Cognitive Neuroscience

Developing Intelligence

Category archives for Cognitive Neuroscience

There’s a ton of super-interesting transcranial magnetic stimulation work coming out these days (e.g., here, here, here, here, here, and here) and much of it pertains to a very particular “paired-pulse” form of TMS (ppTMS). Before diving into the new work, I wanted a basic crash course on what we know (and what we don’t)…

There are a few fascinating papers to come out recently that I won’t have time to cover in detail, but which people may find interesting. References and abstracts after the jump:

Two seemingly contradictory trends characterize brain development during childhood and adolescence: Diffuse to focal: a shift from relatively diffuse recruitment of neural regions to more focal and specific patterns of activity, whether in terms of the number of regions recruited, or the magnitude or spatial extent of that recruitment Local to distributed: a shift in…

Decisions can be hard: the conflict you face in any decision can be increased if option A is not that much better than option B, or if option A is newly worse than option B. And then there are are just bad decisions, maybe hard only in retrospect. As illustrated by a 2009 J Neurosci…

Recent work has leveraged increasingly sophisticated computational models of neural processing as a way of predicting the BOLD response on a trial-by-trial basis. The core idea behind much of this work is that reinforcement learning is a good model for the way the brain learns about its environment; the specific idea is that expectations are…

How can we enhance perception, learning, memory, and cognitive control? Any answer to this question will require a better understanding of the way they are best enhanced: through cognitive change in early development. But we can’t stop there. We also want to know more about the neural substrates that enable and reflect these cognitive transformations…

A nice 2010 Human Brain Mapping paper by Church, Petersen & Schlaggar covers a number of interpretational issues confronting modern neuroimaging. Their particular application is pediatric neuroimaging (I will also use developmental examples), but the general issues apply to nearly all fMRI studies. So here are some important things to keep in mind whenever you…

A 2010 FINS paper from Cohen et al. demonstrates that multivariate patterns in neural recruitment during response inhibition across the brain are significantly predictive of response inhibition ability and age of the scanned subject, and shows that other factors (such as response variability and reaction times) cannot be similarly predicted from the same data.

What if we got the organization of prefrontal cortex all wrong – maybe even backwards? That seems to be a conclusion one might draw from a 2010 Neuroimage paper by Yoshida, Funakoshi, & Ishii. But that would be the wrong conclusion: thanks to an ingenious mistake, Yoshida et al have apparently managed to “reverse” the…

Hierarchical views of prefrontal organization posit that some information processing principle, and not just task difficulty, determines which areas of prefrontal cortex will be recruited in a given task. Virtually all information processing accounts of the prefrontal hierarchy are agreed on this point, though they differ in whether the operative principle is thought to be…