A crucial question facing cognitive science concerns the nature of conceptual representations as well as the constraints on the interactions between them. One specific question we address in this paper is what makes cross-representational interplay possible? We offer two distinct theoretical scenarios: according to the first scenario, co-activated knowledge representations interact with the help of an interface established between them via congruent activation in a mediating third-party general cognitive mechanism, e.g., attention. According to the second scenario, co-activated knowledge representations interact due to an overlap between their features, for example when they share a magnitude component. First, we make a case for cross-representational interplay based on grounded and situated theories of cognition. Second, we discuss interface-based interactions between distinct (i.e., non-overlapping) knowledge representations. Third, we discuss how co-activated representations may share their architecture via partial overlap. Finally, we outline constraints regarding the flexibility of these proposed mechanisms.
Recent years of research have shown that the complex temporal structure of ongoing oscillations is scale-free and characterized by long-range temporal correlations. Detrended fluctuation analysis (DFA) has proven particularly useful, revealing that genetic variation, normal development, or disease can lead to differences in the scale-free amplitude modulation of oscillations. Furthermore, amplitude dynamics is remarkably independent of the time-averaged oscillation power, indicating that the DFA provides unique insights into the functional organization of neuronal systems. To facilitate understanding and encourage wider use of scaling analysis of neuronal oscillations, we provide a pedagogical explanation of the DFA algorithm and its underlying theory. Practical advice on applying DFA to oscillations is supported by MATLAB scripts from the Neurophysiological Biomarker Toolbox (NBT) and links to the NBT tutorial website http://www.nbtwiki.net/. Finally, we provide a brief overview of insights derived from the application of DFA to ongoing oscillations in health and disease, and discuss the putative relevance of criticality for understanding the mechanism underlying scale-free modulation of oscillations.
There is a lack of modern quantitative language assessment tests in Russian, integrating neuropsychological and psychometric traditions, and allowing to specify the type and severity of linguistic deficits in individuals with different aphasia profiles. In response to these clinical and research needs, a novel standardized aphasia test – the Russian Aphasia Test (RAT) – is currently being developed.
Behaviour, language, and reasoning are expressions of brain functions par excellence; yet the brain can only draw on sensory modalities to gather information on the rest of the body and on the outer world. Traditionally, cortical areas processing the identity and location of sensory inputs were thought to be organised hierarchically, with certain branches processing basic features and other branches processing complex features. Thus, for example, visual inputs would initially go through lower-level visual areas and then through higher-level visual areas. Only at later stages does multisensory integration take place in the association zones, eventually ensuring conscious perception and recruitment of relevant muscles to execute complex motor plans.
Yet, this picture of brain functioning began to fade as evidence accumulated highlighting widespread ‘multisensory’ processing, with inputs from different senses becoming integrated prior to conscious perception. Current studies in multimodal emotion integration (e.g., face and voice) revealed synergistic effects at early sensory cortices as well as at higher-level association areas, which are responsible for cognitive evaluation of affective information. Similarly, perceptual learning in temporal discrimination was shown to readily transfer from one sensory modality to another. Further behavioural evidence suggests that complex events are interpreted via a continuous loop between intentions and sensory input such that, on the one hand, observers use sensory inputs to segment an event sequence into units, which in time become tied to knowledge about agents’ intentions and, on the other hand, hierarchical event schemas facilitate the perception of event structure, helping observers segment and organize their experiences.
A less hierarchical functional architecture of the brain has emerged such that, irrespective of sensory modality, inputs are allocated to the best suited cortical substrate. For example, predictions of the so-called ‘neural exploitation hypothesis’ that neural circuits initially used for a specific purpose (e.g., motor control) are being re-used for other purposes (e.g., language) have recently been confirmed with a twist. In particular, behavioural studies have provided evidence that language reflects specific characteristics of action organization in the perceptual and motor systems (e.g., chained organization) and that, in turn, language can modify these characteristics in important ways. Activation of grasp-related affordances, for instance, as when attention targets graspable parts of a perceived object, is amplified when following visual cues but not when following linguistic cues.
Our Research Topic welcomes contributions on multisensory integration and sensory adaptation encompassing all aspects of cognition, motion, and emotion.