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Category: Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience

EEG captures affective touch: CT-optimal touch and neural oscillations

Published in: Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience, Volume 18, Issue 1, 155-166 Abstract “Tactile interactions are of developmental importance to social and emotional interactions across species. In beginning to understand the affective component of tactile stimulation, research has begun to elucidate the neural mechanisms that underscore slow, affective touch. Here, we extended this emerging body of work and examined whether affective touch (C tactile [CT]-optimal speed), as compared to nonaffective touch (non-CT-optimal speed) and no touch conditions, modulated EEG oscillations. We report an attenuation in alpha and beta activity to affective and nonaffective touch relative to the no touch condition. Further,… Read More

Oscillatory brain activity differentially reflects false belief understanding and complementation syntax processing

Published in: Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience, Volume 18, Issue 1, 189-201 Abstract “False belief understanding (FBU) enables people to consider conflicting beliefs about the same situation. While language has been demonstrated to be a correlate of FBU, there is still controversy about the extent to which a specific aspect of language, complementation syntax, is a necessary condition for FBU. The present study tested an important notion from the debate proposing that complementation syntax task is redundant to FBU measures. Specifically, we examined electrophysiological correlates of false belief, false complementation, and their respective true conditions in adults using electroencephalography (EEG), focusing… Read More

Visual awareness negativity is an early neural correlate of awareness: A preregistered study with two Gabor sizes

Published in: Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience, Volume 18, Issue 1, 176-188 Abstract “Electrophysiological recordings are commonly used to study the neural correlates of consciousness in humans. Previous research is inconsistent as to whether awareness can be indexed with visual awareness negativity (VAN) at about 200 ms or if it occurs later. The present study was preregistered with two main aims: First, to provide independent evidence for or against the presence of VAN, and second, to study whether stimulus size may account for the inconsistent findings. Subjects were shown low-contrast Gaussian filtered gratings (Gabor patches) in the four visual quadrants. Gabor… Read More

Poststimulation time interval-dependent effects of motor cortex anodal tDCS on reaction-time task performance

Published in: Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience, Volume 18, Issue 1, 167-175 Abstract “Anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) induces long-term potentiation-like plasticity, which is associated with long-lasting effects on different cognitive, emotional, and motor performances. Specifically, tDCS applied over the motor cortex is considered to improve reaction time in simple and complex tasks. The timing of tDCS relative to task performance could determine the efficacy of tDCS to modulate performance. The aim of this study was to compare the effects of a single session of anodal tDCS (1.5 mA, for 15 min) applied over the left primary motor cortex (M1)… Read More

Friend versus foe: Neural correlates of prosocial decisions for liked and disliked peers

Published in: Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience, Volume 18, Issue 1, 127-142 Abstract “Although the majority of our social interactions are with people we know, few studies have investigated the neural correlates of sharing valuable resources with familiar others. Using an ecologically valid research paradigm, this functional magnetic resonance imaging study examined the neural correlates of prosocial and selfish behavior in interactions with real-life friends and disliked peers in young adults. Participants (N = 27) distributed coins between themselves and another person, where they could make selfish choices that maximized their own gains or prosocial choices that maximized outcomes of the other.… Read More

Childhood maltreatment is associated with increased neural response to ambiguous threatening facial expressions in adulthood: Evidence from the late positive potential

Published in: Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience, Volume 18, Issue 1, 143-154 Abstract “Childhood maltreatment increases lifetime vulnerability for psychopathology. One proposed mechanism for this association is that early maltreatment increases vigilance for and attention to subtle threat cues, persisting outside of the environment in which maltreatment occurs. To test this possibility, the present study examined neural responses to ambiguous and nonambiguous threatening facial expressions in a sample of 25 adults reporting a history of low-to-moderate levels of abuse in childhood and 46 reporting no or low levels of childhood maltreatment. The measure of neural response used was the late positive… Read More

Pure correlates of exploration and exploitation in the human brain

Published in: Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience, Volume 18, Issue 1, 117-126 Abstract “Balancing exploration and exploitation is a fundamental problem in reinforcement learning. Previous neuroimaging studies of the exploration–exploitation dilemma could not completely disentangle these two processes, making it difficult to unambiguously identify their neural signatures. We overcome this problem using a task in which subjects can either observe (pure exploration) or bet (pure exploitation). Insula and dorsal anterior cingulate cortex showed significantly greater activity on observe trials compared to bet trials, suggesting that these regions play a role in driving exploration. A model-based analysis of task performance suggested that… Read More

Older adults’ neural activation in the reward circuit is sensitive to face trustworthiness

Published in: Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience, Volume 18, Issue 1, 21-34 Abstract “We examined older adult (OA) and younger adult (YA) neural sensitivity to face trustworthiness in reward circuit regions, previously found to respond to trustworthiness in YA. Interactions of face trustworthiness with age revealed effects exclusive to OA in the amygdala and caudate, and an effect that was not moderated by age in the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC). OA, but not YA, showed a nonlinear amygdala response to face trustworthiness, with significantly stronger activation response to high than to medium trustworthy faces, and no difference between low and… Read More

Rodent ultrasonic vocalizations as biomarkers of future alcohol use: A predictive analytic approach

Published in: Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience, Volume 18, Issue 1, 88-98 Abstract “Excessive alcohol consumption has a vast, negative impact on society. Rodent models have been successful in furthering our understanding of the biological underpinnings that drive alcohol consumption. Rodents emit ultrasonic vocalizations (USVs) that are each composed of several acoustic characteristics (e.g., frequency, duration, bandwidth, power). USVs reflect neurotransmitter activity in the ascending limb of the mesolimbic dopaminergic and cholinergic neurotransmitter systems and serve as noninvasive, real-time biomarkers of dopaminergic and cholinergic neurotransmission in the limbic system. In the present study, we recorded spontaneously emitted USVs from alcohol-naïve Long-Evans… Read More

Elaborative feedback: Engaging reward and task-relevant brain regions promotes learning in pseudoword reading aloud

Published in: Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience, Volume 18, Issue 1, 68-87 Abstract “Although much is known about the cognitive and neural basis of establishing letter-sound mappings in learning word forms, relatively little is known about what makes for the most effective feedback during this process. We sought to determine the neural basis by which elaborative feedback (EF), which contains both reward-related and content-specific information, may be more helpful than feedback containing only one kind of information (simple positive feedback, PF) or the other (content feedback, CF) in learning orthography-phonology (spelling-sound) mappings for novel letter strings. Compared to CF, EF activated… Read More