Archive for August, 2015

Agency and reward

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This paper can be taken as suggesting that a sense of agency is part of the reward system, encouraging repetition or non-repetition of particular actions or behaviours.

Ventromedial and confidence

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The ventromedial prefrontal cortex is the brain region most associated with ratings of the relative value of stimuli. Subjects are seen as assigning subjective values to the potential outcomes of possible actions leading to valuable results.

Libet v. recent neuroscience

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A source of despair in consciousness studies is the way in which popular science writers continue to plough ahead making pronouncements that are flatly contradicted by the neuroscientific data of recent years. In particular, consciousness students might be forgiven for screaming every time Libet’s veteran 1980s experiment is trundled out. Halligan and Oakley writing in a recent issue of ‘New Scientist’ go down this predictable route. The brain prepares for actions such as reaching out prior to awareness of the intention to reach.

Mitochondria ion channels

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The primary function of mitochondria is to generate ATP that supplies cells with energy. Mitochondria are cell organelles comprising an outer and inner membrane, the latter enclosing a matrix space in which hydrogen and electrons are extracted. The inner membrane contains the respiratory chain; the energy from oxidation/reduction reactions is used to move protons out of the inner matrix and across the inner membrane. This establishes an electrochemical potential gradient across the membrane which allows the synthesize of ATP from ADP.

Dynamic causal modelling

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Dynamic causal modelling (DCM) was created in order to estimate the functioning of connections between different brain regions. DCM infers the causal structure of distributed systems. It uses a Bayesian system to study how current data was created.

Dorsal and ventral attention

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Macaque monkeys are often used as models in neuroscience. However, there are important differences between macaques and humans. Humans have a larger dorsal attention network, indicating that evolution has augmented this network. Biases in visual searches are different as between the two species, and