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Author: Max Garcia

The motor features of action verbs: fMRI evidence using picture naming

Published in: Brain and Language, Volume 179, April 2018, 22-32 Abstract “The processing disadvantage of verbs compared to nouns and the greater vulnerability of verbs in brain damage have been ascribed to greater processing demands of morpho-syntactical or/and semantic properties for verbs, or/and visual complexity in picture-naming studies. Using picture naming, the current functional magnetic resonance imaging study examined the neural substrates underlying the semantic distinction between nouns and verbs. Under forced (externally-elicited) or free (internally-motivated) conditions, participants named a set of pictorial stimuli as objects or actions performed on/with the objects in Chinese. Use of a language with impoverished inflectional… Read More

More than a Computer – by Max Garcia

Earlier this week, I was talking with someone about the mind and cognition. I started to pay close attention to the notion that many people have when they refer to the mind as a “computer”. While it is true that the mind performs computation in most of its cognitive capabilities, I believe that referring to the mind simply as a computer is a claim that needs modernization, and that is where Embodied Cognition comes in. In my previous post, I wrote about how Embodied Cognition can arise from Metaphors, and what this implied in terms of a universal language, emotional… Read More

Spectral Diversity in Default Mode Network Connectivity Reflects Behavioral State

Published in: Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, Volume 30, Issue 4, April 2018, 526-539 Abstract “Default mode network (DMN) functional connectivity is thought to occur primarily in low frequencies (<0.1 Hz), resulting in most studies removing high frequencies during data preprocessing. In contrast, subtractive task analyses include high frequencies, as these are thought to be task relevant. An emerging line of research explores resting fMRI data at higher-frequency bands, examining the possibility that functional connectivity is a multiband phenomenon. Furthermore, recent studies suggest DMN involvement in cognitive processing; however, without a systematic investigation of DMN connectivity during tasks, its functional contribution to… Read More

The Neural Basis of Successful Word Reading in Aphasia

Published in: Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, Volume 30, Issue 4, April 2018, 514-525 Abstract “Understanding the neural basis of recovery from stroke is a major research goal. Many functional neuroimaging studies have identified changes in brain activity in people with aphasia, but it is unclear whether these changes truly support successful performance or merely reflect increased task difficulty. We addressed this problem by examining differences in brain activity associated with correct and incorrect responses on an overt reading task. On the basis of previous proposals that semantic retrieval can assist pronunciation of written words, we hypothesized that recruitment of semantic areas… Read More

Hearing Shapes: Event-related Potentials Reveal the Time Course of Auditory–Visual Sensory Substitution

Published in: Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, Volume 30, Issue 4, April 2018, 498-513 Abstract “In auditory–visual sensory substitution, visual information (e.g., shape) can be extracted through strictly auditory input (e.g., soundscapes). Previous studies have shown that image-to-sound conversions that follow simple rules [such as the Meijer algorithm; Meijer, P. B. L. An experimental system for auditory image representation. Transactions on Biomedical Engineering, 39, 111–121, 1992] are highly intuitive and rapidly learned by both blind and sighted individuals. A number of recent fMRI studies have begun to explore the neuroplastic changes that result from sensory substitution training. However, the time course of cross-sensory information… Read More

Event-related Electroencephalographic Lateralizations Mark Individual Differences in Spatial and Nonspatial Visual Selection

Published in: Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, Volume 30, Issue 4, April 2018, 482-497 Abstract “Selective attention controls the distribution of our visual system’s limited processing resources to stimuli in the visual field. Two independent parameters of visual selection can be quantified by modeling an individual’s performance in a partial-report task based on the computational theory of visual attention (TVA): (i) top–down control α, the relative attentional weighting of relevant over irrelevant stimuli, and (ii) spatial bias wλ, the relative attentional weighting of stimuli in the left versus right hemifield. In this study, we found that visual event-related electroencephalographic lateralizations marked interindividual differences… Read More

Oscillatory Mechanisms of Response Conflict Elicited by Color and Motion Direction: An Individual Differences Approach

Published in: Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, Volume 30, Issue 4, 468-481 Abstract “Goal-directed behavior requires control over automatic behavior, for example, when goal-irrelevant information from the environment captures an inappropriate response and conflicts with the correct, goal-relevant action. Neural oscillations in the theta band (∼6 Hz) measured at midfrontal electrodes are thought to form an important substrate of the detection and subsequent resolution of response conflict. Here, we examined the extent to which response conflict and associated theta-band activity depend on the visual stimulus feature dimension that triggers the conflict. We used a feature-based Simon task to manipulate conflict by motion… Read More

Does Extensive Training at Individuating Novel Objects in Adulthood Lead to Visual Expertise? The Role of Facelikeness

Published in: Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, Volume 30, Issue 4, April 2018, 449-467 Abstract “Human adults have a rich visual experience thanks to seeing human faces since birth, which may contribute to the acquisition of perceptual processes that rapidly and automatically individuate faces. According to a generic visual expertise hypothesis, extensive experience with nonface objects may similarly lead to efficient processing of objects at the individual level. However, whether extensive training in adulthood leads to visual expertise remains debated. One key issue is the extent to which the acquisition of visual expertise depends on the resemblance of objects to faces in… Read More

Control Changes the Way We Look at the World

Published in: Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, Volume 30, Issue 4, April 2018, 603-619 Abstract “The feeling of control is a fundamental aspect of human experience and accompanies our voluntary actions all the time. However, how the sense of control interacts with wider perception, cognition, and behavior remains poorly understood. This study focused on how controlling an external object influences the allocation of attention. Experiment 1 examined attention to an object that is under a different level of control from the others. Participants searched for a target among multiple distractors on screen. All the distractors were partially under the participant’s control (50%… Read More