found in bihemispheric sleeping mammals and the harbor porpoise were present in the minke whale, with no specific nuclei being absent, and no novel nuclei being present. This qualitative similarity relates to the cholinergic, noradrenergic, serotonergic and orexinergic systems, and the GABAergic elements of these nuclei. Quantitative analysis revealed that the numbers of pontine cholinergic (274,242) and noradrenergic (203,686) neurons, and hypothalamic orexinergic neurons (277,604), are markedly higher than other large-brained bihemispheric sleeping mammals. Small telencephalic commissures (anterior, corpus callosum, and hippocampal), an enlarged posterior commissure, supernumerary pontine cholinergic and noradrenergic cells, and an enlarged peripheral division of the dorsal raphe nuclear complex of the minke whale, all indicate that the suite of neural characteristics thought to be involved in the control of USWS and the suppression of REM in the odontocete cetaceans are present in the minke whale. J. Comp. Neurol. 524:2018-2035, 2016. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  15. Four-Dimensional Graded Consciousness

    PubMed Central

    Jonkisz, Jakub; Wierzchoń, Michał; Binder, Marek

    2017-01-01

    Both the multidimensional phenomenon and the polysemous notion of consciousness continue to prove resistant to consistent measurement and unambiguous definition. This is hardly surprising, given that there is no agreement even as regards the most fundamental issues they involve. One of the basic disagreements present in the continuing debate about consciousness pertains to its gradational nature. The general aim of this article is to show how consciousness might be graded and multidimensional at the same time. We therefore focus on the question of what it is, exactly, that is or could be graded in cases of consciousness, and how we can measure it. Ultimately, four different gradable aspects of consciousness will be described: quality, abstractness, complexity and usefulness, which belong to four different dimensions, these being understood, respectively, as phenomenal, semantic, physiological, and functional. Consequently, consciousness may be said to vary with respect to phenomenal quality, semantic abstraction, physiological complexity, and functional usefulness. It is hoped that such a four-dimensional approach will help to clarify and justify claims about the hierarchical nature of consciousness. The approach also proves explanatorily advantageous, as it enables us not only to draw attention to certain new and important differences in respect of subjective measures of awareness and to justify how a given creature may be ranked higher in one dimension of consciousness and lower in terms of another, but also allows for innovative explanations of a variety of well-known phenomena (amongst these, the interpretations of blindsight and locked-in syndrome will be briefly outlined here). Moreover, a 4D framework makes possible many predictions and hypotheses that may be experimentally tested (We point out a few such possibilities pertaining to interdimensional dependencies). PMID:28377738

  16. Pure state consciousness and its local reduction to neuronal space

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duggins, A. J.

    2013-01-01

    The single neuronal state can be represented as a vector in a complex space, spanned by an orthonormal basis of integer spike counts. In this model a scalar element of experience is associated with the instantaneous firing rate of a single sensory neuron over repeated stimulus presentations. Here the model is extended to composite neural systems that are tensor products of single neuronal vector spaces. Depiction of the mental state as a vector on this tensor product space is intended to capture the unity of consciousness. The density operator is introduced as its local reduction to the single neuron level, from which the firing rate can again be derived as the objective correlate of a subjective element. However, the relational structure of perceptual experience only emerges when the non-local mental state is considered. A metric of phenomenal proximity between neuronal elements of experience is proposed, based on the cross-correlation function of neurophysiology, but constrained by the association of theoretical extremes of correlation/anticorrelation in inseparable 2-neuron states with identical and opponent elements respectively.

  17. Consciousness about own and others' affects: a study of the validity of a revised version of the Affect Consciousness Interview.

    PubMed

    Lech, Börje; Andersson, Gerhard; Holmqvist, Rolf

    2008-12-01

    This study presents a modified version of the affect consciousness interview (Monsen, Eilertsen, Melgård & Odegård, 1996), intended to capture the individual's affective consciousness. The aim of the modified version - The Affect Consciousness Interview - Revised (ACI-R) - is to measure consciousness about own and others' affects. Three groups of patients (with eating disorder, relational and social problems or stress-related problems), and one non-clinical group were included in the study (N= 95). The results indicated that it was possible to achieve adequate interrater reliability, that the scores correlated meaningfully with other measures of mental functioning, and that the interview discriminated between different clinical groups and non-clinical participants. In conclusion, the results of this study suggest that the ACI-R is a promising instrument and that it should be explored further in order to study the organization of self-experiences and the ability to be emotionally present in interactions with others.

  18. Social Consciousness, Education and Transformative Activity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pavlidis, Periklis

    2015-01-01

    This paper examines two aspects of social consciousness: consciousness in the sense of knowledge of the objective reality and consciousness in the sense of awareness of oneself as a subject in his/her social ties with other persons-subjects. In the light of such an approach to consciousness in this essay we discuss the importance of education and…

  19. Consciousness, Psychology, and Education: A Speculative Essay.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    1980

    This monograph explores implications of the psychology of consciousness for education. The psychology of consciousness encompasses the relationships among behavior, experience, and states of consciousness. It is interpreted to include different states of consciousness, paranormal phenomena, mystical experiences, dreams, psychic healing, and other…

  20. Individual differences in attentional bias associated with cocaine dependence are related to varying engagement of neural processing networks.

    PubMed

    Kilts, Clint D; Kennedy, Ashley; Elton, Amanda L; Tripathi, Shanti Prakash; Young, Jonathan; Cisler, Josh M; James, G Andrew

    2014-04-01

    Cocaine and other drug dependencies are associated with significant attentional bias for drug use stimuli that represents a candidate cognitive marker of drug dependence and treatment outcomes. We explored, using fMRI, the role of discrete neural processing networks in the representation of individual differences in the drug attentional bias effect associated with cocaine dependence (AB-coc) using a word counting Stroop task with personalized cocaine use stimuli (cocStroop). The cocStroop behavioral and neural responses were further compared with those associated with a negative emotional word Stroop task (eStroop) and a neutral word counting Stroop task (cStroop). Brain-behavior correlations were explored using both network-level correlation analysis following independent component analysis (ICA) and voxel-level, brain-wide univariate correlation analysis. Variation in the attentional bias effect for cocaine use stimuli among cocaine-dependent men and women was related to the recruitment of two separate neural processing networks related to stimulus attention and salience attribution (inferior frontal-parietal-ventral insula), and the processing of the negative affective properties of cocaine stimuli (frontal-temporal-cingulate). Recruitment of a sensory-motor-dorsal insula network was negatively correlated with AB-coc and suggested a regulatory role related to the sensorimotor processing of cocaine stimuli. The attentional bias effect for cocaine stimuli and for negative affective word stimuli were significantly correlated across individuals, and both were correlated with the activity of the frontal-temporal-cingulate network. Functional connectivity for a single prefrontal-striatal-occipital network correlated with variation in general cognitive control (cStroop) that was unrelated to behavioral or neural network correlates of cocStroop- or eStroop-related attentional bias. A brain-wide mass univariate analysis demonstrated the significant correlation of

  1. Subjective and physical dimensions of bodily self-consciousness, and their dis-integration in anorexia nervosa.

    PubMed

    Legrand, Dorothée

    2010-02-01

    The present investigation concerns the multidimensionality of self-consciousness. I will specifically address this general issue by focusing on bodily self-consciousness and by considering how one is conscious of one's body through consciousness of both its physicality and its subjectivity. Here, physicality is defined as the belongingness to the physical world; subjectivity is defined as the fact of being a subject of conscious experience. Once subjectivity and physicality are differentiated from each other, the difficulty is to clarify the integration of these dimensions of bodily self-consciousness into a single experience of one's body: how does the consciousness of one's body integrate one's consciousness of one's body-as-subjective and one's consciousness of one's body-as-physical? In this investigation, I describe different forms of bodily self-consciousness in ways that shed light on the intermingling of subjectivity and physicality. I argue that being conscious of one's body-as-subjective involves experiencing one's belongingness to the physical world; conversely, being conscious of one's body-as-physical involves experiencing it as one's own; either way, such forms of bodily self-consciousness involve experiencing both the subjectivity and the physicality of one's body. The hypothesis here is that the imbalance of these dimensions relative to each other would be pathological. I will thus underline the normal multidimensionality of bodily self-consciousness by considering its pathological breakdown as it happens in anorexia nervosa.

  2. The neural network for tool-related cognition: An activation likelihood estimation meta-analysis of 70 neuroimaging contrasts

    PubMed Central

    Ishibashi, Ryo; Pobric, Gorana; Saito, Satoru; Lambon Ralph, Matthew A.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT The ability to recognize and use a variety of tools is an intriguing human cognitive function. Multiple neuroimaging studies have investigated neural activations with various types of tool-related tasks. In the present paper, we reviewed tool-related neural activations reported in 70 contrasts from 56 neuroimaging studies and performed a series of activation likelihood estimation (ALE) meta-analyses to identify tool-related cortical circuits dedicated either to general tool knowledge or to task-specific processes. The results indicate the following: (a) Common, task-general processing regions for tools are located in the left inferior parietal lobule (IPL) and ventral premotor cortex; and (b) task-specific regions are located in superior parietal lobule (SPL) and dorsal premotor area for imagining/executing actions with tools and in bilateral occipito-temporal cortex for recognizing/naming tools. The roles of these regions in task-general and task-specific activities are discussed with reference to evidence from neuropsychology, experimental psychology and other neuroimaging studies. PMID:27362967

  3. Integrating Events Across Levels of Consciousness

    PubMed Central

    Henke, Katharina; Reber, Thomas P.; Duss, Simone B.

    2013-01-01

    Our knowledge grows as we integrate events experienced at different points in time. We may or may not become aware of events, their integration, and their impact on our knowledge and decisions. But can we mentally integrate two events, if they are experienced at different time points and at different levels of consciousness? In this study, an event consisted of the presentation of two unrelated words. In the stream of events, half of events shared one component (“tree desk” … “desk fish”) to facilitate event integration. We manipulated the amount of time and trials that separated two corresponding events. The contents of one event were presented subliminally (invisible) and the contents of the corresponding overlapping event supraliminally (visible). Hence, event integration required the binding of contents between consciousness levels and between time points. At the final test of integration, participants judged whether two supraliminal test words (“tree fish”) fit together semantically or not. Unbeknown to participants, half of test words were episodically related through an overlap (“desk”; experimental condition) and half were not (control condition). Participants judged episodically related test words to be closer semantically than unrelated test words. This subjective decrease in the semantic distance between test words was both independent of whether the invisible event was encoded first or second in order and independent of the number of trials and the time that separated two corresponding events. Hence, conscious and unconscious memories were mentally integrated into a linked mnemonic representation. PMID:23785318

  4. Winning territorial disputes selectively enhances androgen sensitivity in neural pathways related to motivation and social aggression.

    PubMed

    Fuxjager, Matthew J; Forbes-Lorman, Robin M; Coss, Dylan J; Auger, Catherine J; Auger, Anthony P; Marler, Catherine A

    2010-07-06

    Winning aggressive disputes can enhance future fighting ability and the desire to seek out additional contests. In some instances, these effects are long lasting and vary in response to the physical location of a fight. Thus, in principle, winning aggressive encounters may cause long-term and context-dependent changes to brain areas that control the output of antagonistic behavior or the motivation to fight (or both). We examined this issue in the territorial California mouse (Peromyscus californicus) because males of this species are more likely to win fights after accruing victories in their home territory but not after accruing victories in unfamiliar locations. Using immunocytochemistry and real-time quantitative PCR, we found that winning fights either at home or away increases the expression of androgen receptors (AR) in the medial anterior bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, a key brain area that controls social aggression. We also found that AR expression in brain regions that mediate motivation and reward, nucleus accumbens (NAcc) and ventral tegmental area (VTA), increases only in response to fights in the home territory. These effects of winning were likely exclusive to the neural androgenic system because they have no detectible impact on the expression of progestin receptors. Finally, we demonstrated that the observed changes in androgen sensitivity in the NAcc and VTA are positively associated with the ability to win aggressive contests. Thus, winning fights can change brain phenotype in a manner that likely promotes future victory and possibly primes neural circuits that motivate individuals to fight.

  5. Toutatis, a TIP5-related protein, positively regulates Pannier function during Drosophila neural development.

    PubMed

    Vanolst, Luc; Fromental-Ramain, Catherine; Ramain, Philippe

    2005-10-01

    The GATA factor Pannier (Pnr) activates proneural expression through binding to a remote enhancer of the achaete-scute (ac-sc) complex. Chip associates both with Pnr and with the (Ac-Sc)-Daughterless heterodimer bound to the ac-sc promoters to give a proneural complex that facilitates enhancer-promoter communication during development. Using a yeast two-hybrid screening, we have identified Toutatis (Tou), which physically interacts with both Pnr and Chip. Loss-of-function and gain-of-function experiments indicate that Tou cooperates with Pnr and Chip during neural development. Tou shares functional domains with chromatin remodelling proteins, including TIP5 (termination factor TTFI-interacting protein 5) of NoRC (nucleolar remodelling complex), which mediates repression of RNA polymerase 1 transcription. In contrast, Tou acts positively to activate proneural gene expression. Moreover, we show that Iswi associates with Tou, Pnr and Chip, and is also required during Pnr-driven neural development. The results suggest that Tou and Iswi may belong to a complex that directly regulates the activity of Pnr and Chip during enhancer-promoter communication, possibly through chromatin remodelling.

  6. Role of right pregenual anterior cingulate cortex in self-conscious emotional reactivity

    PubMed Central

    Sollberger, Marc; Seeley, William W.; Rankin, Katherine P.; Ascher, Elizabeth A.; Rosen, Howard J.; Miller, Bruce L.; Levenson, Robert W.

    2013-01-01

    Self-conscious emotions such as embarrassment arise when one’s actions fail to meet salient social expectations and are accompanied by marked physiological and behavioral activation. We investigated the neural correlates of self-conscious emotional reactivity in 27 patients with behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD), a neurodegenerative disease that disrupts self-conscious emotion and targets brain regions critical for emotional functioning early in the disease course, and in 33 healthy older controls. Subjects participated in an embarrassing karaoke task in which they watched a video clip of themselves singing. They also watched a sad film clip; these data were used to control for non-self-conscious emotional reactivity in response to audiovisual stimuli. Using Freesurfer to quantify regional brain volumes from structural magnetic resonance imaging, right pregenual anterior cingulate cortex (pACC) gray matter volume was the only brain region that was a significant predictor of self-conscious emotion. Smaller pACC volume was associated with attenuated physiological and behavioral self-conscious emotional reactivity, and this relationship was not specific to diagnosis. We argue that these results reflect the significant role that right pACC plays in the visceromotor responding that accompanies self-conscious emotion and that neurodegeneration in this region may underlie the self-conscious emotional decline seen in bvFTD. PMID:22345371

  7. Abnormal Medial Prefrontal Cortex Activity in Heavy Cannabis Users During Conscious Emotional Evaluation

    PubMed Central

    Lile, Joshua A.; Hanlon, Colleen A.; Porrino, Linda J.

    2015-01-01

    Rationale Long-term heavy cannabis users (cannabis users) who are not acutely intoxicated have diminished subconscious neural responsiveness to affective stimuli. Objective This study sought to determine if abnormal processing extends to the conscious evaluation of emotional stimuli. Methods Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) was used to examine brain activity as cannabis users (N=16) and non-cannabis using controls (N=17) evaluated and categorized standardized International Affective Picture System (IAPS) stimuli. Individual judgments were used to isolate activity during the evaluation of emotional (i.e., emotional evaluation) or neutral (i.e., neutral evaluation) stimuli. Within- and between-group analyses were performed. Results Both groups judged the same stimuli as emotional and had activations in visual, midbrain, and middle cingulate cortices during emotional evaluation, relative to neutral. Within-group analyses also revealed amygdalar and inferior frontal gyrus activations in controls, but not cannabis users, and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) deactivations in cannabis users, but not controls, during emotional evaluation, relative to neutral. Between-group comparisons found that mPFC activity during positive and negative evaluation was significantly hypoactive in cannabis users, relative to controls. Conclusions Abnormal neural processing of affective content extends to the level of consciousness in cannabis users. The hypoactive mPFC responses observed resembles the attenuated mPFC responses found during increased non-affective cognitive load in prior research. These findings suggest that abnormal mPFC singling in cannabis users during emotional evaluation might be associated with increased non-affective cognitive load. PMID:26690589

  8. Coexistence of OSA may compensate for sleep related reduction in neural respiratory drive in patients with COPD

    PubMed Central

    He, Bai-Ting; Lu, Gan; Xiao, Si-Chang; Chen, Rui; Steier, Joerg; Moxham, John; Polkey, Michael I; Luo, Yuan-Ming

    2017-01-01

    Background The mechanisms underlying sleep-related hypoventilation in patients with coexisting COPD and obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA), an overlap syndrome, are incompletely understood. We compared neural respiratory drive expressed as diaphragm electromyogram (EMGdi) and ventilation during stage 2 sleep in patients with COPD alone and patients with overlap syndrome. Methods EMGdi and airflow were recorded during full polysomnography in 14 healthy subjects, 14 patients with OSA and 39 consecutive patients with COPD. The ratio of tidal volume to EMGdi was measured to indirectly assess upper airway resistance. Results Thirty-five patients with COPD, 12 healthy subjects and 14 patients with OSA completed the study. Of 35 patients with COPD, 19 had COPD alone (FEV1 38.5%±16.3%) whereas 16 had an overlap syndrome (FEV1 47.5±16.2%, AHI 20.5±14.1 events/hour). Ventilation (VE) was lower during stage 2 sleep than wakefulness in both patients with COPD alone (8.6±2.0 to 6.5±1.5 L/min, p<0.001) and those with overlap syndrome (8.3±2.0 to 6.1±1.8 L/min). Neural respiratory drive from wakefulness to sleep decreased significantly for patients with COPD alone (29.5±13.3% to 23.0±8.9% of maximal, p<0.01) but it changed little in those with overlap syndrome. The ratio of tidal volume to EMGdi was unchanged from wakefulness to sleep in patients with COPD alone and healthy subjects but was significantly reduced in patients with OSA or overlap syndrome (p<0.05). Conclusions Stage 2 sleep-related hypoventilation in COPD alone is due to reduction of neural respiratory drive, but in overlap syndrome it is due to increased upper airway resistance. PMID:27807016

  9. Consciousness of Unification: The Mind-Matter Phallacy Bites the Dust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beichler, James E.

    A complete theoretical model of how consciousness arises in neural nets can be developed based on a mixed quantum/classical basis. Both mind and consciousness are multi-leveled scalar and vector electromagnetic complexity patterns, respectively, which emerge within all living organisms through the process of evolution. Like life, the mind and consciousness patterns extend throughout living organisms (bodies), but the neural nets and higher level groupings that distinguish higher levels of consciousness only exist in the brain so mind and consciousness have been traditionally associated with the brain alone. A close study of neurons and neural nets in the brain shows that the microtubules within axons are classical bio-magnetic inductors that emit and absorb electromagnetic pulses from each other. These pulses establish interference patterns that influence the quantized vector potential patterns of interstitial water molecules within the neurons as well as create the coherence within neurons and neural nets that scientists normally associate with more complex memories, thought processes and streams of thought. Memory storage and recall are guided by the microtubules and the actual memory patterns are stored as magnetic vector potential complexity patterns in the points of space at the quantum level occupied by the water molecules. This model also accounts for the plasticity of the brain and implies that mind and consciousness, like life itself, are the result of evolutionary processes. However, consciousness can evolve independent of an organism's birth genetics once it has evolved by normal bottom-up genetic processes and thus force a new type of top-down evolution on living organisms and species as a whole that can be explained by expanding the laws of thermodynamics to include orderly systems.

  10. [Loneliness and self-consciousness in high-school students].

    PubMed

    Moroi, K

    1985-10-01

    To examine relationships between loneliness and various aspects of self-consciousness in high-school students, UCLA Loneliness Scale (Russell, Peplau, & Cutrona, 1980), Self-Esteem Scale (Rosenberg, 1979), Self-Consciousness Scale (Fenigstein, Scheier, & Buss, 1975), Self-Monitoring Scale (Synder, 1974), and a High-School Life Questionnaire were administered to the first grade students in a high school (N = 182). Loneliness (alpha = .885), higher for males than for females, was significantly correlated with various aspects of their high-school lives. Loneliness was negatively correlated with self-esteem and self-monitoring, and was positively correlated with social anxiety. Only for males, a positive correlation was obtained between loneliness and private self-consciousness. Discriminant analysis and other correlational analyses also suggested that loneliness in males was related to various aspects of self-consciousness.

  11. Artificial consciousness and the consciousness-attention dissociation.

    PubMed

    Haladjian, Harry Haroutioun; Montemayor, Carlos

    2016-10-01

    Artificial Intelligence is at a turning point, with a substantial increase in projects aiming to implement sophisticated forms of human intelligence in machines. This research attempts to model specific forms of intelligence through brute-force search heuristics and also reproduce features of human perception and cognition, including emotions. Such goals have implications for artificial consciousness, with some arguing that it will be achievable once we overcome short-term engineering challenges. We believe, however, that phenomenal consciousness cannot be implemented in machines. This becomes clear when considering emotions and examining the dissociation between consciousness and attention in humans. While we may be able to program ethical behavior based on rules and machine learning, we will never be able to reproduce emotions or empathy by programming such control systems-these will be merely simulations. Arguments in favor of this claim include considerations about evolution, the neuropsychological aspects of emotions, and the dissociation between attention and consciousness found in humans. Ultimately, we are far from achieving artificial consciousness.

  12. Towards the routine use of brain imaging to aid the clinical diagnosis of disorders of consciousness.

    PubMed

    Coleman, M R; Davis, M H; Rodd, J M; Robson, T; Ali, A; Owen, A M; Pickard, J D

    2009-09-01

    Clinical audits have highlighted the many challenges and dilemmas faced by clinicians assessing persons with disorders of consciousness (vegetative state and minimally conscious state). The diagnostic decision-making process is highly subjective, dependent upon the skills of the examiner and invariably dictated by the patients' ability to move or speak. Whilst a considerable amount has been learnt since Jennett and Plum coined the term 'vegetative state', the assessment process remains largely unchanged; conducted at the bedside, using behavioural assessment tools, which are susceptible to environmental and physiological factors. This has created a situation where the rate of misdiagnosis is unacceptably high (up to 43%). In order to address these problems, various functional brain imaging paradigms, which do not rely upon the patient's ability to move or speak, have been proposed as a source of additional information to inform the diagnostic decision making process. Although accumulated evidence from brain imaging, particularly functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), has been encouraging, the empirical evidence is still based on relatively small numbers of patients. It remains unclear whether brain imaging is capable of informing the diagnosis beyond the behavioural assessment and whether brain imaging has any prognostic utility. In this study, we describe the functional brain imaging findings from a group of 41 patients with disorders of consciousness, who undertook a hierarchical speech processing task. We found, contrary to the clinical impression of a specialist team using behavioural assessment tools, that two patients referred to the study with a diagnosis of vegetative state did in fact demonstrate neural correlates of speech comprehension when assessed using functional brain imaging. These fMRI findings were found to have no association with the patient's behavioural presentation at the time of investigation and thus provided additional diagnostic

  13. Paradox in AI - AI 2.0: The Way to Machine Consciousness

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Palensky, Peter; Bruckner, Dietmar; Tmej, Anna; Deutsch, Tobias

    Artificial Intelligence, the big promise of the last millennium, has apparently made its way into our daily lives. Cell phones with speech control, evolutionary computing in data mining or power grids, optimized via neural network, show its applicability in industrial environments. The original expectation of true intelligence and thinking machines lies still ahead of us. Researchers are, however, optimistic as never before. This paper tries to compare the views, challenges and approaches of several disciplines: engineering, psychology, neuroscience, philosophy. It gives a short introduction to Psychoanalysis, discusses the term consciousness, social implications of intelligent machines, related theories, and expectations and shall serve as a starting point for first attempts of combining these diverse thoughts.

  14. A Shortest Dependency Path Based Convolutional Neural Network for Protein-Protein Relation Extraction

    PubMed Central

    Quan, Chanqin

    2016-01-01

    The state-of-the-art methods for protein-protein interaction (PPI) extraction are primarily based on kernel methods, and their performances strongly depend on the handcraft features. In this paper, we tackle PPI extraction by using convolutional neural networks (CNN) and propose a shortest dependency path based CNN (sdpCNN) model. The proposed method (1) only takes the sdp and word embedding as input and (2) could avoid bias from feature selection by using CNN. We performed experiments on standard Aimed and BioInfer datasets, and the experimental results demonstrated that our approach outperformed state-of-the-art kernel based methods. In particular, by tracking the sdpCNN model, we find that sdpCNN could extract key features automatically and it is verified that pretrained word embedding is crucial in PPI task. PMID:27493967

  15. Repetition-Related Reductions in Neural Activity during Emotional Simulations of Future Events

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Simulations of future experiences are often emotionally arousing, and the tendency to repeatedly simulate negative future outcomes has been identified as a predictor of the onset of symptoms of anxiety. Nonetheless, next to nothing is known about how the healthy human brain processes repeated simulations of emotional future events. In this study, we present a paradigm that can be used to study repeated simulations of the emotional future in a manner that overcomes phenomenological confounds between positive and negative events. The results show that pulvinar nucleus and orbitofrontal cortex respectively demonstrate selective reductions in neural activity in response to frequently as compared to infrequently repeated simulations of negative and positive future events. Implications for research on repeated simulations of the emotional future in both non-clinical and clinical populations are discussed. PMID:26390294

  16. What Explains Consciousness? Or…What Consciousness Explains?

    PubMed Central

    Dulany, Donelson E.

    2014-01-01

    In this invited commentary I focus on the topic addressed in three papers: De Sousa's (2013[1617]) Toward an Integrative Theory of Consciousness, a monograph with Parts 1 & 2, as well as commentaries by Pereira (2013a[59]) and Hirstein (2013[42]). All three are impressively scholarly and can stand—and shout—on their own. But theory of consciousness? My aim is to slice that topic into the two fundamentally different kinds of theories of consciousness, say what appears to be an ideology, out of behaviourism into cognitivism, now also influencing the quest for an “explanation of consciousness” in cognitive neuroscience. I will then say what can be expected given what we know of the complexity of brain structure, the richness of a conscious “vocabulary”, and current technological limits of brain imaging. This will then turn to the strategy for examining “what consciousness explains”—metatheory, theories, mappings, and a methodology of competitive support, a methodology especially important where there are competing commitments. There are also increasingly common identifications of methodological bias in, along with failures to replicate, studies reporting unconscious controls in decision, social priming—as there have been in perception, learning, problem solving, etc. The literature critique has provided evidence taken as reducing, and in some cases eliminating, a role for conscious controls—a position consistent with that ideology out of behaviourism into cognitivism. It is an ideological position that fails to recognize the fundamental distinction between theoretical and metaphysical assertions. PMID:24891796

  17. Cognitively Inspired Neural Network for Situation Recognition

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-01-14

    Neurodynamics of Higher-Level Cognition and Consciousness, Eds. Perlovsky, 1.I., Kozma, R. Springer Verlag, Heidelberg, Germany. Perlovsky, L.I., Deming...Perlovsky L. I., Kozma R. (2007) Eds. Neurodynamics of Higher-Level Cognition and Consciousness. Heidelberg, Germany: Springer-Verlag. Perlovsky, L.1...AFRL-RY -HS-TR-20 10-0028 Cognitively Inspired Neural Network for Situation Recognition Roman Ilin and Leonid Perlovsky AFRURYHE 80 Scott Drive

  18. Consciousness: here, there and everywhere?

    PubMed

    Tononi, Giulio; Koch, Christof

    2015-05-19

    The science of consciousness has made great strides by focusing on the behavioural and neuronal correlates of experience. However, while such correlates are important for progress to occur, they are not enough if we are to understand even basic facts, for example, why the cerebral cortex gives rise to consciousness but the cerebellum does not, though it has even more neurons and appears to be just as complicated. Moreover, correlates are of little help in many instances where we would like to know if consciousness is present: patients with a few remaining islands of functioning cortex, preterm infants, non-mammalian species and machines that are rapidly outperforming people at driving, recognizing faces and objects, and answering difficult questions. To address these issues, we need not only more data but also a theory of consciousness-one that says what experience is and what type of physical systems can have it. Integrated information theory (IIT) does so by starting from experience itself via five phenomenological axioms: intrinsic existence, composition, information, integration and exclusion. From these it derives five postulates about the properties required of physical mechanisms to support consciousness. The theory provides a principled account of both the quantity and the quality of an individual experience (a quale), and a calculus to evaluate whether or not a particular physical system is conscious and of what. Moreover, IIT can explain a range of clinical and laboratory findings, makes a number of testable predictions and extrapolates to a number of problematic conditions. The theory holds that consciousness is a fundamental property possessed by physical systems having specific causal properties. It predicts that consciousness is graded, is common among biological organisms and can occur in some very simple systems. Conversely, it predicts that feed-forward networks, even complex ones, are not conscious, nor are aggregates such as groups of individuals

  19. Consciousness, biology and quantum hypotheses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baars, Bernard J.; Edelman, David B.

    2012-09-01

    Natural phenomena are reducible to quantum events in principle, but quantum mechanics does not always provide the best level of analysis. The many-body problem, chaotic avalanches, materia