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Sample records for consciousness related neural

  1. Consciousness related neural events viewed as brain state space transitions

    PubMed Central

    2008-01-01

    This theoretical and speculative essay addresses a categorical distinction between neural events of sensory-motor cognition and those presumably associated with consciousness. It proposes to view this distinction in the framework of the branch of Statistical Physics currently referred to as Modern Critical Theory (Stanley, Introduction to phase transitions and critical phenomena, 1987; Marro and Dickman, Nonequilibrium phase transitions in lattice, 1999). Based on established landmarks of brain dynamics, network configurations and their role for conveying oscillatory activity of certain frequencies bands, the question is examined: what kind of state space transitions can systems with these properties undergo, and could the relation between neural processes of sensory-motor cognition and those of events in consciousness be of the same category as is characterized by state transitions in non-equilibrium physical systems? Approaches for empirical validation of this view by suitably designed brain imaging studies, and for computational simulations of the proposed principle are discussed. PMID:19003465

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. How are different neural networks related to consciousness?

    PubMed

    Qin, Pengmin; Wu, Xuehai; Huang, Zirui; Duncan, Niall W; Tang, Weijun; Wolff, Annemarie; Hu, Jin; Gao, Liang; Jin, Yi; Wu, Xing; Zhang, Jianfeng; Lu, Lu; Wu, Chunping; Qu, Xiaoying; Mao, Ying; Weng, Xuchu; Zhang, Jun; Northoff, Georg

    2015-10-01

    We aimed to investigate the roles of different resting-state networks in predicting both the actual level of consciousness and its recovery in brain injury patients. We investigated resting-state functional connectivity within different networks in patients with varying levels of consciousness: unresponsive wakefulness syndrome (UWS; n = 56), minimally conscious state (MCS; n = 29), and patients with brain lesions but full consciousness (BL; n = 48). Considering the actual level of consciousness, we compared the strength of network connectivity among the patient groups. We then checked the presence of connections between specific regions in individual patients and calculated the frequency of this in the different patient groups. Considering the recovery of consciousness, we split the UWS group into 2 subgroups according to recovery: those who emerged from UWS (UWS-E) and those who remained in UWS (UWS-R). The above analyses were repeated on these 2 subgroups. Functional connectivity strength in salience network (SN), especially connectivity between the supragenual anterior cingulate cortex (SACC) and left anterior insula (LAI), was reduced in the unconscious state (UWS) compared to the conscious state (MCS and BL). Moreover, at the individual level, SACC-LAI connectivity was more present in MCS than in UWS. Default-mode network (DMN) connectivity strength, especially between the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) and left lateral parietal cortex (LLPC), was reduced in UWS-R compared with UWS-E. Furthermore, PCC-LLPC connectivity was more present in UWS-E than in UWS-R. Our findings show that SN (SACC-LAI) connectivity correlates with behavioral signs of consciousness, whereas DMN (PCC-LLPC) connectivity instead predicts recovery of consciousness. © 2015 American Neurological Association.

  5. 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."

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Neural Correlates of Ongoing Conscious Experience: Both Task-Unrelatedness and Stimulus-Independence Are Related to Default Network Activity

    PubMed Central

    Stawarczyk, David; Majerus, Steve; Maquet, Pierre; D'Argembeau, Arnaud

    2011-01-01

    The default mode network (DMN) is a set of brain regions that consistently shows higher activity at rest compared to tasks requiring sustained focused attention toward externally presented stimuli. The cognitive processes that the DMN possibly underlies remain a matter of debate. It has alternately been proposed that DMN activity reflects unfocused attention toward external stimuli or the occurrence of internally generated thoughts. The present study aimed at clarifying this issue by investigating the neural correlates of the various kinds of conscious experiences that can occur during task performance. Four classes of conscious experiences (i.e., being fully focused on the task, distractions by irrelevant sensations/perceptions, interfering thoughts related to the appraisal of the task, and mind-wandering) that varied along two dimensions (“task-relatedness” and “stimulus-dependency”) were sampled using thought-probes while the participants performed a go/no-go task. Analyses performed on the intervals preceding each probe according to the reported subjective experience revealed that both dimensions are relevant to explain activity in several regions of the DMN, namely the medial prefrontal cortex, posterior cingulate cortex/precuneus, and posterior inferior parietal lobe. Notably, an additive effect of the two dimensions was demonstrated for midline DMN regions. On the other hand, lateral temporal regions (also part of the DMN) were specifically related to stimulus-independent reports. These results suggest that midline DMN regions underlie cognitive processes that are active during both internal thoughts and external unfocused attention. They also strengthen the view that the DMN can be fractionated into different subcomponents and reveal the necessity to consider both the stimulus-dependent and the task-related dimensions of conscious experiences when studying the possible functional roles of the DMN. PMID:21347270

  10. Using brain stimulation to disentangle neural correlates of conscious vision

    PubMed Central

    de Graaf, Tom A.; Sack, Alexander T.

    2014-01-01

    Research into the neural correlates of consciousness (NCCs) has blossomed, due to the advent of new and increasingly sophisticated brain research tools. Neuroimaging has uncovered a variety of brain processes that relate to conscious perception, obtained in a range of experimental paradigms. But methods such as functional magnetic resonance imaging or electroencephalography do not always afford inference on the functional role these brain processes play in conscious vision. Such empirical NCCs could reflect neural prerequisites, neural consequences, or neural substrates of a conscious experience. Here, we take a closer look at the use of non-invasive brain stimulation (NIBS) techniques in this context. We discuss and review how NIBS methodology can enlighten our understanding of brain mechanisms underlying conscious vision by disentangling the empirical NCCs. PMID:25295015

  11. A hybrid neural network model for consciousness.

    PubMed

    Lin, Jie; Jin, Xiao-gang; Yang, Jian-gang

    2004-11-01

    A new framework for consciousness is introduced based upon traditional artificial neural network models. This framework reflects explicit connections between two parts of the brain: one global working memory and distributed modular cerebral networks relating to specific brain functions. Accordingly this framework is composed of three layers, physical mnemonic layer and abstract thinking layer, which cooperate together through a recognition layer to accomplish information storage and cognition using algorithms of how these interactions contribute to consciousness: (1) the reception process whereby cerebral subsystems group distributed signals into coherent object patterns; (2) the partial recognition process whereby patterns from particular subsystems are compared or stored as knowledge; and (3) the resonant learning process whereby global workspace stably adjusts its structure to adapt to patterns' changes. Using this framework, various sorts of human actions can be explained, leading to a general approach for analyzing brain functions.

  12. Towards a true neural stance on consciousness.

    PubMed

    Lamme, Victor A F

    2006-11-01

    Consciousness is traditionally defined in mental or psychological terms. In trying to find its neural basis, introspective or behavioral observations are considered the gold standard, to which neural measures should be fitted. I argue that this poses serious problems for understanding the mind-brain relationship. To solve these problems, neural and behavioral measures should be put on an equal footing. I illustrate this by an example from visual neuroscience, in which both neural and behavioral arguments converge towards a coherent scientific definition of visual consciousness. However, to accept this definition, we need to let go of our intuitive or psychological notions of conscious experience and let the neuroscience arguments have their way. Only by moving our notion of mind towards that of brain can progress be made.

  13. 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.

  14. "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…

  15. "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…

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Consciousness.

    PubMed

    Zeman, A

    2001-07-01

    Consciousness is topical, for reasons including its renewed respectability among psychologists, rapid progress in the neuroscience of perception, memory and action, advances in artificial intelligence and dissatisfaction with the dualistic separation of mind and body. Consciousness is an ambiguous term. It can refer to (i) the waking state; (ii) experience; and (iii) the possession of any mental state. Self-consciousness is equally ambiguous, with senses including (i) proneness to embarrassment in social settings; (ii) the ability to detect our own sensations and recall our recent actions; (iii) self-recognition; (iv) the awareness of awareness; and (v) self-knowledge in the broadest sense. The understanding of states of consciousness has been transformed by the delineation of their electrical correlates, of structures in brainstem and diencephalon which regulate the sleep-wake cycle, and of these structures' cellular physiology and regional pharmacology. Clinical studies have defined pathologies of wakefulness: coma, the persistent vegetative state, the 'locked-in' syndrome, akinetic mutism and brain death. Interest in the neural basis of perceptual awareness has focused on vision. Increasingly detailed neuronal correlates of real and illusory visual experience are being defined. Experiments exploiting circumstances in which visual experience changes while external stimulation is held constant are tightening the experimental link between consciousness and its neural correlates. Work on unconscious neural processes provides a complementary approach. 'Unperceived' stimuli have detectable effects on neural events and subsequent action in a range of circumstances: blindsight provides the classical example. Other areas of cognitive neuroscience also promise experimental insights into consciousness, in particular the distinctions between implicit and explicit memory and deliberate and automatic action. Overarching scientific theories of consciousness include

  19. On the Neural Mechanisms Subserving Consciousness and Attention

    PubMed Central

    Tallon-Baudry, Catherine

    2012-01-01

    Consciousness, as described in the experimental literature, is a multi-faceted phenomenon, that impinges on other well-studied concepts such as attention and control. Do consciousness and attention refer to different aspects of the same core phenomenon, or do they correspond to distinct functions? One possibility to address this question is to examine the neural mechanisms underlying consciousness and attention. If consciousness and attention pertain to the same concept, they should rely on shared neural mechanisms. Conversely, if their underlying mechanisms are distinct, then consciousness and attention should be considered as distinct entities. This paper therefore reviews neurophysiological facts arguing in favor or against a tight relationship between consciousness and attention. Three neural mechanisms that have been associated with both attention and consciousness are examined (neural amplification, involvement of the fronto-parietal network, and oscillatory synchrony), to conclude that the commonalities between attention and consciousness at the neural level may have been overestimated. Last but not least, experiments in which both attention and consciousness were probed at the neural level point toward a dissociation between the two concepts. It therefore appears from this review that consciousness and attention rely on distinct neural properties, although they can interact at the behavioral level. It is proposed that a “cumulative influence model,” in which attention and consciousness correspond to distinct neural mechanisms feeding a single decisional process leading to behavior, fits best with available neural and behavioral data. In this view, consciousness should not be considered as a top-level executive function but should rather be defined by its experiential properties. PMID:22291674

  20. 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').

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

    PubMed

    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.

  2. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Park, Hyeong-Dong; Tallon-Baudry, Catherine

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:24639580

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Distinct neural responses to conscious versus unconscious monetary reward cues.

    PubMed

    Bijleveld, Erik; Custers, Ruud; Van der Stigchel, Stefan; Aarts, Henk; Pas, Pascal; Vink, Matthijs

    2014-11-01

    Human reward pursuit is often assumed to involve conscious processing of reward information. However, recent research revealed that reward cues enhance cognitive performance even when perceived without awareness. Building on this discovery, the present functional MRI study tested two hypotheses using a rewarded mental-rotation task. First, we examined whether subliminal rewards engage the ventral striatum (VS), an area implicated in reward anticipation. Second, we examined differences in neural responses to supraliminal versus subliminal rewards. Results indicated that supraliminal, but not subliminal, high-value reward cues engaged brain areas involved in reward processing (VS) and task performance (supplementary motor area, motor cortex, and superior temporal gyrus). This pattern of findings is striking given that subliminal rewards improved performance to the same extent as supraliminal rewards. So, the neural substrates of conscious versus unconscious reward pursuit are vastly different-but despite their differences, conscious and unconscious reward pursuit may still produce the same behavioral outcomes. Copyright © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  8. Distinct neural responses to conscious versus unconscious monetary reward cues

    PubMed Central

    Bijleveld, Erik; Custers, Ruud; Van der Stigchel, Stefan; Aarts, Henk; Pas, Pascal; Vink, Matthijs

    2014-01-01

    Human reward pursuit is often assumed to involve conscious processing of reward information. However, recent research revealed that reward cues enhance cognitive performance even when perceived without awareness. Building on this discovery, the present functional MRI study tested two hypotheses using a rewarded mental-rotation task. First, we examined whether subliminal rewards engage the ventral striatum (VS), an area implicated in reward anticipation. Second, we examined differences in neural responses to supraliminal versus subliminal rewards. Results indicated that supraliminal, but not subliminal, high-value reward cues engaged brain areas involved in reward processing (VS) and task performance (supplementary motor area, motor cortex, and superior temporal gyrus). This pattern of findings is striking given that subliminal rewards improved performance to the same extent as supraliminal rewards. So, the neural substrates of conscious versus unconscious reward pursuit are vastly different—but despite their differences, conscious and unconscious reward pursuit may still produce the same behavioral outcomes. PMID:24984961

  9. 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.

  10. Measuring consciousness: relating behavioural and neurophysiological approaches

    PubMed Central

    Seth, Anil K.; Dienes, Zoltán; Cleeremans, Axel; Overgaard, Morten; Pessoa, Luiz

    2009-01-01

    The resurgent science of consciousness has been accompanied by a recent emphasis on the problem of measurement. Having dependable measures of consciousness is essential both for mapping experimental evidence to theory and for designing perspicuous experiments. Here, we review a series of behavioural and brain-based measures, assessing their ability to track graded consciousness and clarifying how they relate to each other by showing what theories are presupposed by each. We identify possible and actual conflicts among measures that can stimulate new experiments, and we conclude that measures must prove themselves by iteratively building knowledge in the context of theoretical frameworks. Advances in measuring consciousness have implications for basic cognitive neuroscience, for comparative studies of consciousness and for clinical applications. PMID:18606562

  11. 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.

  12. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-30

    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.

  14. Synchronization of neural activity across cortical areas correlates with conscious perception.

    PubMed

    Melloni, Lucia; Molina, Carlos; Pena, Marcela; Torres, David; Singer, Wolf; Rodriguez, Eugenio

    2007-03-14

    Subliminal stimuli can be deeply processed and activate similar brain areas as consciously perceived stimuli. This raises the question which signatures of neural activity critically differentiate conscious from unconscious processing. Transient synchronization of neural activity has been proposed as a neural correlate of conscious perception. Here we test this proposal by comparing the electrophysiological responses related to the processing of visible and invisible words in a delayed matching to sample task. Both perceived and nonperceived words caused a similar increase of local (gamma) oscillations in the EEG, but only perceived words induced a transient long-distance synchronization of gamma oscillations across widely separated regions of the brain. After this transient period of temporal coordination, the electrographic signatures of conscious and unconscious processes continue to diverge. Only words reported as perceived induced (1) enhanced theta oscillations over frontal regions during the maintenance interval, (2) an increase of the P300 component of the event-related potential, and (3) an increase in power and phase synchrony of gamma oscillations before the anticipated presentation of the test word. We propose that the critical process mediating the access to conscious perception is the early transient global increase of phase synchrony of oscillatory activity in the gamma frequency range.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. A neural marker of perceptual consciousness in infants.

    PubMed

    Kouider, Sid; Stahlhut, Carsten; Gelskov, Sofie V; Barbosa, Leonardo S; Dutat, Michel; de Gardelle, Vincent; Christophe, Anne; Dehaene, Stanislas; Dehaene-Lambertz, Ghislaine

    2013-04-19

    Infants have a sophisticated behavioral and cognitive repertoire suggestive of a capacity for conscious reflection. Yet, demonstrating conscious access in infants remains challenging, mainly because they cannot report their thoughts. Here, to circumvent this problem, we studied whether an electrophysiological signature of consciousness found in adults, corresponding to a late nonlinear cortical response [~300 milliseconds (ms)] to brief pictures, already exists in infants. We recorded event-related potentials while 5-, 12-, and 15-month-old infants (N = 80) viewed masked faces at various levels of visibility. In all age groups, we found a late slow wave showing a nonlinear profile at the expected perceptual thresholds. However, this late component shifted from a weak and delayed response in 5-month-olds (starting around 900 ms) to a more sustained and faster response in older infants (around 750 ms). These results reveal that the brain mechanisms underlying the threshold for conscious perception are already present in infancy but undergo a slow acceleration during development.

  19. 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.

  20. 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. Crown Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Activity in part of the neural correlates of consciousness reflects integration.

    PubMed

    Eriksson, Johan

    2017-07-25

    Integration is commonly viewed as a key process for generating conscious experiences. Accordingly, there should be increased activity within the neural correlates of consciousness when demands on integration increase. We used fMRI and "informational masking" to isolate the neural correlates of consciousness and measured how the associated brain activity changed as a function of required integration. Integration was manipulated by comparing the experience of hearing simple reoccurring tones to hearing harmonic tone triplets. The neural correlates of auditory consciousness included superior temporal gyrus, lateral and medial frontal regions, cerebellum, and also parietal cortex. Critically, only activity in left parietal cortex increased significantly as a function of increasing demands on integration. We conclude that integration can explain part of the neural activity associated with the generation conscious experiences, but that much of associated brain activity apparently reflects other processes. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  2. 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

  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. Neural Signatures of Conscious Face Perception in an Inattentional Blindness Paradigm.

    PubMed

    Shafto, Juliet P; Pitts, Michael A

    2015-08-05

    Previous studies suggest that early stages of face-specific processing are performed preattentively and unconsciously, whereas conscious perception emerges with late-stage (>300 ms) neuronal activity. A conflicting view, however, posits that attention is necessary for face-specific processing and that early-to-mid latency neural responses (∼ 100-300 ms) correspond more closely with perceptual awareness. The current study capitalized on a recently developed method for manipulating attention and conscious perception during EEG recording (modified inattentional blindness paradigm) and used face stimuli that elicit a well known marker of early face processing, the N170 event-related potential (ERP). In Phase 1 of the experiment, subjects performed a demanding distracter task while line drawings of faces and matched control stimuli were presented in the center of their view. When queried, half of the subjects reported no awareness of the faces and were deemed inattentionally blind. In Phase 2, subjects performed the same distracter task, but now consciously perceived the face stimuli due to the intervening questioning. In Phase 3, subjects performed a discrimination task on the faces. Two primary contrasts were made: aware versus unaware (equally task irrelevant) and task-relevant versus task-irrelevant (equally aware). The N170 and a subsequent ERP component, the visual awareness negativity (∼ 260-300 ms), were absent during inattentional blindness and present in the aware conditions. The P3b (> 300 ms) was absent for task-irrelevant faces, even when consciously perceived, and present only when the faces were task relevant. These results inform contemporary theories of conscious face perception in particular and visual attention and perceptual awareness in general. Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/3510940-09$15.00/0.

  5. 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'.

  6. Large scale screening of neural signatures of consciousness in patients in a vegetative or minimally conscious state

    PubMed Central

    El Karoui, Imen; Rohaut, Benjamin; Faugeras, Frederic; Gramfort, Alexandre; Cohen, Laurent; Sigman, Mariano; Dehaene, Stanislas; Naccache, Lionel

    2014-01-01

    In recent years, numerous electrophysiological signatures of consciousness have been proposed. Here, we perform a systematic analysis of these electroencephalography markers by quantifying their efficiency in differentiating patients in a vegetative state from those in a minimally conscious or conscious state. Capitalizing on a review of previous experiments and current theories, we identify a series of measures that can be organized into four dimensions: (i) event-related potentials versus ongoing electroencephalography activity; (ii) local dynamics versus inter-electrode information exchange; (iii) spectral patterns versus information complexity; and (iv) average versus fluctuations over the recording session. We analysed a large set of 181 high-density electroencephalography recordings acquired in a 30 minutes protocol. We show that low-frequency power, electroencephalography complexity, and information exchange constitute the most reliable signatures of the conscious state. When combined, these measures synergize to allow an automatic classification of patients’ state of consciousness. PMID:24919971

  7. Neural signatures of conscious and unconscious emotional face processing in human infants.

    PubMed

    Jessen, Sarah; Grossmann, Tobias

    2015-03-01

    Human adults can process emotional information both with and without conscious awareness, and it has been suggested that the two processes rely on partly distinct brain mechanisms. However, the developmental origins of these brain processes are unknown. In the present event-related brain potential (ERP) study, we examined the brain responses of 7-month-old infants in response to subliminally (50 and 100 msec) and supraliminally (500 msec) presented happy and fearful facial expressions. Our results revealed that infants' brain responses (Pb and Nc) over central electrodes distinguished between emotions irrespective of stimulus duration, whereas the discrimination between emotions at occipital electrodes (N290 and P400) only occurred when faces were presented supraliminally (above threshold). This suggests that early in development the human brain not only discriminates between happy and fearful facial expressions irrespective of conscious perception, but also that, similar to adults, supraliminal and subliminal emotion processing relies on distinct neural processes. Our data further suggest that the processing of emotional facial expressions differs across infants depending on their behaviorally shown perceptual sensitivity. The current ERP findings suggest that distinct brain processes underpinning conscious and unconscious emotion perception emerge early in ontogeny and can therefore be seen as a key feature of human social functioning. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Three Centuries of Category Errors in Studies of the Neural Basis of Consciousness and Intentionality.

    PubMed

    Freeman, Walter J.

    1997-10-01

    Recent interest in consciousness and the mind-brain problem has been fueled by technological advances in brain imaging and computer modeling in artificial intelligence: can machines be conscious? The machine metaphor originated in Cartesian "reflections" and culminated in 19th century reflexology modeled on Newtonian optics. It replaced the Aquinian view of mind, which was focused on the emergence of intentionality within the body, with control of output by input through brain dynamics. The state variables for neural activity were identified successively with animal spirits, élan vital, electricity, energy, information, and, most recently, Heisenbergian potentia. The source of dynamic structure in brains was conceived to lie outside brains in genetic and environmental determinism. An alternative view has grown in the 20th century from roots in American Pragmatists, particularly John Dewey, and European philosophers, particularly Heidegger and Piaget, by which brains are intrinsically unstable and continually create themselves. This view has new support from neurobiological studies in properties of self-organizing nonlinear dynamic systems. Intentional behavior can only be understood in relation to the chaotic patterns of neural activity that produce it. The machine metaphor remains, but the machine is seen as self-determining.

  9. 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.

  10. [The neurodynamic core of consciousness and neural Darwinism].

    PubMed

    Ibáñez, A

    In the last decades, the scientific study of consciousness in the scope of the cognitive neurosciences can be considered one of the greatest challenges of contemporary science. The Gerald Edelman theory of consciousness is one of the most promising and controversial perspectives. This theory stands out by its approach to topics usually rejected by other neurophysiologic theories of consciousness, as the case of the neurophysiologic explanation of qualia. The goal of this paper is to review the dynamic core theory of consciousness, presenting the main features of the theory, analyzing the explanation strategies, their empirical extensions, and elaborating some critical considerations about the possibility of the neuroscientific study of qualia. The central and additional theoretical components are analyzed, emphasizing its ontological, restrictive and explanatory assumptions. The properties of conscious phenomena and their cerebral correlates as advanced by the theory are described, and finally its experiments and empirical extensions are examined. The explanatory strategies of the theory are analyzed, based on conceptual isomorphism between the phenomenological properties and the neurophysiological and mathematical measures. Some criticisms could be raised about the limitations of the dynamic core theory, especially regarding its account of the so-called 'hard problem' of consciousness or qualia.

  11. 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.

  12. Transient Modulations of Neural Responses to Heartbeats Covary with Bodily Self-Consciousness.

    PubMed

    Park, Hyeong-Dong; Bernasconi, Fosco; Bello-Ruiz, Javier; Pfeiffer, Christian; Salomon, Roy; Blanke, Olaf

    2016-08-10

    Recent research has investigated self-consciousness associated with the multisensory processing of bodily signals (e.g., somatosensory, visual, vestibular signals), a notion referred to as bodily self-consciousness, and these studies have shown that the manipulation of bodily inputs induces changes in bodily self-consciousness such as self-identification. Another line of research has highlighted the importance of signals from the inside of the body (e.g., visceral signals) and proposed that neural representations of internal bodily signals underlie self-consciousness, which to date has been based on philosophical inquiry, clinical case studies, and behavioral studies. Here, we investigated the relationship of bodily self-consciousness with the neural processing of internal bodily signals. By combining electrical neuroimaging, analysis of peripheral physiological signals, and virtual reality technology in humans, we show that transient modulations of neural responses to heartbeats in the posterior cingulate cortex covary with changes in bodily self-consciousness induced by the full-body illusion. Additional analyses excluded that measured basic cardiorespiratory parameters or interoceptive sensitivity traits could account for this finding. These neurophysiological data link experimentally the cortical mapping of the internal body to self-consciousness. What are the brain mechanisms of self-consciousness? Prominent views propose that the neural processing associated with signals from the internal organs (such as the heart and the lung) plays a critical role in self-consciousness. Although this hypothesis dates back to influential views in philosophy and psychology (e.g., William James), definitive experimental evidence supporting this idea is lacking despite its recent impact in neuroscience. In the present study, we show that posterior cingulate activities responding to heartbeat signals covary with changes in participants' conscious self-identification with a body

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

    PubMed

    Northoff, Georg

    2017-09-01

    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). Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Control consciousness.

    PubMed

    Mandik, Pete

    2010-10-01

    Control consciousness is the awareness or experience of seeming to be in control of one's actions. One view, which I will be arguing against in the present paper, is that control consciousness is a form of sensory consciousness. In such a view, control consciousness is exhausted by sensory elements such as tactile and proprioceptive information. An opposing view, which I will be arguing for, is that sensory elements cannot be the whole story and must be supplemented by direct contributions of nonsensory, motor elements. More specifically, I will be arguing for the view that the neural basis of control consciousness is constituted by states of recurrent activation in relatively intermediate levels of the motor hierarchy. Copyright © 2010 Cognitive Science Society, Inc.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:24454300

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:25221537

  7. Lateral Information Processing by Spiking Neurons: A Theoretical Model of the Neural Correlate of Consciousness

    PubMed Central

    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

  8. 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

  9. How and to what end may consciousness contribute to action? Attributing properties of consciousness to an embodied, minimally cognitive artificial neural network

    PubMed Central

    Cruse, Holk; Schilling, Malte

    2013-01-01

    An artificial neural network called reaCog is described which is based on a decentralized, reactive and embodied architecture developed to control non-trivial hexapod walking in an unpredictable environment (Walknet) while using insect-like navigation (Navinet). In reaCog, these basic networks are extended in such a way that the complete system, reaCog, adopts the capability of inventing new behaviors and – via internal simulation – of planning ahead. This cognitive expansion enables the reactive system to be enriched with additional procedures. Here, we focus on the question to what extent properties of phenomena to be characterized on a different level of description as for example consciousness can be found in this minimally cognitive system. Adopting a monist view, we argue that the phenomenal aspect of mental phenomena can be neglected when discussing the function of such a system. Under this condition, reaCog is discussed to be equipped with properties as are bottom-up and top-down attention, intentions, volition, and some aspects of Access Consciousness. These properties have not been explicitly implemented but emerge from the cooperation between the elements of the network. The aspects of Access Consciousness found in reaCog concern the above mentioned ability to plan ahead and to invent and guide (new) actions. Furthermore, global accessibility of memory elements, another aspect characterizing Access Consciousness is realized by this network. reaCog allows for both reactive/automatic control and (access-) conscious control of behavior. We discuss examples for interactions between both the reactive domain and the conscious domain. Metacognition or Reflexive Consciousness is not a property of reaCog. Possible expansions are discussed to allow for further properties of Access Consciousness, verbal report on internal states, and for Metacognition. In summary, we argue that already simple networks allow for properties of consciousness if leaving the

  10. Neural correlates of consciousness in patients who have emerged from a minimally conscious state: a cross-sectional multimodal imaging study.

    PubMed

    Di Perri, Carol; Bahri, Mohamed Ali; Amico, Enrico; Thibaut, Aurore; Heine, Lizette; Antonopoulos, Georgios; Charland-Verville, Vanessa; Wannez, Sarah; Gomez, Francisco; Hustinx, Roland; Tshibanda, Luaba; Demertzi, Athena; Soddu, Andrea; Laureys, Steven

    2016-07-01

    Between pathologically impaired consciousness and normal consciousness exists a scarcely researched transition zone, referred to as emergence from minimally conscious state, in which patients regain the capacity for functional communication, object use, or both. We investigated neural correlates of consciousness in these patients compared with patients with disorders of consciousness and healthy controls, by multimodal imaging. In this cross-sectional, multimodal imaging study, patients with unresponsive wakefulness syndrome, patients in a minimally conscious state, and patients who had emerged from a minimally conscious state, diagnosed with the Coma Recovery Scale-Revised, were recruited from the neurology department of the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Liège, Belgium. Key exclusion criteria were neuroimaging examination in an acute state, sedation or anaesthesia during scanning, large focal brain damage, motion parameters of more than 3 mm in translation and 3° in rotation, and suboptimal segmentation and normalisation. We acquired resting state functional and structural MRI data and (18)F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) PET data; we used seed-based functional MRI (fMRI) analysis to investigate positive default mode network connectivity (within-network correlations) and negative default mode network connectivity (between-network anticorrelations). We correlated FDG-PET brain metabolism with fMRI connectivity. We used voxel-based morphometry to test the effect of anatomical deformations on functional connectivity. We recruited a convenience sample of 58 patients (21 [36%] with unresponsive wakefulness syndrome, 24 [41%] in a minimally conscious state, and 13 [22%] who had emerged from a minimally conscious state) and 35 healthy controls between Oct 1, 2009, and Oct 31, 2014. We detected consciousness-level-dependent increases (from unresponsive wakefulness syndrome, minimally conscious state, emergence from minimally conscious state, to healthy controls) for

  11. 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

  12. Neural Correlates of Consciousness at Near-Electrocerebral Silence in an Asphyxial Cardiac Arrest Model.

    PubMed

    Lee, Donald E; Lee, Lauren G; Siu, Danny; Bazrafkan, Afsheen K; Farahabadi, Maryam H; Dinh, Tin J; Orellana, Josue; Xiong, Wei; Lopour, Beth A; Akbari, Yama

    2017-04-01

    Recent electrophysiological studies have suggested surges in electrical correlates of consciousness (i.e., elevated gamma power and connectivity) after cardiac arrest (CA). This study examines electrocorticogram (ECoG) activity and coherence of the dying brain during asphyxial CA. Male Wistar rats (n = 16) were induced with isoflurane anesthesia, which was washed out before asphyxial CA. Mean phase coherence and ECoG power were compared during different stages of the asphyxial period to assess potential neural correlates of consciousness. After asphyxia, the ECoG progressed through four distinct stages (asphyxial stages 1-4 [AS1-4]), including a transient period of near-electrocerebral silence lasting several seconds (AS3). Electrocerebral silence (AS4) occurred within 1 min of the start of asphyxia, and pulseless electrical activity followed the start of AS4 by 1-2 min. AS3 was linked to a significant increase in frontal coherence between the left and right motor cortices (p < 0.05), with no corresponding increase in ECoG power. AS3 was also associated with a significant posterior shift of ECoG power, favoring the visual cortices (p < 0.05). Although the ECoG during AS3 appears visually flat or silent when viewed with standard clinical settings, our study suggests that this period of transient near-electrocerebral silence contains distinctive neural activity. Specifically, the burst in frontal coherence and posterior shift of ECoG power that we find during this period immediately preceding CA may be a neural correlate of conscious processing.

  13. Neural Correlates of Consciousness at Near-Electrocerebral Silence in an Asphyxial Cardiac Arrest Model

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Donald E.; Lee, Lauren G.; Siu, Danny; Bazrafkan, Afsheen K.; Farahabadi, Maryam H.; Dinh, Tin J.; Orellana, Josue; Xiong, Wei; Lopour, Beth A.

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Recent electrophysiological studies have suggested surges in electrical correlates of consciousness (i.e., elevated gamma power and connectivity) after cardiac arrest (CA). This study examines electrocorticogram (ECoG) activity and coherence of the dying brain during asphyxial CA. Male Wistar rats (n = 16) were induced with isoflurane anesthesia, which was washed out before asphyxial CA. Mean phase coherence and ECoG power were compared during different stages of the asphyxial period to assess potential neural correlates of consciousness. After asphyxia, the ECoG progressed through four distinct stages (asphyxial stages 1–4 [AS1-4]), including a transient period of near-electrocerebral silence lasting several seconds (AS3). Electrocerebral silence (AS4) occurred within 1 min of the start of asphyxia, and pulseless electrical activity followed the start of AS4 by 1–2 min. AS3 was linked to a significant increase in frontal coherence between the left and right motor cortices (p < 0.05), with no corresponding increase in ECoG power. AS3 was also associated with a significant posterior shift of ECoG power, favoring the visual cortices (p < 0.05). Although the ECoG during AS3 appears visually flat or silent when viewed with standard clinical settings, our study suggests that this period of transient near-electrocerebral silence contains distinctive neural activity. Specifically, the burst in frontal coherence and posterior shift of ECoG power that we find during this period immediately preceding CA may be a neural correlate of conscious processing. PMID:28398813

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  20. [Neurological aspects related to altered consciousness states associated with spirituality].

    PubMed

    Valiente-Barroso, Carlos; García-García, Emilio

    2010-08-16

    Religiosity in the human being constitutes a universal and present phenomenon in all their evolution, extending times and cultures. The spirituality, like a base of the human religious dimension, and not strictly identified with this one, implies, among others manifestations, intense subjective experiences that, sometimes, can derive in altered consciousness states. To review some of the most outstanding phenomena that constitute consciousness alteration related to experiences of spiritual nature, trying to explain the neurological framework that justifies them. We analyze the connection that takes place between peculiar expressions of religious and mystical exacerbation with respect to some forms of epilepsy, distinguishing between distinct manifestations from those based on its appearance moment within the epileptic moment (ictal, postictal and interictal periods). Later on, we present the most important psychoactive substances, also used in ritual contexts, with capacity to bring about ecstasies experiences. Affirming the possibility of including the religious fact and their manifestations within the scientific argument, we tentatively propose the neurological foundations that underlie to these exceptional consciousness states to associate to the spirituality. They are involved in many occasions in the clinical practice requiring of being known and considered as a deeper investigation, which continues clarifying all these aims.

  1. 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

  2. Tracheal occlusion conditioning causes stress, anxiety and neural state changes in conscious rats.

    PubMed

    Pate, K M; Davenport, P W

    2013-03-01

    Evidence from human and animal studies indicates that mechanical loads to breathing are stressful stimuli and evoke compensatory behaviours. Conditioning of stressful stimuli is known to cause changes in basal stress levels and behaviour. Individuals with respiratory obstructive diseases repeatedly experience bouts of airway obstruction, which may act as a form of conditioning, and often have affective disorders, such as anxiety and depression. It is unknown whether the development of affective disorders in these individuals results from the unexpected recurring respiratory perturbations. To investigate this possibility, we developed a model to elicit tracheal occlusion (TO) in conscious rats and exposed them to 10 days of TO conditioning. We hypothesized that healthy, conscious animals exposed to TO conditioning would develop stress and anxiety and would have modulated neural activity in respiratory, stress, discriminative and affective neural regions. Following TO conditioning, rats had increased basal corticosterone levels, greater adrenal weights and elevated anxiety levels compared with animals not receiving TO. Significant increases in cytochrome oxidase staining were found in brainstem respiratory nuclei, periaqueductal grey, dorsal raphe, thalamus and insular cortex. These results suggest that healthy animals develop stress and anxiety responses to respiratory load conditioning via inescapable tracheal occlusions, which may be mediated through state changes in specific brain nuclei.

  3. 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.

  4. 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…

  5. 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…

  6. 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.

  7. 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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Direct comparison of neural systems mediating conscious and unconscious skill learning.

    PubMed

    Willingham, Daniel B; Salidis, Joanna; Gabrieli, John D E

    2002-09-01

    Procedural learning, such as perceptual-motor sequence learning, has been suggested to be an obligatory consequence of practiced performance and to reflect adaptive plasticity in the neural systems mediating performance. Prior neuroimaging studies, however, have found that sequence learning accompanied with awareness (declarative learning) of the sequence activates entirely different brain regions than learning without awareness of the sequence (procedural learning). Functional neuroimaging was used to assess whether declarative sequence learning prevents procedural learning in the brain. Awareness of the sequence was controlled by changing the color of the stimuli to match or differ from the color used for random sequences. This allowed direct comparison of brain activation associated with procedural and declarative memory for an identical sequence. Activation occurred in a common neural network whether initial learning had occurred with or without awareness of the sequence, and whether subjects were aware or not aware of the sequence during performance. There was widespread additional activation associated with awareness of the sequence. This supports the view that some types of unconscious procedural learning occurs in the brain whether or not it is accompanied by conscious declarative knowledge.

  9. 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

  10. Closing in on the constitution of consciousness

    PubMed Central

    Miller, Steven M.

    2014-01-01

    The science of consciousness is a nascent and thriving field of research that is founded on identifying the minimally sufficient neural correlates of consciousness. However, I have argued that it is the neural constitution of consciousness that science seeks to understand and that there are no evident strategies for distinguishing the correlates and constitution of (phenomenal) consciousness. Here I review this correlation/constitution distinction problem and challenge the existing foundations of consciousness science. I present the main analyses from a longer paper in press on this issue, focusing on recording, inhibition, stimulation, and combined inhibition/stimulation strategies, including proposal of the Jenga analogy to illustrate why identifying the minimally sufficient neural correlates of consciousness should not be considered the ultimate target of consciousness science. Thereafter I suggest that while combined inhibition and stimulation strategies might identify some constitutive neural activities—indeed minimally sufficient constitutive neural activities—such strategies fail to identify the whole neural constitution of consciousness and thus the correlation/constitution distinction problem is not fully solved. Various clarifications, potential objections and related scientific and philosophical issues are also discussed and I conclude by proposing new foundational claims for consciousness science. PMID:25452738

  11. Neural Sources and Underlying Mechanisms of Neural Responses to Heartbeats, and their Role in Bodily Self-consciousness: An Intracranial EEG Study.

    PubMed

    Park, Hyeong-Dong; Bernasconi, Fosco; Salomon, Roy; Tallon-Baudry, Catherine; Spinelli, Laurent; Seeck, Margitta; Schaller, Karl; Blanke, Olaf

    2017-06-07

    Recent research has shown that heartbeat-evoked potentials (HEPs), brain activity in response to heartbeats, are a useful neural measure for investigating the functional role of brain-body interactions in cognitive processes including self-consciousness. In 2 experiments, using intracranial electroencephalography (EEG), we investigated (1) the neural sources of HEPs, (2) the underlying mechanisms for HEP generation, and (3) the functional role of HEPs in bodily self-consciousness. In Experiment-1, we found that shortly after the heartbeat onset, phase distributions across single trials were significantly concentrated in 10% of the recording sites, mainly in the insula and the operculum, but also in other regions including the amygdala and fronto-temporal cortex. Such phase concentration was not accompanied by increased spectral power, and did not correlate with spectral power changes, suggesting that a phase resetting, rather than an additive "evoked potential" mechanism, underlies HEP generation. In Experiment-2, we further aimed to anatomically refine previous scalp EEG data that linked HEPs with bodily self-consciousness. We found that HEP modulations in the insula reflected an experimentally induced altered sense of self-identification. Collectively, these results provide novel and solid electrophysiological evidence on the neural sources and underlying mechanisms of HEPs, and their functional role in self-consciousness. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  12. 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…

  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. 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.

  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. Neural correlates of the essence of conscious conflict: fMRI of sustaining incompatible intentions.

    PubMed

    Gray, Jeremy R; Bargh, John A; Morsella, Ezequiel

    2013-09-01

    The study of intrapsychic conflict has long been central to many key theories about the control of behavior. More recently, by focusing on the nature of conflicting processes in the brain, investigators have revealed great insights about controlled versus automatic processes and the nature of self-control. Despite these advances, many theories of cognitive control or self-control remain agnostic about the function of subjective awareness (i.e., basic consciousness). Why people consciously experience some conflicts in the nervous system but not others remains a mystery. One hypothesis is that people become conscious only of conflicts involving competition for the control of skeletal muscle. To test one aspect of this larger hypothesis, in the present study, 14 participants were trained to introspect the feeling of conflict (the urge to make an error during a Stroop color-word interference task) and then were asked to introspect in the same way while sustaining simple compatible and incompatible intentions during fMRI scanning (to move a finger left or right). As predicted, merely sustaining incompatible skeletomotor intentions prior to their execution produced stronger systematic changes in subjective experience than sustaining compatible intentions, as indicated by self-report ratings obtained in the scanner. Similar ratings held for a modified Stroop-like task when contrasting incompatible versus compatible trials also during fMRI scanning. We use subjective ratings as the basis of parametric analyses of fMRI data, focusing a priori on the brain regions involved in action-related urges (e.g., parietal cortex) and cognitive control (e.g., dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, lateral PFC). The results showed that subjective conflict from sustaining incompatible intentions was consistently related to activity in the left post-central gyrus.

  17. 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…

  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. 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). PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved

  20. 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,…

  1. Does self-consciousness mediate the relation between self-talk and self-knowledge?

    PubMed

    Schneider, Johann F; Pospeschill, Markus; Ranger, Jochen

    2005-04-01

    Building on Morin's understanding of the relations among self-talk, self-consciousness, and self-knowledge, this study examined the hypothesis that functional and dysfunctional self-consciousness mediate between self-talk and self-knowledge. A self-report questionnaire including 10 scales assessing different aspects of Self-talk, Self-consciousness, and Self-knowledge was administered to 200 German undergraduate university students (95 women, 105 men). Mediation analysis showed that the observed negative relationship between Self-talk and Self-knowledge was mediated by Dysfunctional Self-consciousness, while Functional Self-consciousness acted like a supressor variable. The discussion focuses on limitations of the present measures of Self-talk.

  2. 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.

  3. Neural Mechanisms of Conceptual Relations

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lewis, Gwyneth A.

    2017-01-01

    An over-arching goal in neurolinguistic research is to characterize the neural bases of semantic representation. A particularly relevant goal concerns whether we represent features and events (a) together in a generalized semantic hub or (b) separately in distinct but complementary systems. While the left anterior temporal lobe (ATL) is strongly…

  4. That's me in the spotlight - Neural basis of individual differences in self-consciousness.

    PubMed

    de Caso, Irene; Poerio, Giulia; Jefferies, Elizabeth; Smallwood, Jonathan

    2017-05-29

    A long-standing literature implicates activity within the default mode network (DMN) to processes linked to the self. However, contemporary work suggests that other large-scale networks networks might also be involved. For instance, goal-directed autobiographical planning requires positive functional connectivity (FC) between DMN and frontoparietal control (FPCN) networks. The present study examined the inter-relationship between trait self-focus (measured via a self-consciousness scale; SCS), incidental memory in a self-reference paradigm, and resting state FC of large-scale networks. Behaviourally, we found that private SCS was linked to stronger incidental memory for self-relevant information. We also examined how patterns of FC differed according to levels of self-consciousness by using the SCS data to drive multiple regression analyses with seeds from the DMN, the FPCN and the limbic network. High levels of SCS was not linked to differences in the functional behaviour of the DMN, however, it was linked to stronger FC between FPCN and a cluster extending into the hippocampus, which meta analytic decoding using Neurosynth linked to episodic memory retrieval. Subsequent analysis demonstrated that trait variance in this pattern of FC was a moderator for the observed relationship between private SCS and enhanced memory for self-items. Together these findings suggest that interactions between the FPCN and hippocampus may support the memory advantage of self-relevant information associated with SCS and confirm theoretical positions that argue that that self-related processing does not simply depend upon the DMN, but instead relies on complex patterns of interactions between multiple large-scale networks. © The Author (2017). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  5. The cognitive and neural correlates of "tactile consciousness": a multisensory perspective.

    PubMed

    Gallace, Alberto; Spence, Charles

    2008-03-01

    People's awareness of tactile stimuli has been investigated in far less detail than their awareness of stimuli in other sensory modalities. In an attempt to fill this gap, we provide an overview of studies that are pertinent to the topic of tactile consciousness. We discuss the results of research that has investigated phenomena such as "change blindness", phantom limb sensations, and numerosity judgments in tactile perception, together with the results obtained from the study of patients affected by deficits that can adversely affect tactile perception such as neglect, extinction, and numbsense. The similarities as well as some of the important differences that have emerged when visual and tactile conscious information processing have been compared using similar experimental procedures are highlighted. We suggest that conscious information processing in the tactile modality cannot be separated completely from the more general processing of spatial information in the brain. Finally, the importance of considering tactile consciousness within the larger framework of multisensory information processing is also discussed.

  6. 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. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. 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.

  8. From Emotions to Consciousness – A Neuro-Phenomenal and Neuro-Relational Approach

    PubMed Central

    Northoff, Georg

    2012-01-01

    The James–Lange theory considers emotional feelings as perceptions of physiological body changes. This approach has recently resurfaced and modified in both neuroscientific and philosophical concepts of embodiment of emotional feelings. In addition to the body, the role of the environment in emotional feeling needs to be considered. I here claim that the environment has not merely an indirect and instrumental, i.e., modulatory role on emotional feelings via the body and its sensorimotor and vegetative functions. Instead, the environment may have a direct and non-instrumental, i.e., constitutional role in emotional feelings. This implies that the environment itself is constitutive of emotional feeling rather than the bodily representation of the environment. I call this the relational concept of emotional feeling. The present paper discusses recent data from neuroimaging that investigate emotions in relation to interoceptive processing and the brain’s intrinsic activity. These data show the intrinsic linkage of interoceptive stimulus processing to both exteroceptive stimuli and the brain’s intrinsic activity. This is possible only if the differences between intrinsic activity and intero- and exteroceptive stimuli is encoded into neural activity. Such relational coding makes possible the assignment of subjective and affective features to the otherwise objective and non-affective stimulus. I therefore consider emotions to be intrinsically affective and subjective as it is manifest in emotional feelings. The relational approach thus goes together with what may be described as neuro-phenomenal approach. Such neuro-phenomenal approach does not only inform emotions and emotional feeling but is also highly relevant to better understand the neuronal mechanisms underlying consciousness in general. PMID:22969736

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

  11. 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.

  12. Phenomenal and access consciousness in olfaction.

    PubMed

    Stevenson, Richard J

    2009-12-01

    Contemporary literature on consciousness, with some exceptions, rarely considers the olfactory system. In this article the characteristics of olfactory consciousness, viewed from the standpoint of the phenomenal (P)/access (A) distinction, are examined relative to the major senses. The review details several qualitative differences in both olfactory P consciousness (shifts in the felt location, universal synesthesia-like and affect-rich experiences, and misperceptions) and A consciousness (recovery from habituation, capacity for conscious processing, access to semantic and episodic memory, learning, attention, and in the serial-unitary nature of olfactory percepts). The basis for these differences is argued to arise from the functions that the olfactory system performs and from the unique neural architecture needed to instantiate them. These data suggest, at a minimum, that P and A consciousness are uniquely configured in olfaction and an argument can be made that the P and A distinction may not hold for this sensory system.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Neural correlates of consciousness during general anesthesia using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).

    PubMed

    Bonhomme, V; Boveroux, P; Brichant, J F; Laureys, S; Boly, M

    2012-01-01

    This paper reviews the current knowledge about the mechanisms of anesthesia-induced alteration of consciousness. It is now evident that hypnotic anesthetic agents have specific brain targets whose function is hierarchically altered in a dose-dependent manner. Higher order networks, thought to be involved in mental content generation, as well as sub-cortical networks involved in thalamic activity regulation seems to be affected first by increasing concentrations of hypnotic agents that enhance inhibitory neurotransmission. Lower order sensory networks are preserved, including thalamo-cortical connectivity into those networks, even at concentrations that suppress responsiveness, but cross-modal sensory interactions are inhibited. Thalamo-cortical connectivity into the consciousness networks decreases with increasing concentrations of those agents, and is transformed into an anti-correlated activity between the thalamus and the cortex for the deepest levels of sedation, when the subject is non responsive. Future will tell us whether these brain function alterations are also observed with hypnotic agents that mainly inhibit excitatory neurotransmission. The link between the observations made using fMRI and the identified biochemical targets of hypnotic anesthetic agents still remains to be identified.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.…

  18. Externally controlled involuntary cognitions and their relations with other representations in consciousness.

    PubMed

    Cushing, Donish; Gazzaley, Adam; Morsella, Ezequiel

    2017-10-01

    Percepts and action-related urges often enter consciousness insuppressibly. The Reflexive Imagery Task (RIT) was developed to investigate how high-level cognitions (e.g., subvocalizations), too, can enter consciousness in this manner. Limitations of the paradigm include (a) that no data have confirmed subjects' introspections about the involuntary subvocalizations, and (b) that, in everyday life, adaptive responses to involuntary cognitions often depend on the nature of the other contents in consciousness. To address a and b, we developed an RIT in which subjects were presented with visual objects and instructed to not think of the object names. If a subvocalization did arise, however, subjects responded motorically only if the subvocalization rhymed with a word held in memory and if there was a visual "go" cue. Subjects successfully (on 0.83 of the trials) emitted this complex, "multi-determined" response, which provides evidence for the occurrence of the involuntary subvocalizations and illuminates the function of consciousness. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. [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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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).

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Exploring consciousness in emotional face decoding: an event-related potential analysis.

    PubMed

    Balconi, Michela

    2006-05-01

    The author analyzed the role of consciousness in emotional face comprehension. The author recorded psychophysiological measures of event-related potentials (ERPs), elicited by supraliminal and subliminal stimuli when participants viewed emotional facial expressions of 4 emotions or neutral stimuli. The author analyzed an ERP emotion-specific effect (N200 peak variation; temporal interval was 180-300 ms poststimulus) in terms of peak amplitude and latency variables. The results indicated 4 important findings. First, there was an emotional-specific ERP deflection only for emotional stimuli, not for neutral stimuli. Second, the unaware information processing was quite similar to that of aware in terms of peak morphology, but not in terms of latency. In fact, unconscious stimulation produced a more delayed peak variation than did conscious stimulation. Third, valence of facial stimulus (positive or negative) was supraliminally and subliminally decoded because it was showed by differences of peak deflection between negative high arousing (fear and anger) and low arousing (happiness, sadness, and neutral) stimuli. Finally, the author found a more posterior distribution of ERP as a function of emotional content of the stimulus. Cortical lateralization (right or left) was not correlated to conscious or unconscious stimulation. The author discussed the functional significance of her results in terms of supraliminal and subliminal conditions.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Relative blindsight arises from a criterion confound in metacontrast masking: implications for theories of consciousness.

    PubMed

    Jannati, Ali; Di Lollo, Vincent

    2012-03-01

    Relative blindsight is said to occur when different levels of subjective awareness are obtained at equality of objective performance. Using metacontrast masking, Lau and Passingham (2006) reported relative blindsight in normal observers at the shorter of two stimulus-onset asynchronies (SOAs) between target and mask. Experiment 1 replicated the critical asymmetry in subjective awareness at equality of objective performance. We argue that this asymmetry cannot be regarded as evidence for relative blindsight because the observers' responses were based on different attributes of the stimuli (criterion contents) at the two SOAs. With an invariant criterion content (Experiment 2), there was no asymmetry in subjective awareness across the two SOAs even though objective performance was the same. Experiment 3 examined the effect of criterion level on estimates of relative blindsight. Collectively, the present results question whether metacontrast masking is a suitable paradigm for establishing relative blindsight. Implications for theories of consciousness are discussed. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. [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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Identification of functionally related neural assemblies.

    PubMed

    Gerstein, G L; Perkel, D H; Subramanian, K N

    1978-01-20

    Present-day techniques of multiple-electrode together with computer-aided separation of impulses arising from different neurons permit the simultaneous recording of nerve-impulse timings in sets of neurons exceeding 20 in number. This in turn makes it feasible to search for functional groups of neurons, defined as subsets that tend to fire in near simultaneity significantly more often than would independent neurons at corresponding mean rates. A statistical technique is described that permits the detection and identification of such functional groups. The method is accretional, based on identification of associated neurons through interative application of a significance test on multiple coincidences of neuronal firings within an observational window. Examples of the operation of the method and indications as to its sensitivity are furnished through computer simulations of neural networks. The entire algorithm may be used as a screening technique to select smaller groups of neurons for cross-correlational and related finer-grained temporal analyses, or it may be used in its own right to detect and characterize functional groups that are not distinguishable by other statistical procedures.

  17. Boundaries of the relation between conscious recollection and source memory for perceptual details.

    PubMed

    Meiser, Thorsten; Sattler, Christine

    2007-03-01

    The relation between conscious recollection and source memory for perceptual details was investigated in three experiments that combined the remember-know paradigm with a multidimensional source monitoring test. Experiment 1 replicated that source memory for perceptual details is better in the case of "remember" than "know" judgments. Experiment 2 showed that the relation between "remember" judgments and source memory for perceptual details is diminished by a semantic orienting task during encoding. Experiment 3 demonstrated that "remember" judgments are related to enhanced source memory for specific and unique kinds of perceptual source information, whereas memory for incomplete and global perceptual source information does not differentiate between "remember" and "know" judgments. The results show that the attentional focus during encoding and the specificity of retrieved source information form boundary conditions for the use of source memory for perceptual details as a basis of "remember" judgments.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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…

  4. 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.

  5. [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?

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  10. 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

  11. Visual consciousness and bodily self-consciousness.

    PubMed

    Faivre, Nathan; Salomon, Roy; Blanke, Olaf

    2015-02-01

    In recent years, consciousness has become a central topic in cognitive neuroscience. This review focuses on the relation between bodily self-consciousness - the feeling of being a subject in a body - and visual consciousness - the subjective experience associated with the perception of visual signals. Findings from clinical and experimental work have shown that bodily self-consciousness depends on specific brain networks and is related to the integration of signals from multiple sensory modalities including vision. In addition, recent experiments have shown that visual consciousness is shaped by the body, including vestibular, tactile, proprioceptive, and motor signals. Several lines of evidence suggest reciprocal relationships between vision and bodily signals, indicating that a comprehensive understanding of visual and bodily self-consciousness requires studying them in unison.

  12. Viewing brain processes as Critical State Transitions across levels of organization: Neural events in Cognition and Consciousness, and general principles.

    PubMed

    Werner, Gerhard

    2009-04-01

    In this theoretical and speculative essay, I propose that insights into certain aspects of neural system functions can be gained from viewing brain function in terms of the branch of Statistical Mechanics currently referred to as "Modern Critical Theory" [Stanley, H.E., 1987. Introduction to Phase Transitions and Critical Phenomena. Oxford University Press; Marro, J., Dickman, R., 1999. Nonequilibrium Phase Transitions in Lattice Models. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK]. The application of this framework is here explored in two stages: in the first place, its principles are applied to state transitions in global brain dynamics, with benchmarks of Cognitive Neuroscience providing the relevant empirical reference points. The second stage generalizes to suggest in more detail how the same principles could also apply to the relation between other levels of the structural-functional hierarchy of the nervous system and between neural assemblies. In this view, state transitions resulting from the processing at one level are the input to the next, in the image of a 'bucket brigade', with the content of each bucket being passed on along the chain, after having undergone a state transition. The unique features of a process of this kind will be discussed and illustrated.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. The concept of relative non-locality: theoretical implications in consciousness research.

    PubMed

    Neppe, Vernon M; Close, Edward R

    2015-01-01

    We argue that "non-local" events require further descriptors for us to understand the degree of non-locality, what the framework of the observer describing it is, and where we humans are located relative to the ostensible non-locality. This suggests three critical factors: Relative to, from the framework of, and a hierarchy of "to what degree?" "Non-locality" without the prefix "relative" compromises its description by making it an absolute: We must scientifically ensure that, qualitatively, we can describe events that correspond with each other-like with like-and differentiate these events from those that are hierarchically dissimilar. Recognition of these levels of "relative non-locality" is important: Non-locality from "the general framework of" the infinite, or mystic or near-death experient, markedly differs theoretically from "relative to our sentient reality in three dimensions of space in the present moment (3S-1t)". Specific events may be described "relative to" our living 3S-1t reality, but conceptualized differently from the framework of observers in altered states of consciousness experiencing higher dimensions. Hierarchical questions to ask would include IMMEDIACY PRINCIPLE: We also propose that events happening immediately, not even requiring light speed, are fundamental properties of non-local time involving more dimensions than just 3S-1t. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Neural Mobilization: Treating Nerve-Related Musculoskeletal Conditions.

    PubMed

    2017-09-01

    Physical therapists often assess and treat patients whose pain and disability stem from impaired mobility of the peripheral nervous system. Neural mobilization is a movement-based therapy, applied manually or via exercise. The nerve is mobilized relative to adjacent structures, with the aim of reducing symptoms through mechanisms that may be mechanical or neurophysiologic. A new systematic review published in the September 2017 issue of JOSPT includes 40 studies of neural mobilization in various neuromusculoskeletal conditions. The available evidence suggests that neural mobilization can be considered when treating certain nerve-related musculoskeletal conditions. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 2017;47(9):616. doi:10.2519/jospt.2017.0509.

  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. Artificial consciousness: hazardous questions (and answers).

    PubMed

    Buttazzo, Giorgio

    2008-10-01

    If human consciousness is the result of complex neural electro-chemical interactions occurring in the brain, the question of whether a machine can ever become self-aware could be a matter of time: the time necessary to fully understand the functional behavior of the brain structure, develop a mathematical model of it, and implement an artificial system capable of working according to such a model. This paper addresses several issues related to the possibility of developing a conscious artificial brain. A number of hazardous questions are posed to the reader, each addressing a specific technical or philosophical issue, which is discussed and developed in a form of a hazardous answer.

  1. Consciously Thinking about Consciousness

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tribus, Myron

    2004-01-01

    Merker hypothesized that because mobile creatures move around and must constantly readjust their map of the world and because the demands are so great for continually processing information for a map of the world, evolution has created a space in the brain where such preprocessing has been eliminated. This space he calls consciousness with the…

  2. 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.

  3. Sleep in disorders of consciousness

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

    SUMMARY 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. PMID:19524464

  4. The role of self-consciousness in the experience of alcohol-related consequences among college students.

    PubMed

    LaBrie, Joseph; Pedersen, Eric R; Neighbors, Clayton; Hummer, Justin F

    2008-06-01

    Heavy drinking among college students is a well-established national concern. An in-depth look at the characteristics and traits of heavy drinking students is an essential precursor to the development of successful targeted interventions with at-risk students. The current study examines the role self-consciousness (private, public, social anxiety) plays in the experience of alcohol-related consequences among a sample of 1,168 student members of campus organizations. Male gender predicted drinking in the sample, while both private self-consciousness and social anxiety predicted less drinking. Public self-consciousness predicted alcohol-related consequences over and above the variance explained by drinking for both males and females. Additionally, both gender and social anxiety moderated the effect of drinking on problems. Heavier drinking female students and heavier drinking students high in social anxiety appear more susceptible to the experience of negative consequences. These results highlight the direct and indirect impact that self-consciousness and gender have on college students' experience of alcohol-related negative consequences.

  5. The Role of Self-Consciousness in the Experience of Alcohol-Related Consequences among College Students

    PubMed Central

    LaBrie, Joseph; Pedersen, Eric R.; Neighbors, Clayton; Hummer, Justin F.

    2008-01-01

    Heavy drinking among college students is a well-established national concern. An in-depth look at the characteristics and traits of heavy drinking students is an essential precursor to the development of successful targeted interventions with at-risk students. The current study examines the role self-consciousness (private, public, social anxiety) plays in the experience of alcohol-related consequences among a sample of 1,168 student members of campus organizations. Male gender predicted drinking in the sample, while both private self-consciousness and social anxiety predicted less drinking. Public self-consciousness predicted alcohol-related consequences over and above the variance explained by drinking for both males and females. Additionally, both gender and social anxiety moderated the effect of drinking on problems. Heavier drinking female students and heavier drinking students high in social anxiety appear more susceptible to the experience of negative consequences. These results highlight the direct and indirect impact that self-consciousness and gender have on college students’ experience of alcohol-related negative consequences. PMID:18258376

  6. 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.

  7. 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. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. 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

  9. 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.…

  10. 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.…

  11. 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

  12. Early visual responses predict conscious face perception within and between subjects during binocular rivalry

    PubMed Central

    Sandberg, Kristian; Bahrami, Bahador; Kanai, Ryota; Barnes, Gareth Robert; Overgaard, Morten; Rees, Geraint

    2014-01-01

    Previous studies indicate that conscious face perception may be related to neural activity in a large time window around 170-800ms after stimulus presentation, yet in the majority of these studies changes in conscious experience are confounded with changes in physical stimulation. Using multivariate classification on MEG data recorded when participants reported changes in conscious perception evoked by binocular rivalry between a face and a grating, we showed that only MEG signals in the 120-320ms time range, peaking at the M170 around 180ms and the P2m at around 260ms, reliably predicted conscious experience. Conscious perception could not only be decoded significantly better than chance from the sensors that showed the largest average difference, as previous studies suggest, but also from patterns of activity across groups of occipital sensors that individually were unable to predict perception better than chance. Additionally, source space analyses showed that sources in the early and late visual system predicted conscious perception more accurately than frontal and parietal sites, although conscious perception could also be decoded there. Finally, the patterns of neural activity associated with conscious face perception generalized from one participant to another around the times of maximum prediction accuracy. Our work thus demonstrates that the neural correlates of particular conscious contents (here, faces) are highly consistent in time and space within individuals and that these correlates are shared to some extent between individuals. PMID:23281780

  13. 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. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Evoked and event-related potentials in disorders of consciousness: A quantitative review.

    PubMed

    Kotchoubey, Boris

    2017-09-01

    Sixty-one publications about evoked and event-related potentials (EP and ERP, respectively) in patients with severe Disorders of Consciousness (DoC) were found and analyzed from a quantitative point of view. Most studies are strongly underpowered, resulting in very broad confidence intervals (CI). Results of such studies cannot be correctly interpreted, because, for example, CI>1 (in terms of Cohen's d) indicate that the real effect may be very strong, very weak, or even opposite to the reported effect. Furthermore, strong negative correlations were obtained between sample size and effect size, indicating a possible publication bias. These correlations characterized not only the total data set, but also each thematically selected subset. The minimal criteria of a strong study to EP/ERP in DoC are proposed: at least 25 patients in each patient group; as reliable diagnosis as possible; the complete report of all methodological details and all details of results (including negative results); and the use of appropriate methods of data analysis. Only three of the detected 60 studies (5%) satisfy these criteria. The limitations of the current approach are also discussed. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Hippocampus is place of interaction between unconscious and conscious memories.

    PubMed

    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 retrieval. This

  16. 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

  17. Learning without consciously knowing: evidence from event-related potentials in sequence learning.

    PubMed

    Fu, Qiufang; Bin, Guangyu; Dienes, Zoltan; Fu, Xiaolan; Gao, Xiaorong

    2013-03-01

    This paper investigated how implicit and explicit knowledge is reflected in event-related potentials (ERPs) in sequence learning. ERPs were recorded during a serial reaction time task. The results showed that there were greater RT benefits for standard compared with deviant stimuli later than early on, indicating sequence learning. After training, more standard triplets were generated under inclusion than exclusion tests and more standard triplets under exclusion than chance level, indicating that participants acquired both explicit and implicit knowledge. However, deviant targets elicited enhanced N2 and P3 components for targets with explicit knowledge but a larger N2 effect for targets with implicit knowledge, revealing that implicit knowledge expresses itself in relatively early components (N2) and explicit knowledge in additional P3 components. The results help resolve current debate about the neural substrates supporting implicit and explicit learning. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Positive mood enhances reward-related neural activity

    PubMed Central

    Nusslock, Robin

    2016-01-01

    Although behavioral research has shown that positive mood leads to desired outcomes in nearly every major life domain, no studies have directly examined the effects of positive mood on the neural processes underlying reward-related affect and goal-directed behavior. To address this gap, participants in the present fMRI study experienced either a positive (n = 20) or neutral (n = 20) mood induction and subsequently completed a monetary incentive delay task that assessed reward and loss processing. Consistent with prediction, positive mood elevated activity specifically during reward anticipation in corticostriatal neural regions that have been implicated in reward processing and goal-directed behavior, including the nucleus accumbens, caudate, lateral orbitofrontal cortex and putamen, as well as related paralimbic regions, including the anterior insula and ventromedial prefrontal cortex. These effects were not observed during reward outcome, loss anticipation or loss outcome. Critically, this is the first study to report that positive mood enhances reward-related neural activity. Our findings have implications for uncovering the neural mechanisms by which positive mood enhances goal-directed behavior, understanding the malleability of reward-related neural activity, and developing targeted treatments for psychiatric disorders characterized by deficits in reward processing. PMID:26833919

  1. Investigating the relationship between self-reported oral health status, oral health-related behaviours and self-consciousness in Romania.

    PubMed

    Dumitrescu, Alexandria L; Kawamura, Makoto; Dogaru, Beatrice; Dogaru, Cristian

    2008-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to investigate whether self-consciousness, self-reported oral health status and oral-health-related behaviours were associated. The present study sample consisted of 253 first year medical students in Romania. The questionnaire included information about socio-demographic factors, behavioural variables, self-reported oral health status and three self-consciousness subscales (Private Self-Consciousness, Public Self-Consciousness, and Social Anxiety). Significant differences were found in Public Self-Consciousness and Social Anxiety according to several variables: anxiety, stress, depression and current non-treated caries. There were significant differences in Social Anxiety for the variables of gender, smoking, perceived dental health, self-reported gum bleeding and reason for dental visit (p < 0.05). A significant difference was found in Public Self-Consciousness for the reason for dental visits (p < 0.05). Total Self-Consciousness is correlated with anxiety, stress, depression, current non-treated caries, gingival bleeding and reason for dental visit. Oral health behaviours such as tooth brushing, flossing, mouth washing and last dental visit were not influenced by each of the self-consciousness subscales. The results suggest that self-consciousness might be a psychosocial risk marker that influences self-reported oral health status.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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…

  7. 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…

  8. 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.

  9. Oscillatory Correlates of Visual Consciousness

    PubMed Central

    Gallotto, Stefano; Sack, Alexander T.; Schuhmann, Teresa; de Graaf, Tom A.

    2017-01-01

    Conscious experiences are linked to activity in our brain: the neural correlates of consciousness (NCC). Empirical research on these NCCs covers a wide range of brain activity signals, measures, and methodologies. In this paper, we focus on spontaneous brain oscillations; rhythmic fluctuations of neuronal (population) activity which can be characterized by a range of parameters, such as frequency, amplitude (power), and phase. We provide an overview of oscillatory measures that appear to correlate with conscious perception. We also discuss how increasingly sophisticated techniques allow us to study the causal role of oscillatory activity in conscious perception (i.e., ‘entrainment’). This review of oscillatory correlates of consciousness suggests that, for example, activity in the alpha-band (7–13 Hz) may index, or even causally support, conscious perception. But such results also showcase an increasingly acknowledged difficulty in NCC research; the challenge of separating neural activity necessary for conscious experience to arise (prerequisites) from neural activity underlying the conscious experience itself (substrates) or its results (consequences). PMID:28736543

  10. Oscillatory Correlates of Visual Consciousness.

    PubMed

    Gallotto, Stefano; Sack, Alexander T; Schuhmann, Teresa; de Graaf, Tom A

    2017-01-01

    Conscious experiences are linked to activity in our brain: the neural correlates of consciousness (NCC). Empirical research on these NCCs covers a wide range of brain activity signals, measures, and methodologies. In this paper, we focus on spontaneous brain oscillations; rhythmic fluctuations of neuronal (population) activity which can be characterized by a range of parameters, such as frequency, amplitude (power), and phase. We provide an overview of oscillatory measures that appear to correlate with conscious perception. We also discuss how increasingly sophisticated techniques allow us to study the causal role of oscillatory activity in conscious perception (i.e., 'entrainment'). This review of oscillatory correlates of consciousness suggests that, for example, activity in the alpha-band (7-13 Hz) may index, or even causally support, conscious perception. But such results also showcase an increasingly acknowledged difficulty in NCC research; the challenge of separating neural activity necessary for conscious experience to arise (prerequisites) from neural activity underlying the conscious experience itself (substrates) or its results (consequences).

  11. 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.

  12. 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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Indirect biological measures of consciousness from field studies of brains as dynamical systems.

    PubMed

    Freeman, Walter J

    2007-11-01

    Consciousness fully supervenes when the 1.5 kgm mass of protoplasm in the head directs the body into material and social environments and engages in reciprocity. While consciousness is not susceptible to direct measurement, a limited form exercised in animals and pre-lingual children can be measured indirectly with biological assays of arousal, intention and attention. In this essay consciousness is viewed as operating simultaneously in a field at all levels ranging from subatomic to social. The relations and transpositions between levels require sophisticated mathematical treatments that are largely still to be devised. In anticipation of those developments the available experimental data are reviewed concerning the state variables in several levels that collectively constitute the substrate of biological consciousness. The basic metaphors are described that represent the neural machinery of transposition in consciousness. The processes are sketched by which spatiotemporal neural activity patterns emerge as fields that may represent the contents of consciousness. The results of dynamical analysis are discussed in terms serving to distinguish between the neural point processes dictated by the neuron doctrine vs. continuously variable neural fields generated by neural masses in cortex.

  17. Interactions between phasic alerting and consciousness in the fronto-striatal network

    PubMed Central

    Chica, Ana B.; Bayle, Dimitri J.; Botta, Fabiano; Bartolomeo, Paolo; Paz-Alonso, Pedro M.

    2016-01-01

    Only a small fraction of all the information reaching our senses can be the object of conscious report or voluntary action. Although some models propose that different attentional states (top-down amplification and vigilance) are necessary for conscious perception, few studies have explored how the brain activations associated with different attentional systems (such as top-down orienting and phasic alerting) lead to conscious perception of subsequent visual stimulation. The aim of the present study was to investigate the neural mechanisms associated with endogenous spatial attention and phasic alertness, and their interaction with the conscious perception of near-threshold stimuli. The only region demonstrating a neural interaction between endogenous attention and conscious perception was the thalamus, while a larger network of cortical and subcortical brain activations, typically associated with phasic alerting, was highly correlated with participants’ conscious reports. Activation of the anterior cingulate cortex, supplementary motor area, frontal eye fields, thalamus, and caudate nucleus was related to perceptual consciousness. These data suggest that not all attentional systems are equally effective in enhancing conscious perception, highlighting the importance of thalamo-cortical circuits on the interactions between alerting and consciousness. PMID:27555378

  18. Detecting consciousness: a unique role for neuroimaging.

    PubMed

    Owen, Adrian M

    2013-01-01

    How can we ever know, unequivocally, that another person is conscious and aware? Putting aside deeper philosophical considerations about the nature of consciousness itself, historically, the only reliable method for detecting awareness in others has been through a predicted behavioral response to an external prompt or command. The answer may take the form of spoken words or a nonverbal signal such as a hand movement or the blink of an eye, but it is this answer, and only this answer, that allows us to infer awareness. In recent years, rapid technological developments in the field of neuroimaging have provided new methods for revealing thoughts, actions, and intentions based solely on the pattern of activity that is observed in the brain. In specialized centers, these methods are now being employed routinely to detect consciousness in behaviorally nonresponsive patients when all existing clinical techniques have failed to provide that information. In this review, I compare those circumstances in which neuroimaging data can be used to infer consciousness in the absence of a behavioral response with those circumstances in which it cannot. This distinction is fundamental for understanding and interpreting patterns of brain activity following acute brain injury and has profound implications for clinical care, diagnosis, prognosis, and medical-legal decision-making (relating to the prolongation, or otherwise, of life after severe brain injury). It also sheds light on more basic scientific questions about the nature of consciousness and the neural representation of our own thoughts and intentions.

  19. 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.

  20. Neural Alterations in Acquired Age-Related Hearing Loss

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:27313556

  1. Central olfactory processing in patients with disorders of consciousness.

    PubMed

    Nigri, A; Ferraro, S; Bruzzone, M G; Nava, S; D'Incerti, L; Bertolino, N; Sattin, D; Leonardi, M; Lundström, J N

    2016-03-01

    Previous studies have demonstrated that individuals suffering from disorder of consciousness (DOC) maintain some minor neural processing of percepts mediated by senses that early in their pathway intersect the thalamus, a key dysfunctional area in DOC patients. Here the degree of sensory preservation within the olfactory system, a system that lacks an obligatory thalamic relay, and its relationship to the consciousness level in DOC patients of various etiologies was assessed. Clinical Coma Recovery Scale - Revised (CRS-R) as well as cerebral responses to odors by means of functional magnetic resonance were obtained in a group of vegetative state/unresponsive wakefulness syndrome (n = 26) patients, minimally conscious state (n = 7) patients and healthy controls (n = 25). A majority of vegetative state/unresponsive wakefulness syndrome patients (58%) and 100% of minimally conscious state patients demonstrated a significant preservation of olfactory neural processing, manifested by activation within the piriform cortex, an area considered as a primary olfactory region. Degree of preservation of olfactory processing differed linearly in line with the patients' etiologies where groups demonstrating greater conscious awareness demonstrated more significant processing. Viewed over all DOC patients, there was a significant negative association between odor-related activity in the orbitofrontal cortex and CRS-R scores. It is demonstrated that DOC patients exhibit a significant preservation of olfactory neural processing with a clear relationship to etiopathologies and clinical measures even years after of chronification of DOC. © 2015 EAN.

  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. 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

  4. Intracranial markers of conscious face perception in humans.

    PubMed

    Baroni, Fabiano; van Kempen, Jochem; Kawasaki, Hiroto; Kovach, Christopher K; Oya, Hiroyuki; Howard, Matthew A; Adolphs, Ralph; Tsuchiya, Naotsugu

    2017-09-04

    Investigations of the neural basis of consciousness have greatly benefited from protocols that involve the presentation of stimuli at perceptual threshold, enabling the assessment of the patterns of brain activity that correlate with conscious perception, independently of any changes in sensory input. However, the comparison between perceived and unperceived trials would be expected to reveal not only the core neural substrate of a particular conscious perception, but also aspects of brain activity that facilitate, hinder or tend to follow conscious perception. We take a step towards the resolution of these confounds by combining an analysis of neural responses observed during the presentation of faces partially masked by Continuous Flash Suppression, and those responses observed during the unmasked presentation of faces and other images in the same subjects. We employed multidimensional classifiers to decode physical properties of stimuli or perceptual states from spectrotemporal representations of electrocorticographic signals (1071 channels in 5 subjects). Neural activity in certain face responsive areas located in both the fusiform gyrus and in the lateral-temporal/inferior-parietal cortex discriminated seen vs. unseen faces in the masked paradigm and upright faces vs. other categories in the unmasked paradigm. However, only the former discriminated upright vs. inverted faces in the unmasked paradigm. Our results suggest a prominent role for the fusiform gyrus in the configural perception of faces, and possibly other objects that are holistically processed. More generally, we advocate comparative analysis of neural recordings obtained during different, but related, experimental protocols as a promising direction towards elucidating the functional specificities of the patterns of neural activation that accompany our conscious experiences. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Neural Sensitivity to Absolute and Relative Anticipated Reward in Adolescents

    PubMed Central

    Vaidya, Jatin G.; Knutson, Brian; O'Leary, Daniel S.; Block, Robert I.; Magnotta, Vincent

    2013-01-01

    Adolescence is associated with a dramatic increase in risky and impulsive behaviors that have been attributed to developmental differences in neural processing of rewards. In the present study, we sought to identify age differences in anticipation of absolute and relative rewards. To do so, we modified a commonly used monetary incentive delay (MID) task in order to examine brain activity to relative anticipated reward value (neural sensitivity to the value of a reward as a function of other available rewards). This design also made it possible to examine developmental differences in brain activation to absolute anticipated reward magnitude (the degree to which neural activity increases with increasing reward magnitude). While undergoing fMRI, 18 adolescents and 18 adult participants were presented with cues associated with different reward magnitudes. After the cue, participants responded to a target to win money on that trial. Presentation of cues was blocked such that two reward cues associated with $.20, $1.00, or $5.00 were in play on a given block. Thus, the relative value of the $1.00 reward varied depending on whether it was paired with a smaller or larger reward. Reflecting age differences in neural responses to relative anticipated reward (i.e., reference dependent processing), adults, but not adolescents, demonstrated greater activity to a $1 reward when it was the larger of the two available rewards. Adults also demonstrated a more linear increase in ventral striatal activity as a function of increasing absolute reward magnitude compared to adolescents. Additionally, reduced ventral striatal sensitivity to absolute anticipated reward (i.e., the difference in activity to medium versus small rewards) correlated with higher levels of trait Impulsivity. Thus, ventral striatal activity in anticipation of absolute and relative rewards develops with age. Absolute reward processing is also linked to individual differences in Impulsivity. PMID:23544046

  6. 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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  8. 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. © 2013 New York Academy of Sciences.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Vegetative versus Minimally Conscious States: A Study Using TMS-EEG, Sensory and Event-Related Potentials

    PubMed Central

    Ragazzoni, Aldo; Pirulli, Cornelia; Veniero, Domenica; Feurra, Matteo; Cincotta, Massimo; Giovannelli, Fabio; Chiaramonti, Roberta; Lino, Mario; Rossi, Simone; Miniussi, Carlo

    2013-01-01

    Differential diagnoses between vegetative and minimally conscious states (VS and MCS, respectively) are frequently incorrect. Hence, further research is necessary to improve the diagnostic accuracy at the bedside. The main neuropathological feature of VS is the diffuse damage of cortical and subcortical connections. Starting with this premise, we used electroencephalography (EEG) recordings to evaluate the cortical reactivity and effective connectivity during transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) in chronic VS or MCS patients. Moreover, the TMS-EEG data were compared with the results from standard somatosensory-evoked potentials (SEPs) and event-related potentials (ERPs). Thirteen patients with chronic consciousness disorders were examined at their bedsides. A group of healthy volunteers served as the control group. The amplitudes (reactivity) and scalp distributions (connectivity) of the cortical potentials evoked by TMS (TEPs) of the primary motor cortex were measured. Short-latency median nerve SEPs and auditory ERPs were also recorded. Reproducible TEPs were present in all control subjects in both the ipsilateral and the contralateral hemispheres relative to the site of the TMS. The amplitudes of the ipsilateral and contralateral TEPs were reduced in four of the five MCS patients, and the TEPs were bilaterally absent in one MCS patient. Among the VS patients, five did not manifest ipsilateral or contralateral TEPs, and three of the patients exhibited only ipsilateral TEPs with reduced amplitudes. The SEPs were altered in five VS and two MCS patients but did not correlate with the clinical diagnosis. The ERPs were impaired in all patients and did not correlate with the clinical diagnosis. These TEP results suggest that cortical reactivity and connectivity are severely impaired in all VS patients, whereas in most MCS patients, the TEPs are preserved but with abnormal features. Therefore, TEPs may add valuable information to the current clinical and

  13. A self-calibrating telemetry system for measurement of ventricular pressure-volume relations in conscious, freely moving rats.

    PubMed

    Uemura, Kazunori; Kawada, Toru; Sugimachi, Masaru; Zheng, Can; Kashihara, Koji; Sato, Takayuki; Sunagawa, Kenji

    2004-12-01

    Using Bluetooth wireless technology, we developed an implantable telemetry system for measurement of the left ventricular pressure-volume relation in conscious, freely moving rats. The telemetry system consisted of a pressure-conductance catheter (1.8-Fr) connected to a small (14-g) fully implantable signal transmitter. To make the system fully telemetric, calibrations such as blood resistivity and parallel conductance were also conducted telemetrically. To estimate blood resistivity, we used four electrodes arranged 0.2 mm apart on the pressure-conductance catheter. To estimate parallel conductance, we used a dual-frequency method. We examined the accuracy of calibrations, stroke volume (SV) measurements, and the reproducibility of the telemetry. The blood resistivity estimated telemetrically agreed with that measured using an ex vivo cuvette method (y=1.09x - 11.9, r2= 0.88, n=10). Parallel conductance estimated by the dual-frequency (2 and 20 kHz) method correlated well with that measured by a conventional saline injection method (y=1.59x - 1.77, r2= 0.87, n=13). The telemetric SV closely correlated with the flowmetric SV during inferior vena cava occlusions (y=0.96x + 7.5, r2=0.96, n=4). In six conscious rats, differences between the repeated telemetries on different days (3 days apart on average) were reasonably small: 13% for end-diastolic volume, 20% for end-systolic volume, 28% for end-diastolic pressure, and 6% for end-systolic pressure. We conclude that the developed telemetry system enables us to estimate the pressure-volume relation with reasonable accuracy and reproducibility in conscious, untethered rats.

  14. Vegetative versus minimally conscious states: a study using TMS-EEG, sensory and event-related potentials.

    PubMed

    Ragazzoni, Aldo; Pirulli, Cornelia; Veniero, Domenica; Feurra, Matteo; Cincotta, Massimo; Giovannelli, Fabio; Chiaramonti, Roberta; Lino, Mario; Rossi, Simone; Miniussi, Carlo

    2013-01-01

    Differential diagnoses between vegetative and minimally conscious states (VS and MCS, respectively) are frequently incorrect. Hence, further research is necessary to improve the diagnostic accuracy at the bedside. The main neuropathological feature of VS is the diffuse damage of cortical and subcortical connections. Starting with this premise, we used electroencephalography (EEG) recordings to evaluate the cortical reactivity and effective connectivity during transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) in chronic VS or MCS patients. Moreover, the TMS-EEG data were compared with the results from standard somatosensory-evoked potentials (SEPs) and event-related potentials (ERPs). Thirteen patients with chronic consciousness disorders were examined at their bedsides. A group of healthy volunteers served as the control group. The amplitudes (reactivity) and scalp distributions (connectivity) of the cortical potentials evoked by TMS (TEPs) of the primary motor cortex were measured. Short-latency median nerve SEPs and auditory ERPs were also recorded. Reproducible TEPs were present in all control subjects in both the ipsilateral and the contralateral hemispheres relative to the site of the TMS. The amplitudes of the ipsilateral and contralateral TEPs were reduced in four of the five MCS patients, and the TEPs were bilaterally absent in one MCS patient. Among the VS patients, five did not manifest ipsilateral or contralateral TEPs, and three of the patients exhibited only ipsilateral TEPs with reduced amplitudes. The SEPs were altered in five VS and two MCS patients but did not correlate with the clinical diagnosis. The ERPs were impaired in all patients and did not correlate with the clinical diagnosis. These TEP results suggest that cortical reactivity and connectivity are severely impaired in all VS patients, whereas in most MCS patients, the TEPs are preserved but with abnormal features. Therefore, TEPs may add valuable information to the current clinical and

  15. Large-scale information flow in conscious and unconscious states: an ECoG study in monkeys.

    PubMed

    Yanagawa, Toru; Chao, Zenas C; Hasegawa, Naomi; Fujii, Naotaka

    2013-01-01

    Consciousness is an emergent property of the complex brain network. In order to understand how consciousness is constructed, neural interactions within this network must be elucidated. Previous studies have shown that specific neural interactions between the thalamus and frontoparietal cortices; frontal and parietal cortices; and parietal and temporal cortices are correlated with levels of consciousness. However, due to technical limitations, the network underlying consciousness has not been investigated in terms of large-scale interactions with high temporal and spectral resolution. In this study, we recorded neural activity with dense electrocorticogram (ECoG) arrays and used the spectral Granger causality to generate a more comprehensive network that relates to consciousness in monkeys. We found that neural interactions were significantly different between conscious and unconscious states in all combinations of cortical region pairs. Furthermore, the difference in neural interactions between conscious and unconscious states could be represented in 4 frequency-specific large-scale networks with unique interaction patterns: 2 networks were related to consciousness and showed peaks in alpha and beta bands, while the other 2 networks were related to unconsciousness and showed peaks in theta and gamma bands. Moreover, networks in the unconscious state were shared amongst 3 different unconscious conditions, which were induced either by ketamine and medetomidine, propofol, or sleep. Our results provide a novel picture that the difference between conscious and unconscious states is characterized by a switch in frequency-specific modes of large-scale communications across the entire cortex, rather than the cessation of interactions between specific cortical regions.

  16. [Conscious awareness of cognitive processes and their dysfunction].

    PubMed

    Suzuki, Kyoko

    2009-11-01

    Conscious awareness is the state in which external and internal stimuli are perceived and can be intentionally acted on. Although various investigations have provided new insights into the neural mechanisms of conscious awareness, its whole network in human remains to be solved. Anosognosia for visual dysfunction and unconscious processing of visual stimuli are good examples of dissociation between cognitive processes and conscious awareness. Anton syndrome, anosognosia for blind or deaf, could be observed in blindness caused by cerebral as well as ophthalmological diseases, when general cognitive function or attention is impaired. Unawareness of hemianopia is not an exception but a common phenomenon, which seems to be related to a completion phenomenon and macular sparing. Patients with visual agnosia are not consciously aware of the nature of their visual dysfunction but have a vague feeling of visual impairment. Blindsight, unconscious visual processing in the blind field, might be partly related to the dorso-dorsal visual stream that takes roles in the control of actions "on line" without awareness of spatial perception. In patients with unilateral spatial neglect, unconscious processing of visual stimuli on the neglected space was also observed. Better understanding of neural mechanisms of conscious awareness would provide insights into various neurological disorders and therapeutic approaches.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

    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). 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). 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. Findings are discussed as they pertain to the symptomatology of BPD, PTSD, and dissociation.

  18. 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

  19. An information integration theory of consciousness

    PubMed Central

    Tononi, Giulio

    2004-01-01

    shown here, these include the association of consciousness with certain neural systems rather than with others; the fact that neural processes underlying consciousness can influence or be influenced by neural processes that remain unconscious; the reduction of consciousness during dreamless sleep and generalized seizures; and the time requirements on neural interactions that support consciousness. Implications of the hypothesis The theory entails that consciousness is a fundamental quantity, that it is graded, that it is present in infants and animals, and that it should be possible to build conscious artifacts. PMID:15522121

  20. Reversal of age-related neural timing delays with training

    PubMed Central

    Anderson, Samira; White-Schwoch, Travis; Parbery-Clark, Alexandra; Kraus, Nina

    2013-01-01

    Neural slowing is commonly noted in older adults, with consequences for sensory, motor, and cognitive domains. One of the deleterious effects of neural slowing is impairment of temporal resolution; older adults, therefore, have reduced ability to process the rapid events that characterize speech, especially in noisy environments. Although hearing aids provide increased audibility, they cannot compensate for deficits in auditory temporal processing. Auditory training may provide a strategy to address these deficits. To that end, we evaluated the effects of auditory-based cognitive training on the temporal precision of subcortical processing of speech in noise. After training, older adults exhibited faster neural timing and experienced gains in memory, speed of processing, and speech-in-noise perception, whereas a matched control group showed no changes. Training was also associated with decreased variability of brainstem response peaks, suggesting a decrease in temporal jitter in response to a speech signal. These results demonstrate that auditory-based cognitive training can partially restore age-related deficits in temporal processing in the brain; this plasticity in turn promotes better cognitive and perceptual skills. PMID:23401541

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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…

  4. 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…

  5. 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.

  6. Neuromodulation of Whisking Related Neural Activity in Superior Colliculus

    PubMed Central

    Bezdudnaya, Tatiana

    2014-01-01

    The superior colliculus is part of a broader neural network that can decode whisker movements in air and on objects, which is a strategy used by behaving rats to sense the environment. The intermediate layers of the superior colliculus receive whisker-related excitatory afferents from the trigeminal complex and barrel cortex, inhibitory afferents from extrinsic and intrinsic sources, and neuromodulatory afferents from cholinergic and monoaminergic nuclei. However, it is not well known how these inputs regulate whisker-related activity in the superior colliculus. We found that barrel cortex afferents drive the superior colliculus during the middle portion of the rising phase of the whisker movement protraction elicited by artificial (fictive) whisking in anesthetized rats. In addition, both spontaneous and whisker-related neural activities in the superior colliculus are under strong inhibitory and neuromodulator control. Cholinergic stimulation activates the superior colliculus by increasing spontaneous firing and, in some cells, whisker-evoked responses. Monoaminergic stimulation has the opposite effects. The actions of neuromodulator and inhibitory afferents may be the basis of the different firing rates and sensory responsiveness observed in the superior colliculus of behaving animals during distinct behavioral states. PMID:24872572

  7. 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

  8. [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.

  9. How to Begin to Overcome the Ambiguity Present in Differentiation between Contents and Levels of Consciousness?

    PubMed

    Bachmann, Talis

    2012-01-01

    Recently, a welcome trend has emerged - in addition to the traditional studies on contents and states of consciousness, levels of consciousness have become a matter of research. However, there are some conceptual and methodological difficulties with this research - the labels used for empirical measurement of levels are ambiguous and underspecified while the research on neural correlates of consciousness has not been well linked to psychophysical approaches to studying the levels of consciousness. This article suggests a perspective on how to advance the psychophysics of measuring the levels by precisely specifying level-specific contents and how to relate the distinction between contents and levels to the distinction between the underlying brain mechanisms necessary for processing contents and regulating the level of consciousness.

  10. Fairness influences early signatures of reward-related neural processing.

    PubMed

    Massi, Bart; Luhmann, Christian C

    2015-12-01

    Many humans exhibit a strong preference for fairness during decision-making. Although there is evidence that social factors influence reward-related and affective neural processing, it is unclear if this effect is mediated by compulsory outcome evaluation processes or results from slower deliberate cognition. Here we show that the feedback-related negativity (FRN) and late positive potential (LPP), two signatures of early hedonic processing, are modulated by the fairness of rewards during a passive rating task. We find that unfair payouts elicit larger FRNs than fair payouts, whereas fair payouts elicit larger LPPs than unfair payouts. This is true both in the time-domain, where the FRN and LPP are related, and in the time-frequency domain, where the two signals are largely independent. Ultimately, this work demonstrates that fairness affects the early stages of reward and affective processing, suggesting a common biological mechanism for social and personal reward evaluation.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Linking Sleep Slow Oscillations with consciousness theories: new vistas on Slow Wave Sleep unconsciousness.

    PubMed

    Gemignani, Angelo; Menicucci, Danilo; Laurino, Marco; Piarulli, Andrea; Mastorci, Francesca; Sebastiani, Laura; Allegrini, Paolo

    2015-01-01

    We review current models of consciousness in the context of wakefulness and sleep. We show that recent results on Slow Wave Sleep, including our own works, naturally fit within consciousness models. In particular, Sleep Slow Oscillations, namely low-frequency (<1Hz) oscillations, contain electrophysiological properties (up and down states) able to elicit and quench neural integration during Slow Wave Sleep. The physiological unconsciousness related to the Sleep Slow Oscillation derives from the interplay between spontaneous or evoked wake-like activities (up states) and half-a-second's electrical silences (down states). Sleep Slow Oscillation induces unconsciousness via the formation of parallel and segregated neural activities.

  15. The Neural Consequences of Age-Related Hearing Loss.

    PubMed

    Peelle, Jonathan E; Wingfield, Arthur

    2016-07-01

    During hearing, acoustic signals travel up the ascending auditory pathway from the cochlea to auditory cortex; efferent connections provide descending feedback. In human listeners, although auditory and cognitive processing have sometimes been viewed as separate domains, a growing body of work suggests they are intimately coupled. Here, we review the effects of hearing loss on neural systems supporting spoken language comprehension, beginning with age-related physiological decline. We suggest that listeners recruit domain general executive systems to maintain successful communication when the auditory signal is degraded, but that this compensatory processing has behavioral consequences: even relatively mild levels of hearing loss can lead to cascading cognitive effects that impact perception, comprehension, and memory, leading to increased listening effort during speech comprehension.

  16. Evolving Complexity, Cognition, and Consciousness

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liljenström, H.

    2012-12-01

    All through the history of the universe there is an apparent tendency for increasing complexity, with the organization of matter in evermore elaborate and interactive systems. The living world in general, and the human brain in particular, provides the highest complexity known. It seems obvious that all of this complexity must be the result of physical, chemical and biological evolution, but it was only with Darwin that we began to get a scientific understanding of biological evolution. Darwinian principles are guiding in our understanding of such complex systems as the nervous system, but also for the evolution of human society and technology. Living organisms have to survive in a complex and changing environment. This implies response and adaption to environmental events and changes at several time scales. The interaction with the environment depends on the present state of the organism, as well as on previous experiences stored in its molecular and cellular structures. At a longer time scale, organisms can adapt to slow environmental changes, by storing information in the genetic material carried over from generation to generation. This phylogenetic learning is complemented by ontogenetic learning, which is adaptation at a shorter time scale, occuring in non-genetic structures. The evolution of a nervous system is a major transition in biological evolution and allows for an increasing capacity for information storage and processing, increasing chances of survival. Such neural knowledge processing, cognition, shows the same principal features as nonneural adaptive processes. Similarly, consciousness might appear, to different degrees, at different stages in evolution. Both cognition and consciousness depends critically on the organization and complexity of the organism. In this presentation, I will briefly discuss general principles for evolution of complexity, focussing on the evolution of the nervous system, which provides organisms with ever increasing

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

  19. 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

  20. 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…

  1. Social power and approach-related neural activity

    PubMed Central

    Smolders, Ruud; Cremer, David De

    2012-01-01

    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. PMID:19304842

  2. 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.

  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. Investigating the relationship among self-reported oral health status, oral health-related behaviors, and self-consciousness in Romanian dental patients.

    PubMed

    Dumitrescu, A L; Kawamura, M; Zetu, L; Teslaru, S

    2009-03-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate whether self-consciousness, self-reported oral health status, and oral health-related behaviors were associated in a Romanian population. A cross-sectional study design was used. Data were collected between January and March 2008. The sample consisted of 180 Romanian adults (mean age: 35.8 years; 72.6% women; 57% married) who were a random population drawn consecutively from the registry file of a private dental practice in the Iasi area. The questionnaire included information about demographic, psychologic, self-reported oral health, and oral health-related behavior items. The self-consciousness (SC) scale with three subscales (public SC, private SC, and social anxiety) was applied. Significant differences were found on the public SC scale in relation to denture/removable false teeth and on the total SC scale in relation to periodontal problems. When oral health behaviors were analyzed, private SC was associated with oral health behaviors (flossing, use of mouthrinse, and dental visit frequency). There was no association between toothbrushing frequency and the self-consciousness subscales. The moderating effects of self-consciousness should be considered when evaluating risk-reduction interventions and tailoring intervention efforts to oral health promotion.

  5. How do the brain's time and space mediate consciousness and its different dimensions? Temporo-spatial theory of consciousness (TTC).

    PubMed

    Northoff, Georg; Huang, Zirui

    2017-07-28

    Time and space are the basic building blocks of nature. As a unique existent in nature, our brain exists in time and takes up space. The brain's activity itself also constitutes and spreads in its own (intrinsic) time and space that is crucial for consciousness. Consciousness is a complex phenomenon including different dimensions: level/state, content/form, phenomenal aspects, and cognitive features. We propose a Temporo-spatial Theory of Consciousness (TTC) focusing primarily on the temporal and spatial features of the brain activity. We postulate four different neuronal mechanisms accounting for the different dimensions of consciousness: (i) "temporo-spatial nestedness" of the spontaneous activity accounts for the level/state of consciousness as neural predisposition of consciousness (NPC); (ii) "temporo-spatial alignment" of the pre-stimulus activity accounts for the content/form of consciousness as neural prerequisite of consciousness (preNCC); (iii) "temporo-spatial expansion" of early stimulus-induced activity accounts for phenomenal consciousness as neural correlates of consciousness (NCC); (iv) "temporo-spatial globalization" of late stimulus-induced activity accounts for the cognitive features of consciousness as neural consequence of consciousness (NCCcon). Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. 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.

  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 as a state of matter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tegmark, Max

    2015-07-01

    I examine the hypothesis that consciousness can be understood as a state of matter, "perceptronium", with distinctive information processing abilities. I explore five basic principles that may distinguish conscious matter from other physical systems such as solids, liquids and gases: the information, integration, independence, dynamics and utility principles. This approach generalizes Giulio Tononi's integrated information framework for neural-network-based consciousness to arbitrary quantum systems, and provides interesting links to error-correcting codes and condensed matter criticality, as well as an interesting connections between the emergence of consciousness and the emergence of time. (For more technical details, see arXiv:1401.1219).

  9. 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.

  10. Unconscious high-level information processing: implication for neurobiological theories of consciousness.

    PubMed

    van Gaal, Simon; Lamme, Victor A F

    2012-06-01

    Theories about the neural correlates and functional relevance of consciousness have traditionally assigned a crucial role to the prefrontal cortex in generating consciousness as well as in orchestrating high-level conscious control over behavior. However, recent neuroscientific findings show that prefrontal cortex can be activated unconsciously. The depth, direction, and scope of these activations depend on several top-down factors such as the task being probed (task-set, strategy) and on (temporal/spatial) attention. Regardless, such activations-when mediated by feedforward activation only-do not lead to a conscious sensation. Although unconscious, these prefrontal activations are functional, in the sense that they are associated with behavioral effects of cognitive control, such as response inhibition, task switching, conflict monitoring, and error detection. These findings challenge the pivotal role of the prefrontal cortex in consciousness. Instead, it appears that specific brain areas (or cognitive modules) may support specific cognitive functions but that consciousness is independent of this. Conscious sensations arise only when the brain areas involved engage in recurrent interactions enabling the long-lasting exchange of information between brain regions. Moreover, recent evidence suggests that also the state of consciousness, for example, in vegetative state patients or during sleep and anesthesia, is closely related to the scope and extent of residual recurrent interactions among brain regions.

  11. 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…

  12. 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…

  13. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:23882231

  15. 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

  16. Investigating the biology of consciousness.

    PubMed Central

    Damasio, A R

    1998-01-01

    The fact that consciousness is a private, first-person phenomenon makes it more difficult to study than other cognitive phenomena that, although being equally private, also have characteristic behavioural signatures. Nonetheless, by combining cognitive and neurobiological methods, it is possible to approach consciousness, to describe its cognitive nature, its behavioural correlates, its possible evolutionary origin and functional role; last but not least, it is possible to investigate its neuroanatomical and neurophysiological underpinnings. In this brief essay I distinguish between two kinds of consciousness: core consciousness and extended consciousness. Core consciousness corresponds to the transient process that is incessantly generated relative to any object with which an organism interacts, and during which a transient core self and transient sense of knowing are automatically generated. Core consciousness requires neither language nor working memory, and needs only a brief short-term memory. Extended consciousness is a more complex process. It depends on the gradual build-up of an autobiographical self, a set of conceptual memories pertaining to both past and anticipated experiences of an individual, and it requires conventional memory. Extended consciousness is enhanced by language. PMID:9854259

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Hallmarks of consciousness.

    PubMed

    Butler, Ann B

    2012-01-01

    Consciousness, ranging from the primary, or perceptual, level to high levels that include a sense of self, can be identified in various organisms by a set of hallmarks that include behavioral, neural and phenomenal and/or informational. Behavioral hallmarks include those that indicate high cognitive abilities, such behavioral flexibility, verbal abilities, episodic memories, theory of mind, object constancy, transitive inference and multistability, all of which have been demonstrated in birds as well as in primates. Neural hallmarks include the thalamocortical model for mammals and similar circuitry in some nonmammalian taxa. Informational hallmarks include sensorimotor awareness, as provided by somatosensory and/or lateral line systems, which may form the basis for the sense of self and distinguishing self from nonself, as well as other sensory information, such as the richness and quantity of color and form information obtained by the visual system. The comparative method reveals a correlation of these different types of hallmarks with each other in their degree of development, which thus may be indicative of the level of consciousness present in a particular species.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. 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)

  4. 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)

  5. Neural Tuning to Numerosity Relates to Perceptual Tuning in 3–6-Year-Old Children

    PubMed Central

    Kersey, Alyssa J.

    2017-01-01

    Neural representations of approximate numerical value, or numerosity, have been observed in the intraparietal sulcus (IPS) in monkeys and humans, including children. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we show that children as young as 3–4 years old exhibit neural tuning to cardinal numerosities in the IPS and that their neural responses are accounted for by a model of numerosity coding that has been used to explain neural responses in the adult IPS. We also found that the sensitivity of children's neural tuning to number in the right IPS was comparable to their numerical discrimination sensitivity observed behaviorally, outside of the scanner. Children's neural tuning curves in the right IPS were significantly sharper than in the left IPS, indicating that numerical representations are more precise and mature more rapidly in the right hemisphere than in the left. Further, we show that children's perceptual sensitivity to numerosity can be predicted by the development of their neural sensitivity to numerosity. This research provides novel evidence of developmental continuity in the neural code underlying numerical representation and demonstrates that children's neural sensitivity to numerosity is related to their cognitive development. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Here we test for the existence of neural tuning to numerosity in the developing brain in the youngest sample of children tested with fMRI to date. Although previous research shows evidence of numerical distance effects in the intraparietal sulcus of the developing brain, those effects could be explained by patterns of neural activity that do not represent neural tuning to numerosity. These data provide the first robust evidence that from as early as 3–4 years of age there is developmental continuity in how the intraparietal sulcus represents the values of numerosities. Moreover, the study goes beyond previous research by examining the relation between neural tuning and perceptual tuning in children

  6. [Consciousness and emotion].

    PubMed

    Carton, Solange

    2007-12-01

    This article focuses on the processes that lead to awareness of our own emotions, which deserve particular attention in contemporary models of emotional consciousness. The subjective component of emotion, or emotional experience, was for a long time the most neglected aspect in the study of emotions although it already constituted the initial point of discussion in the famous William James still asked question : What is an emotion? More than a century later, contemporary theories debate about this heritage. We examine the successive historic contributions to the question of the determinants of our own emotional experience: from James-Lange bodily changes to cognitive appraisal theories, also relating the major role that the fundamental emotions theory attributed to facial expressions. Twenty years after the debate about primacy of cognition or emotion, both physiological-somatic and cognitive components are integrated in contemporary approaches to emotions. However, their respective degree of implication varies according to the different levels of emotional consciousness which are modelized. It is on the last level that present models focus, level that leads to consciousness of our emotional experience, benefiting from the contributions of cognitive neurosciences. Models differ according to the role devoted to neuronal substrates in determining emotional experience, but they converge on the specification of a last level of consciousness, which is the only one that allows the subject to be conscious of emotion as it is experienced (feeling) and that what he is experiencing is an emotion. Then, different models of emotional consciousness account for different varieties of emotion experience and also for various cases of < unconscious > emotions, that is occurrence of emotion with a lack of awareness.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Sensory-related neural activity regulates the structure of vascular networks in the cerebral cortex

    PubMed Central

    Lacoste, Baptiste; Comin, Cesar H.; Ben-Zvi, Ayal; Kaeser, Pascal S.; Xu, Xiaoyin; Costa, Luciano da F.; Gu, Chenghua

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY Neurovascular interactions are essential for proper brain function. While the effect of neural activity on cerebral blood flow has been extensively studied, whether neural activity influences vascular patterning remains elusive. Here, we demonstrate that neural activity promotes the formation of vascular networks in the early postnatal mouse barrel cortex. Using a combination of genetics, imaging, and computational tools to allow simultaneous analysis of neuronal and vascular components, we found that vascular density and branching were decreased in the barrel cortex when sensory input was reduced by either a complete deafferentation, a genetic impairment of neurotransmitter release at thalamocortical synapses, or a selective reduction of sensory-related neural activity by whisker plucking. In contrast, enhancement of neural activity by whisker stimulation led to an increase in vascular density and branching. The finding that neural activity is necessary and sufficient to trigger alterations of vascular networks reveals a novel feature of neurovascular interactions. PMID:25155955

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Networks of conscious experience: computational neuroscience in understanding life, death, and consciousness.

    PubMed

    Leisman, Gerry; Koch, Paul

    2009-01-01

    We demonstrate brain locations appearing to correlate with consciousness, but not being directly responsible for it. Technology reveals that brain activity is associated with consciousness but is not equivalent to it. We examine how consciousness occurs at critical levels of complexity. Conventional explanations portray consciousness as an emergent property of classical computer-like activities in the brain's neural networks. Prevailing views in this camp are that patterns of neural network activities correlate with mental states, that synchronous network oscillations in the thalamus and cerebral cortex temporally bind information, and that consciousness emerges as a novel property of computational complexity among neurons. A hard-wired theory is enigmatic for explaining consciousness because the nature of subjective experience, or 'qualia'- 'inner life' - is a "hard problem" to understand; binding spatially distributed brain activity into unitary objects, and a coherent sense of self, or 'oneness' is difficult to explain as is the transition from pre- to conscious states. Consciousness is non-computable and involves factors that are neither random nor algorithmic - consciousness cannot be simulated; explanations are also needed for free will and for subjective time flow. Convention argues that neurons and their chemical synapses are the fundamental units of information in the brain, and that conscious experience emerges when a critical level of complexity is reached in the brain's neural networks. The basic idea is that the mind is a computer functioning in the brain. In fitting the brain to a computational view, such explanations omit incompatible neurophysiological details, including widespread apparent randomness at all levels of neural processes (is it really noise, or underlying levels of complexity?); glial cells (which account for some 80% of the brain); dendritic-dendritic processing; electrotonic gap junctions; cytoplasmic/cytoskeletal activities; living

  2. 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.

  3. Motivation alters impression formation and related neural systems

    PubMed Central

    Zaki, Jamil; Ambady, Nalini

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Observers frequently form impressions of other people based on complex or conflicting information. Rather than being objective, these impressions are often biased by observers’ motives. For instance, observers often downplay negative information they learn about ingroup members. Here, we characterize the neural systems associated with biased impression formation. Participants learned positive and negative information about ingroup and outgroup social targets. Following this information, participants worsened their impressions of outgroup, but not ingroup, targets. This tendency was associated with a failure to engage neural structures including lateral prefrontal cortex, dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, temporoparietal junction, Insula and Precuneus when processing negative information about ingroup (but not outgroup) targets. To the extent that participants engaged these regions while learning negative information about ingroup members, they exhibited less ingroup bias in their impressions. These data are consistent with a model of ‘effortless bias’, under which perceivers fail to process goal-inconsistent information in order to maintain desired conclusions. PMID:27798250

  4. Motivation alters impression formation and related neural systems.

    PubMed

    Hughes, Brent L; Zaki, Jamil; Ambady, Nalini

    2017-01-01

    Observers frequently form impressions of other people based on complex or conflicting information. Rather than being objective, these impressions are often biased by observers' motives. For instance, observers often downplay negative information they learn about ingroup members. Here, we characterize the neural systems associated with biased impression formation. Participants learned positive and negative information about ingroup and outgroup social targets. Following this information, participants worsened their impressions of outgroup, but not ingroup, targets. This tendency was associated with a failure to engage neural structures including lateral prefrontal cortex, dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, temporoparietal junction, Insula and Precuneus when processing negative information about ingroup (but not outgroup) targets. To the extent that participants engaged these regions while learning negative information about ingroup members, they exhibited less ingroup bias in their impressions. These data are consistent with a model of 'effortless bias', under which perceivers fail to process goal-inconsistent information in order to maintain desired conclusions.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Neural Signals Related to Outcome Evaluation Are Stronger in CA1 than CA3.

    PubMed

    Lee, Sung-Hyun; Huh, Namjung; Lee, Jong Won; Ghim, Jeong-Wook; Lee, Inah; Jung, Min W

    2017-01-01

    We have shown previously that CA1 conveys significant neural signals necessary to update value of the chosen target, namely chosen value and reward signals. To better understand hippocampal neural processes related to valuation, we compared chosen value- and reward-related neural activity between the CA3 and CA1 regions. Single units were recorded with tetrodes from the dorsal CA3 and CA1 regions of rats performing a dynamic foraging task, and chosen value- and reward-related neural activity was estimated using a reinforcement learning model and multiple regression analyses. Neural signals for chosen value and reward converged in both CA3 and CA1 when a trial outcome was revealed. However, these neural signals were stronger in CA1 than CA3. Consequently, neural signals for reward prediction error and updated chosen value were stronger in CA1 than CA3. Together with our previous finding that CA1 conveys stronger value signals than the subiculum, our results raise the possibility that CA1 might play a particularly important role among hippocampal subregions in evaluating experienced events.

  8. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Overgaard, Morten; Mogensen, Jesper

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:24639581

  10. The conscious access hypothesis: Explaining the consciousness

    PubMed Central

    Prakash, Ravi

    2008-01-01

    The phenomenon of conscious awareness or consciousness is complicated but fascinating. Although this concept has intrigued the mankind since antiquity, exploration of consciousness from scientific perspectives is not very old. Among myriad of theories regarding nature, functions and mechanism of consciousness, off late, cognitive theories have received wider acceptance. One of the most exciting hypotheses in recent times has been the “conscious access hypotheses” based on the “global workspace model of consciousness”. It underscores an important property of consciousness, the global access of information in cerebral cortex. Present article reviews the “conscious access hypothesis” in terms of its theoretical underpinnings as well as experimental supports it has received. PMID:19771300

  11. 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'.

  12. 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.

  13. 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…

  14. 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.…

  15. Neural Correlates of Appetite and Hunger-Related Evaluative Judgments

    PubMed Central

    Piech, Richard M.; Lewis, Jade; Parkinson, Caroline H.; Owen, Adrian M.; Roberts, Angela C.; Downing, Paul E.; Parkinson, John A.

    2009-01-01

    How much we desire a meal depends on both the constituent foods and how hungry we are, though not every meal becomes more desirable with increasing hunger. The brain therefore needs to be able to integrate hunger and meal properties to compute the correct incentive value of a meal. The present study investigated the functional role of the amygdala and the orbitofrontal cortex in mediating hunger and dish attractiveness. Furthermore, it explored neural responses to dish descriptions particularly susceptible to value-increase following fasting. We instructed participants to rate how much they wanted food menu items while they were either hungry or sated, and compared the rating differences in these states. Our results point to the representation of food value in the amygdala, and to an integration of attractiveness with hunger level in the orbitofrontal cortex. Dishes particularly desirable during hunger activated the thalamus and the insula. Our results specify the functions of evaluative structures in the context of food attractiveness, and point to a complex neural representation of dish qualities which contribute to state-dependent value. PMID:19672296

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. [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.

  1. Descriptive characteristics and rehabilitation outcomes in active duty military personnel and veterans with disorders of consciousness with combat- and noncombat-related brain injury.

    PubMed

    Nakase-Richardson, Risa; McNamee, Shane; Howe, Laura L; Massengale, Jill; Peterson, Michelle; Barnett, Scott D; Harris, Odette; McCarthy, Marissa; Tran, Johanna; Scott, Steven; Cifu, David X

    2013-10-01

    To report the injury and demographic characteristics, medical course, and rehabilitation outcome for a consecutive series of veterans and active duty military personnel with combat- and noncombat-related brain injury and disorder of consciousness (DOC) at the time of rehabilitation admission. Retrospective study. Rehabilitation center. From January 2004 to October 2009, persons (N=1654) were admitted to the Polytrauma Rehabilitation System of Care. This study focused on the N=122 persons admitted with a DOC. Participants with a DOC were primarily men (96%), on active duty (82%), ≥12 years of education, and a median age of 25. Brain injury etiologies included mixed blast trauma (24%), penetrating (8%), other trauma (56%), and nontrauma (13%). Median initial Glasgow Coma Scale score was 3, and rehabilitation admission Glasgow Coma Scale score was 8. Individuals were admitted for acute neurorehabilitation approximately 51 days postinjury with a median rehabilitation length of stay of 132 days. None. Recovery of consciousness and the FIM instrument. Most participants emerged to regain consciousness during neurorehabilitation (64%). Average gains ± SD on the FIM cognitive and motor subscales were 19 ± 25 and 7 ± 8, respectively. Common medical complications included spasticity (70%), dysautonomia (34%), seizure occurrence (30%), and intracranial infection (22%). Differential outcomes were observed across etiologies, particularly for those with blast-related brain injury etiology. Despite complex comorbidities, optimistic outcomes were observed. Individuals with severe head injury because of blast-related etiologies have different outcomes and comorbidities observed. Health-services research with a focus on prevention of comorbidities is needed to inform optimal models of care, particularly for combat injured soldiers with blast-related injuries. Copyright © 2013 American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Neural Insights into the Relation between Language and Communication

    PubMed Central

    Willems, Roel M.; Varley, Rosemary

    2010-01-01

    The human capacity to communicate has been hypothesized to be causally dependent upon language. Intuitively this seems plausible since most communication relies on language. Moreover, intention recognition abilities (as a necessary prerequisite for communication) and language development seem to co-develop. Here we review evidence from neuroimaging as well as from neuropsychology to evaluate the relationship between communicative and linguistic abilities. Our review indicates that communicative abilities are best considered as neurally distinct from language abilities. This conclusion is based upon evidence showing that humans rely on different cortical systems when designing a communicative message for someone else as compared to when performing core linguistic tasks, as well as upon observations of individuals with severe language loss after extensive lesions to the language system, who are still able to perform tasks involving intention understanding. PMID:21151364

  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. 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. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  5. EEG entropy measures indicate decrease of cortical information processing in Disorders of Consciousness.

    PubMed

    Thul, Alexander; Lechinger, Julia; Donis, Johann; Michitsch, Gabriele; Pichler, Gerald; Kochs, Eberhard F; Jordan, Denis; Ilg, Rüdiger; Schabus, Manuel

    2016-02-01

    Clinical assessments that rely on behavioral responses to differentiate Disorders of Consciousness are at times inapt because of some patients' motor disabilities. To objectify patients' conditions of reduced consciousness the present study evaluated the use of electroencephalography to measure residual brain activity. We analyzed entropy values of 18 scalp EEG channels of 15 severely brain-damaged patients with clinically diagnosed Minimally-Conscious-State (MCS) or Unresponsive-Wakefulness-Syndrome (UWS) and compared the results to a sample of 24 control subjects. Permutation entropy (PeEn) and symbolic transfer entropy (STEn), reflecting information processes in the EEG, were calculated for all subjects. Participants were tested on a modified active own-name paradigm to identify correlates of active instruction following. PeEn showed reduced local information content in the EEG in patients, that was most pronounced in UWS. STEn analysis revealed altered directed information flow in the EEG of patients, indicating impaired feed-backward connectivity. Responses to auditory stimulation yielded differences in entropy measures, indicating reduced information processing in MCS and UWS. Local EEG information content and information flow are affected in Disorders of Consciousness. This suggests local cortical information capacity and feedback information transfer as neural correlates of consciousness. The utilized EEG entropy analyses were able to relate to patient groups with different Disorders of Consciousness. Copyright © 2015 International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. `Funda-Mentality': is the conscious mind subtly linked to a basic level of the universe?

    PubMed

    Hameroff, S R

    1998-04-01

    Age-old battle lines over the puzzling nature of mental experience are shaping a modern resurgence in the study of consciousness. On one side are the long-dominant `physicalists' who view consciousness as an emergent property of the brain's neural networks. On the alternative, rebellious side are those who see a necessary added ingredient: proto-conscious experience intrinsic to reality, perhaps understandable through modern physics (panpsychists, pan-experientialists, `funda-mentalists'). It is argued here that the physicalist premise alone is unable to solve completely the difficult issues of consciousness and that to do so will require supplemental panpsychist/pan-experiential philosophy expressed in modern physics. In one scheme proto-conscious experience is a basic property of physical reality accessible to a quantum process associated with brain activity. The proposed process is Roger Penrose's `objective reduction' (OR), a self-organizing `collapse' of the quantum wave function related to instability at the most basic level of space-time geometry. In the Penrose-Hameroff model of `orchestrated objective reduction' (Orch OR), OR quantum computation occurs in cytoskeletal microtubules within the brain's neurons. The basic thesis is that consciousness involves brain activities coupled to self-organizing ripples in fundamental reality.

  7. [Neuropsychology of consciousness].

    PubMed

    Takeda, Katsuhiko

    2013-01-01

    The nature of the relation between neuropsychology and consciousness has become a major issue. DB had a left lower quadrant hemianopia. When questioned about his vision in the left lower field, DB reported that he saw nothing. When DB was asked to point to locations in the impaired field in which spots of light were turned on briefly, he was surprisingly accurate. Apparently, even though DB could not consciously perceive a light in his blind region, his brain knew where it had appeared. This phenomenon has become known as blindsight. DF suffered carbon monoxide poisoning. The result in DF was an extensive lesion of the lateral occipital region, including cortical tissue in the ventral visual pathway. The principal deficit that DF experienced was a severe inability to recognize objects, which is known as visual form agnosia. Despite her inability to identify objects or to estimate their size and orientation, DF still retained the capacity to appropriately shape her hand when reaching out to grasp something. The anoxic episode affected her vision for perception, but left her vision for action largely unscathed. These patients lack conscious awareness about some subset of information, even though he or she processes that information unconsciously.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Adult Palatum as a Novel Source of Neural Crest-Related Stem Cells

    PubMed Central

    Widera, Darius; Zander, Christin; Heidbreder, Meike; Kasperek, Yvonne; Noll, Thomas; Seitz, Oliver; Saldamli, Belma; Sudhoff, Holger; Sader, Robert; Kaltschmidt, Christian; Kaltschmidt, Barbara

    2009-01-01

    Somatic neural and neural crest stem cells are promising sources for cellular therapy of several neurodegenerative diseases. However, because of practical considerations such as inadequate accessibility of the source material, the application of neural crest stem cells is strictly limited. The secondary palate is a highly regenerative and heavily innervated tissue, which develops embryonically under direct contribution of neural crest cells. Here, we describe for the first time the presence of nestin-positive neural crest-related stem cells within Meissner corpuscles and Merkel cell-neurite complexes located in the hard palate of adult Wistar rats. After isolation, palatal neural crest-related stem cells (pNC-SCs) were cultivated in the presence of epidermal growth factor and fibroblast growth factor under serum-free conditions, resulting in large amounts of neurospheres. We used immunocytochemical techniques and reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction to assess the expression profile of pNC-SCs. In addition to the expression of neural crest stem cell markers such as Nestin, Sox2, and p75, we detected the expression of Klf4, Oct4, and c-Myc. pNC-SCs differentiated efficiently into neuronal and glial cells. Finally, we investigated the potential expression of stemness markers within the human palate. We identified expression of stem cell markers nestin and CD133 and the transcription factors needed for reprogramming of somatic cells into pluripotent cells: Sox2, Oct4, Klf4, and c-Myc. These data show that cells isolated from palatal rugae form neurospheres, are highly plastic, and express neural crest stem cell markers. In addition, pNC-SCs may have the ability to differentiate into functional neurons and glial cells, serving as a starting point for therapeutic studies. Stem Cells 2009;27:1899–1910 PMID:19544446

  11. Adult palatum as a novel source of neural crest-related stem cells.

    PubMed

    Widera, Darius; Zander, Christin; Heidbreder, Meike; Kasperek, Yvonne; Noll, Thomas; Seitz, Oliver; Saldamli, Belma; Sudhoff, Holger; Sader, Robert; Kaltschmidt, Christian; Kaltschmidt, Barbara

    2009-08-01

    Somatic neural and neural crest stem cells are promising sources for cellular therapy of several neurodegenerative diseases. However, because of practical considerations such as inadequate accessibility of the source material, the application of neural crest stem cells is strictly limited. The secondary palate is a highly regenerative and heavily innervated tissue, which develops embryonically under direct contribution of neural crest cells. Here, we describe for the first time the presence of nestin-positive neural crest-related stem cells within Meissner corpuscles and Merkel cell-neurite complexes located in the hard palate of adult Wistar rats. After isolation, palatal neural crest-related stem cells (pNC-SCs) were cultivated in the presence of epidermal growth factor and fibroblast growth factor under serum-free conditions, resulting in large amounts of neurospheres. We used immunocytochemical techniques and reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction to assess the expression profile of pNC-SCs. In addition to the expression of neural crest stem cell markers such as Nestin, Sox2, and p75, we detected the expression of Klf4, Oct4, and c-Myc. pNC-SCs differentiated efficiently into neuronal and glial cells. Finally, we investigated the potential expression of stemness markers within the human palate. We identified expression of stem cell markers nestin and CD133 and the transcription factors needed for reprogramming of somatic cells into pluripotent cells: Sox2, Oct4, Klf4, and c-Myc. These data show that cells isolated from palatal rugae form neurospheres, are highly plastic, and express neural crest stem cell markers. In addition, pNC-SCs may have the ability to differentiate into functional neurons and glial cells, serving as a starting point for therapeutic studies.

  12. 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

  13. 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

    2017-04-01

    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. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  14. Neural reward processing is modulated by approach- and avoidance-related personality traits.

    PubMed

    Simon, Joe J; Walther, Stephan; Fiebach, Christian J; Friederich, Hans-Christoph; Stippich, Christoph; Weisbrod, Matthias; Kaiser, Stefan

    2010-01-15

    The neural processing of reward can be differentiated into two sub-components with different functions, "wanting" (i.e., the expectation of a reward which includes appetitive and motivational components) and "liking" (i.e., the hedonic impact experienced during the receipt of a reward), involving distinct neural systems. We hypothesize that variability in neural reward processing previously observed in healthy subjects could reflect inter-individual differences in personality. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate how the neural processing during expectation and reception of a reward depends on interpersonal differences in reward sensitivity, more specifically the tendency to approach vs. avoid reward-related situations. We employed event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging during a monetary incentive delay task. Subjects with a high approach motivation showed more activation of the Ventral Striatum (VS) during the receipt of a reward, and more medial orbitofrontal activity during both the receipt and omission of a reward. Subjects with a high behavioral inhibition showed less activation in the VS during the receipt of a reward. These findings indicate that the tendency to approach or avoid reward-related situations exhibits a distinct relation with neural reward processing. Specifically, subjects with high behavioral approach appear to be sensitive mainly to positive outcomes and to a lesser extent to the omissions of rewards, whereas subjects with low behavioral approach as well as those with a high inhibition tendency display a blunted response to rewards.

  15. 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.

  16. The importance of polysomnography in the evaluation of prolonged disorders of consciousness: sleep recordings more adequately correlate than stimulus-related evoked potentials with patients' clinical status.

    PubMed

    de Biase, Stefano; Gigli, Gian Luigi; Lorenzut, Simone; Bianconi, Claudio; Sfreddo, Patrizia; Rossato, Gianluca; Basaldella, Federica; Fuccaro, Matteo; Corica, Antonio; Tonon, Davide; Barbone, Fabio; Valente, Mariarosaria

    2014-04-01

    The aim of our study was to evaluate the importance of sleep recordings and stimulus-related evoked potentials (EPs) in patients with prolonged disorders of consciousness (DOCs) by correlating neurophysiologic variables with clinical evaluation obtained using specific standardized scales. There were 27 vegetative state (VS) and 5 minimally conscious state (MCS) patients who were evaluated from a clinical and neurophysiologic perspective. Clinical evaluation included the Coma Recovery Scale-Revised (CRS-R), Disability Rating Scale (DRS), and Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS). Neurophysiologic evaluation included 24-h polysomnography (PSG), somatosensory EPs (SEPs), brainstem auditory EPs (BAEPs), and visual EPs (VEPs). Patients with preservation of each single sleep element (sleep-wake cycle, sleep spindles, K-complexes, and rapid eye movement [REM] sleep) always showed better clinical scores compared to those who did not have preservation. Statistical significance was only achieved for REM sleep. In 7 patients PSG showed the presence of all considered sleep elements, and they had a CRS-R score of 8.29±1.38. In contrast, 25 patients who lacked one or more of the sleep elements had a CRS-R score of 4.84±1.46 (P<.05). Our multivariate analysis clarified that concurrent presence of sleep spindles and REM sleep were associated with a much higher CRS-R score (positive interaction, P<.0001). On the other hand, no significant associations were found between EPs and CRS-R scores. PSG recordings have proved to be a reliable tool in the neurophysiologic assessment of patients with prolonged DOCs, correlating more adequately than EPs with the clinical evaluation and the level of consciousness. The main contribution to higher clinical scores was determined by the concomitant presence of REM sleep and sleep spindles. PSG recordings may be considered inexpensive, noninvasive, and easy-to-perform examinations to provide supplementary information in patients with prolonged DOCs. Copyright

  17. 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. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  18. 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,…

  19. 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,…

  20. Relative weight, weight loss efforts and nutrient intakes among health-conscious vegetarian, past vegetarian and nonvegetarian women ages 18 to 50.

    PubMed

    Barr, S I; Broughton, T M

    2000-01-01

    To compare relative weight, weight loss efforts and nutrient intakes among similarly health-conscious vegetarian, past vegetarian and nonvegetarian premenopausal women. Demographic data, lifestyle practices and weight loss efforts (by questionnaire), body mass index (BMI;kg/m2) and dietary intake (via multiple-pass 24-hour diet recall) were compared in a convenience sample of 90 current vegetarians, 35 past vegetarians and 68 nonvegetarians. Age (31.9 +/- 8.8), educational attainment, smoking status, alcohol use, physical activity and perceived health status were similar among the three groups of women. BMI did not differ by dietary pattern and averaged 23.7 +/- 4.7 for all women combined. Participants had intentionally lost > or = 10 pounds a mean of 2.1 times, and 39% of women perceived themselves to be overweight; again, no differences were observed among dietary groups. Dietary intakes of vegetarians and current nonvegetarians were consistent with current recommendations for macronutrient composition (< 30% fat, < 10% saturates). Compared to current nonvegetarians, current vegetarians had lower intakes of protein, saturated fat, cholesterol, niacin, vitamins B12 and D, and higher fiber and magnesium intakes. Vegetarians' mean vitamin B12 and D intakes were well below recommendations. Relative weight and weight loss efforts do not differ by dietary pattern among similarly health-conscious vegetarian and nonvegetarian women. The only differences in nutrient intake with potential health implications were vitamins D and B12.

  1. 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.

  2. Neural activation in stress-related exhaustion: Cross-sectional observations and interventional effects.

    PubMed

    Gavelin, Hanna Malmberg; Neely, Anna Stigsdotter; Andersson, Micael; Eskilsson, Therese; Järvholm, Lisbeth Slunga; Boraxbekk, Carl-Johan

    2017-11-30

    The primary purpose of this study was to investigate the association between burnout and neural activation during working memory processing in patients with stress-related exhaustion. Additionally, we investigated the neural effects of cognitive training as part of stress rehabilitation. Fifty-five patients with clinical diagnosis of exhaustion disorder were administered the n-back task during fMRI scanning at baseline. Ten patients completed a 12-week cognitive training intervention, as an addition to stress rehabilitation. Eleven patients served as a treatment-as-usual control group. At baseline, burnout level was positively associated with neural activation in the rostral prefrontal cortex, the posterior parietal cortex and the striatum, primarily in the 2-back condition. Following stress rehabilitation, the striatal activity decreased as a function of improved levels of burnout. No significant association between burnout level and working memory performance was found, however, our findings indicate that frontostriatal neural responses related to working memory were modulated by burnout severity. We suggest that patients with high levels of burnout need to recruit additional cognitive resources to uphold task performance. Following cognitive training, increased neural activation was observed during 3-back in working memory-related regions, including the striatum, however, low sample size limits any firm conclusions. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Brain, mind and limitations of a scientific theory of human consciousness.

    PubMed

    Gierer, Alfred

    2008-05-01

    In biological terms, human consciousness appears as a feature associated with the functioning of the human brain. The corresponding activities of the neural network occur strictly in accord with physical laws; however, this fact does not necessarily imply that there can be a comprehensive scientific theory of consciousness, despite all the progress in neurobiology, neuropsychology and neurocomputation. Predictions of the extent to which such a theory may become possible vary widely in the scientific community. There are basic reasons-not only practical but also epistemological-why the brain-mind relation may never be fully "decodable" by general finite procedures. In particular self-referential features of consciousness, such as self-representations involved in strategic thought and dispositions, may not be resolvable in all their essential aspects by brain analysis. Assuming that such limitations exist, objective analysis by the methods of natural science cannot, in principle, fully encompass subjective, mental experience. (c) 2008 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  4. 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…

  5. 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…

  6. Resolving some confusions over attention and consciousness.

    PubMed

    Taylor, J G; Fragopanagos, N

    2007-11-01

    There is presently an ongoing debate about the relation between attention and consciousness. Thus debate is being fuelled by results from experimental paradigms which probe various forms of the interaction between attention and consciousness, such as the attentional blink, object-substitution masking and change blindness. We present here simulations of these three paradigms which can all be produced from a single overarching control model of attention. This model helps to suggest an explanation of consciousness as created through attention, and helps to explore the complex nature of attention. It indicates how it is possible to accommodate the relevant experimental results without needing to regard consciousness and attention as independent processes.

  7. 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. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. 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…

  9. 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…

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Neural correlates of mindfulness meditation-related anxiety relief

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:23615765

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Tracking Deceased-Related Thinking with Neural Pattern Decoding of a Cortical-Basal Ganglia Circuit.

    PubMed

    Schneck, Noam; Haufe, Stefan; Tu, Tao; Bonanno, George A; Ochsner, Kevin; Sajda, Paul; Mann, J John

    2017-07-01

    Deceased-related thinking is central to grieving and potentially critical to processing of the loss. Self-report measurements might fail to capture important elements of deceased-related thinking and processing. Here, we used a machine learning approach applied to fMRI - known as neural decoding - to develop a measure of ongoing deceased-related processing. 23 subjects grieving the loss of a first-degree relative, spouse or partner within 14 months underwent two fMRI tasks. They first viewed pictures and stories related to the deceased, a living control and a demographic control figure while providing ongoing valence and arousal ratings. Second, they performed a 10-minute Sustained Attention to Response Task (SART) with thought probes every 25-35 seconds to identify deceased, living and self-related thoughts. A conjunction analysis, controlling for valence/arousal, identified neural clusters in basal ganglia, orbital prefrontal cortex and insula associated with both types of deceased-related stimuli vs. the two control conditions in the first task. This pattern was applied to fMRI data collected during the SART, and discriminated deceased-related but not living or self-related thoughts, independently of grief-severity and time since loss. Deceased-related thoughts on the SART correlated with self-reported avoidance. The neural model predicted avoidance over and above deceased-related thoughts. A neural pattern trained to identify mental representations of the deceased tracked deceased-related thinking during a sustained attention task and also predicted subject-level avoidance. This approach provides a new imaging tool to be used as an index of processing the deceased for future studies of complicated grief.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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…

  3. 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…

  4. Neural Processing of Eye Gaze and Threat-Related Emotional Facial Expressions in Infancy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hoehl, Stefanie; Striano, Tricia

    2008-01-01

    Combined with emotional expressions, eye gaze can provide essential information to indicate threat in the environment. The current study assessed the effects of eye gaze direction on infants' neural processing of fearful and angry faces. Event-related potentials were recorded from thirteen 7-month-old infants. Two face-sensitive posterior…

  5. Timing accuracy in self-timed movements related to neural indicators of movement initiation.

    PubMed

    Maurer, Lisa K; Sammer, Gebhard; Bischoff, Matthias; Maurer, Heiko; Müller, Hermann

    2014-10-01

    Timely movement initiation is crucial in quick reactions or when a series of movements has to be strung together in a timed fashion to create a coordinated sequence. Stochastic neural variability can lead to misinitiation errors as reaction time studies suggest. Higher reaction times occur when preparatory neural activity reaches an initiation threshold later relative to shorter reaction times. Whether this also applies to self-timed movements is harder to scrutinize because they lack an external event that could serve as a reference for timing accuracy estimations. By example of a self-timed goal-oriented throwing task, we used a method that synchronizes the throwing movements by their kinematic profiles to assess relative timing differences in throwing release. We determined neural preparatory processes of the release using the movement-related electrophysiological Bereitschaftspotential (BP). By analyzing differences in shape and timing of the BP in delayed and non-delayed throws, two variables could be extracted that are related to timing differences on the kinematic level. First, temporal deviations in BP curves partly meet the kinematic deviations. Second, delayed releases were preceded by a short flattening of the BP curves prior to release. Thus, temporal and shape deviations in the neural movement initiation are assumed to delay self-timed movements. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Shi, Zhenhao

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:22422804

  10. 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.

  11. Age-related differences of neural connectivity during mental rotation.

    PubMed

    Thomas, Monika

    2016-03-01

    The purpose of the present study was to investigate age-related effects on functional brain networks during a mental rotation task. At behavioral level age-related cognitive deficits have been shown. Cognitive deficits in older adults are associated with structural decline, especially in frontal and parietal areas and in the corpus callosum. In consequence, functional networks are affected by old age as well. To this end, a graph theoretical approach was taken, which quantifies the global and local efficiency as well as the cost efficiency of frontal and parietal intrahemispheric and interhemispheric networks. Main results indicate that intrahemispheric and interhemispheric networks are differently affected by older age: in the left frontal and the left and right parietal intrahemispheric networks global and local efficiency was reduced, whereas in frontal and parietal interhemispheric networks cost efficiency was decreased. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  12. 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

  13. Environmental influences on neural systems of relational complexity.

    PubMed

    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.

  14. Impaired Consciousness in Epilepsy

    PubMed Central

    Blumenfeld, Hal

    2013-01-01

    Consciousness is essential to normal human life. In epileptic seizures consciousness is often transiently lost making it impossible for the individual to experience or respond. This has huge consequences for safety, productivity, emotional health and quality of life. To prevent impaired consciousness in epilepsy it is necessary to understand the mechanisms leading to brain dysfunction during seizures. Normally the “consciousness system”—a specialized set of cortical-subcortical structures—maintains alertness, attention and awareness. Recent advances in neuroimaging, electrophysiology and prospective behavioral testing have shed new light on how epileptic seizures disrupt the consciousness system. Diverse seizure types including absence, generalized tonic-clonic and complex partial seizures converge on the same set of anatomical structures through different mechanisms to disrupt consciousness. Understanding these mechanisms may lead to improved treatment strategies to prevent impaired consciousness and improve quality of life in people with epilepsy. PMID:22898735

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Insights on consciousness from taste memory research.

    PubMed

    Gallo, Milagros

    2016-01-01

    Taste research in rodents supports the relevance of memory in order to determine the content of consciousness by modifying both taste perception and later action. Associated with this issue is the fact that taste and visual modalities share anatomical circuits traditionally related to conscious memory. This challenges the view of taste memory as a type of non-declarative unconscious memory.

  18. 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…

  19. 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…

  20. Bottom-Up and Top-Down Mechanisms of General Anesthetics Modulate Different Dimensions of Consciousness.

    PubMed

    Mashour, George A; Hudetz, Anthony G

    2017-01-01

    There has been controversy regarding the precise mechanisms of anesthetic-induced unconsciousness, with two salient approaches that have emerged within systems neuroscience. One prominent approach is the "bottom up" paradigm, which argues that anesthetics suppress consciousness by modulating sleep-wake nuclei and neural circuits in the brainstem and diencephalon that have evolved to control arousal states. Another approach is the "top-down" paradigm, which argues that anesthetics suppress consciousness by modulating the cortical and thalamocortical circuits involved in the integration of neural information. In this article, we synthesize these approaches by mapping bottom-up and top-down mechanisms of general anesthetics to two distinct but inter-related dimensions of consciousness: level and content. We show how this explains certain empirical observations regarding the diversity of anesthetic drug effects. We conclude with a more nuanced discussion of how levels and contents of consciousness interact to generate subjective experience and what this implies for the mechanisms of anesthetic-induced unconsciousness.

  1. Bottom-Up and Top-Down Mechanisms of General Anesthetics Modulate Different Dimensions of Consciousness

    PubMed Central

    Mashour, George A.; Hudetz, Anthony G.

    2017-01-01

    There has been controversy regarding the precise mechanisms of anesthetic-induced unconsciousness, with two salient approaches that have emerged within systems neuroscience. One prominent approach is the “bottom up” paradigm, which argues that anesthetics suppress consciousness by modulating sleep-wake nuclei and neural circuits in the brainstem and diencephalon that have evolved to control arousal states. Another approach is the “top-down” paradigm, which argues that anesthetics suppress consciousness by modulating the cortical and thalamocortical circuits involved in the integration of neural information. In this article, we synthesize these approaches by mapping bottom-up and top-down mechanisms of general anesthetics to two distinct but inter-related dimensions of consciousness: level and content. We show how this explains certain empirical observations regarding the diversity of anesthetic drug effects. We conclude with a more nuanced discussion of how levels and contents of consciousness interact to generate subjective experience and what this implies for the mechanisms of anesthetic-induced unconsciousness. PMID:28676745

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Reduction of appeasement-related affect as a concomitant of diazepam-induced aggression: evidence for a link between aggression and the expression of self-conscious emotions.

    PubMed

    Wallace, Patricia S; Taylor, Stuart P

    2009-01-01

    Aggressive responding following benzodiazepine ingestion has been recorded in both experimental and client populations, however, the mechanism responsible for this outcome is unclear. The goal of this study was to identify an affective concomitant linked to diazepam-induced aggression that might be responsible for this relationship. Thirty males (15 diazepam and 15 placebo) participated in the Taylor Aggression Paradigm while covertly being videotaped. The videotapes were analyzed using the Facial Action Coding System with the goal of identifying facial expression differences between the two groups. Relative to placebo participants, diazepam participants selected significantly higher shock settings for their opponents, consistent with past findings using this paradigm. Diazepam participants also engaged in significantly fewer appeasement expressions (associated with the self-conscious emotions) during the task, although there were no group differences for other emotion expressions or for movements in general.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Interference Control Modulations Over Conscious Perception.

    PubMed

    Colás, Itsaso; Triviño, Mónica; Chica, Ana B

    2017-01-01

    The relation between attention and consciousness has been a controversial topic over the last decade. Although there seems to be an agreement on their distinction at the functional level, no consensus has been reached about attentional processes being or not necessary for conscious perception. Previous studies have explored the relation of alerting and orienting systems of attention and conscious perception, but the impact of the anterior executive attention system on conscious access remains unexplored. In the present study, we investigated the behavioral interaction between executive attention and conscious perception, testing control mechanisms both at stimulus-level representation and after error commission. We presented a classical Stroop task, manipulating the proportion of congruent and incongruent trials, and analyzed the effect of reactive and proactive control on the conscious perception of near-threshold stimuli. Reactive control elicited under high proportion congruent conditions influenced participants' decision criterion, whereas proactive control elicited under low proportion congruent conditions was ineffective in modulating conscious perception. In addition, error commission affected both perceptual sensitivity to detect near-threshold information and response criterion. These results suggest that reactivation of task goals through reactive control strategies in conflict situations impacts decision stages of conscious processing, whereas interference control elicited by error commission impacts both perceptual sensitivity and decision stages of conscious processing. We discuss the implications of our results for the gateway hypothesis about attention and consciousness, as they showed that interference control (both at stimulus-level representation and after error commission) can modulate the conscious access of near-threshold stimuli.

  11. Interference Control Modulations Over Conscious Perception

    PubMed Central

    Colás, Itsaso; Triviño, Mónica; Chica, Ana B.

    2017-01-01

    The relation between attention and consciousness has been a controversial topic over the last decade. Although there seems to be an agreement on their distinction at the functional level, no consensus has been reached about attentional processes being or not necessary for conscious perception. Previous studies have explored the relation of alerting and orienting systems of attention and conscious perception, but the impact of the anterior executive attention system on conscious access remains unexplored. In the present study, we investigated the behavioral interaction between executive attention and conscious perception, testing control mechanisms both at stimulus-level representation and after error commission. We presented a classical Stroop task, manipulating the proportion of congruent and incongruent trials, and analyzed the effect of reactive and proactive control on the conscious perception of near-threshold stimuli. Reactive control elicited under high proportion congruent conditions influenced participants’ decision criterion, whereas proactive control elicited under low proportion congruent conditions was ineffective in modulating conscious perception. In addition, error commission affected both perceptual sensitivity to detect near-threshold information and response criterion. These results suggest that reactivation of task goals through reactive control strategies in conflict situations impacts decision stages of conscious processing, whereas interference control elicited by error commission impacts both perceptual sensitivity and decision stages of conscious processing. We discuss the implications of our results for the gateway hypothesis about attention and consciousness, as they showed that interference control (both at stimulus-level representation and after error commission) can modulate the conscious access of near-threshold stimuli. PMID:28539899

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Modulation of reward-related neural activation on sensation seeking across development.

    PubMed

    Hawes, Samuel W; Chahal, Rajpreet; Hallquist, Michael N; Paulsen, David J; Geier, Charles F; Luna, Beatriz

    2017-02-15

    Sensation seeking is a personality construct associated with an increased propensity for engaging in risk-taking. Associations with deleterious outcomes ranging from mental health impairments to increased mortality rates highlight important public health concerns related to this construct. Although some have suggested that increased neural responsivity to reward within the ventral striatum (e.g., nucleus accumbens) may drive sensation seeking behaviors, few studies have examined the neural mechanisms associated with stable individual differences in sensation seeking across development. To address this issue, the current study used functional magnetic resonance imaging to examine the association between neural responding to reward and stable patterns of sensation seeking across a three-year follow-up period among healthy adolescents and young adults (N = 139). Results indicated that during early adolescence (~ages 10-12), increased reactivity to reward within the nucleus accumbens (NAcc) was associated with lower levels of sensation seeking across a three-year follow-up. In middle adolescence (~ages 12-16), there was no evidence of a relationship between NAcc reactivity and sensation seeking. However, during the transition from late adolescence into adulthood (~ages 17-25), heightened reward-related reactivity in the NAcc was linked to increased sensation seeking. Findings suggest that the neural mechanisms underlying individual differences in trait-like levels of sensation seeking change from early to late adolescence. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. 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)

  19. Social Anxiety with Peers in 9- to 14-year-olds. Developmental Process and Relations with Self-Consciousness and Perceived Peer Acceptance.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mallet, Pascal; Rodriguez-Tome, Gladis

    1999-01-01

    Hypothesizes that self-consciousness and perceived peer acceptance correlates with social anxiety. Focuses on 508 French fourth- to ninth-grade students who completed questionnaires that assessed their perceptions of social anxiety with peers, self-consciousness, and perceived peer acceptance. Discusses the results. (CMK)

  20. A neural joint model for entity and relation extraction from biomedical text.

    PubMed

    Li, Fei; Zhang, Meishan; Fu, Guohong; Ji, Donghong

    2017-03-31

    Extracting biomedical entities and their relations from text has important applications on biomedical research. Previous work primarily utilized feature-based pipeline models to process this task. Many efforts need to be made on feature engineering when feature-based models are employed. Moreover, pipeline models may suffer error propagation and are not able to utilize the interactions between subtasks. Therefore, we propose a neural joint model to extract biomedical entities as well as their relations simultaneously, and it can alleviate the problems above. Our model was evaluated on two tasks, i.e., the task of extracting adverse drug events between drug and disease entities, and the task of extracting resident relations between bacteria and location entities. Compared with the state-of-the-art systems in these tasks, our model improved the F1 scores of the first task by 5.1% in entity recognition and 8.0% in relation extraction, and that of the second task by 9.2% in relation extraction. The proposed model achieves competitive performances with less work on feature engineering. We demonstrate that the model based on neural networks is effective for biomedical entity and relation extraction. In addition, parameter sharing is an alternative method for neural models to jointly process this task. Our work can facilitate the research on biomedical text mining.

  1. 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

  2. Learning by experience? Visceral pain-related neural and behavioral responses in a classical conditioning paradigm.

    PubMed

    Icenhour, A; Labrenz, F; Ritter, C; Theysohn, N; Forsting, M; Bingel, U; Elsenbruch, S

    2017-06-01

    Studies investigating mechanisms underlying nocebo responses in pain have mainly focused on negative expectations induced by verbal suggestions. Herein, we addressed neural and behavioral correlates of nocebo responses induced by classical conditioning in a visceral pain model. In two independent studies, a total of 40 healthy volunteers underwent classical conditioning, consisting of repeated pairings of one visual cue (CS(High) ) with rectal distensions of high intensity, while a second cue (CS(Low) ) was always followed by low-intensity distensions. During subsequent test, only low-intensity distensions were delivered, preceded by either CS(High) or CS(Low) . Distension intensity ratings were assessed in both samples and functional magnetic resonance imaging data were available from one study (N=16). As a consequence of conditioning, we hypothesized CS(High) -cued distensions to be perceived as more intense and expected enhanced cue- and distension-related neural responses in regions encoding sensory and affective dimensions of pain and in structures associated with pain-related fear memory. During test, distension intensity ratings did not differ depending on preceding cue. Greater distension-induced neural activation was observed in somatosensory, prefrontal, and cingulate cortices and caudate when preceded by CS(High) . Analysis of cue-related responses revealed strikingly similar activation patterns. We report changes in neural activation patterns during anticipation and visceral stimulation induced by prior conditioning. In the absence of behavioral effects, markedly altered neural responses may indicate conditioning with visceral signals to induce hypervigilance rather than hyperalgesia, involving altered attention, reappraisal, and perceptual acuity as processes contributing to the pathophysiology of visceral pain. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  3. Non-conscious prediction and a role for consciousness in correcting prediction errors.

    PubMed

    Pally, Regina

    2005-10-01

    As a result of the evolutionary pressure for survival, the brain relies on a number of non-conscious predictive neural mechanisms which allow for rapid, efficient behavioral responses to the environment. These predictive mechanisms enable the brain to recognize objects by sampling just a few sensory inputs, to anticipate what events are likely to occur and to prepare a response before events actually occur. Consciousness appears to play a role in the detection and correction of prediction errors. The author, a psychotherapist and psychoanalyst, proposes that this monitoring or oversight function of consciousness can be used to understand how conscious awareness facilitates change in the psychotherapeutic treatment of patients who repeat maladaptive patterns of behavior.

  4. Equation for Consciousness in terms of Physics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kodukula, Siva Prasad

    2012-11-01

    Based on the concepts 'Double Relativity Effectí. 'Film theory of the Universe ','Heart of the God model of the universeí and'Space time equivalenceí, it is concluded that consciousness is defined in terms of physics as Çthe electromagnetic field containing electromagnetic waves of velocity greater than that of light velocity.? Also it is concluded that because of this high velocity the cell or any living organism will get the perception of events before their happenings. This phenomenon is one of the properties of feeling which is a constituent of consciousness. The degree or strength of consciousness can be measured and defined as the distance of point of generation of conscious wave from the center of space time fluid related to consciousness (d). It can be measured by the equation VCW3.d2= Constant. Where 'VCWí is the velocity of consciousness wave observed. The unit of measurement for degree or strength of consciousness is 'conscious meterí.

  5. Global workspace dynamics: cortical "binding and propagation" enables conscious contents.

    PubMed

    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 binding 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 small

  6. 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. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Age-related neural reorganization during spoken word recognition: the interaction of form and meaning.

    PubMed

    Shafto, Meredith; Randall, Billi; Stamatakis, Emmanuel A; Wright, Paul; Tyler, L K

    2012-06-01

    Research on language and aging typically shows that language comprehension is preserved across the life span. Recent neuroimaging results suggest that this good performance is underpinned by age-related neural reorganization [e.g., Tyler, L. K., Shafto, M. A., Randall, B., Wright, P., Marslen-Wilson, W. D., & Stamatakis, E. A. Preserving syntactic processing across the adult life span: The modulation of the frontotemporal language system in the context of age-related atrophy. Cerebral Cortex, 20, 352-364, 2010]. The current study examines how age-related reorganization affects the balance between component linguistic processes by manipulating semantic and phonological factors during spoken word recognition in younger and older adults. Participants in an fMRI study performed an auditory lexical decision task where words varied in their phonological and semantic properties as measured by degree of phonological competition and imageability. Older adults had a preserved lexicality effect, but compared with younger people, their behavioral sensitivity to phonological competition was reduced, as was competition-related activity in left inferior frontal gyrus. This was accompanied by increases in behavioral sensitivity to imageability and imageability-related activity in left middle temporal gyrus. These results support previous findings that neural compensation underpins preserved comprehension in aging and demonstrate that neural reorganization can affect the balance between semantic and phonological processing.

  8. Introduction of novel splice variants for CASC18 gene and its relation to the neural differentiation.

    PubMed

    Mehravar, Majid; Jafarzadeh, Meisam; Kay, Maryam; Najafi, Hadi; Hosseini, Fahimeh; Mowla, Seyed Javad; Soltani, Bahram M

    2017-03-01

    CASC18 along with APPL2, OCC-1 and NUAK1 flanking genes are located in 12q23.3 locus which is known as a potential cancer predisposition locus. Only an uncharacterized EST was initially reported for CASC18 and it was crucial to find its full length sequence and function. In an attempt to search for the CASC18's full-length gene sequence, other related ESTs were bioinformatically collected and four novel splice variants (designated as; CASC18-A, -B, -C and -D) were deduced and some were experimentally validated. Two transcription start sites and two alternative polyadenylation sites were deduced for CASC18 gene, using EST data mining and RACE method. CASC18-A and CASC18-D were exclusively expressed in neural cell lines and CASC18-D expression level was gradually increased during the NT2 differentiation to the neuron-like cells. Consistently, overexpression of CASC18-D variant in NT2 cells resulted in remarkable up-regulation of PAX6 neural differentiation marker, suggesting a crucial role of this variant in neural differentiation. Here, we introduced seven novel transcription variants for human CASC18 gene in which CASC18-D has the potential of being used as a neural cell differentiation marker. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Gut microbiome in ADHD and its relation to neural reward anticipation.

    PubMed

    Aarts, Esther; Ederveen, Thomas H A; Naaijen, Jilly; Zwiers, Marcel P; Boekhorst, Jos; Timmerman, Harro M; Smeekens, Sanne P; Netea, Mihai G; Buitelaar, Jan K; Franke, Barbara; van Hijum, Sacha A F T; Arias Vasquez, Alejandro

    2017-01-01

    Microorganisms in the human intestine (i.e. the gut microbiome) have an increasingly recognized impact on human health, including brain functioning. Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder associated with abnormalities in dopamine neurotransmission and deficits in reward processing and its underlying neuro-circuitry including the ventral striatum. The microbiome might contribute to ADHD etiology via the gut-brain axis. In this pilot study, we investigated potential differences in the microbiome between ADHD cases and undiagnosed controls, as well as its relation to neural reward processing. We used 16S rRNA marker gene sequencing (16S) to identify bacterial taxa and their predicted gene functions in 19 ADHD and 77 control participants. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we interrogated the effect of observed microbiome differences in neural reward responses in a subset of 28 participants, independent of diagnosis. For the first time, we describe gut microbial makeup of adolescents and adults diagnosed with ADHD. We found that the relative abundance of several bacterial taxa differed between cases and controls, albeit marginally significant. A nominal increase in the Bifidobacterium genus was observed in ADHD cases. In a hypothesis-driven approach, we found that the observed increase was linked to significantly enhanced 16S-based predicted bacterial gene functionality encoding cyclohexadienyl dehydratase in cases relative to controls. This enzyme is involved in the synthesis of phenylalanine, a precursor of dopamine. Increased relative abundance of this functionality was significantly associated with decreased ventral striatal fMRI responses during reward anticipation, independent of ADHD diagnosis and age. Our results show increases in gut microbiome predicted function of dopamine precursor synthesis between ADHD cases and controls. This increase in microbiome function relates to decreased neural responses

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Consciousness in Non-Epileptic Attack Disorder

    PubMed Central

    Reuber, M.; Kurthen, M.

    2011-01-01

    Non-epileptic attack disorder (NEAD) is one of the most important differential diagnoses of epilepsy. Impairment of consciousness is the key feature of non-epileptic attacks (NEAs). The first half of this review summarises the clinical research literature featuring observations relating to consciousness in NEAD. The second half places this evidence in the wider context of the recent discourse on consciousness in neuroscience and the philosophy of mind. We argue that studies of consciousness should not only distinguish between the ‘level’ and ‘content’ of consciousness but also between ‘phenomenal consciousness’ (consciousness of states it somehow “feels to be like”) and ‘access consciousness’ (having certain ‘higher’ cognitive processes at one’s disposal). The existing evidence shows that there is a great intra- and interindividual variability of NEA experience. However, in most NEAs phenomenal experience – and, as a precondition for that experience, vigilance or wakefulness – is reduced to a lesser degree than in those epileptic seizures involving impairment of consciousness. In fact, complete loss of “consciousness” is the exception rather than the rule in NEAs. Patients, as well as external observers, may have a tendency to overestimate impairments of consciousness during the seizures. PMID:21447903

  16. Measurement of relative density of tissue using wavelet analysis and neural nets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suyatinov, Sergey I.; Kolentev, Sergey V.; Buldakova, Tatyana I.

    2001-01-01

    Development of methods for indirect measurement of substance's consistence and characteristics is highly actual problem of medical diagnostics. Many diseases bring about changes of tissue density or appearances of alien bodies (e.g. stones in kidneys or gallbladders). Propose to use wavelet-analysis and neural nets for indirect measurement of relative density of tissue by images of internal organs. It shall allow to reveal a disease on early stage.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. When appearance does not match accent: neural correlates of ethnicity-related expectancy violations.

    PubMed

    Hansen, Karolina; Steffens, Melanie C; Rakic, Tamara; Wiese, Holger

    2017-03-01

    Most research on ethnicity in neuroscience and social psychology has focused on visual cues. However, accents are central social markers of ethnicity and strongly influence evaluations of others. Here, we examine how varying auditory (vocal accent) and visual (facial appearance) information about others affects neural correlates of ethnicity-related expectancy violations. Participants listened to standard German and Turkish-accented speakers and were subsequently presented with faces whose ethnic appearance was either congruent or incongruent to these voices. We expected that incongruent targets (e.g. German accent/Turkish face) would be paralleled by a more negative N2 event-related brain potential (ERP) component. Results confirmed this, suggesting that incongruence was related to more effortful processing of both Turkish and German target faces. These targets were also subjectively judged as surprising. Additionally, varying lateralization of ERP responses for Turkish and German faces suggests that the underlying neural generators differ, potentially reflecting different emotional reactions to these targets. Behavioral responses showed an effect of violated expectations: German-accented Turkish-looking targets were evaluated as most competent of all targets. We suggest that bringing together neural and behavioral measures of expectancy violations, and using both visual and auditory information, yields a more complete picture of the processes underlying impression formation. © The Author (2016). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. "Conscious" versus "Unconscious" Learning.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McLaughlin, Barry

    1990-01-01

    Examines the concept of consciousness in second-language research. After defining theoretical assumptions and reviewing a number of controversies in the psycholinguistic and second-language literature, it is argued that the terms conscious and unconscious have acquired too much surplus meaning and should be abandoned in favor of clearly defined…

  4. 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,…

  5. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

    2009-03-10

    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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. The Vegetative State and the Science of Consciousness*

    PubMed Central

    Shea, Nicholas; Bayne, Tim

    2012-01-01

    Consciousness in experimental subjects is typically inferred from reports and other forms of voluntary behaviour. A wealth of everyday experience confirms that healthy subjects do not ordinarily behave in these ways unless they are conscious. Investigation of consciousness in vegetative state patients has been based on the search for neural evidence that such broad functional capacities are preserved in some vegetative state patients. We call this the standard approach. To date, the results of the standard approach have suggested that some vegetative state patients might indeed be conscious, although they fall short of being demonstrative. The fact that some vegetative state patients show evidence of consciousness according to the standard approach is remarkable, for the standard approach to consciousness is rather conservative, and leaves open the pressing question of how to ascertain whether patients who fail such tests are conscious or not. We argue for a cluster-based ‘natural kind’ methodology that is adequate to that task, both as a replacement for the approach that currently informs research into the presence or absence of consciousness in vegetative state patients and as a methodology for the science of consciousness more generally. PMID:22654125

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Modeling of relative intensity noise and terminal electrical noise of semiconductor lasers using artificial neural network

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rezaei, A.; Noori, L.

    2016-06-01

    In this paper, artificial neural network (ANN) is used to predict the source laser's relative intensity noise (RIN) and the terminal electrical noise (TEN) of semiconductor lasers. For this purpose, the multi-layer perceptron (MLP) neural network trained with the back propagation algorithm is used. To develop this model, the normalized bias current and frequency are selected as the input parameters and the RIN and TEN of semiconductor lasers are selected as the output parameters. The obtained results show that the proposed ANN model is in a good agreement with the numerical method, and a small error between the predicted values and the numerical solution is obtained. Therefore, the proposed ANN model is a useful, reliable, fast and cheap tool to predict the RIN and TEN of semiconductor lasers.

  13. Neural representation of orientation relative to gravity in the macaque cerebellum.

    PubMed

    Laurens, Jean; Meng, Hui; Angelaki, Dora E

    2013-12-18

    A fundamental challenge for maintaining spatial orientation and interacting with the world is knowledge of our orientation relative to gravity, i.e., head tilt. Sensing gravity is complicated because of Einstein's equivalence principle, in which gravitational and translational accelerations are physically indistinguishable. Theory has proposed that this ambiguity is solved by tracking head tilt through multisensory integration. Here we identify a group of Purkinje cells in the caudal cerebellar vermis with responses that reflect an estimate of head tilt. These tilt-selective cells are complementary to translation-selective Purkinje cells, such that their population activities sum to the net gravitoinertial acceleration encoded by the otolith organs, as predicted by theory. These findings reflect the remarkable ability of the cerebellum for neural computation and provide quantitative evidence for a neural representation of gravity, whose calculation relies on long-postulated theoretical concepts such as internal models and Bayesian priors. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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…

  17. Mind and consciousness: Towards a final answer?

    PubMed

    Taylor, John G

    2005-03-01

    A review is given of recent developments in our scientific understanding of consciousness to help guide further progress, leading to a possible final answer to the question of how the brain may create consciousness. The review commences with a brief description of the nature of consciousness, and moves to an overview of various approaches presently being pursued to understand it (quantum mechanics, 40-Hz, dynamical systems theory and complexity, narrative centre of gravity, global workspace, relational mind). To help move the discussion forward we use the fact that attention acts as the gateway to consciousness, implying the need to analyze attention most closely. An engineering control approach is introduced to model the movement of attention, based on experimental data indicating separate sites for attention modulation and for the creation of that modulation: and using the analogy with motor control in the brain, to which an engineering approach has already been applied by others. Simulation and brain imaging results support the presence of several of the relevant attention control modules in the brain. The attention control framework is extended to analyze how consciousness could arise during attentive processing, in terms of the COrollary Discharge of Attention Movement (CODAM) model. The relation between the CODAM model of consciousness and modern approaches to consciousness in the philosophy of mind is then briefly described. An overall summary and a program of future explorations of the CODAM model conclude the review.

  18. 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.

  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. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Age-Related Reversals in Neural Recruitment across Memory Retrieval Phases.

    PubMed

    Ford, Jaclyn H; Kensinger, Elizabeth A

    2017-05-17

    Over the last several decades, neuroimaging research has identified age-related neural changes that occur during cognitive tasks. These changes are used to help researchers identify functional changes that contribute to age-related impairments in cognitive performance. One commonly reported example of such a change is an age-related decrease in the recruitment of posterior sensory regions coupled with an increased recruitment of prefrontal regions across multiple cognitive tasks. This shift is often described as a compensatory recruitment of prefrontal regions due to age-related sensory-processing deficits in posterior regions. However, age is not only associated with spatial shifts in recruitment, but also with temporal shifts, in which younger and older adults recruit the same neural region at different points in a task trial. The current study examines the possible contribution of temporal modifications in the often-reported posterior-anterior shift. Participants, ages 19-85, took part in a memory retrieval task with a protracted retrieval trial consisting of an initial memory search phase and a subsequent detail elaboration phase. Age-related neural patterns during search replicated prior reports of age-related decreases in posterior recruitment and increases in prefrontal recruitment. However, during the later elaboration phase, the same posterior regions were associated with age-related increases in activation. Further, ROI and functional connectivity results suggest that these posterior regions function similarly during search and elaboration. These results suggest that the often-reported posterior-anterior shift may not reflect the inability of older adults to engage in sensory processing, but rather a change in when they recruit this processing.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT The current study provides evidence that the often-reported posterior-anterior shift in aging may not reflect a global sensory-processing deficit, as has often been reported, but rather a

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Automatic Neural Processing of Disorder-Related Stimuli in Social Anxiety Disorder: Faces and More

    PubMed Central

    Schulz, Claudia; Mothes-Lasch, Martin; Straube, Thomas

    2013-01-01

    It has been proposed that social anxiety disorder (SAD) is associated with automatic information processing biases resulting in hypersensitivity to signals of social threat such as negative facial expressions. However, the nature and extent of automatic processes in SAD on the behavioral and neural level is not entirely clear yet. The present review summarizes neuroscientific findings on automatic processing of facial threat but also other disorder-related stimuli such as emotional prosody or negative words in SAD. We review initial evidence for automatic activation of the amygdala, insula, and sensory cortices as well as for automatic early electrophysiological components. However, findings vary depending on tasks, stimuli, and neuroscientific methods. Only few studies set out to examine automatic neural processes directly and systematic attempts are as yet lacking. We suggest that future studies should: (1) use different stimulus modalities, (2) examine different emotional expressions, (3) compare findings in SAD with other anxiety disorders, (4) use more sophisticated experimental designs to investigate features of automaticity systematically, and (5) combine different neuroscientific methods (such as functional neuroimaging and electrophysiology). Finally, the understanding of neural automatic processes could also provide hints for therapeutic approaches. PMID:23745116

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

    PubMed

    Gearhardt, Ashley N; Yokum, Sonja; Stice, Eric; Harris, Jennifer L; Brownell, Kelly D

    2014-07-01

    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. © The Author (2013). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

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

    PubMed

    Müller-Pinzler, Laura; Rademacher, Lena; Paulus, Frieder M; Krach, Sören

    2016-03-01

    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. © The Author (2015). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Alterations in neural Theory of Mind processing in euthymic patients with bipolar disorder and unaffected relatives.

    PubMed

    Willert, Anna; Mohnke, Sebastian; Erk, Susanne; Schnell, Knut; Romanczuk-Seiferth, Nina; Quinlivan, Esther; Schreiter, Stefanie; Spengler, Stephanie; Herold, Dorrit; Wackerhagen, Carolin; Romund, Lydia; Garbusow, Maria; Lett, Tristram; Stamm, Thomas; Adli, Mazda; Heinz, Andreas; Bermpohl, Felix; Walter, Henrik

    2015-12-01

    Behavioral deficits in the Theory of Mind (ToM) have been robustly demonstrated in bipolar disorder. These deficits may represent an intermediate phenotype of the disease. The aim of this study was: (i) to investigate alterations in neural ToM processing in euthymic patients with bipolar disorder, and (ii) to examine whether similar effects are present in unaffected relatives of patients with bipolar disorder suggesting that ToM functional activation may be, in part, due to genetic risk for the disease. A total of 24 euthymic patients with bipolar disorder, 21 unaffected first-degree relatives, and 81 healthy controls completed a ToM task while undergoing functional magnetic resonance imaging. We observed reduced bilateral activation of the temporoparietal junction (TPJ) and diminished functional fronto-temporoparietal connectivity in patients compared to controls. Relatives tended towards intermediate temporoparietal activity and functional coupling with medial prefrontal areas. There was also evidence for a potentially compensatory enhanced recruitment of the right middle temporal gyrus and stronger connectivity between this region and the medial prefrontal cortex in relatives. These findings provide further evidence of altered neural ToM processing in euthymic patients with bipolar disorder. Further, our findings in relatives lend support to the idea that altered ToM processing may act as an intermediate phenotype of the disorder. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  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. Neural response to catecholamine depletion in remitted bulimia nervosa: Relation to depression and relapse.

    PubMed

    Mueller, Stefanie Verena; Mihov, Yoan; Federspiel, Andrea; Wiest, Roland; Hasler, Gregor

    2017-07-01

    Bulimia nervosa has been associated with a dysregulated catecholamine system. Nevertheless, the influence of this dysregulation on bulimic symptoms, on neural activity, and on the course of the illness is not clear yet. An instructive paradigm for directly investigating the relationship between catecholaminergic functioning and bulimia nervosa has involved the behavioral and neural responses to experimental catecholamine depletion. The purpose of this study was to examine the neural substrate of catecholaminergic dysfunction in bulimia nervosa and its relationship to relapse. In a randomized, double-blind and crossover study design, catecholamine depletion was achieved by using the oral administration of alpha-methyl-paratyrosine (AMPT) over 24 h in 18 remitted bulimic (rBN) and 22 healthy (HC) female participants. Cerebral blood flow (CBF) was measured using a pseudo continuous arterial spin labeling (pCASL) sequence. In a follow-up telephone interview, bulimic relapse was assessed. Following AMPT, rBN participants revealed an increased vigor reduction and CBF decreases in the pallidum and posterior midcingulate cortex (pMCC) relative to HC participants showing no CBF changes in these regions. These results indicated that the pallidum and the pMCC are the functional neural correlates of the dysregulated catecholamine system in bulimia nervosa. Bulimic relapse was associated with increased depressive symptoms and CBF reduction in the hippocampus/parahippocampal gyrus following catecholamine depletion. AMPT-induced increased CBF in this region predicted staying in remission. These findings demonstrated the importance of depressive symptoms and the stress system in the course of bulimia nervosa. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. 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

  1. A mathematical model of embodied consciousness.

    PubMed

    Rudrauf, David; Bennequin, Daniel; Granic, Isabela; Landini, Gregory; Friston, Karl; Williford, Kenneth

    2017-09-07

    We introduce a mathematical model of embodied consciousness, the Projective Consciousness Model (PCM), which is based on the hypothesis that the spatial field of consciousness (FoC) is structured by a projective geometry and under the control of a process of active inference. The FoC in the PCM combines multisensory evidence with prior beliefs in memory and frames them by selecting points of view and perspectives according to preferences. The choice of projective frames governs how expectations are transformed by consciousness. Violations of expectation are encoded as free energy. Free energy minimization drives perspective taking, and controls the switch between perception, imagination and action. In the PCM, consciousness functions as an algorithm for the maximization of resilience, using projective perspective taking and imagination in order to escape local minima of free energy. The PCM can account for a variety of psychological phenomena: the characteristic spatial phenomenology of subjective experience, the distinctions and integral relationships between perception, imagination and action, the role of affective processes in intentionality, but also perceptual phenomena such as the dynamics of bistable figures and body swap illusions in virtual reality. It relates phenomenology to function, showing the computational advantages of consciousness. It suggests that changes of brain states from unconscious to conscious reflect the action of projective transformations and suggests specific neurophenomenological hypotheses about the brain, guidelines for designing artificial systems, and formal principles for psychology. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  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. From cholesterol to consciousness.

    PubMed

    Torday, John S

    2017-08-19

    The nature of consciousness has been debated for centuries. It can be understood as part and parcel of the natural progression of life from unicellular to multicellular, calcium fluxes mediating communication within and between cells. Consciousness is the vertical integration of calcium fluxes, mediated by the Target of Rapamycin gene integrated with the cytoskeleton. The premise of this paper is that there is a fundamental physiologic integration of the organism with the environment that constitutes consciousness. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. 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

  7. Examining the neural correlates of emergent equivalence relations in fragile X syndrome.

    PubMed

    Klabunde, Megan; Saggar, Manish; Hustyi, Kristin M; Kelley, Ryan G; Reiss, Allan L; Hall, Scott S

    2015-09-30

    The neural mechanisms underlying the formation of stimulus equivalence relations are poorly understood, particularly in individuals with specific learning impairments. As part of a larger study, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) while participants with fragile X syndrome (FXS), and age- and IQ-matched controls with intellectual disability, were required to form new equivalence relations in the scanner. Following intensive training on matching fractions to pie charts (A=B relations) and pie charts to decimals (B=C relations) outside the scanner over a 2-day period, participants were tested on the trained (A=B, B=C) relations, as well as emergent symmetry (i.e., B=A and C=B) and transitivity/equivalence (i.e., A=C and C=A) relations inside the scanner. Eight participants with FXS (6 female, 2 male) and 10 controls, aged 10-23 years, were able to obtain at least 66.7% correct on the trained relations in the scanner and were included in the fMRI analyses. Across both groups, results showed that the emergence of symmetry relations was correlated with increased brain activation in the left inferior parietal lobule, left postcentral gyrus, and left insula, broadly supporting previous investigations of stimulus equivalence research in neurotypical populations. On the test of emergent transitivity/equivalence relations, activation was significantly greater in individuals with FXS compared with controls in the right middle temporal gyrus, left superior frontal gyrus and left precuneus. These data indicate that neural execution was significantly different in individuals with FXS than in age- and IQ-matched controls during stimulus equivalence formation. Further research concerning how gene-brain-behavior interactions may influence the emergence of stimulus equivalence in individuals with intellectual disabilities is needed. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. 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.

  9. 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).

  10. A rapid event-related potential (ERP) method for point-of-care evaluation of brain function: development of the Halifax Consciousness Scanner.

    PubMed

    Sculthorpe-Petley, Lauren; Liu, Careesa; Hajra, Sujoy Ghosh; Parvar, Hossein; Satel, Jason; Trappenberg, Thomas P; Boshra, Rober; D'Arcy, Ryan C N

    2015-04-30

    Event-related potentials (ERPs) may provide a non-invasive index of brain function for a range of clinical applications. However, as a lab-based technique, ERPs are limited by technical challenges that prevent full integration into clinical settings. To translate ERP capabilities from the lab to clinical applications, we have developed methods like the Halifax Consciousness Scanner (HCS). HCS is essentially a rapid, automated ERP evaluation of brain functional status. The present study describes the ERP components evoked from auditory tones and speech stimuli. ERP results were obtained using a 5-min test in 100 healthy individuals. The HCS sequence was designed to evoke the N100, the mismatch negativity (MMN), P300, the early negative enhancement (ENE), and the N400. These components reflected sensation, perception, attention, memory, and language perception, respectively. Component detection was examined at group and individual levels, and evaluated across both statistical and classification approaches. All ERP components were robustly detected at the group level. At the individual level, nonparametric statistical analyses showed reduced accuracy relative to support vector (SVM) machine classification, particularly for speech-based ERPs. Optimized SVM results were MMN: 95.6%; P300: 99.0%; ENE: 91.8%; and N400: 92.3%. A spectrum of individual-level ERPs can be obtained in a very short time. Machine learning classification improved detection accuracy across a large healthy control sample. Translating ERPs into clinical applications is increasingly possible at the individual level. Crown Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

    Bowker, Julie C; Rubin, Kenneth H

    2009-06-01

    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 = 87girls; 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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. Copyright © 2014 Sociedad Española de Anestesiología, Reanimación y Terapéutica del Dolor. Publicado por Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved.

  14. 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…

  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. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. The source of consciousness

    PubMed Central

    Paller, Ken A.; Suzuki, Satoru

    2015-01-01

    Why does a relentless stream of experiences normally fill your mind? No answer is entirely satisfactory. We are not sure how the normal operation of the human brain might exude subjective experiences. Consciousness can thus seem miraculous, and research on consciousness a waste of time and money, ultimately doomed to fail. Yet, there are good reasons for optimism that should be shared with the public to justify research in this area. PMID:25023451

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. 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).

  6. White matter microstructure of attentional networks predicts attention and consciousness functional interactions.

    PubMed

    Chica, Ana B; Thiebaut de Schotten, Michel; Bartolomeo, Paolo; Paz-Alonso, Pedro M

    2017-09-13

    Attention is considered as one of the pre-requisites of conscious perception. Phasic alerting and exogenous orienting improve conscious perception of near-threshold information through segregated brain networks. Using a multimodal neuroimaging approach, combining data from functional MRI (fMRI) and diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI), we investigated the influence of white matter properties of the ventral branch of superior longitudinal fasciculus (SLF III) in functional interactions between attentional systems and conscious perception. Results revealed that (1) reduced integrity of the left hemisphere SLF III was predictive of the neural interactions observed between exogenous orienting and conscious perception, and (2) increased integrity of the left hemisphere SLF III was predictive of the neural interactions observed between phasic alerting and conscious perception. Our results combining fMRI and DWI data demonstrate that structural properties of the white matter organization determine attentional modulations over conscious perception.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Propofol and midazolam inhibit conscious memory processes very soon after encoding: An event related potential study of familiarity and recollection in volunteers

    PubMed Central

    Veselis, Robert A.; Pryor, Kane O.; Reinsel, Ruth A.; Li, Yuelin; Mehta, Meghana; Johnson, Ray

    2009-01-01

    Background Intravenous drugs active via gamma-aminobutyric acid receptors produce memory impairment during conscious sedation. Memory function was assessed using event related potentials (ERPs) while drug was present. Methods The continuous recognition task measured recognition of photographs from working (6 seconds) and long term (27 seconds) memory while ERPs were recorded from Cz (familiarity recognition) and Pz electrodes (recollection recognition). Volunteer participants received sequential doses of one of placebo (n=11), propofol 0.45 and 0.9 ug/ml (n=10), midazolam 20 and 40 ng/ml (n=12), thiopental 1.5 and 3 ug/ml (n=11), or dexmedetomidine 0.25 and 0.4 ng/ml (n=11). End of day yes/no recognition 225 minutes after the end of drug infusion tested memory retention of pictures encoded on the continuous recognition tasks. Results Active drugs increased reaction times and impaired memory on the continuous recognition task equally, except for a greater effect of midazolam (p<0.04). Forgetting from continuous recognition tasks to end of day was similar for all drugs (p=0.40), greater than placebo (p<0.001). Propofol and midazolam decreased the area between first presentation (new) and recognized (old, 27 seconds later) ERP waveforms from long term memory for familiarity (p=0.03) and possibly for recollection processes (p=0.12). Propofol shifted ERP amplitudes to smaller voltages (p<0.002). Dexmedetomidine may have impaired familiarity more than recollection processes (p=0.10). Thiopental had no effect on ERPs. Conclusion Propofol and midazolam impaired recognition ERPs from long term, but not working memory. ERP measures of memory revealed different pathways to end of day memory loss as early as 27 seconds after encoding. PMID:19194157

  12. Altered Neural Basis of the Reality Processing and Its Relation to Cognitive Insight in Schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:25793291

  13. Neural mechanisms of planning: A computational analysis using event-related fMRI

    PubMed Central

    Fincham, Jon M.; Carter, Cameron S.; van Veen, Vincent; Stenger, V. Andrew; Anderson, John R.

    2002-01-01

    To investigate the neural mechanisms of planning, we used a novel adaptation of the Tower of Hanoi (TOH) task and event-related functional MRI. Participants were trained in applying a specific strategy to an isomorph of the five-disk TOH task. After training, participants solved novel problems during event-related functional MRI. A computational cognitive model of the task was used to generate a reference time series representing the expected blood oxygen level-dependent response in brain areas involved in the manipulation and planning of goals. This time series was used as one term within a general linear modeling framework to identify brain areas in which the time course of activity varied as a function of goal-processing events. Two distinct time courses of activation were identified, one in which activation varied parametrically with goal-processing operations, and the other in which activation became pronounced only during goal-processing intensive trials. Regions showing the parametric relationship comprised a frontoparietal system and include right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex [Brodmann's area (BA 9)], bilateral parietal (BA 40/7), and bilateral premotor (BA 6) areas. Regions preferentially engaged only during goal-intensive processing include left inferior frontal gyrus (BA 44). The implications of these results for the current model, as well as for our understanding of the neural mechanisms of planning and functional specialization of the prefrontal cortex, are discussed. PMID:11880658

  14. Cognitive Control in Adolescence: Neural Underpinnings and Relation to Self-Report Behaviors