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  • 51.
    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
    University of Skövde, School of Bioscience. University of Skövde, The Systems Biology Research Centre. 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 perception2019In: NeuroImage, ISSN 1053-8119, E-ISSN 1095-9572, Vol. 185, p. 313-321Article in journal (Refereed)
    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. 

  • 52.
    Huynh, Yen Nhi
    University of Skövde, School of Bioscience.
    Who am I?: The Neurobiology of the Big Five2019Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 15 credits / 22,5 HE creditsStudent thesis
    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.

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  • 53.
    Jaconelli, Victoria
    University of Skövde, School of Bioscience.
    Grupper och Grupprestationer ur ett Neurovetenskapligt Perspektiv2018Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 15 credits / 22,5 HE creditsStudent thesis
    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.

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  • 54.
    Jedbäck, William
    University of Skövde, School of Bioscience.
    Personality and Neurobiology: A Review of Fronto-Limbic Structural and Functional Connectivity in Neuroticism2019Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 15 credits / 22,5 HE creditsStudent thesis
    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.

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  • 55.
    Jensen, Magnus J. C.
    University of Skövde, School of Bioscience.
    The antecedents of free will: The importance of concept heterogeneity inresearch interpretation and discussion2018Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
    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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  • 56.
    Johansson, Ruben
    University of Skövde, School of Bioscience.
    The Science of Deception and fMRI Lie-Detection2014Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 5 credits / 7,5 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

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

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    The Science of Deception and fMRI Lie-Detection
  • 57.
    Jones, Madeleine
    University of Skövde, School of Bioscience.
    Empathy for pain and its modulating factors2018Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 15 credits / 22,5 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    The present thesis deals with the concept of empathy for pain, its neurobiological underpinnings and modulations of the phenomenon. Empathy for pain is understood as the empathic response that occurs when recognising another in pain and entails at least the affective processes of actually felt pain in oneself. Cortical areas of importance for empathy for pain are the anterior insula and anterior cingulate cortex. Moreover, the phenomenon is correlated with high levels of empathy, as established by behavioural self-reports. Further, empathy for pain has been shown to be highly susceptible to modulatory factors giving rise to changes in the empathic response. Perceived fairness, perspective taking, intent and out-groups are all factors that can evoke change in the subsequent empathy for pain responses in humans. These modulatory factors provide insight into in- and out-group mechanisms. Cognitive strategies can regulate a diminished empathy for pain response, although further research is needed on how to cultivate and strengthen our ability to have empathy for another’s pain.

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  • 58.
    Jones, Madeleine
    University of Skövde, School of Bioscience.
    Visual Perception of the Facial Width-to-Height Ratio: Possible Influences of Angry Facial Expressions as Revealed by Event-Related Brain Potentials2019Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    The facial width-to-height ratio (fWHR) is a measure of the cheekbone width divided by the height of the face from the upper lip to the brows. The metric is hypothesised to have evolved as an intra-sexual competition mechanism in males, where large fWHRs are thought to signal both threat and aggression. The fWHR is suggested to subtly resemble angry facial expressions, which, in turn, also signal threat. The late positive potential (LPP) and the vertex positive potential (VPP) are two event-related potentials (ERPs) especially sensitive to emotional content. Studies have also found that viewing angry compared to neutral facial expressions elicit a stronger response on the LPP. However, no study has tested how responses to the fWHR and angry facial expressions elicit changes in the LPP or VPP. In this study, participants firstly rated how threatening faces were with either low or high fWHRs with neutral or angry facial expressions. Secondly, EEG-activity was recorded during a picture-viewing task of the same faces. In the first task, participants rated the faces with angry facial expressions as more threatening compared to all other faces, regardless of fWHR, although the high fWHRs were rated as more threatening than the low fWHRs. In the second task, LPP and VPP mean amplitudes were significantly higher for the angry, high fWHR face compared to all other faces tested. This suggests that an additive effect of both angry facial expressions and high fWHRs together creates the highest threat level in both subjective ratings as well as in ERP mean amplitudes. Further ERP research is needed on the relationship between fWHRs and anger to establish how the two features work both separately and together.

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  • 59.
    Kajonius, Petri J.
    University of Skövde, School of Bioscience. University of Skövde, The Systems Biology Research Centre. Department of Psychology, University of Gothenburg, Sweden / Department of Behavioral Sciences, University West, Trollhättan, Sweden.
    The Future of Personalized Care: Scientific, Measurement, and Practical Advancements in Personality and Brain Disorders2019In: Personality and Brain Disorders: Associations and Interventions / [ed] Danilo Garcia, Trevor Archer, Richard M. Kostrzewa, Springer, 2019, 1, p. 269-281Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Person-centered care sciences are experiencing rapid progress. Personalization in care services is becoming the norm, and implementation from scientific knowledge is increasingly acknowledged and mandated. Advances in personality and brain disorder research are crucial in assisting the future development of personalized care.  

    Aim: We will attempt to present glimpses into the future of personalized care with support from frontline science, measurement, and practice, updating with input from personality genetics and measurement theory.

    Outline: We present three broad developments: 1) Scientific advancements in understanding how personality and genetics are central in predicting mental health and disorders, with the potential to increase predictive diagnosis and treatment validity 2) Measurement advancements with help of trait dimensions and latent structures, with the potential to increase reliability in assessing personalized care needs and functioning 3) Practical advancements in implementing a personalized approach in care services, with the potential to increase effectiveness and satisfaction with patients. We review this glimpse into the future by referencing key findings in personality and assessment meta-analyses, Genome Wide Association Studies (GWAS), and trait measurements in psychiatric disorders.

    Conclusion: Personalizing care services will benefit practitioners and patients. We suggest and recommend that personalized care diagnosis and treatment is the way forward, and that the future will be potentially revolutionized by incorporating the presented advancements in personality research and brain sciences.

  • 60.
    Kallio, Sakari
    et al.
    University of Skövde, School of Bioscience. University of Skövde, The Systems Biology Research Centre. Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Turku, Turku, Finland / Turku Institute for Advanced Studies and Department of Psychology, University of Turku, Turku, Finland.
    Koivisto, Mika
    Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Turku, Turku, Finland / Turku Institute for Advanced Studies and Department of Psychology, University of Turku, Turku, Finland.
    Kaakinen, Johanna K.
    Turku Institute for Advanced Studies and Department of Psychology, University of Turku, Turku, Finland.
    Synaesthesia-type associations and perceptual changes induced by hypnotic suggestion2017In: Scientific Reports, ISSN 2045-2322, E-ISSN 2045-2322, Vol. 7, article id 17310Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

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

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  • 61.
    Kallionpää, R. E.
    et al.
    Department of Psychology and Speech-Language Pathology, and Turku Brain and Mind Center, University of Turku, Turku, Finland / Department of Perioperative Services, Intensive Care and Pain Medicine, Turku University Hospital, Turku, Finland.
    Scheinin, A.
    Department of Perioperative Services, Intensive Care and Pain Medicine, Turku University Hospital, Turku, Finland / Turku PET Centre, University of Turku and Turku University Hospital,Turku, Finland.
    Kallionpää, R. A.
    Institute of Biomedicine, University of Turku, Turku, Finland.
    Sandman, N.
    Department of Psychology and Speech-Language Pathology, and Turku Brain and Mind Center, Universityof Turku, Turku, Finland.
    Kallioinen, M.
    Department of Perioperative Services, Intensive Care and Pain Medicine, Turku University Hospital, Turku, Finland.
    Laitio, R.
    Turku PET Centre, University of Turku and Turku University Hospital,Turku, Finland.
    Laitio, T.
    Turku PET Centre, University of Turku and Turku University Hospital,Turku, Finland.
    Kaskinoro, K.
    Turku PET Centre, University of Turku and Turku University Hospital,Turku, Finland.
    Kuusela, T.
    Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Turku, Turku, Finland.
    Revonsuo, Antti
    University of Skövde, School of Bioscience. University of Skövde, The Systems Biology Research Centre. Department of Psychology and Speech-Language Pathology, and Turku Brain and Mind Center, University of Turku, Turku, Finland.
    Scheinin, H.
    Department of Perioperative Services, Intensive Care and Pain Medicine, Turku University Hospital, Turku, Finland / Turku PET Centre, University of Turku and Turku University Hospital,Turku, Finland / Integrative Physiology and Pharmacology,Institute of Biomedicine, University of Turku, Turku, Finland.
    Valli, Katja
    University of Skövde, School of Bioscience. University of Skövde, The Systems Biology Research Centre. Department of Psychology and Speech-Language Pathology, and Turku Brain and Mind Center, University of Turku, Turku, Finland / Department of Perioperative Services, Intensive Care and Pain Medicine, Turku University Hospital, Turku, Finland.
    Spoken words are processed during dexmedetomidine-induced unresponsiveness2018In: British Journal of Anaesthesia, ISSN 0007-0912, E-ISSN 1471-6771, Vol. 121, no 1, p. 270-280Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Studying the effects of anaesthetic drugs on the processing of semantic stimuli could yield insights into how brain functions change in the transition from wakefulness to unresponsiveness. Here, we explored the N400 event-related potential during dexmedetomidine- and propofol-induced unresponsiveness. Methods: Forty-seven healthy subjects were randomised to receive either dexmedetomidine (n = 23) or propofol (n = 24) in this open-label parallel-group study. Loss of responsiveness was achieved by stepwise increments of pseudo-steady-state plasma concentrations, and presumed loss of consciousness was induced using 1.5 times the concentration required for loss of responsiveness. Pre-recorded spoken sentences ending either with an expected (congruous) or an unexpected (incongruous) word were presented during unresponsiveness. The resulting electroencephalogram data were analysed for the presence of the N400 component, and for the N400 effect defined as the difference between the N400 components elicited by congruous and incongruous stimuli, in the time window 300-600 ms post-stimulus. Recognition of the presented stimuli was tested after recovery of responsiveness. Results: The N400 effect was not observed during dexmedetomidine- or propofol-induced unresponsiveness. The N400 component, however, persisted during dexmedetomidine administration. The N400 component elicited by congruous stimuli during unresponsiveness in the dexmedetomidine group resembled the large component evoked by incongruous stimuli at the awake baseline. After recovery, no recognition of the stimuli heard during unresponsiveness occurred. Conclusions: Dexmedetomidine and propofol disrupt the discrimination of congruous and incongruous spoken sentences, and recognition memory at loss of responsiveness. However, the processing of words is partially preserved during dexmedetomidine-induced unresponsiveness.

  • 62.
    Kallionpää, Roosa E.
    et al.
    Department of Psychology and Speech-Language Pathology, and Turku Brain and Mind Center, University of Turku, Turku, Finland / Department of Perioperative Services, Intensive Care and Pain Medicine, Turku University Hospital, Finland.
    Pesonen, Henri
    Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Turku, Finland / Department of Computer Science, Aalto University, Espoo, Finland.
    Scheinin, Annalotta
    Department of Perioperative Services, Intensive Care and Pain Medicine, Turku University Hospital, Finland / Turku PET Centre, University of Turku and Turku University Hospital, Finland.
    Sandman, Nils
    Department of Psychology and Speech-Language Pathology, and Turku Brain and Mind Center, University of Turku,Finland.
    Laitio, Ruut
    Turku PET Centre, University of Turku and Turku University Hospital, Finland.
    Scheinin, Harry
    Department of Perioperative Services, Intensive Care and Pain Medicine, Turku University Hospital, Finland / Turku PET Centre, University of Turku and Turku University Hospital, Finland / Integrative Physiology and Pharmacology, Institute of Biomedicine, University of Turku, Finland.
    Revonsuo, Antti
    University of Skövde, School of Bioscience. University of Skövde, The Systems Biology Research Centre. Department of Psychology and Speech-Language Pathology, and Turku Brain and Mind Center, University of Turku, Finland.
    Valli, Katja
    University of Skövde, School of Bioscience. University of Skövde, The Systems Biology Research Centre. Department of Psychology and Speech-Language Pathology, and Turku Brain and Mind Center, University of Turku, Finland / Department of Perioperative Services, Intensive Care and Pain Medicine, Turku University Hospital, Finland.
    Single-subject analysis of N400 event-related potential component with five different methods2019In: International Journal of Psychophysiology, ISSN 0167-8760, E-ISSN 1872-7697, Vol. 144, p. 14-24Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    There are several different approaches to analyze event-related potentials (ERPs) at single-subject level, and the aim of the current study is to provide information for choosing a method based on its ability to detect ERP effects and factors influencing the results. We used data from 79 healthy participants with EEG referenced to mastoid average and investigated the detection rate of auditory N400 effect in single-subject analysis using five methods: visual inspection of participant-wise averaged ERPs, analysis of variance (ANOVA) for amplitude averages in a time window, cluster-based non-parametric testing, a novel Bayesian approach and Studentized continuous wavelet transform (t-CWT). Visual inspection by three independent raters yielded N400 effect detection in 85% of the participants in at least one paradigm (active responding or passive listening), whereas ANOVA identified the effect in 68%, the cluster-method in 59%, the Bayesian method in 89%, and different versions of t-CWT in 22–59% of the participants. Thus, the Bayesian method was the most liberal and also showed the greatest concordance between the experimental paradigms (active/passive). ANOVA detected significant effect only in cases with converging evidence from other methods. The t-CWT and cluster-based method were the most conservative methods. As we show in the current study, different analysis methods provide results that do not completely overlap. The method of choice for determining the presence of an ERP component at single-subject level thus remains unresolved. Relying on a single statistical method may not be sufficient for drawing conclusions on single-subject ERPs. 

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  • 63.
    Karlsson, Louise
    University of Skövde, School of Bioscience.
    Stress: From a biological, social, and psychological perspective2018Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 15 credits / 22,5 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    Over the years stress has been a term lacking one clear and specific definition. In general, the term stress has been used mostly as an explanation of a response or reaction to a stressor. A stressor can be of both physiological and behavioral character. The experience of stress can occur both due to a real or a perceived stressor. In this literature review, the concept of stress is viewed with insights from biological, psychological, and social perspectives. The stress response is described biologically with the central nervous system (CNS), the brain, and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. Social and psychological stress are concepts related to how stress is perceived by the mind and due to social surroundings which is described in relation to social support, self-efficacy, the locus of control and cognitive appraisal. Dealing with stress can be done through coping which refers to the individual capacity to handle a stressor and has generally been divided into two categories, active/passive coping and problem-focused/emotion-focused coping. Depending on the individual resources to cope with a stressor and the ability to decrease the stress response when needed, the long-term effects of stress can therefore vary between individuals. It has been found that positive coping (known as reducing stress) can increase the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) volume and decrease anxiety and depression. The prefrontal cortex (PFC), the hippocampus, and the amygdala are closely linked to the ACC and affect emotions, learning, and memory related to the stress response.

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  • 64.
    Kastrati, Granit
    University of Skövde, School of Humanities and Informatics.
    Event-related potential correlates of visual consciousness: a review of theories and empirical studies2012Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

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

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  • 65.
    Koberg, Lena
    University of Skövde, School of Bioscience.
    The menopausal brain: Effects of estrogen depletion on cognition2018Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 15 credits / 22,5 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    Menopause is a major reproductive-related event in a woman’s life, occurring naturally at around the age of fifty years. Accompanying menopause is a drastic decrease in estrogen levels. Estrogen receptors are present throughout the human brain: e.g., in regions such as the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex, both involved in cognition. Given that about half of the world’s population is female, it is important to examine if and how cognition is affected by the menopausal estrogen depletion, both at the level of public health, and at the individual level. Studies within the field show diverse results due to a wide range of methodology among studies. Behavioral studies foremost point towards a potential estrogenic effect on verbal short- and long-term memory. Structural and functional neuroimaging, together with animal studies, mainly show structural and functional alterations in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex that may be related to changes in estrogen levels. Taken together, this thesis reviews estrogenic effects on different cognitive functions, as well as structural and functional changes in the brain in relation to the menopausal estrogen depletion.

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  • 66.
    Koivisto, Mika
    et al.
    Department of Psychology, University of Turku, Turun yliopisto, Finland / Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Turku, Turun yliopisto, Finland.
    Grassini, Simone
    Department of Psychology, University of Turku, Turun yliopisto, Finland / Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Turku, Turun yliopisto, Finland.
    Hurme, Mikko
    Department of Psychology, University of Turku, Turun yliopisto, Finland / Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Turku, Turun yliopisto, Finland.
    Salminen-Vaparanta, Niina
    Department of Psychology, University of Turku, Turun yliopisto, Finland / Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Turku, Turun yliopisto, Finland.
    Railo, Henry
    Department of Psychology, University of Turku, Turun yliopisto, Finland / Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Turku, Turun yliopisto, Finland.
    Vorobyev, Victor
    Department of Psychology, University of Turku, Turun yliopisto, Finland / Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Turku, Turun yliopisto, Finland.
    Tallus, Jussi
    Department of Radiology, Turku University Hospital, Turun yliopisto, Finland.
    Paavilainen, Teemu
    Department of Radiology, Turku University Hospital, Turun yliopisto, Finland.
    Revonsuo, Antti
    University of Skövde, School of Bioscience. University of Skövde, The Systems Biology Research Centre. Department of Psychology, University of Turku, Turun yliopisto, Finland / Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Turku, Turun yliopisto, Finland.
    TMS-EEG reveals hemispheric asymmetries in top-down influences of posterior intraparietal cortex on behavior and visual event-related potentials2017In: Neuropsychologia, ISSN 0028-3932, E-ISSN 1873-3514, Vol. 107, p. 94-101Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

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

  • 67.
    Koivisto, Mika
    et al.
    University of Turku, Turku, Finland.
    Grassini, Simone
    University of Turku, Turku, Finland.
    Salminen-Vaparanta, Niina
    University of Turku, Turku, Finland.
    Revonsuo, Antti
    University of Skövde, School of Bioscience. University of Skövde, The Systems Biology Research Centre. University of Turku, Turku, Finland.
    Different Electrophysiological Correlates of Visual Awareness for Detection and Identification2017In: Journal of cognitive neuroscience, ISSN 0898-929X, E-ISSN 1530-8898, Vol. 29, no 9, p. 1621-1631Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

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

  • 68.
    Koivisto, Mika
    et al.
    Department of Psychology, University of Turku, Finland / Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Turku, Finland.
    Harjuniemi, Inari
    Department of Psychology, University of Turku, Finland / Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Turku, Finland.
    Railo, Henry
    Department of Psychology, University of Turku, Finland / Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Turku, Finland.
    Salminen-Vaparanta, Niina
    Department of Psychology, University of Turku, Finland / Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Turku, Finland.
    Revonsuo, Antti
    Department of Psychology, University of Turku, Finland / Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Turku, Finland.
    Transcranial magnetic stimulation of early visual cortex suppresses conscious representations in a dichotomous manner without gradually decreasing their precision2017In: NeuroImage, ISSN 1053-8119, E-ISSN 1095-9572, Vol. 158, p. 308-318Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

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

  • 69.
    Kralj, Andrea
    University of Skövde, School of Bioscience.
    The neurobiology underlying personality traits and conflict behavior: Examining the similarities in brain regions between agreeableness, aggression and dominating conflict style2018Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 15 credits / 22,5 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    Conflicts are part of our everyday life and the field of psychology describes how specific personality traits relate to specific conflict styles. However, the question remaining is why these relations exist? Recently, personality neuroscience has begun pinning down the neurobiology of personality traits, providing a deeper understanding of the human behavior. The present thesis utilizes the Five Factor Model (FFM; Costa & McCrae, 1990) of personality to investigate the neurobiology underlying the inverse relation between the specific personality trait of Agreeableness and dominating conflict style (a conflict management style characterized by aggressiveness, authoritarianism and/or need for dominance). Agreeableness overlaps both empathy and aggression which can work as each other’s opposites in explaining conflict behaviors. The goal of the thesis was to investigate whether the inverse relation between Agreeableness and dominating conflict style can be explained by brain regions. Brain regions such as the medial prefrontal cortex and regions involving anterior cingulate appear to be the most prominent neurobiology describing the relation. Serotonin is the neural substance involved in most cortical and subcortical brain structures and it also regulates the suppression of aggression, making it an important substance both within Agreeableness and the preference for dominating conflict style. The thesis will sum up with a discussion including some limitations within the research and further aspects such the consequences of the findings will be discussed.

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  • 70.
    Kuzbiel, Dawid
    University of Skövde, School of Bioscience.
    Neural correlates of focused attention and open monitoring meditation2018Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 15 credits / 22,5 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    Meditation, used initially as a vehicle for self-discovery and attainment of enlightenment, is today a tool for well-being among the general public and has even found its way into the clinical milieu. Meditation is challenging term to define and the variety of meditation practices, all with their own aims, pose a problem in terms of scientific understanding. A better sense of how these practices compare will help both general public and neuroscientists. Here, two of the fundamental practices originating from Buddhist tradition, focused attention (FA) and open monitoring (OM) meditation are compared. FA meditation activates mainly right medial/lateral PFC, parts of the limbic system and ACC. These regions help with sustaining attention and monitoring goal-conflicting distractors. FA deactivates parts of the default mode network (DMN), responsible for non-task specific processes and mind wandering. OM meditation reduces pain by top-down regulation of the limbic system. OM engages left fronto-parietal and insular regions, which help with conscious access of thoughts and emotions. OM seems to affect parts of the DMN. The thalamus is involved in both practices, where it helps to relay sensory signals in accordance with the different aims of each practice. This thesis hopes to contribute to a better understanding of how two main categories of meditation compare concerning their neural correlates.

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  • 71.
    Kärrström, Katja
    University of Skövde, School of Bioscience.
    Neural correlates of mindfulness related to stress: How mindfulness promotes wellbeing2018Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 15 credits / 22,5 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    Mindfulness practice is used to treat mental and physical symptoms. The problem is that research on the long-term effects and the neural changes involved, correlated with well-being, are inconsistent. The purpose of this review is to create a deeper understanding of mindfulness and its neural correlates related to stress. In mindfulness, one can use focused attention meditation (FA), involving anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), prefrontal cortex (PFC), parietal areas, thalamus, visual cortex, intraparietal sulcus, and amygdala. In open monitoring meditation (OM), ACC, PFC, insula, somatosensory cortex, limbic areas and amygdala are involved. In exposure to a high amount of stress, the grey matter volume decreases in the hippocampus, PFC, and amygdala. Research has also shown that 19 000 hours of mindfulness practice increases activation in areas involved in FA and OM. This increased activation might also enhance the subject’s ability to control emotions. After 44 000 hours of meditation, areas involved in FA showed less activation which might imply that more hours of mindfulness practice involve less cognitive activity and a calmer state of mind. Regardless of hours spent on meditating, a decreased activation in the amygdala and ACC occurs, which correlates with less response towards negative stimuli. The neural changes involved in mindfulness practice was related to less experienced stress and enhanced psychological well-being. For future research, an investigation of the interaction between attentional networks and stress would be of relevance.

  • 72.
    Labbé, Daniel
    University of Skövde, School of Humanities and Informatics.
    Measures of Working Memory, Motivation, and Time Perception2012Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

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

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    Labbe - Measures of Working Memory, Motivation, and Time Perception
  • 73.
    Labbé, Daniel
    University of Skövde, School of Humanities and Informatics.
    The Feeling of Anxiety: Phenomenology and neural correlates2008Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

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

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  • 74.
    Landron, Teddy
    University of Skövde, School of Bioscience.
    Electroencephalographic frontal alpha asymmetry and biological markers of the immune system: A correlation study2018Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    The immune system has been suggested as crucial in brain and psychological functioning. More precisely, immune markers reflecting immune system activity are important for psychological and mental health, as evident by their role in the physiopathology of depression and in the impairment of executive functions. Frontal alpha asymmetry (FAA), an electroencephalographic marker of brain function, has also been linked to such psychopathology and is thought to reflect psychological processes underlying approach- versus withdrawal-related motivation and higher-order inhibitory control. Only a few studies have linked FAA to immune markers but notably found a negative association between IL-6, a pleiotropic pro-inflammatory cytokine, and FAA. The aim of the present work is thus to study the relationship between various immune markers (including pro-inflammatory cytokines and IL-6) and FAA. 35 healthy young male participants underwent a resting EEG recording and blood sampling from which immune markers were measured. The results did not suggest an association between IL-6 and FAA. No other immune markers were either suggested to be associated to FAA. The complexity of the immune system (e.g., effect of cytokines) is underlined and may explain the results. Despite such results, the implication of true negative correlations between FAA and circulating immune markers, as suggested in previous studies, is discussed in the light of the theoretical models of FAA.

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  • 75.
    Larsson, Mathias
    University of Skövde, School of Bioscience.
    Stress and Seizures: Behavioural Stress-Reduction Interventions’ Efficiency in Lowering Seizure Frequency2019Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 15 credits / 22,5 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    Epilepsy is the most common, chronic, serious neurological disease in the world, with an estimated 65 million people affected worldwide. Recent studies on people diagnosed with epilepsy suggest that stress might trigger epileptic seizures. Interventions aimed at lowering stress might be able to reduce the risk for epileptic seizures among epileptics. In an attempt to explore this possibility, I conducted a systematic review addressing the efficacy of behavioral interventions targeted at lowering stress on seizure frequency among an epileptic population. This article also investigated the efficacy of these interventions on lowering self-perceived stress in the same population. Three databases were searched for obtaining 54 references. After a systematic filtering process, a set of 2 studies was retained after the full search procedure. The results suggest stress-reducing behavioral interventions do not have any statistically significant effects on lowering seizure frequency but have a statistically significant effect on lowering self-perceived stress ratings among an epileptic population. The small but promising results from trials and systematic reviews not included in this review warrant further research into the topic. Limitations regarding search procedure included studies and consideration for further research and reading for the presented topics are discussed.

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  • 76.
    Lindberg, Marcus
    University of Skövde, School of Bioscience.
    Relations Between the Capgras and Cotard Delusions2019Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 15 credits / 22,5 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    Delusions are commonly thought of as bizarre and fascinating; a delusion is a false belief that is held despite counterevidence. They have also been hard to study, in part because of the many forms that they can take. In recent decades, neuroimaging techniques have made it possible to study delusions more empirically, by using methods such as Single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) and Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to locate neural correlates. The Capgras delusion is a syndrome in which a patient has the belief that someone has been replaced by an impostor. The Cotard delusion is a syndrome in which a patient has the belief that oneself does not exist or is dead. These two delusions have been found to have some curious similarities. This thesis investigates how the Capgras and Cotard delusions relate to each other, with a focus on the neural correlates. The nature of delusions is explained, along with the Capgras and Cotard delusions. Relevant case reports for each delusion are presented. Neural correlates are also reviewed and compared between the delusions. Studies on the similarities in face recognition impairments are included, as well as on attribution styles. The findings demonstrated in this thesis show that the Capgras and Cotard delusions relate to each other in several ways, including in terms of overlapping neural correlates, in face recognition impairments, attribution styles and the fact that both delusions sometimes co-exist and follow each other. It is possible that the Capgras and Cotard delusions share fundamentally similar causes.

  • 77.
    Lindberg, Markus
    University of Skövde, School of Bioscience.
    Neural correlates of lucid dreaming and comparisons with phenomenological aspects2014Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

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

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    Neural correlates of lucid dreaming and comparisons with phenomenological aspects
  • 78.
    Lindhe, Hanna
    University of Skövde, School of Bioscience.
    The Emotional Brain and Sleep: A review of the relationship between sleep and emotional brain functioning2018Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 15 credits / 22,5 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    Why do we need to sleep? Not only is getting enough sleep important for our overall health and well-being, it is perhaps of utmost importance for normal brain functioning. Scientific findings derived from studying sleep deprivation suggests that sleep also plays an important role in our emotional functioning, which has led researchers to propose a causal and intimate relationship between sleep and emotional brain functioning. Without sleep it seems as our emotional processing become impaired in various ways. Along with advances in cognitive neuroscience, it is now possible to characterize mechanisms underlying emotional brain processes. In pursuit of the possible functions of sleep, researchers have also proposed that rapid eye movement sleep, might support a process of affective brain homeostasis and recalibration that optimally prepares the organism for next-day social and emotional functioning. This thesis reviews current behavioral and neurophysiological evidence focused on the relationship between sleep and emotional brain functioning, and the role of rapid eye movement sleep in emotional processing.

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  • 79.
    Ljungström, Andreas
    University of Skövde, School of Bioscience.
    Moral Intuition Versus Moral Reasoning In the Brain2014Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

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

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  • 80.
    Lymperopoulou, Ioana Anca
    University of Skövde, School of Bioscience.
    A cognitive neuroscience perspective of emotions2015Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 40 credits / 60 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

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

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    A cognitive approach to emotions
  • 81.
    Löfstrand, Emelie
    University of Skövde, School of Bioscience.
    Empathy for Pain: And its Neural Correlates2016Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

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

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  • 82.
    Mattisson, Amanda
    University of Skövde, School of Bioscience.
    Conscious by Default: The Role of the Default Mode Network in Internal Awareness2019Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 15 credits / 22,5 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    Abstract

    In the 1990s researchers discovered task-deactivated regions in the human brain. Together, these areas make up the default mode network (DMN). It was originally proposed to act as a balancing mechanism between different brain systems, explaining the deactivations, but is now mostly studied with regards to internal awareness, such as daydreaming and mental imagery. The purpose of this thesis is to present a summary of DMN research, focusing on the network’s suggested role in internal awareness. This will be done by reviewing a wide variety of research that either explicitly or indirectly correlate default mode network features with aspects of consciousness and internal awareness. The subjective experience of being conscious have been a source of argument primarily among philosophers, but the qualities we feel are intimately linked to cognitive functions that are supported by the regions found in the DMN. Cognitive neuroscience may therefore be able to contribute to the concept of internal awareness and consciousness.

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  • 83.
    Moonens, Sofie
    University of Skövde, School of Humanities and Informatics.
    Mirror Neurons: The human mirror neuron system2012Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

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

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  • 84.
    Määttä, Jessica
    University of Skövde, School of Humanities and Informatics.
    Embodied Cognition and Deception: The Influence of Emotional Congruence in Detecting Lies2012Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

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

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  • 85.
    Niemi, Markus
    University of Skövde, School of Bioscience.
    Neuroscientific perspective on the bidirectional relationship between life satisfaction and health: Are people happier because they are healthy, or are they healthier because they are happy?2018Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 15 credits / 22,5 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    Bentham’s 1832 Greatest Happiness Principle states that the greatest happiness for the greatest amount of people should be the goal of public policy. When people are asked what they wish for in life, health and happiness are consistently mentioned. This thesis examines the relationship between health and happiness. However, as happiness is difficult to consistently operationalize across different studies and scientific disciplines, life satisfaction is used as a proxy for happiness. This thesis studies the relationship between health and life satisfaction with a particular focus on the directionality of the relationship and the tentative processes indicated to be involved with this process. This study is accomplished through a literary review of the scientific literature related to life satisfaction, its neural correlates and their relationship with physical health. This study is modelled on the top-down, bottom-up and bidirectional debate within the larger Subjective Well-Being (SWB) literature. The results indicate that the correlation between life satisfaction and health appears to be robust, but the exact directionality and causality is unclear and difficult to establish with a literary review, with only predictive ability of life satisfaction on later physical health or vice versa established. Furthermore, the results appear to indicate that the central process linking this relationship is resilience - the ability to adaptively respond to stressors. Enhancing resiliency through psychological interventions may be a method to promote happiness and health in individuals as well as in society as a whole.

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  • 86.
    Nilsson, Hanna
    University of Skövde, School of Bioscience.
    The Neural Mechanisms of Reward and Addiction: A Review of the Role of Dopamine in Cocaine Addiction2018Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 15 credits / 22,5 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    Cocaine is known for its severe addictive properties and still, there is no effective treatment for cocaine addiction. Cocaine is a powerful chemical substance. It enters the brain rapidly and cause abnormal high levels of dopamine. Dopamine is found to be the neural correlate for reward. Addictive drugs such as cocaine are reported to be rewarding and initially generate many dimensions of positive effects. However, repeated cocaine use are associated with both structural and functional abnormalities in several brain regions, especially in areas responsible for voluntary control. Loss of control gives way to compulsive consumption and craving for more cocaine stimulation. These neuronal changes and negative symptoms tend to occur gradually, while the tolerance increases. The addicted individual has to enhance the dose in order to obtain the desired effect, which is; becoming physically dependent of a substance. Also, dysregulation of reward circuitries causes decreased sensitivity to natural rewards leading to increased interest in cocaine-related reward stimulation. The abstinence usually last for long time, even years, after self-administration, which makes addicts highly sensitive to relapse. Up to date, effective therapeutic interventions and pharmacological treatments are limited. Neurostimulation techniques such as DBS have shown positive results in regulation of dopaminergic excitability. Though, more research in the complexity of dopamine and mesolimbic areas is well needed, in order to better understand the neural basis of cocaine addiction and be able to offer evidence-based treatments. This thesis will provide an overview of the neuronal impact of cocaine on the dopaminergic reward circuitries in the brain.

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  • 87.
    Nilsson, Kenny
    University of Skövde, School of Humanities and Informatics.
    Common Treatments of Attention/Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder2012Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

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

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  • 88.
    Nilsson, Malin
    University of Skövde, School of Bioscience.
    Effects of the Mediterranean Diet on Brain Function: Underlying mechanisms2019Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 15 credits / 22,5 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    The Mediterranean diet (Medi) has been highlighted as the golden diet rich in protective properties associated with cognitive- and emotional health. The foundation of the Medi comprises vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds, legumes, and extra virgin olive oil. Research has been conducted in both holistic dietary approach and single nutrient approach regarding the impact of nutrition and diet, in this case, the Medi‟s effect on brain health. This review aims to give an up to date overview of the Mediterranean diet, outline some of the diet's abundant nutrients, and discuss studies linking the nutrient's potential effect on depression, cognitive decline, dementia, and brain structure and function. In addition, this review will attempt to assess whether the Medi as a whole or if a single nutrient approach is accountable for the health-promoting findings. Furthermore, the gut-brain axis, and other potential underlying mechanisms involved in the modulation of food- and nutrient intake and their effects on the brain, will be outlined. A diet high in fruit-, vegetable-, polyunsaturated fatty acid-, and monounsaturated fatty acid content has great power for health-maintenance and decreases the risk of suffering cognitive decline, dementia, and potentially depression. More randomized controlled trials are however eagerly awaited to give more substance to previous findings.

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    Effects of the Mediterranean diet on Brain Function
  • 89.
    Noreika, Valdas
    et al.
    Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience, Department of Psychology, University of Turku, 20014 Turku, Finland.
    Jylhänkangas, Leila
    Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience, Department of Psychology, University of Turku, 20014 Turku, Finland.
    Móró, Levente
    Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience, Department of Psychology, University of Turku, 20014 Turku, Finland.
    Valli, Katja
    University of Skövde, School of Humanities and Informatics.
    Kaskinoro, Kimmo
    Department of Anesthesia, Intensive Care, Emergency Medicine and Pain Therapy, Turku University Hospital, Turku, Finland.
    Aantaa, Riku
    Department of Anesthesia, Intensive Care, Emergency Medicine and Pain Therapy, Turku University Hospital, Turku, Finland.
    Scheinin, Harry
    Department of Pharmacology and Clinical Pharmacology, and Turku PET Centre, University of Turku, Turku, Finland.
    Revonsuo, Antti
    University of Skövde, School of Humanities and Informatics.
    Consciousness lost and found: Subjective experiences in an unresponsive state2011In: Brain and Cognition, ISSN 0278-2626, E-ISSN 1090-2147, Vol. 77, no 3, p. 327-334Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

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

  • 90.
    Noreika, Valdas
    et al.
    Department of Psychology, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom / Department of Psychology and Speech-Language Pathology, University of Turku, Finland.
    Windt, Jennifer M.
    Department of Philosophy, Monash University, Clayton, VIC, Australia.
    Kern, Markus
    Translational Neurotechnology Lab, University of Freiburg, Germany.
    Valli, Katja
    University of Skövde, School of Bioscience. University of Skövde, Systems Biology Research Environment. Department of Psychology and Speech-Language Pathology, University of Turku, Finland.
    Salonen, Tiina
    Department of Psychology and Speech-Language Pathology, University of Turku, Finlan.
    Parkkola, Riitta
    Department of Radiology, University and University Hospital of Turku, Finland.
    Revonsuo, Antti
    University of Skövde, School of Bioscience. University of Skövde, Systems Biology Research Environment.
    Karim, Ahmed A.
    Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University of Tübingen, Germany / Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, Jacobs University, Bremen, Germany / Department of Health Psychology and Neurorehabilitation, SRH Mobile University, Riedlingen, Germany.
    Ball, Tonio
    Translational Neurotechnology Lab, University of Freiburg, Germany.
    Lenggenhager, Bigna
    Department of Psychology, University of Zurich, Switzerland.
    Modulating dream experience: Noninvasive brain stimulation over the sensorimotor cortex reduces dream movement2020In: Scientific Reports, ISSN 2045-2322, E-ISSN 2045-2322, Vol. 10, no 1, article id 6735Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Recently, cortical correlates of specific dream contents have been reported, such as the activation of the sensorimotor cortex during dreamed hand clenching. Yet, despite a close resemblance of such activation patterns to those seen during the corresponding wakeful behaviour, the causal mechanisms underlying specific dream contents remain largely elusive. Here, we aimed to investigate the causal role of the sensorimotor cortex in generating movement and bodily sensations during REM sleep dreaming. Following bihemispheric transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) or sham stimulation, guided by functional mapping of the primary motor cortex, naive participants were awakened from REM sleep and responded to a questionnaire on bodily sensations in dreams. Electromyographic (EMG) and electroencephalographic (EEG) recordings were used to quantify physiological changes during the preceding REM period. We found that tDCS, compared to sham stimulation, significantly decreased reports of dream movement, especially of repetitive actions. Other types of bodily experiences, such as tactile or vestibular sensations, were not affected by tDCS, confirming the specificity of stimulation effects to movement sensations. In addition, tDCS reduced EEG interhemispheric coherence in parietal areas and affected the phasic EMG correlation between both arms. These findings show that a complex temporal reorganization of the motor network co-occurred with the reduction of dream movement, revealing a link between central and peripheral motor processes and movement sensations of the dream self. tDCS over the sensorimotor cortex interferes with dream movement during REM sleep, which is consistent with a causal contribution to dream experience and has broader implications for understanding the neural basis of self-experience in dreams. © 2020, The Author(s).

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  • 91.
    Nyqvist Ghashghaian, Simon
    University of Skövde, School of Bioscience.
    The Neurobiology of Ketamine and Addiction2018Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 15 credits / 22,5 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    Ketamine is a dissociative anesthetic prescription drug and has been used for general anesthesia. The research surrounding this chemical compound has revealed conflicting evidence of its potential use in health care and addiction treatment. On one side, ketamine is a widespread drug of abuse associated with neurocognitive deficits and neurotoxicity, on the other side ketamine has recently been found to have a variety of potential uses, including but not limited to; antidepressant effects, reconsolidation of drug-related memories and disrupting maladaptive rumination. Ketamine’s ability to induce psychedelic and mystic experiences, reconsolidation of memories, antidepressant effects, and its ability to reduce cue-induced drug craving makes it a potentially useful tool in drug abuse therapy. Most of the negative side-effects of ketamine seem to be apparent at high doses and in frequent use but low doses and non-frequent use has a low risk of harm, therefore, careful consideration and extensive research are required before ketamine can be widely used in the public and in health care for treatment strategies. This thesis aims to explore the role of ketamine and its neurobiological effects in the treatment of addiction and depression.

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  • 92.
    Olowe, Omorinsola
    University of Skövde, School of Bioscience.
    Temporal Dynamics of Emotion Regulation Strategies: An ERP Study2018Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    Distraction and cognitive reappraisal are two widely used types of emotional regulation strategies that are thought to be reliable when down-regulating our emotions to negative or unpleasant stimuli. Gross‘s process model of emotion generation (Gross, 1998) holds that they differ in the time they intervene in the emotiongenerative process and also how they impact emotional responses when they are used to regulate negative emotions. Distraction which involves attentional deployment is expected to operate earlier than reappraisal that entails meaning evaluation and reevaluation. Cognitive reappraisal encompasses various strategies that are used to regulate our emotions through reinterpretation. Self-focused and situation-focused reappraisal are two of them. The former is considered more efficient and thus would lead to a greater attenuation of the LPPthan the latter. To test this prediction, electrocortical responses to angry faces when using these strategies were measured using the late positive potential (LPP). Twenty four healthy participants were recruited for the study and were cued to down-regulate their emotions using these strategies while angry and neutral facial stimuli were seen on a computer screen. Contrary to prediction, distraction did not modulate the LPP earlier than reappraisal. However, supporting our hypothesis self-focused strategies largely modulated the LPP than situation-focused strategy. The pattern of result suggests that reappraisal might have an influence on the early neural processes of emotion generation and that the subcategories of cognitive reappraisal have a differential effect on emotional regulation.

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  • 93.
    Olson, Emelie
    University of Skövde, School of Bioscience.
    Effects on the Hippocampal Volume and Function: Stress and Depression Versus Physical Exercise2018Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 15 credits / 22,5 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    In this essay, changes in the human hippocampal volume and function induced by stress, depression and physical exercise are examined. Hippocampus is crucially involved in the acquisition and retrieval of episodic and spatial memory, and hippocampal volume correlates with episodic and spatial memory performance. Hippocampus has substantial plasticity and changes with age, but also in response to experiential factors across life. Stress and, under at least some circumstances, also depression have negative effects on hippocampal volume and memory function. The negative effects are believed to accelerate age-related decline in volume and function, mediated by exaggerated cortisol levels and dysfunction in the HPA-axis. Physical exercise is examined from two perspectives; aerobic and strength exercise. Aerobic exercise increases hippocampal volume across various ages and decelerates age-related hippocampal degeneration, whereas support for strength exercise-induced effects are mixed and need to be studied further. The positive effects are believed to be mediated by increased BDNF levels and regional cerebral blood volume. Although hippocampal volume normally correlates with hippocampus-dependent memory, studies on exercise-induced changes in human hippocampus-dependent memory have reported inconsistent results. Animal studies have observed both the negative and positive effects on hippocampal volume to relate to changes in neurogenesis, cell proliferation, and dendritic complexity. The negative and positive effects on hippocampal volume have been observed to be non-permanent, suggesting that physical exercise may prevent, attenuate and possibly reverse hippocampal degeneration induced by stress and depression. Further, more studies on sex and age differences, exercise intervention designs and functional values of physical exercise would be of value.

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  • 94.
    Olsson, H. A. Joakim
    University of Skövde, School of Bioscience.
    An evaluation of the Integrated Information Theory against some central problems of consciousness2015Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    explanations are satisfying is questionable.

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    Evaluation_of_IIT
  • 95.
    Olsson, Joakim
    University of Skövde, School of Bioscience.
    Narcissism - Brain and Behavior: Self-Views and Empathy in the Narcissistic Brain2014Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

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

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  • 96.
    Persson, Björn
    University of Skövde, School of Bioscience.
    Personality Neuroscience and Dark Values2014Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

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

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  • 97.
    Persson, Björn
    University of Skövde, School of Humanities and Informatics.
    Subclinical Psychopathy and Empathy2013Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

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

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  • 98.
    Petersson, Maria
    et al.
    Endocrine and Diabetes Unit, Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Uvnäs-Moberg, Kerstin
    Department of Animal Environment and Health, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Skara, Sweden.
    Nilsson, Anne
    Department of Animal Environment and Health, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Skara, Sweden.
    Gustafsson, Lise-Lotte
    Department of Animal Environment and Health, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Skara, Sweden.
    Hydbring-Sandberg, Eva
    Department of Anatomy, Physiology and Biochemistry, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden.
    Handlin, Linda
    University of Skövde, School of Health and Education. University of Skövde, Health and Education.
    Oxytocin and Cortisol Levels in Dog Owners and Their Dogs Are Associated with Behavioral Patterns: An Exploratory Study2017In: Frontiers in Psychology, ISSN 1664-1078, E-ISSN 1664-1078, Vol. 8, article id 1796Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

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

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  • 99.
    Pettersson, Patrik
    University of Skövde, School of Bioscience.
    EXEKUTIVA FÖRMÅGOR OCH PROKRASTINATION2014Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [sv]

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

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  • 100.
    Pettersson, Tove
    University of Skövde, School of Bioscience.
    The Neural Correlates of Body Dissatisfaction in Patients with Anorexia Nervosa: Examining the similarities between diagnosis of anorexia nervosa and body dissatisfaction2019Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 15 credits / 22,5 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    Body dissatisfaction (BD) is a condition derived from negative thoughts and feelings about one's body and is a core symptom of the eating disorder anorexia nervosa (AN). Beingdissatisfied with one’s body is highly present in women and to some extent men. This might be a result of a skewed ideal in combination with social influences. In recent year, research on neurobiological risk factors as well as neuroscientific and cognitive mappings of AN and BD have gained traction, particularly when it comes to studies using neuroimaging- techniques and cognitive tests. Studies have identified brain regions (insular cortex, anterior cingulate cortex, parietal cortex, amygdala, dorsolateral and orbitofrontal areas of the prefrontal cortex) associated with the processing of body shape as well as dysfunctional processing of self-image and body satisfaction. Structural imaging studies of AN patients using CT and MRI have, in many cases, found reduced cerebral volume, increased spinal fluid (CSF) and enlarged ventricles. Usually, food and water restriction has been seen as the cause, and structural deficits in AN patients have shown to improve with weight gain after long-term recovery.

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