BACKGROUND: Exteroception involves processes related to the perception of environmental stimuli important for an organism's ability to adapt to its environment. As such, exteroception plays a critical role in conditioned response. In addiction, behavioral and neuroimaging studies show that the conditioned response to drug-related cues is often associated with alterations in brain regions including the precuneus/posterior cingulate cortex, an important node within the default mode network dedicated to processes such as self-monitoring.
BACKGROUND: Mindfulness meditation (MM) practices constitute an important group of meditative practices that have received growing attention. The aim of the present paper was to systematically review current evidence on the neurobiological changes and clinical benefits related to MM practice in psychiatric disorders, in physical illnesses and in healthy subjects. METHOD: A literature search was undertaken using Medline, ISI Web of Knowledge, the Cochrane collaboration database and references of retrieved articles.
BACKGROUND: Current pharmacological treatments for schizophrenia target G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), including dopamine receptors. Ligand-bound GPCRs are regulated by a family of G protein-coupled receptor kinases (GRKs), members of which uncouple the receptor from heterotrimeric G proteins, desensitize the receptor, and induce receptor internalization via the arrestin family of scaffolding and signaling molecules.
Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are a group of neurodevelopmental conditions characterized by dysfunction in social interaction, communication and stereotypic behavior. Genetic and environmental factors have been implicated in the development of ASD, but the molecular mechanisms underlying their interaction are not clear. Epigenetic modifications have been suggested as molecular mechanism that can mediate the interaction between the environment and the genome to produce adaptive or maladaptive behaviors.
The present study investigates cortical structures associated with personality dimension of positivity (POS) by using a standardized low-resolution brain electromagnetic tomography (sLORETA), which provides EEG localization measures that are independent of the recording reference. Resting EEG and self-report measures of positivity, self-esteem, life satisfaction, and optimism were collected from 51 female undergraduates. EEG was recorded across 29 scalp sites. Anterior and posterior source alpha asymmetries of cortical activation were obtained by using sLORETA.
In religions where God is portrayed as both loving and wrathful, religious beliefs may be a source of fear as well as comfort. Here, we consider if God's love may be more effective, relative to God's wrath, for soothing distress, but less effective for helping control behavior. Specifically, we assess whether contemplating God's love reduces our ability to detect and emotionally react to conflict between one's behavior and overarching religious standards.
Learning about other peoples' attributes, e.g. whether an individual is generous or selfish, is central to human social cognition. It is well documented that a network of cortical regions is reliably activated when we engage social processes. However, little is known about the specific computations performed by these regions or whether such processing is specialized for the social domain. We investigated these questions using a task in which participants (N= 26) learned about four peoples' generosity by watching them choose to share money with third party partners, or not.
The ethics of psychosurgery involve questions of moral philosophy and pragmatism in alleviating human suffering. The weighing of scientific data along with philosophical oughts and shoulds is required. The medical literature indicates definite efficacy for some kinds of limbic surgery, mainly cingulotomy and capsulotomy, in some kinds of conditions, namely major depression, pain and anxiety. The relative utility of these procedures given the severity of the illnesses and the safety of the procedures described is significant.
BACKGROUND: Major depressive disorder (MDD) is associated with functional abnormalities in fronto-meso-limbic networks contributing to decision-making, affective and reward processing impairments. Such functional disturbances may underlie a tendency for enhanced altruism driven by empathy-based guilt observed in some patients. However, despite the relevance of altruistic decisions to understanding vulnerability, as well as everyday psychosocial functioning, in MDD, their functional neuroanatomy is unknown.
Why do we self-sacrifice to help others in distress? Two competing theories have emerged, one suggesting that prosocial behavior is primarily motivated by feelings of empathic other-oriented concern, the other that we help mainly because we are egoistically focused on reducing our own discomfort. Here we explore the relationship between costly altruism and these two sub-processes of empathy, specifically drawing on the caregiving model to test the theory that trait empathic concern (e.g. general tendency to have sympathy for another) and trait personal distress (e.g.