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  • 1.
    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

  • 2.
    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.

  • 3.
    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.

  • 4.
    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.

  • 5.
    Isaacs, Sofie
    Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för biovetenskap.
    How hardwired are we against threats?: An EDA study comparing modern and evolutionary fear-relevant stimuli.2016Självständigt arbete på avancerad nivå (magisterexamen), 20 poäng / 30 hpStudentuppsats (Examensarbete)
    Abstract [en]

    The threat superiority effect refers to an ability to quickly and efficiently detect threatening cues in one’s environment. Hence, ensuing and appropriate behavioral defense responses entail greater chances of survival for an organism. Some researchers argue that natural selection has led us to automatically prioritize threats that would have been salient during the period of evolutionary adaptation; as for example snakes. However, others have also argued that activation of our defense response system is more flexible, thus able to also be triggered to dangers of more recent age: such as guns or airplane crashes. The present study has sought to impact this debate, by measuring the electrodermal activity (EDA) – more specifically the skin conductance responses (SCRs) – of subjects who were visually presented with both evolutionary (snakes and spiders) and modern (guns and knives) fear-relevant stimuli. The results demonstrated no significant difference between the two categories within subjects, suggesting that both evolutionary and modern threatening cues activate the defense response system in a similar manner. Although the results are preliminary, and would need further verification in higher powered studies, they can be seen to favor the view that our defense response system is flexibly adaptive in relation to the age of a given threat.

  • 6.
    Labbé, Daniel
    Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för kommunikation och information.
    Measures of Working Memory, Motivation, and Time Perception2012Självständigt arbete på avancerad nivå (magisterexamen), 20 poäng / 30 hpStudentuppsats (Examensarbete)
    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.

  • 7.
    Ljungström, Andreas
    Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för biovetenskap.
    Moral Intuition Versus Moral Reasoning In the Brain2014Självständigt arbete på avancerad nivå (magisterexamen), 20 poäng / 30 hpStudentuppsats (Examensarbete)
    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.

  • 8.
    Lymperopoulou, Ioana Anca
    Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för biovetenskap.
    A cognitive neuroscience perspective of emotions2015Självständigt arbete på avancerad nivå (magisterexamen), 40 poäng / 60 hpStudentuppsats (Examensarbete)
    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.

  • 9.
    Määttä, Jessica
    Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för kommunikation och information.
    Embodied Cognition and Deception: The Influence of Emotional Congruence in Detecting Lies2012Självständigt arbete på avancerad nivå (magisterexamen), 20 poäng / 30 hpStudentuppsats (Examensarbete)
    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.

  • 10.
    Persson, Björn
    Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för biovetenskap.
    Personality Neuroscience and Dark Values2014Självständigt arbete på avancerad nivå (magisterexamen), 20 poäng / 30 hpStudentuppsats (Examensarbete)
    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.

  • 11.
    Pinto, Nuno Alexandre
    Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för biovetenskap.
    Lucid Dreaming and Consciousness: A Theoretical Investigation2015Självständigt arbete på avancerad nivå (magisterexamen), 20 poäng / 30 hpStudentuppsats (Examensarbete)
1 - 11 av 11
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