The evolution of cognitive neuroscience has been spurred by the development of increasingly sophisticated investigative techniques to study human cognition. In Methods in Mind, experts examine the wide variety of tools available to cognitive neuroscientists, paying particular attention to the ways in which different methods can be integrated to strengthen empirical findings and how innovative uses for established techniques can be developed. The book will be a uniquely valuable resource for the researcher seeking to expand his or her repertoire of investigative techniques.
It has long been known that aspects of behavior run in families; studies show that characteristics related to cognition, temperament, and all major psychiatric disorders are heritable. This volume offers a primer on understanding the genetic mechanisms of such inherited traits. It proposes a set of tools--a conceptual basis--for critically evaluating recent studies and offers a survey of results from the latest research in the emerging fields of cognitive genetics and imaging genetics.
Cognitive electrophysiology concerns the study of the brain’s electrical and magnetic responses to both external and internal events. These can be measured using electroencephalograms (EEGs) or magnetoencephalograms (MEGs). With the advent of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), another method of tracking brain signals, the tools and techniques of ERP, EEG and MEG data acquisition and analysis have been developing at a similarly rapid pace, and this book offers an overview of key recent advances in cognitive electrophysiology.
The publication of the second edition of this handbook testifies to the rapid evolution of developmental cognitive neuroscience as a distinct field. Brain imaging and recording technologies, along with well-defined behavioral tasks—-the essential methodological tools of cognitive neuroscience—are now being used to study development. Technological advances have yielded methods that can be safely used to study structure-function relations and their development in children's brains.
The role of genetic inheritance dominates current evolutionary theory. At the end of the nineteenth century, however, several evolutionary theorists independently speculated that learned behaviors could also affect the direction and rate of evolutionary change. This notion was called the Baldwin effect, after the psychologist James Mark Baldwin.
Since Darwin we have known that evolution has shaped all organisms and that biological organs—including the brain and the highly crafted animal nervous system—are subject to the pressures of natural and sexual selection. It is only relatively recently, however, that the cognitive neurosciences have begun to apply evolutionary theory and methods to the study of brain and behavior. This landmark reference documents and defines the emerging field of evolutionary cognitive neuroscience.
The ultimate goal of the cognitive sciences is to understand how the brain works--how it turns "matter into imagination." In Imagination and the Meaningful Brain, psychoanalyst Arnold Modell claims that subjective human experience must be included in any scientific explanation of how the mind/brain works. Contrary to current attempts to describe mental functioning as a form of computation, his view is that the construction of meaning is not the same as information processing.
This essential resource on neuroimaging provides an accessible and user-friendly introduction to the field written by leading researchers. The book describes theoretical and methodological developments in the use of functional neuroimaging techniques to study the neural basis of cognition, from early scientific efforts to link brain and behavior to the latest applications of fMRI and PET methods. The core of the book covers fMRI and PET studies in specific domains: attention, skill learning, semantic memory, language, episodic memory, working memory, and executive functions.
Recent advances in the study of visual cognition and consciousness have dealt primarily with steady-state properties of visual processing, with little attention to its dynamic aspects. The First Half Second brings together for the first time the latest research on the dynamics of conscious and unconscious processing of visual information, examining the time-course of visual processes from the moment a stimulus is presented until it registers in a behavioral response or in consciousness a few hundred milliseconds later.
This groundbreaking monograph offers a mechanistic theory of the representation and use of semantic knowledge, integrating the strengths and overcoming many of the weaknesses of hierarchical, categorization-based approaches, similarity-based approaches, and the approach often called "theory theory." Building on earlier models by Geoffrey Hinton in the 1980s and David Rumelhart in the early 1990s, the authors propose that performance in semantic tasks arises through the propagation of graded signals in a system of interconnected processing units.