Archive for the ‘Neuroscience and reasoning’ Category

Decision making, determinism and consciousness

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Noise in the brain, decision making, determinism, free will and consciousness Edmund Rolls New Horizons in the Neuroscience of Consciousness – Eds – Elaine Perry, Daniel Collerton, Fiona Le Beau & Heather Ashton In the introduction to his chapter Rolls emphasises that decision making in the brain involves a mix of the reasoning system and the reward system, the latter to a large extent meaning the same thing as our emotional response. Rolls has made an extremely valuable contribution Read more […]

Memory, attention and decision making

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Memory, Attention & Decision-Making (Chapter 3. Reward and punishment-related learning; emotion and motivation) Edmund Rolls, Oxford University Oxford University Press (2008) The author views the orbitofrontal region of the prefrontal cortex as the most important region for determining the value of rewards or punishers. Objects are first represented in the visual, somatosensory and other areas of the cortex without having any aspect of reward value. This only arises in the orbitofrontal Read more […]

Dopamine and decisions

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Dopamine and conscious decision making Anthony Grace In:- New Horizons in the Neuroscience of Consciousness This chapter discusses the interaction of the prefrontal cortex, the ventral subiculum in the hippocampal region and the dopamine system. These interact in particular in the nucleus accumbens area of the basal ganglia. This is important with respect to their role in decision making and behavioural responses. Dopamine also helps to establish long-term potentiation (LTP) or long-term Read more […]

Decision making in frontal cortex

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Decision making in frontal cortex: From single units to fMRI Steven W. Kennersley & Philippe N. Tobler In:- Neural Basis of Motivational and Cognitive Control The authors discuss the role of three frontal brain regions, the orbitofrontal, the anterior cingulate and the lateral prefrontal. Although not mentioned as such, the work is interesting in relation to the involvement of subjective conscious experience in determining the decision making discussed here, and its apparent relationship Read more […]

Dynamic coordination in the brain

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Coordination in Circuits Mayank Mehta et al In:- Dynamic Coordination in the Brain – Eds. Christoph von der Malsburg, William A. Phillips, & Wolf Singer This chapter examines aspects of neural synchronies, compression of information in relation to neuron oscillations, and the gamma synchronies involvement in communication between neural assemblies in different areas of the brain. All layers of the cortex have a variety of inhibitory interneurons using the GABA neurotransmitter. Read more […]

Coordination in brain systems

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Coordination in brain systems Moser, E. I. et al In:- Dynamic Coordination in the Brain: From Neurons to Mind – Eds. Christoph von der Malsburg, William Phillips & Wolf Singer Neuroimaging of the human brain indicates coordination of activity between different brain regions. Large scale coordination is shown to span the entire brain.  Rhythmic modulation of electrical activity is seen as a possible mechanism to change the couplings amongst neurons. Networks undergoing electrical oscillation Read more […]

Coordination in brain systems

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Coordination in brain systems Moser, E. I. et al In:- Dynamic Coordination in the Brain: From Neurons to Mind – Eds. Christoph von der Malsburg, William Phillips & Wolf Singer Neuroimaging of the human brain indicates coordination of activity between different brain regions. Large scale coordination is shown to span the entire brain.  Rhythmic modulation of electrical activity is seen as a possible mechanism to change the couplings amongst neurons. Networks undergoing electrical oscillation Read more […]

Neural coordination

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Neural Coordination and Human Cognition Catherine Tallon-Baudry In:- Dynamic Coordination in the Brain: From Neurons to Mind – MIT Press Brain imaging in recent years has led to the brain being seen in terms of a large number of functional regions, and this in turn creates a need to explain how the activities of these regions are coordinated. This chapter emphasises the distinction between learned routes in the brain and the coordination that is needed to deal with new perceptions and Read more […]

Not ‘just what it is like’

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Steven Bodovitz In:- Consciousness and the Universe (2009-11) This paper describes an interesting experiment serving to demonstrate the distinction between information processing and conscious/subjective assessment. In an experiment by Lau & Passingham (2006) subjects are shown an image (the target), followed quickly by a second image (the mask). When the second image follows quickly enough, the first image/target is removed from consciousness. In a finding similar to blindsight and other Read more […]

Animal consciousness

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The quest for animal consciousness Andrea Nani, Clare Eddy & Andrea Cavanna, Universities of Turin, Birmingham and UCL Journal of Cosmology, 2011, Vol. 14 The most interesting aspect of this paper is the reference to studies demonstrating that only sensory information that is reported as conscious in humans is able to activate brain regions dealing with executive functions. Studies of neural activity indicate an overlap between human and animal activity. Studies in many species suggest Read more […]