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  • 1.
    Abrahamsson, Sebastian
    Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för biovetenskap.
    Neuroplasticity induced by exercise2017Självständigt arbete på grundnivå (kandidatexamen), 15 poäng / 22,5 hpStudentuppsats (Examensarbete)
    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
    Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för kommunikation och information.
    TREATING HORROR WITH ECSTASY: Neurobiological Rationale for Treating Post- Traumatic Stress Disorder with 3,4- methylenedioxymethylamphetamine2013Självständigt arbete på grundnivå (kandidatexamen), 10 poäng / 15 hpStudentuppsats (Examensarbete)
    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
    Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för biovetenskap.
    The hippocampal dependence of long-term declarative memory2015Självständigt arbete på grundnivå (kandidatexamen), 10 poäng / 15 hpStudentuppsats (Examensarbete)
    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, Louise
    Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för biovetenskap.
    Psychedelic agents: Changes induced in subjective experience and brain activity2019Självständigt arbete på grundnivå (kandidatexamen), 15 poäng / 22,5 hpStudentuppsats (Examensarbete)
    Abstract [en]

    This thesis combines phenomenological and neuroscientific research to elucidate the effects of psychedelic agents on the human brain, mind and psychological well-being. Psychoactive plants have been used for thousands of years for ceremonial and ritual purposes. Psychedelics are psychoactive substances that affect cognitive processes and alter perception, thoughts, and mood. Illegalization of psychedelics in the 1960s rendered them impossible to study empirically but in the last couple of decades, relaxed legal restrictions regarding research purposes, renewed interest in the effects of psychedelic drugs and new brain imaging techniques have started to reveal the possibilities of these mind-altering substances. Psychedelics mainly affect the serotonin receptor 5-HT2A which in turn affect the functioning of largescale cortical areas by changing cerebral blood flow, alpha oscillations, and functional connectivity. These cortical changes not only induce immediate alterations in perception and cognition but have been shown to have positive effects in therapeutic interventions for depression, anxiety, and addiction, and also positively affect well-being in general. Although the pharmacology and neurobiology of psychedelics are still poorly understood, the potential benefits justify empirical research on psychedelics in humans.

  • 5.
    Andersson, Pernilla
    Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för biovetenskap.
    Sleep and Its Effects on Synaptic Strength2015Självständigt arbete på grundnivå (kandidatexamen), 10 poäng / 15 hpStudentuppsats (Examensarbete)
  • 6.
    Andersson Szabo, Sofia
    Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för biovetenskap.
    A Biological And Psychological Profile of Eudaimonia as High Psychological Well-Being2014Självständigt arbete på grundnivå (kandidatexamen), 10 poäng / 15 hpStudentuppsats (Examensarbete)
    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).

  • 7.
    Andersérs, Caroline
    Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för biovetenskap.
    The Effect that Exercise has on Cognitive Functions: A Review2019Självständigt arbete på grundnivå (kandidatexamen), 10 poäng / 15 hpStudentuppsats (Examensarbete)
    Abstract [en]

    My aim for this literature review is to present and discuss a possible relationship between physical exercise and different kinds of cognitive functions. With the increasing interest on the topic, more studies have been conducted and the results from the studies have been a little ambiguous. The most part of the studies has been showing that exercise has a positive effect on cognitive functions. The evidence from the studies also says that exercise can help the brain to regulate the production of new neurons and to increase brain volume in the prefrontal and temporal areas. That can be very beneficial for elderly people with dementia, Alzheimer's disease or other cognitive declines. Evidence of exercise combined with the right nutrition can enhance cognitive performance even more but to establish this more research is needed.  

  • 8.
    Aronsson, Emelie
    Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för biovetenskap.
    Kan tacksamhet främja moraliskt beteende?2014Självständigt arbete på grundnivå (kandidatexamen), 10 poäng / 15 hpStudentuppsats (Examensarbete)
    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.

  • 9.
    Arvidsson, Andrea
    Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för biovetenskap.
    Meditation, attention and the brain: function, structure and attentional performance2018Självständigt arbete på grundnivå (kandidatexamen), 15 poäng / 22,5 hpStudentuppsats (Examensarbete)
    Abstract [en]

    Meditation has been practiced around the world for thousands of years and has during the past decade become increasingly popular in the Western world. Meditation can be seen as a form of mental exercise and refers to a family of complex emotional and attentional regulatory practices that involves different attentional, cognitive monitoring and awareness processes. Clinical research on meditation has demonstrated that meditation seem to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. Recent interest in how meditation affect the human brain and body have lead to an increase in research regarding the neural correlates of meditation, structural changes induced by meditation, and the potential attentional and emotional benefits mediated by meditation. This thesis investigates expert related changes in neural activity, brain structure, and attentional performance induced by focused attention meditation (FAM) and open monitoring meditation (OMM). The research on meditation and the brain is still in its infancy but despite this, there seem to be some converging evidence of meditation’s impact on the human brain and mind. The results from the included studies in this thesis indicates that expert meditators show greater activation in some meditation related brain areas, as well as less activation in other areas when compared to novice meditators. The results also suggest that long-term meditation practice induce some structural changes in the brain and that meditation seem to enhance the practitioners’ attentional control. 

  • 10.
    Arvidsson, Tobias
    Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för biovetenskap.
    Neural Effects of Mindfulness Meditation on Emotion Regulation: Differences Between Adolescents and Adults2019Självständigt arbete på grundnivå (kandidatexamen), 15 poäng / 22,5 hpStudentuppsats (Examensarbete)
    Abstract [en]

    The time of adolescence is marked by enhanced emotional experiences and difficulties with regulating one’s emotions. One way to improve the adolescent’s ability to regulate their emotions is to let them practice mindfulness meditation. The motivational drive behind this thesis is the question of what forms of mindfulness meditation are needed to give the highest increase in their emotion regulation-abilities. One problem is that while there exist neural studies on mindfulness meditation for adults, the research field of adolescent meditation lacks them. Because neural studies are needed to adequately answer this question, and the lack of brain imaging tools for this thesis, the focus here was to conduct some groundwork for this discussion. The first aim was to investigate the neural effects of mindfulness meditation on emotion regulation in adults and the second aim was to investigate to what extent we can generalize these neural effects to adolescents. To be able to theoretical discuss the second aim, neural and psychological studies on mindfulness meditation and emotion regulation were used as a base. The studies were grouped into five sub-categories based on age group and research field and then discussed with the help of developmental studies. Adult meditators had stronger functionality in regulatory brain regions than non-meditators during meditation and during the perception of negative stimuli. The discussion about the generalization of the adult neural patterns to adolescents showed that the findings were too diverse to come to any useful conclusions. Empirical and conceptual improvements, along with neural meditation studies on adolescents, are needed to improve the research field in both age groups.

  • 11.
    Asplund Fromholz, Marcus
    Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för biovetenskap.
    Idrottsprestationers påverkan av anspänning, oro och stress och förslag till prestationshöjande tekniker2014Självständigt arbete på grundnivå (kandidatexamen), 10 poäng / 15 hpStudentuppsats (Examensarbete)
    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.

  • 12.
    Backström, Linus
    Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för biovetenskap.
    Establishing a biopsychosocial model for conspiracy theory ideation2018Självständigt arbete på grundnivå (kandidatexamen), 15 poäng / 22,5 hpStudentuppsats (Examensarbete)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper aims to provide the grounds for a biopsychosocial understanding of the underpinnings of conspiracy theorist ideation by studying research articles from different scientific disciplines. Cross-disciplinary concurring results are presented and discussed, as well as some examples of how conspiracy theories have been used during the 20th century. Also discussed is how this is used in political discourse in the populist climate of today, with the rise of radical right-wing movements, the justification of “alternative facts” from higher governmental ranks, and religious fundamentalism, making it a societal issue of possible big magnitude. Neurological similarities was found between religiousness and proneness to conspiracy theory ideation, and the articles concerning neural correlates therefore stem from research on religious individuals due to the lack of neuro-biopsychological research on actual conspiracy theorists. Since conspiracy theory ideation has shown the ability to cause negative consequences it is also advised that governmental agencies and society as a whole revise its stance on populism and the spread of flawed information, in order to maintain an open society. Also presented are a few ideas on how to begin countering the rise of populism.

  • 13.
    Bahrd, Phillie
    Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för biovetenskap.
    The Blacked Out Brain: Neural Mechanisms of Unconsciousness in General Anesthesia and Disorders of Consciousness2019Självständigt arbete på grundnivå (kandidatexamen), 15 poäng / 22,5 hpStudentuppsats (Examensarbete)
    Abstract [en]

    Finding the neural mechanisms of unconsciousness is a pursuit with significance to both the scientific study of consciousness as well as for the improvement of clinical diagnosis of patients with severe structural brain damage that has resulted in disorders of consciousness (DOC), such as coma or vegetative state . This literature review gives an account for what consciousness studies have contributed to the understanding of the neural mechanisms of unconsciousness, focusing on experiments using anesthetic agents to investigate the loss and return of consciousness. Mechanisms that frequently correlate with the loss of consciousness are modulation of the brainstem, the thalamus, and the cortex, but different anesthetic drugs act on different areas. According to a bottom-up approach unconsciousness can be induced by sleep-circuits in the brainstem, and according to a top-down approach unconsciousness can be induced by cortical and thalamocortical disruption. But the mechanisms involved during loss of consciousness are not the same as for return of consciousness, and this paper includes evidence for the mechanisms involved during the return being closer to what research should be further investigating. The mechanisms involved in return from anesthesia-induced unconsciousness resemble those mechanisms involved in recovery from DOC. Studying mechanisms of unconsciousness can further our understanding of consciousness, as well as improve the diagnosis and treatment of patients with DOC.

  • 14.
    Berg, Lars-Erik
    Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för hälsa och lärande. Högskolan i Skövde, Forskningsspecialiseringen Hälsa och Lärande.
    Neurovetenskaplig psykiatri2018Ingår i: Psykoterapi, ISSN 2001-5836, nr 2, s. 47-49Artikel, recension (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
  • 15.
    Bergström, Natalie
    Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för biovetenskap.
    The neural correlates of cognitive reappraisal stress resilience2018Självständigt arbete på grundnivå (kandidatexamen), 15 poäng / 22,5 hpStudentuppsats (Examensarbete)
    Abstract [en]

    Resilience refers to the fact that some individuals cope well with stressful experiences. Many factors contribute to this sort of resilience, such as the early environment, the serotonin transporter gene (5-HTTPLR), the hypothalamic-pituitaryadrenal (HPA) axis, the sympathetic-adrenal medullary (SAM) axis, and emotion regulation techniques. The aim of this thesis is to investigate which factors contribute to resilience, with a particular focus on the emotion regulation technique of cognitive reappraisal. The results show that the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and amygdala each play a crucial role when it comes to stress regulation. Studies have found that the PFC inhibits the amygdala response, but that the PFC is vulnerable to exposure to chronic stress. As a result, the PFC might fail to inhibit the amygdala response. Individuals who use cognitive reappraisal techniques – which has been associated particularly with frontal and parietal brain activity – seem to be less prone to this sort of problem, and, as a result, more resilient to stress.

  • 16.
    Bjurberg, Helena
    Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för biovetenskap.
    Academic achievement and personality traits: an empirical and neurobiological investigation2014Självständigt arbete på grundnivå (kandidatexamen), 20 poäng / 30 hpStudentuppsats (Examensarbete)
    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

  • 17.
    Boldeanu, Silvia
    Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för biovetenskap.
    Merging brain-computer interfaces and virtual reality: A neuroscientific exploration2018Självständigt arbete på avancerad nivå (magisterexamen), 20 poäng / 30 hpStudentuppsats (Examensarbete)
    Abstract [en]

    Brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) blend methods and concepts researched by cognitive neuroscience, electrophysiology, computer science and engineering, resulting in systems of bi-directional information exchange directly between brain and computer. BCIs contribute to medical applications that restore communication and mobility for disabled patients and provide new forms of sending information to devices for enhancement and entertainment. Virtual reality (VR) introduces humans into a computer-generated world, tackling immersion and involvement. VR technology extends the classical multimedia experience, as the user is able to move within the environment, interact with other virtual participants, and manipulate objects, in order to generate the feeling of presence. This essay presents the possibilities of merging BCI with VR and the challenges to be tackled in the future. Current attempts to combine BCI and VR technology have shown that VR is a useful tool to test the functioning of BCIs, with safe, controlled and realistic experiments; there are better outcomes for VR and BCI combinations used for medical purposes compared to solely BCI training; and, enhancement systems for healthy users seem promising with VR-BCIs designed for home users. Future trends include brain-to-brain communication, sharing of several users’ brain signals within the virtual environment, and better and more efficient interfaces.

  • 18.
    Boman, Kajsa
    Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för biovetenskap.
    Heart rate variability: A possible measure of subjective wellbeing?2018Självständigt arbete på grundnivå (kandidatexamen), 15 poäng / 22,5 hpStudentuppsats (Examensarbete)
    Abstract [en]

    Wellbeing and subjective wellbeing (SWB) has become some the most important goals of our time, both individually and societally. Thus, there is a need for reliable ways to measure SWB, as concerns regarding many current measures have been raised. Due to the interwoven nature of physiology and psychology, heart rate variability (HRV) has the potential to assess psychological processes in a physiological manner. HRV is an attractive measure since it is inexpensive, easy and non-invasive. Hence, the aim is to, from a cognitive neuroscientific standpoint, investigate whether HRV could serve as an objective measure to assess SWB. Most studies demonstrate associations between HRV and SWB, in particular between high frequency (HF)-HRV and positive affect (PA). However, the one study fully matching the theoretical framework only showed an inverse correlation between HRV and negative affect (NA). Plausibly implying that HRV does not serve as a reliable measure of SWB, but may be able to indicate inverse associations with NA, and possibly index certain aspect of SWB such as deactivated PA. The study of the relationship between HRV and SWB is still in its infancy and results are inconsistent. The lack of common standards regarding measurements, implementation details, and variable values, make results difficult to compare and generalize. Further standardizations and research are much needed before accurate conclusions can be drawn.

  • 19.
    Borgström, Juliana
    Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för biovetenskap.
    Cyclical Women: Menstrual Cycle Effects on Mood and Neuro-Cognitive Performance2019Självständigt arbete på grundnivå (kandidatexamen), 15 poäng / 22,5 hpStudentuppsats (Examensarbete)
    Abstract [en]

    During roughly forty years of a woman’s life-span, the fertile female human body prepares itself monthly for the possibility of pregnancy. Science has shown that the fluctuation of the sex steroids progesterone and estrogen have a crucial role in the female body's physiology, determining the menstrual cycle and its general phases. This biological dance of hormones governing the cycle influences a lot of physical, mental and cognitive aspects of life for a fertile ovulating woman. Although the question of whether these changes also affect women's cognitive performance is still unclear, some evidence has been gathered that could bring us closer to answers. Recent research findings show that this hormonal interplay might have a significant role in cognitive and psychological development - modulating brain activity, cognitive performance, higher cognition, emotional status, sensory processing, appetite and more. This thesis aims to uncover to what extent the menstrual cycle affects brain functions, neurobiology, mood, well-being and cognitive performance in menstruating cisgender women.

  • 20.
    Boström, Kristina
    Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för biovetenskap.
    The key to understanding PTSD: Contrasting post-traumatic stress and post-traumatic growth2018Självständigt arbete på avancerad nivå (magisterexamen), 20 poäng / 30 hpStudentuppsats (Examensarbete)
    Abstract [en]

    Traumatic incidences happen all around the globe. Some of the people who experience trauma

    develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), while some do not. Even more interesting is

    that some also experience growth afterwards (post-traumatic growth; PTG). The purpose of

    this paper is to look at neural aspects of why some people develop PTSD and others PTG after

    a traumatic event. To fulfill the aim, both PTSD and PTG will be reviewed to create an image

    of the existing research in behavioral and neurological terms. In addition to looking at the

    constructs separately, a chapter will also look at studies where both PTSD and PTG are

    acknowledged collaterally in participants. When looking deeper into the theories of PTSD

    divisions occur, and more research is needed to establish the most prominent explanation of

    PTSD. PTG on the other hand has only been studied for a short period of time but yields

    important insights into trauma-related outcomes. These fields need to be submerged and new

    multidisciplinary definitions are needed for future research. The key to PTSD is suggested to

    emerge within the new field.

  • 21.
    Brundin, Malin
    Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för biovetenskap.
    Binge Eating Disorder: Neural correlates and treatments2019Självständigt arbete på grundnivå (kandidatexamen), 15 poäng / 22,5 hpStudentuppsats (Examensarbete)
    Abstract [en]

    Binge eating disorder (BED) is the most prevalent of all eating disorders and is characterized by recurrent episodes of eating a large amount of food in the absence of control. There have been various kinds of research of BED, but the phenomenon remains poorly understood. This thesis reviews the results of research on BED to provide a synthetic view of the current general understanding on BED, as well as the neural correlates of the disorder and treatments. Research has so far identified several risk factors that may underlie the onset and maintenance of the disorder, such as emotion regulation deficits and body shape and weight concerns. However, neuroscientific research suggests that BED may characterize as an impulsive/compulsive disorder, with altered reward sensitivity and increased attentional biases towards food cues, as well as cognitive dysfunctions due to alterations in prefrontal, insular, and orbitofrontal cortices and the striatum. The same alterations as in addictive disorders. Genetic and animal studies have found changes in dopaminergic and opioidergic systems, which may contribute to the severities of the disorder. Research investigating neuroimaging and neuromodulation approaches as neural treatment, suggests that these are innovative tools that may modulate food-related reward processes and thereby suppress the binges. In order to predict treatment outcomes of BED, future studies need to further examine emotion regulation and the genetics of BED, the altered neurocircuitry of the disorder, as well as the role of neurotransmission networks relatedness to binge eating behavior.

  • 22.
    Bryde, Jonathan
    Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för biovetenskap.
    The Effect of Mindfulness Meditation on Affect and Attention: An Empirical Study2019Självständigt arbete på grundnivå (kandidatexamen), 15 poäng / 22,5 hpStudentuppsats (Examensarbete)
    Abstract [en]

    In daily life there are numerous experiences and events that divert people's attention and cause stress, which may be linked with aspects of ill-being and lowered well-being. Mindfulness meditation may alleviate such issues. Mindfulness can be summarized as a form of awareness and attention in the present that is characterized by an open-minded and non-judgemental perspective, and meditation as a group of practices that engage many of the same processes and may involve mindfulness. There is evidence that both mindfulness and mindfulness meditation are associated with activity in brain regions relating to, for example, attention, emotion-regulation, and bodily awareness. Consequently, mindfulness meditation was hypothesized in the present study to improve attention as measured by the Attention Network Test, and decrease negative affect as measured by the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule when compared to a control condition. The mindfulness meditation instructions employed were largely based on the work of Kabat-Zinn (1982). 14 participants were recruited to the study, and 7 of them completed the experiment. 3 participants were randomized to the experimental group, and 4 to the control group. Results were largely contrary to the hypotheses, with only executive attention having statistical significance (p < .05) and supporting one hypothesis. Although effect sizes were on average large for the variables of the study, the small sample size may have limited the power and increased the risk for type-II errors.

  • 23.
    Carlsson, Veronica
    Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för biovetenskap.
    Emotional attention: A cognitive neuroscience perspective2018Självständigt arbete på grundnivå (kandidatexamen), 15 poäng / 22,5 hpStudentuppsats (Examensarbete)
    Abstract [en]

    Attention is a cognitive mechanism that guides our perception in order to prioritize the limited resources to the most relevant information while ignoring distracting information. Attention can be voluntarily deployed to stimuli during tasks or goals, or the features of the stimulus can capture our attention either by being salient or being emotionally induced. Emotions affect multiple different cognitive processes such as attention because emotional stimuli can be relevant for defending or sustain life. This relationship between attention and emotion indicates that there should be interactive but distinct networks between these cognitive mechanisms as well as a modulative effect on perceptional and attentional systems. Emotions were in general demonstrating a facilitation affect on attentional and saccadic processes as well as broadening or narrowing the scope of attention. The reason behind emotions impact on attention was proposed to be for eliciting a change in the application of resources in order to solve the limited capacity problem and possibly to protect and sustain life. Inconsistent findings as well as limitations for emotional attention studies are discussed.

  • 24.
    Chamorro, Emilia
    Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för biovetenskap.
    Theories of Nightmares in Cognitive Neuroscience and Psychology2015Självständigt arbete på avancerad nivå (magisterexamen), 20 poäng / 30 hpStudentuppsats (Examensarbete)
    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

  • 25.
    Christersson, Emma
    Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för biovetenskap.
    The Psychedelic Altered State of Consciousness: An Assessment of the Current Status of Psychedelic Research2019Självständigt arbete på grundnivå (kandidatexamen), 15 poäng / 22,5 hpStudentuppsats (Examensarbete)
    Abstract [en]

    Classic psychedelic substances, such as lysergic acid diethylamide and the active compound in magic mushrooms, psilocybin, are being studied again in a renaissance of psychedelic research. Psychedelic substances have profound effects on perception, emotion, and cognition, as well as the capacity to induce mystical-type experiences and ego-dissolution. Recent clinical studies indicate that these substances have positive effects on patient populations and healthy participants, both acutely and long-term. Neuroimaging studies show that psychedelics alter neural integration, by the disintegration of normally stable resting state networks, and increasing network connectivity between normally anticorrelated networks. This thesis will review the phenomenological characteristics of the psychedelic-induced altered state of consciousness, the therapeutic potential of the psychedelic-induced altered state of consciousness, and neuroimaging studies on the psychedelic state. Two theoretical accounts are compared on the brain basis of psychedelic-induced altered state of consciousness. From the recent research on psychedelics a novel theory of conscious states has evolved, the entropic brain theory. This theory will be compared to the integrated information theory, a well-established theory of consciousness within cognitive neuroscience.

  • 26.
    Dalile, Boushra
    Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för biovetenskap.
    Is the High Probability of Type II Error an Issue in Error Awareness ERP Studies?2016Självständigt arbete på avancerad nivå (magisterexamen), 20 poäng / 30 hpStudentuppsats (Examensarbete)
    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.

  • 27.
    Davidsson, Julia
    Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för biovetenskap.
    The Role of Major Life Events and Brain Development on Personality Trait Change in Adulthood: Insights from Personality Neuroscience2019Självständigt arbete på grundnivå (kandidatexamen), 15 poäng / 22,5 hpStudentuppsats (Examensarbete)
    Abstract [en]

    The relationship between personality trait change and major life events is currently undergoing extensive investigations within the field of personality psychology. A debate has risen regarding whether or not major life events can bring about trait change, and how typical trait change patterns over the adult lifespan can be explained. It is valuable to understand how traits change because they predict important future outcomes. The Five-Factor Theory described by McCrae and Costa (2008a) states that traits are purely biological entities, and trait change is explained to result from processes of intrinsic biological maturation, unaffected by life events. This thesis reviewed the literature regarding the relationship of trait change and life events, and the research of potential biological bases of traits in the brain together with a brain developmental perspective of intrinsic maturation. Gaining an insight in the relationship between personality traits and the brain is a goal within a young field of research called personality neuroscience, and an agenda of the Five-Factor Theory. Major life events do cause trait change, but the relationship is complex. A brain developmental perspective of intrinsic maturation did not entirely correspond with patterns of typical trait change in young adulthood. The Five-Factor Theory is challenged and modifications are suggested. Neurobiological correlates of five-factor traits reveal issues and potentials for future research.

  • 28.
    Degerfeldt, Anton
    Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för biovetenskap.
    It's About a Day: The Effect of Glucocorticoids on Shifting and Re-entraining the Circadian Rhythm in Peripheral Cells: A Review and Meta-Analysis2019Självständigt arbete på grundnivå (kandidatexamen), 15 poäng / 22,5 hpStudentuppsats (Examensarbete)
    Abstract [en]

    The circadian rhythm is a rhythm which permeates all aspects of biological life and follows the hours of the sun. The pace of the rhythm is controlled by a collection of neurons in the hypothalamus, called the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), whose signals affect rhythms throughout the body as can be seen in aspects of life from behavior down to oscillations of proteins in the cells. A disruption of this rhythm such as what happens during jet lag, where the rhythm of the SCN is out of synch with the rhythm of the rest of the body, is something that can have adverse effects on mental and physical health. To realign the SCN and the rhythm of the body, different methods and be implemented. This thesis investigated the effectiveness of glucocorticoids on re-aligning the rhythms of the body following a disruption through a meta-analysis and a qualitative review. The meta-analysis and review incorporated experiments from six articles investigating the hours of circadian rhythm shifts in the mouse model, after administering glucocorticoids. What was found was that the individual experiments presented results with high effect sizes; however, the direction of said effects was not uniform as the rhythms shifted in different directions. The lack of uniform direction caused no significant combined effect size to be found by this meta-analysis (MES=0.11 ± 0.06), showing that a statistical analysis based on hours shifted could not find a significant combined effect. The qualitative review, however, indicates that the administration of glucocorticoids shows an effect in re-entraining the rhythm of the peripheral parts of the body to that of the environmental cues and the SCN. Though no significant statistical effect was found in this analysis, the effect of glucocorticoids should not be discounted and could still prove a promising treatment for circadian disruptions, such as jet lag.

  • 29.
    Eidering, Joel
    Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för biovetenskap.
    INCREASED MOTIVATION AND PERFORMANCE FROM FOCUSING ON TASK INSTEAD OF SELF: INDUCED BY TRIAL-TO-TRIAL FEEDBACK: An fmri study2014Självständigt arbete på grundnivå (kandidatexamen), 20 poäng / 30 hpStudentuppsats (Examensarbete)
    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.  

  • 30.
    Eklund, Rasmus
    Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för kommunikation och information.
    RECURRENT PROCESSING AND THE CONSCIOUSNESS2012Självständigt arbete på grundnivå (kandidatexamen), 10 poäng / 15 hpStudentuppsats (Examensarbete)
    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.

  • 31.
    Fasthén, Patrick
    Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för kommunikation och information.
    The Mereological Self: A Multisensory Description of Self-Plasticity2013Självständigt arbete på grundnivå (kandidatexamen), 10 poäng / 15 hpStudentuppsats (Examensarbete)
    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.

  • 32.
    Fasthén, Patrick
    Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för biovetenskap.
    The Virtual Self: Sensory-Motor Plasticity of Virtual Body-Ownership2014Självständigt arbete på avancerad nivå (magisterexamen), 20 poäng / 30 hpStudentuppsats (Examensarbete)
    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.

  • 33.
    Feilhauer, Diana
    Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för biovetenskap.
    Measuring Emotions in Dreams: Methodological Challenges2015Självständigt arbete på grundnivå (kandidatexamen), 20 poäng / 30 hpStudentuppsats (Examensarbete)
    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.

  • 34.
    Frändén, Philip
    Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för biovetenskap.
    Neural Correlates of Heart Rate Variability: Threat and Safety Perception2018Självständigt arbete på grundnivå (kandidatexamen), 15 poäng / 22,5 hpStudentuppsats (Examensarbete)
    Abstract [en]

    The connection between the heart and the brain was coined 150 years ago by Claude Bernard and has since then been an interesting topic of research. Scientists have for many years searched for biomarkers of stress and health to map the current status of the organism. Heart rate variability (HRV) has been presented as an emerging objective and promising marker to achieve just this. HRV refers to the beat-to-beat variations in heart rate (HR) and is thought to be a useful signal in understanding and providing valuable information of the autonomic nervous system (ANS). HRV has also been proposed as a marker of stress and health by sharing neural correlates and functions with several executive functions. This thesis identified several regions, including the ventromedial prefrontal cortex and the amygdala, in which significant associations across several studies were found between threat and safety perception, emotional regulation and HRV. This suggest that HRV may function as an index of the brain mechanism and structures that guide and govern adaptive functions and thus, provide researchers with valuable information regarding the stress and health of an organism. Two major theoretical frameworks, which articulate and explain the role of HRV as an indicator of individuals ability to adapt to environmental changes and cope under stress is presented. HRV can also be used in practice in several ways and a growing and promising field of application is HRV biofeedback.

  • 35.
    Förster, Jona
    Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för biovetenskap.
    ERP and MEG Correlates of Visual Consciousness: An Update2019Självständigt arbete på avancerad nivå (magisterexamen), 20 poäng / 30 hpStudentuppsats (Examensarbete)
    Abstract [en]

    Two decades of event-related potential (ERP) research have established that the most consistent correlates of the onset of visual consciousness are the early visual awareness negativity (VAN), a negative component in the N2 time range over posterior electrode sites, and the late positivity (LP), a positive component in the P3 time range over fronto-parietal electrode sites. A review by Koivisto & Revonsuo (2010) had looked at 39 studies and concluded that the VAN is the earliest and most reliable correlate of visual phenomenal consciousness, whereas the LP probably reflects later processes associated with reflective/access consciousness. However, an “early” vs. “late” debate still persists. This thesis provides an update to that earlier review. All ERP and MEG studies that have appeared since 2010 and directly compared ERPs of aware and unaware conditions are considered. The result corroborates the view that VAN is the earliest and most consistent signature of visual phenomenal consciousness, and casts further doubt on the LP as an ERP correlate of consciousness. Important new methodological, empirical, and theoretical developments in the field are described, and the empirical results are related to the theoretical background debates.

  • 36.
    Gerafi, Joel
    Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för kommunikation och information.
    A Unified Perspective of Unilateral Spatial Neglect2012Självständigt arbete på avancerad nivå (magisterexamen), 20 poäng / 30 hpStudentuppsats (Examensarbete)
    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.

  • 37.
    Gerafi, Joel
    Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för kommunikation och information.
    Anosognosia for Hemiplegia: Theoretical, Clinical, and Neural Aspects2011Självständigt arbete på grundnivå (kandidatexamen), 10 poäng / 15 hpStudentuppsats (Examensarbete)
    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.

  • 38.
    Gerafi, Joel
    et al.
    Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för biovetenskap. Högskolan i Skövde, Forskningscentrum för Systembiologi. 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
    Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för biovetenskap. Högskolan i Skövde, Forskningscentrum för Systembiologi.
    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 stroke2017Ingår i: European Journal of Neurology, ISSN 1351-5101, E-ISSN 1468-1331, Vol. 24, nr 11, s. 1407-1415Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    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.

  • 39.
    Grassini, Simone
    et al.
    Department of Psychology, University of Turku, Finland.
    Revonsuo, Antti
    Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för biovetenskap. Högskolan i Skövde, Forskningscentrum för Systembiologi. Department of Psychology, University of Turku, Finland.
    Castellotti, Serena
    Department of Psychology, University of Turku, Finland / Department of Psychology, University of Florence, Italy.
    Petrizzo, Irene
    Department of Psychology, University of Turku, Finland / Department of Psychology, University of Florence, Italy.
    Benedetti, Viola
    Department of Psychology, University of Turku, Finland / Department of Psychology, University of Florence, Italy.
    Koivisto, Mika
    Department of Psychology, University of Turku, Finland.
    Processing of natural scenery is associated with lower attentional and cognitive load compared with urban ones2019Ingår i: Journal of Environmental Psychology, ISSN 0272-4944, E-ISSN 1522-9610, Vol. 62, s. 1-11Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Environmental psychology has provided evidence for psychologically favorable effects of exposure to natural settings, by means of controlled laboratory experiments as well as outdoor field studies. Most of these studies have employed subjective rating scales to assess processes and outcomes of exposure to nature, while only few of them have used physiological measures to assess the neural correlates of these benefits. The present study used electroencephalography (EEG) to explore how the brain engages in processing of images of natural vs. urban scenery. During EEG recording, the participants (n = 32) were presented with a series of photos depicting urban or natural scenery. Participants rated the sceneries for their subjective relaxing value. Images of natural scenery were rated as more relaxing compared to the images of urban scenery. Event related potentials suggested a lower attentional demand for images of natural scenery compared to urban ones. Signal spectral analyses revealed differences in brain activity level and cognitive demand between natural and urban scenery. Our data suggest that the visual perception of natural environments calls for less attentional and cognitive processing, compared with urban ones. © 2019 Elsevier Ltd

  • 40.
    Grassini, Simone
    et al.
    Department of Psychology, University of Turku, Finland.
    Valli, Katja
    Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för biovetenskap. Högskolan i Skövde, Forskningscentrum för Systembiologi. Department of Psychology, University of Turku, Turku, Finland /Turku Brain and Mind Center, University of Turku, Turku, Finland.
    Souchet, Jérémie
    Station D'Ecologie Théorique et Expérimentale Du CNRS, France.
    Aubret, Fabien
    Station D'Ecologie Théorique et Expérimentale Du CNRS, France.
    Segurini, Giulia V.
    Department of Psychology, University of Turku, Finland.
    Revonsuo, Antti
    Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för biovetenskap. Högskolan i Skövde, Forskningscentrum för Systembiologi. Department of Psychology, University of Turku, Finland.
    Koivisto, Mika
    Department of Psychology, University of Turku, Finland.
    Pattern matters: Snakes exhibiting triangular and diamond-shaped skin patterns modulate electrophysiological activity in human visual cortex2019Ingår i: Neuropsychologia, ISSN 0028-3932, E-ISSN 1873-3514, Vol. 131, s. 62-72Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    The neural and perceptual mechanisms that support the efficient visual detection of snakes in humans are still not fully understood. According to the Snake Detection Theory, selection pressures posed by snakes on early primates have shaped the development of the visual system. Previous studies in humans have investigated early visual electrophysiological activity in response to snake images vs. various alternative dangerous or non-dangerous stimuli. These studies have shown that the Early Posterior Negativity (EPN) component is selectively elicited by snake or snake-like images. Recent findings yielded the complementary/alternative hypothesis that early humans (and possibly other primates) evolved an aversion especially for potentially harmful triangular shapes, such as teeth, claws or spikes. In the present study we investigated the effect of triangular and diamond-shaped patterns in snake skins on the ERP correlates of visual processing in humans. In the first experiment, we employed pictures of snakes displaying either triangular/diamond-shaped patterns or no particular pattern on their skins, and pictures of frogs as control. Participants observed a random visual presentation of these pictures. Consistent with previous studies, snakes elicited an enhanced negativity between 225 and 300 ms (EPN) compared to frogs. However, snakes featuring triangular/diamond-shaped patterns on their skin produced an enhanced EPN compared to the snakes that did not display such patterns. In a second experiment we used pictures displaying only skin patterns of snakes and frogs. Results from the second experiment confirmed the results of the first experiment, suggesting that triangular snake-skin patterns modulate the activity in human visual cortex. Taken together, our results constitute an important contribution to the snake detection theory. 

  • 41.
    Guimaraes Svensson, Marieide
    Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för kommunikation och information.
    When a Native Becomes Foreign in his/her Own Homeland: A Review of the Foreign Accent Syndrome: A Review of the Foreign Accent Syndrome2012Självständigt arbete på grundnivå (kandidatexamen), 10 poäng / 15 hpStudentuppsats (Examensarbete)
    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.

  • 42.
    Gusevac, Stela
    Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för biovetenskap.
    Emotion Regulation: Functional neuroimaging studies of cognitive reappraisal2014Självständigt arbete på grundnivå (kandidatexamen), 10 poäng / 15 hpStudentuppsats (Examensarbete)
    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.

  • 43.
    Hedin, Adam
    Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för biovetenskap.
    Memory distortion and source amnesia: A review of why our memories can be badly mistaken2018Självständigt arbete på grundnivå (kandidatexamen), 15 poäng / 22,5 hpStudentuppsats (Examensarbete)
    Abstract [en]

    Our memory is prone to distortions which in everyday life can lead to mistaken memories. This thesis investigates memory distortion. In addition, one might recall (e.g. an event) correctly but misremember the source of the event (e.g. place or time of the event); this particular type of memory distortion is called source amnesia. Here, an overview of cognitive theories of memory distortion as well as the neuroscience behind memory distortion is provided. In addition, the particular memory distortion of source amnesia where one is unable to acquire when or where a fact was learned is further investigated. Results indicate that an overlap of qualities related to the information being learned causes information to be linked to wrong sources, thus creating distorted memories. Misinformation is also indicated to produce impairment in memory. In memory distortions, memory impairments are representative in various areas of the brain, including the hippocampus and the amygdala in the medial temporal lobes as well as in the frontal cortex and in the visual cortex. These key areas are also closely related to brain aging in Alzheimer´s disease and in schizophrenia, depression, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and in drug and alcohol abuse. Individuals inflicted with these disease symptoms seem to be more prone to source amnesia compared to controls. The limitations and future directions of what we can study regarding memory distortion and source amnesia are also presented in this thesis.

  • 44.
    Holm, Linus
    et al.
    Department of Psychology, Umeå University .
    Billing, ErikHögskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för informationsteknologi. Högskolan i Skövde, Forskningscentrum för Informationsteknologi.
    Proceedings of the 15th SweCog Conference2019Proceedings (redaktörskap) (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    In an article published in Nature: Human Behavior, Nunez et al. (2019) asks What happened to cognitive science? The authors review bibliometric and socio-institutional aspects of the field and argues that the transition from a multi-disciplinary program to a mature inter-disciplinary coherent field has failed. Looking at the Swedish environment, we can nothing but agree. Many of us identifying ourselves as researchers in cognitive science are working at departments primarily focused at other disciplines, teaching within other objects and publishing in journals and conferences adjacent to the field. The diversity of cognitive science is also present in the number of directions that has has evolved over the years. The embodied approaches that many of us align with are not evolving towards a coherent view, but is today found under numerous labels such as situated cognition, distributed cognition, extended cognition, and enactive cognition. The so called 4E perspectives on the field have now ventured beyond the four, and is today more often referred to as the multi-E framework.

    While we agree with Nunez et al. that we remain a multi-disciplinary, multi-perspective, and multi-method group of researchers who may share an interest for the science of the mind, rather than a coherent approach or perspective, we disagree that this entails a failure for the enterprise of cognitive science. We dare to say that the Sweish Cognitive Science Society has embraced the multi-perspectives idea by adopting an inclusive approach in the selection of research and methods presented at our conferences. We hope that SweCog will remain a forum for inclusive discussions, working against discipline conformism and isolation, in a time where both public and scientific debate is increasingly shattered.

  • 45.
    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
    Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för biovetenskap. Högskolan i Skövde, Forskningscentrum för Systembiologi. 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 humans2017Ingår i: NeuroImage, ISSN 1053-8119, E-ISSN 1095-9572, Vol. 150, s. 230-238Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    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.

  • 46.
    Hurme, Mikko
    et al.
    Department of Psychology, University of Turku, Finland / Turku Brain and Mind Centre, University of Turku, Finland.
    Koivisto, Mika
    Department of Psychology, University of Turku, Finland / Turku Brain and Mind Centre, University of Turku, Finland.
    Revonsuo, Antti
    Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för biovetenskap. Högskolan i Skövde, Forskningscentrum för Systembiologi. Department of Psychology, University of Turku, Finland / Turku Brain and Mind Centre, University of Turku, Finland.
    Railo, Henry
    Department of Psychology, University of Turku, Finland / Turku Brain and Mind Centre, University of Turku, Finland / Department of Clinical Neurophysiology, University of Turku and Turku University Hospital, Finland.
    V1 activity during feedforward and early feedback processing is necessary for both conscious and unconscious motion perception2019Ingår i: NeuroImage, ISSN 1053-8119, E-ISSN 1095-9572, Vol. 185, s. 313-321Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    The study of blindsight has revealed a seminal dissociation between conscious vision and visually guided behavior: some patients who are blind due to V1 lesions seem to be able to employ unconscious visual information in their behavior. The standard assumption is that these findings generalize to the neurologically healthy. We tested whether unconscious processing of motion is possible without the contribution of V1 in neurologically healthy participants by disturbing activity in V1 using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). Unconscious processing was measured with redundant target effect (RTE), a phenomenon where participants respond faster to two stimuli than to one stimulus, when the task is just to respond as fast as possible when one stimulus or two simultaneous stimuli are presented. We measured the RTE caused by a motion stimulus. V1 activity was interfered with different stimulus onset asynchronies (SOA) to test whether TMS delivered in a specific time window suppresses conscious perception (participant reports seeing only one of the two stimuli) but does not affect unconscious processing (RTE). We observed that at each SOA, when TMS suppressed conscious perception of the stimulus, the RTE was also eliminated. However, when visibility of the redundant target was suppressed with a visual mask, we found unconscious processing of motion. This suggests that unconscious processing of motion depends on V1 in neurologically healthy humans. We conclude that the neural mechanisms that enable motion processing in blindsight are modulated by neuroplastic changes in connectivity between subcortical areas and the visual cortex after the V1 lesion. Neurologically healthy observers cannot process motion unconsciously without functioning of V1. 

  • 47.
    Huynh, Yen Nhi
    Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för biovetenskap.
    Who am I?: The Neurobiology of the Big Five2019Självständigt arbete på grundnivå (kandidatexamen), 15 poäng / 22,5 hpStudentuppsats (Examensarbete)
    Abstract [en]

    Personality is something that sets every human being apart, yet it is something that has been quite hard to pinpoint. Recently, neuroscientists have begun pinning down the neural correlates of personality traits – with focus on the Big Five, sparking a whole new subfield within personality research, known as personality neuroscience. By using neuroscientific methods and techniques to find the underpinnings of the Big Five have led to a deeper and broader understanding of how genetics and the environment integrate into making individuals who they are. This research has also been helpful in the prediction of various outcomes e.g. academic performance and achievement and neuropsychological disorders. In this thesis, the supposed neural correlates of the Big Five are examined through thorough and critical investigations, where evidence from some of the existing relevant studies is reviewed and compared, as well as the different problems and complexities that the field of personality neuroscience is dealing with. The findings in this thesis shows that extraversion has neurobiological basis in the frontal areas of the brain, neuroticism with reduced volume in the frontal areas, agreeableness with frontoparietal areas that are related to theory of mind as well as temporal regions, conscientiousness with frontal parts that are associated with planning and goal-orientation, and openness/intellect with frontoparietal areas as well as subcortical regions, which have been linked with intelligence and creativity. However, some of the correlations were inconsistent and scattered and further research needs to be done. The analysis of academic achievement and performance, as well as neuropsychological disorders and the Big Five with neuroimaging as a method, have shown to be limited, thus much more research is needed.

  • 48.
    Jaconelli, Victoria
    Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för biovetenskap.
    Grupper och Grupprestationer ur ett Neurovetenskapligt Perspektiv2018Självständigt arbete på grundnivå (kandidatexamen), 15 poäng / 22,5 hpStudentuppsats (Examensarbete)
    Abstract [sv]

    Grupper och grupprestationer har studerats länge utifrån olika perspektiv och discipliner, vilket har gett upphov till ett flertal teorier och förklaringsmodeller som innefattar olika tillvägagångssätt för hur grupper kan studeras. I denna uppsats förklaras begreppen grupper, grupprocesser och grupprestationer utifrån olika perspektiv och discipliner innan ett neurovetenskapligt perspektiv på grupper och grupprestationer antas. Detta för att redogöra för hur kognitiv neurovetenskap och neurovetenskapliga mätmetoder som electroencephalography (EEG) och functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) kan förhålla sig till forskning på grupper, grupprocesser och grupprestationer. Syftet med uppsatsen är att beskriva hur grupper kan studeras utifrån ett neurovetenskapligt perspektiv samt hur kognitiv neurovetenskap kan komplettera studier på grupper och grupprestationer. Först presenteras en förklaring på vad grupper, grupprocesser och grupprestationer är, inklusive en redogörelse för relevanta begrepp som ledarskap, gruppsammanhållning och gruppkognition. Detta följs sedan av hur grupper och grupprestationer kan studeras ytterligare med ett neurovetenskapligt perspektiv, för att avslutas med problematik och möjligheter för kognitiv neurovetenskap inom forskningsfältet.

  • 49.
    Jedbäck, William
    Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för biovetenskap.
    Personality and Neurobiology: A Review of Fronto-Limbic Structural and Functional Connectivity in Neuroticism2019Självständigt arbete på grundnivå (kandidatexamen), 15 poäng / 22,5 hpStudentuppsats (Examensarbete)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: The five-factor model is the most prominent theory in personality science which aspire to understand the thoughts, feelings and behavior of individuals, determined by five relatively stable domains. Neuroticism, defined as a higher threat reactivity and susceptibility to negative affect, is one domain which has proven problematic for well-being, and has estimated societal costs of approximately 2.5 times that of common mental disorder per 1 million inhabitants. Problem: The neural correlates of neuroticism could supply research with a fundamental base of understanding the trait, however, due to scattered founding’s of segregated activity in brain structures relative to neuroticism, meta-analyses argue that increased understanding of global rather than local organization, could be more fruitful for the investigation. Methodology: Since neuroticism is convergent with emotional instability, two structures of interest with regards to global organization are the amygdala, crucial for emotion generation, and the prefrontal cortex (PFC), responsible for emotion interpretation and emotion regulation. Reviewing brain imaging research conducted with emphasis on integrative communication between the amygdala and the PFC in individuals with high trait neuroticism has therefore been the main objective of this thesis. Results/conclusion: According to the investigated research there is compromised structural integrity correlated with neuroticism, while the research on functional communication between the structures explored is not yet sufficiently covered to supply a satisfactory answer. Some of these neurobiological findings are in line with personality science observation in neuroticism, and could hence contribute to the investigation. However, more research is warranted in this field of neuroscience.

  • 50.
    Jensen, Magnus J. C.
    Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för biovetenskap.
    The antecedents of free will: The importance of concept heterogeneity inresearch interpretation and discussion2018Självständigt arbete på avancerad nivå (magisterexamen), 20 poäng / 30 hpStudentuppsats (Examensarbete)
    Abstract [en]

    Scientific research on free will was started by Libet et al. (1982). They detected that thereadiness potential (RP) proceeded urges with up to 350ms. One interpretation of the RP wasthat it represented motor planning. The research progress of antecedent brain activity inrelation to conscious urges is investigated by looking at contemporary studies. How differentassumptions and definitions of the free will concept influences interpretation of these studiesis also discussed. The evidence is in favor that the RP is not representing motor planning.Antecedent activity has been detected with numerous technologies, most notably fMRIclassifiers which have been used to predict decisions in advance. Scrutiny of these resultsreveals that the experimental setups are dependent on time-locking trials which may construethe results. It is shown that predictions based on probabilistic antecedents can be interpretedin numerous ways. The review shows that free will positions differ from each other onseveral factors, such as whether free will is either-or or exists on a spectrum. Some notablepositions are not dependent on antecedent activity at all. The notion of control is one of thepivotal factors deciding if a subject experience free will, not if they are the causer per se.Future discussion will be improved by systematizing the differences between the free willpositions and communicating them clearly. Convergent evidence points at the explanatorymodel of free will being a cognitive feeling – A feeling which reports ownership over actionsbut does not cause them.

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