Brian F. O'Donnell, Dean F. Salisbury, Margaret A. Niznikiewicz, Colleen A. Brenner, and Jenifer L. Vohs
Schizophrenia is a disabling psychotic illness that has been associated with alterations in synaptic connectivity and neurotransmission. Since event-related potential (ERP) components are typically generated by the summation of postsynaptic potentials produced by neural populations, these measures are well suited to assess such pathophysiological alterations. This chapter reviews the utility of ERP components in the investigation of the cognitive and neural mechanisms affected by schizophrenia. It focuses on five components: mismatch negativity (MMN), P50 measures of sensory gating, N100 and P300 in the oddball discrimination paradigms, and the N400 component elicited during language processing. These components test key cognitive systems affected by schizophrenia: sensory memory (MMN), sensory processing and inhibition (P50, N1), selective attention and working memory (P300), and semantic processing (N400). These components are discussed with respect to the following issues: (1) cognitive and neural systems indexed by the component, (2) abnormalities in schizophrenia, (3) sensitivity and specificity to schizophrenia, (4) clinical correlates, and (5) relationship to genetic variation. ERP components are well validated biomarkers for schizophrenia which have significant promise in the characterization of genomic and epigenomic factors, pharmacological response in humans and animal models, and the developmental and cognitive expression of the illness.
Michael A. Arbib
The chapter presents the hypothesis that early Homo sapiens were language-ready in the sense that they had brains that could have supported language had it already been developed, but were not yet language-using. Informed by data from comparative neuroprimatology, the approach sees protolanguage emerging from complex recognition and imitation of manual skills via biocultural evolution, while cultural evolution alone supported the emergence of language from protolanguage. This approach supports the view that the Homo sapiens language-ready brain had the more general property of being construction-ready, and that this made possible the emergence of drawing and painting through later cultural evolution.
William J. Davies
This article provides an overview of what shapes the acoustic signals that arrive at the ear. There are three physical processes which are capable of generating audible sound: a vibrating surface, a turbulent fluid, and a rapid pressure change. It is structured as an account of the journey of a sound wave, from first generation, then propagation outdoors, followed by transmission into a building and indoor reverberation to its final reception, perception, and assessment. It throws light on how the signals that arrive at the ear are generated; how environment influences these signals; and how sound is perceived, controlled, and assessed in the environment. It gives information on basic principles, common measurements and current modelling techniques. Finally, it suggests that the external environment is complex and the acoustic signals arriving the ear reflect this complexity by carrying information about their production, their interaction with the environment, and their transmission through it.
Music’s continual temporal changes make it a useful stimulus for studying cognitive and neural processes unfolding over time. Although this dynamic nature is widely recognized on a macro level, the importance of temporal changes in individual notes is less widely discussed. For example, textbooks often focus on power spectra—time invariant summaries of spectral information—to explain differences in timbre between musical instruments. Unfortunately, this approach overlooks the importance of dynamic fluctuations in individual notes’ overtones. This chapter highlights the under-recognized importance of temporal structure in musical sounds by synthesizing a diverse range of research on musical acoustics and perception. It concludes by contrasting the rich temporal dynamics of musical sounds with the temporally invariant tones common in auditory perception research—which exhibit significant shortcomings regarding ecological validity. Although this creates barriers for generalizing outcomes from experiments with simplistic tones, it also offers exciting new topics for future research.
Christian Mühl, Dirk Heylen, and Anton Nijholt
This chapter is from the forthcoming The Oxford Handbook of Affective Computing edited by Rafael Calvo, Sidney K. D'Mello, Jonathan Gratch, and Arvid Kappas. The brain is involved in the registration, evaluation, and representation of emotional events and in the subsequent planning and execution of appropriate actions. Novel interface technologies—so-called affective brain-computer interfaces (aBCI)—can use this rich neural information, occurring in response to affective stimulation, for the detection of the user’s affective state. This chapter gives an overview of the promises and challenges that arise from the possibility of neurophysiology-based affect detection, with a special focus on electrophysiological signals. After outlining the potential of aBCI relative to other sensing modalities, the reader is introduced to the neurophysiological and neurotechnological background of this interface technology. Potential application scenarios are situated in a general framework of brain-computer interfaces. Finally, the main scientific and technological challenges that have yet to be solved on the way toward reliable affective brain-computer interfaces are discussed.
Michele A. Morningstar, Whitney I. Mattson, and Eric E. Nelson
Pediatric anxiety and depression significantly impair youth’s social and emotional functioning. The increased emergence of affective disorders during adolescence points to the involvement of several developing systems at the neural and behavioral level. This chapter characterizes deficits in social information processing and their underlying neural correlates in pediatric affective disorders. While typically-developing adolescents show enhanced amygdala response to salient stimuli in the context of deficient prefrontal cortex (PFC) regulation, anxious and depressed youth show hyperactivation in both regions in response to negative or threatening cues. Additionally, depressed adolescents show reduced limbic response to positive stimuli, suggesting deficits in appetitive motivational systems. These behavioral and neural patterns are related to phenotypic symptoms characteristic of anxiety and depression in youth.
This article introduces a number of critical features of the afferent synapse with particular reference to mammalian hearing. The auditory synapse is the first relay point for the input of sound into the nervous system and the properties of this synapse determine how well a signal from the hair cells is relayed up the auditory brainstem. This information is re-encoded as a pattern in the auditory nerve for subsequent analysis by the brain. The design of the afferent synapse ensures that the information content is not degraded. The article describes the structure and physiology of the afferent synapse and explains the presynaptic and postsynaptic mechanisms. Furthermore, it reveals the paired presynaptic and postsynaptic responses. In addition, it also describes the concept of synaptic adaptation and the genetics of the synapse. It also states that it is sometimes necessary to extrapolate from non-mammalian systems.
Sander Daselaar and Roberto Cabeza
Memory is one of the cognitive functions that deteriorate most with age. The types of memory most affected by aging are working memory, the short-term memory maintenance and simultaneous manipulation of information, and episodic memory, our memory for personally experienced past events. Functional neuroimaging studies indicate important roles in age-related memory decline for the medial temporal lobe (MTL) and prefrontal cortex (PFC) regions, which have been linked to two major cognitive aging theories, the resource and binding deficit hypotheses, respectively. Interestingly, functional neuroimaging findings also indicate that aging is not exclusively associated with decline. Some older adults seem to deal with PFC and MTL decline by shifting to alternative brain resources that can compensate for their memory deficits. In the future, these findings may help to distinguish normal aging from early Alzheimer’s dementia and the development of memory remediation therapies.
Robert D. Frisina
This article examines age-related changes in the central auditory system from anatomical and neurochemical vantage points, and then the functional consequences of these structural changes are presented in the context of human perception and the underlying physiology of animal model systems. Neural processing in the central auditory system is dependent on the magnitude and timing of excitatory and inhibitory inputs to auditory neurons. Recent evidence suggests that there may be aging changes in other neurotransmitters at the level of the inferior colliculus. The molecular, anatomical, and neurochemical changes occurring with age in the auditory system have functional consequences for central auditory sound processing. Many of these are due to reduced cochlear outputs with age, and others appear to be somewhat independent of these peripheral changes, in line with neurodegenerative deficits of the aging brain. The article reveals that plasticity in the central auditory system often occurs well into old age, which is interesting from the perspectives of both basic neuroscience and future clinical interventions.
Sylvie Berthoz, Lydia Pouga, and Michele Wessa
Alexithymia is a multifaceted personality construct characterized by the impaired ability to reflect on and regulate one’s own emotions. This chapter refers to a wide range of domains of investigation in the field of social neuroscience to capture and specify the processes that could account for the observed associations between such an inability to monitor and self-regulate emotions and altered social understanding and interactions. To this end, it provides empirical support for considering alexithymia as a relevant model to investigate the links between brain, cognition and behavior, notably not only to delineate potential pathways between dysfunctional cerebral circuits, poor emotional insight, and intersubjectivity, but also to further explore their links with self-oriented and other-oriented harming behaviors.
This chapter reviews event-related potential (ERP) studies in patients suffering from neurodegenerative diseases. Such studies have been conducted from two different points of view: using ERPs to learn something about the disease and using the disease to learn something about ERPs. This review focuses on the former aspect: the utility of ERPs in the clinic. Thus, ERP research in neurodegenerative diseases will be discussed from the perspective of the insights gained from ERPs (1) for diagnosis, (2) for delineating and understanding the consequences of the disease for cognition, and (3) for determining the prognosis about the course of the disease.
Stephanie D. Preston and Frans B. M. de Waal
This chapter reviews the ultimate and proximate levels of analysis on altruism in humans, hoping to create an overarching framework that places each within a larger context that can stimulate human research informed by extensive empirical research in animals. The available neuroscientific evidence will be reviewed at the end, demonstrating consistently that decisions to help are mediated through overlapping decision and reward circuits that integrate emotional and contextual information into a unified somatic state that guides decisions to help. The chapter first defines the important terms, reviews in brief the most common and widely used biological models of altruism, and then provides evidence for these models. After this, the proximate mechanism will be explicated, largely through indirect evidence regarding the motivational and neural circuits thought to underlie decisions to help. The chapter ends with recommendations for future research to provide more direct evidence for the proximate mechanism, using more ecological tasks that elicit altruistic tendencies while being amenable to concurrent recording with neuroscientific tools.
Keith J. Holyoak
Analogy is an inductive mechanism based on structured comparisons of mental representations. It is an important special case of role-based relational reasoning, in which inferences are generated on the basis of patterns of relational roles. Analogical reasoning is a complex process involving retrieval of structured knowledge from long-term memory, representing and manipulating role-filler bindings in working memory, identifying elements that play corresponding roles, generating new inferences, and learning abstract schemas. For empirical analogies, analogical inference is guided by causal knowledge about how the source analog operates. Simpler types of relation-based transfer can be produced by relational priming. Human analogical reasoning is heavily dependent on working memory and other executive functions supported by the prefrontal cortex, with the frontopolar subregion being selectively activated when multiple relations must be integrated to solve a problem.
J. David Smith, Michael J. Beran, and Justin J. Couchman
Metacognition refers to the monitoring and control of basic cognitive processes. The presumption is that some minds have a cognitive executive that oversees and regulates thinking and problem solving to evaluate progress and optimize prospects. Comparative psychologists are currently exploring whether nonhuman animals share humans’ capacity for metacognition. Researchers have tested various species in perceptual, memory, and foraging metacognition paradigms. There is a growing consensus that some species may possess a basic metacognitive capacity, though theoretical debate continues. This chapter summarizes the current state of the empirical literature on animal metacognition, discussing the research’s progress to date, remaining empirical challenges and theoretical issues, and the research’s implications for broader issues of reflective mind and cognitive self-regulation in animals and humans.
Ulrike Griebel and D. Kimbrough Oller
Human languages are symbolic. If we accept a broadly gradualist account of evolution, forerunners of the symbolism found in human languages should be observable in our closest relatives. After intensive training by humans, animals as different as great apes, dogs, sea lions, parrots, and dolphins have been shown to be able to learn, and in some cases to use, linguistic symbols with both humans and conspecifics. However, there is an absence of convincing and widely accepted evidence for symbolism in the use by non-human animals of natural communication systems in the wild. In addressing this apparent paradox, we provide definitions of fundamental differences between human symbolism and non-human communication systems and discuss foundational capacities for symbolism in non-humans. We argue that animal signals sometimes thought to resemble symbols are more likely (as proposed by Darwin) emotional expressions. We offer arguments about the evolutionary pressures that may have led to increasingly complex communication in the hominin line.
Stacy M. Harnish
Anomia is a term that describes the inability to retrieve a desired word, and is the most common deficit present across different aphasia syndromes. Anomic aphasia is a specific aphasia syndrome characterized by a primary deficit of word retrieval with relatively spared performance in other language domains, such as auditory comprehension and sentence production. Damage to a number of cognitive and motor systems can produce errors in word retrieval tasks, only subsets of which are language deficits. In the cognitive and neuropsychological underpinnings section, we discuss the major processing steps that occur in lexical retrieval and outline how deficits at each of the stages may produce anomia. The neuroanatomical correlates section will include a review of lesion and neuroimaging studies of language processing to examine anomia and anomia recovery in the acute and chronic stages. The assessment section will highlight how discrepancies in performance between tasks contrasting output modes and input modalities may provide insight into the locus of impairment in anomia. Finally, the treatment section will outline some of the rehabilitation techniques for forms of anomia, and take a closer look at the evidence base for different aspects of treatment.
Andrea L. Glenn and Adrian Raine
Neuroscience research is beginning to uncover significant neurobiological impairments in antisocial, violent, and aggressive groups. The neurophysiologic basis of antisocial behavior is complex—many structures have been implicated, each of which may be related to antisocial behavior in different ways. Research in social neuroscience is helping us to better understand the role of many of these regions in normal social behavior, and thus why abnormality would result in a disruption of appropriate social behavior. This chapter highlights neuroscience data on antisocial individuals and provides interpretation based on the knowledge that has been gained in recent years in the field of social neuroscience.
Bert De Smedt and Roland H. Grabner
In this chapter, we explore three types of applications of neuroscience to mathematics education: neurounderstanding, neuroprediction, and neurointervention. Neurounderstanding refers to the idea that neuroscience is generating knowledge on how people acquire mathematical skills and how this learning is reflected at the biological level. Such knowledge might yield a better understanding of the typical and atypical development of school-taught mathematical competencies. Neuroprediction deals with the potential of neuroimaging data to predict future mathematical skill acquisition and response to educational interventions. In neurointervention, we discuss how brain imaging data have been used to ground interventions targeted at mathematics learning and how education shapes the neural circuitry that underlies school-taught mathematics. We additionally elaborate on recently developed neurophysiological interventions that have been shown to affect mathematical learning. While these applications offer exciting opportunities for mathematics education, some potential caveats should be considered, which are discussed at the end of this chapter.
Jeremy M. Wolfe
In her original Feature Integration Theory, Anne Treisman proposed that we process a limited set of basic preattentive, visual features in parallel across the visual field. Binding those features together into coherent, recognizable objects requires selective attention of item after item. In Treisman’s original conception, searches were divided into parallel feature searches and other serial self-terminating searches. Wolfe’s Guided Search model added the idea that the deployment of attention could be guided by preattentive information. In this view, the efficiency of search is related to the effectiveness of guidance on a continuum from perfect guidance, in the case of simple feature pop-out, to no guidance when no basic features distinguish target from distractors. This chapter reviews the evidence for different basic, preattentive features and describes the current understanding of the rules of guidance, the mechanics of visual search, and the relationship of these processes to visual awareness.
Elisabeth V. Culley and Iain Davidson
This chapter addresses questions about the emergence of art, sign, and representation, showing what these categories mean as applied to the archaeological record and how evidence of them may relate to the evolution of human cognitive capacities. It goes beyond the Eurasian Upper Paleolithic to consider marked or decorated objects from significantly older sites associated with Anatomically Modern Humans in Africa and Indonesia, Neanderthals in Europe, and Homo erectus in Trinil, Java. The materials evidence a range of graphic production across significant space and time. They indicate the emergence of graphic expression and its role in human evolution is much more complex than traditional Eurocentric model, as well as more recent models, allow. The review points to problems with the current epistemology of symbolic evolution and emphasizes how the use of “art” and other traditional artifact classes bias interpretations of prehistoric behaviors and models of when and why symbolling emerged.