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Is language natural to man? Some historical considerations
Publication date: June 2018 Source:Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, Volume 21 Author(s): Willem JM Levelt Since the Enlightenment period, natural theories of speech and language evolution have florished in the language sciences. Four ever returning core issues are highlighted in this paper: Firstly, Is language natural to man or just an invention? Secondly, Is language a specific human ability (a ‘language instinct’) or does it arise from general cognitive capacities we share with other animals? Thirdly, Has the evolution of language been a gradual process or did it rather suddenly arise, due to some &l...
Source: Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences - May 14, 2018 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Source Type: research

Focus on females: a less biased approach for studying strategies and mechanisms of memory
Publication date: October 2018 Source:Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, Volume 23 Author(s): Natalie C Tronson Recent work on sex differences in learning and memory has demonstrated that females and males differ in cognitive and behavioral strategies, as well as neural mechanisms required to learn, retrieve, and express memory. Although our understanding of the mechanisms of memory is highly sophisticated, this work is based on male animals. As such, the study of female memory is narrowed to a comparison with behavior and mechanisms defined in males, resulting in findings of male-specific mechanisms but little under...
Source: Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences - May 14, 2018 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Source Type: research

Sex differences in motivated behaviors in animal models
Publication date: October 2018 Source:Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, Volume 23 Author(s): Zhimin Song, Manu Kalyani, Jill B Becker Sex differences exist in the motivation for sexual behavior, food, parental care and motivation to take drugs. There are also sex differences in the likelihood of exhibiting motivational disorders such as anhedonia, depression, addictive behavior, and eating disorders. This brief review summaries recent studies on sex differences in all motivated behaviors in social and non-social contexts, focusing on animal models. We also discuss the roles of gonadal hormones and the nonapeptides (...
Source: Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences - May 14, 2018 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Source Type: research

The middle-aged brain: biological sex and sex hormones shape memory circuitry
Publication date: October 2018 Source:Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, Volume 23 Author(s): Emily G Jacobs, Jill M Goldstein Over the last quarter century, a staggering number of brain imaging studies have probed the neural basis of age-related cognitive decline. Using multimodal brain imaging tools, we now have a clearer understanding of the morphological, neurochemical, and neurophysiological changes that accompany age-related declines in working memory, selective attention, inhibitory control, episodic memory and more. These studies generally target adults over the age of 65, a historical precedent rooted in the...
Source: Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences - May 14, 2018 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Source Type: research

Unconscious psychological treatments for physiological survival circuits
Publication date: December 2018 Source:Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, Volume 24 Author(s): Vincent Taschereau-Dumouchel, Ka-Yuet Liu, Hakwan Lau The idea of targeting unconscious or implicit processes in psychological treatments is not new, but until recently it has not been easy to manipulate these processes without also engaging consciousness. Here we review how this is possible, using various modern cognitive neuroscience methods including a technique known as Decoded Neural-Reinforcement. We discuss the general advantages of this approach, such as how it can facilitate double-blind placebo-controlled studies,...
Source: Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences - May 14, 2018 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Source Type: research

The evolution of FOXP2 in the light of admixture
Publication date: June 2018 Source:Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, Volume 21 Author(s): Martin Kuhlwilm Evolutionary changes in the genomic region of FOXP2 have been studied extensively. The functional consequences of changes in this gene—and larger networks in which it is embedded—might have contributed to human-specific cognitive and behavioral traits. Although humans and extinct archaic lineages share protein-altering changes in FOXP2 since the split from chimpanzees, other subsequent human-specific single nucleotide changes might have facilitated recent modern human traits. Recently, high-coverage ...
Source: Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences - April 26, 2018 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Source Type: research

Non-adjacent auditory sequence learning across development and primate species
Publication date: June 2018 Source:Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, Volume 21 Author(s): Jutta L Mueller, Alice Milne, Claudia Männel The ability to process structured sequences of sounds lies at the basis of human language processing. Language is characterized by a high level of structural complexity including non-adjacent dependencies where the relationships between elements can span multiple intervening elements. Understanding how such structures can be learned is of particular interest for understanding how language develops and how it evolved. In recent years advances have been made in identifying the con...
Source: Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences - April 22, 2018 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Source Type: research

A primer on sex differences in the behavioral response to stress
Publication date: October 2018 Source:Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, Volume 23 Author(s): Georgia E Hodes There is a growing interest, along with new technology, to perform translational research into the biology underlying many mental disorders and examining these effects in both sexes. Many studies use behavioral manipulations or endpoints to model these disorders in animals. However, some of these paradigms produce sex-skewed results that could influence and confound results. This review explores the behavioral literature on acute and chronic stress paradigms and their effects on behavior in males and females....
Source: Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences - April 12, 2018 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Source Type: research

Estradiol and hippocampal memory in female and male rodents
Publication date: October 2018 Source:Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, Volume 23 Author(s): Karyn M Frick, Jaekyoon Kim, Wendy A Koss Estrogens influence nearly every aspect of hippocampal function, including memory formation. Although this research has traditionally focused on ovariectomized females, more recent work is providing insights into the ways in which estrogens regulate hippocampal function in both sexes. This review provides an overview of estrogenic regulation of hippocampal function in female and male rodents, with a particular emphasis on memory formation. Where applicable, we discuss the involvement...
Source: Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences - April 6, 2018 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Source Type: research

Estradiol and the reward system in humans
Publication date: October 2018 Source:Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, Volume 23 Author(s): Esther K Diekhof This review is intended to summarize the literature on the modulation of the human reward system by estradiol. It will integrate previous neuroimaging findings in current rodent models, which suggest a dopamine-agonistic effect of physiological estradiol that may increase reward sensitivity in females. In human research, most neuroimaging studies have addressed menstrual cycle-related differences in reward-related brain activation and behaviors by comparing phases of high versus low estradiol availability. F...
Source: Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences - March 28, 2018 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Source Type: research

Prefrontal function and cognitive control: from action to language
Publication date: June 2018 Source:Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, Volume 21 Author(s): Marion Rouault, Etienne Koechlin The prefrontal function has evolved to control adaptive behavior beyond basic associative and reinforcement learning processes. Here we review core principles governing the prefrontal architecture of inferential and hierarchical processes controlling the formation, storage and recollection of flexible task-sets regulating human adaptive behavior. We outline three key principles of this functional architecture: inferential temporal control, task-set creation based on probabilistic marginalization...
Source: Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences - March 23, 2018 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Source Type: research

Developmental and neurobehavioral transitions in survival circuits
Publication date: December 2018 Source:Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, Volume 24 Author(s): Regina M Sullivan, Maya Opendak Although animals of all ages experience threats, the neurobehavioral response to threat shows fundamental changes across development in altricial species, including humans and rodents. Although the mature animal has an arsenal of defensive strategies to engage, including attack, escape, hide or freeze, the motorically immature infant exhibits age-appropriate responses to threats that involve approach to the caregiver for protection. The neurobiology supporting this difference relies on both t...
Source: Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences - March 21, 2018 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Source Type: research

The role of learning in threat imminence and defensive behaviors
Publication date: December 2018 Source:Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, Volume 24 Author(s): Michael S Fanselow Life threatening situations as urgent as defending against a predator precludes the use of slow trial and error strategies. Natural selection has led to the evolution of a behavioral system that has three critical elements. (1) When it is activated it limits the behaviors available to the organism to a set of prewired responses that have proven over phylogeny to be effective at defense. (2) A rapid learning system, called Pavlovian fear conditioning, that has the ability to immediately identify threats an...
Source: Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences - March 21, 2018 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Source Type: research

The ethological deconstruction of fear(s)
Publication date: December 2018 Source:Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, Volume 24 Author(s): Dean Mobbs The natural world presents a myriad of dangers that can threaten an organism's survival. This diversity of threats is matched by a set of universal and species specific defensive behaviors which are often subsumed under the emotions of fear and anxiety. A major issue in the field of affective science, however, is that these emotions are often conflated and scientists fail to reflect the ecological conditions that gave rise to them. I attempt to clarify these semantic issues by describing the link between ethologi...
Source: Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences - March 21, 2018 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Source Type: research

Cytoarchitectonic and receptorarchitectonic organization in Broca's region and surrounding cortex
Publication date: June 2018 Source:Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, Volume 21 Author(s): Karl Zilles, Katrin Amunts Broca's region was originally described as a cortical site in the inferior frontal gyrus, where speech impairment occurs after brain lesions. However, this clinico-pathological definition does not define the underlying microstructural correlates. Two cytoarchitectonic areas (BA44, BA45) were identified as correlates of Broca's region in the inferior frontal opercular and triangular parts, respectively. Recent microstructural analyses based on the distribution of transmitter receptors suggest a further...
Source: Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences - March 20, 2018 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Source Type: research

Regulation of cognitive function by androgens and estrogens
Publication date: October 2018 Source:Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, Volume 23 Author(s): Elizabeth Hampson Our understanding of cognitive sex differences is being transformed by advances in the neurosciences. Recent evidence suggests that reproductive steroids currently available to the central nervous system via the bloodstream may dynamically regulate at least some cognitive functions in adulthood, via their effects on gene transcription or other mechanisms that modify neuronal activity. This mini-review uses working memory and the internal spatial representation of objects (e.g. mental rotation) as examples, ...
Source: Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences - March 20, 2018 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Source Type: research

The neural basis for human syntax: Broca's area and beyond
Publication date: June 2018 Source:Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, Volume 21 Author(s): Angela D Friederici Language is a uniquely human cognitive system which is biologically grounded in the human brain. Recent studies have shown that syntax processing in humans can be separated from sequence processing, a cognitive ability also present in non-human primates. Syntactic processing as the core of human language is subserved specifically by BA 44 located in the posterior portion of Broca's area in the left inferior frontal gyrus and its white matter connection to the posterior temporal cortex. It is only when this f...
Source: Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences - March 19, 2018 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Source Type: research

Sex differences and the effects of estradiol on striatal function
Publication date: October 2018 Source:Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, Volume 23 Author(s): John Meitzen, Robert L Meisel, Paul G Mermelstein The striatal brain regions, including the caudate–putamen, nucleus accumbens core, and nucleus accumbens shell, mediate critical behavioral functions. These functions include motivated behavior, learning, and sensorimotor function in both pathological and normal contexts. The phenotype and/or incidence of all of these behaviors differ by sex and/or are sensitive to gonadal hormones such as 17β-estradiol. Here we present a brief review of recent literature regarding...
Source: Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences - March 17, 2018 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Source Type: research

Dual neural network model of speech and language evolution: new insights on flexibility of vocal production systems and involvement of frontal cortex
Publication date: June 2018 Source:Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, Volume 21 Author(s): Steffen R Hage Human speech vastly outperforms primate vocal behavior in scope and flexibility making the elucidation of speech evolution one of biology's biggest challenges. A proposed dual-network model including a volitional articulatory motor network originating in the prefrontal cortex that is capable of cognitively controlling vocal output of a phylogenetically conserved primary vocal motor network attempts to bridge this gap. By comparing neuronal networks in human and non-human brains, crucial biological preadaptations ...
Source: Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences - March 9, 2018 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Source Type: research

What animals can teach us about human language: the phonological continuity hypothesis
Publication date: June 2018 Source:Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, Volume 21 Author(s): W Tecumseh Fitch Progress in linking between the disparate levels of cognitive description and neural implementation requires explicit, testable, computationally based hypotheses. One such hypothesis is the dendrophilia hypothesis, which suggests that human syntactic abilities rely on our supra-regular computational abilities, implemented via an auxiliary memory store (a ‘stack’) centred on Broca's region via its connections with other cortical areas. Because linguistic phonology requires less powerful computational...
Source: Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences - March 6, 2018 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Source Type: research

Fear paradigms: The times they are a-changin ’
Publication date: December 2018 Source:Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, Volume 24 Author(s): Jeansok J Kim, Min Whan Jung Fear is considered an integral part of the brain's defensive mechanism that evolved to protect animals and humans from predation and other ecological threats. Hence, it is logical to study fear from the perspective of antipredator-survival behaviors and circuits by sampling a range of threatening situations that organisms are likely to encounter in the wild. In the past several decades, however, mainstream fear research has focused on the importance of associative learning; that is, how animals ...
Source: Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences - March 4, 2018 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Source Type: research

Sex differences in sub-anesthetic ketamine's antidepressant effects and abuse liability
Publication date: October 2018 Source:Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, Volume 23 Author(s): Katherine N .Wright, Mohamed Kabbaj Sub-anesthetic ketamine produces rapid antidepressant effects in patients with bipolar and unipolar major depression where conventional monoaminergic-based antidepressant drugs have been ineffective or ridden with side effects. A single ketamine infusion can produce antidepressant effects lasting up to two weeks, and multiple ketamine infusions prolong this effect. Pre-clinical studies are underway to uncover ketamine's mechanisms of action, but there are still many questions unanswered re...
Source: Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences - March 3, 2018 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Source Type: research

Mutation, modularity, merge, communication and selection
Publication date: June 2018 Source:Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, Volume 21 Author(s): James R Hurford Contemporary disputes about the origins and evolution of language are reviewed. The main issues involved are: how many mutations gave rise to the Language faculty, whether a new cognitive domain was thereby created, how powerful Language was from the beginning, whether the initial function of Language was private thought or public communication, and whether natural selection influenced its rise. (Source: Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences)
Source: Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences - March 2, 2018 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Source Type: research

Anhedonia in depression: biological mechanisms and computational models
Publication date: August 2018 Source:Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, Volume 22 Author(s): Jessica A Cooper, Amanda R Arulpragasam, Michael T Treadway Anhedonia is a severe condition that describes a near-complete absence of enjoyment, motivation, and interest. A core feature of depression, clinical manifestations of anhedonia can include deficits in experiencing pleasure, approach-related motivated behavior, and learning how to match expectations to the environment. To date, the precise neurobiological mechanisms of anhedonia in major depression are still poorly understood. We have previously argued that contradic...
Source: Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences - February 26, 2018 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Source Type: research

Modeling drug addiction in females: how internal state and environmental context facilitate vulnerability
Publication date: October 2018 Source:Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, Volume 23 Author(s): Drew D Kiraly, Deena M Walker, Erin S Calipari A fundamental aspect of survival is the ability to refine behaviors based on internal and external contexts. Interpretation of rewarding stimuli is driven by integration of a diverse number of inputs including contextual cues, hormone levels, and perceived valence of potentially stressful stimuli. These factors can influence the way that an organism makes decisions in the short term and how information is learned and stored on a longer time scale. With respect to addiction vulne...
Source: Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences - February 26, 2018 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Source Type: research

Oxytocin and sex differences in behavior
Publication date: October 2018 Source:Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, Volume 23 Author(s): Heather K Caldwell Oxytocin is an evolutionarily ancient neuropeptide that is implicated in the neural modulation of behavior in vertebrates. While this system is well known for its species-specific effects, there is a lack of consensus regarding oxytocin's sex-specific effects—due in part to shortcomings in the way that studies have traditionally been designed. Sex differences in the neuroanatomy of the oxytocin system are not abundant and are generally not predictive of sex differences in behavior. Rather, it is poss...
Source: Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences - February 24, 2018 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Source Type: research

Chemical neuromodulation of cognitive control avoidance
Publication date: August 2018 Source:Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, Volume 22 Author(s): Monja I Froböse, Roshan Cools Why do we so often fail to exert cognitive control, even though we are in principle able to do so? In this review, we begin to address this question by considering the contribution of the major ascending neuromodulators that are often implicated in cognitive control and motivation, in particular dopamine, noradrenaline and serotonin. Accumulating evidence indicates that cognitive control is subjectively costly and people generally choose to refrain from mentally effortful tasks, despite, at ...
Source: Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences - February 23, 2018 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Source Type: research

Neurobiology and pharmacology of activational and effort-related aspects of motivation: rodent studies
Publication date: August 2018 Source:Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, Volume 22 Author(s): John D Salamone, Mercè Correa Behavioral activation and exertion of effort are fundamental aspects of motivation. Exertion of effort enables organisms to overcome obstacles that separate them from significant stimuli. Moreover, organisms must frequently make effort-related decisions involving assessments of the relative benefits of available stimuli versus the costs of obtaining them. Effort-based decision making is studied using tasks that offer choices between high effort options leading to more highly valued reinfor...
Source: Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences - February 23, 2018 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Source Type: research

Brain mechanisms mediating effects of stress on reward sensitivity
Publication date: August 2018 Source:Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, Volume 22 Author(s): Maria Ironside, Poornima Kumar, Min-Su Kang, Diego A Pizzagalli Acute and chronic stress have dissociable effects on reward sensitivity, and a better understanding of these effects promises to elucidate the pathophysiology of stress-related disorders, particularly depression. Recent preclinical and human findings suggest that stress particularly affects reward anticipation; chronic stress perturbates dopamine signaling in the medial prefrontal cortex and ventral striatum; and such effects are further moderated by early advers...
Source: Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences - February 23, 2018 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Source Type: research

Motivation for the greater good: neural mechanisms of overcoming costs
Publication date: August 2018 Source:Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, Volume 22 Author(s): Alexander Soutschek, Philippe N Tobler To obtain greater goods decision makers often have to incur and endure costs. Here we review mechanisms that enhance the willingness to accept and overcome costs in individual and social settings. General, cost-invariant mechanisms involve controlling and reducing reward-related impulsivity, abstracting from personal and situational circumstances, changing the availability of options in the choice set, and reinterpreting aspects of the choice alternatives. These mechanisms are based on f...
Source: Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences - February 23, 2018 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Source Type: research

Prospection and natural selection
Publication date: December 2018 Source:Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, Volume 24 Author(s): T Suddendorf, A Bulley, B Miloyan Prospection refers to thinking about the future, a capacity that has become the subject of increasing research in recent years. Here we first distinguish basic prospection, such as associative learning, from more complex prospection commonly observed in humans, such as episodic foresight, the ability to imagine diverse future situations and organize current actions accordingly. We review recent studies on complex prospection in various contexts, such as decision-making, planning, deliberate...
Source: Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences - February 23, 2018 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Source Type: research

Survival circuits and therapy: from automaticity to the conscious experience of fear and anxiety
Publication date: December 2018 Source:Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, Volume 24 Author(s): Steven C Hayes, Stefan G Hofmann We will briefly examine the implication of a multi-dimensional and multi-level view of evolution for addressing the role and function of survival circuits in the context of human cognition, and the underlying emotional, memory, and behavioral processes both impact. It is our contention that human cognition can partially direct and channel these more ancient neurobiological regulatory systems. We argue that while survival circuits can be helpful or hurtful to human functioning, they are parti...
Source: Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences - February 23, 2018 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Source Type: research

The role of prenatal experience in language development
Publication date: June 2018 Source:Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, Volume 21 Author(s): Judit Gervain Human infants are born linguistic citizens of the world, possessing broad-based, universal perceptual and learning abilities that allow them to start learning any language(s). After several months of experience, their linguistic system becomes tuned to the sound patterns of their native language(s). Recent results on newborns’ speech perception abilities suggest that this classical view might need to be nuanced, as fetuses seem to learn more from their prenatal experience with speech than previously believed...
Source: Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences - February 21, 2018 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Source Type: research

Sex differences in the developmental neuroscience of adolescent substance use risk
Publication date: October 2018 Source:Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, Volume 23 Author(s): Mary M Heitzeg, Jillian E Hardee, Adriene M Beltz Adolescence is a period associated with the initiation and escalation of substance use and is also a time during which substantial changes take place in neural development, personality and behavior. Although rates of substance use between adolescent girls and boys do not differ substantially, there is evidence for sex differences in underlying vulnerability pathways associated with the development of substance use disorder. Here we review sex differences in adolescent brain d...
Source: Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences - February 21, 2018 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Source Type: research

Pragmatic flexibility in primate vocal production
Publication date: June 2018 Source:Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, Volume 21 Author(s): Robert Seyfarth, Dorothy Cheney The production of vocalizations by monkeys and apes is often described as highly constrained and fundamentally different from human speech. We review recent field studies of baboons and bonobos that suggest greater flexibility. Calls function to reduce the uncertainty inherent in social interactions. Vocal production, like individuals’ responses to calls, is subtly tuned to variation in the social context, including a caller's assessment of how a listener is likely to respond. We suggest pa...
Source: Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences - February 20, 2018 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Source Type: research

Survival circuits and risk assessment
Publication date: December 2018 Source:Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, Volume 24 Author(s): Neil McNaughton, Philip J Corr Risk assessment (RA) behaviour is unusual in the context of survival circuits. An external object elicits eating, mating or fleeing; but conflict between internal approach and withdrawal tendencies elicits RA-specific behaviour that scans the environment for new information to bring closure. Recently rodent and human threat responses have been compared using ‘predators’ that can be real (e.g. a tarantula), robot, virtual, or symbolic (with the last three rendered predatory by the u...
Source: Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences - February 18, 2018 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Source Type: research

Overcoming apathy in frontotemporal dementia: challenges and future directions
Publication date: August 2018 Source:Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, Volume 22 Author(s): Emma Johnson, Fiona Kumfor Apathy is a common symptom in frontotemporal dementia that is associated with functional decline and carer stress. Evidence suggests that apathy presents differently depending on patterns of brain atrophy, and emerges earlier and is more severe in behavioural-variant frontotemporal dementia than in semantic dementia or progressive nonfluent aphasia. Previously, apathy was assessed as a unidimensional construct using informant report questionnaires. Recent theories, however, conceptualise apathy as a...
Source: Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences - February 14, 2018 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Source Type: research

Let's talk about sex … differences in human fear conditioning
Publication date: October 2018 Source:Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, Volume 23 Author(s): Christian J Merz, Valerie L Kinner, Oliver T Wolf Fear conditioning represents an experimental paradigm ideally suited to investigate aversive learning and memory mechanisms that are fundamental to the development, maintenance and treatment of mental disorders. Men and women seem to differ in their capability to learn and retrieve fear and extinction memories. This review outlines how sex may influence human fear conditioning, with an emphasis on the sex hormones and oral contraceptives. Available evidence suggests women wit...
Source: Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences - February 14, 2018 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Source Type: research

Inflammation-induced motivational changes: perspective gained by evaluating positive and negative valence systems
Publication date: August 2018 Source:Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, Volume 22 Author(s): Elisabeth G Vichaya, Robert Dantzer Inflammation can profoundly impact motivated behavior, as is the case with inflammation-induced depression. By evaluating objectively measurable basic neurobehavioral processes involved in motivation, recent research indicates that inflammation generally reduces approach motivation and enhances avoidance motivation. Increased effort valuation largely mediates the effects of inflammation on approach motivation. Changes in reward valuation are not uniformly observed in approach motivation. Ho...
Source: Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences - February 11, 2018 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Source Type: research

Comparative evidence for the importance of the amygdala in regulating reward salience
Publication date: August 2018 Source:Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, Volume 22 Author(s): Christopher R Pryce Environmental stimuli and life events are often of emotional relevance to the individual. This is due to their recognition and processing by the brain's neural circuits for emotion. In terms of emotion valence, stimuli/events can be neutral (non-emotional), rewarding or aversive. In addition to its basic valence, the salience of an emotional stimulus, that is, how rewarding or how aversive it is, is also of critical importance. Quantitative changes in stimulus reward salience or aversion salience are likel...
Source: Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences - February 10, 2018 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Source Type: research

Hypothalamic survival circuits related to social and predatory defenses and their interactions with metabolic control, reproductive behaviors and memory systems
Publication date: December 2018 Source:Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, Volume 24 Author(s): Newton Sabino Canteras The hypothalamus may be viewed as the central piece of the survival circuits and is responsible for organizing endocrine, autonomic and behavioral responses to guarantee the survival of both the individual and the species. The hypothalamus is largely known to control the three basic classes of behavior required for animal survival, namely, ingestive, defensive, and reproductive behaviors. Over the years, a great deal has been learned regarding the hypothalamic circuits organizing these classes of beha...
Source: Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences - February 10, 2018 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Source Type: research

Effort-based decision-making paradigms as objective measures of apathy in schizophrenia?
Publication date: August 2018 Source:Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, Volume 22 Author(s): Matthias Hartmann-Riemer, Matthias Kirschner, Stefan Kaiser In recent years, effort-based decision-making paradigms have been applied in patients with schizophrenia with the aim to establish a potentially ‘objective’ measure of apathy symptoms and shed light on underlying mechanisms. Initial studies have reported promising findings regarding symptom-level links to effort-based choice. However, a review of the recent and overall literature yields divergent findings. Published studies vary substantially in terms of ...
Source: Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences - February 5, 2018 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Source Type: research

Editorial overview: Interactions between Emotion and Cognition
Publication date: February 2018 Source:Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, Volume 19 Author(s): Mara Mather, Michael S Fanselow (Source: Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences)
Source: Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences - February 3, 2018 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Source Type: research

Corticostriatal foundations of habits
This article reviews recent advances in understanding the corticostriatal system's role in habit learning and representation. New methods have led to a better understanding of how striatal circuitry (particularly the direct and indirect basal ganglia pathways) underlies habit learning. Research has established the critical role of perceptual processing in habit learning and has raised the intriguing possibility that some attentional mechanisms are habitual. Habit learning is only one of several mechanisms for acquiring appropriate behaviors; we can now better characterize when habit learning will predominate, and how habit...
Source: Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences - February 3, 2018 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Source Type: research

Neurobiology of habit formation
Publication date: April 2018 Source:Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, Volume 20 Author(s): Kenneth A Amaya, Kyle S Smith Our knowledge of the brain changes that enable habits to be formed continues to grow rapidly. As a key hub for habits, many studies have focused on neurobiological processes related to habits in the striatum. Attention has been paid to the contributions of the direct and indirect pathways, interneurons, dopaminergic inputs, and potential cortical and amygdala influences. We highlight this research here and conclude with a discussion of several additional topics that are also being addressed to pro...
Source: Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences - February 3, 2018 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Source Type: research

Acquisition, maintenance, and therapeutic use of a simple motor skill
Publication date: April 2018 Source:Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, Volume 20 Author(s): James JS Norton, Jonathan R Wolpaw Operant conditioning of the spinal stretch reflex (SSR) or its electrical analog, the H-reflex, is a valuable experimental paradigm for studying the acquisition and maintenance of a simple motor skill. The central nervous system (CNS) substrate of this skill consists of brain and spinal cord plasticity that operates as a hierarchy—the learning experience induces plasticity in the brain that guides and maintains plasticity in the spinal cord. This is apparent in the two components of the...
Source: Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences - February 3, 2018 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Source Type: research

The interplay between psychological predispositions and skill learning in the evolution of tool use
Publication date: April 2018 Source:Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, Volume 20 Author(s): Piero Amodio, Sarah A Jelbert, Nicola S Clayton Tool use behaviours tend to be split into cases that appear to entail complex cognitive abilities and that are highly reliant on learning to be acquired (e.g. flexible tool use), and into others that seem to be more genetically canalized (e.g. stereotyped tool use). However recent evidences suggest that the differences between these forms of tool use are more nuanced than previously assumed, as in both cases tool use can entail some degree of both inborn predisposition and learni...
Source: Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences - February 3, 2018 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Source Type: research

Neanderthal language revisited: not only us
Publication date: June 2018 Source:Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, Volume 21 Author(s): Dan Dediu, Stephen C Levinson Here we re-evaluate our 2013 paper on the antiquity of language (Dediu and Levinson, 2013) in the light of a surge of new information on human evolution in the last half million years. Although new genetic data suggest the existence of some cognitive differences between Neanderthals and modern humans—fully expected after hundreds of thousands of years of partially separate evolution, overall our claims that Neanderthals were fully articulate beings and that language evolution was gradual are ...
Source: Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences - February 3, 2018 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Source Type: research

Current perspectives on incentive salience and applications to clinical disorders
Publication date: August 2018 Source:Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, Volume 22 Author(s): Jeffrey J Olney, Shelley M Warlow, Erin E Naffziger, Kent C Berridge Affective neuroscience research has revealed that reward contains separable components of ‘liking’, ‘wanting’, and learning. Here we focus on current ‘liking’ and ‘wanting’ findings and applications to clinical disorders. ‘Liking’ is the hedonic impact derived from a pleasant experience, and is amplified by opioid and related signals in discrete sites located in limbic-related brain areas. ‘Wa...
Source: Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences - January 30, 2018 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Source Type: research

Multidimensional apathy: evidence from neurodegenerative disease
Publication date: August 2018 Source:Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, Volume 22 Author(s): Ratko Radakovic, Sharon Abrahams Apathy is a demotivation syndrome common in neurodegenerative diseases and is fundamentally multidimensional in nature. Different methodologies have been used to identify and quantify these dimensions, which has resulted in multifarious concepts, ranging in the number and characteristics of apathy subtypes. This has created an ambiguity over the fundamental substructure of apathy. Here we review the multidimensional concepts of apathy and demonstrate that overlapping elements exist, pointing t...
Source: Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences - January 30, 2018 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Source Type: research