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  • 1.
    Abrahamsson, Sebastian
    University of Skövde, School of Bioscience.
    Neuroplasticity induced by exercise2017Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 15 credits / 22,5 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    As opposed to earlier beliefs, the brain is altering itself throughout an individual’s life. The process of functional or structural alterations is referred to as plasticity, and can be induced by several factors such as experience or physical exercise. In this thesis, the research area of experience-dependent plasticity, with focus on exercise-induced plasticity is examined critically. Evidence from a vast array of studies are reviewed and compared in order to find whether physical exercise can induce neural plasticity in the human brain, how it may be beneficial, and what some of the plausible mediators of exercise-induced plasticity are. The findings demonstrated in this thesis suggest that although there are knowledge gaps and limitations in the literature, physical exercise can indeed result in exhibited plasticity as well as being beneficial for the human brain in several ways.

  • 2.
    Agelii, Anna
    University of Skövde, School of Humanities and Informatics.
    TREATING HORROR WITH ECSTASY: Neurobiological Rationale for Treating Post- Traumatic Stress Disorder with 3,4- methylenedioxymethylamphetamine2013Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a disabling condition that afflicts 1-10% of the general population, with twice as high lifetime prevalence for women than men. Treatments exist, but none have proven reliable and consistent efficacy. A large minority of patients remain treatment-resistant despite undergoing several different types of treatment over extended periods of time. Recently completed studies in the U.S. and in Switzerland have demonstrated the potential of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA)-assisted psychotherapy for treatment-resistant PTSD. One of the major problems of treating PTSD is the patients’ fear state and inability to form a therapeutic alliance. Both these issues can be facilitated through administration of MDMA; the psychological effects - such as heightened empathy, increased openness and diminished anxiety – seem well-suited for therapeutic purposes. The rationale behind treating PTSD with MDMA has been indicated in neuroimaging studies; MDMA affects some of the neural structures altered in patients with PTSD, most notably the amygdala and the ventromedial prefrontal cortex. Using the Schedule 1 substance MDMA for this purpose is however controversial; animal studies have indicated that MDMA is neurotoxic, although no adverse effects on humans related to incidental use of MDMA in a controlled setting have been found. In conclusion, the data support that MDMA may be an efficient tool for treating PTSD, as well as safe and effective to use in a clinical context.

  • 3.
    Alvarez Svahn, Rodrigo
    University of Skövde, School of Bioscience.
    The hippocampal dependence of long-term declarative memory2015Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    Investigations into the neural correlates of memory have found the hippocampus to be a crucial structure for long-term declarative memories, but the exact nature of this contribution remains under debate. This paper covers three theories concerned with how the hippocampus is involved in long-term memory, namely the Standard Consolidation Model, the Multiple-Trace Theory, and the Distributed Reinstatement Theory. According to the Standard Consolidation Model, long-term declarative memories (both episodic and semantic) are dependent on the hippocampus for a limited time during which the memories undergo a process of consolidation, after which they become dependent on the neocortex. In contrast, the Multiple-Trace Theory argues that detailed and context-specific episodic (but not semantic) memories remain dependent on the hippocampus indefinitely. While both the aforementioned theories posit that memories are initially dependent on the hippocampus, the Distributed Reinstatement Theory does not. Advocates of this theory propose that several memory systems compete for the encoding of a memory, and that the hippocampus usually is the dominant system. However, it is also suggested that the other (unspecified) memory systems can overcome the hippocampal dominance through extensive and distributed learning sessions. In this paper, findings from both human and rodent studies focusing on the hippocampus are reviewed and used to evaluate the claims made by each theory on a systems level.

  • 4.
    Andersson, Pernilla
    University of Skövde, School of Bioscience.
    Sleep and Its Effects on Synaptic Strength2015Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
  • 5.
    Andersson Szabo, Sofia
    University of Skövde, School of Bioscience.
    A Biological And Psychological Profile of Eudaimonia as High Psychological Well-Being2014Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    Aristotle (4th century B.C.E/1925) described eudaimonia as “the good life”, and is today commonly understood as eudaimonic well-being (EWB) within research. Despite the long history, the definitions and operationalizations of EWB are diverse and no coherent description or explanation for the biology of EWB exist. Hence, the present thesis reviews current neuroscientific- and additional biological research on EWB. This review reveals EWB to be most frequently operationalized as psychological well-being (PWB) (Ryff, 2014), and is here used as basis for an attempt to explain the biological and psychological profiles of EWB as high PWB. High PWB was characterized by brain activity linked to the reward circuitry, dorsolateral and left prefrontal cortex (PFC) and grey matter (GM) volume in areas of the brainstem and insular cortex. High PWB was also positively related to lower levels of several harmful biomarkers. The proposed psychological profile of high PWB included the psychological functions goal directed behaviour and emotional control. It is hoped that the proposed profiles will serve as inspiration for further exploration of the biology and psychology of human well-being (WB).

  • 6.
    Aronsson, Emelie
    University of Skövde, School of Bioscience.
    Kan tacksamhet främja moraliskt beteende?2014Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [sv]

    Denna uppsats har undersökt om tacksamhet kan påverka vårt moraliska beteende, genom att se över studier som gjorts inom psykologi och kognitiv neurovetenskap. Tidigare forskning har fokuserat mestadels på hur det kognitiva resonerandet påverkar ens moral. På senare tid har forskningen allt mer betonat specifika emotioners avgörande roll för om man agerar efter moraliska normer eller inte. Dessa emotioner benämns som moraliska emotioner. En av dessa moraliska emotioner är tacksamhet. Tacksamhet har i studier visats fungera som en moralisk barometer, stärka välgörares fortsatta moraliska beteende samt fungera som ett moraliskt motiv. Den neurala grunden för tacksamhet är ännu relativt outforskad. Emotioners generella påverkan på moraliskt beteende samt positiva emotioners tendenser till agerande (eng: action tendencies) kan dock ses som ett steg till ökad förståelse om hur tacksamheten påverkar vårt moraliska beteende.

  • 7.
    Asplund Fromholz, Marcus
    University of Skövde, School of Bioscience.
    Idrottsprestationers påverkan av anspänning, oro och stress och förslag till prestationshöjande tekniker2014Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [sv]

    Anspänning, oro och stress är tre begrepp som har studerats länge, vilket har gett upphov till flertalet modeller, teorier och domäner där dessa begrepp har studerats och fortfarande studeras. I denna uppsats så kommer dessa tre begrepp bland annat att redogöras för var för sig med koppling till mätmetoder, idrott och kognitiv neurovetenskap. Syftet med uppsatsen är att beskriva hur idrottsprestationer kan påverkas av anspänning, oro och stress för att utifrån det kunna redogöra för evidensbaserade metoder som kan appliceras för att främja en idrottsprestation. Först kommer anspänning att redogöras för, anspänning följs sedan av oro som i sin tur följs av stress som sista begrepp. Avslutningsvis så behandlas även problematik och möjligheter för dessa begrepp inom forskningsfältet och dess tillämpningsområden.

  • 8.
    Bjurberg, Helena
    University of Skövde, School of Bioscience.
    Academic achievement and personality traits: an empirical and neurobiological investigation2014Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    The present thesis explores how personality traits are connected to academic achievement. First, a theoretical discussion on the neurobiological basis of different personality traits is presented, where variance in brain- activity, volume and chemistry describes possible differences in personality. Traits previously linked to academic achievement is also described in terms of neurobiology. This is followed by an empirical investigation of the connection between personality traits and academic achievement. Previous research suggest the Big Five (Costa & McCrae, 1992a) personality traits of conscientiousness, order and self-discipline to be positively associated with academic achievement. Also, similar suggestions have been put forward concerning the Values in Action (VIA-IS; Peterson & Seligman, 2004) character strengths of love of learning, self-regulation and persistence and academic achievement. 90 students in a medium sized Swedish senior high school completed the two personality inventories and their grades were collected. Positive correlations were found for the personality traits conscientiousness, order, and self-discipline and for the character strengths persistence, love of learning, perspective and open-mindedness. The results partly supported the hypotheses as well as extended the knowledge about what factors contribute to academic achievement. Discussion of the results and suggestions for further research concludes the thesis.

    Keywords: personality trait, character strength, neurobiology, academic achievement, BFI, VIA-IS

  • 9.
    Chamorro, Emilia
    University of Skövde, School of Bioscience.
    Theories of Nightmares in Cognitive Neuroscience and Psychology2015Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    Dreaming is a complex, multimodal and sequentially organized model of the waking world (Metzinger, 2003). Nightmares are a category of dreams involving threatening scenarios, anxiety and other negative emotions (Hartmann, 1998; Nielsen & Levin, 2007). Dreams and nightmares are explored in this present thesis in the light of psychology and modern cognitive neuroscience as to their nature, function and neural correlates. The three main dream theories and their leading investigations are reviewed to evaluate their evidence and overall explanatory power to account for the function of dreams and nightmares. Random Activation Theories (RATs) claim dreams are biological epiphenomena and by-products of sleep underlying mechanisms (Crick & Mitchison, 1983; Flanagan, 1995, 2000a, 2000b, Hobson & McCarley, 1997). Mood regulation theories consider that the psychological function of dreams is to regulate mood and help with the adaptation of individuals to their current environment such as solving daily concerns and recovery after trauma exposure (Hartmann, 1996; Levin, 1998; Stickgold, 2008; Kramer, 1991a, 1991b, 2014). Threat Simulation Theories of dreams present the evolutionary function for dreaming as a simulating off-line model of the world used to rehearse threatening events encountered in the human ancestral environment (Revonsuo, 2000a). With the threat-simulation system, threats were likely to be recognized and avoidance skills developed to guarantee reproductive success. TST consider nightmares to reflect the threat-simulation system fully activated (Revonsuo, 2000a). Supported by a robust body of evidence TST is concluded to be the most plausible theory at the moment to account as a theoretical explanation of dreams and nightmares

  • 10.
    Dalile, Boushra
    University of Skövde, School of Bioscience.
    Is the High Probability of Type II Error an Issue in Error Awareness ERP Studies?2016Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    When researchers began addressing the electrophysiology of conscious error awareness more than a decade ago, the role of the error-related negativity (ERN), alongside the subsequently occurring error positivity (Pe), was an obvious locus of attention given the fact that they are taken as indices of cortical error processing. In contrast to the clear-cut findings that link the amplitude of the Pe to error awareness, the association between the ERN amplitude and error awareness is vastly unclear, with a range of studies reporting significant differences in the ERN amplitude with respect to error awareness, while others observing no modulation of the ERN amplitude. One problem in the studies obtaining null findings is the fact that conclusions are drawn based on small sample sizes, increasing the probability of type II error, especially given the fact that the ERN elicited using various error awareness paradigms tends to be small. The aim of the present study was to therefore address the issue of type II error in order to draw more certain conclusions about the modulation of the ERN amplitude by conscious error awareness. Forty participants performed a manual response inhibition task optimised to examine error awareness. While the early and late Pe amplitudes showed the expected sensitivity to error awareness, the ERN results depicted a more complex picture. The ERN amplitude for unaware errors appeared more negative than that of aware errors, both numerically and on the grand average ERP. The unexpected findings were explained in terms of (a) latency issues in the present data, (b) characteristics of the manual response inhibition task used and the possibility that it elicits variation in neurocognitive processing, and (c), in relation to possible contamination by the contingent negative variation (CNV), an ERP component elicited during response preparation. Suggestions for future research on how to address the issues raised in the present paper are also discussed.

  • 11.
    Eidering, Joel
    University of Skövde, School of Bioscience.
    INCREASED MOTIVATION AND PERFORMANCE FROM FOCUSING ON TASK INSTEAD OF SELF: INDUCED BY TRIAL-TO-TRIAL FEEDBACK: An fmri study2014Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    Feedback is argued to be an impactful variable in learning. The impact however, depends on what kind of feedback- and in what way the feedback is provided. The way intelligence, in terms of subjective experience of ability, is perceived has been observed to affect motivation and performance in individuals. This is hypothesized to be associated with whether individuals’ identifies their personal self with performance or not. Individuals who see intelligence as changeable through effort generally adopt learning goals which are associated with increased motivation and performance. Individuals who see intelligence as unchangeable and as a permanent trait of the self, generally adopt performance goals which instead are associated with decreases in motivation and performance. In this fMRI study, 20 participants were given trial-to-trial feedback when performing a typical conflict paradigm. The aim of this study was to investigate the potential of feedback to alter participants’ attention towards themselves (being smart) or their task actions (choosing correct). It was found that task feedback (‘you chose correct’) increased participants’ motivation to continue with the task. Those who were given task feedback also improved their accuracy. Task feedback was associated with enhanced brain activation in brain regions associated with rule-switching. However, self-feedback was associated with self-monitoring regions. Findings support the a priori hypothesis that self-focus is associated with reduced motivation and less accuracy improvement. Task-focus seems to be superior in learning and in performing cognitive tasks.  

  • 12.
    Eklund, Rasmus
    University of Skövde, School of Humanities and Informatics.
    RECURRENT PROCESSING AND THE CONSCIOUSNESS2012Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    Recurrent processing is the corticocortical activity that appears after the feedforward sweep of information processing in the brain. According to Victor Lamme, this process is directly connected to visual awareness. Our consciousness can be divided into phenomenal and reflective consciousness. The underlying process of phenomenal consciousness is suggested to be localized recurrent processing. Widespread recurrent processing to motor and frontal regions correlates with reflective consciousness. Recent electroencephalographic studies have shown visual awareness negativity correlating with localized recurrent processing in both a temporal and spatial aspect. If we accept that localized recurrent processing is consciousness, we get the controversial implications that we can be conscious of something without being able to introspect.

  • 13.
    Fasthén, Patrick
    University of Skövde, School of Humanities and Informatics.
    The Mereological Self: A Multisensory Description of Self-Plasticity2013Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    What am “I”? To what does the word “I” refer? The Self is a concept that feels intuitively obvious to us, but is nevertheless elusive to describe. Against a backdrop of theoretical speculation, this essay presents a basic exposition of the Self with the aid of recent advances in cognitive neuroscience to address one of its most confounding problems: How does the brain sustain the Self – our sense of bodily identity? What informs the question then is dealt with by providing a frame of reference based on the philosophical theory of mereology to contain the analysis (i.e., the relationship of parts to wholes, and of parts to parts within a whole). In relation to the question “What makes us experience what we are?” the Self is put in a context of a multisensory description – a context in which the center very much fails to hold. Enacting such self-plasticity comes at the cost of explicit boundaries, and is in need of a theoretical and methodological framework – not instead, but of folk-psychological criteria – in determining the nature behind why and how we have the intuition of being a Self.

  • 14.
    Fasthén, Patrick
    University of Skövde, School of Bioscience.
    The Virtual Self: Sensory-Motor Plasticity of Virtual Body-Ownership2014Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    The distinction between the sense of body-ownership and the sense of agency has attracted considerable empirical and theoretical interest lately. However, the respective contributions of multisensory and sensorimotor integration to these two varieties of body experience are still the subject of ongoing research. In this study, I examine the various methodological problems encountered in the empirical study of body-ownership and agency with the use of novel immersive virtual environment technology to investigate the interplay between sensory and motor information. More specifically, the focus is on testing the relative contributions and possible interactions of visual-tactile and visual-motor contingencies implemented under the same experimental protocol. The effect of this is supported by physiological measurements obtained from skin conductance responses and heart rate. The findings outline a relatively simple method for identifying the necessary and sufficient conditions for the experience of body-ownership and agency, as studied with immersive virtual environment technology.

  • 15.
    Feilhauer, Diana
    University of Skövde, School of Bioscience.
    Measuring Emotions in Dreams: Methodological Challenges2015Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    Although emotions are a natural component of dream experiences, a lack of consensus prevails in research literature concerning the specific characteristics of emotional dream experiences. The aim of this study was to investigate if and to what extent this lack of convergence among studies stems from whether dream emotions are self- or externally rated - forty-four healthy participants (16 males and 28 females; mean age = 26.93, range = 19 - 40) kept a home dream diary for three consecutive weeks, and daily rated their emotional experiences in dreams with the Swedish modified Differential Emotions Scale (smDES; Fredrickson, 2013). Two external judges rated emotions in the same 552 home dream reports using the same scale. Results obtained with the two methods differed in that the self-ratings, compared to external ratings, revealed: (a) more emotional dreams; (b) more positive than negative emotions per dream (with the ratio being relatively balanced); (c) a relatively more balanced proportion of positive and negative emotions, while the external ratings revealed more negative than positive emotions per dream. The results suggest that this is mostly due to the underrepresentation of positive emotions with external ratings. Thus, the results continue to question the extent of convergence between self- and external ratings when investigating emotional dream contents, and bring to attention the importance of methodological aspects when investigating dream emotions.

  • 16.
    Gerafi, Joel
    University of Skövde, School of Humanities and Informatics.
    A Unified Perspective of Unilateral Spatial Neglect2012Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of this review is to provide a unified perspective of unilateral spatial neglect (USN). USN is a neurological disorder frequently observed following damage or diseases to the brain. It is particularly associated with strokes to specific anatomical structures within the right hemisphere. Patients with USN fail to respond to or orient towards stimuli located in the hemispace contralateral to the lesion. They also show peculiar behavioral manifestations. There are several distinct subtypes of USN which can affect sensory or motor modalities, spatial representations, the range of space, or pure imagery. This disorder can appear in any sensory modality but the majority of studies have investigated the visual aspect of USN in these subtypes. Theoretical proposals are supported by empirical evidence deriving from neuroimaging which distinguish between these subtypes of USN. Thus, the heterogeneity of the disorder is evident and clinical assessment methods face great difficulties while prevalence rates vary. The neural pathways of spatial attention distinguish between the ventral and dorsal visual streams, both with distinct functional roles and anatomical bases. Prism adaptation (PA) is a common rehabilitation technique among many others and has shown positive effects on USN while having some limitations. A general discussion and concluding remarks are presented in the final section followed by future research suggestions.

  • 17.
    Gerafi, Joel
    University of Skövde, School of Humanities and Informatics.
    Anosognosia for Hemiplegia: Theoretical, Clinical, and Neural Aspects2011Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    Anosognosia for hemiplegia (AHP) is relatively common among patients who suffer from a stroke. It is characterized as a denial of bodily paralysis and the complexity of studying it is evident. Anosognosia is a neuropsychological deficit of self-awareness and most frequently associated with both cortical and subcortical lesions distributed within the right hemisphere, resulting in a left hemiplegia. The purpose of this review is to provide a comprehensive overview of AHP by presenting theoretical, clinical, and neural aspects. Different diagnostic procedures have attempted to clinically evaluate patients with AHP. The timing of assessment and the characteristic differences between these procedures are crucial factors to consider. Various theories regarding the underlying mechanisms of AHP are also discussed in this review, suggesting the cause of AHP from different perspectives. In order to confirm or disconfirm these theories, several studies are presented concerning the neural aspects, such as the frequency, related disorders, and anatomical correlates of AHP.

  • 18.
    Gerafi, Joel
    et al.
    University of Skövde, School of Bioscience. University of Skövde, The Systems Biology Research Centre. Department of Psychology, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden / Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology,The Sahlgrenska Academy at University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden / The Skaraborg Institute for Research and Development, Skövde, Sweden.
    Samuelsson, H.
    Department of Psychology, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden / Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology,The Sahlgrenska Academy at University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Viken, J. I.
    Department of Psychology, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden / Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology,The Sahlgrenska Academy at University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Blomgren, C.
    Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology,The Sahlgrenska Academy at University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Claesson, L.
    Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology,The Sahlgrenska Academy at University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Kallio, Sakari
    University of Skövde, School of Bioscience. University of Skövde, The Systems Biology Research Centre.
    Jern, C.
    Institute of Biomedicine, The Sahlgrenska Academy at University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Blomstrand, C.
    Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology,The Sahlgrenska Academy at University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Jood, K.
    Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology,The Sahlgrenska Academy at University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden / Department of Neurology, The Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Neglect and aphasia in the acute phase as predictors of functional outcome 7 years after ischemic stroke2017In: European Journal of Neurology, ISSN 1351-5101, E-ISSN 1468-1331, Vol. 24, no 11, p. 1407-1415Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background and purpose: Visuospatial inattention (VSI) and languageimpairment (LI) are often present early after stroke and associations with an unfavorable short-term functional outcome have been reported. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether a screening of VSI and LI as indicators of cortical symptoms early after stroke could predict long-term functional outcomes. Methods: A consecutive cohort of 375 patients with ischemic stroke was assessed for the occurrence of VSI at a median of 7 days after admission (interquartile range, 1–5 days) using the Star Cancellation Test and for LI (within the first 7 days) with the language item in the Scandinavian StrokeScale. Seven years later, functional outcomes were assessed by the modified Rankin scale and Frenchay Activities Index in 235 survivors without recurrent stroke. Relationships between baseline predictors and functional outcome at 7 years were analyzed with bivariate correlations and multiple categorical regressions with optimal scaling. Results: The regression model significantly explained variance in the modified Rankin scale (R2= 0.435, P < 0.001) and identified VSI (P=0.001) and neurological deficits (P < 0.001; Scandinavian Stroke Scale score without the language item) as the significant independent predictors. The model for FrenchayActivities Index was also significant (R2= 0.269, P < 0.001) with VSI(P = 0.035) and neurological deficits (P < 0.001) as significant independent predictors. Conclusions: Visuospatial inattention at acute stroke has an independent impact on long-term functional outcomes. Early recognition may enable targeted rehabilitative interventions.

  • 19.
    Guimaraes Svensson, Marieide
    University of Skövde, School of Humanities and Informatics.
    When a Native Becomes Foreign in his/her Own Homeland: A Review of the Foreign Accent Syndrome: A Review of the Foreign Accent Syndrome2012Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    FAS is a speech disorder characterized by changes to the normal speech patterns of the native language. This speech impairment is usually due to stroke or brain injury. Segmental, suprasegmental and prosodic features are altered. FAS speakers’ speech is perceived as foreign rather than disordered. It may be because the speech remains highly accurate and the impairments are generally within the permissible boundaries of the phonological and phonetic variants of the language. In terms of perceptual impression, FAS patients’ speech is placed between speakers with a really foreign accent and the native speaker. Some researchers propose that the impression of foreignness in FAS speakers’ accent may be caused by the listeners misinterpretation of speech markers. Lesions leading to FAS are still not completely understood; some hypothesize that the lesion is small or even down to the size of a single gyrus. New evidence suggests that FAS may be a disorder of the articulate velocity and position maps. The syndrome can be life changing to those affected. Patients report that they are no longer able to recognize themselves speaking a new accent. A whole new persona is born when the accent emerges. This paper presents a review of the syndrome’s features, including its neuropsychological/neuroanatomic aspects, its relationship with AoS and dysarthria, and the syndrome’s psychological implications.

  • 20.
    Gusevac, Stela
    University of Skövde, School of Bioscience.
    Emotion Regulation: Functional neuroimaging studies of cognitive reappraisal2014Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    The importance of investigating Emotion Regulation (ER) may be self-evident, given that emotions have a substantial impact on our daily lives. ER encompasses set of processes that people go through in order to cultivate their feelings that arise at the moment and produce some response. Brain-imaging studies of ER have broadly focused on examining cognitive strategies, such as reappraisal, in order to understand underlying variables that contribute to the development of this particular process of emotions. The main focus in this paper was to summarize some of the observation done by functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) on neural processes underlying cognitive reappraisal. Furthermore, the paper will discuss some of these experiments that have been made through the last 15 years in the field where indications have been somewhat confusing when it comes to certain aspects of presented data, especially in comparison with other studies. Finally, a brief overview and some of the significant contributions, such as a process model of ER, to the field of ER have been presented and discussed. Cognitive reappraisal has been shown to effectively down-regulate subjective emotional experience. Even though many studies have been performed in measuring brain-activity when engaging in cognitive reappraisal, a unified and accepted agreement has yet not been found. In broader terms, brain-responses when engaging in cognitive reappraisal seem to operate in a particular manner where different parts of prefrontal and parietal cortex execute control over subcortical regions, such as amygdala.

  • 21.
    Hurme, Mikko
    et al.
    Department of Psychology, University of Turku, Finland / Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Turku, Finland / Turku Brain and Mind Centre, University of Turku, Finland.
    Koivisto, Mika
    Department of Psychology, University of Turku, Finland / Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Turku, Finland / Turku Brain and Mind Centre, University of Turku, Finland.
    Revonsuo, Antti
    University of Skövde, School of Bioscience. University of Skövde, The Systems Biology Research Centre. Department of Psychology, University of Turku, Finland / Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Turku, Finland / Turku Brain and Mind Centre, University of Turku, Finland.
    Railo, Henry
    Department of Psychology, University of Turku, Finland / Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Turku, Finland / Turku Brain and Mind Centre, University of Turku, Finland.
    Early processing in primary visual cortex is necessary for conscious and unconscious vision while late processing is necessary only for conscious vision in neurologically healthy humans2017In: NeuroImage, ISSN 1053-8119, E-ISSN 1095-9572, Vol. 150, p. 230-238Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The neural mechanisms underlying conscious and unconscious visual processes remain controversial. Blindsight patients may process visual stimuli unconsciously despite their VI lesion, promoting anatomical models, which suggest that pathways bypassing the VI support unconscious vision. On the other hand, physiological models argue that the major geniculostriate pathway via VI is involved in both unconscious and conscious vision, but in different time windows and in different types of neural activity. According to physiological models, feedforward activity via VI to higher areas mediates unconscious processes whereas feedback loops of recurrent activity from higher areas back to VI support conscious vision. With transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) it is possible to study the causal role of a brain region during specific time points in neurologically healthy participants. In the present study, we measured unconscious processing with redundant target effect, a phenomenon where participants respond faster to two stimuli than one even when one of the stimuli is not consciously perceived. We tested the physiological feedforward-feedback model of vision by suppressing conscious vision by interfering selectively either with early or later VI activity with TMS. Our results show that early VI activity (60 ms) is necessary for both unconscious and conscious vision. During later processing stages (90 ms), VI contributes selectively to conscious vision. These findings support the feedforward-feedback-model of consciousness.

  • 22.
    Johansson, Ruben
    University of Skövde, School of Bioscience.
    The Science of Deception and fMRI Lie-Detection2014Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 5 credits / 7,5 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    Deception has long been of interest to humans, but only recently has the neuroscience of deception started. Similarly, lie-detection, as an applied aspect of the study of deception, has long been studied but only with the advent of imaging techniques and the development of the neuroscience of deception has it become possible to develop techniques based on scanningour brains. Currently, both areas suffer from methodological and philosophical problems. As an applied science fMRI lie-detection has greater issues to deal with, specifically legal and ethical issues. Despite interesting results, implicating frontal regions as the neural correlates of deception, the neuroscience of deception need better designs and more study to be able to draw any general inferences. By its nature fMRI lie-detection suffers greatly from this, and additional problems concerning privacy and legality make it seem too early to implement it incourt or anywhere, as stated by many scientists. On the other hand the technology already exists and is likely to be used.

  • 23.
    Kallio, Sakari
    et al.
    University of Skövde, School of Bioscience. University of Skövde, The Systems Biology Research Centre. Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Turku, Turku, Finland / Turku Institute for Advanced Studies and Department of Psychology, University of Turku, Turku, Finland.
    Koivisto, Mika
    Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Turku, Turku, Finland / Turku Institute for Advanced Studies and Department of Psychology, University of Turku, Turku, Finland.
    Kaakinen, Johanna K.
    Turku Institute for Advanced Studies and Department of Psychology, University of Turku, Turku, Finland.
    Synaesthesia-type associations and perceptual changes induced by hypnotic suggestion2017In: Scientific Reports, ISSN 2045-2322, E-ISSN 2045-2322, Vol. 7, article id 17310Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Are synaesthetic experiences congenital and so hard-wired, or can a functional analogue be created? We induced an equivalent of form-colour synaesthesia using hypnotic suggestions in which symbols in an array (circles, crosses, squares) were suggested always to have a certain colour. In a Stroop type-naming task, three of the four highly hypnotizable participants showed a strong synaesthesia-type association between symbol and colour. This was verified both by their subjective reports and objective eye-movement behaviour. Two resembled a projector-and one an associator-type synaesthete. Participant interviews revealed that subjective experiences differed somewhat from typical (congenital) synaesthesia. Control participants who mimicked the task using cognitive strategies showed a very different response pattern. Overall, the results show that the targeted, preconsciously triggered associations and perceptual changes seen in association with congenital synaesthesia can rapidly be induced by hypnosis. They suggest that each participant's subjective experience of the task should be carefully evaluated, especially when studying hypnotic hallucinations. Studying such experiences can increase understanding of perception, automaticity, and awareness and open unique opportunities in cognitive neuroscience and consciousness research.

  • 24.
    Kastrati, Granit
    University of Skövde, School of Humanities and Informatics.
    Event-related potential correlates of visual consciousness: a review of theories and empirical studies2012Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    Two influential theories of consciousness disagree about if consciousness initially arises along the occipitotemporal cortex to later engage frontoparietal regions and attentional mechanisms, or if it necessarily requires the latter. Consequently, different predictions are made about the temporal emergence of consciousness. The event-related potential (ERP) technique can be used to resolve the issue. It can temporally track neural activity of consciously perceived stimuli relative to stimuli bypassing consciousness. This essay describes the two theories and reviews ERP studies on visual consciousness and its relationship to attention. Three ERP correlates of consciousness have been proposed. The question is if they should be interpreted as supporting the one or the other theory. Most plausibly, visual consciousness arises along occipitotemporal regions and later incorporates frontal areas engaging higher cognitive functions. Importantly it seems that consciousness cannot arise without spatial attention/parietal regions. 

  • 25.
    Koivisto, Mika
    et al.
    Department of Psychology, University of Turku, Turun yliopisto, Finland / Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Turku, Turun yliopisto, Finland.
    Grassini, Simone
    Department of Psychology, University of Turku, Turun yliopisto, Finland / Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Turku, Turun yliopisto, Finland.
    Hurme, Mikko
    Department of Psychology, University of Turku, Turun yliopisto, Finland / Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Turku, Turun yliopisto, Finland.
    Salminen-Vaparanta, Niina
    Department of Psychology, University of Turku, Turun yliopisto, Finland / Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Turku, Turun yliopisto, Finland.
    Railo, Henry
    Department of Psychology, University of Turku, Turun yliopisto, Finland / Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Turku, Turun yliopisto, Finland.
    Vorobyev, Victor
    Department of Psychology, University of Turku, Turun yliopisto, Finland / Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Turku, Turun yliopisto, Finland.
    Tallus, Jussi
    Department of Radiology, Turku University Hospital, Turun yliopisto, Finland.
    Paavilainen, Teemu
    Department of Radiology, Turku University Hospital, Turun yliopisto, Finland.
    Revonsuo, Antti
    University of Skövde, School of Bioscience. University of Skövde, The Systems Biology Research Centre. Department of Psychology, University of Turku, Turun yliopisto, Finland / Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Turku, Turun yliopisto, Finland.
    TMS-EEG reveals hemispheric asymmetries in top-down influences of posterior intraparietal cortex on behavior and visual event-related potentials2017In: Neuropsychologia, ISSN 0028-3932, E-ISSN 1873-3514, Vol. 107, p. 94-101Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Clinical data and behavioral studies using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) suggest right-hemisphere dominance for top-down modulation of visual processing in humans. We used concurrent TMS-EEG to directly test for hemispheric differences in causal influences of the right and left intraparietal cortex on visual event-related potentials (ERPs). We stimulated the left and right posterior part of intraparietal sulcus (IPS1) while the participants were viewing and rating the visibility of bilaterally presented Gabor patches. Subjective visibility ratings showed that TMS of right IPS shifted the visibility toward the right hemifield, while TMS of left IPS did not have any behavioral effect. TMS of right IPS, but not left one, reduced the amplitude of posterior N1 potential, 180–220 ms after stimulus-onset. The attenuation of N1 occurred bilaterally over the posterior areas of both hemispheres. Consistent with previous TMS-fMRI studies, this finding suggests that the right IPS has top-down control on the neural processing in visual cortex. As N1 most probably reflects reactivation of early visual areas, the current findings support the view that the posterior parietal cortex in the right hemisphere amplifies recurrent interactions in ventral visual areas during the time-window that is critical for conscious perception.

  • 26.
    Koivisto, Mika
    et al.
    University of Turku, Turku, Finland.
    Grassini, Simone
    University of Turku, Turku, Finland.
    Salminen-Vaparanta, Niina
    University of Turku, Turku, Finland.
    Revonsuo, Antti
    University of Skövde, School of Bioscience. University of Skövde, The Systems Biology Research Centre. University of Turku, Turku, Finland.
    Different Electrophysiological Correlates of Visual Awareness for Detection and Identification2017In: Journal of cognitive neuroscience, ISSN 0898-929X, E-ISSN 1530-8898, Vol. 29, no 9, p. 1621-1631Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Detecting the presence of an object is a different process than identifying the object as a particular object. This difference has not been taken into account in designing experiments on the neural correlates of consciousness. We compared the electrophysiological correlates of conscious detection and identification directly by measuring ERPs while participants performed either a task only requiring the conscious detection of the stimulus or a higher-level task requiring its conscious identification. Behavioral results showed that, even if the stimulus was consciously detected, it was not necessarily identified. A posterior electrophysiological signature 200-300 msec after stimulus onset was sensitive for conscious detection but not for conscious identification, which correlated with a later widespread activity. Thus, we found behavioral and neural evidence for elementary visual experiences, which are not yet enriched with higher-level knowledge. The search for the mechanisms of consciousness should focus on the early elementary phenomenal experiences to avoid the confounding effects of higher-level processes.

  • 27.
    Koivisto, Mika
    et al.
    Department of Psychology, University of Turku, Finland / Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Turku, Finland.
    Harjuniemi, Inari
    Department of Psychology, University of Turku, Finland / Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Turku, Finland.
    Railo, Henry
    Department of Psychology, University of Turku, Finland / Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Turku, Finland.
    Salminen-Vaparanta, Niina
    Department of Psychology, University of Turku, Finland / Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Turku, Finland.
    Revonsuo, Antti
    Department of Psychology, University of Turku, Finland / Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Turku, Finland.
    Transcranial magnetic stimulation of early visual cortex suppresses conscious representations in a dichotomous manner without gradually decreasing their precision2017In: NeuroImage, ISSN 1053-8119, E-ISSN 1095-9572, Vol. 158, p. 308-318Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) of early visual cortex can suppresses visual perception at early stages of processing. The suppression can be measured both with objective forced-choice tasks and with subjective ratings of visual awareness, but there is lack of objective evidence on how and whether the TMS influences the quality of representations. Does TMS decrease the precision of representations in graded manner, or does it lead to dichotomous, "all-or-nothing" suppression. We resolved this question by using a continuous measure of the perceptual error: the observers had to perceive the orientation of a target (Landort-C) and to adjust the orientation of a probe to match that of the target. Mixture modeling was applied to estimate the probability of guess trials and the standard deviation of the non-guess trials. TMS delivered 60-150 ms after stimulus-onset influenced only the guessing rate, whereas the standard deviation (i.e., precision) was not affected. This suggests that TMS suppressed representations dichotomously without affecting their precision. The guessing probability correlated with subjective visibility ratings, suggesting that it measured visual awareness. In a control experiment, manipulation of the stimulus contrast affected the standard deviation of the errors, indicating that contrast has a gradual influence on the precision of representations. The findings suggest that TMS of early visual cortex suppresses perception in dichotomous manner by decreasing the signal-to-noise ratio by increasing the noise level, whereas reduction of the signal level (i.e., contrast) decreases the precision of representations.

  • 28.
    Labbé, Daniel
    University of Skövde, School of Humanities and Informatics.
    Measures of Working Memory, Motivation, and Time Perception2012Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    Recent studies have indicated a further need to investigate the role of motivation in workingmemory (WM) training and that time perception affects motivation. We addressed whethersubjectively perceived time on task in reference to objective time on task could serve as animplicit measure of motivation, while controlling for individual differences in timeperception. Here, the relationship between different measures of time perception, WM, andmotivation was explored in healthy children. Fifty children in three natural groups (ages: 6-7,8-9, 10-11) at a Swedish school participated. WM scores changed with age as expected.However, the absence of correlations between WM performance and intrinsic motivationwere inconsistent with previous findings, presumably due to the low statistical sensitivity.Nevertheless, time perception accuracy (r=0.318, p=0.043) and state motivation (r=0.434,p=0.005) correlated with performance on task interference, but not WM. With somereservations due to low sensitivity, time perception accuracy appears to be linked tocoordinative capacity required for shifting attention, but to a lesser degree sequential working memory capacity.

  • 29.
    Labbé, Daniel
    University of Skövde, School of Humanities and Informatics.
    The Feeling of Anxiety: Phenomenology and neural correlates2008Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    The feeling of anxiety, a conscious experience, is associated with uneasiness, painfulness, or disturbing suspense. The current paper presents the phenomenology of anxiety disorders based on diagnostic criteria and reviews neuroimaging studies on anxiety including dissociation studies. Activity in the anterior cingulate cortex, medial prefrontal cortex, insula, temporal poles and amygdala suggest neural correlates of anxiety. The relevance of the neural correlates, how the feeling of anxiety differs from fear and worry, and the construct validity of anxiety are addressed. Anxiety and pain correlate with activity in the anterior cingulate cortex, which warrants further studies on the painfulness–anxiety relationship.

  • 30.
    Lindberg, Markus
    University of Skövde, School of Bioscience.
    Neural correlates of lucid dreaming and comparisons with phenomenological aspects2014Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    Research on the neural correlates of lucid dreaming has recently gained more underlying data. By exploring seven studies that investigated the neural basis of lucid dreaming, this essay sought to examine which neural correlates are associated with lucid dreaming and how proposed neural correlates relate to phenomenological aspects. Dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) was judged as the region most associated with lucid dreaming, in support of a DLPFC hypothesis. Support for reactivation of DLPFC in lucid dreaming consisted of data from electroencephalography, functional magnetic resonance imaging, and transcranial direct current stimulation. Phenomenological aspects associated with this region involved meta-awareness, working-memory, decision-making, and conscious perception. Other regions of interest were parietal areas, frontal areas, and precuneus. Data was not always compatible, implying need for further research. The possibility of further research was judged as promising, based on a recent study inducing lucid dreaming in a significant percent of its test subjects.

  • 31.
    Ljungström, Andreas
    University of Skövde, School of Bioscience.
    Moral Intuition Versus Moral Reasoning In the Brain2014Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    Humans express complex moral behaviour, from altruism to antisocial acts. The investigationof the neural and cognitive mechanisms underlying our moral minds is of profoundimportance for understanding these behaviours. By reviewing recent findings in cognitive andmoral neuroscience, along with other relevant areas of research, the current study aims to: (1)Investigate the neural correlates of moral intuition and moral reasoning, and see how thesetwo systems relate to moral judgement and moral behaviour. (2) Examine how the moralintuitive system and the moral reasoning system relate to one another. Neuroscientificevidence suggests that these two systems are supported by different areas in the brain. Whiletheir relationship is argued to be both sequential, integrative and competitive, evidenceindicates that the moral reasoning system primarily functions as a post hoc rationalization ofour intuitive-driven judgements and behaviours. While our moral intuitive system motivateskin altruism, both moral intuition and moral reasoning serve to uphold reciprocal altruism.

  • 32.
    Lymperopoulou, Ioana Anca
    University of Skövde, School of Bioscience.
    A cognitive neuroscience perspective of emotions2015Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 40 credits / 60 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    Emotions have a remarkable capacity to mobilize an individual and shape a person’s behavior in order to ultimately lead to a higher wellbeing. The importance of emotions is further emphasized by pathological cases of people who suffer from an inability to normally regulate their emotional life, such as people who suffer from major depression disorder (MDD), eating disorders, or borderline personality disorder. Given the central role emotions play in our lives, it is very easy to understand the great interest cognitive neuroscientists have in this research field. Emotions have been approached in the last decades from different angles and as such, distinct theories arose. The goal of this study is to give a comprehensive overview of the emotion theories that exist, with a focus on three of the fastest developing cognitive theories of emotions: Frijda’s action-readiness, Russell’s core affect and the communicative theory. Additionally, the neural correlates of emotions will be discussed, focusing on the role of amygdala in the negative emotion of fear. Neuroimaging studies that reveal a correlation between the amygdala and emotions, fear in particular, will be described. Given that the ability of self-regulation is crucial for the achievements of our aims and goals, fMRI studies designed to investigate neural the underpinnings of emotion regulation will be presented. The process of cognitive reappraisal will be used to point towards the brain regions that act as down-regulators for the activity of amygdala while processing negatively valenced stimuli.

  • 33.
    Löfstrand, Emelie
    University of Skövde, School of Bioscience.
    Empathy for Pain: And its Neural Correlates2016Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    The phenomenon of empathy has been fascinating laymen and scholars for centuries and has recently been an important subject for cognitive neuroscientific study. Empathy refers to the ability to understand and share others’ emotions and a characteristic of this ability is the capacity to empathize with others in pain. This review intends to examine and read up on the current state of the field of the neural and behavioral mechanisms associated with empathy for pain. The neural underpinnings of the first-hand experience of pain have been shown to be activated in a person observing the suffering individual, and this similarity in brain activity has been referred to as shared networks. This phenomenon plays an important role in the study of empathy. However, different factors have been shown to influence empathy for pain, such as age, gender, affective link between observer and sufferer, as well as phylogenetic similarity. This thesis discusses these differences, as well as atypical aspects affecting the empathic ability such as synaesthesia for pain, psychopathy and Asperger’s disease. Further, empathy for pain can be modulated by the individual observing someone in pain. For example, caregivers often down-regulate their empathic response to patients in pain, possibly in order to focus on their treatment and assistance. Also, paying attention to harmful stimuli heightens the perception of pain; therefore, the painful experience can be less remarkable when focusing on something else. The effect of empathy from others directed to oneself when suffering is discussed, as well as the consistency and limitations of presented research.

  • 34.
    Moonens, Sofie
    University of Skövde, School of Humanities and Informatics.
    Mirror Neurons: The human mirror neuron system2012Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    This literature review explores human mirror neurons from several angles. First it retells mirror neuron history, from the initial discovery in the macaque monkey research through to the experiments determining if there is a human brain homologue. Then the merits of two opposing evolutionary views – mirror neurons as an adaptation or an association, here referring to an adaptation’s byproduct – are discussed. Lastly the autistic mirror neuron dysfunction hypothesis – stating that a faulty mirror neuron system is at the basis of autistic behavioral patterns – is examined for its validity but ultimately found lacking and in need of further development. 

  • 35.
    Määttä, Jessica
    University of Skövde, School of Humanities and Informatics.
    Embodied Cognition and Deception: The Influence of Emotional Congruence in Detecting Lies2012Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    The influence of facial mimicry and emotional congruence on emotional information processing has previously only been studied in isolation. In the current study their influence on the ability to detect deception will be investigated. In order to recognize the emotional states of others one mimics their emotional facial expression, and being in a congruent emotional state as a person or an emotional message enables faster processing of emotional information. Can emotional congruence between the receiver’s emotional state and a message told affect participants’ ability to detect deception when judging whether a person at a video recording is telling the truth or not? How does emotional congruence affect participants’ speed and confidence when making these judgments? The results showed that participants reported higher confidence but slower response times when making an accurate judgment in the congruent scenario, when compared to the incongruent scenario, but did not perform better than what could be expected by chance in detecting deception. Consequently, emotional congruence had an impact, not on participants’ performance in detecting deception, but only on their meta-cognitive evaluations of their judgments, but confidence rating did not seem to be an indicator of accuracy. In future research the design can be used in order to investigate other potential aspects, such as emotional empathy and other types of emotional congruence, and their influence on the ability to detect deception.

  • 36.
    Nilsson, Kenny
    University of Skövde, School of Humanities and Informatics.
    Common Treatments of Attention/Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder2012Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a well-known and much debated neurological disorder. The core symptoms consist of a lacking ability to maintain focus, hyperactivity and a motoric restlessness. It is a neurological disorder, with its causes under much debate, although this essay identifies some important brain areas and transmitter systems. The aim of this essay is to give an overview of the available treatments for children with ADHD in the form of the two largest groups of treatments; pharmacological treatments and psychosocial treatments. The conclusion found is that pharmacological treatments are more effective at reducing the core symptoms of ADHD, while psychosocial treatments are more effective at improving the development of social functioning, suggesting a combination to be the superior choice.

  • 37.
    Noreika, Valdas
    et al.
    Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience, Department of Psychology, University of Turku, 20014 Turku, Finland.
    Jylhänkangas, Leila
    Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience, Department of Psychology, University of Turku, 20014 Turku, Finland.
    Móró, Levente
    Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience, Department of Psychology, University of Turku, 20014 Turku, Finland.
    Valli, Katja
    University of Skövde, School of Humanities and Informatics.
    Kaskinoro, Kimmo
    Department of Anesthesia, Intensive Care, Emergency Medicine and Pain Therapy, Turku University Hospital, Turku, Finland.
    Aantaa, Riku
    Department of Anesthesia, Intensive Care, Emergency Medicine and Pain Therapy, Turku University Hospital, Turku, Finland.
    Scheinin, Harry
    Department of Pharmacology and Clinical Pharmacology, and Turku PET Centre, University of Turku, Turku, Finland.
    Revonsuo, Antti
    University of Skövde, School of Humanities and Informatics.
    Consciousness lost and found: Subjective experiences in an unresponsive state2011In: Brain and Cognition, ISSN 0278-2626, E-ISSN 1090-2147, Vol. 77, no 3, p. 327-334Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Anesthetic-induced changes in the neural activity of the brain have been recently utilized as a research model to investigate the neural mechanisms of phenomenal consciousness. However, the anesthesiologic definition of consciousness as ‘‘responsiveness to the environment’’ seems to sidestep the possibility that an unresponsive individual may have subjective experiences. The aim of the present study was to analyze subjective reports in sessions where sedation and the loss of responsiveness were induced by dexmedetomidine, propofol, sevoflurane or xenon in a nonsurgical experimental setting. After regaining responsiveness, participants recalled subjective experiences in almost 60% of sessions. During dexmedetomidine sessions, subjective experiences were associated with shallower ‘‘depth of sedation’’ as measured by an electroencephalography-derived anesthesia depth monitor. Results confirm that subjective experiences may occur during clinically defined unresponsiveness, and that studies aiming to investigate phenomenal consciousness under sedative and anesthetic effects should control the subjective state of unresponsive participants with post-recovery interviews.

  • 38.
    Olsson, H. A. Joakim
    University of Skövde, School of Bioscience.
    An evaluation of the Integrated Information Theory against some central problems of consciousness2015Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    This thesis evaluates the integrated information theory (IIT) by looking at how it may answer

    some central problems of consciousness that the author thinks any theory of consciousness

    should be able to explain. The problems concerned are the mind-body problem, the hard

    problem, the explanatory gap, the binding problem, and the problem of objectively detecting

    consciousness. The IIT is a computational theory of consciousness thought to explain the rise

    of consciousness. First the mongrel term consciousness is defined to give a clear idea of what

    is meant by consciousness in this thesis; followed by a presentation of the IIT, its origin, main

    ideas, and some implications of the theory. Thereafter the problems of consciousness will be

    presented, and the explanation the IIT gives will be investigated. In the discussion, some not

    perviously—in the thesis—discussed issues regarding the theory will be lifted. The author

    finds the IIT to hold explanations to each of the problems discussed. Whether the

    explanations are satisfying is questionable.

  • 39.
    Olsson, Joakim
    University of Skövde, School of Bioscience.
    Narcissism - Brain and Behavior: Self-Views and Empathy in the Narcissistic Brain2014Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    This thesis reviews both psychological and neural research in the fields of self-evaluation, self-views and self-enhancement bias. The research has made associations to grandiosity and need for admiration, which are two of the defining characteristics of narcissistic personality disorder. Neural correlates associated with this research are the medial prefrontal cortex, orbitofrontal cortex, posteromedial cortex and anterior insula. Narcissists have been seen to have a decreased form of emotional empathy even though they rate themselves to have higher emotional empathy than they actually have, which is linked to self-enhancement bias and grandiosity. Alexithymia has not gained much attention in relation to narcissism, but research presented suggests that this might need to change. Neural correlates that are associated with lack of emotional empathy and alexithymia are the anterior insula, frontoparalimbic areas and the medial prefrontal cortex. Narcissistic personality disorder is in the DSM-5 specified to be defined by a grandiose sense of self, a need for admiration, and a lack of empathy in either fantasy or behavior. However according to researchers in the field this only covers a part of the spectrum of narcissism. Deficits in the DSM-5 will he highlighted, as well as suggestions on what to do in order to help clarify the definition in DSM-5 and the concept in general.

  • 40.
    Persson, Björn
    University of Skövde, School of Bioscience.
    Personality Neuroscience and Dark Values2014Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    Personality neuroscience offers a new theory of the biological basis of personality traits. It involves the use of neuroscientific methodologies to study individual differences in behavior, motivation, emotion, and cognition. Personality psychology has contributed much in identifying the important dimensions of personality, but relatively little to understanding the biological sources of those dimensions. In recent years, personality psychology has become the foundation for the study of personality disorders, and by extension, neuroscience. First, I provide a theoretical foundation for the neuroscience of normal and abnormal personality traits. Second, I conduct two empirical studies on deviant personality traits captured by the Dark Triad (i.e., Machiavellianism, narcissism, and psychopathy) and relate them to universal human values. Study I shows that darker personalities endorse values that are self-enhancing, and that justify self-serving behavior. Study II investigates the relationship between the aforementioned constructs and empathy based on the idea that empathy is an important moderating factor of dark traits. In the discussion, suggestions for future studies in neuroscience are presented, as well as some limitations relating to the constructs.

  • 41.
    Persson, Björn
    University of Skövde, School of Humanities and Informatics.
    Subclinical Psychopathy and Empathy2013Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    Psychopathy is a severe personality disorder that results in antisocial, manipulative, and callous behavior. The main diagnostic instrument for assessing psychopathy is the Psychopathy Checklist-Revised. This thesis will introduce the psychopathy construct, including what is known as subclinical psychopathy. Subclinical psychopathy refers to individuals who exhibit many of the characteristics of psychopathy, except for some of the more severe antisocial behaviors. This constellation of traits allows the subclinical psychopath to avoid incarceration. The fundamental difference between clinical and subclinical psychopaths is a major question in the field of psychopathy and is the main theme of this thesis. Impaired empathy is one of the key aspects of psychopathy and it may be a significant factor in both clinical and subclinical psychopaths. Subclinical psychopathy may be related to a moderated or altered expression of empathy. Hence, the empathy construct is a secondary concern in this thesis. This thesis has two aims: (a) to argue that the conceptualization of subclinical psychopathy is flawed and needs revision in accordance with less ambiguous criteria; and (b) to present data in support of the hypothesis that subclinical psychopaths have intact, or even enhanced, cognitive capacities in contrast to clinical psychopaths.

  • 42.
    Petersson, Maria
    et al.
    Endocrine and Diabetes Unit, Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Uvnäs-Moberg, Kerstin
    Department of Animal Environment and Health, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Skara, Sweden.
    Nilsson, Anne
    Department of Animal Environment and Health, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Skara, Sweden.
    Gustafsson, Lise-Lotte
    Department of Animal Environment and Health, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Skara, Sweden.
    Hydbring-Sandberg, Eva
    Department of Anatomy, Physiology and Biochemistry, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden.
    Handlin, Linda
    University of Skövde, School of Health and Education. University of Skövde, Health and Education.
    Oxytocin and Cortisol Levels in Dog Owners and Their Dogs Are Associated with Behavioral Patterns: An Exploratory Study2017In: Frontiers in Psychology, ISSN 1664-1078, E-ISSN 1664-1078, Vol. 8, article id 1796Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We have previously shown that dog–owner interaction results in increasing oxytocin levels in owners and dogs, decreasing cortisol levels in owners but increasing cortisol levels in dogs. The present study aimed to further investigate whether oxytocin and cortisol levels in the previously tested owners and dogs were associated with their behaviors during the interaction experiment. Ten female volunteer dog–owners and their male Labrador dogs participated in a 60 min interaction experiment with interaction taking place during 0–3 min and blood samples for analysis of oxytocin and cortisol were collected at 0, 1, 3, 5, 15, 30, and 60 min. The entire experiment was videotaped and the following variables were noted; the different types (stroking, scratching, patting and activating touch, i.e., scratching and patting combined) as well as the frequency of touch applied by the owner, the number of times the owner touched her dog, the dog’s positions and time spent in each position. Correlations were analyzed between the behavioral variables and basal oxytocin levels, maximum oxytocin levels, delta oxytocin levels, basal cortisol levels and cortisol levels at 15 min. Owners with low oxytocin levels before and during the interaction touched their dogs more frequently (0 min: Rs = −0.683, p = 0.042; oxytocin maximum: Rs = −0.783, p = 0.013). The lower the dogs’ oxytocin levels during the interaction, the more stroking they received (Rs = −0.717, p = 0.041). The more frequently activating touch was applied by the owner, the higher the dogs’ cortisol levels became (15 min: Rs = 0.661, p = 0.038). The higher the owners’ maximum oxytocin level the fewer position changes the dogs made (Rs = −0.817, p = 0.007) and the shorter time they spent sitting (Rs = −0.786, p = 0.036), whereas the higher the owners’ basal cortisol levels, the longer time the dogs spent standing (0 min: Rs = 0.683, p = 0.041). In conclusion, oxytocin and cortisol levels, both in dogs and in their owners, are associated with the way the owners interact with their dogs and also with behaviors caused by the interaction.

  • 43.
    Pettersson, Patrik
    University of Skövde, School of Bioscience.
    EXEKUTIVA FÖRMÅGOR OCH PROKRASTINATION2014Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [sv]

    De exekutiva förmågorna möjliggör avancerade kognitiva processer. Prokrastination är vår benägenhet att fördröja en planerad handling trots att fördröjningen förvärrar situationen. Denna uppsats har utforskat om det finns ett konceptuellt samband mellan konstrukten. Orsaken till prokrastinaton tros hänga samman med bristande självreglering som är sammanlänkat med de exekutiva förmågorna. Det finns ett glapp mellan intentionen och handlandet hos de som prokrastinerar. Impulsivitet tycks ligga bakom denna skillnad. Prokrastinerande individer väljer det njutningsfulla i stunden framför långsiktiga fördelar. Indikationer tyder på att de hämmande mekanismerna inom de exekutiva förmågorna inverkar i reglerandet av impulsiviteten. Individer med högre förmåga att hämma impulser är bättre på att följa sina intentioner. Direkta studier mellan de exekutiva förmågorna och prokrastination behövs för att stärka kausala samband.

  • 44.
    Plan, Alexsandra
    University of Skövde, School of Bioscience.
    Cultural Differences in Optimism, Pessimism and Eudaimonic Well-Being from a Neurobiological Perspective2015Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    The present thesis provides a theoretical overview, including a neurobiological perspective, of well-being (WB), eudaimonic well-being (EWB), optimism, pessimism and cultural differences between Western and Eastern societies.  In addition, an empirical study investigated these concepts in Japanese and Swedish participants. Definitional problems and scarce neurobiological findings are two current problems to date within research on WB, EWB and cultural differences especially when looking at comparisons between Europe and East Asia. Interpretations and conclusions are therefore hard and tentative to make as more research is yet needed. This thesis empirical part therefore investigated the association between these concepts. In the best of the authors knowledge have this type of explorative study never been done before. 142 Swedish participants and 68 Japanese participants between the ages of 20 to 40 answered the self-reporting questionnaires; revised life orientation test (LOT-R), psychological well-being scale (SPWB) and the minimalist well-being scale (MWBS). The findings demonstrate that Swedish people report higher levels of optimism compared with Japanese people whom in turn report higher levels of pessimism when measured with LOT-R. Findings further demonstrate that Swedish people report higher levels of EWB when measured with SPWB. In comparison do Japanese people report higher levels of EWB when measured with MWBS. A difference was found in response pattern between MWBS and SPWB. And last did the findings suggest correlations in total scores of MWBS, SPWB and LOT-R but not within all sub-dimensions. Discussion of the results, limitations of the thesis and suggestions for future research concludes the thesis.

  • 45.
    Railo, Henry
    et al.
    Department of Psychology, University of Turku, Finland / Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Turku, Finland / Brain and Mind Centre, University of Turku, Finland.
    Revonsuo, Antti
    University of Skövde, School of Bioscience. University of Skövde, The Systems Biology Research Centre. Department of Psychology, University of Turku, Finland / Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Turku, Finland / Brain and Mind Centre, University of Turku, Finland.
    Koivisto, Mika
    Department of Psychology, University of Turku, Finland / Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Turku, Finland / Brain and Mind Centre, University of Turku, Finland.
    Behavioral and electrophysiological evidence for fast emergence of visual consciousness2015In: Neuroscience of Consciousness, ISSN 2057-2107, Vol. 1, no 1Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A fundamental unsettled dispute concerns how fast the brain generates subjective visual experiences. Both early visual cortical activation and later activity in fronto-parietal global neuronal workspace correlate with conscious vision, but resolving which of the correlates causally triggers conscious vision has proved a methodological impasse. We show that participants can report whether or not they consciously perceived a stimulus in just over 200 ms. These fast consciousness reports were extremely reliable, and did not include reflexive, unconscious responses. The neural events that causally generate conscious vision must have occurred before these behavioral reports. Analyses on single-trial neural correlates of consciousness revealed that the late cortical processing in fronto-parietal global neuronal workspace (∼300 ms) started after the fastest consciousness reports, ruling out the possibility that this late activity directly reflects the emergence of visual consciousness. The consciousness reports were preceded by a negative amplitude difference (∼160–220 ms) that spread from occipital to frontal cortex, suggesting that this correlate underlies the emergence of conscious vision.

  • 46.
    Rantil, Claes
    University of Skövde, School of Bioscience.
    Placebo Analgesia and the Role of Expectancy on Pain Perception2015Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    Expectancy in placebo analgesia is proposed to be one of the major mechanisms influencing placebo analgesic responses. Still, little is known of how these effects mediate pain perception. The notion of strong belief in placebo efficacy, i.e. placebo expectancy, was investigated by reviewing placebo analgesia literature, and other relevant studies. Placebo suggestions seem to involve reduced averseness of the impending stimulus, and not cognitively demanding tasks such as executive attention. Converging evidence has shown that positive and negative mood changes can affect both pain intensity and pain unpleasantness, which are both elements of subjective pain. Positive mood mostly seem to affect pain unpleasantness, whereas negative mood changes affect both pain intensity and pain unpleasantness, suggesting that there are two different ways that placebo expectancies can influence pain. One problem with functional imaging research in the realm of placebo analgesia is that activity is not compared with expectancy ratings. Therefore, the neural correlates of placebo expectancies, i.e. placebo belief, are largely unknown. Some findings suggest that dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) is involved in placebo analgesia. It is suggested that placebo analgesia is opioid dependent, seeing that expectancy induced analgesia is naloxone reversible. However, it probably acts through different mechanisms than administered opioids, seeing as placebo analgesia can be site-specific. 

  • 47.
    Revonsuo, Antti
    University of Skövde, School of Bioscience. University of Skövde, The Systems Biology Research Centre.
    The future of consciousness science: From empirical correlations to theoretical explanation2015In: The Constitution of Phenomenal Consciousness: Toward a science and theory / [ed] Steven M. Miller, John Benjamins Publishing Company, 2015, p. 260-270Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 48.
    Rischer, Katharina
    University of Skövde, School of Bioscience.
    Can Frontal Alpha Asymmetry Predict the Perception of Emotions in Music?2016Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    Resting frontal alpha asymmetry was measured with an electroencephalogram in 28 volunteers to predict the evaluation of emotions in music. Sixteen music excerpts either expressing happiness, sadness, anger or fear were rated by the participants with regard to conveyed mood, pleasantness and arousal. In addition, various variables of music background were collected. The experiment started with the assessment of current mood, followed by the evaluation of the music excerpts, and finished with the assessment of the participants’ approach and withdrawal behaviour. The results showed that each music excerpt was specic for the intended mood except for music of the category anger which obtained also high ratings for fear. These music excerpts were also the only ones for which a difference in ratings between relatively more left-active and right-active participants could be observed. Partly against expectations, left-dominant volunteers perceived music excerpts of the category anger to express more fear and anger than right-active participants. Results are interpreted within the behavioural inhibitionand approach model of anterior brain asymmetry.

  • 49.
    Roos, Magnus
    University of Skövde, School of Bioscience.
    Speech Comprehension: Theoretical approaches and neural correlates2015Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    This review has examined the spatial and temporal neural activation of speech comprehension. Six theories on speech comprehension were selected and reviewed. The most fundamental structures for speech comprehension are the superior temporal gyrus, the fusiform gyrus, the temporal pole, the temporoparietal junction, and the inferior frontal gyrus. Considering temporal aspects of processes, the N400 ERP effect indicates semantic violations, and the P600 indicates re-evaluation of a word due to ambiguity or syntax error. The dual-route processing model provides the most accurate account of neural correlates and streams of activation necessary for speech comprehension, while also being compatible with both the reviewed studies and the reviewed theories. The integrated theory of language production and comprehension provides a contemporary theory of speech production and comprehension with roots in computational neuroscience, which in conjunction with the dual-route processing model could drive the fields of language and neuroscience even further forward.

  • 50.
    Rydh, Mathias
    University of Skövde, School of Bioscience.
    Using the Brain to Help Rehabilitate the Body: Factors which can Affect Injury Rehabilitation Outcome2014Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    Physical activity can be beneficial to both physical and mental health, but can also lead to injuries. While injury rehabilitation through physical therapy is mostly focused on physical exercise, there are also other factors, which may influence rehabilitation outcome. The factorsreviewed are: rehabilitation adherence, mindfulness meditation, mental imagery, action observation, self-talk, goal-setting and social support. This essay investigates the neural correlates of these factors, as well as how they can affect rehabilitation outcome and wellbeing, to a lesser degree, during rehabilitation. Among the effects found are performance enhancement, increased self-efficacy, increased pain tolerance, increased motivation and reduced strength loss. Suggestions for future research is also provided.

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