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The claustrum is the most densely interconnected region in the human brain. Despite the accumulating data from clinical and experimental studies, the functional role of the claustrum remains unknown. Here, we systematically review claustrum lesion studies and discuss their functional implications. Claustral lesions are associated with an array of signs and symptoms, including changes in cognitive, perceptual and motor abilities; electrical activity; mental state; and sleep. The wide range of symptoms observed following claustral lesions do not provide compelling evidence to support prominent current theories of claustrum function such as multisensory integration or salience computation. Conversely, the lesions studies support the hypothesis that the claustrum regulates cortical excitability. We argue that the claustrum is connected to, or part of, multiple brain networks that perform both fundamental and higher cognitive functions. As a multifunctional node in numerous networks, this may explain the manifold effects of claustrum damage on brain and behaviour.
© 2015 The Authors. Speed-accuracy trade-off is an intensively studied law governing almost all behavioral tasks across species. Here we show that motivation by reward breaks this law, by simultaneously invigorating movement and improving response precision. We devised a model to explain this paradoxical effect of reward by considering a new factor: the cost of control. Exerting control to improve response precision might itself come at a cost - a cost to attenuate a proportion of intrinsic neural noise. Applying a noise-reduction cost to optimal motor control predicted that reward can increase both velocity and accuracy. Similarly, application to decision-making predicted that reward reduces reaction times and errors in cognitive control. We used a novel saccadic distraction task to quantify the speed and accuracy of both movements and decisions under varying reward. Both faster speeds and smaller errors were observed with higher incentives, with the results best fitted by a model including a precision cost. Recent theories consider dopamine to be a key neuromodulator in mediating motivational effects of reward. We therefore examined how Parkinson's disease (PD), a condition associated with dopamine depletion, alters the effects of reward. Individuals with PD showed reduced reward sensitivity in their speed and accuracy, consistent in our model with higher noise-control costs. Including a cost of control over noise explains how reward may allow apparent performance limits to be surpassed. On this view, the pattern of reduced reward sensitivity in PD patients can specifically be accounted for by a higher cost for controlling noise.
Identifying Child Anxiety Through Schools-identification to intervention (iCATS-i2i): protocol for single-arm feasibility trial.
BACKGROUND: Anxiety disorders are common among primary-school aged children, but few affected children receive evidence-based treatment. Identifying and supporting children who experience anxiety problems through schools would address substantial treatment access barriers that families and school staff often face. We have worked with families and school staff to co-design procedures that incorporate screening, feedback for parents, and the offer of a brief intervention in primary schools. This study sets out to assess the feasibility of a subsequent school-based cluster randomised controlled trial to evaluate these procedures. Our objectives are to ensure our procedures for identifying and supporting children with anxiety difficulties through primary schools are acceptable and there are no negative impacts, to estimate recruitment and retention rates, and to identify any changes needed to study procedures or measures. METHODS: We will recruit six primary/junior schools in England (2 classes per school), and invite all children (aged 8-9) (n = 360) and their parent/carer and class teacher in participating classes to take part. Children, parents and class teachers will complete questionnaires at baseline and 12-week follow-up. Children who 'screen positive' on a 2-item parent-report child anxiety screen at baseline will be the target population (expected n = 43). Parents receive feedback on screening questionnaire responses, and where the child screens positive the family is offered support (OSI: Online Support and Intervention for child anxiety). OSI is a brief, parent-led online intervention, supported by short telephone sessions with a Children's Wellbeing Practitioner. Participants' experiences of study procedures will be assessed through qualitative interviews/discussion groups. DISCUSSION: Evidence-based procedures for identifying and supporting children with anxiety difficulties through primary schools would improve children's access to timely, effective intervention for anxiety difficulties. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ISRCTN registry: ISRCTN30032471 . Retrospectively registered on 18 May 2021.
In recent years, a growing number of academic researchers, as well as many marketing and design practitioners, have uncovered a variety of factors that would appear to enhance the visual attractiveness, or deliciousness, of food images to the typical consumer. This review, which contains both narrative and systematic elements, critically evaluates the literature concerning the various factors influencing the eye appeal of food images, no matter whether there is an edible food stimulus physically present in front of the viewer or not. We start by summarizing the evidence concerning the human brain's ability to rapidly determine energy-density in a visual scene and pay attention accordingly. Next, we focus on the importance of embodied mental simulation when it comes to enhancing visual deliciousness. Thereafter, we review the literature on the importance of visual aesthetic features in eye-appeal. The wide range of visual attributes that help to enhance food attractiveness include symmetry, shape, freshness, glossiness, dynamic-presentation, etc. The review concludes with sections on the importance of background/ambient lighting/colour, and the tricks used by those who digitally manipulate images. Taken together, therefore, many different factors ultimately influence the visual deliciousness of food images.
Phonetic elements of brand names can convey a range of specific meanings. However, an integrated understanding of the sound symbolism of brand names remains elusive. Here, we classify sound symbolism in brand names based on three key dimensions of the semantic differential (evaluation, potency, and activity). In particular, we demonstrated that the sound symbolism of brand names can be explained in terms of the two dimensions of evaluation and potency (but not activity). The presence of higher-frequency sounds (front vowels, fricative, and voiceless consonants) in brand names tends to be associated with concepts linked to higher evaluation and lower potency, whereas lower-frequency sounds (back vowels, stop, and voiced consonants) tend to be more strongly associated with concepts linked to lower evaluation and higher potency. This study provides an integrative understanding of sound symbolism in brand names in terms of semantic differential meanings.
This collection of essays brings together research on sense modalities in general and spatial perception in particular in a systematic and interdisciplinary way. It updates a long-standing philosophical fascination with this topic by incorporating theoretical and empirical research from cognitive science, neuroscience, and psychology. The book is divided thematically to cover a wide range of established and emerging issues. Part I covers notions of objectivity and subjectivity in spatial perception and thinking. Part II focuses on the canonical distal senses, such as vision and audition. Part III concerns the chemical senses, including olfaction and gustation. Part IV discusses bodily awareness, peripersonal space, and touch. Finally, the volume concludes with Part V on multimodality. Spatial Senses is an important contribution to the scholarly literature on the philosophy of perception that takes into account important advances in the sciences.
Does pleasure facilitate healthy drinking? The role of epicurean pleasure in the regulation of wine consumption
Research on food psychology demonstrates that epicurean eating tendencies (i.e., esthetic appreciation of the sensory and symbolic value of food), similar to health concerns, tend to be associated with more regulated eating behaviors. Given that wine is already a product that is more pleasure-oriented, the question to be addressed here is whether such epicurean tendencies exert a similar effect in terms of moderating wine consumption. Two online studies demonstrate that, contrary to this suggestion, people with epicurean drinking tendencies in fact report drinking wine more frequently, and in larger quantities, than those with health beliefs. That said, when such pleasure is explicitly emphasized through textual cues, it appears to promote more regulated wine consumption. Impaired control mediates the effects of drinking tendencies as well as the effects of cueing on wine consumption. These results highlight how stressing epicurean pleasure might prove to be an effective strategy for those marketers and public authorities wanting to promote responsible wine consumption. Success in this regard might depend on whether it is the perception of the product that is cued rather than the consumers' self-perceived wine consumption.
The neural correlates of inhibitory control in 10-month-old infants: a functional near-infrared spectroscopy study.
Inhibitory control, a core executive function, emerges in infancy and develops rapidly across childhood. Methodological limitations have meant that studies investigating the neural correlates underlying inhibitory control in infancy are rare. Employing functional near-infrared spectroscopy alongside a novel touchscreen task that measures response inhibition, this study aimed to uncover the neural underpinnings of inhibitory control in 10-month-old infants (N = 135). We found that when inhibition was required, the right prefrontal and parietal cortices were more activated than when there was no inhibitory demand. This demonstrates that inhibitory control in infants as young as 10 months of age is supported by similar brain areas as in older children and adults. With this study we have lowered the age-boundary for localising the neural substrates of response inhibition to the first year of life.
BACKGROUND: Automated virtual reality therapies are being developed to increase access to psychological interventions. We assessed the experience with one such therapy of patients diagnosed with psychosis, including satisfaction, side effects, and positive experiences of access to the technology. We tested whether side effects affected therapy. METHODS: In a clinical trial 122 patients diagnosed with psychosis completed baseline measures of psychiatric symptoms, received gameChange VR therapy, and then completed a satisfaction questionnaire, the Oxford-VR Side Effects Checklist, and outcome measures. RESULTS: 79 (65.8%) patients were very satisfied with VR therapy, 37 (30.8%) were mostly satisfied, 3 (2.5%) were indifferent/mildly dissatisfied, and 1 (0.8%) person was quite dissatisfied. The most common side effects were: difficulties concentrating because of thinking about what might be happening in the room (n = 17, 14.2%); lasting headache (n = 10, 8.3%); and the headset causing feelings of panic (n = 9, 7.4%). Side effects formed three factors: difficulties concentrating when wearing a headset, feelings of panic using VR, and worries following VR. The occurrence of side effects was not associated with number of VR sessions, therapy outcomes, or psychiatric symptoms. Difficulties concentrating in VR were associated with slightly lower satisfaction. VR therapy provision and engagement made patients feel: proud (n = 99, 81.8%); valued (n = 97, 80.2%); and optimistic (n = 96, 79.3%). CONCLUSIONS: Patients with psychosis were generally very positive towards the VR therapy, valued having the opportunity to try the technology, and experienced few adverse effects. Side effects did not significantly impact VR therapy. Patient experience of VR is likely to facilitate widespread adoption.